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Written Answers

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 30 June 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 30 June 2009

Olympics

Olympic Games 2012: Facilities

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what her most recent estimate is of the cost of hosting the London 2012 Olympic tennis events at Wimbledon. (281644)

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.

Energy and Climate Change

Carbon Emissions: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many grant applications for funding were received by the Low Carbon Buildings programme in respect of projects in (a) schools, (b) hospitals and (c) other public buildings in (i) the East of England and (ii) Castle Point in each year since the scheme's inception. (281855)

The following number of grant applications for funding were received by the Low Carbon Buildings programme in respect of projects in (a) schools, (b) hospitals and (c) other public buildings in (i) the East of England region and (ii) Castle Point in each year since the scheme's inception.

Low Carbon Buildings Programme—Phase 1

East of England

(Communities and Stream 2 A)

Applications received (including withdrawn, rejected, expired)

20062007

Organisation

July

August

September

November

January

March

April

June

September

Total

Hospital

1

1

School

1

1

1

1

3

7

Other

1

2

1

4

1

3

3

3

18

Total

1

2

3

1

4

2

3

3

7

26

Castle Point

We are unable to check results at local borough level. However, applications under all streams of phase 1 have been checked against the towns in the following table which make up the local borough area, and no applications were submitted (Convey Island, Benfleet, Thundersley and Hadleigh).

There were no applications from Castle Point.

Low Carbon Buildings Programme—Phase 2

East of England

Organisation

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

Total

Hospital

2

2

School

24

42

5

71

Other public buildings

10

12

4

26

There were no applications from Castle Point.

Carbon Emissions: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent under each budget heading on its consultation on the term carbon neutral; and how many civil servants in each pay band have worked on that consultation. (282020)

The consultation in question sought views on a definition of the term ‘carbon neutral’ and on practical guidance on applying the definition, including recommendations on what constitutes good practice. Departmental expenditure on the consultation related to administration costs only. Salary costs have been estimated at between £35,000 and £40,000. Work on the consultation was carried out by one official in pay range D with a small amount of support from staff at pay ranges C and H. Other costs relate solely to stationery and are estimated at less than £50.

Departmental Billing

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 18 May 2009, Official Report, column 1115W, on departmental billing, how much his Department’s non-departmental public bodies have paid in interest under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 since his Department was established. (282324)

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are unable to separately identify interest paid under the Act since DECC was created due to systems constraints. None of the Department’s other non-departmental public bodies have paid interest under the Act.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many breaches of information security there have been at his Department since its creation. (281096)

There have been no breaches of information security in the Department.

The Department and its agencies will report all significant personal data security breaches to the Cabinet Office and the ICO. Information on any personal data security breaches are published on an annual basis in the Department's annual resource accounts as was announced in the Data Handling Review published on 25 June 2008.

Additionally, all significant control weaknesses including other significant security breaches are included in the Statement of Internal Control which is published within the annual resource accounts.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent progress his Department has made towards the target of increasing its energy efficiency per square metre of its Estate by 15 per cent. by 2010, relative to 1999-2000 levels; and if he will make a statement. (266881)

Since DECC’s inception, BERR and DEFRA manage the Department’s estate. Given that, I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Natural and Marine Environment, Wildlife and Rural Affairs on 20 April 2009, Official Report, column 84W, and by my hon. Friend the Minister for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs at the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on 20 April 2009, Official Report, columns 401-02W.

DECC has identified and is implementing a number of measures aimed at increasing energy efficiency at its HQ, in line with Good Practice Guide 286—Energy Performance in the Government’s Civil Estate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change 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 its inception to 2008-09. (280514)

As at 30 March 2009 the Department used approximately 1,066,912 kWh of electricity and 570,944 kWh of gas since its inception. This is based on average daily usage. DECC has no agencies.

Departmental Work Experience

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many (a) paid and (b) unpaid graduate internships his Department has awarded in each of the last six months. (281515)

DECC does not currently have a central system for monitoring internships. However, a trawl of all directorates has revealed that there are currently no paid or unpaid graduate internships in the Department.

Electric Cables

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what recent assessment he has made of the costs and benefits of placing underground (a) new and (b) existing electricity transmission lines; (282406)

(2) when his Department last assessed the need to retain all parts of the overhead electricity transmission and distribution network; and if he will make a statement.

Any such assessments are a matter for Ofgem and the network operators and would be carried out as part of the price control review mechanism through which the transmission and distribution network companies are regulated.

Energy Supply

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what meetings he and other Ministers in his Department have had with (a) Ofgem, (b) energy suppliers and (c) energy consumer groups or representatives since October 2008 in the last 12 months. (283278)

In order to inform the development and support delivery of policy the Secretary of State and Ministers have met on a regular basis with a broad range of companies, interest groups and the regulator since the creation of DECC in October 2008.

Energy: Consumers

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the relationship between consumer awareness of energy efficiency and consumer behaviour adopting energy-efficiency practices. (282603)

DECC takes account of externally available research about consumer awareness of energy use and energy efficiency and effects on behaviour, in order to inform its policy development.

DECC is co-funding the Energy Demand Research Project, which is enabling the Government, energy suppliers and others to test through a variety of interventions how electricity and gas customers respond to better information about their consumption. The project explores the impact on energy consumption and energy efficiency of smart meters in combination with awareness raising tools including real-time display devices and additional billing information, as well as the provision of energy efficiency information and community engagement.

