Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 492: debated on Friday 8 May 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 8 May 2009

Children, Schools and Families

Children In Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which local authorities have children or young people in their care who are in placements outside the authority area; and how many young people in the case of each authority are so placed. (271340)

Information about the location of placements of looked after children and whether they are placed inside or outside of their local authority area can be found on the DCSF statistics website at the following link:

http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000810/index.shtml

The required information is set out in Tables LAA18 and LAA19. These are in EXCEL format in the third set of additional tables on the above website.

Departmental Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much has been spent by his Department on advertising in the last 12 months. (243723)

Promotional campaigns, including those using advertising, are funded from the Department's central Advertising and Publicity Budget and from individual programme budgets held by policy directorates.

Advertising is part of a full integrated promotional campaign. The question refers specifically to advertising and we have been able to separate the Department's spend on advertising, as this is centrally placed through the Central Office of Information.

The cost of recruitment advertising for the department has not been included as it is not possible to establish a definitive figure, except at disproportionate expense.

The Department's advertising spend and that of its predecessor (DFES) since April 2007 is set out as follows, with a breakdown of individual campaigns. All figures exclude VAT.

DCSF advertising billing 2007/08

Campaign title

Media total (£)

Childcare 2007/08

136,289

City Challenge 2007/08

53,007

DCSF Sponsored Parenting Phase 1 2007/08

34,217

Consumer Segmentation for Editors Briefing 2007/08

14,270

STEM 2007/08

338,258

MFL 2007/08

374,881

School Food Trust 2007/08

396,692

Children's Plan Launch 2007/08

125,759

National Year of Reading 2007/08

88,423

DCSF Recruitment and Classified Advertising 2007/08

72,556

Frank 2007/08 (DCSF only)

635,930

Teenage Pregnancy 2007/08

2,449,668

Skills Pledge June 2007

34,978

Diplomas 2007/08

3,771,787

Total

8,526,715

DCSF advertising billing 2008/09 (Costs invoiced to date)

Campaign title

Media total1 (£)

Diplomas 2008/09

4,156,858

DCSF—STEM 2008/09

348,884

Who Do We Think We Are 2008/09

2,446

National Year of Reading 2008/09

126,684

Teenage Pregnancy 2008/09

309,061

DCSF—MFL 2008/09

869,475

Parent Know-How 2008/09

9,897

DCSF Summer Holidays Affordable Childcare 2008/09

203,697

DCSF Media Only Campaigns 2008/09

20,081

Total

6,047,083

12008/09 figures refer to costs invoiced to date and not actual DCSF spend.

Departmental Voluntary Work

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his Department’s policy is on its staff undertaking voluntary work; and what estimate he has made of the number of such staff who undertook voluntary work in the last 12 months. (272496)

The Department believes that volunteering is important to enable staff to engage with communities they serve and have a better understanding of local issues to help deliver the Children’s Plan.

The Department has a well established policy to encourage all staff to volunteer on a regular and sustained basis. The Department has an annual 10 per cent. target of staff volunteering. The Department’s recent Staff Survey showed that up to 317 of staff have volunteered in the last 12 months (13 per cent. of those who responded). The Department encourages staff to volunteer by regularly advertising national and local opportunities on the Department’s intranet and local communication channels; there are also local volunteering contacts on all of the Department’s sites in Darlington, Sheffield, Runcorn and London.

Food

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will make an estimate of the (a) monetary value and (b) quantity of waste food disposed of from his Department’s premises in the last 12 months. (273442)

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) does not currently record the amount of food waste that is generated at each of our buildings. This is included within our overall land fill statistics. Separate records are kept for all other waste streams that are recycled, for example paper, glass, plastics and cans. Discussions are under way with our catering and waste management providers as to how the DSCF can reduce or eliminate the amount of food waste that is sent to landfill.

Grandparents: Parental Responsibility

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent research his Department has (a) undertaken and (b) commissioned on the attitudes of grandparents to providing childcare support for their grandchildren. (273816)

Officials from the Department for Children, Schools and Families reviewed the literature around the attitudes of grandparents providing child care support for their grandchildren, as part of the work to develop the strategy document “Next Steps for Early Learning and Childcare” (published January 2009).

Later this year we will hold a consultation event with grandparents and grandparents’ interest groups to update the position on support grandparents need from services.

Primary Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of primary school places required in England for children (a) one of whose parents is non-UK born, (b) who were born abroad and (c) whose first language is not English in each year from 2009-31. (273993)

Local authorities are responsible for planning the supply of school places in their area and must ensure provision is responsive to local circumstances and needs. When projecting future demand for places we expect authorities to take account of factors that will have an impact on future pupil numbers, such as changes in the immigrant population—including children born abroad to a non-UK parent and whose first language is not English.

Pupil Exclusions

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils were excluded from school before they were due to sit GCSE examinations in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) the North East and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in each year since 2005. (268361)

Information is not available in the form requested.

The available information on the number of pupils aged 15, in secondary and special schools, who received a permanent exclusion or one or more fixed period exclusions in England, the North East and Middlesbrough local authority area is shown in the table.

Comparable figures for 2005 are not available because in 2005-06 information on fixed period exclusions was collected from secondary schools only.

Information on exclusions in the UK is not collected by the Department. Information relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are available from the Welsh Assembly Government, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Department of Education, respectively.

To provide data at constituency level would incur disproportionate cost

Secondary and special schools1,2:Number of pupil enrolments aged 15 who received a permanent exclusion or one or more fixed period exclusions3,4: England 2006-07

Number

Middlesbrough LA

170

North East

1,790

England

39,110

1 Includes maintained secondary schools, city technology colleges and academies (including all-through academies).

2 Includes maintained and non maintained special schools. Excludes general hospital schools.

3 Pupils who were aged 15 on 31 August 2006.

4 Some pupils will have more than one enrolment and will be counted more than once, if they are registered at more than one school or moved schools during the year.

Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

The Department's exclusions guidance sets out those governing bodies must review all permanent exclusions from their school, and fixed period exclusions that would result in a pupil missing a public examination. It also states that the governing body should try to meet before the date of the examination, or if exceptionally this is not practical, that the chair of governors—using his or her powers to act in an emergency—may consider the exclusion and decide whether or not to reinstate the pupil. Where a pupil is excluded, depending on the nature and seriousness of the exclusion, the governing body/management committee may exercise its discretion to allow an excluded pupil on the premises for the sole purpose of taking a public examination.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what powers head teachers in maintained schools have to permanently exclude pupils. (271351)

Section 52 of the Education Act 2002 gives head teachers the power to exclude pupils for a fixed period or permanently, on disciplinary grounds.

Departmental guidance sets out the procedures to be followed, and explains that the decision to exclude a pupil permanently should be taken only in response to serious breaches of the school's behaviour policy, and if allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school.

Pupils: Absenteeism

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what percentage of gifted and talented pupils were persistent absentees in the latest period for which figures are available. (268485)

The available information is shown in the following table.

Primary, secondary and special schools1,2: Persistent absentees within the gifted and talented cohort3,4 England 2007-08

Number of gifted and talented enrolments5

Number of gifted and talented enrolmentswho are persistent absentees

Percentage of gifted and talented enrolments who are persistent absentees

Percentage of all enrolments who are persistent absentees

704,620

9,320

1.3

3.6

1 Includes city technology colleges and academies (including all-through academies).

2 Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools. Excludes general hospital schools.

3 Persistent Absentees are defined as having more than 63 sessions of absence (authorised and unauthorised) during the year, typically over 20 per cent. overall absence rate.

4 Pupils who were identified as gifted and talented at the time of the January 2008 census.

5 Number of pupil enrolments in schools from start of the school year to 23 May 2008. Includes pupils on the school roll for at least one session who are aged between five and 15, excluding boarders. Some pupils may be counted more than once (if they moved schools during the school year or are registered in more than one school).

Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Source:

School Census

Schools: Admissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many new school places he plans to create in each of the next five years. (272866)

Local authorities are responsible for planning the creation of new school places and are under a duty to ensure sufficient school places are available to meet local needs. The Department allocates Basic Need funding to enable local authorities to provide the additional places needed in response to a growth in pupil numbers. Allocations are based on each authority’s own pupil projections which they provide to the Department annually through the Surplus Places Survey. To enable authorities to plan deployment of their resources, these allocations are set for three years at the start of each spending review period. In addition, in 2008 the Department operated a “safety-valve” mechanism for funding new pupil places, to deliver additional funding for authorities facing exceptional circumstances because of the rate of growth of pupil numbers.

During the current spending review period (2008-09 to 2010-11), £1.2 billion of Basic Need funding will be allocated among the 150 local authorities in England. Additionally, four authorities were allocated exceptional Basic Need safety valve funding totalling £83.24 million.

Schools: Construction

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his most recent estimate is of the budget required for school building provision in the academic year 2009-10. (273991)

The Department’s information on forecast spend is held on a financial year basis. Most capital projects are delivered over more than one financial year, and the Department’s financial planning is based on a three yearly spending cycle. For 2009-10 financial year, our current forecast is to support investment in schools of around £7.5 billion. This forecast is under continuous review and will be subject to change. In addition, £1.3 billion of PFI credits are available to be allocated through Building Schools for the Future.

Special Educational Needs

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of pupils with statements of special educational needs who attended mainstream schools took an unauthorised absence from school in each year since 1997. (271830)

The available information is shown in the table.

Data on pupil characteristics linked to absence was collected in the School Census for the first time in 2005/06, but was collected from secondary schools only, therefore information on absence for pupils with statements of special educational needs prior to 2005/06 cannot be provided. In 2006/07 data was also collected from primary and special schools.

Primary and secondary schools1,2 number and proportion of pupils with statements of special educational need taking one or more sessions of unauthorised absence3,4 2005/06—2007/08 England

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

Primary

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

Primary

Secondary

Number of pupil enrolments with statements taking unauthorised absence3,4

n/a

29,200

14,090

27,930

13,970

26,050

Total number of pupil enrolments with statements3,4

n/a

72,430

58,810

68,800

56,450

65,090

Proportion of pupil enrolments taking unauthorised absence4,5

n/a

40.3

24.0

40.6

24.7

40.0

n/a = Not available.

