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Written Answers

Volume 494: debated on Friday 19 June 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 19 June 2009

Cabinet Office

Charities: Animal Welfare

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment she has made of the effects of the recession on animal welfare charities. (278124)

I have been asked to reply.

The Charity Commission recently published its second economic survey of charities, which showed that just over half of the charities surveyed are feeling the impact of the recession. 58 per cent. of those surveyed have seen their incomes decrease, while 20 per cent. reported an increasing demand for the services that they offer.

DEFRA has not carried out a specific assessment of the effects on animal welfare charities. However, the Government have pledged £42.5 million to help volunteers, charities and social enterprises in the difficult economic climate.

Children, Schools and Families

Departmental Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of letters to his Department from hon. Members' parliamentary offices were answered within 30 days of the date of receipt in each quarter from January 2008 to March 2009. (280468)

The Department's correspondence target is to answer correspondence from hon. Members within 15 working days of receipt. The following figures reflect the Department's achievement against this target.

Percentage

2008

January to March

88

April to June

89

July to September

77

October to December

87

2009

January to March

83

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much (a) electricity and (b) gas was used on his Department's and its predecessor's estate in each year from 2004-05 to 2008-09. (280518)

The Department for Children Schools and Families and its predecessor consumed the following electricity and gas from the period 2004-05 to 2008-09.

kWh

Electricity

Gas

2004-05

19,442,456

10,041,361

2005-06

19,473,174

10,990,973

2006-07

19,891,015

9,568,107

2007-08

15,621,504

8,142,413

2008-09

14,054,053

7,232,697

Education Maintenance Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on eligibility criteria for the education maintenance allowance; and if he will make a statement. (281222)

The current eligibility criteria for education maintenance allowance (EMA) are designed to encourage learners from lower income households to participate in post compulsory learning. Evaluation of the EMA pilots has shown that EMA has led to increases in both participation and attainment. I have not had any discussions with ministerial colleagues about eligibility criteria for EMA.

Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools he visited on official business in the last 12 months. (272863)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families visited approximately 92 schools over the period since May 2008 on official business.

Schools: Essex

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how much funding he has budgeted for the rebuilding of school buildings in (a) Essex and (b) Castle Point in each of the next five years; (280450)

(2) how much funding his Department and its predecessor allocated for the rebuilding of school buildings in (a) Essex and (b) Castle Point in each of the last five years.

The Department maintains records on a local authority rather than on a constituency basis. The following table sets out actual and planned allocations to Essex council for the period 2004-05 to 2010-11. No decision has as yet been taken regarding allocations beyond 2010-11.

£ million

2004-05

63.2

2005-06

55.6

2006-07

51.2

2007-08

52.6

2008-09

78.4

2009-10

82.3

2010-11

83.5

In addition, Essex has a Building Schools for the Future wave 4 project with indicative funding of £31 million grant and £169 million of PFI credits. Essex also has a planned BSF wave 6 project in the pipeline.

Communities and Local Government

Fire Services: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the (a) capital and (b) operating costs of the FiReControl centre in (i) Durham, (ii) Warrington, (iii) Wakefield, (iv) Castle Donnington, (v) Wolverhampton, (vi) Cambridge, (vii) Taunton, (viii) Fareham and (ix) Morden in each of the next five years. (281216)

Under current planning assumptions, Fire and Rescue Services will begin using the regional control centres from next year in phases until every FRS in England is using the system. The forecast operating costs for the regional control centres prior to FRS ‘cutting over’ are set out in the following table:

Regional control centre

£ per year1

Warrington

2,445,864

Durham

2,332,711

Wolverhampton

2,572,971

Wakefield

2,404,185

Castle Donnington

2,414,024

Cambridge

2,608,184

Taunton

2,431,809

Fareham

2,608,963

Morden

21,607,482

1 The costs in the table provide an indicative full year forecast operating costs for a financial year in advance of 'cut over' occurring.

2 Note, the Morden building is on track to achieve Practical Completion in February 2010 and this figure includes a substantial rent free period. Comparative costs, including full rent would be £3,371,972.

These figures include all accommodation costs, senior management team and other local authority company costs.

Homes and Communities Agency: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people are employed by the (a) Homes and Communities Agency and (b) Tenant Services Authority. (280305)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Margaret Beckett) on 26 March 2009, Official Report, column 720W.

In addition to the 789 FTE staff, the Homes and Communities Agency employ 115 staff on full-time contracts.

Homes and Communities Agency: Offices

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many offices are operated by the (a) Homes and Communities Agency and (b) Tenant Services Authority; and where each office is located. (280294)

For details of the HCA's regional offices I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Margaret Beckett) to the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) on 12 March 2009, Official Report, columns 742-44W. In addition to these offices the HCA has two corporate offices in London (Buckingham Palace road, and Maple House, Tottenham Court road).

For details of the TSA offices I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him my by right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South on 24 April 2009, Official Report, column 912W.

Housing: Low Incomes

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes have been purchased under (a) HomeBuy Direct, (b) OwnHome, (c) OpenMarket HomeBuy, (d) the First-Time Buyers Initiative, (e) MyChoice HomeBuy, (f) New Build HomeBuy, (g) Social HomeBuy and (h) Rent to HomeBuy in each of the last three months. (281457)

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to him by my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Margaret Beckett) on 21 May 2009, Official Report, columns 1538-40W, 5 May 2009, Official Report, column 133W, and the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Member for North Swindon (Mr. Wills) on 30 April 2009, Official Report, column 1440W, respectively.

The following table shows the information for the months of February, March and April which are not covered by the previous answers.

2009

February

March

April

HomeBuy Direct

1

1

1

Open Market HomeBuy

605

727

172

of which:

Ownhome

79

112

20

MyChoice HomeBuy

414

520

141

New Build HomeBuy

677

3,112

128

Social HomeBuy

1

1

1

Rent to HomeBuy

27

972

63

First Time Buyers Initiative

51

72

60

1 Less than 5. Source: Homes and Communities Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2009, Official Report, column 996W, on housing: low incomes, what the average price of a property purchased under the (a) Social HomeBuy, (b) Right to Acquire and (c) Right to Buy scheme was in each region in each year since 1997. (281458)

I have placed a table in the House Library showing the average property prices of properties sold through Social Homebuy, Right to Acquire and Right to Buy, by year and region.

These property price figures are based on the total property price, not the amount paid by the purchaser, who is entitled to a discount on the market value and may be purchasing only a share of the equity in the property.

The average property price is not shown for the Right to Acquire sales prior to 2001-02, due to a low number of sales in each year.

Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which projects received funding from each regional Government office through the Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08 and (c) 2008-09. (278691)

I refer the hon. Member to the letter sent by my right hon. Friend the Member for Salford (Hazel Blears) to the hon. Member for Wycombe (Mr. Goodman) on 24 January 2008 which provided details of the pathfinder projects in 2007-08—the first year that Communities and Local Government funded local authorities for this work, A copy of the letter is in the Library of the House.

In 2008-09, the mechanism by which the Department paid funds to local authorities for work to prevent violent extremism changed, moving from a ‘pathfinder’ approach to mainstreaming the funding through the Area Based Grant. My right hon. Friend the Member for Salford wrote to the hon. Member for Wycombe on 2 April 2009 explaining that funding for preventing violent extremism was paid to local authorities through the non ring-fenced Area Based Grant in 2008-09. As with other funding streams provided through the Area Based Grant, authorities are not required to provide any additional information other than that provided in their statutory accounts, statistical returns and Whole of Government Accounts returns. However, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tooting (Mr. Khan) wrote to all authorities on 12 February to make clear that despite the non ring-fenced nature of the funding continued close working between localities and central Government was critical in developing understanding of the impact of this new policy area.

Following a request from the hon. Member for Wycombe, my right hon. Friend the Member for Salford undertook to provide information about groups in receipt of funding from local authorities in 2008-09 and subsequently wrote to him on 1 May 2009. A copy of the letter has been placed in the Library of the House.

Regional Planning and Development: South West

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to publish the Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West; and what the reason is for the time taken to publish the strategy. (281219)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to respond to the consultation on the South West Regional Spatial Strategy. (281220)

I refer the hon. Members to the answer given on 16 June 2009, Official Report, column 208W, to the hon. Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope).

Culture, Media and Sport

Libraries

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he plans to publish his Department’s strategy for library services; and if he will make a statement. (280898)

The Library Service Modernisation Review will be published in the autumn. Although this is later than previously announced the delay is to enable the review to take into consideration the outcome of the local inquiry into the provision of library services by Wirral metropolitan borough council, which is expected to report in late July.

Theatre: Tickets

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent estimate his Department made of the take-up rate of tickets under the free theatre initiative. (279448)

Data for the first quarter of A Night Less Ordinary, the scheme which offers free theatre tickets to young people under 26, are being collated and will be published by mid July 2009. Early feedback from participating venues and young theatre goers suggests the scheme is proving to be very popular.

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many improvised explosive device attacks there have been on British forces in Afghanistan in each month since January 2008. (279951)

Records of incidents for the whole of Afghanistan are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Data are more readily available for attacks within Regional Command (South), which includes the majority of UK forces deployed to Afghanistan. However, it is not possible, except at disproportionate cost, to identify attacks directed only at British forces given the multinational nature of forces operating in Regional Command (South).

Between 1 January 2008 and 31 May 2009 there were a total of 1,261 improvised explosive device attacks in Regional Command (South).

