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Written Answers

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 30 March 2009

Scotland

Departmental Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the cost of the recent redesign of the Scotland Office’s website was. (267532)

The Scotland Office and the Office of the Advocate-General jointly tendered for the redevelopment of both their websites. We went through a competitive tendering process following the principles of Government procurement. The cost for both websites was £12,880 plus VAT.

The redevelopment of the sites includes a comprehensive in-house content management system which represents considerable value for money and costs savings for both offices, both now and in the future.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the cost was of updating the official portraits on his Department’s website during its recent update. (267587)

Departmental Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) staff and (b) Ministerial away days have been organised by his Department in each of the last five years; and what the cost of such events was in each year. (266212)

The Scotland Office held one staff away day in 2005-06 and one in 2006-07. Information on the costs prior to 2006-07 are not separately identifiable; however, in 2006-07 the total cost of the staff away day was £6,834. No ministerial away days have been held in the last five years.

Departmental Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what travel (a) he and (b) the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland undertook in respect of attendance at the Scottish Labour Party conference on 7 and 8 April 2009. (267531)

The Scotland Office did not make any travel arrangements for either the Secretary of State or the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State regarding their attendance at the Scottish Labour Party Conference.

Transport

Aviation: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Air Accident Investigation Branch's interim report of 13 March 2009 on the incident at Heathrow Airport on 17 January 2008, when he expects the modifications to the Rolls Royce Trent 800 engine to prevent critical power loss due to ice crystals to be made to all aircraft with that engine operating from the UK; and if he will make a statement. (264349)

Boeing and Rolls Royce are already working to develop appropriate modifications to the B777 aircraft and the Fuel Oil Heat Exchanger on the Rolls Royce Trent 800 engine. Once the modifications have been developed they will need to be approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The Civil Aviation Authority will then ensure that UK airlines make the modifications within the timescale set by EASA.

Since the accident at Heathrow in January 2008 Boeing has developed a range of changes to the aircrafts operating procedures to ensure that aircraft crews can minimise and manage any risk associated with potential ice accumulation in the fuel system. These procedures have been approved by EASA and the US Federal Aviation Administration (US FAA) and have been made mandatory for all US and European airlines. Both EASA and the US FAA are content that, subject to the application of these procedures, B777 aircraft with Rolls Royce Trent engines are safe to remain in service. When a Delta Airlines Boeing 777 experienced an uncommanded power reduction in a single engine on 26 November 2008 the procedures were shown to be effective and thrust control of the engine was recovered.

Departmental Detergents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to ensure that no cleaning products or ingredients of cleaning products used by his Department have been tested on animals. (261119)

The Department for Transport is a federated organisation comprising a central Department and seven Executive agencies and does not procure cleaning products or ingredients centrally. All procurement within the Department is undertaken in line with the European Union’s procurement rules and to obtain value for money.

Departmental Public Appointments

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which former (a) hon. Members who left Parliament since 1997 and (b) Members of the House of Lords from each party have been appointed to positions on public bodies within his Department’s responsibility; and who made each appointment. (266793)

[holding answer 26 March 2009]: This information is not held centrally. Information on board membership is published in individual bodies’ annual reports and accounts.

Departmental Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what training courses (a) civil servants and (b) Ministers in his Department have undertaken in the last 12 months. (266268)

Employees of the central Department and its agencies undertook the following internally available training during the last 12 months:

Absence Management

Accountancy

Assessment Centre Training

Customer Service

Data Protection

Diversity Awareness

Avoiding Harassment and Bullying

Driving Examiner Assessment

Coaching

Emergency Officer Training

Coastguard Training

Employment Law

Communication—Oral and Written Skills

European Union Training

Coping with Traumatic Incidents

Finance and Audit

Health and Safety

Programme and Project Management

Impact Assessment

Recruitment and Selection Interviewing

Induction for New Entrants

Risk Assessment Training

Information Technology

Stress Management

Interviewee Skills

Talent Management

Language Courses

Telephone Skills

Leadership Skills

Traffic Officer Service Training

Manual Handling Training

Transport Security Officer Training

Marine Vessel Inspection

Vehicle Safety and Inspection

Marine Search and Rescue

Mentoring

Parliamentary Process

Performance Management

Personal Development

Personal Effectiveness

Pre-Retirement Courses

Procurement

Professional Qualifications

Training with external companies is also available to Department for Transport employees, pending line manager approval. Details of external training is available only at disproportionate cost.

With regards to ministerial training, I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 28 October 2008, Official Report, column 835W, and 3 February 2009, Official Report, column 1125W.

M1: Speed Limits

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to introduce variable speed limits on the M1 motorway; what the timescale for introduction of such limits is; on which stretches of the motorway it is planned to introduce them; and if he will make a statement. (267372)

It is proposed that variable mandatory speed limits will be introduced on certain sections of the M1 motorway. The following table provides detail of the proposed stretches and the expected implementation dates.

M1 section/scheme

Implementation of variable mandatory speed limit

M1 J6A-10

2009-10

M1 J10-13

2013-14

M1 J25-28

2010-11

M1 J28-31

2014-15

M1 J32-35a

2012-13

M1 J39-42

2014-15

The purpose of implementing variable mandatory speed limits (VMSL) is to improve the throughput during congested periods, smooth the flow of traffic, improve driver information, reduce secondary accidents and improve journey time reliability.

Motor Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 9 March 2009, Official Report, column 12W, on motor vehicles, if he will publish the results of the research from the recent comparison of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency vehicle register and motor insurance database when it is available. (265942)

Motorcycles: Driving Instruction

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motorcyclists took a second or subsequent Compulsory Basic Training course in each month since April 2007. (267708)

The Department for Transport’s agencies do not record how many motorcyclists take a second or subsequent compulsory basic training course.

Motorcycles: Driving Tests

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many candidates took the practical motorcycle driving test in each month since October 2008. (267710)

The information requested is as follows:

Month

Candidates

October 2008

7,898

November 2008

7,475

December 2008

5,484

January 2009

4,850

February 2009

5,367

Park and Ride Schemes: Bridlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the public expenditure requirement arising from construction and implementation of the proposed Bridlington park and ride scheme. (267371)

The estimated cost of the construction and implementation of the Bridlington Integrated Transport Plan, including the Park and Ride element, is £6,318,380 of which the Department for Transport will provide £5,428,799.

I understand that East Riding of Yorkshire council are anticipating that the service will make an operating profit.

Railways: Freight

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department’s policy is on the positioning of rail freight interchanges on motorways; and if he will make a statement. (266844)

[holding answer 26 March 2009]: The Strategic Rail Authority document, “Strategic Rail Freight Interchange Policy”, published March 2004, states that rail freight interchanges should have

“high quality links to the motorway and trunk road network”.

This document is still the basis for the Department for Transport’s policy on rail freight interchanges.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport where he has discussed the proposed Kent International Gateway development with Kent Highways; and if he will make a statement. (266846)

[holding answer 26 March 2009]: Officials in the Highways Agency have discussed the proposed Kent International Gateway development with Kent Highways (part of Kent county council) at regular liaison meetings held at the agency’s office in Dorking, at Maidstone borough council’s offices in Maidstone and at the offices of Maidstone borough council’s technical advisers Jacobs in London.

Roads: Construction

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that future Design, Build, Finance and Operate contracts do not include incentives to increase traffic flows as a means of increasing revenue for the successful bidder. (267168)

[holding answer 26 March 2009]: The shadow toll payment mechanism, which involved a usage element, has not been used on Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) schemes since 1996, when the first eight Highways Agency DBFO contracts were awarded. Details of the payment mechanisms in the DBFO contracts let after 1996 can be found on the Highways Agency website at:

http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/2992.aspx

The M25 DBFO project includes incentives for lane availability, to maintain the road to an appropriate standard and to maintain and improve journey time reliability.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what threshold of penalty points above which a contract may be cancelled was set for each Design, Build, Finance and Operate contract let by his Department since 1997; how many penalty points have been accrued against each such contract to date; and how many such contracts have been terminated as a result of the threshold having been breached. (267169)

[holding answer 26 March 2009]: The Highways Agency have let three Design, Build, Finance and Operate contracts since 1997, they are the A1 Darrington to Dishforth (A1DD), A249 Stockbury to Sheerness and the A13 Thames Gateway project which has been transferred to Transport for London.

The penalty point threshold for the A1 Darrington to Dishforth and A249 Stockbury to Sheerness Design, Build, Finance and Operate contracts is 100 penalty points or more in any one year. This leads to the Highways Agency having several options, one of which is termination of the contract.