1 Includes middle schools as deemed.

2 Includes city technology colleges and academies.

3 Pupils with statements of special educational need at the time of the January census.

4 Includes pupils on the school roll for at least one session who are aged between 5 and 15, excluding boarders. Some pupils may be counted more than once (if they were registered at more than one school or moved schools during the year).

5 Number of pupils with statements of special educational need who were absent for one or more sessions due to unauthorised absence, as a proportion of the total number of pupils with statements of special educational need, in each phase.

Note:

Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Special Educational Needs: Pupil Exclusions

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many and what proportion of pupils with a statement of special educational need for behavioural, emotional and social difficulties received (a) a fixed-period and (b) permanent exclusion from a mainsteam school in the most recent year for which figures are available; (273642)

(2) how many and what proportion of pupils with a statement of special educational need were given (a) one, (b) two, (c) three, (d) four, (e) five, (f) six, (g) seven, (h) eight, (i) nine and (j) 10 or more fixed-period exclusions in the most recent year for which figures are available.

The requested information could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is because the special educational needs status can change between periods of exclusion and the Department is currently working on a methodology for the analysis of this information.

Communities and Local Government

Derelict Land: Gardens

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam of 2 April 2009, Official Report, columns 1503-5W, on gardens, if she will place in the Library a copy of the letter requesting data on planning provisions sent to local planning authorities. (273366)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam of 2 April 2009, Official Report, columns 1503-5W, on gardens, what timetable she has set for the report of the garden land review. (273367)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam of 2 April 2009, Official Report, columns 1503-5W, on gardens, what arrangements she has made for external analysis of the data. (273368)

We will publish further details of the second stage of the review when the results of the first stage are clear.

Eco-Towns: Publicity

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what external (a) companies and (b) consultants her Department has retained for the purpose of promoting eco-towns; and at what cost. (273434)

The Department has retained no public affairs companies and consultants in relation to the promotion of eco-towns.

In order to promote the public consultation on eco-towns, the Department contracted the Central Office of Information to provide a range of marketing and public relations services, elements of which they allocated to agencies on their frameworks.

The Department also contracted the following marketing services agencies in relation to this work:

Redhouse Lane

Skyline Whitespace

Transmedia

Louise Burston

The Department will publish a breakdown of expenditure in relation to promoting the eco-towns public consultation on its website in conjunction with the publication of its next annual report.

Energy Performance Certificates

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effect on the effectiveness of energy performance certificates of enabling the Act on CO2 advice line to contact home buyers and sellers to advise on support in improving the energy rating of their homes. (271570)

No such assessment has been made. We are working with the Energy Savings Trust, who operate the Act on CO2 advice line, to identify homes with poor energy efficiency ratings and to better target their advice.

Home Information Packs

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what external (a) companies and (b) consultants have been contracted by her Department to promote home information packs; and at what cost. (273471)

In the financial year (2008-09) the Department conducted a campaign to meet its duty to inform industry and consumers of changes to HEPs as of 6 April 2009 and also to promote wider Government information for those buying or selling homes. The Department contracted the following activity through the Central Office of Information who engaged appropriate suppliers through their framework.

£

Advertising/media - Press

728,038

Advertising/media - Digital

485,279

Website

15,824

In addition the Department contracted Blue Rubicon for Public Relations activity.

Public Relations—£232,400

Homes and Communities Agency: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how much was received by the Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessor bodies in asset sales in each of the last five years; and how much grant-in-aid each such body received in each of those years; (270572)

(2) how much was spent by the Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessor bodies on administration in each of the last five years.

The predecessor bodies for the Homes and Communities Agency were English Partnerships, the investment arm of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities. A range of departmental programmes also transferred to the Agency from Communities and Local Government.

For the years 2004-05 to 2007-08 inclusive, figures for (i) asset sales receipts, (ii) grant in aid received, and (iii) spend on administration for English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation can be found in their published annual report and accounts each year.

With regard to the Academy for Sustainable Communities (which did not come into being until 2005-06), asset sales receipts were consolidated within the annual report and accounts of its parent organisation, Yorkshire Forward. The Academy was not funded on a grant in aid basis. Spend on administration (including staff costs, rent, rates, travel and marketing) by the Academy was as follows:

Amount (£ million)

2005-06

0.2

2006-07

1.7

2007-08

1.9

2008-09

2.2

Figures for the HCA will be published in its annual report and accounts 2008-09. Figures for 2008-09 for English Partnerships and the Housing Corporation will appear in what will be their final annual reports and accounts in light of their wind up.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many asset sales by the Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessor bodies involved receipts of (a) between £500,000 and £750,000, (b) between £750,000 and £1 million and (c) over £1 million in each of the last five years; how much was received in each case; and how many such sales involved the disposal of assets (i) purchased, (ii) developed and (iii) improved with public funds. (270574)

The predecessor bodies of the Homes and Communities Agency were English Partnerships, the investment arm of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities. A range of departmental programmes also transferred to the Agency from Communities and Local Government.

The following table shows the number of development asset sales by the Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessor bodies over the last five years and the total amount received for those receipts in the categories shown.

(a) Between £0.5 million and £0.75 million

(b) Between £0.75 million and £1 million

(c) Over £1 million

2004-05

Number

20

16

39

Amount received (£ million)

13.3

13.6

112.3

2005-06

Number

8

11

38

Amount received (£ million)

4.9

9.0

337.7

2006-07

Number

6

7

42

Amount received (£ million)

3.8

6.0

313.3

2007-08

Number

6

6

39

Amount received (£ million)

3.8

5.4

313.8

2008-09

Number

6

9

28

Audited information is not yet available for the amount received in 2008-09.

The answer to the latter part of the question could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what losses attributable to overpayments of (a) grants and (b) subsidies the Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessor bodies incurred in each of the last five years. (270602)

The predecessor bodies for the Homes and Communities Agency were English Partnerships, the investment arm of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities. A range of departmental programmes also transferred to the agency from Communities and Local Government.

The HCA and its predecessor bodies did not incur any losses through the overpayment of grant over the last five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the agreed administration budget for the Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessor bodies was in each of the last five years. (270606)

The predecessor bodies for the Homes and Communities Agency were English Partnerships, the investment arm of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities. A range of departmental programmes also transferred to the agency from Communities and Local Government.

The agreed administration budget for the Homes and Communities Agency, English Partnerships and the Academy for Sustainable Communities at the start of each financial year from 2005-06 onwards is shown in the table.

£ million

English Partnerships

Homes and Communities Agency1

Academy for Sustainable Communities2

2005-06

47

2006-07

48

2

2007-08

51

2

2008-09

86

2009-10

86

1 The Homes and Communities Agency was established on 1 December 2008 and the figure for 2008-09 is provided on merger accounting principles, ie as if the HCA existed from the start of the financial year.

2 The Academy for Sustainable Communities was established during 2005 and figures are not available for this year.

Note:

Figures are rounded to the nearest million

It is not possible to disaggregate the administration budget for the investment arm of the Housing Corporation without incurring disproportionate costs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent by the (a) Tenant Services Authority and (b) the Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessor bodies on information technology projects in each of the last five years; and how many such projects cost in excess of £1 million. (270607)

The predecessor bodies for the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) were English Partnerships, the investment arm of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities. A range of departmental programmes also transferred to the agency from Communities and Local Government.

A table showing information technology (IT) projects expenditure in each of the last five years for the Tenants Services Authority (TSA), the Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessor bodies is as follows;

£ million2004-052005-062006-072007-082008-09TotalHCA1————3.2993.299English Partnerships2.0552.0031.6671.953—7.678Tenant Service Authority2————1.9741.974Housing Corporation1.5672.0541.5323.336—8.489Academy for Sustainable Communities3—0.0510.1360.1670.0960.45 1 The HCA came into existence on 1 December 2008. The figure for 2008-09 includes that of the former English Partnerships.2 The Tenant Services Authority came into existence on 1 December 2008. The figure for 2008-09 includes that of the former Housing Corporation. It is not possible to disaggregate the IT projects of former Housing Corporation for 2008-09 between those that transferred to the HCA and those that transferred to the TSA.3 The Academy for Sustainable Communities was set up in 2005, hence figures for 2004-05 are not available.

During the period 2006-07 to 2007-08 a total of £1.170 million (included in the above figures for the Housing Corporation) was spent on a project to deliver a programme management information system for the capital investment programme (grant regime for registered social landlords (RSLs).

During the period 2007-08 and 2008-09 a total of £2.269 million (included in the above figures for the Housing Corporation and Tenant Services Authority) was spent on a project to provide the hosting of the Housing Corporation’s IT infrastructure for a contract period of up to five years. This was the set up costs which included servers, PCs, a disaster recovery facility, transition from the old provider and project management. The annual cost of hosting this is £1.9 million per annum from January 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the monetary value of ex-gratia payments made to the Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessor bodies was in each of the last five years. (270608)

The predecessor bodies for the Homes and Communities Agency were English Partnerships, the investment arm of the Housing Corporation, and the Academy for Sustainable Communities. A range of departmental programmes also transferred to the agency from Communities and Local Government.

No ex-gratia payments have been made to the HCA and its predecessor bodies in the last five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the cost of each (a) study and (b) review commissioned by the Homes and Communities Agency and its predecessors was in each of the last five years. (272508)

The Homes and Communities Agency does not hold information in these distinct categories, nor did its predecessor bodies. The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Housing: Low Incomes

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield of 3 March 2009, Official Report, column 1540W, on the Homebuy scheme, how many homes have been purchased in each Government Office region under (a) the Social Homebuy scheme and (b) Homebuy schemes other than Social, Open Market or New Build Homebuy in (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2007-08 and (iii) 2009 to date. (269883)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on 24 March 2009, Official Report, column 218W.

