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Written Answers

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 27 February 2009

Transport

Bus Lanes: Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has committed funds to the Luton to Dunstable busway for 2010-11. (259403)

In September 2008 we granted conditional approval to a maximum Government contribution of £78.39 million towards the cost of this scheme.

Full approval will not be given until final prices have been fixed following a tendering exercise by Luton borough council. We understand that the council will be seeking full approval towards the end of 2009.

Departmental Planning Permission

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many sites have been developed following use of his powers under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2006 in each of the last three years. (258733)

[holding answer 25 February 2009]: In the last three years the Highways Agency have established a total of six site compounds using powers under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2006.

Of the six compounds, three were established in 2006, and three in 2007. No site compounds were established using these powers in 2008 by the Highways Agency.

Railways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of setting maximum passenger levels for rail services. (258267)

Trains are designed to operate effectively and safely even when they are loaded to maximum capacity. Therefore, Her Majesty's Government have not considered any guidance or instructions about setting maximum passenger levels on railway services.

Roads: Snow and Ice

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the amount of salt provided by the Highways Agency to Gloucestershire county council during the recent snowfall; and if he will make a statement. (255778)

[holding answer 10 February 2009]: It is for local authorities to determine levels of salt necessary for their winter maintenance programme as set out in the UK Roads Board's (voluntary) code of practice on highways maintenance management, “Well-maintained Highways”. The Highways Agency provided 550 tonnes of road salt to Gloucestershire county council under the mutual aid scheme on 8 February 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what process his Department uses to (a) monitor the level of salt available for road treatment and (b) estimate future road salt requirements. (256619)

[holding answer 12 February 2009]: It is for Local Authorities to determine levels of salt necessary for their winter maintenance programme as set out in the UK Roads Board's (voluntary) code of practice on highways maintenance management, “Well-maintained Highways”. For the trunk road network, the Highways Agency has in place long established procedures which require salt stock capability reporting on a daily basis between 1 October and 30 April. Salt stock requirements are ascertained from a combination of longer term weather forecast information and records of salt usage. Salt capability is expressed as the number of treatment days available based on six treatments per day at 20gm/m2—the level of treatment typical for snow conditions. A weekly summary is produced which gives an overview of salt stocks and provides advance warning when salt stocks are approaching a critical level.

As a result of the recent severe weather, central government, the Local Government Association and the Highways Agency have been working together to provide daily advice to suppliers on the most effective distribution of available salt supplies in order to minimise the risk to public safety. This advice is based on daily demand estimates informed by the Met Office's 24 hour forecast and comparisons between existing salt stocks and available supply.

Leader of the House

Members: Allowances

To ask the Leader of the House pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Bassetlaw of 22 January 2009, Official Report, columns 1570-71W, on Members’ expenses, what consideration she gave to consulting the Information Commissioner on the provisions of the draft Freedom of Information (Parliament) Order 2009. (258665)

I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Bassetlaw (John Mann) of 22 January 2009, Official Report, columns 1570-71W.

To ask the Leader of the House pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Chichester of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 1W, on Members: allowances, what criteria govern the assessment of the merits of a request for an advance on a hon. Member’s communications allowance. (258667)

Subject to the administrative rules set out in my answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 1W, the requester would need to demonstrate that the advance was for a specific purpose which enabled him or her to carry out a parliamentary duty and that it was a proper use of public money in support of his or her role. There must be no suggestion that the use of the allowance would be for party political advantage or electioneering.

To date no advance from the communications allowance for 2009-10 has been requested this year nor were any advances made last year.

Work and Pensions

Children: Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) consolatory payments and (b) other compensatory payments the Child Support Agency made to residents of (i) Hemel Hempstead and (ii) Hertfordshire in each of the last 10 years; and what the monetary value of such payments was in each such year. (256507)

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) on 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 46-48W.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy for his Department to sign the Information Commissioner's Personal Information Promise. (258968)

The Government welcome the Promise as a commendable initiative to raise awareness of the importance of effective data protection safeguards, particularly for those organisations with no similar commitments already in place.

The Government take data protection very seriously. Following the Cabinet Office Review of Data Handling Procedures in Government, departments have implemented a raft of measures to improve data security.

The Ministry of Justice is considering actively with the ICO how the Promise might add additional value to those measures we have already signed up to. These include the Information Charters, the recommendations of the Data Handling Review and the Thomas/Walport Review and, of course, our legal obligations under the Data Protection Act and other legislation and regulations.

Departmental Impact Assessments

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many equalities impact assessments his Department has undertaken in the last 12 month period for which figures are available; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of such assessments. (255061)

During the last 12 months (January 2008 to January 2009) 146 equality impact assessments were undertaken in the Department for Work and Pensions.

The cost of carrying out the equality impact assessment is not possible to estimate as the Department's equality impact assessment process is embedded in the development and implementation of new (or changes to) functions, policies and services that are the responsibility of the Department.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff currently working in his Department are on secondment from EDS; and what roles and responsibilities they have. (259123)

[holding answer 26 February 2009]: Information on how many staff currently working in the Department for Work and Pensions are on secondment from EDS, and their roles and responsibilities, is not available in the format requested.

DWP does not keep central records of individuals seconded into DWP. To extract this information from individual records would be at a disproportionate cost.

Empty Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the estimated cost in empty property business rates for the vacant properties recorded on the e-PIMS database owned by his Department is in 2008-09. (258521)

DWP has a total of 3,467 m2 of vacant workspace recorded on e-PIMS. This workspace constitutes partial holdings in buildings retained for operational requirements. This workspace represents only a fraction of 1 per cent. of the total DWP estate as at 1 February 2009.

The estimated cost in empty business rates for this workspace is £138,000 p.a.

Fireworks: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information the Health and Safety Executive requires companies seeking a classification and authorisation document for a firework to provide. (258131)

Companies seeking a firework classification are required to submit a proposed classification for approval by the Health and Safety Executive. They are also required to provide sufficient information to enable the HSE to determine that the proposed classification is appropriate. This information includes details of the manufacturer, the firework names and types, part numbers, their chemical composition, information on the packaging and design and details of any relevant tests conducted on them.

There is no requirement for firework authorisation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what checks on provision of licensed storage the Health and Safety Executive performs before granting a classification and authorisation document to importers of fireworks. (258132)

The Health and Safety Executive does not conduct checks on the provision of licensed storage before granting a classification document for fireworks. A classification assigns information on the hazard posed by fireworks during transport; the eventual provision of licensed storage does not affect safety during transport. There is no requirement in any circumstances to grant an authorisation for fireworks.

The requirements for safe storage of fireworks are set out in the Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 (MSER) and are enforced by either the Health and Safety Executive or local authority, depending on the amount of fireworks to be stored.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which companies issued with a classification and authorisation document for a firework by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in each of the last five years had (a) HSE-licensed and (b) local storage when the document was issued. (258133)

Industrial Health and Safety: Death

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many fatal accidents at work there were in each of the last 20 years. (257972)

The information requested is as follows:

Fatal injuries to workers1 as reported to all enforcing authorities, 1988-89 to 2007-082,3

Employees

Self-employed

Workers

1988-894

529

80

609

1989-90

370

105

475

1990-91

346

87

433

1991-92

297

71

368

1992-93

276

63

339

1993-94

245

51

296

1994-95

191

81

272

1995-96

209

49

258

1996-975

207

80

287

1997-98

212

62

274

1998-99

188

65

253

1999-2000

162

58

220

2000-01

213

79

292

2001-02

206

45

251

2002-03

183

44

227

2003-04

168

68

236

2004-05

172

51

223

2005-06

164

53

217

2006-07

191

56

247

2007-082

179

50

229

1 The term 'workers' includes employees and the self-employed combined

2 Provisional

3 The annual basis is the planning year 1 April to 31 March

4 The Piper Alpha disaster occurred in July 1988. The fatality count for 1988-89 therefore reflects the 167 deaths that occurred in this single incident

5 Changes in the legislation covering accident reporting came into effect in April 1996. Prior to this date reports were made under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1985. From 1996-97 onwards reports were made under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995.

Jobcentre Plus: Disabled

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the level of accessibility of Jobcentre Plus offices for disabled people; and if he will make a statement. (248498)

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mel Groves:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what assessment he has made of the accessibility of Jobcentre Plus offices for disabled people. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Jobcentre Plus strives to be an exemplar in delivering services to all of our customers, including disabled people. The design of our modern Jobcentre Plus offices incorporated all reasonable and practicable measures regarding access arrangements for disabled people, to ensure that we take into account the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.

Where full access to all people cannot be provided for genuine reasons (e.g. listed building status, prohibitive cost, or the structure of the existing building), every effort is made to ensure that access is provided for the maximum number of disabled people. For example, where internal alterations could not be made to enable upper floor access, services are made available on the ground floor where possible. We also consider other ways of contacting our customers, such as visiting people at home.