The number of penalty points accrued against each contract to date is:

Penalty points

A1DD

32

A249

69

No contracts have been terminated as the thresholds giving rise to the option to terminate have never been exceeded.

House of Commons Commission

Digital Technology

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what proposals the House of Commons Commission has considered in respect of in relation to the use of digital technology to encourage wider public involvement in (a) the work of select committees and (b) the legislative process; and if he will make a statement. (267444)

The House has increasingly used digital technology to encourage wider public involvement in the work of Parliament. Select committees have built on the web pages that each has on:

www.parliament.uk

and use new interactive tools to access views and opinions from a much broader audience. Since May 2007 the Parliament Web Centre has set up and managed 14 web forums (eConsultations) on behalf of select or joint committees. Outside organisations and individuals can now not only follow and learn about committee activity online, but can also submit their evidence digitally and watch the committee hearings as they happen or archived on:

www.parliamentlive.tv

Forums have been particularly successful in increasing the level of engagement. Their use has been consistently encouraged by the Liaison Committee, most recently in its report on the Work of Committees in 2007-08 (HC 291) at para. 105.

In terms of the legislative process, enhancements to online bills and related information have significantly improved access to the legislative process for the wider public:

http://services.parliament.uk/bills

Further improvements later this year will include bill texts showing amendments made in Committee. Work is continuing on clause-by-clause indexing of bills and on simultaneous presentation of explanatory notes with bill text. We will also soon launch explanatory content on the passage of a bill through Parliament.

The Web Centre has also used Twitter and Flickr as channels which can engage with people about the work of Parliament. UK Parliament now has more than 4,000 followers on Twitter and 100,000 visitors to Flickr who can follow the work of committees as well as the progress of legislation. Further proposals for the use of social media and networks to engage people with the work of Parliament and its committees are also being considered.

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether buildings occupied by the House and its staff are subject to the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. (266439)

Section 65(1) of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 makes provision in relation to the application of the Act to the House of Commons, further qualified by section 21B. The interpretation of these sections is a matter for the courts. The House seeks to apply the principles of the DDA and much has been done around the estate to improve accessibility and facilities for people with disabilities.

Members: Allowances

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission on what date the annual totals for hon. and right hon. Members’ allowances for 2007-08 will be published. (268228)

On 30 March at around 2 pm. The information will be available via a link from the home page at:

www.parliament.uk

Parking: Disabled

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many disabled parking spaces on the House Estate are available for the use of visiting members of the public. (266438)

We do not have designated car parking spaces for visiting members of the public or non-pass holders, because of security concerns and pressure on space on the estate. The Serjeant at Arms Office is sometimes able to make special arrangements for parking by disabled visitors, if the limited number of slots provided for Members and staff with mobility problems are not all in use (for example on non-sitting days or during parliamentary recess). In such cases, special arrangements for security search are made. If parking on the estate cannot be provided, disabled parking spaces are available in the nearby NCP car park at Abingdon road (opposite the Black Rod Garden entrance to the estate).

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Foreign Workers

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the availability of sheep shearers from non-EU countries in summer 2009; and if he will make a statement. (266385)

DEFRA has received a limited number of inquiries regarding the availability of sheep shearers from non-EU countries for summer 2009.

I am aware that the visa requirements for bringing in sheep shearers from outside the EU have changed following the introduction of tier 2 of the points based system for economic migrants in 2008. As a result of the introduction of tier 2, sheep shearers who are not visa nationals now have to apply for entry clearance prior to travel, even where they are coming to the UK for less than six months. The industry has made representations concerning compliance with these requirements, but we are not aware that the new entry requirements are so far causing any problems in terms of a lack of shearers leading to animal health and welfare issues. However, we will continue to monitor the situation.

Immigration requirements do recognise the current need to employ workers for this purpose from overseas and to expedite procedures for their admission. On the advice of the Migration Advisory Committee, sheep shearers have been added to the UK Border Agency's list of occupations of which there is a shortage and, as a result, sponsors of such workers from overseas are not required to demonstrate that they have sought to fill such vacancies with a resident worker.

Agriculture: Pollution Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department’s policy on minimising pollution from arable farms. (263585)

Under the Nitrate Pollution Prevention Regulations 2008, farmers in areas of the country designated as nitrate-vulnerable zones (NVZs) have to comply with a set of mandatory rules regarding the use and management of manure and nitrogen fertiliser for the purpose of reducing water pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources. The Department has established a project to evaluate the effectiveness of these regulations at tackling nitrate pollution. The evaluation of the effectiveness of the original set of NVZ rules (established by regulations in 1998) is available on the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/water/quality/nitrate/pdf/consultation-supportdocs/g3-nit18-report.pdf

In addition, within DEFRA’s agri-environment schemes—Environmental Stewardship and the predecessor schemes Countryside Stewardship and Environmentally Sensitive Areas—funding is available for environmental management which will contribute to improving water quality, including, for instance, the use of buffer strips, and the management of maize crops on arable land. Other options in Environmental Stewardship, such as beetle banks and under sown spring cereals, may also contribute to reducing diffuse pollution. In 2010 it is currently planned to introduce further resource protection options into Environmental Stewardship, such as wider buffer strips and the use of cover crops. These schemes are subject to regular evaluations.

Agriculture: Subsidies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was paid in export refunds for dairy products in each of the last five years. (266458)

[holding answer 25 March 2009]: The amount paid in export refunds for milk and milk products in each of the last five years can be found in the following table:

Date

Milk and milk products (£)

2004

66,924,534.65

2005

46,310,869.15

2006

19,400,665.96

2007

6,332,908.51

2008

0

Agriculture: Working Hours

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make an assessment of the likely effects of the implementation of the European Working Time Directive on the numbers of seasonal workers required by farmers to assist them with harvesting. (265328)

The Working Time Directive has been implemented since 1998 and we are not aware that it has had any noticeable impact on the requirements of the agricultural industry for seasonal workers.

Revisions to the Working Time Directive are currently being negotiated in Europe. In these discussions, the UK Government are strongly supporting retention of the individual's right to opt-out of the 48-hour working week, an important flexibility used by workers in many sectors, including agriculture. We, along with many other member states, believe that workers should have the right to work longer hours if they choose to do so and have pressed this point successfully to Council during the negotiations.

Animals: Circuses

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made on his Department’s study of the use of animals in circuses. (267636)

During the last 12 months DEFRA has been carrying out a feasibility study on whether it is necessary to regulate the use of non-domesticated animals in circuses. A report is due later in the spring.

Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2009, Official Report, columns 44-46W, on bovine tuberculosis, for how many head of cattle he has budgeted for compensation payments for reactors and contact animals in 2009-10. (267468)

We do not estimate compensation spend solely on the basis of head of cattle since spend is demand led and much will depend on the disease situation and prevailing cattle prices (since compensation payments are linked to market prices). The estimate of £23 million provided in the answer of 23 March 2009, Official Report, columns 44-46W, is based on what was spent in previous years and the spending pattern in the current year (forecast spend for 2008-09, net of receipts, is £25.7 million). The estimate includes payments to cattle-owners and haulage costs, and was offset by salvage receipts.

Compost

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what research he has commissioned on the potential health effects of composting; (264863)

(2) if he will make an assessment of the potential health effects of composting.

DEFRA has commissioned the following research:

Review of environmental and health effects of waste management: municipal solid waste and similar wastes (carried out by Enviros Consulting Ltd and the University of Birmingham, 2004)

Exposure-response relationships for bioaerosol emissions from waste treatment processes (WR0606, carried out by the Institute of Occupational Medicine, 2008), which is currently undergoing peer review.

The Environment Agency has also undertaken the following research on the health effects of composting:

Health effects of composting: a study of three compost sites and review of past data (carried out by AEA Technology, 2001)

Monitoring the environmental impact of waste composting plants (2001)

The Health and Safety Executive has undertaken the following research:

Occupational and environmental exposure to bio-aerosols from composts and health effects (carried out by The Composting Association and Health and Safety Laboratory, 2003)

Where appropriate, this completed research is incorporated into existing regulation and policy in relation to composting. There are at present no plans to carry out further research, although this will be kept under review.