The following table shows provisional figures for Social HomeBuy completions through the Homes and Communities Agency's Affordable Housing Programme by region for 2008-09.

2008-09

North East

7

North West

23

Yorkshire & Humberside

1

East Midlands

0

West Midlands

12

Eastern

2

London

144

South East

10

South West

0

England

99

1 London figure includes six sales in local authority sector. Sales figures by registered social landlords (RSLs) are from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Although a few HomeBuy Direct sales are known to have been fully completed, official figures are not yet available. However, approximately 18,000 HomeBuy Direct properties were selected by the Homes and Communities Agency and over 32,000 potential buyers have registered their interest in the scheme.

Provisional figures show that there were around 1,100 completions under the Rent to HomeBuy scheme under which homes may be rented at a subsidised rent for a specified period with the opportunity for tenants to buy a share later. This is a new scheme and which began in 2008-09.

Detailed data on scheme completions are compiled and analysed on a monthly basis. Figures for April 2009 will be available later in May.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many Social Homebuy sales there were in each region in 2008-09; and what estimate has been made of the number of sales which will take place in 2009-10. (270690)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave today to the hon. Member for Meriden to question 269883.

No estimate has been made for number of sales in 2009-10 as Social HomeBuy is a voluntary and demand led programme. Sales depend on the number of landlords who choose to offer their tenants the opportunity of home ownership through the scheme and take up by tenants. Social HomeBuy is one of a number of home ownership options made available to social tenants.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the average equity stake initially purchased by a homebuyer through the (a) Open Market HomeBuy Scheme, (b) HomeBuy Direct Scheme and (c) MyChoice HomeBuy Scheme has been to date; (272350)

(2) how much initial equity on average homebuyers participating in the (a) Social Homebuy, (b) Own Home, (c) Rent to HomeBuy and (d) First-time Buyers scheme have purchased to date;

The following table shows the average initial equity purchased by households participating in the Government's low cost home ownership programme by scheme.

£

Social HomeBuy

138,888

Open Market HomeBuy

125,592

MyChoice HomeBuy

108,410

Own Home

112,025

First Time Buyers' initiative

101,114

There have been no sales yet under the Rent to HomeBuy scheme which enables potential purchasers to rent a home for up to five years before buying a share.

To the end of March 2009 there were no fully completed sales registered under HomeBuy Direct.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many completed transactions there have been under the HomeBuy Direct scheme to date. (272423)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on 27 April 2009, Official Report, column 1119W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many applicants have registered with HomeBuy providers in each of the last 12 months. (272579)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes have been purchased under (a) OwnHome, (b) New Build HomeBuy, (c) HomeBuy Direct, (d) Rent to HomeBuy, (e) Social HomeBuy, (f) the First-Time Buyers Initiative, (g) Open Market HomeBuy and (h) MyChoice HomeBuy in each of the last three years; and if she will make a statement. (272758)

The data available on purchases of HomeBuy products in each of the last three years is given in the following table.

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

New Build HomeBuy

11,017

14,880

10,647

Social HomeBuy

47

160

99

First Time Buyers Initiative

24

818

1,025

Open Market HomeBuy

2,293

2,749

6,123

Ownhome

799

MyChoice HomeBuy

3,123

The 6,123 Open Market HomeBuy purchases in 2008-09 include the 799 through Ownhome and 3,123 through My Choice HomeBuy shown separately in the table.

For New Build HomeBuy the table shows completions.

For HomeBuy Direct I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 27 April 2009, Official Report, column 1119 W.

There have been no purchases under the Rent to HomeBuy scheme, which enables potential purchasers to rent a home for up to five years before buying a share.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent on the (a) development and (b) maintenance of the homebuy.co.uk website in each of the last three years; and what budget has been assigned to the website for each of the next two years. (272814)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what expenditure she expects her Department to incur in publicising HomeBuy products in each of the next three years; and what promotional activities have been planned. (272978)

There are no current plans for the Communities and Local Government Department to publicise HomeBuy products directly in future years.

Marketing of HomeBuy products is the responsibility of the HomeBuy Agents.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many right-to-buy sales there were in each local authority area in each year since 1997. (273645)

A table showing the number of local authority right to buy sales by local authority for each year from 1997-98 has been deposited in the Library of the House.

The figures only include local authority right to buy sales. They do not include registered social landlord preserved right to buy sales, details of which are not available at local authority level.

The figures are from quarterly P1B returns from local authorities to CLG.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what percentage of housing completions in each region was of affordable homes in each year since 1997. (273647)

The following table shows the proportion of affordable housing new build completions as a percentage of total house building completions in each year since 1997-98, by region.

Percentage

North East

North West

Yorkshire and Humber

East Midlands

West Midlands

Eastern

London

South East

South West

England

1997-98

16

17

17

14

18

13

36

21

19

19

1998-99

15

19

14

13

18

16

34

23

16

19

1999-2000

11

14

12

10

18

11

32

17

17

16

2000-01

8

13

11

10

16

14

33

17

15

16

2001-02

13

16

11

9

15

15

36

18

16

17

2002-03

5

14

9

9

18

14

28

18

14

15

2003-04

9

9

10

10

15

15

31

21

18

17

2004-05

10

11

8

11

18

16

27

25

16

17

2005-06

12

10

10

15

21

21

40

27

20

20

2006-07

15

12

11

13

16

22

45

28

17

22

2007-08

10

16

13

20

28

28

54

27

24

26

Total new build completion figures are from P2 quarterly returns submitted by local authorities and the National House-Building Council (NHBC) to CLG.

Affordable housing new build figures are collated from the Homes and Communities Agency Investment Management System (IMS); and Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) returns and P2 house building returns submitted to CLG by local authorities. Not all affordable housing is provided by new build completions, as some supply can come from acquisitions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 30 April 2009, Official Report, columns 1397-8W, on housing: low incomes, how many homes were purchased for use as social rented housing stock in each year since 1997. (273648)

Homes purchased for social rent1997-9811,7701998-9910,9601999-20009,1802000-018,8602001-028,1702002-036,4502003-044,2902004-052,8902005-062,4602006-072,4502007-083,390Source:Homes and Communities Agency Investment Management System (IMS), and local authority returns to CLG

Total social rented housing is provided by new build completions, as well as acquisitions. In 2007-08, an additional 25,390 social rented homes were built in England, plus a further 590 homes which cannot be broken down by new build or acquisitions, to give a total of 29,370 additional social rented homes provided in England.

Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 10 March 2009, Official Report, column 317W, on the Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government: finance, what the terms of reference were of the good practice on migration project. (272331)

The aim of the Migration Excellence Programme was to develop a good practice toolkit for local government that provided local authorities with guidance on how to pool and analyse all relevant national, regional and local data and intelligence in order to build accurate local profiles of Central and Eastern European migration.

The purpose and structure of the project were to provide:

1. Local authorities with an inventory of data sources

2. Information on publicly available on-line information

3. Guidance on how partners should be sharing data

4. Examples of good practice from three case study areas.

Mortgages

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 24 April 2009, Official Report, column 918W, on mortgages, when she expects (a) Santander, (b) Nationwide, (c) HSBC and (d) Barclays to implement terms for their customers similar to those offered under the Homeowners Mortgage Support scheme. (272108)

Santander (including Abbey and Alliance and Leicester), Nationwide, HSBC and Barclays (including First Plus) have confirmed they will now be offering comparable arrangements to Homeowners Mortgage Support to their customers, while opting not to take up the Government guarantee.

Customers of these institutions experiencing a reduction in income and willing to make regular monthly repayments will receive a similar level of support and be encouraged to seek independent money advice.

Mortgages: Government Assistance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many households in each local authority area have received assistance under the Mortgage Rescue scheme in each of the last six months. (272111)

The Government Mortgage Rescue scheme has only been operational across the country since 1 January 2009, following successful ‘fast tracking’ by 80 local authorities in December 2008. The scheme is one part of a comprehensive package of measures to help households at risk of repossession.

Based on the January-March 2009 monitoring returns, 452 households had applied for and were being actively considered for Mortgage Rescue assistance during this period, of which 57 cases were in the final stage of the process (referral to the Registered Social Landlord) as at the end of March. It can take between three and four months for a household to complete the process from the time they approach a local authority because it is similar to that of selling a property, involving procedures such as property valuation and negotiations between the parties involved. As at the end of March, one household in the Government Office East region had completed the process, whereby a housing association had agreed to purchase their property and enable the household to remain in their own home as tenants.

Headline data from the first monitoring returns submitted by local authorities implementing the scheme were published on the CLG website on 30 April 2009:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/repossessions/

The published tables, broken down by Government Office Region, comprise a consolidated return for January and February 2009, and a separate table for March 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what regional caps will be set on (a) property value and (b) household income in respect of assistance under the Mortgage Rescue Scheme. (272450)

The regional property price caps for the Mortgage Rescue Scheme have been reviewed and amended on the basis of feedback from delivery partners and early monitoring information. The changes, which are effective from 1 May 2009, are as follows:

£

Region

Original property price cap

Revised property price cap

East

190,000

200,000

East Midlands

145,000

155,000

London

295,000

305,000

North East

115,000

125,000

North West

125,000

135,000

South East

225,000

235,000

South West

195,000

205,000

West Midlands

145,000

155,000

Yorkshire and Humber

130,000

140,000

The household annual income cap is set at £60,000 and applies across all regions in England.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether households which have defaulted on their mortgage payments in the last five months will be eligible for support under the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme. (272454)

To be eligible for Homeowners Mortgage Support, households need to have been making regular payments, but not necessarily in full, in agreement with their lender for at least five months. This demonstrates that the borrower is able to continue to make ongoing payments at a reduced level before entering the scheme, and provides an opportunity for other forbearance options to be considered first. If a household has missed a payment or payments without the agreement of their lender, they can still become eligible by making regular payments in agreement with their lender for five months. These arrangements reflect the fact that Homeowners Mortgage Support is designed to help households experiencing a temporary reduction in their income. Other forms of assistance, such as Support for Mortgage Interest or the Mortgage Rescue Scheme, are available for households who have experienced a complete loss of income.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the cost of the Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme in each of the next three years; and how many households are expected to participate. (272461)

The Impact Assessment for Homeowners Mortgage Support (HMS) was published on Tuesday 21 April and is available at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/mortgagesupportimpactassessment

We estimate that the total cost of HMS over eight years will be £44 million (present value). This is based on a central estimate that around 42,000 households could join HMS (assuming the participation of lenders accounting for 50 per cent. of the number of eligible households in three months and more mortgage arrears). If lenders representing 100 per cent. of eligible households in three months and more mortgage arrears offer the terms of HMS, then we estimate that up to 85,000 households could be helped by the support.