Entec UK

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the (a) purpose and (b) monetary value is of each contract his Department has with Entec UK environmental consultants. (280356)

DECC has two contracts with Entec:

(a) Appraisal of Sustainability of five energy National Planning Statements (a requirement of the Planning Act 2008) and

(b) Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Framework for the Development of Clean Coal (a requirement of Directive 2001/42/EC—the ‘Strategic Environmental Assessment’ directive).

The value of both of these contracts is considered commercially sensitive.

Mike Anderson

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what position Mike Anderson holds within his Department. (281307)

Nuclear Power Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what timetable he has set for the confirmation of planning permissions for the next generation of nuclear power stations. (280647)

The Office for Nuclear Development has published an indicative timeline for the new nuclear build programme on their website. It sets out at a strategic level how the key parts of the new nuclear programme fit together.

The timeline shows we expect to publish and consult on the draft Nuclear National Policy Statement (NPS) in the autumn of this year. We expect the Nuclear NPS to be designated in the spring of next year and the IPC will be ready to receive applications shortly after this.

The indicative timeline can be viewed at:

http://www.berr.gov.uk/energy/sources/nuclear/index.html

Radioactive Fallout: Exemptions

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will allocate funds to pay the subsistence and accommodation expenses of the expert stakeholders invited to attend the workshop on proposals for a future exemptions regime under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 and draft Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010, to be held in Manchester on 9 July. (282434)

The Department will reimburse reasonable travel costs and will consider accommodation costs on a case by case basis. The timing and location of the workshop has been chosen to help stakeholders participate from across the UK.

Warm Front Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average waiting time between successful application to the Warm Front scheme and the installation of the efficiency measures was in each year since the scheme was established. (266158)

[holding answer 24 March 2009]: The average waiting times since the start of the current Scheme in 2005 until 28 February 2009 are detailed in the following table. These waiting times are within the Department’s contractual guidelines, which state that heating measures will be installed within 120 days of survey and insulation measures within 40 days.

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Heating

Installation

66.0 days

81.9 days

63.8 days

64.7 days

Insulation

Installation

28.2 days

32.7 days

27.4 days

35.8 days

Culture, Media and Sport

Digital Broadcasting: Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much funding has been allocated for broadcasting in West Derbyshire to implement proposals contained in the Digital Britain White Paper. (283197)

The White Paper sets out various proposals in respect of broadcasting. The Government will shortly be consulting on how to secure and fund essential public service content and it is too early to say how this will be allocated or which regions may benefit.

National Lottery: Merseyside

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proportion of Lottery funding has been allocated to organisations in (a) Merseyside and (b) Crosby in each of the last five years; and which organisations received such funding. (282524)

The following table shows the value of lottery grants awarded to organisations in Merseyside and Crosby in the same years, along with the total amount of lottery grants awarded in the last five years. Merseyside is taken to be the boroughs of Knowsley, Liverpool, St. Helens, Sefton and Wirral.

£

2004-05

Total lottery money awarded

1,631,700,181

Total lottery money to Merseyside

40,285,448

Total lottery money to Crosby

350,989

2005-06

Total lottery money awarded

1,249,237,162

Total lottery money to Merseyside

21,783,707

Total lottery money to Crosby

155,174

2006-07

Total lottery money awarded

969,785,678

Total lottery money to Merseyside

31,383,133

Total lottery money to Crosby

123,348

2007-08

Total lottery money awarded

1,550,673,214

Total lottery money to Merseyside

23,624,868

Total lottery money to Crosby

649,309

2008-09

Total lottery money awarded

920,814,373

Total lottery money to Merseyside

20,194,869

Total lottery money to Crosby

127,807

These statistics have been prepared using the Department's lottery grants database. The database is searchable at:

www.lottery.culture.gov.uk

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

I have arranged for a list to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses of organisations in Merseyside and Crosby that received lottery awards in those years.

Northern Ireland

Departmental Billing

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 20 May 2009, Official Report, column 1411W, on departmental billing, how much his Department’s non-departmental public bodies spent in interest under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 in the last three years. (282330)

This is an operational matter for the non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) of the Northern Ireland Office, which operate independently of Government. I would encourage the hon. Gentleman to write to the NDPB chief executives.

A list of these NDPBs is available on page 7 of the Northern Ireland Office departmental report, published in June 2009.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which official is responsible for the energy efficiency of his Department’s estate. (280552)

The Director of Resources, Anthony Harbinson, takes responsibility for sustainable development matters, including energy efficiency.

Departmental Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent on the maintenance of his Departmental website in each year since 2007. (282275)

The cost of maintaining the Northern Ireland Office website (www.nio.gov.uk) is detailed in the following table.

Northern Ireland Office website maintenance costs

£

2008-09

4,227

2007-08

4,308

Departmental Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether it is his policy to seek to increase the number of Catholic staff in his Department. (282290)

All appointments to the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) are made on merit.

The Northern Ireland Office’s Diversity Delivery Plan 2008-10 includes:

“Our aim is to ensure that representation of Protestants and Catholics in the NIO is comparable to the wider NI civil service.”

The plan highlights the fact that Catholic representation has continued to make steady progress from 25 per cent. in 1997 to 35 per cent. in 2008.