I am satisfied the arrangements in place ensure that our offices continue to comply with our guidelines.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1423-4W, on rheumatoid arthritis, how many claimants of (a) incapacity benefit and (b) severe disablement allowance had each type of (i) medical and (ii) disabling condition recorded in relation to their claims in each of the last five years. (257171)

Social Security Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 24 February 2009 on disability benefits, what his estimate is of the effect on the number of people claiming (a) disability living allowance (care component), (b) attendance allowance and (c) carer's allowance of the European Court of Justice's decision to reclassify these benefits as sickness benefits; and if he will make a statement. (259584)

The effect on the number of people claiming the disability benefits is very difficult to predict. Our estimates indicate that this will result in an increase in the number of customers as set out in the following table:

Benefit

Estimated caseload

Disability Living Allowance

20,000

Attendance Allowance

1

Carers Allowance

1

Total

20,000

1 Estimate is less than 5,000 and therefore equals zero when rounded to the nearest 10,000.

Notes:

1. These estimates relate to 2010-11 because this is assumed to be the first full year following full implementation of the judgment.

Welfare Reform Bill 2008-09: Impact Assessments

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of version (a) one and (b) two of the impact assessment for the Welfare Reform Bill 2009. (253617)

Version one of the impact assessment related to, and was published electronically alongside, the Green Paper ‘No-one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility’ and is available on the Department for Work and Pensions website at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/welfarereform/noonewrittenoff/noonewrittenoffer-impactassesment.pdf

Version two of the impact assessment related to, and was published electronically alongside, the White Paper ‘Raising expectations and increasing support: reforming welfare for the future’ and is available on the Department for Work and Pensions website at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/welfarereform/raisingexpectations/impact-assessment.pdf

Version three of the impact assessment relates to the Welfare Reform Bill and is available in the Library.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Departmental ICT

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the initial estimated (a) cost and (b) delivery date was of each ICT project initiated by his Department and its predecessor in each year since 1997; what the (i) outturn cost and (ii) completion date was of each such project subsequently completed; which contractors were hired for each project; and how much has been paid to each contractor in respect of each project to date. (251385)

For the last 10 years the Department’s and its predecessors IT services have been provided through a PFI agreement with Fujitsu Services and covers the provision of all desktop services, web infrastructure services, document management and other business applications. In addition, the Department has in place an alternative IT framework agreement with a number of suppliers to enable competition where this is deemed appropriate. However, due to a change in the Department’s accounting system during 2003-04 and the previously devolved nature of the ICT, consistent data on all the information requested cannot be obtained without disproportionate cost.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much was spent on bonuses for press officers within his Department in each of the last five years; and how many such bonuses were awarded. (258512)

Such information as is available for press officers is shown in the table.

Number of bonuses

Total cost (£)

2005-06

8

9,659

2006-07

12

8,780

2007-08

10

9,250

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport makes bonus payments to its staff for two purposes: (a) special bonuses to reward outstanding contributions in particularly demanding tasks or situations, and (b) performance bonuses to reward successful performance over a whole year.

To provide historical information requested for earlier periods than shown would incur disproportionate cost.

English Heritage: VAT

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport at which of its venues English Heritage (a) reduced and (b) did not reduce the retail prices of tickets following the December 2008 reduction in value added tax. (258392)

English Heritage advises that following the reduction in VAT, it reduced admission prices on 1 December on all its properties open to the public. These were reduced to the nearest 10 pence price point so, in some instances, the saving is greater than the VAT change and in others slightly less. The VAT reduction has been passed on for all admission prices with the exception of some child prices where the change would amount to five pence or less.

National Lottery: Catz Club

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2009, Official Report, column 54W, on Catz Club, for which projects and for what purpose each of the Lottery grants listed was made to Catz Club. (258587)

The following information comes from the Department's lottery grants database. The database is searchable at

www.lottery.culture.gov.uk

and uses information on lottery grants supplied by the lottery distributors.

Distributing body

Grant date

Recipient name

Project description

Grant amount (£)

New Opportunities Fund

26 June 2003

Catz Club

The grant will be used to create 168 after- school places for children aged four to 11-years-old in Northamptonshire. It will create seven new clubs.

80,269

New Opportunities Fund

17/10/2003

Catz Club

The grant will be used to create 48 after- school places for children aged four to 11-years-old in Kent. The project will create two new clubs.

24,496

New Opportunities Fund

17 October 2003

Catz Club

The grant will be used to create 72 after- school places for children aged four to 11-years-old in Norfolk. The project will create three new clubs.

24,496

New Opportunities Fund

17 October 2003

Catz Club

The grant will be used to create 48 after- school places for children aged four to 11-years-old in Cambridgeshire. The project will create two new clubs.

12,247

New Opportunities Fund

17 October 2003

Catz Club

The grant will be used to create 72 after- school places for children aged four to 11-years-old in Ealing. The project will create three new clubs.

7,080

New Opportunities Fund

17 October 2003

Catz Club

The grant will be used to create 48 after- school places for children aged four to 11-years-old in Hackney. The project will create two new clubs.

24,496

New Opportunities Fund

17 October 2003

Catz Club

The grant will be used to create 120 after- school places for children aged four to 11-years-old in Middlesex. The project will create five new clubs

24,496

New Opportunities Fund

10 February 2006

Catz Club

The grant would be used to create 24 before and 24 after-school places for children aged between four and 11-years-old by creating one new provision in the Windsor area. One local school would be served.

5,527

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Apprentices

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Eddisbury of 3 November 2008, Official Report, column 171W, on apprentices, how many of the apprenticeships referred to were state-funded. (258064)

The information provided on 3 November 2008, Official Report, column 171W, was apprenticeship places in England funded by the Government through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) since 2001, and previously through Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs). Hence, all apprenticeship starts given in the table were state-funded.

Table 1 as follows gives updated LSC/TEC-funded apprenticeship starts from 1997/98 to 2007/08. Information for 2007/08 was first published in a statistical first release on 18 December 2008:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/Statistics

Table 1: Apprenticeship starts, 1997/98 to 2007/08

Starts

1997/98

75,000

1998/99

118,000

1999/2000

165,000

2000/01

177,000

2001/02

162,000

2002/03

204,000

2003/04

194,000

2004/05

189,000

2005/06

175,000

2006/07

184,000

2007/08

225,000

Note:

Numbers have been rounded to the nearest thousand.

Source:

WBL ILR/ISR

The Government are committed to rebuilding apprenticeships. Since 1997 we have witnessed a renaissance in apprenticeships from a low point of 65,000 to a record 225,000 apprenticeship starts in 2007/08. Completion rates are also at a record high with 64 per cent. successfully completing an apprenticeship—up from 37 per cent. in 2004/05.

Departmental Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his Department's average response time to a letter received from (a) an hon. Member and (b) a member of the public has been since it was established. (251442)

The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of departments in replying to Members’ correspondence. The report for 2007 was published on 20 March 2008, Official Report, columns 71-74WS. Information for 2008 is currently being collated and will be published as soon as it ready. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.

With respect to correspondence from members of the public the Department cannot provide the requested information within disproportionate costs limits, but we do aim to respond to all written correspondence within 15 working days. Statistics on the handling of letters from members of public is published in the Department's annual report.

Skilled Workers: Lincolnshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what reports he has received on the skills requirements of the workforce at the Lindsey oil refinery; and if he will make a statement; (256190)

(2) what skills courses currently funded by his Department relate to posts which have been contracted to workers from other EU member states at the Lindsey oil refinery; and how many such courses are currently available in North East Lincolnshire.

The Learning and Skills Council funds provision at the local College, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, which offers a range of industry-specific programmes of learning to help learners acquire and improve the skills needed to work in the chemical refining sector. These include chemical process operations, fabrication and welding, Health and Safety Passport scheme and general engineering and plant maintenance. We are not aware that courses are specifically arranged for learners from other EU member states.

The Government have recently announced a review of productivity and skills in the engineering construction sector. This will make recommendations on ways to improve skills and productivity in the UK engineering construction industry and identify specific factors influencing success for UK-based companies bidding for UK and foreign engineering construction contracts.

Northern Ireland

Billy Wright Inquiry

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Wright Inquiry has spent on security. (257112)

I am advised by the Billy Wright Inquiry that the inquiry has spent £577,000 on security to the end of January 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Wright Inquiry has spent on (a) transport, (b) accommodation, (c) advertising and (d) virtual reality technology. (257113)

I am advised by the Billy Wright Inquiry that, to the end of January 2009, the inquiry has spent:

(a) £693,000 on transport;

(b) £1.70 million on accommodation;

(c) Nothing on advertising; and

(d) Nothing on virtual reality technology.

Bloody Sunday Tribunal of Inquiry

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Saville Inquiry has spent on (a) advertising, (b) accommodation, (c) transport and (d) virtual reality technology. (257118)

I am advised by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that, to the end of January 2009, the inquiry has spent:

(a) Approximately £19,000 on advertising;

(b) Approximately £26 million on accommodation (including hire of venues for inquiry hearings plus office and private accommodation);

(c) Approximately £5 million on transport; and

(d) Approximately £106,000 on virtual reality technology.

This covers only expenditure by the inquiry and not expenditure by the Ministry of Defence associated with the inquiry.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Saville Inquiry has spent on security. (257119)

I am advised by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that the Inquiry has spent approximately £3.4 million on security to the end of January 2009.

Departmental Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost of his Department's contracts with management consultants was in each of the last five years. (251367)

The cost of contracts with management consultants is not held centrally. Information in relation to spending on the different types of consultancies has been recorded since 2005-06.