Information on the profile of the costs to Government in each of the eight years was given in response to a question from the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on 24 April 2009, Official Report, column 919W.

National Housing and Planning Advice Unit

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 2 April 2009, Official Report, column 1508W, on the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit, on what date the unit plans to publish the first summary of board discussions on its website. (273449)

The NHPAU will be publishing summaries of Board discussions and outcomes of meetings on its website on Friday 8 May 2009. The published summaries will be for the period from February 2008 onwards. Summaries of future discussions will appear shortly after each monthly Board meeting and will appear on the NHPAU website.

Non-Domestic Rates: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 18 March 2009, Official Report, columns 1180-81W, on non-domestic rates: Greater London, if she will place in the Library a copy of the guidance note on the sub-location concept. (272333)

I have placed a copy of the relevant section of the guidance note in the Library of the House.

Regeneration

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 30 March 2009, Official Report, column 37WS, on regeneration, if she will place in the Library a copy of each item of correspondence between her Department and the European Commission on the financial corrections for the 1997 to 1999 programme period. (272336)

The information requested is not centrally held and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 30 March 2009, Official Report, column 37WS, on regeneration, what financial irregularities resulted in the financial corrections confirmed by the European Commission. (272337)

The irregularities that gave rise to the financial corrections confirmed by the European Commission included some failures to properly apply the relevant procurement directives; insufficient supporting documentation to justify the inclusion of certain project expenditure and examples of insufficient documentation to support the amounts or method of apportionment used in calculating overheads. There was no suggestion of fraud or impropriety.

Regional Planning and Development: South East

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to publish the final version of the South East Plan before the beginning of the restricted period outlined in the Cabinet Office guidance on announcements in an election period. (273990)

My right hon. Friend published the South East Plan on 6 May 2008 together with a written ministerial statement, Official Report, column WS58.

Regional Planning and Development: Thames Gateway

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent progress has been made in the delivery of the Thames Gateway Delivery Plan; and if she will make a statement. (271581)

Progress in the delivery of the Thames Gateway Delivery Plan is set out in the Thames Gateway annual report. The 2007-08 annual report was published in July 2008. The 2008-09 annual report will be published this summer.

Culture, Media and Sport

Alcoholic Drinks: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many personal licences to sell alcohol are held. (273654)

The latest Alcohol, Entertainment and Late Night Refreshment Licensing bulletin shows that for the year ending March 2008 there were 338,900 personal licence holders in England and Wales, based on 97 per cent. returns from licensing authorities. A personal licence authorises an individual to supply or authorise the supply of alcohol in accordance with a premises licence or temporary event notice under the Licensing Act 2003.

Listed Buildings: Malvern St James School

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he plans to announce his decision on the listing of the Edinburgh Sports Dome at Malvern St James School. (273658)

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will be making a decision shortly. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as one is reached.

Defence

Afghanistan and Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what ceremonial formalities are observed on the return from (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan of the remains of service personnel killed on active service; and if he will make a statement. (273656)

When the remains of Service personnel who lose their lives as a result of operations are returned to this country a formal repatriation ceremony is held.

These ceremonies are military and not governmental occasions. Such ceremonies are supported by an eight man Bearer party, usually drawn from the deceased's own regiment or service, and two buglers, all of whom are supervised by a senior ceremonial warrant officer. The ceremony, which is a service conducted by a military chaplain, is attended by a senior military representative, of at least two star rank, to convey the nation's respect.

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops from the UK Overseas Territories are serving in Afghanistan. (272598)

As at 1 March 2009 there are 10 known British Overseas Territories citizens who can be identified as being deployed to Afghanistan.

It is possible for personnel from British Overseas Territories to record their nationality as "British". As such, the figure stated above may be an under estimate of the total British Overseas Territories citizens deployed to Afghanistan.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his latest estimate is of the cost to the public purse of military operations in Afghanistan in the last two years. (273002)

The MOD identifies the costs of operations in terms of the net additional costs it has incurred. The costs that would have been incurred regardless of the operation taking place, such as wages and salaries, are not included. Savings on activities that have not occurred because of the operation, such as teaming exercises, are taken into account in arriving at the net figures.

The annual audited cost of operations in Afghanistan for the last two years is provided in the following table.

£ million

2006-07

2007-08

Resource costs

560

1,071

Capital costs

178

433

Total

738

1,504

The Spring Supplementary Estimates, published in February, set out the 2008-09 unaudited estimates, and these are provided in the following table. The final audited amounts are expected to be published in July 2009.

£ million

2008-09

Resource costs

1,710

Capital costs

849

Total

2,559

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the chain of command in Helmand province will be between US, UK and International Security Assistance Force forces following the United States' deployment of additional troops to the province; and if he will make a statement. (273714)

In response to a request from Commander ISAF, General David McKiernan, President Obama recently announced the deployment of an additional 17,000 US troops to Afghanistan to support the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, many of which will deploy to Helmand Province.

All ISAF forces, regardless of nationality, operate under the NATO chain of command. Therefore, UK forces in Helmand province will remain under the command of Task Force Helmand (TFH), who in turn are under the command of the International Security and Assistance Force, Regional Command (South).

Armed Forces: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received on psychometric testing of personnel due to be sent to combat zones to identify their vulnerability to combat stress; what response he has made to such representations; and if he will make a statement. (272852)

From time to time, the Department receives representations about the mental health services provided for members of the armed forces. I am not aware of any recent representations specifically on psychometric testing of personnel prior to deployment. The Department’s evidence-based view is that such selection processes do not work and would be counter-productive.

Recent research is summarised in the King’s Centre for Military Health Research “Ten Year Report” published in 2006 by the University of London and covering a decade's worth of research concerning the health of UK service personnel and veterans. This explains that selecting out individuals who might be at increased risk of developing mental health difficulties prior to recruitment or deployment is a flawed strategy because, whether one uses clinical interviews or questionnaire-based methods, it is impossible to distinguish reliably between those who will go on to experience psychological difficulties and those who will not. An ineffective selection programme would not just be costly and labour intensive but is likely to have adverse consequences both for individuals who would unnecessarily be prevented from deploying when doing so is part of their job, and for the operational efficiency of the armed forces by unnecessarily reducing the numbers of personnel available to carry out operational tasks.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to implement the recommendations in the Review of Defence Medical Services undertaken by the Healthcare Commission at the request of the Surgeon General. (273003)

Yes. The MOD is committed to meeting the Commission’s recommendations, which recognise where we are already demonstrating best practice in delivering healthcare and will help the Defence Medical Services (DMS) to drive improvements. We are exploring with the Department of Health how best to take forward continuing external and independent examination of our medical services. We have already created our own defence medical inspector general, whose remit includes following the Commission’s review with a wider internal review across the whole DMS and other appropriate Defence process owners.

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect of the award of each of his Department's current contracts on (a) the UK employment market and (b) the number of jobs in businesses which (i) have bid for or secured such contracts and (ii) are in the supply chain for such contracts. (273124)

The Ministry of Defence's primary consideration whilst making procurement decisions is to ensure that we secure the best equipment available for our armed forces, and also to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.

The industrial implications of our procurement decisions are considered strategically within MOD in the context of the Defence Industrial Strategy (DIS), which promotes a sustainable UK defence industrial base.

Gulf War Syndrome

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research his Department has undertaken into the pathological basis of new iatrogenic diseases caused by chemicals including therapeutic agents recognised to modify the phenotype of human tissues in respect of illnesses identified in those who served in the Gulf War in 1990-91. (272833)

No projects have been undertaken to date. We are unaware of published peer reviewed evidence of new iatrogenic diseases caused by chemicals, including therapeutic agents in ill veterans who served in the Gulf in 1990-91. The Medical Research Council (MRC) provides the MOD with independent expert advice on its Gulf research programme. In 2003 the MRC carried out a review of published research into UK Gulf veterans’ illness and the main recommendation was that research aimed at improving the long term health and well-being of Gulf veterans with persistent symptoms should take priority. A copy of the report is published on the MRC web site found at the following link;

www.mrc.ac.uk/Utilities/Documentrecord/index.htm?d=MRC002464.

A contract for research into possible ways of rehabilitating ill Gulf veterans has been awarded to a group at Cardiff University. The project involves close working with veterans and ex-service charities and is now in progress.

Nimrod Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what date he expects Nimrod aircraft to be fully operational. (273310)

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for the armed forces to the hon. Member for Moray (Mr Robertson), is the Defence in the UK Debate on 26 March 2009, Official Report, column 478).

Royal Hospital Haslar

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent estimate he has made of (a) the book value of the Royal Hospital Haslar site and (b) the anticipated annual maintenance cost of the vacated site. (265525)

[holding answer 23 March 2009]: The "existing use" value of the asset for Defence purposes was last estimated as £17 million in 2005. The current market value of the asset is different, but difficult to assess, given current market conditions. However, it is not Ministry of Defence practice to release assessments of market value, as to do so could influence the market and not serve the interests of taxpayers generally.

