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Written Answers

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 22 January 2009

Leader of the House

Government Policy Statements

5. To ask the Leader of the House what recent discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on ensuring that statements on significant developments in Government policy are made to the House. (250015)

My right hon. and learned Friend and I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues when deciding whether an oral statement should be made to announce Government policy. This is done against the general principle set out in the ministerial code that when Parliament is in session, the most important announcements of Government policy should be made in the first instance, in Parliament, and taking into account the importance of the issue and the other business before the House.

The hon. Gentleman may wish to know that there were 88 oral statements last Session, more than one every other sitting day, and already this Session there have been 14 statements in just 18 sitting days.

Programme Motions

6. To ask the Leader of the House what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of arrangements for programming of Bills; and if she will make a statement. (250016)

My right hon. Friend has made no formal assessment of the operation of programming, but it has a number of advantages, including greater certainty about the timing of debates on specific areas of a bill and the timing of bills.

The introduction of programming is one of a number of recent reforms to the legislative process such as pre-legislative scrutiny and evidence-taking public Bill committees.

Governance of Britain Green Paper

7. To ask the Leader of the House what progress has been made on the proposals in the Governance of Britain Green Paper which fall within her area of responsibility. (250017)

The House has agreed proposals for regional select and Grand Committees and we expect the committees to be nominated soon. In response to the Modernisation Committee's recommendations on revitalising the Chamber, we have introduced topical questions and debates.

Government Bills

8. To ask the Leader of the House if she will review the proportion of House of Commons time allocated to Government Bills. (250018)

In 2006-07, the last Session for which published figures are available, the House sat for a total of 1,118 hours and 52 minutes. It spent 298 hours and 11 minutes on Government Bills, around a quarter of the total.

This does not include time spent in Committee off the floor of the House, nor on pre-legislative scrutiny of draft Bills for future Sessions.

This compares with around 188 hours on private Members' business, around 17 per cent. of the total sitting time, and 118 hours and 35 minutes on Opposition business, around 10 per cent. of the total.

Members’ Expenses

9. To ask the Leader of the House what assessment she has made of public opinion on arrangements for the publication of information on hon. Members' expenses. (250019)

The Government brought forward proposals to exempt information about payments made to hon. Members from the provisions of the Act in the belief that they would command general support in all parts of the House. When it became clear that they did not, we withdrew the proposals.

We are still proposing a new publication scheme, with more categories of voluntary publication than ever before, and a rigorous system of audit and assurance of hon. Members' allowances.

To ask the Leader of the House (1) what discussions she has had with other hon. Members in advance of her decision to propose the exemption of hon. Members from provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to claims for expenses; (250204)

(2) how many letters she has received from hon. Members requesting exemption or partial exemption from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000;

(3) which external bodies she consulted on her proposal to exempt hon. Members from provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to hon. Members’ claims for expenses.

My right hon. Friend has frequent private communications with Members from all parts of the House on a range of issues relating to her ministerial responsibilities.

No external bodies were consulted about the tabling of the draft Freedom of Information (Parliament) Order 2009.

Ministerial Statements

To ask the Leader of the House what recent discussions she has had with Ministerial colleagues on the criteria to be used in deciding whether an announcement should be made by means of an Oral Statement. (250014)

My right hon. and learned Friend and I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues when deciding whether an oral statement should be made to announce Government policy. This is done against the general principle set out in the Ministerial Code that when Parliament is in Session, the most important announcements of Government policy should be made in the first instance, in Parliament, and taking into account the importance of the issue and the other business before the House.

Written Questions

To ask the Leader of the House on how many occasions in the last 12 months Ministers in her Office used their discretion to rule that a parliamentary question for written answer should be answered because it would be in the public interest to do so, even though to do so would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of £700. (249146)

None. The situation described has not arisen. We aim to publish as much information as possible and would consider providing an answer, despite it exceeding the disproportionate cost threshold, if it was deemed to be in the public interest.

Olympics

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what expert advisers have been commissioned by her Office since its inception; on what topic each was commissioned; and whether the adviser so appointed made a declaration of political activity in each case. (246966)

Departmental Pay

To ask the Minister for the Olympics if she will make it her policy that temporary and permanent employees of her Office employed at the same grade receive the same hourly rate of pay. (248406)

Both temporary and permanent staff are placed on the appropriate pay band for their grade. The same bands apply equally to permanent and temporary staff.

Olympic Games 2012: Construction

To ask the Minister for the Olympics on what date the relocation of Thornton Fields railway sidings was completed. (249794)

The Olympic Delivery Authority completed construction of the new sidings at Orient Way in May 2008. This was announced on 7 July 2008. The completion of Orient Way allowed work to begin early on the clearance of the Thornton’s Field site. That in turn was completed on 31 October 2008.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics on what date the contract to construct the velodrome for the London 2012 Olympics was awarded. (249798)

The Olympic Delivery Authority selected the British company ISG Interior Exterior in May 2008 for the Velodrome contract, with the contract being signed on 10 June 2008. ISG will set up on the Olympic Park site next month and the project remains firmly on track.

Church Commissioners

Churches: Listed Buildings

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many church buildings are listed. (250272)

The Church of England is responsible for approximately 13,000 listed buildings. This represents about 45 per cent. of all the grade I listed buildings in England.

Transport

Aviation: Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport over what period the data was collected which underlies Figure (a) 1.1, (b) 1.2 and (c) 1.3 in his Department's publication, UK Air Passenger Demand and carbon dioxide forecasts. (250393)

The period over which the data underlying Figures 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 of 'UK Air Passenger Demand and CO2 Forecasts 2009' were collected is set out in Chapter 2 of the same report, with further detail in Annexes A-D.

Box 2.2 (p. 16) explains that the forecast shown in Figure 1.1 is based on data from the period 1984-2004. Page 26 explains that the airport choice model used in producing the forecast shown in Figures 1.2 and 1.3 is based on cross-sectional data for 2005.

Figure 1.3 illustrates the forecasting model's success in predicting movements in passenger demand since 2005.

Dartford-Thurrock Crossing: Tolls

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue has been generated by tolls on the Dartford-Thurrock crossing in each year since its opening. (249979)

For the period of the Extension Agreement—between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003— the Highways Agency records show annual revenue of £68,363,698.02. Records of annual revenues before this date are not held centrally by the Department for Transport.

Details of the annual total revenues from the Dartford Crossing from 2003-04 onwards are placed in the House Library (Dartford-Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme—Annual Accounts).

Departmental Catering

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which (a) food and (b) drinks suppliers have been used by his Department in each of the last three years; and how much his Department paid to each such supplier in each of those years. (248381)

Driver Information Systems: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many licences for dynamic route guidance systems his Department has issued in each year since 1997. (249321)

The following table shows the number of licences issued since 1997.

Number of licences

1997

1

1998

0

1999

0

2000

1

2001

0

2002

1

2003

1

2004

2

Driving Under Influence

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps the Government has taken to reduce the incidence of drink driving. (249481)

I would refer my hon. Friend to section 3 of the Department for Transport’s Road Safety Compliance Consultation document, published on 20 November 2008, which sets out the Government’s latest proposal to deal with drink driving. A copy of the document is in the Library of the House and it can also be found on the Department’s website.

Driving: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to review the system of self-certification for the renewal of driving licences for those over 70 years of age. (250371)

The Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency, in conjunction with the Department for Transport, has been reviewing the system in place in Great Britain for ensuring that all drivers are fit to drive.

The review on health and driver licensing has been used to inform a public consultation.

I can confirm that the Department for Transport is currently preparing for a public consultation.

Railways: Bus Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason his Department has decided to run a rail replacement bus service on Tuesday mornings from Ealing Broadway station to Wandsworth Road station; for what reason this service is not advertised; how long he intends that this replacement bus service should operate; what the estimated monthly cost of this service to the public purse is; and how much of this cost has so far been recouped in terms of passenger revenue. (249217)

[holding answer 19 January 2009]: Mindful of the requirements of relevant legislation, the Department for Transport is currently funding a rail replacement bus service between Ealing Broadway station and Wandsworth Road station. This service, which is a temporary measure until the Department can arrange a replacement rail service in this area, has been operating since 14 December 2008 at a four-weekly cost of £1,880 to the Department for Transport.

The Department for Transport does not recoup any revenue from this service. As a rail replacement bus service, a rail ticket has to be purchased for travel on the bus, therefore revenue will be directed to the appropriate train operator for that area.

The Department for Transport intended the bus service to be advertised from 14 December 2008. Following a contractual delay, the bus service has been advertised, from this week, at the stations it is contracted to call at which are Ealing Broadway, Kensington Olympia and Wandsworth Road.

Road Traffic Offences: Elderly

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information his Department holds on the number of prosecutions for road traffic offences that are not proceeded with annually on the grounds that the driver has subsequently surrendered his licence on grounds of old age. (250369)

Road Traffic Offences: Fixed Penalties

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of appeals against fixed penalty notices to traffic adjudicators were upheld in each of the last five years in each region of England; and if he will make a statement. (247900)

This information is not collected centrally by the Government, but the available figures for the number of appeals made against the issuing of Penalty Charge Notices and the number of appeals upheld for each local authority are set out in the annual reports of the traffic adjudicators: the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (PATAS) for London; and the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (TPT) for outside London.

The reports of the PATAS are available at:

www.parkingandtrafficappeals.gov.uk

The reports of the TPT are available at:

www.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk

Roads: Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information his Department holds on the number of road traffic accidents which are recorded annually as being the fault of drivers aged over (a) 70 years and (b) 80 years. (250370)

The information requested is not held centrally.

The Department for Transport publishes the number of drivers of different age groups involved in reported personal injury road accidents in table 38a of the publication "Road Casualties Great Britain - annual report 2007". Fault is not assigned to participants in these collisions. However, information on the contributory factors is collected and published in article 4 of the same report. Table 4h of this article provides the most frequently recorded contributory factors for car drivers by age group.

Copies of the report have been deposited in the Libraries of the House. The report is also published on the Department for Transport web site at the following link:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/accidents/casualtiesgbar/roadcasualtiesgreatbritain20071.

Shipping: Lost Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many shipping containers have been lost overboard in UK waters in each year since 2006. (249471)

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) does not have a separate database to record the loss of containers. The MCA operates databases to record incidents, including recording where containers are lost overboard.