In each of the last three years my Department has spent the following amounts on management consultants:

£

2007-08

126,618

2006-07

461,906

2005-06

1,193 693

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 18 January 2009, Official Report, columns 988-91W, on departmental consultants, how many consultants from each of the companies listed his Department has employed in the last 12 months. (257268)

The Northern Ireland Office does not record the number of individual consultants used by consultancy firms employed by my Department as contracts are awarded directly to the company.

With reference to the answer given on 18 December 2008, Official Report, columns 988-91W, my Department has employed 32 of the companies listed in the last 12 months.

Police

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) police officers and (b) other staff paid from the policing budget for Northern Ireland undertook duties at the public event hosted by the Northern Ireland Policing Board in Londonderry on 18 February 2009. (259725)

That is an operational matter for the Chief Constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Member, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Robert Hamill Inquiry

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Hamill Inquiry has spent on (a) advertising, (b) transport, (c) accommodation and (d) virtual reality technology. (257126)

I am advised by the Robert Hamill Inquiry that, to the end of January 2009, the inquiry has spent:

(a) Nothing on advertising;

(b) £230,000 on transport;

(c) £3.50 million on accommodation; and

(d) £50,000 on virtual reality technology.

Rosemary Nelson Inquiry

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Nelson Inquiry has spent on (a) advertising, (b) security, (c) accommodation, (d) transport and (e) virtual reality technology. (257105)

I am advised by the Rosemary Nelson Inquiry that, to the end of January 2009, the inquiry has spent:

(a) Nothing on advertising;

(b) £957,000 on security,

(c) £4.48 million on accommodation;

(d) £446,000 on transport; and

(e) Nothing on virtual reality technology.

Olympics

CompeteFor

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how much the CompeteFor website has cost to (a) develop and (b) run in each year since its inception; and how much of the funding was provided by (i) the Government, (ii) the London Development Agency and (iii) regional development agencies. (251305)

The information requested is as follows:

The costs of CompeteFor are as follows:

(a) CompeteFor cost £3.633million to develop, which included concept development, specification, implementation and testing, and establishing the support structure.

(b) Running costs are as follows:

Year 1 (December 2007 to March 2008) £220,000

Year 2 (April 2008 to March 2009) projected at £1.241 million

Funding arrangements are as follows

(i) No direct funding was provided by Central Government.

(ii) The London Development Agency and the eight other regional development agencies have each provided £379,000 in set up and running costs in Year 1 and will provide approximately £111,000 each in running costs by the end of this financial year.

The remaining costs are met by contributions provided by the devolved administrations.

Government Olympic Executive: Expenditure

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how much has been spent on the Government Olympic Executive in each of the last three years. (258337)

The expenditure of the Government Olympic Executive (GOE), part of the DCMS, for the last two complete financial years is as follows:

£ million

2006-07

3.1

2007-08

5.4

The estimated expenditure for GOE in 2008-09 is £8.1 million.

This planned increase in costs (a) reflects the wider role the GOE has taken on during this period—GOE is now the only organisation overseeing the entire Olympic project, integrating the work of multiple delivery bodies, and ensuring the games is delivered within the £9.3 billion public sector funding provision; (b) is a planned response to the expected growth in work to deliver the Government's commitments and guarantees, as 2012 approaches; and (c) is consistent with GOE's staffing and resource plan for 2008-09 to 2010-11, which was agreed by Treasury early in 2008.

GOE's budget covers funding for both (a) GOE staff costs and (b) 2012-related programmes aimed at maximising the benefits of the games for the whole of the UK. In 2008-09, for example, this has included a contribution towards the costs of regional Cultural Olympiad programmers, the costs of events to engage with the public and to raise awareness of the opportunities the games can provide for all the nations and regions of the UK, the costs of establishing a 2012 evaluation framework Cabinet Office and the costs of publishing the 2012 Legacy Action Plan and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Annual Report.

Government Olympic Executive: Manpower

To ask the Minister for the Olympics (1) how many staff worked in the Government Olympic Executive in each of the last three years; (258334)

(2) how many staff worked for her in each of the last three years.

[holding answer 25 February 2009]: Since its inception in June 2007 my private office has consisted of five officials and a special adviser, except for when it has carried vacancies.

In addition, staff working in the Government Olympic Executive (GOE) report to me through the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The number of staff (full-time equivalents (FTEs)) working in the GOE has risen over the last three years as follows.

As at February each year

FTEs

2006

30

2007

44.3

2008

63

2009

87.3

This planned increase in staffing (a) reflects the wider role the GOE has taken on during this period - GOE is now the only organisation overseeing the entire Olympic project, integrating the work of multiple delivery bodies, and ensuring the games is delivered within the £9.3 billion public sector funding provision; (b) is a planned response to the expected growth in work to deliver the Government's commitments and guarantees, as 2012 approaches; and (c) is consistent with GOE's staffing and resource plan for 2008-09 to 2010-11, which was agreed by the Treasury early in 2008.

Olympic Games 2012

To ask the Minister for the Olympics by what process the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games plans to design the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics; and if she will make a statement. (258906)

[holding answer 26 February 2009]: The opening and closing ceremonies of both the Olympic games and the Paralympic games in 2012 will be significant moments for the UK, representing an opportunity to showcase the excellent cultural talent we have.

The decision making process to design and deliver these ceremonies is the responsibility of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). The first stage of this process is to host key stakeholder forums, to scope the initial ambition for these ceremonies. These events are taking place in the different nations and regions of the UK in the coming weeks.

Following these consultations, LOCOG will work to put in place the brief and plans necessary to deliver the ceremonies, and appoint the creative team to run the ceremonies.

Olympic Games 2012: Construction

To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 17 February 2009, Official Report, column 2273W, on Olympic games 2012: construction, whether the Olympics Delivery Authority predicted the cost implications for the velopark budget of moving the velodrome. (259001)

[holding answer 26 February 2009]: The Velodrome was moved slightly to the west to help with the design and layout of the wider cycling facilities to be built in legacy. The Olympic Delivery Authority was aware of the generally poor ground conditions. However, the VeloPark budget could only be adjusted when the full extent of these conditions was known.

Olympic Games: China

To ask the Minister for the Olympics whether she has made an assessment of UK public opinion on London 2012's contribution to the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony; and if she will make a statement. (258904)

[holding answer 26 February 2009]: No formal assessment has been made of public opinion in the UK on London's Handover Ceremony in Beijing.

Since the August Handover ceremony, my Department's research has shown that interest in the 2012 Olympic games and Paralympic games has risen by six percentage points.

The Museums Libraries and Archives Council has carried out some assessment as part of their “People's Record” project. 5,000 people gave their views on the Handover celebrations and the Cultural Olympiad; the results will be published in spring.

The London Organising Committee of the Olypmic games will build on the experience gained and lessons learnt during this ceremony to deliver the ceremonies in 2012.

Children, Schools and Families

Capgemini

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families in respect of which consultations conducted by his Department Capgemini has undertaken work. (259312)

Full public consultations undertaken by the Department for Children, Schools and Families are conducted by the Department's Communications Directorate. Capgemini has not undertaken any work on these consultations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's 2002 long-term partnering agreement with Capgemini. (259314)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families will place a copy of the business services framework agreement between the Department and Capgemini dated 6 November 2001 in the Libraries following agreement with Capgemini on what potentially sensitive commercial information may or may not be released.

Children: Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) within how long after their completion local authorities are expected to supply his Department with copies of serious case reviews; (248680)

(2) what procedures his Department follows when it receives a full serious case review.

Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) are asked to provide an anonymised copy of each full serious case review to the Department for Children, Schools and Families as soon as possible after the publication of the executive summary. This is to inform biennial overview reports which analyse the key findings from serious case reviews taken as a whole and identify the implications for policy and practice. When an individual serious case review is complete the report is then evaluated by Ofsted. DCSF children and learners teams in the Regional Government Offices have a support and challenge role, in particular with respect to the implementation by LSCBs and local agencies of recommendations in individual serious case review reports.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many serious case reviews initiated in 2008 were not published within four months of their being requested by the local safeguarding board. (252944)

These data are not compiled centrally. The first annual Ofsted report on Serious Case Reviews, ‘Learning Lessons, Taking Action', published on 1 December 2008, gave information on 50 serious case reviews evaluated by Ofsted between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2008. It noted that of the 50 reviews evaluated, five were completed within four months, although the report also observed that ‘a significant number of reviews were delayed because they were awaiting the outcome of coroners' courts and/or criminal proceedings'. Guidance in Working Together to Safeguard Children 2006 is clear, that any delays in completing serious case reviews should not prevent early lessons learnt from being implemented.

Departmental Sick Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many staff in his Department or its predecessors were on sick leave for (a) over 30 days, (b) over 50 days and (c) over 100 days in each of the last five years. (256319)

The Department was set up as part of the Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007. All sickness absence data are available on the Department's website:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/sicknessabsence/.

Information for individual members of staff who had sick leave for the periods specified is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportion cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many staff in his Department were recorded as having been on sick leave for over 12 months on 31 December in each of the last five years. (256634)

The Department was set up as part of the Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007. The figures for the Department apply from 31 December 2007 onwards.