If the Haslar site were to be "mothballed" the estimated annual maintenance cost would be less than £1 million. However, the Department is planning a marketing campaign for this summer and is committed to finding a purchaser who can deliver a viable and sustainable future for the Haslar site.

To this end Defence Estates is working closely with Gosport borough council. In particular, we are keen to ensure that plans for the re-use of the site have regard to the historical setting of the listed buildings and grounds. An inquiry led by the Prince's Regeneration Trust last November examined the opportunities and potential. All proposals to acquire the site will be carefully evaluated, particularly as regards their approach towards conservation and heritage issues.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Flood Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what level of priority his Department gives to the completion of his Department's programme of work on the protection of critical infrastructure from flooding in relation to work on the implementation of the other recommendations of the Pitt Report. (273132)

In undertaking to act on every one of his recommendations, the Government endorsed the importance given to this area of work by Sir Michael Pitt. While the Government will give a fuller progress report in June on all that we have done since we published our action plan on 17 December 2008, I have provided some examples of what has been done to protect critical infrastructure from flooding.

The energy sector began work on improving resilience to flooding in the autumn of 2007, with an initial focus on electricity substations being extended to include both gas and oil installations. The Energy Networks Association, working with the Government and the electricity industry, has produced a report on the steps that can be taken to further safeguard electricity substations. The matter is being given full consideration at present with the industry regulator in the scope of the current distribution companies' price review.

In addition, work has been put in place to take forward lessons from the 2007 floods in relation to water companies. All companies have considered resilience in their draft business plans, which were submitted to Ofwat in August. The plans vary, as expected, reflecting the size of the company and the specific challenges presented by their locations. In total, almost £1 billion of investment has been proposed to increase resilience.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress the Environment Agency has made on establishing the system for opting-out of flood warnings recommended by the Pitt Report. (273134)

The Environment Agency systematically registers customers with its free flood warning service using publicly available information (names, addresses and telephone numbers). Customers are given the opportunity to opt out of this service. The Environment Agency pre-registered 55,605 new customers and only 521 customers chose to opt out of this service, giving an overall retention rate of 99 per cent.

For the Environment Agency to provide a full opt out flood warning service it needs access to ex-directory information. Since the publication of the Pitt Review, the Environment Agency has re-instated negotiations with the telecommunications companies holding ex-directory data. The Environment Agency is working hard to move to a fully opt out flood warning service by the end of 2009.

Flooding Lessons Learned Review

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many of the 15 urgent recommendations of the Pitt Review into the summer floods of 2007 have been implemented; and which ones are yet to be implemented. (272890)

The Government began to implement Sir Michael's Pitt's urgent interim recommendations in December 2007. In April 2008, Sir Michael noted that strong progress had been made against the majority of these recommendations, and that further work was needed in some areas, which has since been continuing.

The Government's next progress report, which will be published this June, will enable the public and the House to see what stage of implementation all outstanding recommendations have reached.

Inland Waterways

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many miles of British Waterways’ canals have (a) leakage and (b) erosion. (273300)

It is impossible to quantify leakage in this way. Where leaks occur, they can be potentially very serious and lead to breaches. British Waterways therefore acts quickly to plug any leaks when they are identified. Some seepage is, however, natural on both canals and rivers. With regard to erosion, canals are by definition man-made, engineered structures which do not suffer from erosion—as opposed to wear and tear—in the same way as rivers. This is in part due to the materials used in their construction, the slower flow of water and the strict speed limit imposed on waterway craft.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what procedures British Waterways use to record the number of water vehicles using its canals. (273304)

British Waterways (BW) keep a register of licensed boats. All boats on its waterways must have a licence. BW patrols the waterways regularly to check for unlicensed boats. It also publishes an ‘online boat checker’ where members of the public can check whether a particular boat has a valid licence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of narrowboats which used British Waterways’ canals in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2006-07. (273305)

British Waterways does not separate narrowboats from other types of boats in its regular statistics. The total number of boats licensed in each of these years is as follows:

(a) 32,566

(b) 30,905

Note:

Figures provided by British Waterways

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Europe: Diplomatic Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what posts in each UK mission in Europe have been (a) downgraded and (b) ended in each financial year since 2000. (271450)

For the period 2000-01 to 2002-03 data are not held centrally and it would involve disproportionate cost to obtain it from across the network.

Limited information is available centrally for the period up to 2006-07.

PostDowngradedCut

From

To

2000-01 to 2002-03

No data available

No data available

No data available

No data available

2003-04

112 UK staff (no further data available)

2004-05

19 UK staff (no further data available)

2005-06

33 UK staff (no further data available)

2006-071

Ankara

C4

Berlin

B3,A2

Berne

B3

Brussels

SMS2

SMS1

D6x2; C4x9; B3; A2x3

D7

D6

Dublin

SMS3

SMS2

C4

Kyiv

SMS1

D7

Lille

SMS1

D7

Luxembourg

A2

Madrid

C4

Munich

C4

B3

Oslo

A2

Paris

SMS1

D7

A2

Pristina

C4

Rome

SMS3

SMS2

C4x2

Stockholm

C4

Valletta

SMS2

SMS1

B3

C4

B3

Vienna

B3; A2

2007-08

Ankara

LEVx2

Belgrade

LEIII; LEVx2

Berlin

D6; LEI; LEII; LEIII; LEIVx2; LEVx4

Bucharest

LEV

Copenhagen

B3

Gibraltar

A2; B3

Istanbul

B3; LEV

Kyiv

LEIII; LEIV; LEVx2

Lille

LEII

LEIII

Lisbon

SMS2

SMS1

Madrid

C4; LEIII; LEV

Milan

C5; LEIII; LEVxl.75

Munich

C4

Paris

SMS1;C4;B3

Prague

LEV

Skopje

LEII

Sofia

LEV

Rome

LEII

LEIII

D6x2; LEIII; LEIV LEVx2

The Hague

A2; C4

Valletta

C4

Warsaw

LEI; LEII; LEIIIx2; LEVx3

2008-09

Amsterdam

B3; C5

Athens

SMS2

SMS1

C4; B3; A2

Belgrade

LEV

Berlin

D6x2; C5; C4x2; LEII; LEII (part-time); LEIIIx4; LEV

Berne

A2; B3

Bratislava

D6; C4; A2

Brussels

D7; C5; C4; B3; A2

Bucharest

SMS1

D6

D6; C4; A2

Copenhagen

SMS2

SMS1

C4; LEIV

D7

D6

Dublin

D6; LEV

Gibraltar

C4

B3

Istanbul

D6

C4

Kyiv

SMS1

D7

C4; LEV

Lisbon

C4; B3

Ljubljana

D6; A2

Madrid

D6; B3; A2; LEIIx2

Munich

SMS1

C.5

Nicosia

SMS1

D7

C4

Paris

SMS2

SMS1

D6x3; B3x2; A2

Riga

D6

C4

B3

Rome

B3; LEII

Sarajevo

SMS2

SMS1

D6

Skopje

LEVx2

Sofia

C4

Stockholm

B3

The Hague

D6; B3

Tirana

A2

Valletta

SMS1

D7

A2; LEV

Vienna

LEII; LEIIIx2; LEIVx2; LEVx82

Vilnius

D6

Warsaw

LEII; LEIIIx4; LEIVx5; LEV x42

Zagreb

SMS2

SMS1

LEIIIx l.5

1 Data not available for locally employed staff.

2 Cut positions in Vienna and Warsaw include staff who transferred to facilities management provider, Interserve, in the first phase of the North West Europe Facilities Management Project in December 2008. In Vienna the following staff transferred to Interserve: LEII, LEIII (x2), LEIV (x2), LEV (x8). In Warsaw the following staff numbers transferred to Interserve: LEII, LEIII (x4), LEIV (x4) and LEV (x3).

In addition to permanent cuts to expenditure such as the Europe Zero Based Review the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also downgraded and cut a number of UK based and locally engaged positions in Europe in order to reflect the changing patterns of carrying out business in Europe, and in order to generate resource for redeployment to emerging priorities elsewhere. These data reflect this.

These downgraded and ended posts have contributed to wider efficiency programmes across Europe which will continue during the current CSR period.

The data provided relate to Foreign and Commonwealth Office positions in Europe funded by Europe Directorate. These make up the significant majority of positions that have been downgraded or cut. Information is not held centrally for the small number of non-Europe Directorate-funded positions that have also been downgraded or ended.

Kenya: Piracy

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the estimated costs to the Kenyan government of arrangements to prosecute piracy suspects; and what proportion of those costs will be met by (a) the UK and (b) other sources outside Kenya. (272918)

We have received no reports on the estimated cost to the Kenyan government of arrangements to prosecute piracy suspects. The UK and its partners are willing to consider support in response to requests from Kenya, such as the package of priority assistance measures identified by the European Commission during their recent scoping mission to Kenya.

The proposed assistance would be targeted at the prosecution, police, judicial and prison services, particularly focusing on capacity and logistical shortfalls associated with the trials and detention of piracy suspects. An indicative amount of €1.74 million has been proposed, using the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Kenya as the implementing partner. We understand that this project is likely to be fully funded by the Commission.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 1 April 2009, Official Report, column 1281W, on Somalia: piracy, what the outcome was of the visit by the EU delegation to Kenya to assess the level of support that the Kenyan authorities require in the prosecution of pirates; and what needs were identified. (273088)

A European Commission delegation carried out a scoping mission in Kenya from 29 March 2009 to 3 April 2009. This resulted in a package of priority assistance measures being identified to support the efforts of the Kenyan authorities. The proposed assistance would be targeted at the prosecution, police, judicial and prison services, particularly focusing on capacity and logistical shortfalls associated with the trial and detention of piracy suspects. An indicative amount of €1.74 million has been proposed, using the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Kenya as the implementing partner. We understand that this project is likely to be fully funded by the Commission, which the Government very much welcome as appropriate recognition for the efforts being made by the Kenyan government.