Departmental Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what training courses have been attended by special advisers in his Department in the last 12 months; and at what cost. (279394)

In the past 12 months the Northern Ireland Office special advisers have not attended any training courses.

Northern Ireland Act 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many letters his Department received (a) in favour and (b) against the Northern Ireland Bill of Session 2008-09 before its enactment. (282292)

The Northern Ireland Office did not receive any letters either in favour or against the Northern Ireland Act 2009 before it was enacted.

Parades

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions he has had with the Parades Commission on parades to take place on 12 July 2009. (282301)

I hold regular discussions with the Parades Commission on a range of parades related matters, including forthcoming parades. The Parades Commission remains the final arbiter of parades and is independent of Government.

Work and Pensions

Business: Government Assistance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to her Department’s press notice of 6 April 2009, on recruitment and training subsidies, how many businesses have received a recruitment subsidy; and how many individuals have returned to employment as a result. (274247)

The recruitment subsidy was introduced on 6 April 2009 and data are only starting to feed through. The Department is working to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we are able to publish statistics that meet high quality standards at the earliest opportunity. We intend to publish official statistics from autumn 2009.

Carers Benefits: Pensioners

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate she has made of the number of people of pensionable age who are eligible for carers allowance but disqualified because of the overlapping benefit rule; and what the estimated cost is of paying the allowance to them. (280496)

The number of people over state pension age who are entitled to carer's allowance but not receiving any payment because of the overlapping benefit rule is 362,350. The estimated maximum annual cost of paying carer's allowance to pensioners who are subject to the overlap is around £1 billion.

Notes:

1. This estimate does not include people who do not make a claim for carer's allowance, as we have no way of calculating how many there are.

2. It should be noted that unless major changes to rules on how carer's allowance is treated within pension credit were to be introduced, the overall Exchequer cost of such a measure would be smaller due to the offsetting reduction in pension credit expenditure.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many breaches of information security there have been at (a) her Department and (b) its agencies in the last five years. (281063)

I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave to the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (Danny Alexander), on 23 June 2009, Official Report, columns 815W-16W.

Departmental Food

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of the (a) meat, (b) fruit and (c) vegetables procured by her Department in the last 12 months was produced in the UK. (281936)

The Department has a contract for the provision of fully serviced accommodation with Telereal Trillium which includes catering and food procurement. Annually, 63 per cent. of meat, 33 per cent. of fruit (100 per cent. when seasonably available) and 62 per cent. of vegetables procured by the Department's supplier is produced in the UK.

EC Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate she has made of the proportion of statutory obligations provided for by legislation on matters for which her Department is responsible which were introduced as a consequence of obligations arising from EU legislation in the latest period for which figures are available. (281858)

To date during the 2008-09 session, the Department has been responsible for 61 Statutory Instruments and two Government Bills (including six S.I.s from the Health and Safety Executive), some of which consolidated and revoked previous instruments. The Department estimates that around 5 per cent. of these (three Statutory Instruments, including one from the Health and Safety Executive) give effect to obligations arising from EU legislation.

Electronic Government: Operating Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much Directgov has cost in each year since its inception. (282044)

The costs for Directgov in each financial year since 2004 are set out in the following table:

Financial year

£ million

2004-05

5.1

2005-06

10.5

2006-07

12.8

2007-08

13.9

2008-09

30.7

Employment Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what funding she has allocated for the implementation of progression to work pathfinders; (255131)

(2) from what source funding for the implementation of the progression to work pathfinders will come;

(3) how many additional jobcentre staff are planned to implement the progression to work pathfinders.

The impact assessment associated with the White Paper ‘Raising Expectations and Increasing Support—reforming welfare for the future’ estimated that the increase in work-focused interviews and provision to support work and skills-related activity could cost up to an extra £20 million a year for parents with younger children. For employment and support allowance customers we are assessing the appropriate balance between provision of the service by Jobcentre Plus and providers. Additional costs will be met from within the current agreed Department spending plans.

A cadre of skilled and capable personal advisers will be absolutely essential to effectively implement the Progression to Work model. Our discussion document ‘Realising Potential: developing personalised conditionality and support’ made clear that that it will be necessary to think through the implications for the adviser role and implement a work force development strategy for Jobcentre Plus staff. This is an issue we will discuss in detail with stakeholders. Until pathfinder locations are decided final decisions cannot be made on the number of personal advisers necessary to deliver the Progression to Work pathfinders.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many firms her Department has made payments to under the employers' golden hello scheme since the scheme's inception; and how many employees have been recruited under the scheme. (278304)

The recruitment subsidy was introduced on 6 April 2009 as part of the six-month offer of extra support for jobseekers and data are only starting to feed through. The Department is working to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we are able to publish statistics that meet high quality standards at the earliest opportunity. We intend to publish Official Statistics from autumn 2009.

Employment Schemes: Greater Manchester

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps her Department is taking to increase the number of people aged (a) over 50 years and (b) between 18 and 25 years in employment in (i) Tameside, (ii) Stockport and (iii) Greater Manchester. (277499)

The Government are committed to giving everyone the support they need to find employment as quickly as possible, whatever their age.