Number of people who have been on sick leave for over 12 months on 31 December

Number

2008

3

2007

4

Education Maintenance Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 10W, on education maintenance allowance (EMA), whether the regular updates on the EMA delivery issues provided to Ministers by the Learning and Skills Council are provided in written form. (257823)

The processing statistics supplied by the contractor via the Learning and Skills Council to officials in the Department for Children School and Families were provided in written form. These statistics were provided daily during the working week, between September 2008 to January 2009. Officials are currently collating these records and we will make them available before 12 March.

Music: Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many (a) people and (b) schools have registered with the Sing Up website; (258323)

(2) what percentage of primary school pupils in the relevant age category have taken part in the Sing Up programme.

People register on the Sing Up website only if they want to receive the magazine that is sent out once a term. Other people can visit the site without registering. The data for February show that there have so far been 26,149 registrations on the website, including from 13,489 individual schools.

Over 100,000 children have been directly involved in Sing Up activity, such as workshops in the Southbank Centre and Birmingham Symphony Hall. Over 20,000 people have participated in Sing Up training and CPD activity and the website attracts 20,000 visitors each week. There is no measure of how many children are subsequently reached by those who have received training or visited the website.

National Curriculum Tests: Special Educational Needs

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many and what proportion of (a) all children identified with speech, language and communication difficulties, (b) children identified with speech, language and communications difficulties from the 10 per cent. most deprived areas and (c) children identified with speech, language and communication difficulties from the five per cent. most deprived areas achieved the national standard in all Key Stage 1 assessments in each year since 1997; (257607)

(2) how many and what proportion of children identified with speech, language and communication difficulties from (a) the 10 per cent. most deprived areas and (b) the five per cent. most deprived areas achieved the national standard in Key Stage 1 (i) reading, (ii) writing, (iii) mathematics and (iv) science assessments in each year since 1997;

(3) how many and what proportion of children identified with speech, language and communication difficulties achieved the national standard in Key Stage 1 (a) reading, (b) writing, (c) mathematics and (d) science assessments in each year since 1997.

The Department only collects data by type of special educational need for children at School Action Plus or with statements. School Action Plus, under the SEN Code of Practice, is where a school receives some external help to meet a child’s SEN. A SEN statement is drawn up by a local authority, following an assessment, where it is necessary to determine the special educational provision which a child’s learning difficulties call for.

The available 2008 information is attached to the “Statistical First Release: Attainment by Pupil Characteristics, in England 2007/08”, which can be found at:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000822/index.shtml

Analysis similar to that requested for pupils with speech, language and communication difficulty attaining the expected level in Key Stage 1 was carried out using 2006 data and the relevant information is given as follows.

This information is not available for years before 2005 when type of SEN information for pupils was not collected.

The analysis only relates to the primary SEN type of pupils. Some of these children may also have a secondary SEN type which has not been taken into consideration in the analysis.

Percentage of pupils achieving level 2 (expected level) or above in Key Stage 1 assessments in 2006

Number of pupils with speech language and communication difficulty at school action plus = reading/writing/maths 8,875, science 8,870

Number of pupils with speech language and communication difficulty with statements = reading/writing/maths 2,410, science 2,405

Reading

Writing

Maths

Science

School action plus

Speech language and communication difficulty

45

38

60

58

Statement

Speech language and communication difficulty

29

22

38

33

Note:

Figures relate to seven-year-olds (age at start of academic year, i.e. 31 August) in maintained schools.

The Department intends to publish similar information for pupils with special educational needs based on 2008 data later this year.

Further information can be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

School Meals: Nutrition

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his most recent assessment is of the effect of secondary schools allowing pupils to leave school premises at lunchtime on the ability of schools to deliver higher nutritional standards in school meals. (257819)

Food based standards for school lunches have been in place since September 2006. Schools must also meet the Government's nutrient based standards for school lunches, which were introduced for primary school lunches in September 2008 and will be introduced in secondary and special schools in September 2009. Clearly, secondary school pupils who leave the school premises at lunchtime and do not eat a school lunch will not benefit from the healthier food on offer at the school. It is for head teachers to decide whether to adopt a stay on site policy.

Schools: Catering

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of (a) primary and (b) secondary school premises have a dining hall. (256009)

The Department does not hold up-to-date information on the numbers and proportions of primary and secondary schools that have a dining hall. It is thought that:

(a) most primary schools have halls where dining takes place. For some schools this is a dedicated dining hall, for many it is a multi-purpose hall used for assembly, PE and dining;

(b) most, if not all, secondary schools have dining halls.

Central Government capital support for investment in schools has increased from under £700 million in 1996-97 to £6.7 billion in 2008-09 and will rise further to £8.0 billion by 2010-11. Progress is being made year-by-year in improving the quality of the school building stock. The bulk of schools capital is now allocated by formula to local authorities and schools. This enables them to fund priority projects which could include providing a dining hall at a school that does not have one.

Schools: Inspections

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families for what reasons agreements of contracts between Ofsted and inspection contractors have not been reached in accordance with the originally planned timetable. (259625)

This is a matter for Ofsted. HM Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 26 February 2009:

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

The original timetable for the awarding of new inspection contracts made provision for decisions being made in January 2009. In October 2008, a decision was taken to delay this by one month to allow the process to take full account of organisational changes within Ofsted.

On 25 February 2009, bidders were informed about the outcomes and a press release was placed on the Ofsted website. The contract award is subject to an Alcatel (standstill) period under European legislation, which will end on 9 March 2009. Publicity during the Alcatel period is being kept deliberately ‘low key’, restricted to information that bidders are obliged to provide under the London Stock Exchange Disclosure and Transparency Rules (DTR).

A copy of this reply has been sent to Rt Hon Jim Knight MP, Minister of State for Schools and Learners, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.

Special Educational Needs

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which maintained special schools opened in 2008; and what the cost of establishing each was. (256346)

The Department’s records, based on information supplied by local authorities, indicate that the following maintained special schools opened in 2008. The Department does not have a record of the cost of establishing these schools; this will be held locally.

Name of maintained special school

Postal/town

Postal/county area

Date opened

Phoenix Schools

Walsall

West Midlands

1 January 2008

Elmwood School

Walsall

West Midlands

1 January 2008

Nene Gate

Peterborough

Cambridgeshire

2 January 2008

Castle Wood

Coventry

West Midlands

1 April 2008

Newbridge Learning Community

Wigan

Lancashire

1 September 2008

Seven Hills School

Sheffield

South Yorkshire

1 September 2008

Sir Tom Finney Community High School

Preston

Lancashire

1 September 2008

Acorns Primary School

Preston

Lancashire

1 September 2008

Elm Tree Community Primary School

Skelmersdale

Lancashire

1 September 2008

Heatherwood School

Doncaster

South Yorkshire

1 September 2008

Pennine View School

Doncaster

South Yorkshire

1 September 2008

Coppice Community School

Doncaster

South Yorkshire

1 September 2008

Stone Hill School

Doncaster

South Yorkshire

1 September 2008

North Ridge Community School

Doncaster

South Yorkshire

1 September 2008

Cottenham Foundation Special School

Cambridge

Cambridgeshire

1 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many maintained special schools there were in each local authority in each year since 1997, broken down by special educational needs priority 1. (256443)

We cannot provide the information requested because it would require the manipulation of large volumes of data which could be undertaken only at a disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 9 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1730-2W, on special educational needs, how many pupils were given (a) a fixed period and (b) a permanent exclusion. (258051)

Teachers: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether the Continued Professional Development proposed for teachers operating in challenging circumstances, as referred to in his Department’s publication “New Opportunities, Fair Chances for the Future”, will include training on the effects of poverty on children’s experiences of school. (258089)

The teachers’ Professional Standards already require them to identify and support children and young people whose progress, development or well-being is affected by changes or difficulties in their personal circumstances, and when to refer them to colleagues for specialist support.

In connection with the extra support announced in the New Opportunities White Paper, I have asked the Training and Development Agency for Schools to assemble a package of guidance and advice for both new and experienced teachers and other school staff working in challenging circumstances. This will be available from September and will support teachers in achieving and maintaining the Professional Standards and other school staff in supporting children and young people.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Codes of Practice

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on research in preparing for the new Code of Good Agricultural Practice. (252771)

[holding answer 29 January 2009]: A number of technical specialists from DEFRA and its agencies contributed to the content of the new Code of Good Agricultural Practice. The publication updates the previously published codes of practice for water, soil and air which have been periodically updated for the past 20 years. Therefore, the cost of research in preparing the new Code of Good Agricultural Practice is not readily available in DEFRA.

Angling: Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of recreational sea angling to the North Devon economy; (258420)

(2) how many people resident in North Devon are employed in the North Devon recreational sea angling sector;

(3) how many recreational sea anglers are estimated to visit North Devon each year;

(4) what recent assessment he has made of the effect that Article 47 of the EU Proposal for the Monitoring of Recreational Fisheries would have on recreational sea angling.

A DEFRA-funded study carried out by Drew Associates into the economic impact of the recreational sea angling sector in England and Wales was published in 2004. This study estimated that 18,889 people were employed in the sector and that the total expenditure of anglers was £538 million per year. Although we do not have detailed data on angling activity in North Devon, the same report considered the principal locations for angling in that area and identified that there were 15 charter angling vessels in the North Devon and Bristol Channel area.