Domestic Waste: Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether an organisation collecting household recycling in one local authority area is able to sell those recycling credits to another local authority which is not meeting its recycling targets. (264949)

[holding answer 23 March 2009]: Local authorities have a power (not a duty) to pay recycling credits to third parties. These credits are payments in respect of waste for recycling or reuse which would otherwise have been dealt with by the local authority. Local authorities are expected to have in place controls that, among other things, ensure that the credits claimed relate to waste collected in their area.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and what proportion of local authorities he expects will meet the target of 40 per cent. recycling and composting of household waste by 2010. (266248)

[holding answer 24 March 2009]: The target of 40 per cent. recycling and composting of household waste by 2010 is a national target set out in the Waste Strategy for England 2007. This will be achieved by combining the recycling and composting rates of all local authorities in England.

Local authorities that face practical barriers, such as serving large numbers of apartment blocks or multi-occupancy houses, should not necessarily be expected to achieve the same level of recycling as those whose areas are dominated by traditional housing stock.

Under the National Indicators method of monitoring local authority performance, introduced by CLG in April 2008, each local authority chooses 35 indicators to be improvement targets. Of the 68 local authorities (out of a total of 394) that have chosen NI192 (recycling and composting rate) as a target, 35 have set the level at 40 per cent. or higher.

The latest audited data available show that the proportion of household waste recycled in England in 2007-08 was 34.5 per cent., an increase of 3.6 per cent. over the 2006-07 figure.

Food Supply

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what method his Department uses to calculate the level of (a) domestic self-sufficiency in food production and (b) domestic food consumption; and what the level of each was in each of the last 20 years. (261635)

Self-Sufficiency in food is calculated as UK food production, adjusted for trade in agricultural inputs of feed, seed and livestock, as a proportion of UK food consumption. The measure is based on the farm-gate value of unprocessed food.

The formula used is:

[Self-Sufficiency]=

[Adjusted UK food production]

[UK food production] + [Food imports]—[Food exports]

A related measure is the proportion of UK Consumption Produced in the UK, which is calculated as food produced and consumed in the UK as a proportion of UK food consumption. As with the measure of self-sufficiency this is based on the farm-gate value of unprocessed food.

The formula used is:

[Proportion of UK Consumption Produced in the UK]=

[UK food production]—[Food exports]

[UK food production] + [Food imports]—[Food exports]

Both the calculations for Self-Sufficiency and the Proportion of UK Consumption Produced in the UK use the same data sources. Food production data are sourced from DEFRA’s UK agricultural accounts. Import and export data are provided by HMRC. Revaluation factors are applied to trade data to convert the value of processed goods back to the farm-gate value of their raw ingredients, and these are constructed from ONS input-output tables.

The two calculations are similar but have two important differences. The main difference is that Self-Sufficiency includes food that the UK exports, which could have been consumed, whereas the Proportion of UK Consumption Produced in the UK looks purely at the breakdown of food that the UK does actually consume. A further, much smaller difference is the adjustment made to UK food production in the Self Sufficiency calculation.

UK self sufficiency in food and proportion of UK consumption produced in the UK

Percentage

Self-sufficiency in all food

Self-sufficiency in indigenous food

Proportion of UK consumption produced in the UK

1988

71.1

82.6

66.3

1989

74.8

86.9

66.8

1990

73.6

85.0

66.2

1991

75.3

86.7

66.5

1992

73.9

85.1

64.2

1993

73.5

85.4

63.3

1994

73.5

86.1

62.7

1995

73.8

86.7

61.8

1996

70.0

83.2

59.9

1997

68.2

81.6

57.5

1998

67.3

81.5

55.7

1999

67.6

81.6

56.6

2000

66.8

80.3

56.3

2001

62.7

75.1

55.6

2002

62.5

75.5

53.8

2003

63.6

76.7

53.3

2004

62.5

75.1

53.2

2005

60.1

73.1

50.6

2006

59.0

72.0

48.9

2007

59.4

72.4

49.7

2008

1

1

1

1 2008 figures not available yet. 2008 Self-Sufficiency figures to be published online in Agriculture in the UK on 26 March 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward a programme of measures to ensure security of supply of (a) food and (b) water resources for the UK during the period 2010 to 2030. (266145)

DEFRA published a discussion paper in July last year entitled “Ensuring UK Food Security in a Changing World”. This has contributed to the debate on the long-term challenges to our food security such as climate change, increased demand and population growth, and the energy dependence of our food supply. The Government are taking a risk-based approach to ensuring we remain food secure in the UK, and is consulting on indicators to provide timely information about the key components of our food security.

This work is proceeding with efforts that DEFRA is leading jointly with the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency to define a vision for a sustainable food system. This vision will complement the work of the foresight study led by the Government’s chief scientific adviser to examine how our inter-dependent world can feed nine billion people sustainably, healthily and equitably by 2050.

The Government have introduced a requirement on the water companies in England and Wales to prepare water resources management plans. These plans will show the measures needed to ensure secure water supplies for the period 2010-35. The plans have been consulted upon in draft; statements of responses to the consultation have been published for all English companies. In light of the statements, Ministers will consider the need for hearings or inquiries, and whether or not to direct changes to plans before they are finalised.

Food: Exports

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the amount of domestic (a) meat, (b) eggs, (c) bread, (d) wheat, (e) fruit, (f) vegetables, (g) milk and (h) total food production that was exported in each year since 1997. (264583)

[holding answer 19 March 2009]: Estimates of the volume of exports for meat, eggs, bread, wheat, fruit, vegetables and milk are shown in table 1.

Exports of food, animal feed and alcoholic drinks are shown in table 2. These are presented in £ million, in real terms at 2007 prices. All figures other than bread are published in “Agriculture in the United Kingdom”.

The figures shown may include re-exports of imported produce.

Table 1: UK exports of various commodities

Figures in thousand tonnes except milk in million litres and eggs in million dozens

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Meat

614

641

580

523

280

400

443

474

481

499

574

Liquid drinking milk

85

156

203

156

63

67

193

251

485

512

423

Eggs

26

27

12

15

10

16

16

13

13

18

17

Wheat

3,720

4,208

2,853

3,672

1,626

1,625

3,778

2,293

2,466

2,116

1,912

Fruit

72

69

74

60

74

70

79

106

121

178

148

Vegetables

280

77

91

99

103

113

103

93

88

83

88

Bread

61

61

63

69

85

72

58

69

63

65

86

Table 2: UK exports of food, animal feed and alcoholic drinks in real terms at 2007 prices

£ million

1997

12,891

1998

11,664

1999

11,092

2000

10,557

2001

10,140

2002

10,453

2003

11,260

2004

10,736

2005

10,698

2006

10,955

2007

11,379

Food: Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average UK farm-gate price for (a) milling wheat, (b) milk and milk products, (c) beef and veal, (d) pigmeat, (e) lamb and (f) apples was in each of the last 10 years; what import tariff was charged on imports of each product from each region or supporting country in each such year; and what information his Department holds on average world market prices for each product in each such year. (264782)

[holding answer 23 March 2009]: Average UK farm-gate prices for milling wheat and milk are shown in the following table. UK farm-gate prices of milk products are not available, so wholesale prices have been provided instead.

Milling wheat (£ per tonne)

Milk (Pence per litre)

Butter (unsalted) (£ per tonne)

SMP (£ per tonne)

Mild Cheddar (£ per tonne)

Mature Cheddar (£ per tonne)

Bulk cream (£ per tonne)

1999

81

18.3

2000

74

16.9

1,942

1,707

2,102

2,425

968

2001

79

19.3

1,893

1,501

2,244

2,617

919

2002

75

17.1

1,831

1,288

1,794

2,217

852

2003

76

18.0

2,044

1,407

1,985

2,121

974

2004

87

18.5

1,997

1,424

2,100

2,375

928

2005

76

18.5

1,886

1,408

2,079

2,400

868

2006

76

17.9

1,723

1,436

1,967

2,400

796

2007

108

20.7

2,283

2,136

2,427

2,717

1,051

2008

151

25.9

2,102

2,034

2,817

3,300

918

Source: HGCA, DEFRA statistics, RPA.

The average UK farm-gate prices for beef and veal, pig meat, mutton and lamb and apples can be found in the following table.

Beef and veal (Pence per kg dressed carcase weight)

Pig meat (Pence per kg dressed carcase weight)

Mutton and lamb (Pence per kg dressed carcase weight)

Dessert apples (£ per tonne)

Culinary apples (£ per tonne)

1999

161

76

152

437

249

2000

158

91

167

358

215

2001

155

95

166

352

176

2002

160

90

203

385

286

2003

167

99

226

460

472

2004

177

100

222

412

359

2005

181

100

205

419

317

2006

187

102

213

434

379

2007

188

104

194

488

373

2008

243

122

248

540

452

Source: AHDB, DEFRA Statistics and Agriculture in the United Kingdom https://statistics.defra.gov.uk/esg/publications/auk/default.asp

Annual import tariffs

Schedules of customs duties are published regularly by the EU Commission in the Official Journal of the EU. Average tariffs rates for high quality common wheat are shown in the following table. Equivalent rates for other commodities are not available.