The MCA relies on ships reporting loss of containers in accordance with national and European legislation.

To give a specific number would require a manual interrogation of the incident recording system and that would incur disproportionate costs.

Speed Limits: Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on encouraging local authorities to apply 20 mph zones around schools; and if he will make a statement. (248622)

The Department for Transport encourages local authorities to introduce 20 mph zones in areas where vulnerable road users are present, including the roads around school premises.

This view is reflected in the Department for Transport guidance to local authorities on setting local speed limits, published in August 2006. In addition, Traffic Advisory Leaflet 9/99 provides best practice guidelines on setting 20 mph speed limits and 20 mph zones. Copies of the leaflet are in the Library of the House.

Vehicle Certification Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend East of 6 October 2008, Official Report, column 199W, on departmental official residences, for what purposes Vehicle Certification Agency staff are based in (a) the United States and (b) Japan. (250046)

Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) staff are based in the United States and Japan to carry out their operational duties as a United Kingdom (UK) type approval (TA) authority to conduct and witness tests to European Community (EC) and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) directives and regulations on vehicles coming into Europe from those countries.

VCA does not have any official residences anywhere.

Culture, Media and Sport

Advertising: Economic Situation

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps his Department is taking to support the advertising industry; and if he will make a statement. (249810)

The Government are committed to supporting the creative industries, including the advertising industry. Last year this Department launched Creative Britain, a strategy setting out in 26 commitments the Government's determination to move the creative industries from the margins to the mainstream of the UK economy. The commitments cover education and training, research and innovation and intellectual property.

The Government also provide targeted support to help companies start, survive and succeed. This is available to all businesses, including those in the advertising sector, via Business Link

www.businesslink.gov.uk.

On 14 January the Government launched a support package which consists of loan guarantees and a new Enterprise Fund aimed at helping companies struggling to access finance for working capital and investment.

Arts: Local Government Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much local authority funding was provided for the arts in England in each year since 1980. (246419)

The Department for Communities and Local Government collects data on revenue and capital expenditure by local authorities. Expenditure on the arts by local authorities is only available on a consistent basis since 2004-05. The net current expenditure for ‘arts development and support’ is set out in the following table.

Net current expenditure (£ million)

2004-05

121

2005-06

118

2006-07

118

2007-08

120

Arts: Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport by what date he expects the baseline data for the Find Your Talent pilots to be established. (249225)

The baseline position of the Find Your Talent pathfinder areas is currently being established. An independent evaluation team of SQW Consulting and Ipsos MORI will measure baseline participation in a representative sample of young people in the 10 areas and the results of this survey will be available in May 2009.

Charities

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to which (a) charities and (b) voluntary organisations his Department has provided funding in the last five years; and how much funding was provided to each. (247362)

The Department provides funding to charities and voluntary organisations through grant in aid, specific grants, strategic commissioning and the procurement of services, but it does not record the status of all bodies that it makes payments to, and the information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Department does record the charitable status of those bodies that it provides substantial financial support to, and I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to the hon. Member for Winchester (Mr. Oaten) on 15 December 2008, Official Report, columns 353-54W, which includes a table of payments to charities where the charity received more than £100,000 in any one year.

Churches: Conservation

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much of the Heritage Lottery Fund has been allocated to preserving historic churches in each of the last five years. (247833)

The Heritage Lottery Fund provides funding to places of worship, including historic churches, through its Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme. The allocation for this scheme over the last five years is set out in the following table. Historic churches have also been eligible to apply to the fund’s other grants programmes if they met the criteria, and provided that any application for outstanding repair works could not be tackled via the Places of Worship scheme.

Financial year

Heritage Lottery Fund Repair Grants for Places of Worship budget (£)

2004-05

20,000,000

2005-06

20,000,000

2006-07

20,000,000

2007-08

20,000,000

2008-09

18,000,000

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent assessment he has made of the long-term sustainability of historic churches; and if he will make a statement. (247834)

The Secretary of State relies on the advice of English Heritage in relation to the condition and sustainability of historic buildings. In 2005, English Heritage and the Council for the Care of Churches commissioned a Fabric Needs Survey, which aimed to establish the cost of all major repairs needed to bring all listed places of worship in England into good repair. The survey concluded, based on a sample of buildings, that £925 million over five years was necessary.

As part of its Heritage at Risk programme, English Heritage is undertaking an assessment of the condition and level of use of listed places of worship, the results of which are due to be published in 2010. This research will to give a national perspective on the physical condition of these buildings and inform DCMS, English Heritage and all partners across the sector, regarding the current and future prospects for sustainability.

Churches: Grants

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s available funds on grants to church buildings; and if he will make a statement. (247835)

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has always recognised that places of worship are a very special part of the United Kingdom’s heritage, and it therefore continues to ring-fence funds for them. Although the Fund’s grant budgets will reduce from 2009-13, a higher proportion of its overall budget has been set aside in recognition of the role these buildings play in community life.

The Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage remain committed to providing grants to historic places of worship. The joint Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage funding scheme has offered over £133 million for the repair of historic places of worship since it began in 2002. In 2009, £25 million will be offered to listed places of worship: £17.5 million will go to Grade I and II* buildings, and £7.5 million to Grade II buildings. £15 million of this is provided by the HLF, and £10 million by EH. Both bodies anticipate continuing this grant scheme at its current level until 2010-11.

Churches: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport where those offices established to advise on the maintenance and repair of church buildings will be located. (248228)

On 12 December 2008, English Heritage launched a scheme to provide funding for Support Officers for historic places of worship. To date, six Support Officer posts have been established in Brighton and Hove, Exeter, Coventry, Carlisle, the North-West region and Worcester. Posts are established in response to applications from dioceses; denominations; faith groups and other organisations or partnerships which have a role in the care of historic places of worship anywhere in England. The response to the scheme has been very positive and all nine English Heritage regions are now in discussion with potential partners. A wide geographical, denominational and multi-faith coverage is expected.

The Churches Conservation Trust is launching its Community Regeneration Task Force to work with the congregations of vulnerable church buildings where the building might end up vested in the Trust were it to become redundant.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps (a) his Department and (b) English Heritage are taking to assist church maintenance pilot projects in the dioceses of (a) Gloucester and (b) London. (248229)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport provides grant-in-aid to English Heritage, the Government’s statutory adviser on all matters concerning the conservation of England’s historic environment.

The schemes in the Church of England dioceses of Gloucester and London are two of three pilot maintenance projects, which English Heritage has supported with funds and advice, the third being in the Church of England diocese of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich. A model scheme will be developed from the lessons learnt from the pilot projects, which other dioceses and organisations will be encouraged to adopt, with funding from English Heritage for the set-up costs where possible.

Crown Lands and Estates

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the cost to the public purse of each royal property is in 2008-09. (247976)

The royal household receives £15 million a year from my Department to meet the costs of property maintenance; utilities; telephones and related services at the occupied royal palaces in England. As given in the Royal Public Finances Annual Reports 2007-08, copies of which are in the Libraries of the House (http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page3954.asp), the maintenance costs of the occupied royal palaces for the year to 31 March 2008 (the most recent year for which there are figures) were:

Maintenance costs (£ million)

Buckingham Palace

5.9

Buckingham Palace Mews and Gardens

2.1

St. James's Palace

1.5

Clarence House and Marlborough House Mews

0.8

Kensington Palace

0.7

Hampton Court Mews and Paddocks

0.3

Windsor Castle

3.7

Windsor Castle Royal Mews

0.7

Windsor Home and Great Parks

0.7

Most of these costs were met from the grant in aid, the remainder from income from a facilities management charge paid by the Royal Collection Trust, £1.8 million in 2007-08.

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much has been spent on (a) departmental Christmas parties and (b) staff entertainment in the last three years. (243743)

The annual DCMS staff Christmas party is self-funded by staff at no cost to the public purse. No expenditure has been incurred on staff entertainment in the last three years. All expenditure on official entertainment is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on gifts and hospitality, based on principles set out in Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Departmental Public Appointments

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what progress has been made in appointing a research consortium to review his Department’s participation research; when he expects the consortium to be appointed; and what time frame he plans to set for its deliberation; (249426)

(2) what progress has been made in appointing a research consortium to review his Department’s participation research; when he expects the consortium to have been appointed; and what time frame will be set for its deliberation.

We recently announced that the university of London’s EPPI-centre and Matrix Knowledge Group have been appointed to conduct the first phase of the research. This phase is due to last one year. For further details on the new ‘Culture and Sport Evidence Programme’ (CASE, formerly referred to as the ‘joint research programme’) please see the new webpage at:

www.culture.gov.uk/case

Departmental Public Bodies

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made towards the target of reducing by 20 per cent. the number of unnecessary transactions required to be carried out by his Department's public bodies; if he will make it his policy to eliminate all unnecessary transactions; and if he will make a statement. (248919)

During the course of 2008, DCMS delivered a 9 per cent. reduction in the number of reports required of public bodies. We are pursuing further reductions with the aim of meeting the 20 per cent. target during 2009. Our oversight of each body is linked to a thorough risk assessment, so that a report should not be requested if the degree of risk does not justify it.

Departmental Surveys

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of people responding to his Department's Taking Part survey said that they had participated in an active sport during the preceding four weeks in each year since 2005. (249356)

The ‘Taking Part’ survey is a continuous household survey providing national data on participation in culture, leisure and sport by adults aged 16 and over.

The following table shows the percentage of adults who participated in an active sport in the four weeks prior to interview.

Participation in active sport in past four weeks

Percentage

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

%

+/-

%

+/-

%

+/-

Adults (16 and over)

53.7

0.8

53.4

0.9

53.6

0.8

This information has been extracted from the report published in December 2008, ‘Final assessment of progress on PSA3’. The full report is available at

<http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/publications/5653.aspx>

Horserace Totalisator Board: Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many applications were received by his Department for posts of (a) members of the Independent Strategy Board of the Gambling Commission and (b) non-executive directors of the Tote; how many positions are available for each; and when he expects to make the appointments. (247354)

For the Independent Strategy Board of the Gambling Commission, nine vacancies were advertised and 50 applications were received. Appointments are expected to be made in time for the first board meeting on 4 March 2009.