Improvised explosive device attacks

January 2008

54

February 2008

27

March 2008

51

April 2008

32

May 2008

31

June 2008

14

July 2008

115

August 2008

120

September 2008

106

October 2008

90

November 2008

99

December 2008

104

January 2009

83

February 2009

78

March 2009

85

April 2009

74

May 2009

98

These figures do not include improvised explosive device finds with no detonation or improvised explosive device false alarms. These data are based on information derived from a number of sources and can only be an estimate, not least because of the difficulties in ensuring a consistent interpretation of the basis of collating statistics in a complex fast-moving multinational operational environment.

Armed Forces: Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who was responsible for processing the pension payments to service personnel from the Royal Irish Regiment who received overpayment through the Special Capital Payment Scheme. (280642)

This was the responsibility of the former Armed Forces Personnel and Administration Agency. In April 2007, the Armed Forces Personnel and Administration Agency merged with the Veterans Agency to form the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent on energy efficiency measures for his Department's estate in each year from 2004 to 2009; what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of that expenditure; and what plans he has for future energy efficiency measures. (280541)

Use of energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, double glazing and cladding, form an integral element of the routine maintenance and management of the estate. A breakdown of the specific investment since 2004 to date is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, in addition to such routine investment, over the last two years this Department has invested some £8.9 million in 51 projects. It is estimated that these projects will result in financial savings of £2.8 million and emission reductions of 21,600 tonnes of CO2. The projects include Combined Heat and Power, biomass boilers, ground source heat pumps, building management systems and lighting projects.

In order to meet the targets placed on all Government Departments, MOD continues to identify opportunities to make further energy savings on its estate. Work includes undertaking energy audits on site, installing SMART meters and wherever possible achieving excellent rating in the Defence Related Environmental Assessment Methodology or the British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology for new builds and major refurbishments.

Gurkhas: Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what reports he has received on the provisions made for the Gurkha Pension Scheme in the Sixth Indian Pay Code; and if he will make a statement. (280986)

A report was produced on the impact of the Indian Sixth Central Pay Commission on the Gurkha Pension Scheme on 2 March this year. The majority of rates of pensions in the Gurkha Pension Scheme still compare favourably with the changed rates in the Indian scheme and no action is needed. A few minor changes are being implemented, but the main area for change affects those pensioners aged 80 or over, the most vulnerable group, who are to receive an increase of at least 20 per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of up-rating the future pensions of Gurkha ex-servicemen who retired prior to 1 July 1997 to the amount received by their UK equivalents. (280987)

Government policy is not to implement improvements to pensions and similar benefits retrospectively, a policy that is applied across the public sector in the United Kingdom. However, it has been estimated that to pay retrospective pensions to Gurkhas would cost MOD £1.5 billion over 20 years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information his Department has on the number of Gurkhas who left the Brigade prior to 1997 and who (a) live in poverty in Nepal and (b) receive charitable assistance to meet their basic needs; and if he will make a statement. (280988)

There are around 36,000 retired Brigade of Gurkha veterans/veterans' widows, most of whom live in Nepal.

Of these, some 24,000 are in receipt of Service pensions under the terms of the Gurkha Pension Scheme or the Armed Forces Pension Scheme. These provide a very good standard of living in Nepal. The rate of pension under the Gurkha Pension Scheme is kept under regular review and uplifted annually for inflation in Nepal, which ensures that the pension maintains its value in Nepal over the years. (The annual value of Gurkha Pension Scheme pensions that will be paid by the MOD in Nepal in 2009-10 is £54 million.)

There are around 5,000 veterans/veterans' widows who do not qualify for a Service Pension but who receive a Welfare Pension from the Gurkha Welfare Scheme, which is the field arm of the independent charity, the Gurkha Welfare Trust. The Welfare Pension is paid from donations made to the Gurkha Welfare Trust which allows them a sustainable lifestyle. The Ministry of Defence grants the Gurkha Welfare Trust more than £1 million per year, which covers most of its administrative costs in Nepal.

The remaining 7,000 personnel are veterans who did not serve for long enough to qualify for a Service Pension and who are not yet old enough or needy enough to qualify for a Welfare Pension. On leaving the Brigade of Gurkhas, they would have received a gratuity but no pension. If these veterans fall on hard times they too become eligible for a Welfare Pension.

All veterans receive free primary health care and those without Gurkha Pension Scheme or AFPS payments receive free secondary health care, all through the Gurkha Welfare Scheme.

Electoral Commission Committee

Elections: Local Government

To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission pursuant to the answer of 3 June 2009, Official Report, column 477W, on elections: local government, what steps the Electoral Commission takes to ensure that (a) their guidance is complied with and (b) their published performance standards are met by returning officers. (280674)

The Electoral Commission informs me that following publication in October 2009 of its first annual assessment of returning officers’ performance against its published performance standards, the Commission intends to meet returning officers who have not met its standards to agree with them action plans aimed at ensuring they will meet the standards in 2010.

The Commission does not currently have the power to compel returning officers to comply with its guidance.

Energy and Climate Change

Cabinet: Glasgow

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) how many (a) special advisers and (b) officials of his Department accompanied him to Glasgow for the Cabinet meeting on 16 April 2009; (273929)

(2) what car journeys he took in attending the Cabinet meeting in Glasgow on 16 April 2009;

(3) how much expenditure was incurred by his Department in respect of the Cabinet meeting in Glasgow on 16 April 2009;

(4) what expenditure on (a) travel, (b) accommodation and (c) food (i) he and (ii) officials in his Department incurred in connection with the Cabinet meeting in Glasgow on 16 April 2009.

For information relating to the Cabinet and public engagement event held in Glasgow on 16 April I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 3 June 2009, Official Report, column 487W.

Demos

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department has any contracts with the think-tank Demos. (279509)

Energy: Conservation

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of progress on meeting the commitments under the Energy Charter Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects. (280359)

Progress on meeting the commitments under the Energy Charter Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects is overseen by a working group of all members of the Energy Charter, including the UK, supported by the Energy Charter Secretariat. The main mechanism for assessing progress is through regular in-depth reviews of individual member states' policy frameworks for energy efficiency together with horizontal reviews across all the member states focused on specific policy issues.

Copies of the reviews can be found at

www.encharter.org/index.php?id=20

Fuel Poverty

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment he has made of progress in eradicating fuel poverty in vulnerable households by 2010. (279106)

[holding answer 11 June 2009]: The aim of the UK Government and the devolved Administrations, remains the eradication of fuel poverty in vulnerable households, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as far as reasonably practicable by 2010, with the overall aim that as far as reasonably practicable no household in the UK should live in fuel poverty by 2016 (2018 in Wales).

There is a wide range of policies and programmes in place which contribute to tackling fuel poverty. This includes Warm Front, CERT and the Decent Homes programme primarily addressing the energy efficiency of households, Winter fuel and cold weather payments to increase household incomes. However, rising energy prices have made achieving our fuel poverty targets more difficult and the current mix of fuel poverty measures is unlikely to eradicate fuel poverty among the vulnerable by 2010.

Against this background, a review of our fuel poverty policies is under way which will be examining whether existing measures to tackle fuel poverty could be made more effective. It will also consider whether new policies should be introduced to help us make further progress towards our goals. The review is looking across all three drivers of fuel poverty, and particularly the key issue of how we can more effectively identify and target assistance at vulnerable households.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assistance is being provided by his Department for people who, due to age or illness, require fuel assistance for heating other than during winter months. (279107)

[holding answer 11 June 2009]: The Government have a wide range of policies and programmes in place which can help households to reduce their energy bills throughout the year. These include Warm Front, CERT and the Decent Homes programme primarily addressing the energy efficiency of households through provision of a range of insulation and heating measures.

The Government are also working with Ofgem and the energy suppliers to help the most vulnerable customers find the best tariff available for them.

Information to help households save energy is available through the Government's Act on CO2 advice line run by the Energy Saving Trust.

Street Lighting: Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will discuss with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government the potential effects of a reduction in levels of street lighting on progress against carbon emission reduction targets. (264158)

[holding answer 17 March 2009]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no plans for such discussions. Decisions on street lighting levels are a matter for local authorities. They are required to report on their progress in reducing carbon emissions in the local authority performance framework. Local authorities have a broad range of means for reducing emissions from their own estates and from their communities.

Salix Finance, funded by DECC through the Carbon Trust, helps with street lighting projects. So far Salix Finance has made approximately £900,000 available in the form of match-funded interest free loans for street lighting projects, which are estimated to deliver annual carbon savings of 1,875 tCO2.

DECC is working to include street lighting in the Carbon Reduction Commitment. This will provide an incentive for local authorities to improve the energy efficiency of street lights. DECC is working closely with Communities and Local Government to develop the policy, in so far as it relates to local authorities.

The Government have also negotiated an implementing measure on street lighting under the Framework Directive for the Eco-design of Energy-using Products. This is expected to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and bring cost savings.

Warm Front Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average time has been between the payment of a top-up fee and the completion of installation work in cases where Warm Front installations have required a householder top-up to be paid in each year since the introduction of top-ups to the scheme. (255873)

The following table shows the average number of days between receipt of a Warm Front top-up payment and completion of installation. These timescales are based upon the latest period for which the data is available—1 June 2005 until 28 October 2008.

Installations by time band

Average days

Scheme year

Owner occupied

Private rented

Combined average

2005-06

34

49

35

2006-07

32

48

33

2007-08

23

33

23

2008-091

24

57

24

1 To end October 2008

Wind Power

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what proposals for wind farms in (a) the Thames estuary and (b) the English Channel his Department is considering; and if he will make a statement. (279038)

DECC does not have any offshore wind farm applications under consideration within the Thames estuary or English channel areas.