High quality common wheat (€ per tonne)

1999

36.48

2000

9.28

2001

0

2002

0

2003

1.16

2004

0

2005

0

2006

0

2007

0

2008

0

Source: Official Journal, EU Commission.

World prices

World market prices for wheat and milk products can be found in the following table.

US$ per tonne

Milling wheat

Butter

SMP

WMP

Cheddar

1999

117

2000

107

1,453

2,063

2,002

1,919

2001

117

1,252

1,983

1,947

2,163

2002

144

1,078

1,269

1,358

1,667

2003

139

1,393

1,727

1,762

1,889

2004

151

1,860

2,063

2,129

2,564

2005

138

1,971

2,240

2,245

2,829

2006

152

1,778

2,200

2,221

2,656

2007

278

2,921

4,254

4,258

4,052

2008

353

3,396

3,038

3,729

4,721

Source: International Grains Council, DIN consultancy, DairyCo.

Indicative world market prices for beef, lamb and pork are shown in the following table. Prices for apples are not available.

US cents per pound

Beef, Australian and New Zealand 85 per cent. lean fores, FOB US import price

Swine (pork), 51-52 per cent. lean hogs, US price

Lamb, frozen carcass Smithfield London

1999

83

44

116

2000

88

59

113

2001

97

61

130

2002

95

47

146

2003

90

53

160

2004

114

71

166

2005

119

68

161

2006

116

64

154

2007

118

64

162

2008

121

65

171

Source: IMF.

Foot and Mouth Disease

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take legal action against those responsible for the 2007 foot and mouth outbreak. (263537)

The Secretary of State will not be taking any legal action in relation to this matter. The 2007 foot and mouth outbreak was investigated by Surrey county council’s trading standards service, and on 29 May 2008, the council announced that there was insufficient evidence to take legal action in respect of the outbreak.

Until 28 April 2008, when the Health and Safety Executive took over the responsibility, Surrey county council was the authority responsible for investigating and enforcing possible offences under the Animal Health Act 1981, including the provisions of the Specified Animal Pathogens Order 1998 that applied to the operation of the two laboratories at Pirbright.

Foxes: Urban Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent reports he has received of groups or individuals releasing foxes captured in urban areas into the countryside; and if he will make a statement. (267748)

From time-to-time DEFRA receives anecdotal reports of urban foxes being released into the countryside.

The Government do not condone the translocation of foxes from urban to rural areas. While it is not illegal under wildlife legislation to move foxes from one place to another as long as the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 are complied with, there are welfare concerns with releasing foxes into areas unfamiliar to them and the potential to spread disease. Under section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it is an offence for a person to fail to provide for the welfare needs of an animal under his or her control. This includes failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that an animal has the ability to fend for itself in the wild on release. If it were found that an animal had suffered unnecessarily after release, it could also be an offence of causing unnecessary suffering under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

If it is suspected that an illegal activity has occurred this should be reported to the police.

Milk: Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the change in the average farmgate price for milk in each year since 1997. (264678)

The average milk farm-gate price since 1997 can be found in the following table:

Farm-gate price (pence per litre)

1997

21.96

1998

19.26

1999

18.31

2000

16.92

2001

19.25

2002

17.05

2003

18.01

2004

18.45

2005

18.46

2006

17.94

2007

20.66

2008

25.91

Oils: Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the effect on carbon dioxide emissions of the quantity of used cooking oil sent to landfill in the last 12 months. (266905)

No such estimate has been made. The landfilling of all non-hazardous liquid waste has been banned since October 2007. Government policy is to encourage the recovery of all waste, including cooking oil.

Pigs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of pig farmers who ceased to trade in 2007-08. (265201)

The June Survey of Agriculture and Horticulture does not collect figures on the number of farmers who have ceased trading. Figures from the survey indicate activity on registered holdings in England at June each year showing net change only. Larger pig businesses are likely to have a number of holdings where pigs are kept and this number can change from year to year.

Specialist pig holdings (based on predominant activity)

All holdings with pigs

Total pigs

2007

2,453

9,686

3,943,444

2008

2,600

9,772

3,854,388

Source:

June Survey of Agriculture

Renewable Energy: Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on the production of biogas from municipal waste; and if he will make a statement. (267529)

DEFRA has issued no specific guidance to local authorities on the production of biogas from municipal waste.

Trees: Disease Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps he has taken to prevent the spread of (a) oak and (b) rhododendron diseases; and if he will make a statement. (265199)

We recently announced the allocation of new money to support a five-year programme of work to manage and contain the risks of two plant diseases, Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae, from spreading further. P. ramorum and P. kernoviae are fungus-like pathogens of plants. There is strong evidence that they both have the ability to kill trees in the UK, and have the potential to kill native heathland species and cause serious disease on some garden shrubs.

In addition to further research and development and an education and awareness programme, we will be looking to reduce the level of disease by removing infected and susceptible plants in woodlands and the wider environment. We will also work to identify and control any new outbreaks. Experience has shown that the eradication of Rhododendron ponticum (the main host for the diseases) is the most effective control measure to reduce disease spread in the wider environment. At a selected number of woodland sites, the clearance of all rhododendrons, whether infected or not, has proved effective and appears to have prevented further infection of trees on those sites.

Waste Disposal: Rural Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has for the future provision of mechanisms for the disposal of trade waste in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. (265746)

DEFRA funds the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) Centre for local authorities to deliver a central support service to help them provide more tailored advice to their business communities on waste and resource efficiency issues. This includes rural authorities.

The centre has created a network of over 850 local authority officers to help share experience in this area, and has developed over 100 good practice case studies and other guidance for local authorities. Specific business resource efficiency projects are being taken forward with selected local authorities and the lessons learned from these are being shared widely by the centre. This includes guidance notes for local authorities who are considering implementing a trade waste recycling service, available on the following website at:

http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageld=1213283# contents-9

Wales

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what properties his Department has sold in each of the last five years. (267555)

Departmental Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether his Department has adopted the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management Programme. (266734)

My Department has not adopted the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management Programme.

As a small Department we have taken full advantage of the Carbon Trust's small and medium sized Business Toolkit. This resulted in a full Carbon Trust survey and follow-up action plan in 2006. All action points raised have been implemented together with the introduction of a robust recycling programme.

The Wales Office is currently establishing a sustainable development strategy to further assist in further reducing emissions.

Departmental Empty Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the change in the annual cost to his Department of maintaining the empty public buildings owned by his Department as a result of the April 2008 changes to empty property rate relief. (267130)

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps have been taken by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies to improve the thermal efficiency of their buildings in the last 12 months. (266756)

The Wales Office undertook an energy efficiency test in 2008 and reached a C grading.

We continue to look for ways to improve the energy efficiency of the building, although we are limited in our ability due to the Grade 2 listing of the building.

Departmental Publications

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the (a) production and printing and (b) other costs to his Department of producing its most recent (i) departmental annual report and (ii) autumn performance report. (266684)

The Wales Office spent £14,170 on its last bilingual departmental annual report. We do not print an autumn performance report.

Departmental Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much and what proportion of its waste his Department recycled in each of the last five years. (266614)

The Wales Office began recording the volume of waste produced in April 2007 onwards. For the year 2007-08, 12,619 kg of waste was recycled, equating to 80 per cent. of the total waste produced. The figure for 2008-09 is not yet available.

Departmental Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of measuring compliance with its targets under its public service agreements in the last 12 months for which figures are available. (266703)

The Wales Office does not deliver services directly to the public and does not have a public service agreement.

Leader of the House

Departmental Recycling

To ask the Leader of the House how much and what proportion of its waste her Office recycled in each of the last five years. (266598)

The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons joined the Cabinet Office in 2007. I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given by the Cabinet Office.

It would not be possible to provide information prior to 2007 without incurring a disproportionate cost.