For the non-executive directors of the Horserace Totalisator Board, two vacancies were advertised and 72 applications were received. I anticipate making these appointments by February 2009.

Listed Buildings: Liverpool

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what grants his Department and English Heritage have awarded for the maintenance of grade I listed buildings in Liverpool in the last two years; how much was awarded in each case; and if he will make a statement. (248325)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport provides no direct Exchequer funding for the maintenance of listed buildings. Government funding is provided as grant in aid to English Heritage.

English Heritage advises that they have offered the following grants to grade I listed buildings in Liverpool in the last two years. English Heritage’s grant schemes are primarily for major urgent structural repair projects rather than ongoing maintenance.

Grade I building

Grant type

Date grant offered

Amount of grant offered (£)

St. John the Baptist Church, Tuebrook

Repair Grant for Places of Worship

19 December 2008

112,000

Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool

Grants for Cathedrals

19 December 2008

50,000

Princes Road Synagogue

Repair Grant for Places of Worship

21 December 2007

112,000

St. Georges Church, Everton

Repair Grant for Places of Worship

28 November 2007

73,000

National Lottery: Voluntary Organisations

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he plans to take to assist voluntary organisations in applying for Heritage Lottery Fund grants. (248230)

This is a matter within the operational responsibility of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The fund has advised that it is committed to providing efficient and simple ways of funding voluntary organisations throughout the UK, and it produces a range of guidance, including some designed to help groups carrying out heritage projects for the first time.

The Government have encouraged all lottery distributors, including the Heritage

Lottery Fund, to ensure that the application process is as simple as possible. The lottery distributors have set up a website

http://www.lotteryfunding.org.uk

which has proved very successful in letting potential applicants know about the relevant lottery programmes, including those run by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Sports: Clubs

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport with reference to the answer of 10 November 2008, Official Report, columns 484-5, on the Subs for Clubs campaign, what progress has been made in talks between his Department and HM Treasury. (250344)

DCMS officials have discussed the Central Council of Physical Recreation's (CCPRs) ‘Subs for Clubs’ proposal to allow community amateur sports clubs (CASC) to claim gift aid on junior subscriptions with HMT.

A decision was made against implementing this proposal at the current time. DCMS officials are in discussion with CCPR to identify ways of encouraging more clubs to register for the CASC scheme and to maximize the use of the existing benefits that CASCs enjoy.

To date the CASC scheme has now registered over 5,000 clubs receiving rate relief and other benefits. As of December 2009 Deloittes estimate that it has saved grassroots sports more than £48 million since its inception. This money has gone back into sport and has enabled clubs to spend it on everything from facilities to kit. Additionally, all community sports clubs will benefit over the next year from the reduction in VAT from 17.5 per cent. to 15 per cent. which will help to increase the funds available to clubs, and moreover provide more money in the pockets of potential donors.

Sports: EC Action

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on what dates since March 2008 (a) he and (b) the Sports Minister have met with their European counterparts to discuss the European White Paper on sport. (250271)

I have met with my European counterparts to discuss the White Paper at two EU Informal Sports Ministers’ meetings on 16-17 March 2008 and 27-28 November 2008.

The Secretary of State has had no such discussions.

Sports: North East

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much public money was spent per capita on sporting infrastructure in (a) the north-east and (b) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in each of the last five years. (245015)

Sport England have provided the following figures, based on Exchequer data held for the last five financial years from 2003-04 to the second quarter of 2008-09:

(a) Capital Exchequer awards to the north-east

£

Financial Year

Per capita based on 2001 census

2003-04

0.33

2004-05

0.46

2005-06

0.52

2006-07

0.69

2007-08

0.76

2008-09

0.18

Total

2.94

(b) Capital Exchequer awards to Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland

£

Financial Year

Per capita based on 2001 census

2003-04

0.86

2004-05

0.00

2005-06

0.00

2006-07

0.28

2007-08

0.00

2008-09

0.89

Total

2.03

The constituency and region will also have benefited from lottery funding for sporting infrastructure during this period.

Sports: Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of (a) all adults and (b) each priority group participated in active sport in the last four weeks. (249807)

The ‘Taking Part’ survey is a continuous household survey providing national data on participation in culture, leisure and sport by adults aged 16 and over.

The following table shows the percentage of all adults, and those from each priority group, who participated in an active sport in the four weeks prior to interview.

Participation in active sport in past four weeks

Percentage

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

%

+/-

%

+/-

%

+/-

Black and minority ethnic

53.3

2.2

51.9

2.4

52.6

2.3

Limiting disability

32.3

1.3

31.2

1.5

30.1

1.3

Lower socio-economic

43.4

1.1

42.2

1.3

43.8

1.2

Females

47.7

1.0

46.2

1.1

46.1

1.0

All adults

53.7

0.8

53.4

0.9

53.6

0.8

This information has been extracted from the report published in December 2008, “Final assessment of progress on PSA3”. The full report is available at:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/publications/5653.aspx.

St George's Day

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many items of correspondence he has received on (a) St. George’s Day and (b) St. Patrick’s Day in the last 12 months. (247741)

As at 13 January we have identified 14 items of correspondence from the last 12 months which have St. George’s Day as the main subject and one item of correspondence that has St. Patrick’s Day as the main subject.

It is possible that further correspondence could mention St. George’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day as secondary issues, but this correspondence could be identified only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans his Department has to promote St George’s Day in 2009. (247743)

On 23 April, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will fly the St. George’s Flag alongside the Union Flag to celebrate St. George’s Day.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much public funding is available from his Department to groups wishing to celebrate St George’s Day. (247744)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has no public funding available to groups wishing to celebrate St. George’s Day.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether his Department has had discussions with tourism agencies about marking St. George's Day in 2009. (248360)

DCMS has had no specific discussions with tourism agencies about marking St. George's Day in 2009. However VisitEngland and some individual regions will have celebrations to mark St. George's Day in 2009. For example VisitEngland will highlight St. Georges Day events on enjoyengland.com as well as hosting Enjoy England Awards for Excellence on this date.

Taking Part Survey

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the average standard deviation was of the datasets of his Department’s Taking Part survey in each year since 2005. (247334)

The term ‘standard deviation’ refers to the variance, or spread, of data around the mean (standard deviation is the square root of the variance). Standard deviations can be calculated for individual estimates from Taking Part, rather than the overall dataset.

Confidence intervals are derived from the variance and the sample design, and are published for all Taking Part estimates. These indicate the range in which true percentages could fall.

To see an example, please refer to the latest report at:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/publications/5653.aspx

Taxis

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on taxis in each of the last three years. (247585)

All official travel is undertaken in accordance with rules set out in the Department's staff guide under Travel and Subsistence and is consistent with the Civil Service Management Code.

The expenditure on taxis by the Department in each year since 2005 is set out in the following table. These figures represent expenditure on taxis and black cabs. In addition, some expenditure on black cabs and taxis is included in general travel and subsistence account and cannot be separately identified except at disproportionate cost.

Amount (£)

2007-08

36,359

2006-07

38,421

2005-06

21,759

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Biofuels: Wood

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the accuracy of data on the availability and use of wood and its contribution to the sustainability of future biomass energy projects. (249125)

Estimates of the availability and use of wood have been published by the Forestry Commission over a number of years. DEFRA has not undertaken an assessment of this information. The Forestry Commission publishes on its website the details of the methodologies used to compile the figures so that those using the information can make their own assessment of its accuracy.

Carbon Emissions: Rural Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what account his Department takes of the capacity of rural areas to absorb carbon dioxide in formulating its climate change policy. (249987)

My Department is undertaking further work to understand the realistic potential of the natural environment to act as a sink or store of carbon dioxide and also the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from management of the land. This takes account of the role of forests, soils, land-use and agriculture. My Department also supports a Rural Climate Change Forum to consider the ways in which rural areas can help mitigate and adapt to climate change. We will take all of this information into account as part of the Government’s approach to meeting their commitments under the Climate Change Act.

Common Fisheries Policy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what his estimate is of the number of boats in the UK that would require a licence or other form of authorisation to facilitate recreational fisheries under Article 47 of the Council Regulation establishing a community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy; (249749)

(2) what the estimated cost is of implementing and enforcing Article 47 of the Council Regulation establishing a community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy in the UK;

(3) what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the provisions of Article 47 of the Council Regulation establishing a community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy on the marine environment; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what his estimate is of the number of people who will require a licence under the terms of Article 47 of the Council Regulation establishing a community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy;

(5) what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the proposals under Article 47 of the Council Regulation establishing a community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy on tourism; and if he will make a statement;

(6) what assessment he has made of the effects of the proposals in Article 47 of the Council Regulation establishing a community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy on compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statement;

(7) what his assessment is of the likely effects on (a) the economy, (b) jobs and (c) the number of recreational sea anglers of the provisions of Article 47 of the Council Regulation establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statement.

In England there are some 400 charter angling vessels that would require an authorisation under Article 47 of the proposal as currently drafted, plus an as yet unquantified number of privately owned vessels. As part of the process of negotiating this proposal we shall be seeking clarification from the Commission on a number of issues relating to Article 47. Until we have that clarification it is difficult accurately to assess its potential impact in the areas referred to in these questions. We shall be seeking stakeholders views on these points and considering them in more detail in the impact assessment that my officials are drawing up and which we shall publish as part of the formal consultation procedure.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when (a) he and (b) his officials were consulted on the terms of Article 47 of the Council Regulation establishing a community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy; and if he will make a statement; (249755)

(2) when he expects Article 47 of the Council Regulation establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy to be (a) (i) discussed in and (ii) approved by the Council of Ministers and (b) implemented and transposed; and if he will make a statement.

Neither I nor my officials were consulted before the Commission published the current proposal on 17 November. The proposal is scheduled for initial discussion by Ministers at the June Fisheries Council although I would not expect it to be approved then. The proposal has an envisaged implementation date of 1 January 2010, subject to negotiation.

Construction: Thames Gateway

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the dredging of the Thames in Castle Point constituency as part of the Thames Gateway port development will commence. (250069)

Consents to undertake dredging to develop and subsequently maintain navigational areas within the London Gateway Port are given by the London Gateway Port Harbour Empowerment Order 2008 and issued by the Department for Transport. They came into force on 16 May 2008.