A major factor in the employment of older people is employer behaviour. In addition to providing generic good practice guidance to employers, the UK's Age Positive initiative is working in partnership with business leaders to develop sector-based models of flexible retirement to support the increased employment and retention of older workers and the removal of fixed retirement ages.

Our plans for the future include providing guidance to older workers on their options for working longer, encouraging employers to increase flexible work and phased retirement opportunities, a review of the Default Retirement Age in 2011—if it is found to be no longer needed it will be removed, and monitoring the impact of the economic downturn, identifying which groups are being most affected and further increasing help where it is most needed.

For young people who are in danger of slipping into long-term unemployment, funding was provided in the Budget for the Young Person's Guarantee; a guaranteed offer of a job, work-focused training, or meaningful activity to all 18 to 24-year-olds who reach the 12-month stage of their claim to jobseeker's allowance. At the discretion of the Jobcentre Plus adviser, parts of this guaranteed offer could also be extended to people over 24 who face significant barriers in the labour market.

As part of the Young Person's Guarantee, the Future Jobs Fund will help create up to 100,000 new jobs. It will also help create up to 50,000 new jobs in areas of high unemployment, and is available to all people of working age claiming out of work benefits. We expect the Young Person's Guarantee to be available from January 2010 but we want to get Future Jobs Fund jobs up and running as soon as possible—with some places starting as early as October this year.

In addition to this, on 6 April 2009, as part of the Government's response to the economic downturn, the Department for Work and Pensions put in place extra support for newly unemployed customers of all ages, including information and advice about the latest job search techniques and coaching on how to make the most of transferable skills. Extra help for those who have been claiming jobseeker's allowance for six months was also introduced, including opportunities to volunteer, support to become self-employed, recruitment subsidies and work-focused training.

Since last autumn, the Department has also quadrupled the available funding for the Rapid Response Service, which provides advice and support to customers facing redundancy. It has also extended Local Employment Partnerships, the Adviser Discretion Fund and Access to Work so they are available to customers from the first day of their claim, alongside the support they receive from their Jobcentre Plus personal adviser. This help is available to customers of all ages to ensure that everyone has the best possible chance of finding work.

The introduction of the Flexible New Deal across Phase 1 areas from October 2010 will give providers the freedom to offer personalised, tailored support to everyone who has been claiming jobseeker's allowance for 12 months, helping them overcome their individual barriers to work. Greater Manchester East and West and Greater Manchester Central districts are included in Phase 1 of the New Jobseeker's Regime and Flexible New Deal and are also pilot districts for Integrated Employment and Skills.

Across the whole of the Greater Manchester area, Jobcentre Plus also promotes a range of partner provision to enhance the confidence, skills and employability of all of our customers, including those aged 18 to 24 and 50+.

Employment Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance her Department has issued to Jobcentre Plus staff on referrals to (a) the newly unemployed (non-professional) support delivered by programme centres and (b) the newly unemployed professional and executive support delivered through commercial employment provision; and if she will place in the Library a copy of that guidance. (271715)

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

Letter from Mel Groves:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question of 24 April about what guidance has been issued to Jobcentre Plus staff on referrals to (a) the newly unemployed (non-professional) support delivered by programme centres and (b) the newly unemployed professional and executive support delivered through commercial employment provision. This is something that falls within my responsibilities as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

The guidance issued to Jobcentre Plus staff on referrals to newly unemployed support delivered by Programme Centres and commercial employment provision has been placed in the Library.

Jobcentre Plus: Complaints

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many complaints regarding Jobcentre Plus have been received in each month of the last two years. (271622)

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the right hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Ruth Owen:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many complaints regarding Jobcentre Plus have been received in each month for the last two years. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to Mel Groves as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus. As Mel Groves is currently on annual leave, I am replying in his absence.

The information requested is in the following table below.

Total customer complaints

April 2007

3,906

May 2007

4,268

June 2007

3,972

July 2007

4,187

August 2007

4,345

September 2007

3,547

October 2007

4,144

November 2007

3,946

December 2007

3,093

January 2008

3,822

February 2008

3,520

March 2008

3,102

April 2008

3,373

May 2008

2,950

June 2008

3,637

July 2008

4,064

August 2008

3,608

September 2008

3,652

October 2008

4,051

November 2008

3,493

December 2008

3,294

January 2009

3,860

February 2009

4,219

March 2009

5,001

Source:

Jobcentre Plus

By way of context to these figures, Jobcentre Plus currently has over four and a half million customers. Every working day, Jobcentre Plus conducts 45,000 adviser interviews, processes over 18,000 new benefit claims, and Contact Centres receive over 93,000 calls.

Jobcentre Plus: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many personal advisers have been working in each Jobcentre Plus district in each month of the last two years. (242176)

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

Letter from Mel Groves:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many personal advisers have been working in each Jobcentre Plus District in each month of the last two years. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

The available information showing the number of personal advisers in each Jobcentre Plus District in each month from November 2006 to October 2008 is in the attached tables. This information will be placed in the Library.