Northern Ireland

Abortion

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) who drafted the Guidance on the Termination of Pregnancy: The Law and Clinical Practice in Northern Ireland; which (a) individuals and (b) organisations were consulted prior to writing the Guidance; and if he will make a statement; (266995)

(2) when the Guidance on the Termination of Pregnancy: The Law and Clinical Practice in Northern Ireland will come into force; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how many abortions were performed on women in Northern Ireland on the grounds that (a) it was necessary to preserve the life of the woman and (b) there was a risk of real and serious adverse effect on her physical or mental health, which was either long-term or permanent in each of the last five years, broken down by health authority;

(4) if he will include information on (a) counselling and (b) possible alternatives to abortion in the Guidance on the Termination of Pregnancy: The Law and Clinical Practice in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

This is not a matter for which my Department has responsibility. The law relating to the termination of pregnancy is part of the criminal law and as such is a matter currently reserved to the UK Parliament. However, the provision of health and social care services, including information or guidance of the sort to which the hon. Gentleman refers, is a devolved matter and is the responsibility of the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Bloody Sunday Tribunal of Inquiry

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the legal costs of the Saville Inquiry were in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available. (267713)

The legal costs in relation to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in each of the last 12 months for both the Inquiry and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for which figures are available are shown in the following table. These costs cover payments to lawyers working for the Inquiry and to lawyers representing interested parties and witnesses before the Inquiry (including those funded by the MOD).

£

Month

Bloody Sunday Inquiry

MOD legal costs

Total

2008

April

171,435.67

22,193.64

193,629.31

May

81,515.02

25,546.38

107,061.40

June

19,401.90

11,453.90

30,855.80

July

33,535.02

18,812.46

52,347.48

August

71,483.39

21,714.48

93,197.87

September

54,505.27

22,357.90

76,863.17

October

21,486.03

27,883.93

49,369.96

November

154,901.26

27,710.26

182,611.52

December

19,863.63

19,554.37

39,418.00

2009

January

69,152.44

0.0

69,152.44

February

346,444.93

0.0

346,444.93

March1

Total

1,043,724.56

197,227.32

1,240,951.88

1 Final figure not yet available.

Departmental Flowers

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by his Department on flowers in the last 12 months. (266287)

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) does not record expenditure under this heading. However, £28,412 was paid to florists and nurseries in 2007-08 (excluding agencies and executive NDPBs).

Flowers are generally purchased as decoration when the NIO hosts official events such as receptions, for example for military personnel returning and ceremonies such as Royal Garden Parties honouring community and civic leaders. Where possible, the Department will make use of these items at more than one event.

These figures also include flowers purchased for events which are held in Hillsborough Castle on behalf of other parties. Although the NIO does not charge these external customers directly for the cost of flowers, an administration charge is levied to cover sundry costs.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 17 December 2008, Official Report, column 773W, on departmental ICT, which ICT projects are over budget and by how much in each case. (257288)

There is one ICT project which is over budget.

The Causeway Programme's original estimated cost was £42.7 million but it is estimated to be £58 million by 2013 when the contract is closed.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much capital spending is planned to be brought forward by his Department to (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. (266299)

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO), excluding its agencies and executive NDPBs, has made no plans to bring forward capital spending to 2008-09 or 2009-10.

Departmental Publications

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the (a) production and printing and (b) other costs to his Department of producing its most recent (i) departmental annual report and (ii) autumn performance report. (266688)

The cost of production of the Autumn Performance Report for 2008 and the annual Departmental Report for 2007-08 would only relate to staff costs in respect of the drafting and compilation of the reports as part of normal business.

The cost of the printing of:

(i) the Annual Departmental Report for 2007-08 was £12,870; and

(ii) the Autumn Performance Report for 2008 was £6,543.

Printing costs are not available for the 2008-09 Departmental Report as it is not yet published.

There were no other costs to my Department of producing these reports.

Forensic Science NI: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what budget was allocated to Forensic Science NI in each of the last five years. (264741)

Forensic Science NI is primarily funded to carry out its business from income it generates from its customers, with the remainder provided by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) centrally.

£000

NIO funding

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Customer income

7,369

8,182

8,429

9,090

9,373

NIO Resource DEL

1,217

1,446

1,437

1,927

1,535

Total

8,586

9,628

9,866

11,017

10,908

NIO Capital DEL

381

371

1,260

1,524

1,343

Note:

Customers include PSNI, State Pathologist's Department, Police Ombudsman, Private customers etc.

The agency in 2008-09 had £10,908,000 resource and £1,343,000 capital in monies to fund activities.

Police Service of Northern Ireland: Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people from each religious background (a) applied and (b) were appointed to join the police in Northern Ireland in recruitment competitions in 2008. (267712)

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.

Prisons: Mobile Phones

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether prisoners in Northern Ireland are permitted to have and use mobile telephones within prisons. (267715)

Prisoners in Northern Ireland are not permitted to have and use mobile telephones within prisons.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Brussels

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many visits were made by Ministers to Brussels, other than on NATO business, in the financial year 2007-08. (264567)

During the financial year 2007-2008 our Ministers made a total of 149 visits to Brussels. These visits included both ministerial visits to our bi-lateral embassy in Brussels and the UK representation to the EU.

Commonwealth

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Commonwealth counterparts on the future of the Commonwealth. (266091)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ministerial team engage regularly on Commonwealth issues including meeting Commonwealth counterparts. On 4 March 2009, I attended the latest Commonwealth Ministers Action Group Meeting. This year the modern Commonwealth is celebrating its 60th anniversary and has achieved a tremendous amount over the last 60 years. The UK is committed to ensuring the Commonwealth and every international organisation is forward looking and best able to deal with the challenges of the 21st century.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Armed Conflict

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what military involvement the United Nations has had in co-ordination with Congolese and Rwandan troops during their joint operation against the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda. (264592)

[holding answer 19 March 2009]: During the operations against the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) militia, UN peace keepers contributed logistical support to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) army and assisted members of the FDLR in disarming and returning to Rwanda. The UN mission in the DRC (MONUC) made a team of military officers available to assist in planning the operations. Although the operations bore some successes, MONUC was less fully involved than we would have wished in planning and carrying them out. Our ambassador in Kinshasa called for co-ordination of the operations with MONUC, both publicly and in consultation with the DRC Government. We made clear our position that the operations should take proper account of humanitarian law and civilian protection.

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what buildings are owned or operated by his Department under a private finance initiative (PFI) arrangement; and which companies are involved with each such PFI arrangement. (267412)

The only Foreign and Commonwealth Office building which we occupy under a private finance initiative arrangement is the building of our embassy in Berlin. The building is owned and operated by Arteos, a company owned by Semperian PPP Investment Partners.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the initial estimated (a) cost and (b) delivery date for each ICT project initiated by his Department was for systems serving departmental processes in the UK that cost more than £1 million in each year since 2003-04; what the (i) outturn cost and (ii) completion date was of each project subsequently completed; which contractors were hired for each project; and how much has been paid to each contractor in respect of each project. (265510)

Until recently, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) devolved responsibility for expenditure on ICT systems to individual directorates. As a consequence there is no central historical record of the information requested, and a comprehensive reply could be provided only at disproportionate cost. This does not, however, apply to larger projects costing in excess of £2 million. The following table sets out the information requested for such projects initiated since April 2003. Most FCO systems are designed to operate both in the UK and at Posts overseas; all those listed in the following table, with the exception of disaster recovery, serve FCO staff around the world.

Project

Original completion date

Latest forecast or actual completion date

Original total cost (£ million)

Latest total cost (£ million)

Contractor

Contract value (£ million)

Unclassified video conferencing

August 2009

August 2009

3.08

2.68

Multiple

n/a

Prism management information phase 1 (including later requirements changes)

April 2009

November 2009

3.57

3.76

CapGemini

2.96

Disaster Recovery (increased capacity to achieve full Resilience)

March 2009

July 2009

1.50

2.47

Cable and Wireless (GSI)

1.93

Bridge (formerly FEDIS) phase 1— emergency passports(including latest requirements)

December 2009

March 2010

4.44

6.00

Logica/FCO services

n/a

Prism simplification

January 2009

April 2009

6.59

6.20

CapGemini

3.92

Ocean (telecommunications procurement)

May 2010

November 2009

7.60

7.60

Various/OG C/internal

n/a

Secure video conferencing

March 2008

December 2008

2.49

2.13

Multiple/FCO services

n/a

Managed reporting service

January 2008

March 2009

2.50

2.31

HP/FCO services

n/a

Post infrastructure improvement

September 2008

September 2008

3.17

3.20

Various

n/a

FCONet 3 (development)

June 2007

March 2008

3.50

3.52

Fujitsu

1

Global collaboration

March 2008

March 2008

3.60

3.60

Various/internal

n/a

FCO web platform (scope reduced on examination of full business case)

November 2008

December 2008

13.50

9.74

Logica

6.12

Future firecrest programme

February 2012

February 2012

401.00

401.00

Hewlett Packard

216.80

FCONet 2

October 2005

November 2005

3.80

3.80

Fujitsu

2.08

EDRM (eRecords/ iRecords) (scope reduced due to financial constraints)

March 2010

August 2008

26.50

5.10

Internal/FCO services

n/a

Biometric passports programme (BRIT)

October 2006

October 2006

4.00

4.00

3M

6.50

1 Not separately identifiable from existing record.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his latest estimate is of his Department's capital expenditure in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10, (c) 2010-11 and (d) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. (268119)

In 2008-09 capital expenditure is forecast to be £219 million net.