The timing of the proposed dredging is a commercial decision for the Harbour Authority, London Gateway Port Ltd.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of contractors and suppliers to (a) his Department and (b) its agencies has reported compliance with the Government's security standards following publication of the report, Data Handling Procedures in Government, and the accompanying document, Cross-departmental Actions: Mandatory Minimum Action, on 25 June 2008. (245322)

The information is not available in the form requested. Since 1 July 2008 the DEFRA delivery network has been using the standard OGC security clauses for all new contracts and has also checked the compliance of its strategic IT partner with all the mandatory requirements of the Data Handling Review. In addition we have asked all information asset owners, responsible for assets containing personal protected information across the DEFRA network, to seek assurances from any other contractors or suppliers handling information on their behalf. Assurances have been received from all bar one of the owners in core DEFRA, and in respect of all executive agencies, except the Rural Payments Agency. In both cases the process of confirming assurances is under way but not yet complete.

Departmental Public Consultation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on which occasions his Department has convened a citizens’ jury or randomly drawn panel of people to aid the Department’s policy making since 2000; whether the participants were paid in each case; and if he will make a statement. (243038)

DEFRA was formed in June 2001. However, inquires with policy leads have revealed the following examples of where DEFRA has convened a Citizen’s Jury since 2001:

In December 2005-January 2006, the Air and Environment Quality Division (now Atmosphere Quality and Industrial Pollution programme) ran a Citizen’s Jury to explore public views on air quality in order to inform the development of future policies and strategies. Members of the jury were paid to participate in the event.

In November 2007, a DEFRA-funded research project (WU0112) employed a Citizen’s Jury approach to explore people’s understanding of risk associated with the microbial pollution of water courses; public attitudes to culpability given the current scientific and policy evidence base, particularly as this related to the role of livestock farming; where public priorities were in terms of appropriate level and types of policy intervention and mitigation; and views regarding responsibilities for taking action to reduce microbial risks. Members of the jury were paid to participate in the event.

When used carefully and appropriately, Citizens’ Juries can be a helpful way of eliciting public preferences to factor into policy decision making.

Departmental Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many telephone numbers for which callers are charged at the rate applicable to 0845 numbers are used by (a) his Department and (b) its executive agencies for public access to services. (246980)

From information held centrally, there are 38 telephone numbers for which callers are charged at the rate(s) applicable to 0845 numbers—four for core-DEFRA, 14 for DEFRA's executive agencies and 20 for non-departmental public bodies. None of the numbers are revenue sharing.

Members of the public using these numbers are charged by their telephone providers at their agreed rates. On 8 January 2009, BT announced that its consumer customers will no longer pay these charges from 16 January 2009. As from this date 0845 numbers will be included in their calls packages. Those not on a calls package and business customers will continue to pay the applicable or agreed 0845 rates.

Fishing Catches

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) monetary value and (b) weight of fish landed in the UK for domestic consumption was in the last 12 months, broken down by country of registration of fishing vessel. (248985)

The live weight and value of fish landed into the UK for domestic consumption in 2007 are shown in the following table:

Vessel nationality

Live weight (Thousand tonnes)

Value (£ million)

UK

439.8

535.0

Faroes

22.1

14.0

Norway

21.6

6.1

Irish Republic

17.6

10.9

France

17.0

19.0

Denmark

12.4

5.4

Russia

6.4

7.1

Belgium

4.6

12.7

Spain

3.5

5.5

Netherlands

1.1

2.0

Poland

1.0

0.6

Germany

1.0

1.0

Sweden

0.9

0.3

Belize

0.7

1.0

Total

549.6

620.8

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) tonnage and (b) monetary value was of landings at UK ports by EU vessels in 2008 of fish caught in (i) the North Sea and (ii) UK home territorial waters. (249046)

Information on the tonnage of fish landings by EU vessels from the North sea as a whole for 2006, the latest year for which such information is available, is provided in the following table.

Landings by EU member states of fish caught in the North sea (ICES area IV):

Member state

Landings in 2006 (tonnes live weight)

Belgium

9,728

Denmark

593,375

Germany

83,758

Ireland

7,280

France

50,653

Lithuania

6,989

Netherlands

152,185

Poland

2,093

Portugal

1,060

Sweden

48,491

United Kingdom

250,796

EU total

1,206,406

Source:

Eurostat.

The value of the fish involved and details of those caught in UK territorial waters is not readily available. Such information can be made available only by contacting the individual member states and third countries concerned. This would include requesting information on the value of catches by vessels of other member states and third countries that fish within that part of the North sea bounded by the UK's 200 mile fisheries limit. However, such information is only available in terms of the totals for the sea areas involved, and only for the quantities of fish involved rather than value. As such, the information requested is not available.

Fishing Catches: North Sea

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the assessed economic value of fisheries catch in each North Sea fisheries box that falls partly or wholly within the UK's 200 mile zone is. (248988)

To produce the requested information would require information on the value of catches by vessels of other member states and third countries that fish within that part of the North Sea bounded by the UK's 200 mile fisheries limit. However, such information is only available in terms of the totals for the sea areas involved, not at the level of the individual rectangles that make up this area, with these totals only being available for the quantities of fish involved rather than value. As such, the information could only be made available by contacting the individual member states and third countries concerned.

Fishing Catches: Shellfish

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tonnage of (a) lobster, (b) shellfish and (c) shrimp was landed by the UK fishing fleet in the most recent 12 month period for which figures are available. (249051)

Live weight landings of shellfish into the UK and abroad by UK registered fishing vessels for 2007 are shown in the following table.

Species

Live weight (Thousand tonnes)

Lobster

2.8

Shrimps

1.4

Other shellfish

141.6

Total

145.8

Fishing Grounds

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many fishing vessels are operating in UK home territorial waters from EU Eastern European Baltic accession countries that prior to accession fished in the Baltic Sea. (248983)

No fishing vessels from EU Eastern European Baltic accession countries that prior to accession fished in the Baltic Sea are operating in UK territorial waters (within the 12 mile limit).

Three Polish vessels have fished within the UK 200 mile fishery limit since January 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which fisheries boxes would fall (a) completely and (b) partially within the UK 200 mile/median maritime control limit in the absence of the common fisheries policy. (248989)

A copy of the map of the UK 200 mile fishery limits showing the statistical rectangles covered either fully, or partially, by the limit will be placed in the Library of the House.

Fishing Vessels

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and what tonnage of foreign-registered fishing vessels are operating in UK home fishing waters. (249048)

The number of foreign registered fishing vessels operating in the UK 200 mile fishery limit is very fluid and constantly changing in response to fishing opportunities. Their presence is recorded through a combination of obligatory satellite monitoring systems and through sightings of vessels made during aerial and naval reconnaissance activity carried out by, or on behalf of, UK fisheries administrations.

Based on the information collected as above, it is estimated that the number of foreign fishing vessels that operated in the UK 200 mile fishery limit in 2008, produced from sightings and satellite data, was 2,886. Of these, the vast majority (2,321 vessels) were registered fishing vessels from other member states. This includes fishing vessels identified as present within UK fishery limits but not carrying out fishing activities (e.g. Russian registered vessels).

The tonnage of those vessels involved is not readily available and could be produced only at disproportionate cost.

Hague Preferences

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what his Department's policy is on invoking the Hague Preferences; (248990)

(2) what extra total allowable catch accrues to UK fishing vessels through his Department's use of the Hague Preferences in this year.

For some time, the Government have been concerned that the Hague Preference mechanism does not provide the necessary support to coastal communities in the UK and Ireland that it was intended to do. We have, therefore, sought to open discussions with the Irish on suitable replacement arrangements. To date, they have been reluctant to engage. We will, however, continue to press them on this, and plan to explore options with the Commission and other member states in due course.

In recent years, we have limited our actions to offsetting the impacts of Irish invocation in the Irish Sea and adjacent areas to ensure the UK fleet is not put at a disadvantage. However, in the December 2007 EU Fisheries Council, we also invoked on both North Sea haddock and whiting, in recognition of the particular importance of these stocks to UK fishermen, and the concerns expressed within the industry that the scientific advice (on which the quotas were based) was somewhat at odds with fishermen's experience on the ground. For the same reasons, we repeated these invocations last December. In both years however, we restricted the scale of our invocations, recognising the concerns of other member states who lose out as a result of our actions.

The effects of the December 2008 EU Fisheries Council invocations on the scale of UK quotas for the stocks in question, are included in the following table:

Hague Preference

UK Quota Pre-HP

UK Quota Post-HP

Gain/Loss

Irish Sea, Celtic Sea and West of Scotland

Area Via cod

Counter-invocation

159

181

+22

Area Vila cod

Counter-invocation

384

259

-125

Area Via haddock

Counter-invocation

3,701

2,737

-964

Area Via saithe

Counter-invocation

2,312

3,617

1,305

Area Vila whiting

Counter-invocation

111

81

-30

Area Vila plaice

Counter-invocation

731

432

-299

North Sea

Area IV haddock

Invoke 30 (%)

25,371

27,507

2,136

Area IV whiting

Invoke 30 (%)

6,647

8,426

1,779

Litter: Fast Food

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with Keep Britain Tidy on fast food outlets causing litter on streets. (248787)

Keep Britain Tidy (also known as ENCAMS) surveys show that fast food related litter is found in approximately a quarter of sites surveyed across England, with incidences increasing year-on-year.

For this reason, the voluntary code of practice for ‘Food on the Go’ was developed by Keep Britain Tidy on behalf of DEFRA, recognising that industry has an important role to play in tackling litter issues. In January 2009, Keep Britain Tidy published results of a survey into the most frequently found brands among fast food litter as part of its latest litter campaign. The results of the survey are available on their website:

www.encams.org.

DEFRA currently grant-aids £5 million per annum to Keep Britain Tidy to help meet the Government's aim of an improved local environment. DEFRA officials meet regularly with colleagues in Keep Britain Tidy, and Lord Hunt, Minister for local environmental quality, is planning to meet with them in the near future. Each year Ministers also agree priorities for the grant spend.

Rural Areas: Employment

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the economic downturn on employment opportunities in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. (248186)

Evidence shows that the economic downturn is likely to affect urban and rural areas. DEFRA is working closely with the regional development agencies and the Commission for Rural Communities, as well as with those Departments with policy responsibility, i.e. BERR and DWP, to make sure that the National Economic Council has access to high quality intelligence regarding the economic situation in rural areas.