On 10 December 2007, the then Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform commissioned a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) on a draft plan for up to an additional 25 GW (installed capacity) of new offshore wind farms, in addition to 8 GW already in planning. This draft plan applies to all English and Welsh territorial waters and the renewable energy zone (UK waters outside 12 nautical miles).The assessment has been subject to a public consultation and a decision is expected in the summer.

Following this decision, the Crown Estate, as landowner of the sea, can proceed with its offshore wind farm leasing programme. The Crown Estate is currently considering proposals within nine indicative round 3 development zones, including two zones in the English channel.

Further details on the Crown Estate round 3 process and a map of indicative areas of potential for offshore wind farm development are available at:

http://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/round3

Any proposals that come forward for specific developments under round 3 will subsequently be assessed by the relevant competent authority through the planning process to ensure they are located in appropriate places.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Subsidies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects the payment by EU member states of single farm payments based on historic production levels to end. (280390)

The CAP Health Check agreed last November introduced the option for member states to move from a historic to flat rate model of the single payment scheme. It is too early to gauge the extent to which this option will be taken up in practice. However, the member states concerned will be aware that Commissioner Fisher-Boel has signalled that the Commission will propose that optionality be converted to compulsion when the scheme is next reviewed.

Badgers

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to provide a service for the collection and disposal of badger carcases found (a) on land adjacent to individual households and (b) in water courses. (280218)

DEFRA has no plans to provide a service of this nature. Where badger carcases are found on private land, responsibility for their collection and disposal rests with owner/occupiers. Owner/occupiers of property on which there are badger carcases are advised to contact their local authority for advice on appropriate disposal methods. Local authorities have responsibility for collection and disposal from public grounds and non-trunk roads, while the Highways Agency has responsibility for removal from trunk roads. The Environment Agency will consider taking action to remove carcases from water courses if they are causing pollution or flood risk.

Bees: Research

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which (a) organisations and (b) individuals were consulted during the development of his Department's bee health research Rationale, Objectives, Appraisal, Monitoring and Evaluation statement. (280723)

[holding answer 18 June 2009]: DEFRA’s bee health research Rationale, Objectives, Appraisal, Monitoring and Evaluation statement (ROAME) was included as part of the public consultation on the Healthy Bees plan which commenced on 8 April 2008 and closed on 29 August 2008. The consultation documents were published on the DEFRA website and were sent to the following organisations:

Avon Beekeepers’ Association

Bedfordshire Beekeepers’ Association

Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd.

Bee Farmers’ Association

Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association

British Beekeepers’ Association

British Wax Refining Co. Ltd.

Buckingham Beekeepers’ Association

Central Association of Beekeepers

Chalfonts Beekeepers’ Society

Chesterfield Beekeepers’ Association

Commercial Queen Rearers’ Association Of The UK

Council of National Beekeeping Associations in the UK

Devon Beekeepers’ Association

Durham Beekeepers’ Association

Easybee Products

Essex Beekeepers’ Association

Furness Beekeepers’ Association

Gloucestershire Beekeepers’ Association

Great Witley Beekeepers’ Association

Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers

Kendal and S. Westmorland Beekeepers’ Association

Kent Beekeepers’ Association

Leicestershire and Rutland Beekeepers’ Association

London Beekeepers Association

Manchester and District Beekeepers’ Association

Meon Valley Beekeepers

Mid-Bucks Beekeepers’ Association

National Farmers’ Union

Newcastle and District Beekeepers’ Association

Northamptonshire Beekeepers’ Association

Northumberland Beekeepers’ Association

Southport and Formby Beekeepers

Surrey Beekeepers’ Association

Thurrock Beekeepers’ Association

West Sussex Beekeepers’ Association

Wiltshire Beekeepers’ Association

Women’s Food and Farming Union

BASF plc

Belchim Crop Protection UK

Biological Crop Protection Ltd.

Crop Protection Association

Exosect Ltd.

Koppert UK Ltd.

National Bee Supplies

National Office of Animal Health

Poth Hill and Co. Ltd.

Syngenta Bioline Ltd.

Thornes Beehives

Vita (Europe) Ltd.

BBKA News

Bee Craft

Bicton College

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

C B Dennis British Beekeepers Research Trust

Country Smallholding Magazine

Hadlow College

Horticulture Research International

International Bee Research Association

Marine Biological Association of the UK

Myerscough College

National Diploma in Beekeeping

Natural Environment Research Council

Otley College

Rothamsted Research

Royal Agricultural Society of England

Smallholder Magazine

Honey Association

Honey Importers and Packers Association

Consumers’ Association

Food and Drink Federation

Fresh Produce Consortium

First Honey Co-Operative

Health Food Manufactures Association

British Tomato Growers’ Association

Commercial Horticultural Association

Cucumber Growers’ Association

Horticultural Development Council

Horticultural Trades Association

Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services

Local Government Association

National Association of Agricultural Contractors

Natural England

Sitpro Ltd.

The consultation documents were also sent to 31 bee importers and three academics. Individual information cannot be disclosed due to the Data Protection Act. 86 responses were received.

The ROAME statement and the Evidence and Innovation strategy for bee health are published on the DEFRA website.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of Government funding for research related to the honey bee was allocated to (a) the National Bee Unit and (b) higher education institutions in each of the five financial years to 2007-08. (280724)

[holding answer 18 June 2009]: The allocations by percentage of DEFRA funding for honey bee health in each of the five financial years prior to 2007-08 are as follows:

Percentage

NBU

Rothamsted Research

Warwick-HRI1

2003-04

10.3

45.5

44.2

2004-05

7

41

52

2005-06

0

17.8

82.2

2006-07

100

0

0

2007-08

100

0

0

1 Horticulture Research International was integrated with the university of Warwick on 1 April 2004 to form Warwick-HRI.

Dairy Farming

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to provide assistance to dairy farmers financially affected by the taking into receivership of Dairy Farmers of Britain. (280391)

I am deeply concerned and saddened by the situation facing farming members and other employees of Dairy Farmers of Britain, following the announcement to call in the Receivers (PricewaterhouseCoopers) on 3 June.

Publicly-funded schemes such as those available through Business Link are available to assist SMEs (small and medium enterprises) that find themselves in difficulties. Farmers who are in need of business advice should contact Business Link in their region. HMRC's Business Payment Support Service is also available for businesses which are finding it difficult to meet their tax commitments for the sorts of reasons faced by the farmers of Dairy Farmers of Britain.

Ministers have been in discussions with senior industry leaders and officials remain in close contact with the Receivers to ensure that those who might need to access these schemes know how to do so.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to assist farmers affected by Dairy Farmers of Britain being taken into receivership. (281387)

Publicly-funded schemes are available: through Business Link to assist SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises); HMRC’s Business Payment Support Service may also enable businesses in difficulties to defer their tax commitments; and the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme.

DEFRA hosted a meeting on 17 June with the Receivers (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Dairy Farmers of Britain Members Council and many other parties to continue co-ordinated efforts and work towards our common goal of minimising the impacts on all those affected.

Fisheries

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will seek derogations to enable inshore fishermen to continue fishing when their fish merchants are unable to report landing details within the time required. (280662)

Litter Abatement Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many litter abatement notices have been issued by each local authority in each of the last five years. (280266)

DEFRA does not collect figures on the number of litter abatement notices issued by local authorities; this information is collected by Keep Britain Tidy.

Newts

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his most recent estimate is of the UK population of (a) great crested newts, (b) each other endangered species of newt and (c) each endangered species of bat; from what baselines changes in the population of each such species is measured; and what criteria would have to be fulfilled for each such species to be removed from the endangered species list. (279198)

The following table provides the latest estimates of UK populations for the bats and newt on the UK list of priority species and habitats. Population estimates have been divided into three components: an actual number of individuals (or populations in the case of the newt), the range which the species occupies within the UK and the population trend.

Species

UK population1

Date

Range2

Date

Trend3

Date

Barbastelle bat

86 (10km sq.)

2008

80,939 km2

1980-2006

Unknown

2008

Bechstein’s bat

36 (10km sq.)

2008

31,850 km2

1980-2006

Unknown

2008

Noctule

450,000 (individuals)

1995

158,299 km2

1980-2006

No statistically significant change

1997-2007

Soprano pipistrelle

51,500,000 (individuals)

1995

227,090 km2

1990-2006

Stable

1997-2007

Brown long-eared bat

6245,000 (individuals)

1995

234,142 km2

1980-2006

Stable

1997-2007

Greater horseshoe bat

75,689 (individuals)

2005

50,543 km2

1990-2006

Increase

1997-2007

Lesser horseshoe bat

850,000 (individuals)

2002

58,483 km2

1990-2006

Increase

1997-2007

Great crested newt

971,000 (local populations)

2006

157,749 km2

1980-2006

Declining (slowing)

2008

1 Biodiversity Action Reporting System (2008)

2 Joint Nature Conservation Committee (2007). The report detailing the UK approach can be found here:

http://www.jncc.gov.uk/pdf/FCS2007_ukapproach.pdf

3 Biodiversity Action Reporting System (2008). Where available, bat trends are provided by the National Bat Monitoring Programme (Bat Conservation Trust, 2008)

4 Based on Harris (1995)

5 Based on Harris (1995)

6 Based on Harris (1995)

7 Population estimate is 5,689 (adults counted at 21 breeding sites) * 2.2 = 12518 (Biodiversity Action Reporting System 2008)

8 Pers. comm. Schofield (2008). The rationale for this figure is based on an approximate doubling of the latest statistically valid figure for Wales (28,000; Matthews & Halliwell, 2008) due to the fact that the total area of the range in England and Wales being roughly equal. (Biodiversity Action Reporting System 2008)

9 JNCC (2007)

The trends are not measured against a baseline. Baseline information is not relevant to de-listing as the viability of the population would be considered rather than a baseline value to which current population levels would be compared.