Jobcentre Plus personal advisers by month and district November 2006 to March 2007

2006

2007

November

December

January

February

March

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

167

167

167

167

164

Cambridgeshire and Suffolk

151

151

150

150

151

Essex

206

205

201

201

194

Norfolk

114

112

111

113

110

Derbyshire

134

134

136

137

137

Leicestershire and Northamptonshire

163

162

165

165

163

Lincolnshire and Rutland

69

67

69

70

70

Nottinghamshire

138

137

135

135

135

Central London

153

161

162

154

157

City and East London

213

211

210

203

198

Lambeth Southwark and Wandsworth

206

214

215

207

208

North and North East London

344

340

333

330

324

South London

342

337

348

347

347

West London

291

290

290

291

292

Northumbria

198

220

208

210

188

South Tyne and Wear Valley

186

186

185

184

183

Tees Valley

160

160

161

161

159

Cheshire and Warrington

95

94

95

93

92

Cumbria

84

76

75

75

75

Greater Manchester Central

216

209

210

211

203

Greater Manchester East and West

270

272

278

280

274

Greater Mersey

166

162

161

162

162

Lancashire

257

258

257

261

263

Liverpool and Wirral

192

195

194

194

191

Ayrshire Dumfries and Galloway and Inverclyde

148

147

151

150

147

Edinburgh and Lothian and Borders

141

142

143

141

138

Forth Valley Fife and Tayside

194

194

191

188

186

Glasgow

174

164

166

160

157

Highland Islands Clyde Coast and Grampian

193

195

201

195

192

Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire

159

159

159

160

155

Berks Bucks and Oxfordshire

159

159

162

161

160

Hampshire

187

183

175

169

162

Kent

196

203

200

201

202

Surrey and Sussex

229

227

228

233

228

Devon and Cornwall

231

228

228

224

210

Dorset and Somerset

127

127

126

120

121

Gloucestershire Wiltshire and Swindon

121

118

117

121

119

West of England

143

142

145

148

147

North and Mid Wales

103

101

100

100

98

South East Wales

136

137

137

137

134

South Wales Valleys

132

132

130

125

125

South West Wales

122

123

126

122

124

Birmingham and Solihull

252

256

262

263

263

Black Country

231

223

221

220

215

Coventry and Warwickshire

92

93

94

93

91

Staffordshire

139

133

142

142

141

The Marches

138

137

140

140

138

North and East Yorkshire and the Humber

239

239

237

235

232

South Yorkshire

239

233

226

224

219

West Yorkshire

357

352

355

354

349

Personal advisers by month and district April 2007 to March 2008

2007

April

May

June

July

August

September

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

165

165

166

168

166

164

Cambridgeshire and Suffolk

148

147

147

147

147

148

Essex

193

195

196

197

199

200

Norfolk

108

109

106

104

103

109

Derbyshire

179

175

172

162

162

166

Leicestershire and Northamptonshire

171

168

170

170

174

175

Lincolnshire and Rutland

68

69

69

70

70

69

Nottinghamshire

138

140

139

138

139

141

Central London

154

154

153

150

151

154

City and East London

203

199

188

192

194

200

Lambeth Southwark and Wandsworth

218

213

209

209

210

210

North and North East London

357

355

354

338

333

333

South London

390

387

388

395

393

399

West London

274

277

275

267

263

264

Northumbria

217

222

223

219

221

219

South Tyne and Wear Valley

236

229

231

234

232

235

Tees Valley

165

164

161

160

163

159

Cheshire Halton and Warrington

131

132

133

131

128

129

Cumbria and Lancashire

356

356

352

352

330

340

Greater Manchester Central

236

241

233

230

228

231

Greater Manchester East and West

274

270

267

268

271

281

Merseyside

367

361

362

362

363

348

Ayrshire Dumfries and Galloway and Inverclyde

151

150

150

149

148

150

Edinburgh and Lothian and Borders

139

138

135

136

139

138

Forth Valley Fife and Tayside

194

195

195

193

191

194

Glasgow

156

157

153

154

156

155

Highland Islands Clyde Coast and Grampian

205

206

206

204

203

198

Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire

159

156

154

157

155

158

Berks Bucks and Oxfordshire

165

166

164

170

171

172

Hampshire

163

159

160

161

158

160

Kent

197

197

198

193

191

194

Surrey and Sussex

220

219

219

223

220

222

Devon and Cornwall

212

212

214

209

214

216

Dorset and Somerset

147

145

143

144

141

140

Gloucestershire Wiltshire and Swindon

119

120

118

118

117

117

West of England

147

143

142

143

143

136

North and Mid Wales

99

101

104

103

103

104

South East Wales

131

131

135

130

131

130

South Wales Valleys

156

155

154

154

155

154

South West Wales

142

140

140

141

140

139

Birmingham and Solihull

265

265

264

260

261

279

Black Country

223

220

221

225

225

223

Coventry and Warwickshire

91

92

92

95

95

95

Staffordshire

150

149

150

150

153

151

The Marches

133

134

130

129

135

136

North and East Yorkshire and the Humber

247

243

242

241

242

244

South Yorkshire

238

242

239

245

242

255

West Yorkshire

360

360

370

379

381

384

20072008

October

November

December

January

February

March

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

165

168

169

168

166

163

Cambridgeshire and Suffolk

149

152

152

153

152

147

Essex

199

202

200

199

197

196

Norfolk

107

107

108

110

109

108

Derbyshire

161

156

153

151

151

149

Leicestershire and Northamptonshire

181

182

186

190

188

186

Lincolnshire and Rutland

68

67

73

75

76

75

Nottinghamshire

140

143

142

141

139

138

Central London

151

151

149

151

143

136

City and East London

201

199

199

197

200

199

Lambeth Southwark and Wandsworth

206

204

203

208

214

216

North and North East London

332

326

324

323

328

336

South London

377

351

340

339

331

332

West London

254

262

263

261

259

257

Northumbria

211

206

208

212

209

204

South Tyne and Wear Valley

236

240

240

244

241

233

Tees Valley

160

167

166

169

164

157

Cheshire Halton and Warrington

130

130

129

127

125

126

Cumbria and Lancashire

342

344

345

335

332

331

Greater Manchester Central

231

226

224

208

207

209