In England there are around 400 charter angling vessels that would require an authorisation under Article 47 of the draft EU proposal, 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 to assess accurately its potential impact on recreational sea angling. 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.

Bluetongue Disease: Vaccination

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on research into a vaccine for (a) BVT1, (b) BVT8, (c) BVT6 and (d) all other strains of bluetongue disease in each of the last six years. (257428)

The research, development and production of bluetongue vaccine is a commercial proposition and there are a number of private companies involved in the development, production and sale of vaccine. Although Government do not actively fund work specifically on development of vaccines, significant funding on bluetongue research in recent years has provided a fundamental science base that contributes to and underpins the use of vaccines in disease control. This research, which includes work to understand the molecular basis of infection and protection from bluetongue, is published and made available to the wider scientific community.

It is, therefore, not possible to state an exact figure that has contributed directly to vaccine development, but the overall Bluetongue Virus (BTV) research spend, of which some has been spent on molecular research over the last six years, has been:

Bluetongue (£ million)

2003-04

0.34

2004-05

0.45

2005-06

0.55

2006-07

0.63

2007-08

0.71

2008-09

10.73

1 Estimated

DEFRA continues to engage with experts and manufacturers on the issue of vaccine development and authorisation for other serotypes.

Departmental Legal Proceedings

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what provision his Department has made in its budget for potential civil liabilities stemming from legal proceedings. (241190)

The provision made by the Department in its budget for potential civil liabilities stemming from legal proceedings is £5,958,667.

Departmental Marketing

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Fareham of 23 January 2008, Official Report, column 2019W, on departmental marketing, how the (a) long-sleeved T-shirts, (b) travel wallets, (c) pens and (d) travel toothbrush sets were branded; what (i) slogan and (ii) logo was used on each; and what the cost of each such type of promotional material was to his Department. (249360)

The Departmental Communications Directorate has procured the following DEFRA branded products:

Product

Date

Slogan

Logos

Use

Cost (£ each)

Long sleeved T-shirt

2005-06

Don’t break the law check the rules before you travel

DEFRA

Personal food imports campaign

6.95

HM Revenue and Customs

Travel wallets

2006-07

Don’t break the law check the rules before you travel

DEFRA

Personal food imports campaign

0.77

HM Revenue and Customs

Food Standards Agency

Pens

2006-07

Don’t break the law check the rules before you travel

DEFRA

Personal food imports campaign

0.19

Travel toothbrush sets

2006-07

Don’t break the law check the rules before you travel

DEFRA

Personal food imports campaign

0.36

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent in bonuses to staff of each grade in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in (i) 2007 and (ii) 2008. (258230)

Performance related pay schemes encourage high attainment, help drive performance in departments and agencies and support better public service delivery. DEFRA’s uses non-consolidated payments to reward high performance during the year and these are based on how well an individual has met or exceeded set objectives, relative to their peers.

Non-consolidated performance payments are one-off payments and do not count towards pension. They are allocated from a ‘pot' expressed as a percentage of the salary budget each year. Non-consolidated performance payments paid from the 2007 pay budget relate to performance in the, 2006-07 appraisal year and those paid from 2008 pay budget relate to performance in the 2007-08 appraisal year.

For the senior civil service (SCS) the size of the pot available is agreed centrally each year following recommendations from the senior salaries review body. In recent years, this pot has increased as greater emphasis is placed on non-consolidated performance pay with proportionately smaller increases to consolidated base pay.

The size of the pot for non-SCS is determined individually by Departments and Agencies through the pay remit process and in negotiations with the Trades Unions. DEFRA’s pay remit level approved over the past two years has been below the average of those approved across Whitehall departments.

The following tables show the total amount of non-consolidated performance payments awarded to staff in each grade in 2007 and 2008. For DEFRA, the data cover staff in core-DEFRA (including staff who transferred to DECC in October 2008) and those agencies covered by DEFRA terms and conditions (Animal Health, Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Marine and Fisheries Agency and Government Decontamination Service and until 1 April 2008 Pesticides Safety Directorate).

2007

£

Grade equivalent

DEFRA

VLA

RPA

CSL

CEFAS

AA

26,912

3,196

700

2,063

3,887

AO

162,911

6,119

134,305

25,944

87,337

EO

228,800

10,712

142,949

33,609

95,341

HEO

451,455

6,216

66,217

51,112

139,554

Fast Stream

36,862

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

SEO

309,306

8,155

27,628

49,005

139,211

Vet. Officer

96,534

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

G7

529,639

7,910

13,141

53,091

95,165

G6

208,736

3,048

4,400

22,290

58,249

SCS PB1 plus chief execs

896,822

43,140

47,673

39,191

11,000

SCS PB2

275,702

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

SCS PB3

50,500

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

2008

£

Grade Equivalent

DEFRA

VLA

RPA

CSL

CEFAS

AA

22,773

1,643

800

£2,129

£3,251

AO

143,857

1,996

165,704

£25,552

£94,509

EO

186,459

7,280

165,590

£29,127

£113,017

HEO

343,955

5,913

80,117

£53,359

£174,100

Fast Stream

39,624

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

SEO

207,280

8,916

£36,953

£58,728

£167,559

Vet Officer

93,163

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

G7

450,138

8,404

£18,335

£55,996

£128,147

G6

238,399

2,509

£4,800

£28,436

£61,175

SCS PB1 plus chief execs

922,590

42,184

£51,371

£33,391

£31,989

SCS PB2

311,600

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

SCS PB3

77,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Empty Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the estimated cost in empty property business rates for the vacant properties recorded on the e-PIMS database owned by (a) the Consumer Council for Water and (b) the Environment Agency is in 2008-09. (258527)

The Consumer Council for Water has no vacant or unoccupied properties recorded on the e-PIMS database.

The Environment Agency has three properties recorded as vacant on the e-PIMS database. The estimated cost of vacant business rates on these properties is £96,000. £92,000 is attributable to one building which has now been sub-let in part. The Environment Agency is actively pursuing disposal of the remainder.

The Environment Agency has a further five properties that have been vacant in 2008-09, and the estimated cost of business rates on these properties is £24,000.

Flood Control: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department's funding framework is for storage of flood water as part of a flood alleviation scheme; from which budget such schemes will be funded; and to which bodies applications for such funding should be made. (257030)

Flood storage is one of a number of options available to operating authorities to manage flood risk. Options are appraised in line with Government guidance to ensure schemes are sustainable and cost beneficial. The Environment Agency approves funding for appropriate schemes from the funds allocated under the comprehensive spending review up to delegated Treasury limits. Proposals for schemes to address flood risk should be discussed initially with the Environment Agency for inclusion on the “medium term plan” for flood risk management schemes.

Floods: Canvey Island

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice the Environment Agency has given to the Highways Authority on building on the flood risk area in relation to the Roscommon Way Extension, Canvey Island; and if he will make a statement. (258344)

The Environment Agency has met with the Highways Authority consultants, Mouchel Parkman, regarding the proposed extension to Roscommon Way. The Environment Agency informed Mouchel Parkman that the impact of the extension must be fully considered and adequate mitigation measures provided so there is no increased flood risk to the surrounding area.

Floods: Essex

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on flood prevention measures in Essex in the last 12 months. (258299)

During the financial year 2008-09, the Anglian eastern area of the Environment Agency spent over £17 million on flood protection measures in the Essex catchment. £4.67 million has been spent on the maintenance of rivers and tidal defences, £2.62 million on major refurbishment of existing flood defences and £10.4 million on new or improved flood defences.

Floods: Hull

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of secondary flooding on the time taken for people to be able to return to their homes in Hull. (257032)

There have been 910 incidences of ‘secondary flooding’ in Hull since January 2008, although the relationship between the flooding in summer 2007 and subsequent water ingress remains to be explored further. The city council is working with the Environment Agency and the university of Hull to understand the factors which contribute to the continuing incidences of water ingress into homes. As of 29 January 2009, of the 472 households displaced from their homes in Hull by flooding, 360 were displaced as a result of water ingress from January 2008 or subsequently.

The Government are concerned about all households which are still displaced from their homes following the 2007 summer flooding. Approximately 100 households returned each week between the end of June and the middle of November and on that basis we estimate that more than 19 out of every 20 households originally displaced are back home. That compares well to the Carlisle floods in 2005 when one in 10 were still out of their homes after 18 months.

But we recognise that is no consolation to those still displaced and the Minister for Local Government, my right hon. Friend the Member for Wentworth (John Healey) is continuing to work with local authorities and the insurance industry to ensure that the momentum in getting people home is maintained.

Those families still living wholly or partially in caravans are a particular concern and the Minister for Local Government has linked up with council leaders in the most affected authorities, which include Hull, to offer additional support to help to those households over the winter.

Health Hazards

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department classifies building foam containing ozone depleting substance blowing agents as hazardous. (257525)

Most insulation foam containing ozone-depleting substances are currently contained within buildings. At this point, annual emissions are known to be at their lowest and therefore present little risk to the ozone layer.

On becoming waste, insulation foam containing 0.1 per cent. or more of ozone-depleting substances is classified as hazardous waste. Further information on the classification of hazardous waste is available in the Environment Agency's technical guidance WM2, ‘Hazardous waste: Interpreting the definition and classification of hazardous waste, 2nd edition v2.2, 2005 (updated 2008)’.