The criteria for delisting any species from the UK list of priority species is:

Long-term or underlying decline has been halted and sufficient recovery achieved. This represents compliance with the European 2010 target to halt the loss of biodiversity.

All criteria thresholds for selecting UK priority species have been exceeded.

Sufficient recovery has been undertaken to remove the risk of re-selection and immediate deterioration of state.

Some species are conservation dependant and will always require some conservation action even when desired state has been achieved. Where there is a realistic risk that removing a conservation dependant species from the UK list of priority species will result in the action or protection that the species is dependent upon coming to a halt, then the species will be identified as being ‘BAP dependent’ and will remain on the UK list of priority species until this is no longer the case, even if the other success criteria have been met.

Water Charges: Voluntary Organisations

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what effect he expects the guidance he plans to issue to Ofwat on charges to voluntary, religious and sporting not-for-profit organisations for surface water drainage to have on charges to the organisations concerned. (281221)

Guidance was issued by the then Secretary of State for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions in 2000. This states that surface water drainage charges for non-household customers should be set in a way that is sensitive to the actual use of the service by different types of premises. Ofwat, as the independent economic regulator for the water industry, is required to have regard to this guidance.

United Utilities recognised that its switch to site area charging was not in line with this guidance, or Ofwat’s more detailed 2003 guidance to water companies. Consequently United Utilities introduced a moratorium on its surface water drainage charges for 2009-10 for faith buildings, community amateur sports clubs (and similar clubs) and properties owned by Scout and Guide associations. This saw surface water drainage charges for these customers revert to 2008-09 levels.

United Utilities is currently working on a revised scheme of charges for 2010-11 and beyond. Ministers are keeping the situation under review.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Detainees

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Bermudan Government has held discussions with the Government of the United States on plans to accept further former detainees from Guantánamo Bay; and if he will make a statement. (280864)

The Government of Bermuda have confirmed that they have not discussed with the Government of the United States any plans to accept more former detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

BBC External Services: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department has spent on the BBC World Service in each of the last five years. (281415)

The BBC World Service has received the following grant in aid funding for the last five financial years

£ million

2008-09

265

2007-08

255

2006-07

239.5

2005-06

239

2004-05

225

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Swedish counterpart on the closure of the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and if he will make a statement. (279701)

I maintain a regular dialogue with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. I have had a number of discussions with Foreign Minister Bildt on the question of the transition from the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina to EU Special Representative once the ‘5+2’ objectives and conditions set by the Peace Implementation Council Steering Board are met. I have been clear on the Government’s view that transition can only take place once the conditions are met.

Departmental Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the volume of carbon dioxide emissions from offices in his Department in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08 (i) in total and (ii) per full-time equivalent member of staff. (280931)

In 2006-07 the total carbon emissions for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office UK estate was 14,430 tonnes of CO2 emissions (CO2e) equating to 3.8 tonnes of CO2e per full-time equivalent member of staff (FTE).

In 2007-08 total carbon emissions were 14,502 tonnes of CO2e, equating to 3.8 tonnes of CO2e per FTE.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the volume of carbon dioxide emissions arising from road-based transport used for administrative operations by his Department in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08 (i) in total and (ii) per full-time equivalent member of staff. (281041)

In 2006-07 total carbon emissions for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office arising from road-based transport within the UK were 332 tonnes of CO2 emissions (CO2e) equating to 0.09 tonnes of CO2e per full-time equivalent member of staff (FTE). In 2007-08 total emissions were 260 tonnes of CO2e equating to 0.07 tonnes per FTE.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much (a) electricity and (b) gas was used (i) on his Department’s estate and (ii) by his Department’s agencies in each year from 2004-05 to 2008-09. (280525)

The Executive Agency, FCO Services (FCOS) shares buildings with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK and therefore it is not possible to separate their gas and electricity usage. Figures for our other Executive Agency, Wilton Park, are given separately when known.

Kilowatt hours

FCO/FCOS

Wilton Park

Electricity

Gas

Electricity

Gas

2004-05

19,457,515

3,878,744

411,676

406,431

2005-06

20,856,930

4,732,676

439,213

423,272

2006-07

22,578,615

1,341,891

451,972

402,785

2007-08

22,578,615

1,153,023

22,677,887

419,166

2008-09

29,167,150

1,227,509

1

1

1 The figure for Wilton Park will not be known until the end of July 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent on energy efficiency measures for his Department's estate in each year from 2004 to 2009; what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of that expenditure; and what plans he has for future energy efficiency measures. (280536)

It is not possible to categorise goods and services purchased for energy efficiency reasons without incurring disproportionate costs. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has undertaken some measures for energy efficient reasons, such as upgrading lighting systems and lowering the office heating temperature.

Other measures have sustainable benefits but were implemented in response to a range of drivers including health and safety and estate rationalisation, for example the installation of more efficient hand dryers and the demolition of energy inefficient modular cabins. Energy efficiency is monitored though the Environmental Management Plan which sets out the actions required to meet the Sustainable Operations in the Government Estate targets. Future energy efficiency measures include installing more water efficient fittings, introducing ground source heat pumps, and putting in smart metering. Sustainability is one of the considerations in the business case for developments on the FCO estate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the energy consumed per full-time equivalent member of staff in his Department in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08. (280932)

For 2006-07 total energy consumption for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's UK estate was 33,981,361 kilowatt hours (kWh), equating to 8,879 kWh per full-time equivalent member of staff (FTE). In 2007-08 total consumption was 29,654,679 kWh equating to 7,767 kWh/FTE.

Departmental Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the amount of waste arising from his Department in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08 (i) in total and (ii) per full-time equivalent member of staff. (281040)

In 2006-07 total waste arising from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's UK estate was 1,797 tonnes, equating to 0.47 tonnes per full-time equivalent member of staff (FTE). The 2007-08 total was 1,212 tonnes, equating to 0.32 tonnes per FTE.

Departmental Water

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of water consumption on his Department's office estate in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07, (i) in total and (ii) per full-time equivalent member of staff. (280930)

In 2005-06 the total water usage for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office UK office estate was 55,153 cubic metres equating to 13.7 cubic metres per full-time equivalent member of staff (FTE). In 2006-07 total water usage for the UK office estate was 62,409 cubic metres equating to 16.3 per FTE.

Gibraltar: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the inclusion of Gibraltar on the UN’s list of territories in the process of decolonisation. (280231)

The Government believe Gibraltar should not be included on the UN list of non self-governing territories. The 2006 Gibraltar Constitution provides for a modern and mature relationship between Gibraltar and the UK, and Her Majesty’s Government regrets that the UN Committee of 24’s outdated criteria fail to take this into account. The Government do not consider that any of their Overseas Territories should remain on the UN list.

Hezbollah

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contacts (a) his Department and (b) HM Ambassador to Lebanon plan to have with members of Hezbollah’s political wing. (277373)

Our objective with Hezbollah remains unchanged: to urge them to reject violence and play a constructive, democratic and peaceful role in Lebanese politics, in line with UN Security Council Resolutions. We believe that occasional and carefully considered contacts with Hezbollah’s politicians, including its MPs, will on occasions advance this objective.

Peru: Ethnic Groups

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on recent incidents of violence in Peru which resulted in the deaths of 54 people from indigenous groups during an operation by the national police in that country. (281385)

Our embassy in Lima provided reports on protests in Peru’s Amazon over land use legislation, which turned violent on 5 June 2009. EU heads of mission in Lima issued the following statement on 9 June 2009 following this tragic development:

“The EU profoundly regrets the tragic events of recent days in the Peruvian Amazon, in particular the loss of human lives, including more than 20 members of the National Police of Peru and an as yet undetermined number of civilians. The EU sends its condolences to the government and people of Peru and to the families of all the victims. The EU calls for restraint to avoid further violence and for a peaceful and lasting solution to the situation through dialogue.”

The Peruvian Ombudsman has given the number of confirmed deaths resulting from the violence on 5 and 6 June 2009 as 33. 23 of these were members of the police force and 10 were civilians, including four members of indigenous communities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the government of Peru on the establishment of an independent investigation into the recent deaths of indigenous people during incidents of violence in Peru. (281386)

Since the outbreak of violence on 5 June we have urged all sides to avoid further violence and resolve the dispute through dialogue. This has included contacts between our ambassador to Peru together with EU colleagues and the Peruvian Foreign Minister and between our director for the Americas and the Peruvian ambassador to the UK. We are pleased that a formal dialogue mechanism has now been established between the Government and indigenous leaders. We welcome the Peruvian Government’s invitation to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous People to investigate these events and the decision by the Peruvian Congress to appoint a multiparty Congressional Commission to carry out its own investigation.

Sri Lanka: EU External Trade

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to seek an end to the preferred trading arrangements which exist between the EU and Sri Lanka. (280291)

I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington (Tom Brake) on 1 June 2009, Official Report, column 75W.

Health

Accidents: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children were admitted to hospital as a result of an accident in school in each month of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (280449)

I have been asked to reply.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has provided the information in the following table.

The table records figures for Great Britain. No fatal injuries were reported in this period.

Non-fatal injuries to pupils/students1 to age 18, reported to all enforcing authorities2, 2003-04 to 2007-083,4

Year

Month

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-084

January

5

12

15

12

19

February

11

8

15

13

9

March

10

6

27

17

16

April

5

8

8

18

5

May

2

9

9

17

9

June

7

6

5

6

7

July

3

5

1

4

7

August

1

1

1

1

-

September

8

5

7

13

13

October

8

11

5

18

19

November

9

13

14

17

18

December

8

12

11

11

16

Total

77

96

118

147

138

Grand total

576

1 Identified by Standard Occupational Classification (SOC2000) code 0002 ‘Student’.

2 Injuries are reported and defined under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995. These include injuries to employees, self-employed people and members of the public (including students). The information available under RIDDOR 95 includes two categories of severity for members of the public: fatal injuries and non-fatal injuries that cause a person to be taken from the site of the accident to hospital.