Greater Manchester East and West

281

282

289

293

295

290

Merseyside

346

346

342

349

338

333

Ayrshire Dumfries and Galloway and Inverclyde

151

149

149

150

150

148

Edinburgh and Lothian and Borders

140

133

132

127

126

125

Forth Valley Fife and Tayside

193

191

193

190

186

184

Glasgow

160

161

161

161

159

158

Highland Islands Clyde Coast and Grampian

198

201

198

198

196

193

Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire

159

156

154

153

152

147

Berks Bucks and Oxfordshire

170

168

170

174

179

178

Hampshire

166

168

169

169

165

168

Kent

196

202

203

205

204

204

Surrey and Sussex

216

215

209

209

208

204

Devon and Cornwall

214

217

221

219

217

213

Dorset and Somerset

138

137

136

138

135

133

Gloucestershire Wiltshire and Swindon

119

120

121

119

118

119

West of England

134

131

130

129

129

128

North and Mid Wales

104

104

104

102

103

103

South East Wales

130

134

131

130

131

127

South Wales Valleys

154

152

148

146

145

143

South West Wales

137

135

133

132

135

136

Birmingham and Solihull

298

296

294

296

294

296

Black Country

231

233

231

233

230

230

Coventry and Warwickshire

98

103

103

104

102

104

Staffordshire

150

150

156

151

147

146

The Marches

129

133

130

129

131

133

North and East Yorkshire and the Humber

243

236

243

251

248

249

South Yorkshire

254

260

265

262

265

258

West Yorkshire

380

381

393

398

400

395

Jobseeker’s Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate her Department has made of the expected additional on-flows onto jobseeker's allowance owing to the (a) introduction of the employment and support allowance and (b) winding up of the income support scheme in each quarter in (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11. (277220)

[holding answer 1 June 2009]: Information about the estimated additional on-flows to jobseeker’s allowance as a result of employment and support allowance replacing incapacity benefit for new claims from October 2008 is in the following table.

Estimated on-flows to jobseeker's allowance

Number

May 2009

3,000

August 2009

3,000

November 2009

2,000

February 2010

3,000

May 2010

3,000

August 2010.

3,000

November 2010

3,000

February 2011

3,000

Note:

Figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000.

There are currently no plans to move any groups off Income Support in the quarters referred to other than lone parents with older children.

Local Employment Partnerships

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in each age group have been placed in employment through the Local Employment Partnership scheme in the last six months. (278262)

[holding answer 8 June 2009]: Figures for people moving into work through the Local Employment Partnership scheme by age group are not available.

Jobcentre Plus's administrative records show that more than 100,000 people were helped into work through Local Employment Partnerships in the six months from November 2008 to the end of April 2009.

New Deal for Young People: Suffolk

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Suffolk registered for the New Deal for Young People in the last 12 months. (273249)

In the 12 months up to and including November 2008 1,410 people entered the New Deal for Young People (NDYP) in Suffolk. This figure represents the number of individuals to have started NDYP for the most recent year available.

The figure is rounded to the nearest 10. It should be noted that some individuals may have started the New Deal more than once.

Poverty: Merseyside

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) Merseyside and (b) Crosby constituency were in relative poverty in each of the last five years. (282475)

Poverty statistics, published in the Households Below Average Income series, only allow a breakdown of the overall number of people in relative poverty at Government office region level or for inner or outer London. Therefore, information for Merseyside and the Crosby constituency is not available.

Social Security Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many benefit offices were in operation in each year since 1998; and how many offices scheduled for closure in each such year had the closure suspended. (280916)

[holding answer 18 June 2009]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is the responsibility of the acting chief executive, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Ruth Owen:

The Secretary of State has asked Mel Groves to reply to your question asking how many benefit offices have been open in each year since 1998; and how many offices scheduled for closure in each such year had the closure suspended. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to Mel Groves as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus. As Mel Groves is currently on annual leave, I am replying in his absence.

Information is only available on Jobcentre Plus offices since April 2002, when Jobcentre Plus was created by the merger of the former Employment Service and Benefits Agency. I have attached a table at Annex 1 of the available information.

Jobcentre Plus inherited around 1,500 offices from the merger of the Benefits Agency and the Employment Service in 2002. We have modernised our Jobcentre network to improve customer service, rationalising our estate to provide excellent high street coverage and a single, integrated customer facing office, at the same time reducing cost to the tax payer. We remain the largest office network in Government with 741 modern Jobcentres. This high street presence is supported by 31 modern, industry standard, contact centres and 79 main benefit processing centres.

Jobcentres continue to provide an essential service—especially to those customers most in need of tailored help. However, the great majority of our services (in common with most large, modern organisations) are now also delivered through the telephone and internet. For example, to give customers more convenient access we have around half a million vacancies on-line at any time (our website receives close to one million job searches every working day), and new claims to benefit are predominantly taken by telephone with some taken on-line.