The net comprehensive spending round (CSR) capital allocation for 2009-10 is £216 million.

The net CSR capital allocation for 2010-11 is £205 million.

An estimate for expenditure in 2011-12 is not yet available.

Departmental Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1793W, on training, what the cost was of his training in (a) the presentation of foreign policy and (b) his Department's IT systems. (265665)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 2 March 2009, Official Report, columns 1240-44W.

Falkland Islands: Crimes of Violence

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what records he holds on the number of violent crimes that have taken place in the Falkland Islands in each of the last five years. (267110)

I understand from the Royal Falkland Islands Police that the number of violent crimes over the last five years in the Falkland Islands was:

Murder: none

Attempted murder: none

Manslaughter: none

Attempted rape: none

Robbery: none

Cases of assault occasioning actual bodily harm or common assault: 20 in total—three in 2004, six in 2005, four in 2006, four in 2007 and three in 2008

Rape: two in total—one in 2005 and one in 2007

Grievous bodily harm: five in total—three in 2005, one in 2006 and one in 2008.

G20

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps have been taken in the preparations for the G20 meeting in north London in April to (a) ensure the sustainable use of resources and (b) to minimise the carbon footprint of the meeting. (263815)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has employed an event production company, Feltech/MRG. The company has adopted an environmental policy that meets Government guidelines set out in the Green Claims code in their provision of the required conference and media facilities. The venue, ExCeL London, is one of the participants in the implementation programme for BS8901:2007, a British standard for sustainable events that helps minimise the environmental impact of events such as the G20 Summit.

Feltech/MRG will produce a report recording the measures taken to reduce the carbon footprint of the summit. We are also developing a carbon management approach with the Department of Energy and Climate Change and have commissioned a report on the carbon impact of the G20 Summit to be available within 60 days of the event.

International Criminal Court

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the US administration on (a) the International Criminal Court (ICC) citation of President al-Bashir of Sudan and (b) US participation in the ICC. (267427)

We have had extensive discussions with all levels of the US administration on the situation in Darfur, including the International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment of President Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in the region.

Most recent contacts have focused on the need for the Government of Sudan to reconsider their decision to expel 13 international humanitarian non-governmental organisations working in Darfur. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed these issues with US Secretary of State Clinton during his visit to Washington on 18 March 2009. We continue to underline in all contacts the need for Sudan to cooperate with the ICC, as well as to take concrete action for peace in Darfur.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not had any discussions with the US about their membership of the ICC. The Government work with EU partners towards achieving universality of the Rome Statute of the ICC, and we look forward to discussing this issue with the new US administration.

Iran: Diplomatic Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2009, Official Report, column 29W, on Iran, in what ways the Iranian authorities have obstructed the activities of staff at the British Embassy in Tehran; what activities have been obstructed; and if he will make a statement. (267842)

The Iranian authorities have obstructed the activities of our embassy in Tehran in numerous ways, including: by placing restrictions on vehicle access to the embassy compounds for embassy staff and visitors, harassing embassy staff, guests, and contractors carrying out work on our compounds (including security work recommended by the Iranian authorities), and failing to provide airside access for the collection of diplomatic bags.

Additionally the British Council was forced to suspend its operation in Iran earlier this year, because of unacceptable pressure put on its staff by the Iranian Government.

We have raised these issues with the Iranian authorities on numerous occasions and reminded them of their obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

Iran: Nuclear Power

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the Statement during the Prime Minister's address to the US Congress that Iran should cease its threats and suspend its nuclear programme, what steps the Government are taking to secure this objective. (267082)

The Government remain committed to the E3+3 dual-track strategy—of pressure and engagement—to address the Iran nuclear issue. On the engagement aide, the US has been clear about its desire for a relationship based on “mutual respect” as President Obama made clear in a message to the Iranian people on 19 March 2009. The E3+3’s generous offer of June 2008 remains on the table, which offers Iran a wide range of political and economic benefits, together with all it would need to develop and operate a civilian nuclear programme. On the pressure side, the UN Security Council has agreed five resolutions on the issue, three of which put in place sanctions against Iran. The EU has gone beyond these to put in place further measures. We have been clear that if Iran chooses not to accept the US and E3+3 offers, further, tough measures will follow.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Northavon of 15 December 2008 sent on behalf of Mr. R Jenkins of Tytherington, South Gloucestershire. (267260)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Northavon of 19 December 2008 sent on behalf of M Taylor of Chipping Sodbury. (267261)

Middle East: Armed Conflict

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations HM Ambassador in Tehran has made to the Iranian Government on its role in supporting Hamas during the recent Gaza conflict. (265654)

Our ambassador in Tehran raised the issue of Iranian support for Hamas at a meeting at the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 12 January 2009. Our embassy also translated my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's House of Commons statement on Gaza into Farsi, circulated it to journalists and placed it on the embassy's Farsi language website.

The UK would like to see Iran making a positive contribution to creating a secure, stable and prosperous Middle East. But its current behaviour is a cause for serious concern for us and others. Iran needs to work with the international community and its regional neighbours to restore confidence in its intentions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take steps at the United Nations with regard to the ambush and murder of two police officers in Israel on 15 March; and if he will make a statement. (266989)

The UK condemns the murder of the two police officers. This incident has reinforced the urgent need for lasting peace in the Middle East. We remain committed to a two-state solution and to achieving a comprehensive peace and shall continue to work closely with the parties, with the Quartet of the UN, EU, US, and Russia, and with regional partners to make progress in 2009.

Middle East: Mass Media

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of media in Arab countries on extremist Islamic movements in the UK. (266636)

While no formal study has been undertaken into the possible effects of reporting in the Arabic media on extremist Islamic groups in the UK, it is possible that some stories in the Arabic media may indeed serve to reinforce such groups’ beliefs. However, we have no evidence to suggest that patterns of media consumption of extremist groups are particularly distinctive, and we believe that they are just as likely to focus on stories in British or other media which reinforce their beliefs.

Media in Arab countries are wide-ranging and many different viewpoints are expressed. The consumption of Arabic media therefore will not necessarily reinforce extremist views. We recognise that the Arabic media represent one of the best ways to communicate to the Arabic-speaking world, both in the Middle East and elsewhere, and for that reason we have Arabic language spokespersons based in London and the Gulf where they play an important role in articulating our policies to this crucial audience.

Additionally, as part of our Prevent communications strategy, we constantly monitor the Arabic media and respond to articles that give an inaccurate picture of Government policy or life in the UK for British Muslims.

New Delhi

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many visits were made by Ministers to New Delhi in the financial year 2007-08. (264570)

Regional Ministers: Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Permanent Secretary of his Department has authorised expenditure on travel costs for the Parliamentary assistants to (a) the Minister for Yorkshire and the Humber and (b) the Minister for the East Midlands in accordance with the circumstances envisaged in the Cabinet Secretary's letter to Permanent Secretaries of 2 December 2008. (267158)

Sudan: Travel Information

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's advice on travel to Sudan is; and what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on travel to the Sudan. (266174)

[holding answer 26 March 2009]: Our travel advice is constantly being updated to reflect the current situation in Sudan.

The latest travel advice for Sudan which was last updated on 16 March 2009 is available online at:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas/travel-advice-by-country/sub-saharan-africa/sudanl

There have been no recent discussions with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on travel to Sudan.

Terrorism: Crime Prevention

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent on delivery of the CONTEST programme overseas in each financial year since 2006-07; how much has been allocated for such expenditure in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11; which (i) projects and (ii) organisations received money under the programme in each year since 2006-07; how much each received; and if he will make a statement. (267523)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) contribution to CONTEST overseas in 2006-07 and 2007-08 was £7.2 million and £8.9 million respectively. The FCO has allocated a further £127 million over the current comprehensive spending review, which includes £35 million in 2008-2009, £39 million in 2009-2010 and £53 million in 2010-11.