Total Allowable Catches: North Sea

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of current North Sea (a) haddock, (b) cod, (c) herring and (d) plaice total allowable catch comes from boxes which fall (i) completely and (ii) partially within the UK 200 mile limit. (249184)

The information requested is not available. The process for the production of estimates of total allowable catch (TAC) for each stock involves the scientific assessment of the state of the stock at the level of the overall sea areas covered by each stock definition. As such, the process does not incorporate any apportionment, or derivation, of the TAC at the level of detail of the individual fisheries rectangles within the sea areas involved.

Water Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will commission research on the effects of the introduction of surface area water charges for churches, community and voluntary groups which own property used exclusively to further their causes. (248858)

The Government are aware of the problem of affordability faced by some customers as a result of the switch to site area charging for surface water drainage and are looking at what can be done.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what response his Department has made to representations made by sports clubs affected by increases in charges following the revision of the surface water charging element. (250359)

Ministers have received a range of representations from sports clubs about the move from charging based on rateable value to site area charging for surface water drainage. The Government are aware of the affordability issues faced by some customers as a result of the switch to site area charging and are currently reviewing their position. While the issue is under consideration, letters will continue to be acknowledged, and I will respond in full in due course.

Water Companies: Flood Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 13 January 2009, Official Report, columns 612-13W, on water companies: flood control, what powers local authorities will have in circumstances where water companies do not co-operate, share information or take action which an authority considers to be necessary. (249747)

This issue is being considered as part of the forthcoming draft Floods and Water Bill, due to be published in spring 2009.

Prime Minister

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Prime Minister how much has been spent on (a) departmental Christmas parties and (b) staff entertainment in 10 Downing Street in the last three years. (243733)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Kevin Brennan), Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office, on 13 January 2009, Official Report, column 582W.

Justice

Antisocial Behaviour: Penalty Notices

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many fines for the non-payment of penalty notices for disorder (PND) were registered by the courts in each of the last four years, broken down by (a) the offence for which the PND was issued and (b) how many fines were paid on time in full. (250390)

The number of persons against whom a fine was registered following the issue of a penalty notice for disorder (PND), by offence, in England and Wales for the years 2004 to 2007 can be viewed in the following table. Data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Significant improvements are being achieved by the courts in the collection of fines. The Courts Act 2003 introduced a series of measures aimed at improving fine collection including deduction from earnings and benefits, seizure of goods and clamping of vehicles. We do not identify separately the payment rate of fines arising from PNDs, but the latest enforcement rate for all financial penalties is 85.2 per cent. for the period April to December 2008. The payment rates for the last four years are shown in the following table.

Payment rate (Percentage)

2004-05

80

2005-06

83

2006-07

92

2007-08

95

Number of penalty notices for disorder issued to all persons aged 16 and over, where a fine was registered, England and Wales, 2004 to 20071, 2

Fine registered

Office description

2004

2005

2006

2007

£80 tickets issued

Wasting police time

579

1,161

1,787

1,807

Misuse of public telecommunications system

58

140

319

431

Giving false alarm to fire and rescue authority

22

38

52

37

Causing harassment, alarm or distress2

13,125

26,754

35,154

33,021

Throwing fireworks

80

271

264

223

Drunk and disorderly

11,035

14,459

16,919

18,161

Criminal Damage (under £500)2

481

211

8,492

7,979

Theft (retail under £200)2

1,128

60

21,157

24,344

Breach of fireworks curfew

2

23

16

13

Possession of category 4 firework

6

70

15

10

Possession by a person under 18 of adult firework

7

4,702

21

31

Sale of alcohol to drunken person

0

11,927

9

9

Supply of alcohol to person under 18

0

14

7

11

Sale of alcohol to person under 18

10

8

390

405

Purchase alcohol for person under 18

21

15

122

211

Purchase alcohol for person under 18 for consumption on premises

0

6

20

22

Delivery of alcohol to person under 18 or allowing such delivery

10

1

99

138

£50 tickets issued

Trespass on a railway

45

115

463

675

Throwing stones at a train/railway

25

5

6

10

Drunk in a highway

1,166

1,339

1,158

788

Consumption of alcohol in public place

349

499

749

1,090

Depositing and leaving litter

25

325

536

589

Consumption of alcohol by under 18 on relevant premises

4

16

17

16

Allowing consumption of alcohol by under 18 on relevant premises

2

12

4

1

Buying or attempting to buy alcohol by person under 18

0

8

20

35

All offences

28,180

62,179

87,796

90,057

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

2 Penalty notice for disorder (PND) scheme commenced in November 2004.

Source:

Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Evidence and Analysis Unit.

Compensation: Enforcement

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost of enforcing a compensation order was in each of the last five years for which figures are available. (250108)

Information on the costs of collection of compensation orders is not collected. Data on the costs of collection of compensation orders is not held by either the Ministry of Justice or HMCS. Information on the enforcement rate of financial penalties imposed by courts is held but cannot make the distinction between compensation orders and other financial penalties and to use this figure to estimate the collection of compensation orders would be misleading.

It is therefore not possible to establish the average cost of collecting compensation orders.

The payment rate for financial impositions that includes compensation, costs, fines and the victims surcharge was 95 per cent. in 2007-08.

Coroners

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many open verdicts were recorded by coroners in each year between 2002 and 2008, broken down by area. (250401)

Statistics on the number of open verdicts returned by coroners in England and Wales in each year between 2002 and 2007, broken down by area, have been placed in the Library of the House. Figures for 2008 are not yet available, but are due to be published on the Ministry of Justice website in May.

Coroners: Ethnic Groups

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what progress has been made by his Department on the recording of ethnicity data by coroners. (250400)

At present coroners do not collect data on the ethnicity of the deceased in deaths which are referred to them. As part of our work to implement the coroner reforms included in the Coroner and Justice Bill we will be reviewing the statistical data currently collected by coroners and considering whether any changes are required.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what expert advisers have been commissioned by his Department and its agencies since 1997; on what topic each was commissioned; and whether the advisers so appointed made a declaration of political activity in each case. (246664)

Lord Lester acted as the Secretary of State’s expert adviser on constitutional reform between July 2007 and November 2008, and made a declaration of political activity prior to his appointment.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold a central list of all expert advisory appointments made by it and its agencies since 1997. The Department makes a number of appointments to public bodies, including advisory non-departmental public bodies, and compiling such a list would incur disproportionate cost. Since 2003 the Government have published on an annual basis the names and overall cost of special advisers and the number in each pay band.

Written Questions

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice on how many occasions Ministers in his Department have used their discretion to rule that a parliamentary question for written answer should be answered because it would be in the public interest to do so, even though to do so would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of £700 in the last 12 months. (249143)

In the last 12 months, the Ministry of Justice has answered one written parliamentary question for which the cost of answering the question exceeded the disproportionate cost threshold as the Minister responsible believed it to be in the public interest to do so.

Freedom of Information Act

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 15 December 2008, Official Report, column 476W, on the Freedom of Information Act 2000, when the public consultation on section 5 of the Act concluded; and when he plans to publish his response. (249331)

The public consultation on section 5 of the Freedom of Information Act concluded on 1 February 2008. The Government continue to assess the merits of designating additional public authorities under the Act and will publish their response to the section 5 public consultation by the summer.

Offender Group Reconviction Score System

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what risks are taken into account in assessments made under the Offender Group Reconviction Score system; and what assessment he has made of the average level of accuracy of evidence upon which such assessments are made. (249927)

The Offender Group Reconviction Scale (OGRS) calculates the probability that a convicted offender will be convicted at least once within two years of their release from custody or from the start of their community sentence for any type of offence. The latest version (OGRS 3) is based on:

age at the date of the current caution, non-custodial sentence or discharge from custody;

gender;

the type of offence for which the offender has currently been cautioned or convicted;

the number of times the offender has previously been cautioned and convicted; and

the length in years of their recorded criminal history.

Guidance for practitioners emphasises the strengths and limitations of OGRS and reminds them that while research shows OGRS to be a strong predictor of proven re-offending it is an aid. not a substitute for judgment.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation assess whether likelihood of reoffending is comprehensively and accurately assessed as part of their Offender Management inspections and their reports are made public.

Prisoners: Childbirth

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many children were born to mothers in custody in each of the last 10 years. (248679)

Women in prison have a right to the same medical provision as women in the community and do not give birth in prison as a matter of course.

The number of babies born to mothers in custody since November 2006, when the Prison Service began collecting the relevant information centrally, is as follows:

Number of babies born

April 2006 to March 2007

37

April 2007 to March 2008

102

April 2008 to December 2008

75

The figures by establishment are as follows.

Establishment

MBU Places

2006-071

2007-08

2008-092

Askham Grange

10

0

3

1

Bronzefield

12

7

18

13

Cookham Wood

0

0

3n/a

Downview

2

0

0

Drake Hall

1

0

1

East Sutton Park

0

0

0

Eastwood Park

12

3

21

5

Foston Hall

0

2

2

Holloway

13

5

35

16

Low Newton

3

4

4

Morton Hall

0

0

0

New Hall

9

3

2

9

Peterborough

12

8

11

8

Send

0

0

0

Styal

7

5

6

7

Total

75

37

102

66

1 November 2006 to March 2007

2 April to November 2008

3 Changed function to male juvenile establishment in 2007.

Prisoners: Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice in respect of what schemes to tackle intolerance amongst prisoners pilots have been initiated. (249880)

Race and Equalities Action Group (REAG) have been developing a twin-track approach the primary focus of which has been tackling racial intolerance. The first stage consists of detection and disruption measures. Guidance provided asks staff to risk assess and subsequently categorise the offender. The second stage moves from detection to intervention. REAG has developed an education set accredited through the Open College Network, available to education departments within establishments.

The education sessions have piloted in three establishments, the complete scheme will be piloted this year

Probation Service for England and Wales: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what projections he has made of trends in the level of demand for services provided by (a) the Probation Service, (b) HM Courts Service and (c) HM Prison Service as a result of the economic downturn; and what consideration he has given to allocating additional resources to each in this respect. (246953)

The Ministry of Justice has not produced any projections of demand for services provided by (a) the Probation Service, (b) HM Courts Service and (c) HM Prison Service as a result of the economic downturn. However, the Department's Ministers and Corporate Management Board are supplied with regular statistical information about both the downturn itself, and areas of that Department's business where demand for services might be affected. This ensures that timely action can be taken where necessary.