3,4 The annual basis is the planning year 1 April to 31 March. Statistics for planning year 2007/08 are currently provisional.

Technical issues relating to the coding of incidents in the HSE’s database mean that there are some data discontinuities. A change during 2003-04 caused an artificial fall in that year in the number of injury reports coded to education and that affects the data series to 2006-07. A subsequent adjustment to the database from the start of 2007-08—to bring about a closer alignment with data prior to 2003-04—has introduced a further discontinuity. HSE statisticians are working to redress these known issues.

Cancer: Males

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department plans to spend on increasing awareness of cancers affecting men; and if he will make a statement. (280671)

Work to improve cancer symptom awareness and encourage earlier presentation across all cancers, including male cancers, is being taken forward through the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative, formally launched in November 2008.

In the last 12 months, the following funding has been awarded to organisations to raise awareness of male cancers specifically at a national level:

As part of the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative's promoting earlier presentation work stream, the Department and the Football Foundation are joint funding the Ahead of the Game programme. Ahead of the Game is a one-year pilot programme that will use the appeal of football to raise awareness of lung, bowel and prostate cancers in men aged 55 and over. The Department has awarded £50,000 for 2009-10, which builds on the £36,000 awarded for this purpose in 2008-09.

The Men's Health Forum has been awarded funding of £45,000 for 2009-10 for its project on increasing bowel screening uptake in men. This forms part of the £135,000 that the charity has received for this purpose over the past three years. In addition, the Men's Health Forum will receive a one year grant of £26,000 in 2009-10 to update its Mini Manual for Men's Cancer.

Colorectal Cancer: Screening

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the NHS bowel cancer screening programme; and if he will assess the merits of extending it to people between the ages of 50 and 59 years old. (281315)

We are currently rolling out the NHS bowel screening programme across England. Roll-out commenced in April 2006 and full roll-out across the country is on course to be completed by the end of 2009. When fully implemented, around two million men and women will be screened, and around 3,000 cases of bowel cancer detected every year.

As at 4 May 2009, 3,411,763 testing kits had been sent out with 1,955,831 kits having been returned; there had been 34,455 positive results with 3,063 cancers having been detected; and 11,474 patients had polyps removed, which might have progressed to bowel cancer.

From 2010, the NHS bowel cancer screening programme will be extended to men and women aged 70 to 75. By the end of 2010, we will assess whether or not to extend the programme to people in their 50s.

Based on the promising results of a large Cancer UK-funded clinical trial on the use of flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS) in bowel screening, we are funding a £300,000 demonstration study of screening by FS being run by St. Mark's Hospital, London. The pilot is inviting men and women aged 58 to be screened, and it is expected to report later in 2009. The results from the FS pilot will be considered when we assess whether or not to extend the bowel screening programme to people in their 50s.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much (a) electricity and (b) gas was used (i) on his Department's estate and (ii) by his Department's agencies in each year from 2004-05 to 2008-09. (280510)

The Department and its executive agencies NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA) and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have used the following amounts:

Usage (KWh)

Department

NHS PASA

MHRA

Electricity

2004-05

14,220,000

580,332

n/a

2005-06

13,454,000

640,780

n/a

2006-07

12,340,000

670,197

n/a

2007-08

12,065,000

718,863

1,672,164

2008-09

12,105,000

724,524

1,697,914

Gas

2004-05

5,604,000

442,246

n/a

2005-06

4,636,000

500,183

n/a

2006-07

3,835,000

426,828

n/a

2007-08

4,176,000

521,146

n/a

2008-09

4,575,000

450,524

n/a

The MHRA are unable to provide electricity information for 2004-07 as the information as the data are not available from their landlord.

These figures are based on actual usage of fuel over the period and differ slightly from the figures submitted as part of the Sustainable Development in Government (SDiG) reporting process, as some buildings were excluded from this exercise. SDiG figures are also weather corrected data.

The information in this answer covers the Department's central administrative estate of Richmond House, Wellington House and Skipton House. The Department is a minor occupier in New Kings Beam House (HM Revenue and Customs) and Quarry House in Leeds (Department of Work and Pensions) and the data for these sites are not available to us. Reductions in 2005-06 and 2006-07 are due to the closure of two London buildings—Eileen House and Hannibal House.

The data supplied for NHS PASA relate to energy used at their Reading, Chester and Sheffield sites.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on energy efficiency measures for his Department's estate in each year from 2004 to 2009; what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of that expenditure; and what plans he has for future energy efficiency measures. (280544)

The Department is unable to identify how much has been spent specifically on energy efficiency measures as these have been an integral part of our ongoing building maintenance work.

This Department supports and aims to meet the Government's targets to reduce carbon emissions and improve the energy efficiency of the Government estate. While we have increased the efficiency (measured as consumption per m2) of our gas usage, our energy consumption has increased over the period, due largely to our policy of closing buildings and concentrating more staff in our remaining estate.

The changes in energy efficiency of our buildings (measured in kWh per m2) since 1999-2000, which is the earliest year for which figures are available, are:

Percentage change (+/-)

2007-08

2006-07

Gas/fuel oil

-15

-16

Electricity

+24

+29

Total

+9

+12

We have been working with the Carbon Trust over the past two years to identify energy saving measures, and this has been reflected in an improvement in our performance on energy efficiency in 2007-08, compared with 2006-07. We have a number of further initiatives planned, which should improve these figures further in the coming year. This includes upgrading our building management systems and improving the automatic lighting systems in our core London estate and the replacement of boiler plant in two of these buildings.

Domestic Violence

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) full terms of reference are and (b) membership is of the health taskforce to spot signs of violence against women announced on 14 May 2009. (281460)

Malnutrition: Screening

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to promote incentives for nutritional screening in (a) payment by results and (b) community tariff payments in primary care. (280494)

No steps have been taken by the Department to promote incentives for nutritional screening in the payment by results national tariff or in community services.

There are no specific admitted patient care or outpatient attendance tariffs for nutritional screening, but the costs of this activity are captured in the reference costs which are collected from national health service organisations, and which inform tariff prices. Most community services are outside the scope of payment by results and are funded through block contracts.

Measles: Vaccination

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of children aged six years and under in (a) Essex and (b) Castle Point have been inoculated against measles. (280455)

Information of the percentage of children immunised against measles, mumps and rubella by their fifth birthday by primary care trust is contained in NHS Immunisation Statistics, England 2007-08, which has already been placed in the Library. Information for the hon. Member's constituency is not available.

Midwives

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many midwifery training places were commissioned for the 2008-09 academic year. (281125)

Strategic health authorities are responsible for allocating resources from education and training funding to support local initiatives for their staff. The latest figures available are for 2007-08, the figures for 2008-09 are still being collated and validated.

Actual

Planned

Degree

1,307

1,199

Diploma

412

474

18-month diploma

352

442

Total

2,071

2,115

MRSA: Milton Keynes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of MRSA infection in Milton Keynes have been reported to his Department in each year since 1997. (280876)

Since April 2001, all acute national health service trusts in England are obliged to report all cases of bloodstream infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

These data comprise all specimens processed by NHS acute trust laboratories, not just those from in-patients and include infections acquired in hospital and elsewhere. These data are only available by financial year.

Milton Keynes General Hospital NHS Trust

April to March each year

Number of cases of bloodstream infections caused by MRSA

2001-02

9

2002-03

13

2003-04

7

2004-05

11

2005-06

23

2006-07

19

2007-08

11

2008-09

14

Nutrition: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the National Patient Safety Agency is taking to improve (a) patient nutrition and (b) reporting of nutrition-related incidents involving patients. (280486)

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) is working with a range of stakeholders including the Department, Welsh Assembly Government, Royal Colleges, professional organisations, and industry to improve patient nutrition.

In April 2009, the NPSA launched the “10 Key Characteristics of Good Nutritional Care” toolkit to assist health and social care providers in the implementation of the good practice. The NPSA has also worked actively with regulators on the development of inspection criteria and guidance for nutrition.

The NPSA has held five workshops between January and March 2009 to engage with primary care organisations and supports the delivery of the Royal College of Nursing “Nutrition Now” workshops. The NPSA has recently part-funded the development of an e-based learning programme related to dysphagia management in partnership with the NHS Core Learning Unit. This includes working with the food industry to improve the quality of texture-modified meals.

In May 2009 the NPSA published an overview of what has been learnt from an analysis of nutrition-related patient safety incidents reported as occurring in England during 2006 and 2007. Data for 2008 are currently under review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of GPs who screen patients upon their first registration in line with the recommendations of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s guidelines on Nutrition Support in Adults. (280490)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions his Department has had with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills on inclusion of nutrition-related training in (a) undergraduate and (b) postgraduate courses for health professionals. (280491)

The Department is actively working with the Royal Colleges on the further development of their medical specialties curricula to cover public health content, inclusive of lifestyle determinants of health and wellbeing.

National health service staff knowledge and development related to public health is being furthered through a modular approach to learning by the NHS Core Learning Unit. Modules on public health are accessible through induction training and professional development.

Strokes: Milton Keynes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of stroke there were in (a) males and (b) females in each age group in Milton Keynes in each year since 1999. (280875)

The following table and notes show how many finished admission episodes for stroke in Milton Keynes primary care trust broken down by age group and sex for the years 1999-2000 to 2007-08.