Projects that aim to improve capabilities to counter terrorism in priority countries are allocated funding. In order to protect the safety and security of organisations delivering sensitive projects overseas we do not routinely name projects or organisations that have received funding.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what procedures he has put in place to ensure (a) financial audit and (b) value for money in expenditure made as part of the CONTEST programme overseas. (267524)

All projects are managed by our officials in our embassies overseas. Our embassies are routinely audited by our internal audit team.

All proposals for project funding undergo a rigorous assessment process to ensure that each project provides good value for money. Projects are also evaluated on completion, during which further consideration is given to whether the project offered good value for money. The impact of projects is carefully monitored through a process agreed with my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit and the National Audit Office.

United Nations: Reform

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations the Government has made to the Secretary-General of the UN on reform of the UN. (246221)

We are in constant contact with the Secretariat, including the UN Secretary-General, over UN reform. In December 2008 we achieved good results in the UN’s 5th committee where we agreed a number of reforms foreshadowed in the 2005 World Summit. These included reform of the UN’s human resources management (streamlining the UN’s contractual system, and improving conditions of field staff in the hardest missions to help tackle staffing problems), reform of the Department of Political Affairs to improve the UN’s capacity in the field of preventive diplomacy and mediation, modernising the UN’s outdated IT system, and reforming the system of internal appeals for UN staff to make it more accountable and efficient.

International Development

Afghanistan: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's humanitarian aid to Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (267384)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has responded swiftly to the humanitarian situation through capable operational agencies, particularly the World Food Programme (WFP). Since January 2008, we have committed £22.5 million to alleviate food shortages. This includes:

(a) £17 million to help feed over 4.5 million people; and

(b) £5.5 million to provide agricultural input including seeds, fertilisers, technical assistance to boost food production, and credit.

The food security situation remains fragile. However, the WFP has delivered over 96 per cent. of the 36,000MT of food designated for target beneficiaries, and has recently assessed that there is sufficient food in place to stabilise supply until the harvest period.

Central African Republic: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the reasons are for the change in his Department’s (a) bilateral expenditure on and (b) imputed multilateral shares for the Central African Republic between 2006-07 and 2007-08. (266332)

Between 2006-07 and 2007-08, the Department for International Development (DFID) bilateral spend reduced because this period saw an increased donor interest in the Central African Republic (CAR), and a corresponding reduction in UK burdenshare.

DFID provides core contributions to the general budgets of multilateral organisations and cannot then track the funds directly to individual countries. DFID uses the figures reported by multilateral institutions to the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to provide an estimate of what proportion of DFID’s core contributions are spent in each country. The multilateral institutions themselves determine which countries should receive an allocation from their funds in any given year, and the size of any allocation. The UK’s imputed share of multilateral official development assistance (ODA) accordingly reflects increases or decreases in the allocation by multilateral institutions to each country in the years in question.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he next expects an allocation from his Department’s regional programme for aid to be made to the country programme for the Central African Republic. (266333)

The allocation for 2009-10 has been made. In addition to the Department for International Development’s (DFID) imputed multilateral share, an envelope of up to £2 million will be available for the Central African Republic during the coming financial year, from the Department’s wider regional humanitarian programme.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will place in the Library a copy of the joint DFID/WB scoping study prepared for his Department by Roger Wilson in August 2007. (263980)

The report ‘Proposal for a UK/DFID-World Bank Governance Partnership Facility’ prepared by Roger Wilson and Sarwar Lateef in August 2007 will be placed in the Library of the House.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 9 March 2009, Official Report, column 17W, on departmental personnel, if he will place in the Library a copy of (a) the terms of reference for his Department's recruitment of an interim human resources manager via Penna Interim, (b) the contract between his Department and Penna Interim, (c) the contract of employment between the appointee and Penna Interim and (d) the list of the appointee's primary responsibilities and the duties for the human resources manager; and if he will make a statement. (263728)

(a) A copy of the terms of reference for the recruitment of the Interim HR Director, will be placed in the Library.

(b) The contract between DFID and Penna Interim is regarded as commercial in confidence. As such it is not appropriate to place a copy in the Library.

(c) The contract that existed between the appointee and Penna Interim is a matter for the two parties involved.

(d) The duties of the DFID HR Director will also be placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the (a) dates of employment, (b) total days worked, (c) salary, (d) daily rate and (e) other costs of employment for Roger Wilson in respect of his employment by the Department to prepare the joint DFID/WB scoping study were. (263978)

Roger Wilson was not an employee of the Department for International Development (DFID) when he undertook work on the project titled “Joint DFID/WB Scoping Study”. The total contract award value was £21,965. DFID cannot comment on salary and other employment costs because Mr. Wilson was not an employee of the Department.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on what dates Roger Wilson (a) joined and (b) left the service of his Department as a direct employee; and what payments the Department has made to him for (i) consultancy and (ii) other work since he ceased to be a direct employee. (263979)

Roger Wilson joined the Department for International Development (at that time known as the Ministry of Overseas Development) on 1 June 1976 and left the service of the Department as a direct employee on 6 August 2006. Since that date he has been paid a total of £55,700 in consultancy fees.

Departmental Official Engagements

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his official engagements on 23 February 2009 were; and by what (a) route and (b) method he travelled between each engagement. (262424)

On 23 February 2009 the Secretary of State for International Development attended the Cabinet Away-Day in Southampton in the morning and did a regional visit on behalf of the Department for International Development (DFID) in the afternoon. He took the train from London to Southampton and returned to London by train from Reading. He travelled between engagements by Government car.

Departmental Public Appointments

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which former (a) Members of the House of Lords and (b) hon. Members who left Parliament since 1997 have been appointed to public bodies for which his Department is responsible; and who made each such appointment. (267856)

No former members of the House of Lords or hon. Members who left Parliament since 1997 have been appointed to public bodies for which my Department is responsible.

Departmental Training

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 2 February 2009, Official Report, column 861W, on departmental training, which Ministers attended the public communications course; and how much the course cost to provide. (265679)

Identifying Ministers who undertake training may discourage participation in future training sessions, acting as a disincentive for Ministers to undertake formal professional development. The total cost of the public communications course was £4,050.

Developing Countries: Debts

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the Government's policy is on the establishment of a new sovereign debt work-out mechanism to deal with the debts of poor countries. (265602)

I have been asked to reply.

The UK has been at the forefront of international delivery of debt relief. The heavily indebted poor countries initiative and the multilateral debt relief initiative provide comprehensive debt relief for the poorest, most heavily indebted countries. 34 countries are currently receiving debt relief; of which 24 have received irrevocable debt cancellation, including 100 per cent. cancellation of debts to the UK and international financial institutions.

In addition, any country that experiences debt problems can also approach the Paris Club. This informal group of 19 sovereign creditors, including the UK, finds co-ordinated and sustainable solutions to sovereign debt problems.

In relation to proposals for a wider sovereign debt work-out mechanism, the Government supported earlier work by the International Monetary Fund to investigate the establishment of a sovereign debt resolution mechanism, although international consensus was not reached on the establishment of such a mechanism.

Overseas Aid: Malaria

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development from which budget the allocation of £2 million for the prevention of the spread of malaria announced on 12 March 2009 will be drawn; whether the funding is additional to that allocated for the provision of 20 million bed nets; to which programmes that funding will be allocated; and how that funding will be distributed. (267560)

The funding to meet this commitment will come from the budget available for development programmes in Africa at the Department for International Development (DFID). The funding is additional to that allocated for the additional 20 million bed nets.

This additional funding will be spent in Kenya and Tanzania and be used to support malaria prevention activities in those two countries. Officials are currently working on the detail of what the resources will support and how the funding will be distributed.

Overseas Aid: Water

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of progress towards reaching Millennium Development Goal 7, target 3, for drinking water and sanitation; and if he will make a statement. (266390)

The latest assessment on the progress of Millennium Development Goal 7, target 3 was made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Programme in July 2008. Their report is available on-line at:

http://www.wssinfo.org/en/welcome.html

Sierra Leone: Education

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department is providing to support education in Sierra Leone in 2008-09; and how much of this has been allocated for the construction of new school buildings. (267782)

During 2008-09 the Department for International Development (DFID) provided £750,000 directly to education in Sierra Leone in support of a national Teacher Verification and School Census programme. DFID also contributed £10 million in Poverty Reduction Budget Support to the Government of Sierra Leone, 15 per cent. of which is attributed to the education sector.