Kenya: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of (a) the political situation in Kenya and (b) progress in implementing the National Accord in that country. (272917)

I am very concerned by the political situation in Kenya, particularly the current disputes between the coalition partners and the detrimental impact this is having on implementation of the National Accord. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister wrote to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga on 9 April 2009 to relay our concerns and to encourage them to intensify their efforts to deliver reforms. He underlined that unless more rapid progress was made on constitutional and electoral reforms, on improving security and on addressing corruption and impunity, there was a serious risk of a return to violence in Kenya. The Government will continue to work with the Kenyan government and our international partners to promote full delivery of the National Accord, providing practical and financial assistance where we can.

Russia: BBC External Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will commission an independent investigation into the administration and operations of the BBC Russia Service. (273604)

The BBC World Service is editorially, operationally and managerially independent of the Government, as is stated in the Broadcasting Agreement between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the BBC for the provision of the BBC World Service.

The BBC World’s service’s operation in Russia provide the Russian audience with trusted, high quality current affairs programmes and new media services. The FCO is satisfied that the recent changes to the service are being properly managed and reviewed in the normal process of evaluation within the BBC World Service.

We will therefore not call for an investigation into the BBC Russia service.

Health

Cross-Government Obesity Unit

To ask the Secretary of State for Health who the members of the Cross-Government Obesity Unit are. (273806)

Will Cavendish, (Department of Health) and Anne Jackson (Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)) are the Joint Directors responsible for the Cross-Government Obesity Unit (CGOU). Clara Swinson (Department of Health) is the deputy director. The CGOU is jointly funded and staffed by the Department and DCSF.

Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what choice is statutorily available to users of (a) mental health services and (b) health services for physical illness on the types of services provided to them; and if he will make a statement. (270571)

The NHS Constitution includes a right to “make choices about your NHS care. The options available will develop over time and depend on your individual need.” The first area where this has become a legal right is elective care where since 1 April 2009 patients have had a legal right to choose the organisation that provides their treatment when they are referred for their first out-patient appointment with a service led by consultants. This applies to the majority of patients including those with mental health problems. Those detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 are excluded. As this right covers only elective care, mental health services are not included.

As stated in the handbook to the NHS Constitution the right to choose will develop as choice is extended into other areas.

Health Services: Non-Profit-Making Associations

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued to primary care trusts in respect of commissioning (a) dental and (b) other health services from (i) social enterprises, (ii) charities and (iii) voluntary groups; and if he will make a statement. (272793)

Guidance has been issued to primary care trusts on commissioning dental services and many other health services. Copies of all commissioning guidance issued by the Department are available on the Department's website at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/AdvanceSearchResult/index.htm?searchTerms=PCT+guidance

In line with the approach of the world class commissioning programme, guidance focuses on health outcomes, rather than which provider it should be commissioned from. The Department is also working with the NHS Alliance to deliver a series of workshops to general practitioners and practice staff on social enterprise and the benefits that it can bring to patients receiving primary care services. Furthermore, the National Programme for Third Sector Commissioning is a Government-backed training initiative to help develop public sector commissioners' skills, expertise and understanding of the third sector that aims to ensure that both third sector organisations and commissioners get the best results for people using public services.

Learning Disability: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received on levels of funding for services for people with learning disabilities. (271666)

The following representations have been received on the levels of funding for services for people with learning disabilities.

A report by the Learning Disability Coalition Future expenditure on social care for people with learning disabilities highlighting issues affecting learning disability services in the next few years.

Between January and March 2009, the Department received five parliamentary questions from the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) about future funding plans for adults with learning disabilities.

In January 2009, the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Greg Mulholland) asked what guidance was given to local authorities to ensure that their resource allocation systems achieve a fair and effective allocation of resources for people with learning disabilities.

In March 2009 the right hon. Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith) asked about the basis for calculating the sum to be transferred from his Department to local authorities when they take responsibility for support for learning disabled people.

Departmental officials have a regular discourse with the Learning Disability Coalition. The last meeting took place last week to discuss their concerns about levels of funding for learning disability services and implementation of the cross-Government strategy on learning disabilities, ‘Valuing People Now’.

HM Treasury have yet to announce the timing of the next spending review and make available the associated guidance. Within the remit given to us by the guidance, the Department plans to make the best possible case for adequate funding for all adults with social care needs—including those with a learning disability—based on available data and evidence.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Walsall North of 31 March 2009 concerning a constituent. (273803)

Mental Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions electro-convulsive therapy was administered to a mental health patient (a) in total and (b) as part of compulsory treatment in each of the last five years. (271724)

The data requested on occasions when electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) has been administered to a mental health patient in total are in the following table.

Total and average number of procedures for electro convulsive treatment per patient where the relevant operative procedure code (OPCS-4 code= A83) recorded in either main or in any of the secondary operative procedure fields 2003-04 to 2007-08, EnglandTotal ProceduresPatient countAverage procedures per patient2003-0412,7001,8147.02004-0510,8221,5157.12005-069,1731,2117.62006-078,8031,0698.22007-087,3398788.4 Source:Hospital Episode Statistics; Outpatients, The NHS Information Centre for health and social care

We do not have the data requested about ECT and compulsory treatment. However, patients who are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 cannot generally be given ECT without their consent, unless it is authorised by a Second Opinion Appointed Doctor (SOAD). The following table shows the number of second opinion requests in England and Wales for ECT received in each calendar year followed by the percentage of those requests that resulted in the Second Opinion Appointed Doctor issuing a statutory certificate authorising ECT.

We do not know how many of these allocations were acted on.

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Number of requests for ECT second opinions

1,803

1,833

1,871

1,778

1,703

Percentage of requests where SOAD certified treatment

86

89

88

88

76

Source:

The Care Quality Commission

Obesity

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to his Department’s report Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: One Year On, which 20 areas of the country the National Support Team visited. (273809)

Between December 2007 and April 2009, the Childhood Obesity National Support Team visited 21 areas. Information on which areas were visited is provided as follows:

Isle of Wight;

Redcar and Cleveland;

Ashton, Leigh and Wigan;

South of Tyne and Wear;

Barnsley;

South Staffordshire;

Sheffield;

Liverpool;

Leicester;

Newham;

Manchester;

Southwark;

Cornwall;

City and Hackney;

Walsall;

Lincolnshire;

Bristol;

East Kent;

West Essex;

East Lancashire; and

Islington.

Obesity: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to his Department's report Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: One Year On, which 122 local authorities selected (a) one and (b) both of the child obesity indicators in their local area agreements. (273807)

Updated information on the number of local areas that have selected either one or both of the child obesity indicators in their local area agreements is provided in the following lists.

National Indicator 55: Obesity among primary school age children in reception year

Bristol

Croydon

Havering

Hounslow1

Isle of Wight

Kensington and Chelsea1

Kent

Lambeth

Lancashire

Lewisham

Merton

North East Lincolnshire

North Lincolnshire

Nottinghamshire

Portsmouth

Redcar and Cleveland

Rochdale

Salford1

Shropshire

South Gloucestershire

St. Helens

Sutton

Tameside

Wakefield

Westminster

Wiltshire

Wirral

1 Indicates an area with both National Indicators.

National Indicator 56: Obesity among primary school age children in year 6:

Barnet

Barnsley

Bedford

Birmingham

Blackpool

Bournemouth

Bracknell Forest

Brent

Brighton and Hove

Buckinghamshire

Calderdale

Cambridgeshire

Camden

Central Bedfordshire

Cheshire East

Cheshire West and Chester

Coventry

Darlington

Derbyshire

Devon

Doncaster

Dorset

Dudley

Durham

East Riding of Yorkshire

Enfield

Essex

Gateshead

Greenwich

Hackney

Halton

Hammersmith and Fulham

Hampshire

Haringey

Herefordshire

Hertfordshire

Hounslow

Islington

Kensington and Chelsea

Kingston upon Thames

Kirklees

Knowsley

Leicester

Leicestershire

Lincolnshire

Liverpool

Luton

Manchester

Medway

Middlesbrough

Newcastle

Newham

Norfolk

North Somerset

North Yorkshire

Northamptonshire

Northumberland

Nottingham

Oldham

Oxfordshire

Peterborough

Plymouth

Poole

Reading

Redbridge

Rotherham

Rutland

Salford

Sandwell

Sefton

Sheffield

Slough

Solihull

Somerset

South Tyneside

Southampton

Southwark

Staffordshire

Stockport

Stockton

Stoke-on-Trent

Suffolk

Sunderland

Surrey

Swindon

Telford and Wrekin

Thurrock

Tower Hamlets

Trafford

Walsall

Waltham Forest

Wandsworth

Warrington

Warwickshire

West Berkshire

Wigan

Windsor and Maidenhead

Wokingham

Wolverhampton

Worcestershire

York

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to his Department’s publication Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: One Year On, which primary care trusts chose child obesity as a World Class Commissioning target. (273808)

A third of all primary care trusts (PCTs) chose childhood obesity as one of their health outcomes. The Department does not hold data on the measures selected by each PCT. The information is available on individual PCT websites.