Changes in demand for services are taken into account when agreeing allocations to departmental business groups, along with other factors such as policy considerations, inflationary pressures and the potential for efficiency savings.

The Department remains committed to living within its budget as set out in the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007. We are currently looking hard at the services we provide in order to find new ways to improve how we deliver them, while ensuring that we focus on our frontline services. We aim to drive out inefficiencies, overlap and duplication and to reduce our overheads, especially in our headquarters areas. This work should help the Department to ensure that we are able to redeploy staff to the frontline as and where appropriate.

Probation Service: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average caseload of members of Probation Service staff was in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08. (249616)

The National Offender Management Service does not produce statistics on the average caseload of probation staff. However, data are collected on the number of offenders supervised by the National Probation Service (NPS) and, separately, on the number of staff in post.

The total number of offenders supervised by the NPS on 31 March 2006 was 227,654, on 31 March 2007 it was 237,796 and on 31 December 2007 it was 242,722. This information is taken from the Probation Statistics Quarterly Brief, which can be found at the following website:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/probationquarterly.htm

The number of NPS staff in post at 31 March 2006, 31 March 2007 and 31 December 2007 are set out in the following table. Data for the quarter ending 31 March 2008 are not yet available as they are still being validated.

Probation Service Staff in Post: 2006-08

Number

2007-081: Quarter 3 31 December2007

Probation Officers2

8,257.54

Probation Services Officers3

6,221.76

Other Staff

6,415.04

Total

20,894.34

2006-071: Quarter 4 31 March 2007

Probation Officers

8,265.35

Probation Services Officers

6,506.78

Other Staff

6,473.53

Total

21,245.66

2005-061: Quarter 4 31 March 2006

Probation Officers

8,262.50

Probation Services Officers

6,544.28

Other Staff

6,296.67

Total

21,103.45

1 Figures provided are Full Time Equivalent. Figures for Quarter 3 2007-08 have yet to be published and may be subject to minor amendment upon publication. Figures for Quarter 4 2007-08 are unavailable as they currently being validated.

2 Includes Senior Practitioners, Probation Officers, Practice Development Assessors, Trainee Probation Officers and Senior Probation Officers.

3 Includes Probation Services Officers and Treatment Managers.

Rape: Prosecutions

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful prosecutions for rape were made in each police authority area in each year since 1997. (248509)

The number of proceedings at magistrates courts not leading to a finding of guilt, and the number of defendants found guilty at all courts, for rape offences, from 1997 to 2007 (latest available), are given in the following table.

The figures relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Centrally collected data are available at police force area level which are given in the table.

The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for rape offences1, by outcome2 and police force area3, 1997 to 20074,5. England and Wales

Police force area

1997

1998

1999

2000

Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt

Number found guilty

Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt

Number found guilty

Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt

Number found guilty

Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt

Number found guilty

Avon and Somerset

51

9

52

14

60

9

44

13

Bedfordshire

18

5

26

2

27

5

24

5

Cambridgeshire

15

5

15

2

32

4

23

4

Cheshire

11

8

19

9

17

11

17

11

City of London

2

Cleveland

5

7

13

5

8

8

12

5

Cumbria

11

7

4

10

4

3

3

Derbyshire

30

7

30

6

29

10

25

11

Devon and Cornwall

40

11

10

23

16

17

15

12

Dorset

23

4

13

4

14

7

7

13

Durham

7

7

16

9

18

5

34

3

Essex

27

17

45

13

47

8

27

4

Gloucestershire

7

2

10

2

9

4

12

7

Greater Manchester

118

25

99

44

97

26

70

41

Hampshire

39

26

48

21

59

25

61

21

Hertfordshire

16

8

10

6

13

7

22

4

Humberside

6

8

17

7

12

8

16

6

Kent

17

12

32

9

18

14

28

17

Lancashire

42

13

38

16

30

28

49

13

Leicestershire

36

9

25

17

12

12

27

6

Lincolnshire

16

6

21

5

16

3

14

7

Merseyside

7

14

39

17

34

10

53

8

Metropolitan Police

200

95

209

94

268

88

212

97

Norfolk

14

2

16

2

20

2

9

4

North Yorkshire

12

3

9

6

13

7

8

6

Northamptonshire

0

3

9

4

7

8

4

5

Northumbria

59

24

96

21

83

20

71

16

Nottinghamshire

48

11

42

14

29

21

38

16

South Yorkshire

27

17

26

11

12

14

38

6

Staffordshire

27

10

17

9

12

13

14

Suffolk

12

4

22

4

11

8

8

5

Surrey

9

3

12

4

10

2

16

2

Sussex

6

13

31

13

26

8

34

7

Thames Valley

48

13

39

9

21

16

24

13

Warwickshire

4

6

1

4

1

5

1

West Mercia

15

10

23

10

16

8

13

5

West Midlands

65

36

99

44

103

31

113

29

West Yorkshire

66

23

58

43

102

41

91

38

Wiltshire

21

3

23

2

11

1

4

4

Dyfed-Powys

14

6

14

2

26

5

20

4

Gwent

24

11

30

3

23

8

17

7

North Wales

23

6

22

9

18

6

19

4

South Wales

41

21

54

31

46

28

43

20

Total

1,277

517

1,441

571

1,425

561

1,346

519

Police force area2001200220032004

Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt

Number found guilty

Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt

Number found guilty

Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt

Number found guilty

Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt

Number found guilty

Avon and Somerset

74

14

68

12

57

20

49

22

Bedfordshire

15

10

22

5

13

5

20

12

Cambridgeshire

24

7

14

8

14

2

20

4

Cheshire

25

6

18

9

18

10

20

11

City of London

3

1

Cleveland

14

5

21

11

25

9

14

10

Cumbria

26

6

18

4

9

8

6

10

Derbyshire

31

4

37

7

39

13

37

19

Devon and Cornwall

18

10

0

15

5

14

2

15

Dorset

33

3

22

6

13

3

15

4

Durham

33

3

30

4

21

1

24

8

Essex

35

8

47

5

43

6

41

9

Gloucestershire

13

28

2

5

7

20

Greater Manchester

117

37

149

32

156

31

152

27

Hampshire

78

20

77

21

81

10

70

14

Hertfordshire

18

5

23

8

25

10

37

11

Humberside

10

8

22

9

15

10

23

8

Kent

26

17

51

16

40

7

43

10

Lancashire

64

16

76

14

49

20

50

16

Leicestershire

42

4

47

8

33

15

30

12

Lincolnshire

14

5

24

9

21

4

22

5

Merseyside

55

24

79

15

82

13

45

20

Metropolitan Police

339

76

432

96

477

113

376

103

Norfolk

16

5

13

8

12

5

1

9

North Yorkshire

16

6

18

8

15

6

31

12

Northamptonshire

3

9

5

8

2

8

2

14

Northumbria

50

21

38

22

55

20

35

18

Nottinghamshire

51

25

48

13

52

13

53

11

South Yorkshire

40

15

39

17

32

19

36

23

Staffordshire

51

7

42

11

36

9

30

16

Suffolk

23

1

25

7

18

6

24

3

Surrey

19

5

21

5

27

5

10

5

Sussex

35

7

39

11

21

17

38

12

Thames Valley

42

15

31

15

42

12

35

16

Warwickshire

2

2

7

1

7

1

3

3

West Mercia

35

7

33

12

25

9

29

10

West Midlands

155

37

205

27

169

52

151

51

West Yorkshire

144

21

119

15

101

30

51

48

Wiltshire

17

2

18

9

20

6

22

4

Dyfed-Powys

12

2

19

2

10

2

23

4

Gwent

28

7

33

16

38

9

35

6

North Wales

23

2

22

5

6

6

19

6

South Wales

63

10

77

20

50

17

64

23

Total

1,923

494

2,150

548

1,967

583

1,809

644

Police force area200520062007

Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt

Number found guilty

Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt

Number found guilty

Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt

Number found guilty

Avon and Somerset

44

11

47

17

41

18

Bedfordshire

16

8

14

5

8

8

Cambridgeshire

17

9

16

6

19

6

Cheshire

29

10

15

17

14

11

City of London

Cleveland

33

8

16

16

11

20

Cumbria

9

6

10

5

9

9

Derbyshire

52

12

28

20

35

14

Devon and Cornwall

1

19

10

18

8

21

Dorset

16

4

13

8

19

3

Durham

25

8

25

7

22

4

Essex

38

11

17

12

9

8

Gloucestershire

12

3

14

13

26

5

Greater Manchester

134

46

122

47

127

44

Hampshire

71

27

32

30

65

25

Hertfordshire

41

6

46

8

10

12

Humberside

27

16

19

26

1

22

Kent

35

17

44

17

33

26

Lancashire

87

13

49

29

57

23

Leicestershire

37

10

27

7

18

11

Lincolnshire

19

13

7

7

6

6

Merseyside

18

23

26

15

19

15

Metropolitan Police

462

104

404

133

367

138

Norfolk

-6

10

11

14

1

11

North Yorkshire

19

11

21

11

16

10

Northamptonshire

12

7

0

12

7

9

Northumbria

43

11

40

19

31

21

Nottinghamshire

38

18

37

13

22

18

South Yorkshire

26

35

38

25

23

24

Staffordshire

32

13

38

8 p

20

20

Suffolk

24

7

24

12

14

5

Surrey

20

4

15

5

14

4

Sussex

53

11

44

11

17

24

Thames Valley

60

21

59

17

31

23

Warwickshire

2

8

6

5

8

2

West Mercia

35

11

20

14

15

9

West Midlands

95

62

113

48

104

55

West Yorkshire

62

48

24

37

32

42

Wiltshire

27

3

10

11

13

7

Dyfed-Powys

7

4

9

3

7

5

Gwent

28

7

35

7

21

14

North Wales

15

3

15

3

3

10

South Wales

51

16

43

16

54

15

Total

1,864

694

1,581

754

1,361

777

1 Includes

Rape of a female aged under 16—Sexual Offences Act 2003, section 1.

Rape of a female aged 16 or over—Sexual Offences Act 2003, section 1.