DFID's support to the construction of new school buildings has been through our contribution to the Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund for Sierra Leone. Between 2008 and 2010, $5.9 million was allocated by this fund for school rehabilitation and construction. In addition, the UK's core contributions to the World Bank, UN and Africa Development Bank have contributed to the construction of 304 schools across the country in that time.

Children, Schools and Families

Cabinet Sub-committee on Families, Children and Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families for what reasons it is his policy not to disclose information relating to proceedings of the Cabinet Sub-committee on Families, Children and Young People; and when the Sub-committee last met. (266323)

Information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees, including when, how often and for how long they meet, is generally not disclosed; as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much has been claimed in reimbursable expenses by special advisers in his Department in 2008-09 to date. (260340)

Costs incurred on reimbursable expenses in 2008-09, will be available only when the Department’s resource accounts are fully audited and laid before Parliament. This is expected to be before the 2009 summer recess.

Further Education: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills on using unspent capital allocations in that Department's budget for capital projects in the further education sector; and if he will make a statement. (261761)

The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families is in ongoing contact with the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills about the use of the FE capital modernisation fund, which is administered by the Learning and Skills Council to support the improvement of college facilities. As it has always done, the Department will co-operate with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills wherever possible to support the interests of learners in this country. We are discussing, with the LSC, ways of supporting additional capital building programmes in the FE sector. However, in the current spending review period, the Department’s capital resources for strategic, targeted and devolved programmes for schools are fully committed.

The Government’s record on capital investment in the further education sector has been exemplary. In 1997 there was no capital budget for FE colleges; between 1997/98 and 2006/07, more than £2 billion was invested in modernising FE facilities and we will spend another £2.3 billion on the FE estate in the current spending review period.

As the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills made clear in his statement on 4 March, there are 253 projects that have already received agreement in detail and are under way and we anticipate spending the full £2.3 billion in this spending review period.

The Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills has asked the LSC to consult with the Association of Colleges and the FE sector on ways of prioritising schemes in the future programme. The Department will continue to work with DIUS and the LSC to bring the benefits of the capital modernisation programme to as many young people as possible.

Pupils: Offensive Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many students have been arrested for taking weapons into schools in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in each of the last 12 years. (265341)

The information requested on arrests is not collected centrally. The data on arrests held by the Home Office cover arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) broken down at main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person and robbery; they would not show the number of people arrested specifically for taking weapons into schools. It is not possible to obtain the individual circumstances of persons arrested (such as student status) from the data on arrests held by the Home Office.

Pupils: Truancy

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many parents were (a) fined and (b) imprisoned in (i) England, (ii) Enfield local authority area and (iii) Enfield North constituency for their children’s non-attendance at school in each of the last five years. (263913)

The Ministry of Justice collects data for England and Wales on prosecutions brought against parents under the Education Act 1996 for the offence under s444(1) of failing to secure their child’s regular attendance at school; and for prosecutions under s444(1A), the aggravated offence of knowing that their child is failing to attend school regularly. It is possible, because of the way courts record data that some data are collected under the more general heading of various offences under the Education Act 1996.

The information on the number of parents sentenced and given fines or immediate custodial sentences is detailed in the following table. However, the Ministry of Justice does not collect information on prosecutions on local authority or constituency basis so it is not possible to provide a breakdown for Enfield local authority or Enfield North.

Adults sentenced for child truanting offences1, 2003-07

Fined

Immediate custody

2003

Parent failing to secure their child’s regular attendance at school

1,802

4

Parent knowing that their child is failing to attend school regularly without reasonable justification to cause him or her to attend school

151

3

2004

Parent failing to secure their child’s regular attendance at school

1,605

8

Parent knowing that their child is failing to attend school regularly without reasonable justification to cause him or her to attend school

476

14

2005

Parent failing to secure their child’s regular attendance at school

1,743

5

Parent knowing that their child is failing to attend school regularly without reasonable justification to cause him or her to attend school

466

15

2006

Parent failing to secure their child’s regular attendance at school

2,324

2

Parent knowing that their child is failing to attend school regularly without reasonable justification to cause him or her to attend

628

20

2007

Parent failing to secure their child’s regular attendance at school

3,112

6

Parent knowing that their child is failing to attend school regularly without reasonable justification to cause him or her to attend school

676

11

1 These data are extracted on the principal offence basis These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

Source:

QMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice

The Department also collects and publishes data on penalty notices (fines) issued by local authorities in England to parents for not ensuring their child’s regular attendance at school.

The figures for the last four school academic years since our data collection began are detailed in the following table. Data are only collected on a local authority basis and not for constituencies.

School academic year—penalty notices for non attendance

England

Enfield

1 September 2004 to 31 July 2005

3,483

4

1 August 2005 to 1 September 2006

12,150

24

2 September 2006 to 31 August 2007

14,625

37

1 September 2007 to 31 August 2008

18,291

149

Source:

Department for Children, Schools and Families data March 2009

Religion: Curriculum

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of local authorities which permit the teaching of non-belief in schools as part of the religious education curriculum. (267777)

The Department does not collect systematic information on the number of local authorities which include the teaching of non-religious beliefs in schools as part of their religious education curriculum.

Special Educational Needs

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what percentage of pupils with statemented special educational needs resident in each local authority area attended special schools in (a) 2003 and (b) the last 12 months for which figures are available, broken down by type of special educational need. (262903)

Information about type of special educational need was first collected in 2004 and is therefore not available for 2003. A table containing the information requested for the years 2004 and 2008 has been placed in the House Libraries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what powers a local authority has to place children with special needs into a special school that has attained trust status; (266634)

(2) what mechanism he plans to enable local authorities to place special needs children in special schools which have trust status.

Under section 324 (5) (b) of the Education Act 1996, all maintained schools, including special schools with trust status, are under a duty to admit children whose special educational needs (SEN) statements name the school as the one where the child is to be educated. Local authorities must consult the governing body of the school, and if the school is in the area of another authority, that authority, before naming the school. Children can only be admitted to a maintained special school if they have a statement which names that school, except in prescribed circumstances set out in section 316A of the Education Act 1996. These include admission for the purposes of an assessment, with the agreement of the local education authority, the head teacher, the parent and those from whom the local authority seeks advice for an assessment; where the child remains admitted to the special school following an assessment; or, with the agreement of the local education authority, the head teacher and the parent, following a change in circumstances.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many disabled children have been statemented in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (267519)

[holding answer 27 March 2009]: Information on the number of disabled children who have been statemented in each of the last five years is not available.

The available information on special educational needs, including information on the type of special educational needs, is published in Table 9 of Statistical First Release

15/2008: Special Educational Needs in England: January 2008 which can be found at:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000794/index.shtml

Information for the previous year can be found at:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000732/index.shtml

Information for 2006 can be found at:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000661/index.shtml

Information for 2005 can be found at:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000584/index.shtml

and information for 2004 can be found at:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000537/index.shtml

Video Games: Sales

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps (a) his Department and (b) trading standards have taken to prevent sales of video games to those under age. (267890)

The Government accepted all the Byron Review recommendations, including working with Trading Standards Officers on assessing underage sales of video games. Investigating the issue was accepted as a priority by the Executive Board of the new UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and the Council has taken steps to implement this work with local partners.

This work forms part of the broader efforts to improve parents’ and young people’s understanding of video games and the associated risks, including a review of the classification system by the Department for Culture Media and Sport and a recently-established UKCCIS working group which will deliver the recommendations around online game safety recommendations made by the Byron Review.

World War II: Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether the Holocaust is included in the curriculum at primary school level; and if he will make a statement. (266998)

The National Curriculum requires pupils aged between 11 and 14 to study the Holocaust and it remains a compulsory element of the history secondary curriculum. The Holocaust is not a requirement of the existing programmes of study for history for children in primary schools, but is sometimes addressed in the wider school curriculum. For example The Diary of Anne Frank may be included in the range of non-fiction texts studied in English.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Adult Advice and Careers Service: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the annual budgets for the proposed (a) Adult Advice and Careers Service, (b) National Employer Service and (c) National Apprenticeship Service will be. (256229)

The Adult Advancement and Careers Service, National Employer Service and National Apprenticeship Service will be integral parts of the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and will consequently be funded through the overall SFA budget. Details of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) annual budget are set out in the LSC grant letter 2009-10, located at

www.lsc.gov.uk

Apprentices

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what percentage of apprentices completed their apprenticeships in the latest period for which figures are available. (265346)