Count of finished admission episodes for a primary diagnosis of stroke1 in Milton Keynes PCT, broken down by age group and sex, for the years 1999-2000 to 2007-08. Activity in English NHS hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector

Sex

Age group

2007-08

2006-07

2005-06

2004-05

2003-04

2002-03

2001-02

2000-01

1999-2000

Male

0-9

*

0

0

*

*

*

0

0

0

10-19

0

*

0

0

0

0

0

*

*

20-29

*

*

*

*

*

0

*

0

0

30-39

*

*

*

*

8

*

*

*

*

40-49

9

*

13

17

12

15

13

6

6

50-59

13

10

21

29

27

28

17

8

37

60-69

34

12

35

19

38

29

33

28

16

70-79

17

*

36

31

36

38

50

26

43

80-89

30

12

30

41

34

33

34

26

21

90+

*

*

*

*

9

6

*

*

0

Total male

114

49

144

147

173

157

155

106

127

Female

0-9

0

0

0

*

0

0

0

0

*

10-19

0

0

0

*

*

*

0

*

0

20-29

*

0

*

*

*

0

0

*

0

30-39

*

*

*

9

*

*

*

*

*

40-49

7

*

*

12

8

11

10

12

*

50-59

17

8

17

11

10

12

*

12

10

60-69

13

8

24

20

28

21

13

14

13

70-79

32

7

45

29

26

34

56

42

39

80-89

49

21

43

52

43

69

79

50

51

90+

18

*

27

9

13

21

10

14

6

Total female

140

54

169

147

138

172

178

149

130

Total

254

103

313

294

311

329

333

255

257

Notes:Ungrossed data Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed). Finished admission episodes A finished admission episode is the first period of inpatient care under one consultant within one health care provider. Finished admission episodes are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of inpatients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year. This table does not provide a total number of cases of stroke since those dying before reaching hospital or not being admitted to hospital will not be counted. As well as this, anyone suffering from a stroke whilst already admitted to hospital will not be included in the count. Primary diagnosis The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data set and provides the main reason why the patient was admitted to hospital. 1 The following ICD-10 codes have been used: 160 Subarachnoid haemorrhage 161 Intracerebral haemorrhage 162 Other nontraumatic intracranial haemorrhage 163 Cerebral infarction 164 Stroke, not specified as haemorrhage or infarction Data quality HES are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. Data is also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain. PCT7 strategic health authority (SHA) data quality PCT and SHA data was added to historic data years in the HES database using 2002-03 boundaries, as a one-off exercise in 2004. The quality of the data on PCT of treatment and SHA of treatment is poor in 1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99, with over a third of all finished episodes having missing values in these years. Data quality of PCT of general practitioner (GP) practice and SHA of GP practice in 1997-98 and 1998-99 is also poor, with a high proportion missing values where practices changed or ceased to exist. There is less change in completeness of the residence-based fields over time, where the majority of unknown values are due to missing postcodes on birth episodes. Users of time series analysis including these years need to be aware of these issues in their interpretation of the data. Assessing growth through time HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. The quality and coverage of the data have improved over time. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example, a number of procedures may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted for in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time. Small numbers To protect patient confidentiality, figures between 1 and 5 have been suppressed and replaced with “*” (an asterisk). Where it was possible to identify numbers from the total due to a single suppressed number in a row or column, an additional number (the next smallest) has been suppressed. 2006-07 data There is a decline in 2006-07 compared to previous years. This is due to an error made by Milton Keynes PCT when submitting their data for this year. Their submission was split into two parts, but unfortunately the second submitted file for the year overwrote the first, giving approximately half as many records as there should have been. For this reason it is advised not to compare this year to other years. Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), the NHS Information Centre for health and social care.

Tranquillisers

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 18 May 2009, Official Report, columns 1229-30W, on tranquillisers, what measures his Department intends to take to reduce the level of tranquilliser prescribing. (278060)

We expect individual prescribers to ensure that tranquilisers are prescribed appropriately depending on the individual needs of patients. In exercising their professional and clinical judgment, prescribers should consider available guidance and best practice.

The Department issued advice in 1994 and 1999 warning doctors of the dangers of benzodiazepine dependence. The Chief Medical Officer issued further advice in 2004 reminding doctors that benzodiazepines should be prescribed only for short periods. This advice is reiterated in the British National Formulary which is issued to prescribers every six months. Copies are available from:

www.BNF.org

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what results from prescribed medication withdrawal treatments have been reported by the NHS in respect of treatments provided by (a) David McKeown, Belfast and (b) the tranquilliser withdrawal clinic in Oldham in the last two years. (279386)

The Department does not hold information about the results from the prescribed medication withdrawal treatment reported by the Oldham withdrawal service, however local information held can be made available by contacting Oldham primary care trust directly.

Any results from work by David McKeown in Belfast, would not be reported to this Department.

Home Department

DNA: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding his Department has allocated in respect of the (a) capital and (b) running costs of the national DNA database. (271365)

The National DNA Database (NDNAD) was established in 1995, when responsibility for the operational management of the NDNAD rested with the Forensic Science Service (FSS) on behalf of the police service. No central records of costs relating to the maintenance of the NDNAD are held prior to 2002, as cost data was incorporated in other costs incurred by the FSS.

In December 2005 the FSS was vested as a Government Owned Company and responsibility for the NDNAD transferred from the FSS to the Home Office. On 1 April 2007 responsibility for the NDNAD transferred from the Home Office to the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).

The costs relating to the maintenance of the NDNAD from 2002-09 are given in the following tables. The costs from 2006-07 are higher than for previous years, because of the complete separation of costs from the FSS, and because the increase in the number of forensic suppliers requires additional resources for accreditation and continuous monitoring. In addition, the costs for 2008-09 include the costs of transferring the physical operation and maintenance of the NDNAD from the FSS to the NPIA (“NDNAD Transition”).

It is not possible to break these figures down into capital and running costs.

Table 1

£

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

NDNAD Services costs

774,304

904,385

1,276,823

1,245,151

Supplier accreditation costs

320,507

388,047

433,828

459,192

Total

1,094,811

1,292,432

1,710,651

1,704,343

Table 2

£

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

NDNAD Service delivery including delivery of IT development projects

2,041,743

1,600,087

1,818,362

Custodian accreditation1

527,677

574,817

1,512,138

NDNAD transition

n/a

n/a

960,000

Total

2,569,420

2,174,904

4,290,500

1 Custodian accreditation costs prior to 2008-09 are the direct programme costs of the Custodian Accreditation programme and do not include the NPIA staff costs for NDNAD management, administration and data quality. These additional costs have however been included in the figures for 2008-09 onwards.

Forensic Science Service: Chorley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 8 June 2009, Official Report, columns 21-22WS, on the Forensic Science Service, what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed restructuring of the Forensic Science Service on employees of the service based in Chorley; and what arrangements he plans to make to retain the skills of employees at the service’s laboratory in Chorley. (281135)

[holding answer 18 June 2009]: All proposals relating to the restructuring of the Forensic Science Service (FSS) are subject to collective consultation with staff and staff representatives which was launched on 8 June 2009. It must be emphasised that no decisions have been made at this stage, however scientific excellence will remain at the centre of all the FSS and there are no circumstances under which the FSS would consider jeopardising the quality standards and scientific integrity that lie at the heart of organisation.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 8 June 2009, Official Report, columns 21-22WS, on the Forensic Science Service, what account this proposed restructuring of the Forensic Science Service has taken of the relationship between forensic science research at the University of Central Lancashire and the activities of the service (a) in Chorley and (b) elsewhere; what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the proposed restructuring on recruitment to the service from the University of Central Lancashire; and if he will publish the approved business plan for the proposed restructuring. (281137)

[holding answer 18 June 2009]: The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLAN) forensic science research team does not conduct any research on behalf of the Forensic Science Service (FSS). In recent months, the FSS and UCLAN have started to discuss the potential opportunity for the FSS to offer student placements. However, these discussions are in their early stages and no formal arrangements have been made at this point in time.

There are no plans to publish the Forensic Science Service Business Plan on the grounds of commercial sensitivity.

Fraud: Forgery

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many reported instances of (a) fraud and (b) forgery there have been in each year since 1997. (280669)

Detailed statistics on recorded fraud and forgery offences from 1997 onwards are published in Table 2.04 of ‘Crime in England and Wales 2007-08’. A copy of the table can be accessed at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs08/hosb0708chap2.xls

The Fraud Act 2006 came into force on 15 January 2007 and re-defined offences in the fraud and forgery offence group. At the same time, the counting of cheque and credit card fraud changed from a ‘per fraudulent transaction’ to a ‘per account’ basis. These counting rule changes have significantly reduced both the bureaucracy on the police together with the overall total of fraud and forgery offences recorded by them.

For these reasons, the annual Home Office publication ‘Crime in England and Wales’ focuses on fraud and forgery offences identified by organisations within the industry such as APACS (the UK payments association).

Human Trafficking: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department is taking to tackle child trafficking in the UK. (280707)

The Government's strategy for tackling child trafficking is in its Action Plan, published in March 2007 and up-dated in July 2008. A copy can be found at:

http://www.crimereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/humantrafficking004.htm

Racially Aggravated Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many racially-motivated crimes were recorded in each police force area in (a) each year from 1997-98 to 2002-03 and (b) 2008-09. (280855)

The information on police recorded crime covers some categories of offence that are deemed to be racially or religiously aggravated. Racially aggravated offences were added to the recorded crime statistics series in April 1999 and religiously aggravated offences were added in April 2002. It is not possible to separately identify those offences of a racial nature from those of a religious nature.