Home Department

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to reply to the letter of 2 March 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, on Mr Hazem Abu Shaban. (271026)

Vetting

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the UK Central Authority passes on information it holds to the relevant authorities when individuals apply for jobs working in (a) the Passport Service, (b) the UK Border Agency, (c) her Department, (d) the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, (e) the Police Service as (i) civilian support and (ii) warranted constables, (f) the Criminal Records Bureau, (g) the Greater London Authority, (h) local authorities children's departments, (i) local authority finance departments, (j) local authority electoral administration offices, (k) local authority social services departments, (l) the Pension Service, (m) the Criminal Cases Review Commission, (n) the Prison Service, (o) the Court Service and (p) the Crown Prosecution Service are vetted for crimes committed outside the United Kingdom. (243143)

The United Kingdom Central Authority for the Exchange of Criminal Records adds conviction information onto the Police National Computer (PNC) in relation to UK citizens where this has been provided by other countries. The PNC will also contain any information about crimes committed in the United Kingdom by foreign nationals.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) British and (b) foreign nationals working (i) as security guards in government buildings and departments, (ii) as police community support officers, (iii) in the Passport Service, (iv) in the UK Border Agency, (v) in her Department, (vi) in the Serious Organised Crime Agency, (vii) in the Police Service as (A) civilian support and (B) warranted constables, (viii) in the Criminal Records Bureau, (ix) for the Greater London Authority, (x) in local authorities children's departments, (xi) in local authority finance departments, (xii) in local authority electoral administration offices, (xiii) local authority social services departments, (xiv) in the Pension Service, (xv) in the Criminal Cases Review Commission, (xvi) in the Prison Service, (xvii) in the Court Service and (xviii) in the Crown Prosecution Service are vetted for crimes committed outside the United Kingdom. (243144)

For reasons of cost, I am only able to answer this question on behalf of the Home Office. It is Home Office policy to ensure that all recruits satisfy identity, background, right to work and unspent criminal conviction record checks including, for UK nationals, details of criminal convictions for recordable offences which have been notified to the UK authorities by either EU member states or through Interpol channels. This fully complies with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) issued by the Cabinet Office. In addition, using Home Office records, details are verified to ensure that any applicant has the right to work and that there are no integrity concerns. In addition, enhanced disclosures provided by the Criminal Records Bureau or Disclosure Scotland are required for those Home Office staff who work with children or vulnerable adults. We require information about both spent and unspent convictions for staff that are employed in a National Security Vetting (NSV) post.

When a foreign national seeks employment with the Home Office we seek to establish whether the individual has a criminal record in the UK as well as in their country of origin. It is not always possible to obtain this information from overseas. As set out in the Government Response to Sir Ian Magee's Review of Criminality Information published on 4 December 2008, we aim to improve the sharing of electronic information and to prioritise agreements on the sharing of criminality information for employment vetting and barring purposes with other EU countries.

Outside the EU we are taking a risk based approach to identify those countries that need to be a priority for information exchange for this purpose. However, in most cases where individuals have lived abroad during the preceding three years, if we cannot obtain a confident assessment about the absence of criminal records, the individual concerned will not be permitted to work in the Home Office and will be rejected on residency grounds.

Vetting: Maladministration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the ethnicity of those people who have been incorrectly designated as having a criminal conviction by the Criminal Records Bureau since the Bureau’s inception is; (262472)

(2) how many of those incorrectly designated as having a criminal conviction by the Criminal Records Bureau since the Bureau’s inception have received compensation; and how much has been awarded in compensation.

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) does not capture the ethnicity of applicants applying for disclosures. This information is not relevant to any of the searches done against the police national computer (PNC) or other data sources.

The CRB operates a redress scheme in line with Cabinet Office guidelines. Where there is evidence of maladministration on the part of the bureau when processing a disclosure application, a consolatory payment is made to the applicant. Information regarding how many applicants have received a consolatory payment following an incorrect match to a record held on the PNC and how much was awarded is not available.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Adult Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many new learning places he estimates will be created by implementation of the proposals in the Learning Revolution White Paper. (272757)

We are confident that the range of initiatives announced in The Learning Revolution White Paper will both increase the number of learning opportunities and help people access the many and varied kinds of learning that are already available. Adults want to learn in different ways—through structured classes and through libraries, museums, self-organised groups, membership organisations and on-line.

Our goal is that all adults are able to access a wide range of informal learning opportunities and that learning experiences are better joined-up so that people can pursue their interests. The “Learning Revolution” sets out proposals that will help achieve this goal, including increasing the availability of free and low cost spaces for learning, launching a £20 million transformation fund to reach out to new and different learners through partnership and innovation, setting up a support package for local learning champions and harnessing the potential of broadcasting and technology to support and enhance learning.

Apprentices

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people began apprenticeships under the apprenticeship programme for 16 to 18-year-olds in (a) Cheshire and (b) England in 2008. (272680)

1,400 16 to 18-year-olds started an apprenticeship in Cheshire in the 2007/08 academic year, the latest academic year for which we have full-year information. 107,000 16 to 18-year-olds started an apprenticeship in England in the 2007/08 academic year.

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many young people aged between 16 and 18 years old have (a) started and (b) completed an apprenticeship under the apprenticeship programme since its inception; and what estimate he has made of the proportion of young people who have completed apprenticeships under the scheme who are in full-time work. (272681)

Table 1 shows the number of apprenticeship starts and completions for 16 to 18-year-olds from 2007/08 back to 2003/04, the earliest year for which we have consistent data.

Table 1: Apprenticeship starts and completions for 16 to 18-year-olds

Level

Apprenticeships

Advanced apprenticeships

All apprenticeships

Apprenticeship starts for 16 to 18 year-olds

2003/04

82,400

25,200

107,500

2004/05

86,900

25,700

112,600

2005/06

76,600

22,400

99,000

2006/07

80,300

24,800

105,100

2007/08

81,500

25,500

107,000

Apprenticeship framework completions for 16 to 18-year-olds

2003/04

20,400

8,600

29,100

2004/05

30,100

9,700

39,800

2005/06

44,600

13,900

58,500

2006/07

49,700

15,500

65,200

2007/08

46,800

16,200

63,000

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

2. Advanced apprenticeships starts include a small number of higher level apprenticeships from 2006/07 onwards.

3. Programme-led apprenticeships recorded in WBL ILR returns are included in the above figures.

4. Age is based on age at start of course.

Source:

WBL ILR

Information on the destination of apprentices upon completion of their apprenticeship is not readily available. This type of information will in future be collected using the Framework for Excellence learner destination survey with the first results for all Further Education Colleges and work based learning providers available later in 2009.

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

Apprentices: East Midlands

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people commenced level 2 apprenticeships in (a) Lincolnshire and (b) the East Midlands in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08. (274041)

The table shows the number of apprenticeship (Level 2) starts in Lincolnshire and the East Midlands, from 2005/06 to 2007/08.

Number of apprenticeship starts in Lincolnshire, and the East Midlands, from 2005/06 to 2007/08

Area

Academic year

Apprenticeship starts

Lincolnshire LA

2005/06

1,800

2006/07

1,900

2007/08

2,200

East Midlands region

2005/06

11,900

2006/07

11,800

2007/08

14,500

Notes:

1. Data are rounded to the nearest hundred.

2. Area is based upon the home postcode of the learner.

Source:

Work Based Learning Individualised Learner Record (WBL ILR).

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people commenced level 3 apprenticeships in (a) Lincolnshire and (b) the East Midlands in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08. (274042)

The table shows the number of advanced apprenticeship (level 3) starts in Lincolnshire and the East Midlands, from 2005/06 to 2007/08.

Number of advanced apprenticeship starts in Lincolnshire, and the East Midlands, from 2005/06 to 2007/08

Area

Academic year

Advanced apprenticeship starts

Lincolnshire LA

2005/06

800

2006/07

900

2007/08

1,200

East Midlands region

2005/06

5,000

2006/07

5,600

2007/08

7,200

Notes:

1. Data are rounded to the nearest hundred.

2. Advanced apprenticeship starts include a small number of higher level apprenticeships from 2006/07 onwards.

3. Area is based upon the home postcode of the learner.

Source:

Work Based Learning Individualised Learner Record (WBL ILR)

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

Basic Skills

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which 10 skills courses cost the (a) most and (b) least per trainee. (274064)

The majority of the public investment in adult skills continues to be directed towards the priority areas that will lead to sustainable employment. Courses in these areas receive a higher level of public subsidy—some courses, such as all programmes for learners aged under 19 and first full level 2 qualifications (other than apprenticeships) for adults are fully-funded, whereas for others the funding is reduced as the individual learner or employer is expected to make a contribution.

Courses vary considerably, ranging from Apprenticeship programmes which are delivered over several years and incorporate a bundle of qualifications (usually a technical certificate, NVQ, key skills, employment rights and responsibilities and any other mandatory requirements set by the relevant sector body) to individual units of qualifications which can be delivered in a single day.

The most costly courses are advanced apprenticeships which are fully funded for learners aged under 19 and which range in cost from £15,700 to £17,300. The 10 advanced apprenticeships requiring the greatest outlay are:

Farriery

Process Technology

Transport Engineering and Maintenance

Water Industry

Engineering

Engineering Construction

Electricity Industry

Building Services Engineering Technicians

Metals Industry

Polymer Processing and Signmaking.

The least costly courses relate to 15 individual units of qualifications funded through Train to Gain and are:

Building the Team

Business Help and Support

Business Markets and customers

Business Opportunities and Risks

Introduction to Leadership

Leading a Team Effectively

Manage Finance in a Business

Managing Creativity and Innovation in the Workplace

Negotiation in Business

Planning in Business

Resources and infrastructure within a business

Solving Problems and Making Decisions

The skills needed to run a business

What is Enterprise?

Working with costs and budgets

The costs of these courses are around £80.

Birmingham City University: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much funding Birmingham City university was allocated from the Widening Participation fund in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08; and for what purpose such funds were allocated in each such year. (274043)

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) allocated to Birmingham City university £4,534,752 in 2005/06, £5,722,098 in 2006/07 and £5,122,524 in 2007/08 for widening participation. This element of HEFCE's institutional grant is intended to recognise the additional costs of recruiting and supporting students from disadvantaged and non-traditional backgrounds and disabled students. Allocations are based on the profile of the university's student population.

Building Colleges for the Future Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of Building Colleges for the Future funding applications which (a) involve land sales and (b) are part of local regeneration programmes. (273068)

Capital funding for further education colleges is administered by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). As the information requested is with regard to an operational matter for the council, I have asked Geoffrey Russell, the acting LSC chief executive, to write to the hon. Member with the further information requested. A copy of his letter will be placed in the House Libraries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many projects that had been approved in principle under the Building Colleges for the Future programme will receive funds from the £300 million allocated to the programme in the 2009 Budget. (274040)

Budget 2009 announced that an additional £300 million of capital funding will be made available in the current spending round and will allow a limited number of projects to start within this spending review period. Capital investment between 2007-08 and 2010-11 will total £2.6 billion on top of the £2 billion invested between 1997-98 and 2007-08.