Rape of a male aged under 16—Sexual Offences Act 2003, section 1.

Rape of a male aged 16 or over—Sexual Offences Act 2003, section 1.

Rape of a female child under 13 by a male—Sexual Offences Act 2003, section 5.

Rape of a male child under 13 by a male—Sexual Offences Act 2003, section 5.

2 “Where proceedings did not lead to a finding of guilt” covers defendants tried and found not guilty as well as proceedings that were discontinued or cases where no evidence was offered, charges were withdrawn or the judge ruled that there was no case to answer.

3 Staffordshire police force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher order of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table. (See also footnote 5)

4 These data are on the principal offence basis.

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

Source:

Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Evidence and Analysis Unit.

Repossession Orders: Chelmsford

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many court orders have been issued for the repossession of homes in West Chelmsford constituency in each of the last five years. (249978)

Although figures for the West Chelmsford constituency are not available, the following tables show the number of mortgage and landlord possession orders made in Chelmsford county court from 2003 onwards.

The civil procedure rules state that all claims for the repossession of land must be commenced in the district in which the land is situated. However, Chelmsford county court covers areas other than West Chelmsford and therefore not all possession actions at this court will relate to this constituency.

Court level statistics on mortgage and landlord repossession actions from 1987 to 2007 are available on the Ministry of Justice website at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/mortgatelandlordpossession.htm

These figures do not indicate how many homes have actually been repossessed. Repossessions can occur without a court order being made, while not all court orders result in repossession.

Table 1: Mortgage1 possession orders made4,5 in the Chelmsford county court, 2003-08*

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008 (January-September)

Chelmsford

175

226

355

381

383

381

HMCS South East Region

8,201

10,050

15,220

17,693

17,870

16,169

Table 2: Landlord2 possession orders made3,4,5 in the Chelmsford county court, 2003-08*

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008 (January-September)

Chelmsford

347

337

266

313

332

274

HMCS South East Region

20,336

19,834

19,157

18,093

19,177

16,044

1 Mortgage possession data include all types of lenders whether local authority or private.

2 Landlord possession data include all types of landlord whether social or private.

3 Includes orders made through both standard and accelerated procedures. Landlord actions via the accelerated procedure enables the orders to be made solely on the basis of written evidence and shorthold tenancies, when the fixed period of tenancy has come to an end.

4 Includes outright and suspended orders, the later being where the court grants the claimant possession but suspends the operation of the order. Provided the defendant complies with the terms of suspension, which usually require the defendant to pay the current mortgage or rent instalments plus some of the accrued arrears, the possession order cannot be enforced.

5 The court, following a judicial hearing, may grant an order for possession immediately. This entitles the claimant to apply for a warrant to have the defendant evicted. However, even where a warrant for possession is issued, the parties can still negotiate a compromise to prevent eviction.

* Figures for 2008 are provisional

Source:

Ministry of Justice

Royal Family: Wills

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) if he will publish sealed Royal Wills in cases where such Wills were sealed prior to 1990. (249315)

(2) if he will review his policy on the practice of allowing Royal wills to be sealed.

The power to seal and unseal all Wills is exercised by the court. The decision whether or not to permit inspection of a Will of a senior member of the Royal Family that has been sealed by the court is a matter for the President of the Family Division upon application.

The President is currently considering setting up a committee to review the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987, which will include consideration of the current rules relating to the inspection and/or publication of Wills. The power to make new rules is vested in the President with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor.

Sentencing

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners were released on home detention curfew in each year since 1999 have served (a) one quarter of their sentence, (b) 90 days less than half their sentence and (c) 30 days of their sentence; for what offences were prisoners in each of those three bands originally convicted; and what the average length of the original sentence handed down to the offender in each of those three bands was. (250392)

The information requested on length on time served prior to release on Home Detention Curfew (HDC) could be provided by examining individual prisoner records only at disproportionate cost. However information is available on the number of prisoners released on HDC in each year from 1999-2007 by sentence length band, as shown in the following tables. These figures can be found in Prison Statistics England and Wales, 1999-2002 and Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2003-07, copies of which can be found in the House of Commons Library, and also on the Ministry of Justice website at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/prisonandprobation.htm.

Eligible prisoners are not released on HDC unless they have served a minimum of one quarter of their sentence in custody, subject to a minimum of 30 days.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Home Detention Curfew release by sentence length—taken from table 10.16 in OMCS 2007, 9.13 in OMCS 2006 and earlier tables in OMCS and PSEW—England and Wales

1999

2000

2001

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Total

49,530

14,820

30

55,344

15,513

28

54,064

13,664

25

All cases to less than 12 months

27,558

7,440

34

31,382

7,927

25

30,646

6,747

22

3 months to less than 4 months

6,256

1,370

27

7,177

1,553

22

6,791

1,205

18

4 months to less than 6 months

9,612

2,354

22

11,116

2,338

21

11,239

2,067

18

6 months to less than 8 months

7,023

2,061

24

8,047

2,304

29

8,110

1,952

24

8 months to less than 12 months

4,667

1,655

29

5,042

1,732

34

4,506

1,523

34

12 months to less than 4 years

21,972

7,380

34

23,962

7,586

32

23,418

6,917

30

200220032004

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Total

55,370

20,525

37

57,551

21,223

37

55,810

19,294

35

All cases to less than 12 months

30,574

10,680

35

32,098

10,533

33

32,012

10,205

32

3 months to less than 4 months

6,439

1,695

26

6,605

1,619

25

6,592

1,419

22

4 months to less than 6 months

11,876

4,055

34

13,228

4,299

32

13,293

4,210

32

6 months to less than 8 months

7,843

2,956

38

7,606

2,679

35

7,568

2,659

35

8 months to less than 12 months

4,416

1,974

45

4,659

1,936

42

4,559

1,917

42

12 months to less than 4 years

24,796

9,804

40

25,453

10,690

42

23,798

9,089

38

200520062007

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Population in sentence length band

Released

Release rate (%)

Total

54,616

17,296

32

52,987

13,666

26

53,835

11,428

21

All cases to less than 12 months

30,273

8,507

28

29,389

6,114

21

29,372

4,545

15

3 months to less than 4 months

6,440

1,068

17

6,474

722

11

6,613

358

5

4 months to less than 6 months

12,426

3,452

28

11,722

2,243

19

11,178

1,430

13

6 months to less than 8 months

7,158

2,336

33

6,915

1,777

26

6,788

1,442

21

8 months to less than 12 months

4,249

1,651

39

4,278

1,372

32

4,793

1,315

27

12 months to less than 4 years

24,343

8,789

36

23,598

7,552

32

24,463

6,883

28

Trade Unions

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what meetings staff of the Courts Service have had with the relevant trades unions to discuss resources for the Courts Service in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11 in the last 12 months; (248343)

(2) what plans he has to consult the relevant trades unions on (a) his Department's budget and (b) planned alterations to that budget for 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Planning work has been underway since September 2008 to determine how the Ministry of Justice will live within its spending review settlement, secure £1 billion of savings by 2010-11. Regular meetings have been held with the unions throughout this period, with the next planned meeting at the corporate level provisionally scheduled for 22 January 2009. Regular engagement has also been maintained at the business group and business area levels, where business area specific issues have been consulted, including HM Courts Services (HMCS).

The budgets for business groups for 2009-10 will be published in the MOJ Corporate Plan on 19 January 2009, a copy of which together with other performance and efficiency related communications to staff will be shared with the unions ahead of wider circulation. The Corporate Plan will also be available in the Library of the House.

Following issue of the Corporate Plan, business groups will work in earnest to develop their own business plans. These plans will address in detail how the Department will meet the performance and efficiency challenges. Going forward consultation will take place with the unions at a local level or, when appropriate, at a corporate level. For example the chief executive of HMCS plans to discuss budgetary allocations with the unions on 17 February.

The recent pre-Budget report contained an announcement of an additional £5 billion value for money saving to be delivered in 2010-11 across the public sector. Decisions have yet to be made as to how those savings will be allocated between Departments but once this is clear we will need to consider the implications for us. This means it will be a little while before we can publish figures for that year. Once they have settled, we will share again details of the allocations with union colleagues.

Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library a copy of each of the responses to his Department's recent consultation on the implementation of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. (245975)

There have been several consultations by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) relating to the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. The consultation “Transforming Tribunals Implementing Part 1 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007” ran from November 2007 to February 2008. Responses were published on the 19 May 2008. A copy of the response document was placed in the Library of both Houses.

The consultation “Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007— Eligibility for judicial appointment” ran from February to April 2008 and responses were published on the 27 August. The response document is available on the MoJ website at:

http://www.iustice.gov.uk/publications/consultations-with-response.htm.

A copy of the response document will be placed in the Library of both Houses.

The consultation “Administration and Enforcement Restriction Orders: setting the parameters” ran from January to April 2008 and a response paper will be published shortly.

As with most MoJ consultations, all of these consultation papers contained a standard confidentiality clause. The individual responses of consultees, that did not indicate to the contrary, would therefore be available in an anonymised version from the MoJ for the first two consultations mentioned above. The response paper for the “Administration and Enforcement Restriction Orders: setting the parameters” consultation has not yet been published.

Victim Support Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how much has been distributed from the Victims Fund in each year since its creation in 2004; (249662)

(2) which specialist services for victims of particular types of crime have received funding from the Government in each of the last five years; and how much was granted in each case.

Organisations providing specialist services for victims of crime receive resources from a wide range of funding streams. Information on this funding is not collated or held centrally.

The Victims Fund was established in 2004 to help top-up local funding for specialist services for victims of crime. The following table shows the total distribution since its commencement:

£

2008-09

1.25 million

Sexual Violence Third Sector

286,000 to date

Hate Crime and Homicide initiatives

Total

1.535million

2007-08

1.25 million

Sexual Violence Third Sector

550,000

Hate Crime and Homicide initiatives

Total

1.8 million

2006-07

1.25 million

Sexual Violence and Abuse Third Sector

2005-06 to 2004-05

4 million

Sexual Assault Referral Centres and Sexual Violence Third Sector

Young Offenders: Reoffenders

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government is taking to reduce reoffending among young offenders. (249479)

There has been an 18.7 per cent. reduction in the frequency rate of youth reoffending between 2000 and 2006. The Youth Crime Action Plan, published in July 2008 details the cross-Government approach to reducing youth crime, including youth reoffending. It sets out a ‘triple track’ approach of enforcement and punishment where behaviour is unacceptable, non-negotiable support and challenge where it is most needed, and better and earlier prevention. The Youth Justice Board leads on the target of a 10 per cent. reduction by 2011 of the frequency rate of youth reoffending against the 2005 baseline, and is working with Departments, to influence the key services to ensure young people have access to mainstream and specialist services before, during and after justice.