Data for 1999-2000 to 2002-03 is given in the following table. Data for 2008-09 will be published on 16 July 2009.

Racially or religiously aggravated offences recorded by the police

Number of offences

Police force area

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-031,2

Avon and Somerset

240

3,292

700

900

Bedfordshire

42

91

134

169

British Transport Police

n/a

n/a

n/a

402

Cambridgeshire

222

262

259

410

Cheshire

98

216

355

376

Cleveland

29

46

71

145

Cumbria

27

44

60

69

Derbyshire

263

298

381

560

Devon and Cornwall

120

272

321

496

Dorset

83

154

116

177

Durham

30

50

89

371

Dyfed-Powys

76

81

96

96

Essex

87

244

509

558

Gloucestershire

147

187

192

210

Greater Manchester

693

1,073

2,804

2,353

Gwent

97

154

141

193

Hampshire

273

609

454

317

Hertfordshire

148

177

233

343

Humberside

70

90

149

302

Kent

339

463

427

547

Lancashire

232

408

1,057

860

Leicestershire

169

295

556

809

Lincolnshire

12

30

26

136

London, City of

40

45

45

71

Merseyside

234

318

461

734

Metropolitan Police

13,850

11,925

10,800

9,853

Norfolk

76

87

103

203

Northamptonshire

191

234

294

303

Northumbria

273

360

538

934

North Wales

35

108

173

288

North Yorkshire

6

15

24

80

Nottinghamshire

425

620

731

635

South Wales

402

468

624

737

South Yorkshire

98

168

221

242

Staffordshire

176

276

646

466

Suffolk

125

191

272

246

Surrey

168

269

308

407

Sussex

246

434

441

443

Thames Valley

420

607

938

948

Warwickshire

66

111

181

159

West Mercia

228

468

661

527

West Midlands

883

2,306

2,843

2,422

West Yorkshire

234

308

501

707

Wiltshire

77

118

149

232

Total

21,750

27,972

30,084

31,436

n/a = Not available.

1 The National Crime Recording Standard was introduced in April 2002 and figures before and after that date are not directly comparable.

2 Includes British Transport Police for 2002-03.

House of Commons Commission

Members: Allowances

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what terms of reference have been set for the audit of previously submitted and paid expenses claims by hon. Members; what instructions have been given to those performing the audit; when he expects the audit to be completed; in what form the results of the audit will be published; and whether any external accountancy expertise has been recruited to assist in the audit. (278995)

Sir Thomas Legg KCB QC has been engaged to carry out the review of four years’ claims for Additional Costs Allowance for all Members who have claimed the allowance. His terms of reference are currently under consideration. He will begin work shortly and carry out his review as quickly as possible. He will draw on external professional accountancy expertise as well as help from other sources. His findings will be published in a report in due course.

Justice

Demos

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what (a) private meetings and (b) public engagements Ministers in his Department have attended at which representatives from the think-tank Demos were present in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (279496)

In the last 12 months, neither I, nor any of my Ministers, have had any meetings with representatives of the think-tank Demos and my Department has no record that representatives were present at any public engagement Ministers attended. As my hon. Friend will be aware, my brother Edward Straw is Chairman of Demos. However, I have not had any meetings with him in that capacity.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent on energy efficiency measures for his Department’s and its predecessor’s estate in each year from 2004 to 2009; what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of that expenditure; and what plans he has for future energy efficiency measures. (280532)

The Ministry of Justice is unable to provide the financial information on energy efficiency measures in each year from 2004-09 and the assessment made of the effectiveness of that expenditure without incurring disproportionate costs.

Actions the Ministry of Justice are taking for future energy efficient measures have been published in the OGC delivery plan:

http://www.ogc.gov.uk/documents/Delivery_Plan_Update_Dec08.pdf

The Sustainable Development Commission reports annually on Departments’ progress against SOGE targets in the Sustainable in Government Report (SDiG). In 2007-08 the Ministry of Justice was rated as having made excellent progress in energy efficiency overall.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which official is responsible for the energy efficiency of his Department’s estate. (280562)

The official responsible for the energy efficiency of the Ministry of Justice is Marco Pierleoni, director general, finance and commercial, who is also the Department’s green champion. However, the Ministry of Justice is in the process of appointing a new director of strategic property who will take over this work of the estate.

HM Courts Service: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what financial settlement was reached with the former Chief Executive of HM Courts Service at the end of his tenure. (279894)

Details of the financial settlement reached with the former chief executive, HM Courts Service is available in the public domain. The question was published on 25 February 2009, Official Report, column 841W. It is also detailed in the Ministry of Justice’s resource account 2007-08.

Sir Ron De Witt left the Department on 14 December 2007. He received a lump sum compensation payment upon the date of his departure of £405-£410,000. This included a special severance payment of £130-135,000.

Police Custody: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many juveniles were taken to court for an appearance pending trial from police cells in the last year for which figures are available. (280445)

[holding answer 17 June 2009]: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested is not collected centrally.

Data held by the Home Office on persons detained by the police and information on court proceedings and transit from police cells to courts held by the Ministry of Justice do not separately identify instances where a juvenile is taken to court during a period of detention.

Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners were in a cell intended for (a) one and (b) two fewer people than were in the cell in 2008-09. (279252)

The average number of prisoners ‘doubled’ (held two for a cell certified for one) during 2008-09 was 19,153. This represented 23.1 per cent. of the population.

The number held three for a cell for two during the same period was 1,186. This represents 1.4 per cent. of the population.

In total, 20,339 prisoners were doubled or held three to a cell for two. This represents 24.6 per cent. of the population.

Figures for prisoners held in dormitory accommodation for one fewer person (nine in a dormitory for eight, for example) and data for prisoners in accommodation for two fewer people are not reported separately. Data for this type of overcrowding will be included in the figure for total overcrowding. The average number of prisoners overcrowded (including doubling and three to a cell for two) during 2008-09 was 20,452, representing 24.7 per cent. of the population. On average, 113 prisoners are overcrowded in conditions other than two to a cell for one and three to a cell for two.

Overcrowding where prisoners are held in cells for two fewer people may consist of four in a cell for two or five in a cell for three or nine in a dormitory for eight. The practice of holding three prisoners in a cell certified for one no longer exists; no prisoners have been held in these conditions since 1994.

Since 1997, the Government have increased prison capacity by over 24,000 places (not all of them new build). The Government increased capacity by over 3,300 places last year, aim to increase it by a further 2,000 this year and are committed to increase net capacity to 96,000 by 2014.

Reoffenders

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offences committed within one year of release by former prisoners of each prison cohort since 2000 were not (a) identified as incidents of re-offending for more than six months after the offence was committed and (b) taken into account in the calculation of published re-offending rates. (281158)

This information is not available. The data in the ‘Re-offending of adults’ publication reports on proven reoffending. An offender is said to have committed a proven reoffence if he or she receives a conviction at court for the reoffence. The reoffence must have been committed within the one year follow up period, and the conviction must follow either within that one year follow up, or in a further six months, which is to allow time for the offence to be proven at court.

The data sets used to compile the published reoffending figures do not include information on re-offences that fall outside the six month waiting period.

For more information on the latest reoffending statistics, and on frequency and severity of reoffending please consult:

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

Shoplifting

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent guidance his Department has issued to the courts in relation to the handling of trials for shoplifting offences. (280092)

Sentencing guidelines are issued to the courts by the independent Sentencing Guidelines Council, not by the Government. In December 2008, the Sentencing Guidelines Council published a definitive guideline on theft and burglary in a building other than a dwelling. This can be found at:

http://www.sentencing-guidelines.gov.uk/docs/Theft%20and%20Burglary%20of%20a%20building% 20other%20than%20a%20dwelling.pdf

Olympics

Olympic Games 2012

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what her latest estimate is of the cost of hosting the London 2012 Olympics (a) gymnastics, (b) wheelchair basketball and (c) basketball events at North Greenwich Arena 1. (278973)

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has responsibility for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games at existing venues. The direct costs associated with staging the events at existing venues come from LOCOG’s revenues which are primarily derived from commercial sponsorship, broadcast rights, ticket sales and merchandising/licensing—not from the public purse.

There will be attributable costs to the public purse, for example in respect of the security and transport functions associated with the venue. However these costs have not yet been identified separately for individual venues, but they will form part of the overall security and transport budgets.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what her latest estimate is of the cost of hosting the London 2012 Olympics (a) badminton, (b) rhythmic gymnastics and (c) volleyball events at North Greenwich Arena 2. (279445)

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has responsibility for staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The direct costs associated with staging the events come from LOCOG’s revenues which are primarily derived from commercial sponsorship, broadcast rights, ticket sales and merchandising/licensing—not from the public purse.

There will be attributable costs to the public purse, for example in respect of the security and transport functions associated with the events. However these costs have not yet been identified separately for individual events, but they will form part of the overall security and transport budgets.

In respect of the North Greenwich Arena 2 the project budget cannot be disclosed at the current time owing to commercial sensitivity.

Prime Minister

Clergy: Public Appointments

To ask the Prime Minister when he received recommendations from the diocese of Hereford for the appointment to the position of Bishop of Ludlow. (281389)

Correspondence between the Church and No. 10 on senior church appointments is confidential. The process for appointing Bishops is set out in ‘The Governance of Britain’ (Cm7170), copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

National Security

To ask the Prime Minister what progress has been made on the establishment of a joint committee on the national security strategy. (281464)

Solicitor-General

Sentencing: Appeals

To ask the Solicitor-General if the Attorney-General will refer the sentences passed on those responsible for the murder of Ben Kinsella to the Court of Appeal for a review of the minimum term to be served. (281215)

A decision to refer a sentence to the Court of Appeal can be made if the sentence appears to the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General to be unduly lenient. The prosecuting authority or any member of the public can invite us to consider a sentence for referral. This case will accordingly be fully considered within 28 days of the sentence being passed, which is the time limit that applies in all cases.