It is not possible to say the exact number of, or the names of the specific projects, that will be funded as the selection of projects will be based on objective criteria that the LSC is developing in consultation with the sector. The LSC plan to confirm which projects will be taken forward during this spending review period at the beginning of the summer.

Departmental Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his Department’s policy is on the practice of holding departmental away days outside the Department’s buildings. (268533)

The Department believes that away days can be beneficial and necessary for staff development, team building and planning to help deliver the Department’s plans and objectives.

The organisation of away days outside the Department’s buildings will be based on sound planning and, where accommodation costs and other charges are involved, our policies on appropriateness and value for money.

Education: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent estimate he has made of his Department's capital expenditure assigned to (a) further and (b) higher education in (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11. (274054)

Budget 2009 announced additional capital funds for further education of more than £300 million for this spending review period (2009-10 and 10-11), with the total FE capital budget for 2009-10 being £827.6 million, and in 2010-11 being £448.1 million. This budget will cover expenditure on projects which have already been approved as well as new projects.

Budgeted capital spend for HE is £1,215.5 million in 2009-10 and £713.5 million in 2010-11.

These figures take into account the planned expenditure brought forward from 2010-11 as part of the fiscal stimulus package announced in the pre-Budget report.

Further Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many colleges were on the register of education and training providers in each year since 1997; (273069)

(2) how many new colleges registered with his Department and its predecessors as education and training providers in each year since 1997;

(3) how many further education colleges registered with his Department and its predecessors closed in each year since 1997.

The Register of Education and Training Providers was established in 2005 to support the Home Office in tackling immigration abuse in the education sector. This was absorbed into the new UK Border Agency's (UKBA) Register of Sponsors on 30 March 2009 which will carry out a similar role.

All statutory further education (FE) colleges (including sixth form colleges) were included on the Register during its years of operation. The figures are provided at Annex A.

The Register also held approximately 15,000 other education and training providers at the time it ceased operations. Any education or training provider is free to call itself a college and without disproportionate expense the number using that descriptor for their activities cannot be identified.

The number of new statutory further education (FE) colleges (including sixth form colleges) created by the Department and its predecessors since 1997 is provided at Annex B.

The number of statutory further education (FE) colleges (including sixth form colleges) closed by the Department and its predecessors since 1997 is also provided at Annex C.

Annex A: Total statutory further education colleges (including sixth form colleges) on register

Year beginning

Number

2005

392

2006

390

2007

385

2008

377

2009

372

Annex B: Statutory further education colleges (including sixth form colleges) created since 1997

Date

Number

1997

0

1998

1

1999

3

2000

1

2001

3

2002

2

2003

1

2004

0

2005

2

2006

0

2007

0

2008

2

2009

3

Total

18

Note:

In all but three instances, the colleges crated were as a result of merger with other colleges.

Annex C: Statutory further education colleges (including sixth form colleges) closed since 1997

Date

Number

1997

4

1998

7

1999

10

2000

10

2001

9

2002

10

2003

7

2004

3

2005

4

2006

5

2007

8

2008

7

2009

8

Total

92

Note:

In all but one instance, the colleges crated were as a result of merger with other colleges.

Further Education: Assessments

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of courses leading to (a) a higher national diploma qualification, (b) a higher national certificate qualification and (c) a foundation degree were taught in further education colleges in (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2007-08 and (iii) 2008-09. (274158)

The latest available information regarding students studying for higher national diplomas (HND), higher national certificates (HNC) and foundation degrees in further education colleges and higher education institutions is given in the following table. Figures for the 2008/09 academic year will be available in January 2010.

Enrolments1 to HND, HNC and foundation degree courses by type of institution—English further education colleges and higher education institutions academic years 2006/07 and 2007/082

Level of study

2006/07

2007/08

FEC

Total FEC and HEI

Percentage FEC

FEC

Total FEC and HEI

Percentage FEC

Higher National Diploma

13,195

28,455

46

12,295

25,490

48

Higher National Certificate

11,775

20,255

58

10,190

18,780

54

Foundation Degree

14,865

62,990

24

18,055

77,175

23

1 Covers enrolments from all domiciles to both full-time and part-time courses.

2 FEC figures for the 2007/08 academic year are provisional. Final data are available in January 2010.

Note:

Figures have been rounded to the nearest five and proportions are based on unrounded figures. FEC figures are on a DIUS whole year count basis and HEI figures are on a HESA standard registration population.

Source:

FEC figures from the LSC Individualised Learner Record (ILR). HEI figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency

(HESA).

Learning and Skills Council: Reorganisation

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent progress has been made on the reallocation of responsibilities of the Learning and Skills Council; and if he will make a statement. (273396)

We have made good progress with the transfer of functions to local authorities, the Young People's Learning Agency and to the Skills Funding Agency. We are on track to implement shadow arrangements by September 2009 ahead of the formal transfer in April 2010. The new arrangements are designed to deliver better and more focused services for young people, adults and business.

The changes are intended to allow local authorities to take a clear lead on the integrated delivery of all children's services from birth to 19, including supporting the rise of the participation age to 19. Post-19, a new Skills Funding Agency will take up the challenge of delivering on our 2020 skills ambitions (as set out in the Leitch Review) by leading a demand-led system delivering a range of skills training at a time and place that suits both learners and employers.

The staffing structure (including staff numbers and roles) and locations for both the new agencies and local authorities have been confirmed and communicated to LSC staff.

This has allowed the LSC to take forward the appropriate HR processes to establish shadow structures by September 2009. On the same timeline, the recruitment processes for the YPLA chair and chief executive and the chief executive of Skills Funding began in April. We have already established the National Apprenticeships Service that will see a radical change in driving up demand for and delivery of

apprenticeships to young people and adults. The “Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning” Bill, which contains the draft clauses that will underpin the Machinery of Government reforms, is progressing through Parliament having already concluded Commons Committee in April.

Qualifications

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which countries do not reciprocally recognise qualifications in skills training and apprenticeships funded by his Department. (274068)

The Department does not hold this specific information. However from a European perspective, in most member states certain professions are regulated and the EU directive on professional recognition requires authorities which give access to the profession to take account of qualifications gained elsewhere within Europe.

International Development

Development Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of the Government's official development assistance finding was met by each relevant department in each year since 2007; what proportion is expected to be met by each relevant department in (a) 2009 and (b) 2010; and if he will make a statement. (272363)

A summary of the make-up of UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2007 and 2008 was published in March in the DFID Statistical Release "Provisional UK Official Development Assistance as a proportion of Gross National Income, 2008" available on the DFID website (www.dfid.gov.uk). A summary is provided in the following table.

Figures for 2009 and 2010 are not yet available.

Departmental breakdown of UK official development assistance

Percentage

Out-turn 2007

Provisional 2008

Department for International Development

104

88

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

3

2

Ministry of Defence

0

1

CDC net investment

-10

3

Debt relief

0

4

Other

2

1

Justice

Electoral Register: Public Consultation

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Stroud of 16 March 2009, Official Report, columns 951-2W, on financial services: electoral register, what the timetable is for the consultation. (273345)

As mentioned by my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Mr. Thomas) to the question asked on 16 March 2009, Official Report, columns 951-52W, by my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew), the Government are committed to holding a public consultation to establish how removing the provisions that govern the edited register would impact not just on individuals but the economy as a whole.

The exact timing of the consultation has not yet been finalised but it is our intention to launch it shortly. The consultation will enable the Government to build a firmer evidence base about the advantages and disadvantages of the edited register and consider the way forward on the basis of the responses received.

Prisons: Discipline

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prison officers in England and Wales are (a) riot trained and (b) qualified to act as Tornado support; and at which prisons they are located. (272829)

On 1 May a total of 2,964 prison officers were trained to Control and Restraint Advance Level. These prison officers are qualified to act as Tornado support and are located at 108 establishments throughout England and Wales.

Prisons: Smoking

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners who smoke were sharing cells with non-smokers on 1 January 2009. (272828)

Under the terms of Prison Service Instruction 9/2007, which is available in the Library of the House, prisoners who are non-smokers must not be required to share a cell with smokers who are actively smoking. The status of a prisoner as a smoker or non-smoker should be established as part of reception procedures. Thereafter, arrangements must be made to place non-smokers and smokers in separate accommodation.

Occasionally it may be necessary to locate a smoker and a non-smoker together temporarily when there is no other accommodation available. The smoker should not be actively smoking in the cell and will be offered aids to help them refrain. There are no formal arrangements for recording this centrally, although it would normally be recorded on the individual prisoner’s history sheet. Information as to the number of smokers and non-smokers sharing cells on any given date could be obtained only by examining the record of every prisoner in custody at the time, at disproportionate cost.

Reparation by Offenders

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) hits and (b) votes have been recorded on the Community Payback website since its inception. (272824)

The Community Payback campaign aims to raise awareness of Community Payback by inviting members of the public to vote for unpaid work to be completed by offenders in their area.

User information is held by Directgov:

www.direct.gov.uk

The total number of visitors to the site, number of votes received online and via local pioneer areas will be available in June. Once available, I will write to the hon. Member and place in the Library of House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department has spent on (a) advertising in all media and (b) related communications and consultancy services on the promotion of its Community Payback initiative, broken down by category of expenditure. (272825)

The Community Payback campaign aims to raise awareness of Community Payback by inviting members of the public to vote for unpaid work to be completed by offenders in their area.

Since the creation of the Ministry of Justice, £630,000 has been spent on advertising Community Payback across 59 pioneer areas in England and Wales in March/April 2009. Funding was provided by the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice incurred no costs.

In 2007-08 55,771 people successfully completed community payback sentences. This amounts to over 8 million hours of labour, which was used to benefit the community.