Health

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people aged 11 to 18 years resident in (a) Hemel Hempstead and (b) Hertfordshire were treated for alcohol-related problems in each of the last five years. (249063)

Information is not available in the format requested. Data are available for treatment of alcohol-related health problems, the number of admissions to hospital for alcohol and alcohol-related health problems. An individual may account for more than one admission.

While it is possible to analyse the admissions data to determine the number of individuals aged 11-18 years admitted to hospital for alcohol and alcohol-related health problems, this could be done only at disproportionate cost.

The following table gives the number of alcohol-related finished admissions for patients aged 11-18 by primary care trust (PCT) in the Hertfordshire area for each year from 2002-03 to 2006-07. 2006-07 is the latest year for which data are available. The figures relate to the number of admissions rather than the number of individuals: an individual may account for more than one admission.

Number of alcohol-related finished admissions for patients aged 11 to 18 resident in HertfordshirePCT2002-032003-042004-052005-062006-07East and North Hertfordshire 1049410499102West Hertfordshire10711011482122 Notes:Includes activity in English national health service hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector.Small numbersTo protect patient confidentiality, figures between 1 and 5 have been suppressed and replaced with “*” (an asterisk). Where it was possible to identify numbers from the total due to a single suppressed number in a row or column, an additional number (the next smallest) has been suppressed.Alcohol-related admissionsThe number of alcohol-related admissions is based on the methodology developed by the North West Public Health Observatory (NWPHO). Following international best practice, the NWPHO methodology includes a wide range of diseases and injuries in which alcohol plays a part and estimates the proportion of cases that are attributable to the consumption of alcohol. Details of the conditions and associated proportions can be found in the report Jones et al. (2008) “Alcohol-attributable fractions for England: Alcohol-attributable mortality and hospital admissions”.Figures for under-16s only include admissions where one or more alcohol-specific conditions were listed. This is because the research on which the attributable fractions are based does not cover under-16s. Alcohol-specific conditions are those that are wholly attributed to alcohol—that is, those with an attributable fraction of one. They are:Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (142.6)Alcoholic gastritis (K29.2)Alcoholic myopathy (G72.1)Alcoholic polyneuropathy (G62.1)Alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome (E24.4)Degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol (G31.2)Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol (F10)Accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol (X45)Ethanol poisoning (T51.0)Methanol poisoning (T51.1)Toxic effect of alcohol, unspecified (T51.9).Number of episodes in which the patient had an alcohol-related primary or secondary diagnosisThese figures represent the number of episodes where an alcohol-related diagnosis was recorded in any of the 14 (seven prior to 2002-03) primary and secondary diagnosis fields in a Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) record. Each episode is only counted once in each count, even if an alcohol-related diagnosis is recorded in more than one diagnosis field of the record.Finished admission episodesA finished admission episode is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. Finished admission episodes are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.Primary diagnosisThe primary diagnosis is the first of up to 14 (seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in HES data set and provides the main reason why the patient was in hospital.Secondary diagnosesAs well as the primary diagnosis, there are up to 13 (six prior to 2002-03) secondary diagnosis fields in HES that show other diagnoses relevant to the episode of care.Data QualityHES are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. Data is also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.Source:Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), the NHS Information Centre for health and social care.

Antidepressants

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of anti-depressant drugs prescribing in (a) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency, (b) the Tees Valley, (c) the North East and (d) England in the last 12 months. (249542)

The following table provides the net ingredient cost (NIC) of anti-depressant drugs prescribed in the community listed in British National Formulary (BNF) section 4.3 for the latest available 12 month period. Information is only available by health area and the information provided best fits the areas requested.

NIC of anti-depressant drugs listed in BNF section 4.3.—November 2007 to October 2008

£000

Stockton on Tees Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT)

1,087.7

Middlesbrough PCT

1,179.9

Redcar and Cleveland PCT

941.1

North East Strategic Health Authority

16,814.4

England

245,556.7

Source:

Prescribing Analysis and CosT tool (ePACT) system

Aphasia: Research

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has commissioned into the causes and treatment of aphasia. (249823)

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has funded the following current or recently completed projects of relevance to aphasia:

assessing the effectiveness of communication therapy in the North West (Dr. Audrey Bowen, university of Manchester);

the phoneme factory: producing a multimedia screening and therapy system for children with phonological disorders (Professor Sue Roulstone, North Bristol NHS Trust);

speech-driven environmental control systems: new assistive technologies for disabled and elderly people (Professor Mark Hawley, university of Sheffield and Barnsley Hospitals NHS Trust); and

evaluating communication impairment using technology-based transcriptionless discourse analysis measures: a demonstration of reliability and validity (Dr. Marian Brady, Glasgow Caledonian university).

The NIHR clinical research network is also supporting a number of related studies. Details are available on the network’s portfolio database at:

www.ukcrn.org.uk/index/clinical/portfolio_new.html

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body that receives its grant in aid from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Over the last five years, the MRC has funded four projects relevant to aphasia:

finding the right words: predicting, and treating, spoken language production deficits after aphasic stroke (Dr. J. Crinion, University college London);

normal and disordered language comprehension: a cognitive science approach (Professor L. Tyler, Birkbeck college);

neural basis of words, meaning and syntax (Professor F. Pulvermuller, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit); and

stroke recovery (Professor R. Wise, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre).

Chronic Disease Management

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Expert Patients programme course places there have been in each year since the programme was established; and what proportion of these course places were specific to musculoskeletal problems. (249268)

Expert Patients Programme Community Interest Company was established in April 2007. For the period April 2007 to March 2008 they report that the number of course places delivered was 24,660. Figures for 2008-09 are not yet available. The Expert Patients Programme is a generic course and is open to anyone with a long term condition. Details are not available relating to the specific conditions that course participants live with, however Expert Patients Programme Community Interest Company estimate that 25 per cent. of course places are taken by people with musculoskeletal conditions.

Chronically Sick: Pupils

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent guidance his Department has given to primary care trusts on advice and support for teachers in (a) developing school policy and (b) providing support to individual pupils to assist children and young people discussed with long-term conditions to manage their condition effectively in schools. (250602)

In March 2005, the Department of Children Schools and Families (DCSF) published “Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings” with contributions from Department of Health. However, that guidance was for teachers rather than primary care trusts (PCTs). The National Service Framework for Children, Families and Maternity (Children’s NSF), published in 2004 included guidance for health and social care professionals as well as parents and children on managing long term conditions. For children with diabetes, the report ‘Making every young person with diabetes matter’ included a generic specification for children and young people. This included a section on managing diabetes in schools and early years settings. A copy of the report has already been placed in the Library.

Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the estimated cost is of testing for vCJD all those considered potentially at risk of having contracted vCJD after using infected blood products under the NHS; and if he will make a statement; (247050)

(2) how many and what proportion of those considered to be potentially at risk of having contracted vCJD after using infected blood products under the NHS have been informed of their at risk status; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how many haemophiliacs are estimated to be potentially at risk of having contracted vCJD after using infected blood products under the NHS; and if he will make a statement;

(4) how many people are estimated to be potentially at risk of having contracted vCJD after using infected blood products under the NHS; and if he will make a statement.

There are between 4,000 and 5,000 people, mostly haemophiliacs, currently considered at risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease because of exposure or potential exposure via blood products. The haemophiliacs have been informed of their risk status by the haemophilia doctors managing their care, and the general practitioners of those who are not haemophiliacs have been informed of the need to advise their patients appropriately. The cost of testing this group, should suitable tests become available, has not been estimated.

Dental Services: Fees and Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) in what circumstances a dentist may charge a patient for (a) descaling and (b) cleaning and polishing after the first-tier check up; (247537)

(2) if he will initiate an investigation into the practice of dentists charging patients for descaling, cleaning and polishing following the first-tier check up; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how many NHS dental patients (a) were charged for and (b) received free under the NHS descaling, cleaning and polishing following the first-tier treatment in the latest period for which information is available.

The information is not available in the format requested. However, the number of courses of treatment delivered to charge payers and non-charge payers by treatment band in 2007-08 is available in Table 25 of “NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2007-08”. This publication has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the NHS Information Centre website at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dental0708.

National health service dental contracts require dentists to provide all proper clinically necessary dental care and treatment that the patient is willing to undergo. A band 1 course of treatment (diagnosis, treatment planning and maintenance) includes examination, diagnosis (for example x-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, and scaling and polishing if clinically needed. Fee paying NHS patients will be charged £16.20 for a band 1 course of treatment. Those exempt from NHS charges receive treatment without charge.

Patients who are assessed as not clinically needing a scale and polish are free to obtain it privately. As with any treatment if there is no clinical need for the patient to receive a scale and polish it is entirely appropriate that it is provided, if at all, outside the NHS.

We take very seriously the need to ensure that all NHS patients receive clinically appropriate treatment. A dentist who identified a clinical need for a scale and polish under NHS treatment and then refused such care would be potentially in breach of contract. The NHS Business Services Authority is enhancing the role of the dental reference service to ensure that primary care trusts (PCTs) have the tools to check that dental care provided is appropriate to patients’ needs. Patients who have concerns about any aspect of their dental care should in the first instance raise this with the practice and then if not satisfied, with the PCT.

The independent review of NHS dentistry chaired by Professor Jimmy Steele will also look at how we can ensure that NHS dentists deliver consistently high quality care and provide the right level of preventative work. Professor Steele is due to publish his findings later in the year.

Direct Payments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in England are eligible to receive direct payments; and how many of them have taken them up. (250173)

Since 2003, councils have had a duty to offer direct payments to people found eligible for social services support. During 2007-08, around 1.75 million people of working age and older people used social care services either provided by their local council or commissioned on their behalf from private and voluntary organisations. As at March 2008, 73,540 people, including carers, used direct payments to buy the help they wanted.