Witnesses

To ask the Solicitor-General what compensation for loss of earnings HM Courts Service offers to witnesses in court proceedings who attend court on days when the cases in which they are due to appear are delayed or postponed. (280042)

Whether the case is heard, delayed or postponed the CPS provides a compensatory allowance for loss of earnings to witnesses who attend court at its request.

The rates currently in operation for ordinary witnesses provide a maximum of £33.50 for an absence from work not exceeding four hours, and £67.00 for an absence from work exceeding four hours. These payments are not subject to income tax or other statutory deductions.

The rates payable by the CPS are adopted by Her Majesty's Courts Service for defence witnesses, and by other prosecuting authorities.

To ask the Solicitor-General when the rates for (a) expenses and (b) allowances payable to witnesses appearing in court proceedings were last set; how the rates are determined; and how often the rates are (i) reviewed and (ii) amended. (280043)

The rates for witness expenses and allowances, which are paid in accordance with the Crown Prosecution Service (Witnesses' etc Allowances) Regulations 1988, are reviewed annually by the CPS in consultation with the Ministry of Justice and the Serious Fraud Office. They were last reviewed in July 2008 and amended from 1 September 2008 to allow for the reimbursement of any congestion charge paid by a witness in making a journey to court.

The regulations allow for the payment of the cost of transport to and from court, meals and refreshments, hotel accommodation if necessary, and loss of earnings. The travel and subsistence allowances are very similar to allowances made to civil servants, and are adjusted when civil service allowances are revised. The loss of earnings allowance is set broadly in line with the national average salary and by comparison to rates paid to jurors attending court for the purpose of public duty.

Transport

Driving Tests: Motorcycles

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire (Lembit Öpik) of 1 June 2009, Official Report, column 12W, on driving tests: motorcycles, how many (a) injury and (b) non-injury incidents have occurred during the swerve and stop element of the motorcycle test since 15 May 2009. (280882)

[holding answer 18 June 2009]: Between the 16 May and 12 June 2009, 5,317 Module 1 tests have been conducted and there have been reported (a) one injury and (b) five non-injury incidents during the avoidance and controlled stop manoeuvre of the motorcycle test.

Ports

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the average time taken to approve a harbour variation order was in the last five years. (281459)

Since June 2004 the Department for Transport has made 23 Harbour Revision or Empowerment Orders. The average time from the date of application to making, not including time for production of an Environmental Statement where necessary, was three years and 11 weeks. The longest time was just under eight years, the shortest just over nine months. Our reforms to the planning process under the Planning Act 2008 and the Marine and Coastal Access Bill have been designed to reduce the time taken to determine such orders.

Treasury

Banks: Public Consultation

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a progress report on his consultation on a code of conduct for banks; which organisations and companies (a) have been and (b) will be consulted; and how the terms and details of the consultation are being publicised. (281384)

HM Revenue and Customs are in regular contact with banks and tax advisers from major accountancy firms concerning the code of practice on taxation for banks.

The code of practice will be published shortly for public consultation.

Child Trust Fund: Milton Keynes

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many child trust vouchers have been issued to residents in Milton Keynes North East constituency; how many accounts have been opened by residents of the constituency; and what his estimate is of the value of those accounts. (280878)

The most recent constituency level statistics on child trust fund accounts were published on 6 November 2008 and can be viewed on the HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ctf/cons-stats-oct08.pdf

HMRC does not have data on the value of child trust funds at constituency level.

Debts

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his most recent estimate is of the total amount of household debt in the UK. (281463)

The Bank of England collects and publishes statistics on household borrowing and household debt. The full Bank of England dataset can be found at:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/mfsd/iadb/FromShowColumns.asp?Travel=NIx&SearchText=VTXC

Departmental Energy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much (a) electricity and (b) gas was used (i) on his Department’s estate and (ii) by his Department’s agencies in each year from 2004-05 to 2008-09; (280528)

(2) how much was spent on energy efficiency measures for his Department’s estate in each year from 2004 to 2009; what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of that expenditure; and what plans he has for future energy efficiency measures;

(3) which official is responsible for the energy efficiency of his Department’s estate.

HM Treasury is committed to improving the energy efficiency of its departmental estate and reducing its energy use year on year.

The permanent secretary to the Treasury, as principal accounting officer, has overall responsibility for the efficient use of resources to deliver the Department’s objectives.

Detailed information on the Treasury Group’s energy consumption since 2005-06 by building were published in HM Treasury’s departmental report for 2007-08 (Cm 7408). Updates on progress will be provided annually. Figures for 2004-05 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Measures taken over the last year which have led to increased energy efficiency include improvements to heating, air conditioning and lighting system controls and replacement of local radiator controls in the Treasury building with more efficient ones. In March 2009, the Treasury successfully achieved certification under the Carbon Trust Standard.

Departmental Information Officers

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many press officers were employed by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies, (c) HM Revenue and Customs and (d) the Valuation Office Agency in each of the last three years; and at what cost in each such year. (279340)

The number of full-time equivalent press officers employed by the Treasury Group (HMT, OGC, DMO), HMRC (including all regional offices) and the Valuation Office in each of the last three years is as follows:

1 April 2007

1 April 2008

1 April 2009

Treasury Group

10.66

11.66

11.66

HMRC and Valuation Office

43.84

40.09

38.28

The information on costs for the Treasury Group (HMT, OGC and DMO), HMRC and the Valuation Office for each year since 1997 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Equitable Life Assurance Society: Compensation

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to ensure the early publication of the Chadwick Review into payment of compensation to policy holders who lost money in the collapse of Equitable Life. (279571)

Sir John Chadwick is well aware of the need to bring this matter to a conclusion and will provide his advice to the Government as quickly as he is able. To assist Sir John in his task the Government are providing all the support and resources he needs.

Sir John set out his proposed approach to his work on 16 June 2009: details are available on his website at:

http://www.chadwick-office.org

through which interested parties can keep informed of his work and make representations to his office.

Sir John will continue to make regular updates as his work progresses.

Immigration: Gurkhas

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on public expenditure of the admission to the UK of 36,000 Gurkhas residents. (275904)

The Government's position on settlement rights for Gurkhas who served in the Brigade of Gurkhas before July 1997 was set out in the Home Secretary's statement to the House on 21 May 2009. On the basis that 36,000 Gurkhas plus their dependants settled in the United Kingdom, the Government estimated that the annual cost would be approximately £1.4 billion. On the basis that 10,000 to 15,000 applicants plus their dependants settle in the UK, the Government estimate that the costs are likely to be £300 million to £400 million a year. This does not take into account the potential revenue from national insurance contributions, income tax or indirect taxes.

Intestacy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average cost to the public purse was of managing the estate of a person dying intestate without relatives in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the average time taken to distribute such an estate was in the latest period for which figures are available. (281314)

The Bona Vacantia Division at the Treasury Solicitor deals with estates over £500 where the deceased person has died intestate without known entitled kin and is domiciled in England and Wales (except Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster).

The average cost for dealing with these estates is £1,549. This is based on 2008-09 data (the most recent complete financial year).

These estates are not distributed. Assets are collected and liabilities of the estate are paid. Once the administration of the estate is fully completed the balance of monies held are forwarded to the Treasury, to go into the Consolidated Fund.

Based on 2008-09 data, the average time taken to deal with an estate where a grant of Letters of Administration is required from the Probate Registry Office (net estates over £15,000) is 92.33 days. The figure provided is taken from the date the grant was received to the date the file was closed.

In cases where a grant of Letters of Administration is not needed (net estates less than £15,000) the average time taken to deal with these estates is 140.03 days. This figure is taken from the date a file is open to the date the file is closed.

Northern Rock: Compensation

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to announce (a) the valuation of suspended shares in Northern Rock and (b) arrangements for the compensation for shareholders; and if he will make a statement. (280789)

Following a competitive process, the Treasury announced last September that it had appointed Andrew Caldwell, Valuations Partner at BDO Stoy Hayward, as independent valuer to assess any compensation that may be payable to those affected by the transfer of the shares in Northern Rock to the Treasury.

The valuer is currently conducting the valuation exercise to determine the value of the shares in Northern Rock in accordance with the Northern Rock Compensation Scheme Order 2008 and will conclude the task as soon as practicable. The valuer is independent and is responsible for his own process and timing. Further information about the valuation process can be found on the independent valuer's website at:

www.northernrockvaluer.org.uk

Royal Bank of Scotland

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reasons his Department has refused requests for the release of information pertaining to meetings between Lord Myners, staff of his Department and representatives of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) held between 6 and 13 October 2008 on pensions and bonuses for outgoing executives of RBS, including Sir Fred Goodwin. (277700)

So as not to prejudice free and frank discussions the Government do not normally publish details of all meetings. I have nothing further to add to the answer given on 19 March 2009, Official Report, column 1275W.

Wales

Annual reports

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the (a) cost and (b) print run of his Department's annual report for 2009 is; and how many copies his Department has distributed. (281193)

The cost of producing the Wales Office Annual Report 2009 was £10,248.30.

250 copies have been printed.

Currently more than 120 copies have been distributed. We expect the remaining copies to be sent out on request over the coming year.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much (a) electricity and (b) gas was used on his Department's estate in each year from 2004-05 to 2008-09. (280529)