Wherever we have considered the closure of a public facing office we have undertaken a full consultation with local stakeholders, including MPs. When finalising our Service Delivery Plans, our District Managers take account of this consultation and may, in the light of that consultation, decide not to pursue closure. We do not retain records of offices that remain open following a consultation exercise, but, in the light of the current economic conditions and welfare reform changes planned for the next two to three years a decision was taken in November 2008 to suspend the closure of 25 Jobcentres which were being considered for closure. Three small offices in London, where closure had been previously announced, subsequently closed this year. There will be no new Jobcentre closures while the current economic conditions exist.

Annex 1

Jobcentre Plus offices open to the public now all modernised: 2002 to date1

January

Region

Currently

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

East of England

57

57

66

67

72

84

85

90

90

East Midlands

53

53

54

56

69

71

75

83

83

London

74

77

80

90

114

121

132

138

139

North East

45

45

47

49

53

60

64

65

65

North West

97

97

104

112

129

139

153

160

160

Scotland

99

99

100

103

125

139

150

153

153

South East

74

74

77

82

97

107

121

123

123

South West

57

57

79

83

91

102

114

118

118

Wales

63

63

63

64

87

95

108

111

111

West Midlands

63

63

67

79

98

105

108

115

116

Yorkshire and the Humber

59

59

60

61

68

79

87

88

88

Totals of all regions

741

744

797

846

1,003

1,102

1,197

1,244

1,246

1 Prior to implementing our network of Benefit Delivery Centres, from April 2006, many sites delivered both customer facing and benefit processing services. This table reflects the rationalisation of the former network of Employment Service and Benefit Agency offices right through to the current network where all offices are integrated Job Centre offices.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Environment Agency: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) directors, (b) senior managers, (c) specialist and delivery managers and (d) executive support and administration staff there were in each Environment Agency office in each of the last five years. (281627)

The following table shows the information requested broken down by each Environment Agency region. It also includes figures for its head office. The information has been provided in this way because the Environment Agency has over 250 offices.

Analysis

Based on organisation region

Grouping

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Anglian

Director

0

0

0

0

0

Senior manager

6

8

7

7

8

Manager

43

37

40

42

45

Specialist

21

21

21

25

33

Executive support and administration staff

24

19

19

14

17

Midlands

Director

0

0

0

0

0

Senior manager

8

8

9

8

8

Manager

43

37

39

34

40

Specialist

18

17

21

18

22

Executive support and administration staff

12

16

15

12

14

North East

Director

0

0

0

0

0

Senior manager

7

7

7

6

7

Manager

38

34

36

39

39

Specialist

20

22

22

23

19

Executive support and administration staff

20

20

19

16

15

North West

Director

0

0

0

0

0

Senior manager

7

7

6

6

7

Manager

44

40

43

39

40

Specialist

31

33

33

34

39

Executive support and administration staff

9

10

10

9

10

Southern

Director

0

0

0

0

0

Senior manager

7

6

7

7

6

Manager

36

31

35

35

40

Specialist

9

8

13

13

18

Executive support and administration staff

8

8

8

9

10

South West

Director

0

0

0

0

0

Senior manager

8

10

7

7

7

Manager

44

33

33

37

34

Specialist

12

12

16

14

18

Executive support and administration staff

14

15

13

13

13

Thames

Director

0

0

0

0

0

Senior manager

10

8

8

8

10

Manager

56

59

71

73

77

Specialist

30

30

41

37

35

Executive support and administration staff

16

23

21

27

21

Wales

Director

0

0

0

0

0

Senior manager

8

8

6

7

9

Manager

51

55

59

59

59

Specialist

19

24

26

28

35

Executive support and administration staff

13

12

13

12

12

Head Office

Director

8

8

7

8

8

Senior manager

74

87

95

96

99

Manager

395

428

464

475

548

Specialist

353

378

407

406

464

Executive support and administration staff

99

95

86

79

73

Overall Total

Director

8

8

7

8

8

Senior manager

135

149

152

152

161

Manager

750

754

820

833

922

Specialist

513

545

600

598

683

Executive support and administration staff

215

218

204

191

185

Forests

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the policy of the Forestry Commission England is on the re-creation of (a) lowland heathland and (b) other open habitats on its estate; and if he will make a statement. (282478)

The Forestry Commission is leading a process to develop the policy on restoring and expanding open habitats such as lowland heathland from woods and forests in England. The Forestry Commission completed a public consultation on the open habitats policy in June 2009 which received over 170 responses. A report on the consultation will be published in the summer and I expect to receive recommendations on policy options in the autumn.

The approach followed on the public forest estate will then reflect our decisions on the policy options as well as and conclusions from the study of the long-term role of the Public Forest Estate announced in November 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the area of plantation forest in the public forest estate which could be restored to (a) lowland heathland and (b) blanket bog. (282480)

The Forestry Commission published the results of a survey of open habitats and open habitat potential on the public forest estate in May 2009. The survey shows that the area of plantation forest that could be restored to lowland heathland as 29,433 hectares and the area of plantation forest that could be restored to blanket bog as 1,794 hectares.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has of the area of (a) lowland heathland and (b) blanket bog which (i) Forestry Commission England and (ii) other public bodies have restored since 2005. (282481)

The area of lowland heathland and blanket bog restored by the Forestry Commission on the public forest estate since 2005 is 672 hectares and 315 hectares respectively. We do not hold the information centrally on other public bodies. However, Natural England has entered into Environmental Stewardship agreements with landowners to restore 12,763 hectares of lowland heathland and 24,795 hectares of blanket bog.