DEFRA is working with building industry stakeholders to assess the current infrastructure available for dealing with the recovery or destruction of ozone-depleting substances in building foams and the technical and economic issues that arise.

Marine Management Organisation: Location

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 12 February 2009, Official Report, columns 82-84WS, on the Marine Management Organisation’s headquarters, what assessment he has made of the suitability of Plymouth as a site for the Marine Management Organisation’s headquarters. (258571)

[holding answer 25 February 2009]: In a transparent and fair process which involved stakeholders in drawing up a set of business and quality of life criteria and the consultancy firm KPMG carrying out an independent assessment against these criteria, Plymouth was selected as one of the six shortlisted locations for the Marine Management Organisation’s headquarters. The criteria used to arrive at the shortlist, and subsequently tested through site visits and presentations from the locations, were:

Business needs for the MMO HQ such as availability of skilled work force and good transport links.

Cost and value for money.

Government policies on location of public sector bodies.

Quality of Life factors including cost of living, education, employment, healthcare.

As well as carrying out site visits to further test locations against these criteria, all shortlisted locations were given the opportunity to present their case to be the home of the MMO HQ and I met with MPs from all the shortlisted locations. Plymouth presented a strong case and, like all of the shortlisted locations, would have been a good home for the MMO HQ, allowing the MMO to meet its business needs and benefit from local marine expertise, organisational networks and academic links.

However, Tyneside demonstrated the strongest and most comprehensive case to be the home of the organisation and provides a location from which the organisation can best achieve its aims. Among other factors, Tyneside has a broad range and good balance of marine interests with a working port, all of which fit well with the role of the MMO. Tyneside also provides strong transport links in terms of access to key stakeholders in London, Brussels and Scotland. There was a compelling demonstration of support from a wide range of stakeholders across the North East region, a region which has benefited little to date from the Lyons Review in respect of the relocation of public sector employment. The extensive evidence of partnership working in the area provided confidence that Tyneside had actively considered the bespoke requirements of the MMO with regard to its role under the Marine and Coastal Access Bill.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Minister for Farming and the Environment will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, dated 9 December 2008, about tigers being farmed for use in Chinese medicine. (259311)

I replied to the hon. Member’s letter on 13 January and a copy of this was sent by officials on 25 February.

River Lymington: Ferries

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps he plans to take in response to the decision by Wightlink to initiate its new ferry service between Lymington and Yarmouth prior to completion of the appropriate assessment; and if he will make a statement; (259337)

(2) what assessment he has made of (a) the likely environmental effects on the Lymington Marshes Natura 2000 site and (b) the compliance with the EU Environmental Liability Directive of the operation of a ferry service between Lymington and Yarmouth; and if he will make a statement.

The introduction of new “W” class ferries by Wightlink on the Lymington to Yarmouth route is now the subject of legal proceedings against the Department and others. In these circumstances it would be inappropriate for me to answer questions on the subject.

Communities and Local Government

Council Housing: Rents

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy to allow local authorities to retain all their receipts from council tenants' rent. (258973)

The current system of local authority housing finance is based on a system of surplus authorities (where assumed income exceeds assumed costs) making payment to central Government and deficit authorities (where assumed income is less than assumed costs) receiving subsidy. In the current year approximately £550 million will be paid to deficit authorities in aggregate. So a change to enable all local authorities in surplus to keep their receipts would entail a considerable increase in public expenditure.

However, CLG and HM Treasury are holding a Review of Council Housing Finance and Rents Policy. Our aim is to have a long term solution to financing council housing that is sustainable and fair to both tenant and taxpayer. The issue of councils retaining all rental receipts is closely bound up with a number of other key policy decisions, including what rents should pay for and how these receipts would be used in a local area. It would be premature to reach conclusions specifically on this matter until the Review reports to Ministers later this year, when it will be considered as part of the overall structure for a new or improved system.

Fire Services: Working Hours

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent meetings she has had on the Working Time Directive in respect of retained firefighters from (a) the Fire Brigades Union, (b) the Retained Firefighters Union and (c) other stakeholders; what representations she has received in each case; and if she will make a statement. (259219)

There have been no recent meetings at ministerial level with (a) the Fire Brigades' Union, (b) the Retained Firefighters' Union or (c) other stakeholders at which the working time directive in respect of firefighters working a retained duty system has been discussed. Written representations about the potential impact on firefighters working a retained duty system of losing the opt-out have been received from the Retained Firefighters' Union, MPs and MSPs.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 19 January 2009, Official Report, column 1076W.

Local Authorities: Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 29 April 2008, Official Report, column 314W, on local authorities: carbon emissions, if she will place in the Library a copy of the letter from January 2007; and whether local authorities may carbon offset using projects based in their local authority area. (252391)

I have been asked to reply, and can confirm that the letter in question will be placed in the Libraries of the House. On carbon offsetting, it is very difficult to ensure that UK-based carbon offset projects are truly additional—that is, that they result in real emission reductions that would not have happened anyway in the absence of carbon finance. For this reason the government's voluntary quality assurance scheme for carbon offsetting which was launched on 26 February 2009 will not cover projects based in the UK. Support for local emission reduction projects can be beneficial, but caution should be exercised in claiming those emission reductions as offsets to balance a carbon footprint.

Local Government Services: Essex

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will hold discussions with Essex County Council on its proposals to outsource services and delivery support functions. (259623)

The Department has no plans to discuss with Essex county council any procurement exercise that may be proposed on service delivery. Subject to their legal duties, including the duty of best value and public procurement law, local authorities are responsible for taking their own procurement decisions. In doing so, they will have regard to available guidance, including that on work force matters.

Multiple Occupation

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she plans to consult on amendments to use classes orders in relation to houses in multiple occupation. (257445)

We are committed to consulting on possible changes to the use class order in relation to houses in multiple occupation.

We are considering the most appropriate mechanism for this consultation, and plan to consult in the spring.

Non-Domestic Rates: Ports

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when her Department informed the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) that prescriptive rating of docks was to end; and when the VOA was asked to prepare individual assessments of port businesses. (258233)

The Government's policy to end the power to prescribe formed part of the long-term policy to apply conventional rating valuation methods across all industry sectors. The ending of prescribed rating was enacted in the Local Government Act 2003. Prescription applied only to the operational land of the statutory port not to other companies or businesses operating under licence or other agreement with exclusive use of property within the boundaries of ports. A separate assessment for such property is a long established principle that applies right across non-domestic rating, including within ports.

Rateable values are assessed independently by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), and this Department is not involved in the process.

The review of the port rating assessments was undertaken as part of the VOA's statutory duty to maintain correct rating lists. As inaccuracies in the rating assessments were identified, action was taken to correct them.

Rents

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average weekly rent for local housing was in each local housing authority in the latest period for which figures are available, listed from highest to lowest; what the percentage change in average weekly rent in each authority was in (a) cash and (b) real terms between (i) 1987 and 1997 and (ii) 1997 and 2007-08, listed from highest to lowest in each case. (256135)

Information on average rent for local housing comes from housing revenue account (HRA) subsidy forms. The latest available figures are at end-April 2008. The average weekly rent for local authority housing in each local authority area for this period, listed from highest to lowest, are provided in table 1. A copy of this table has been placed in the Library.

Data prior to 1996 on local housing average rent are not held electronically.

Table 2 provides information on the cash difference and the real terms difference between local authority average rents in 1997 and 2008 for each local authority area, listed from highest to lowest. Copies of these tables have been placed in the Library.

Not all local authorities are listed because some may have transferred their stock by large scale voluntary transfer (LSVT) to registered social landlords.

Social Rented Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number and proportion of social housing tenants in each region not in receipt of housing benefit who are (a) pensioners and (b) of working age. (259759)

Estimates of the number and proportion of social housing tenants not in receipt of housing benefit who are of working age and pensionable age are set out in the following table. These estimates are based on data from the Survey of English Housing.

Social rented households not receiving Housing Benefit, England, 2-year average 2006-07 and 2007-08

Thousand

Households of working age1

Households of pensionable age2

Total

North East

59

24

82

North West

145

51

196

Yorks and Humber

123

45

169

The North

326

120

446

East Midlands

77

32

109

West Midlands

124

34

158

The Midlands

201

66

267

Eastern

125

39

164

London

216

58

273

South-East

137

54

191

South West

85

28

113

The South

563

178

741

England

1,090

364

1,454

Percentage

Households of working age1

Households of pensionable age2

Total

North East

71

29

100

North West

74

26

100

Yorks and Humber

73

27

100

The North

73

27

100

East Midlands

71

29

100

West Midlands

78

22

100

The Midlands

75

25

100

Eastern

76

24

100

London

79

21

100

South-East

72

28

100

South West

75

25

100

The South

76

24

100

England

75

25

100

1 Males aged 16-64, females aged16-59.

2 Males aged 65 or over, females aged 60 or over.

Source:

Survey of English Housing

Energy and Climate Change

British Plastics Federation

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects the European Commission to decide on a state aids exemption for the British Plastics Federation climate change agreement. (257814)

The UK submitted an application for state aid approval to the proposed climate change agreements with the plastics sector on 27 March 2008. This was followed by a series of exchanges between the European Commission and the Government as the Commission sought additional detailed information. The Government responded to the latest request for additional information on 15 January 2009. The Commission has two months in which to reply.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what representations he has received on the British Plastics Federation's climate change agreement. (257815)

During the last 10 months there has been regular contact between the British Plastics Federation and officials in DECC during which the Government have sought state aid approval of a climate change agreement for the plastics sector.

Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps are being taken to ensure the effectiveness of the Act on CO2 campaign in all parts of the UK. (258253)

Our evaluation of the effectiveness of the Act on CO2 campaign looks at a series of measures including:

Response (e.g. website usage);

Campaign awareness, recognition and comprehension (assessed in regular research fieldwork dips); and

Claimed action and declared propensity to change behaviour (from research, as aforementioned).

Since the launch of the current ‘Save money save energy’ phase of the Act on CO2 campaign on 17 September 2008, the Act on CO2 website has had over 550,000 unique visitors. Since its launch in June 2007 to November 2008 there have been over 1.3 million visitors to the Act on CO2 calculator.

As of December 2008 awareness of the phrase ‘Act on CO2’ is 72 per cent. and 73 per cent. of respondents currently say they have taken actions or are planning to take actions to reduce their CO2 emissions as a result of the campaign. This compares favourably to 50 per cent. in summer 2007, when research was undertaken to evaluate the first television campaign.

Act on CO2 is currently ran as an England-only campaign. The Devolved Administrations ran their own bespoke communications approaches and therefore we do not actively pursue or measure its effectiveness within the devolved areas.

Carbon Emissions: Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the (a) set-up and (b) maintenance costs of the Act on CO2 advice line are; and how many calls have been received on the line since its establishment. (254127)

DECC grant fund the Energy Saving Trust (EST) for their work as independent and trusted experts in the carbon abatement field. Total grant funding to EST for 2008-09 was £35.2 million. The EST is contributing to the Government's Act on CO2 campaign by running the Act on CO2 advice line and nationwide network of regional advice centres, which provide the consumer with comprehensive and tailored advice on how to reduce their carbon footprint. The funding of specific EST activities is a matter for EST's board.

I understand from the Trust that since the establishment of the Act on CO2 advice line in April 2008 it has received 407,944 calls up to December 2008.

Climate Change: International Cooperation

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what proposals his Department has put forward for an international financing mechanism to fund the UN Climate Change Adaptation Fund; what discussions he has had with the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer on these proposals; and if he will make a statement; (255731)

(2) what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the UK’s level of financial support for the UN Climate Change Adaptation Fund; and if he will make a statement.

Discussions were held across Whitehall in preparation for the agreement by parties that 2 per cent. of the share of proceeds from the Certified Emissions Reductions issued for the Clean Development Mechanism will go towards the Adaptation Fund. This international financing mechanism is now in place. The UK Government are working with others on the Adaptation Fund Board to establish sound operational procedures for the Adaptation Fund to ensure that it will meet international fiduciary standards and be an effective mechanism for delivering increased finance where it is needed. The UK Government take the subject of adaptation finance extremely seriously and recognise that the process will be complex and will take time to get right.

The board’s approach to making the fund operational was approved by parties in Poznan, thus enabling it to start operations in 2009. The board is now working to put in place the mechanisms it set out in the approach submitted to parties in Poznan, and the UK continues to play a key role in assisting the board to find innovative ways to enable the fund to become operational this year. The UK was the board’s biggest financial supporter in 2008 (£500,000) and has set aside an additional £500,000 for 2009 to assist the board in its work to set up the necessary operational structures to enable direct access.

Discussions by parties in Poznan revealed weaknesses in the governance structure of the Adaptation Fund, which have restricted the authority and operational efficacy of the board. These will need to be addressed to ensure that the fund will be able to make decisions on allocation of funding that are not affected by political considerations. This process has been particularly challenging as parties have requested access to funding without the assistance of intermediaries. The international community has thus far relied on these to provide sound fiduciary risk management for international assistance to developing countries. The UK has been playing a key role in the board to find ways to facilitate such direct access to funding.

The UK Government will be considering options for scaling up the movement of international financial assistance through the Adaptation Fund after consideration of the adequacy of the implementation structures the fund will have put in place this year, and in line with our wider objectives on the international financial architecture. It is clear that a blend of options will offer the best prospects of raising the level of funding required. Our vision is of a climate ‘compact’ between developed and developing countries whereby funds are disbursed at scale on the basis of national plans that integrate mitigation and adaptation needs alongside development priorities.

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change by what date he expects his Department's Nuclear Directorate office in Cheltenham to be operational. (255971)

I have been asked to reply.

The Nuclear Directorates management team are currently working on the Cheltenham office being operational as soon as possible, subject to contract negotiations and furnishing to make ready for staff.

Departmental Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the address of his Department's Nuclear Directorate is. (255970)

I have been asked to reply.

The Nuclear Directorate's address is:

Redgrave Court

Merton Road

Bootle

Merseyside

L20 7HS.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many staff of his Department are based at its Nuclear Directorate’s offices in London; and how many are in each civil service pay band. (255972)

I have been asked to reply.

The Nuclear Directorate (ND) currently has seven members of staff located at ND’s London based office. The breakdown of staff in each civil service pay band is as follows:

Civil service pay band

Number of staff

HSE equivalent grade

UG7

3

Band 2

SEO

1

Band 3

HEO

1

Band 4

EO

1

Band 5

AO

1

Band 6

In addition ND currently have a further two Health and Safety Executive members of staff on attachment to the directorate working in their London office as follows:

Civil service pay band

Number of staff

HSE equivalent grade

UG6

1

Band 1

AO

1

Band 6

Energy: Conservation

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent representations he has received on the use of blinds and awnings as energy efficient products in domestic and commercial property; and whether officials of his Department have met representatives of the blind and awning industry. (256376)

As far as it is possible to establish, DECC Ministers and officials have not met with or received representations from any representatives of this industry.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what research his Department has undertaken on the effect on energy efficiency of the use of blinds and awnings in domestic and commercial buildings. (256378)

The Department has undertaken no specific research on the effect on energy efficiency of the use of blinds and awnings in domestic and commercial buildings. Nonetheless, the benefits of blinds and awnings are understood and included in our National Calculation Methodologies, by which building related energy efficiency measures are assessed.

Energy: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment he has made of the availability of private finance initiative credits for energy infrastructure projects. (255170)

DECC does not receive any PFI credits.

Treasury is the Department responsible for allocating PFI credits among Departments.

Environmental Transformation Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change through which sub-funds of bilateral and multilateral organisations Environmental Transformation Fund disbursements will be channelled in the next two years. (256941)

[holding answer 23 February 2009]: The UK (the Department for International Development (DFID) and my Department) has allocated the £800 million Environmental Transformation Fund to the World Bank-administered Climate Investment Funds. The Climate Investment Funds are divided into the Clean Technology Fund and the Strategic Climate Fund. Sub-programmes of the latter include: the Pilot programme for climate resilience, and two programmes under development: the Forest Investment programme and the Scaling-up Renewable Energy programme. The funds will be administered by the World Bank with individual programmes implemented through any one of the Multilateral Development Banks. Decisions are made by recipient countries on the basis of their country-led investment plans. We expect UN agencies to participate as delivery agents.

More information can be viewed at:

www.WorldBank.org/cif

http://www.worldbank.org/cif

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with which other Government Departments his Department works in administering the Environmental Transformation Fund; what the arrangements are for doing so; and what (a) administrative, (b) accounting and (c) reporting structures are in place for this purpose. (256942)

[holding answer 232 February 2009]: The information requested is as follows:

(a) The UK (the Department for International Development and my Department) has allocated the £800 million Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF) to the World Bank administered Climate Investment Funds (CIFs). The administration of the funds is overseen across Whitehall by the ETF board consisting of representatives of my Department, the Department for International Development, HM Treasury, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. A cross-Whitehall team provides secretariat support to the board for UK administration of the funds.

(b) The funds will be administered by the World Bank with individual programmes implemented through any one of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB). The World Bank is the administrator and trustee of the funds. It produces quarterly reports on financial progress and annual audited reports of accounts to the UK.

(c) As a minimum, each MDB will report annually to the Strategic Climate Fund Trust Fund Committee on the monitoring and evaluation it has conducted in accordance with their procedures. The governance framework can be viewed at:

www.WorldBank.org/cif

The UK is in discussions with the Clean Technology Fund and Strategic Climate Fund Trust Fund Committees about the best reporting criteria framework for the funds. An independent evaluation of the operations of the Climate Investment Funds and the impact of their activities will be conducted. This will be carried out jointly with the MDBs after three years of operation.

Fuel Poverty

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he next expects to release up-to-date figures on the number of people living in fuel poverty. (253731)

The Government intends to publish updated figures on the number of people living in fuel poverty in its next annual progress report on the fuel poverty strategy to be published later in the year.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he plans to reply to the letters of 5 November and 9 December 2008 from the hon. Member for Weston-Super-Mare sent on behalf of a constituent, Mr. Richard Cains. (252712)

A letter from the hon. Member for Weston-Super-Mare was received on 9 December 2008 but not one dated 5 November 2008. My officials have been in contact with his office to request the original letter with the details of his constituent's concerns and I will then reply to the hon. Member.

Nuclear Power Stations: Inspections

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will place in the Library a copy of the report by Veredus on the pay and conditions of nuclear inspectors. (255983)

I have been asked to reply.

The Veredus report was commissioned by the HSE to inform its consideration of the appropriate remuneration package to retain and recruit the nuclear inspectors it needs. As such it is very pertinent to the ongoing pay negotiations that the HSE is conducting at present as well as the negotiations that will take place in setting ND up as a statutory corporation under HSE auspices. Consequently, it is not considered appropriate to place a copy in the Library at this time.

Nuclear Power: Regulation

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will publish the full version of Dr Tim Stone’s recommendations to his Department on nuclear regulation following his nuclear regulatory review. (255969)

In January 2008, following the publication of the White Paper on Nuclear Power, the Government asked Dr. Tim Stone to conduct a review of nuclear regulation. On 27 January 2009 we published the Summary Recommendations and a Government Response.

The Summary Recommendations set out all of Dr. Stone’s recommendations. They were supported by private advice to Ministers, which was not intended for publication.

Warm Front Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the value of the administration fee paid to Eaga in regard to the Warm Front scheme was in each of the last 10 years. (242494)

Eaga has been the main contractor for Warm Front across the country since 2005. Since that point, the administration fees paid have been:

Administration cost (£)

Percentage total of budget

2005-06

18,048,000

9.6

2006-07

25,551,000

9.1

2007-08

31,464,000

8.9

2008-09 (Forecast)

20,563,000

6.5

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many applications for Warm Front grants have been (a) made and (b) refused in the last 12 months. (253605)

Over the last year Warm Front has received applications from 308,915 households that are entitled to a Warm Front grant. Warm Front does not record the number of ineligible households that approach the scheme seeking assistance.

Warm Front Scheme: Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how frequently payments to Eaga are made in respect of its management of the Warm Front scheme. (255937)

Defence

Afghanistan and Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the standard rifle used by (a) the Royal Marine Commando, (b) each UK special force and (c) each other UK service is in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan. (258316)

The standard rifle used by all UK forces, excluding Special Forces, is the SA80 A2. It is the policy of this Department not to comment on matters relating to UK Special Forces.

Aircraft Carriers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the Future Aircraft Carrier main gate business case submission. (257773)

I am withholding the requested document as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests in relation to the Future Aircraft Carrier project.

Armed Forces: Foreigners

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many foreign nationals are serving in the armed forces, broken down by (a) country of origin and (b) service. (257446)

Country of origin data are not currently available due to an ongoing data validation of the Ministry of Defence Joint Personnel Administrative system (JPA). The following tables show the number of non-British nationals currently serving in the trained UK Regular armed forces as at 1 December 2008 by recorded nationality category on JPA and service.

Number

Navy total non-UK

630

Navy Commonwealth1

580

Australian

10

Barbadian

2

Botswanan

2

Cameroonian

2

Canadian

20

Citizen of Fiji

100

Citizen of Sri Lanka

2

Dominican

10

Gambian

10

Ghanaian

10

Grenadian

2

Guyanese

2

Indian

10

Jamaican

30

Kenyan

10

Malawian

10

Malaysian

2

Maltese

2

Mauritian

2

New Zealander

10

Nigerian

10

Pakistani

2

Sierra Leonean

2

South African

60

St. Lucian

10

Trinidad and Tobago citizen

30

Ugandan

2

Vincentian

200

Zambian

10

Zimbabwean

20

Navy other foreign

60

Dutch

2

Irish

50

Ukrainian

2

United States citizen

2

1 Includes Zimbabwean and Fijian citizens, who continue to retain Commonwealth status under the British Nationality Act 1981.

2 Denotes fewer than five.

Notes:

1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Figures are provisional due to ongoing validation of data from the Joint Personnel Administration System.

3. Figures are for trained UK Regular forces, and therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service personnel and mobilised reservists.

Source:

DASA (Quad-Service)

Number

Army total non-UK

6,770

Army Commonwealth1

6,320

Antiguan

2

Australian

60

Bahamian

2

Bangladeshi

10

Barbadian

10

Belizean

2

Botswanan

10

British Commonwealth

10

Cameroonian

40

Canadian

50

Citizen of Fiji

2,110

Citizen of Seychelles

10

Citizen of Sri Lanka

10

Citizen of St. Christopher (St. Kitts) and Nevis

2

Dominican

20

Gambian

150

Ghanaian

730

Grenadian

50

Guyanese

20

Indian

70

Jamaican

600

Kenyan

120

Malawian

160

Malaysian

2

Maltese

2

Mauritian

40

Namibian

2

New Zealander

60

Nigerian

110

Pakistani

10

Papua New Guinean

2

Sierra Leonean

40

Singaporean

2

South African

760

St. Lucian

190

Swazi

10

Tanzanian

2

Tongan

10

Trinidad and Tobago citizen

70

Ugandan

70

Vincentian

230

Zambian

20

Zimbabwean

440

Army other foreign

450

Afghan

2

Brazilian

2

Filipino

2

Foreign

2

French

2

German

2

Greek

2

Irish

210

Mauritanian

2

Nepalese

220

Swiss

2

United States citizen

2

1 Includes Zimbabwean and Fijian citizens, who continue to retain Commonwealth status under the British Nationality Act 1981.

2 Denotes fewer than five.

Notes:

1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Figures are provisional due to ongoing validation of data from the Joint Personnel Administration System.

3. Figures are for trained UK Regular forces, and therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service personnel and mobilised reservists.

Source:

DASA (Quad-Service)

Number

Royal Air Force total non-UK

90

Royal Air Force Commonwealth1

60

Australian

2

Canadian

2

Citizen of Fiji

10

Citizen of Sri Lanka

2

Ghanaian

2

Grenadian

2

Indian

2

Jamaican

10

Kenyan

2

Malawian

2

Malaysian

2

Mauritian

2

New Zealander

2

South African

10

St. Lucian

2

Trinidad and Tobago citizen

10

Vincentian

2

Zimbabwean

2

Royal Air Force other foreign

30

Irish

20

United States citizen

2

1 Includes Zimbabwean and Fijian citizens, who continue to retain Commonwealth status under the British Nationality Act 1981.

2 Denotes fewer than five.

Notes:

1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Figures are provisional due to ongoing validation of data from the Joint Personnel Administration System.

3. Figures are for trained UK Regular forces, and therefore exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service personnel and mobilised reservists.

Source:

DASA (Quad-Service)

Armed Forces: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the current salary bill for all service personnel is, broken down by (a) service and (b) rank. (258430)

The most recently published total salary bill (including allowances) for service personnel broken down by service can be found in the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Annual Report and Accounts for Financial Year 2007-08. A copy of this is held in the Library of the House. For ease of reference, details are reproduced as follows:

Service

Total (£ billion)

Royal Navy

1.72

Army

4.46

RAF

1.97

Total

8.15

A breakdown of the total salary bill by rank is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Working Hours

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many hours on average were worked by (a) junior and (b) senior service personnel at each rank of each service in each age band in each week of the last 12 months. (258312)

The information requested is not held centrally on administration systems. However Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) carry out a Continuous Survey of Working Patterns which is used to provide estimates of the average weekly hours worked over a financial year.

The estimates provided within the report are broken down by service, rank group and broad location. Information on age is not collected within this survey and hence breakdowns by age are not available.

Due to the size of the sample survey estimates are only considered to be statistically valid over long time periods, as such estimates could not be provided for each week.

The 2006-07 copy of the Continuous Survey of Working Patterns report is available in the Library of the House.

The 2007-08 report will be placed in the Library of the House by the end of April 2009.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armoured vehicles of each type are (a) in service with the Army and (b) in working order. (257694)

The term ‘working order’ has been interpreted as ‘fit for purpose’ . Several vehicle platforms have been undergoing radio conversion work, repairs and overhauls and have therefore been taken out of service on a rolling basis to enable this work to take place. This has affected the number of fit for purpose vehicles available, which may change on a daily basis.

As at 24 February 2009, the information requested is:

Vehicle type

Number ‘in service’

Number ‘fit for purpose’

Challenger 2

345

322

Driver Track Training Vehicle

22

21

Challenger Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle

81

75

Trojan

20

20

Titan

18

18

Warrior

793

563

Saxon

147

143

Samson

52

30

Spartan

495

231

Scimitar

331

228

Samaritan

50

33

Sultan

205

119

Snatch Land Rover

645

580

FV430

834

466

Mastiff

107

107

Jackal

145

134

Vector

178

168

Bulldog

656

652

Panther

186

100

Defence: Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the forecast cost of the Falcon programme was from the (a) direct resource departmental expenditure limit (DEL), (b) indirect resource DEL and (c) capital DEL at 31 March (i) 2007 and (ii) 2008. (257781)

The information requested is shown in the following table. The figures include the cost of the assessment, demonstration and manufacture phases.

£ million

31 March 2007

31 March 2008

Direct Resource DEL

31

31

Indirect Resource DEL

10

10

Capital DEL

282

281

Total

323

322

These figures are for Increment A of Falcon only. Increment C costs will be reported in MPR09.