Wales

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether his Department has submitted a bid for efficiency savings to be used for pay improvements in 2009 pay offers. (283032)

Pay offers are not negotiated at Wales Office level as staff in the Wales Office are employed by the Ministry of Justice or the Welsh Assembly Government.

Olympic Games 2012

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether any full-time equivalent members of staff in his Department are working on projects relating to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. (283159)

As part of their duties a number of my officials (together with colleagues from the Welsh Assembly Government) have and continue to work towards maximising Wales’ contribution to a successful London 2012.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Debts

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether the Government plan to introduce a (a) debt arrangement scheme and (b) low income low assets bankruptcy scheme. (281586)

Addressing financial problems at an early stage is essential to identifying a sustainable solution to an individual’s problems. Part 5 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act (TCEA) 2007 contained a series of measures to support those debtors for whom the current statutory provisions of bankruptcy and individual voluntary arrangements may not be the best option.

One of these was a low income, low asset bankruptcy scheme, which was introduce into the Insolvency Act 1986 on 6 April 2009 and is known as a Debt Relief Order (DRO).

The TCEA 2007 also contains powers for the Lord Chancellor to introduce statutory debt management schemes that could have similar features to the debt assistance scheme.

The implementation of part 5 of the TCEA 2007 is currently being reviewed and an announcement is expected to be made shortly.

Internet: Iran

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will restrict or prohibit the supply to Iran by UK companies of technologies capable of use to monitor, inspect or filter internet content. (282195)

[holding answer 25 June 2009]: There are currently no plans to restrict further or prohibit the supply to Iran by UK companies of technologies capable of use to monitor, inspect or filter internet content. The export of these technologies would already be controlled if they employed cryptography or were specially designed for military use. In such cases, all export licence applications are rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria and a licence would not be issued if to do so was inconsistent with the criteria. In particular a licence would not be issued if there was clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression.

Jordan: Overseas Trade

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to encourage trade between Jordan and the UK. (282293)

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) provide a range of support services to UK companies wishing to trade with Jordan. These are detailed on the UKTI web pages.

Specific events that have been supported by UKTI in the last year to encourage trade between Jordan and the UK include:

two education events in October 2008 and February to promote the opportunities in Jordan to UK companies;

a trade mission with UK health care companies to Jordan in February;

a joint event with the Arab British Chamber of Commerce to promote the opportunities in Jordan to UK companies;

several regional Gulf events such as Arab Health and the Big 5 (construction) exhibitions where UK companies could access information about doing business in Jordan.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much trade there was between Jordan and the UK in the last five years. (282294)

The value of goods exported to Jordan in 2004 amounted to £161 million, in 2005 £186 million, in 2006 £160 million, in 2007 £164 million and in 2008 £210 million.

The value of goods imported from Jordan in 2004 amounted to £20 million, in 2005 £22 million, in 2006 £20 million, in 2007 £37 million and in 2008 £21 million.

Motor Vehicles: Manufacturing Industries

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 2 April 2009, Official Report, column 1446W, on motor industry: government assistance, whether his Department has received applications for the provision of guarantees for European Investment Bank loans to UK automotive companies under the Automotive Assistance Programme. (274280)

The Government remain committed to providing guarantees, where appropriate, to help unlock up to £1.3 billion in European investment bank loans to UK automotive companies. While no guarantees have at this stage been provided, BIS is actively supporting the EIB applications of a number of UK automotive companies and stands ready to offer a guarantee where necessary and in accordance with the published criteria for the Automotive Assistance Programme.

Regulatory Policy Committee

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what date he has set for the appointment of members to his Department’s proposed regulatory policy committee; and if he will make a statement. (282511)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the (a) establishment and (b) operation of his Department’s proposed regulatory policy committee. (282513)

Estimates on the establishment and the operation of the new Regulatory Policy Committee will be made in due course.

Science: Education

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what research his Department and its predecessors have (a) undertaken and (b) commissioned in the last three years on the effect of Government-funded science awareness initiatives on the number of young people studying courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and if he will make a statement. (282053)

There is good evidence that participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) enrichment activities improves young people's progression in science education. A recent OECD study “Science Competencies for tomorrow's world” (PISA 2006) shows that students in schools that hold more extracurricular science activities tend to perform better than their counterparts in schools that run fewer activities. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its predecessor departments have funded a number of initiatives with the specific aim of providing enrichment and enhancement activities for young people, thereby increasing numbers taking these subjects at GCSE level and beyond.

We have undertaken several studies on the impact of those Government-funded initiatives whose aim is to increase the numbers of young people studying STEM subjects. It is not usually possible to prove a quantitative causal link between any one initiative and impact on numbers, because many factors affect the decision-making process when choosing specific courses.

Recent studies include:

An evaluation of SETNET (now STEMNET), published in 2007, carried out by the Tavistock Institute. STEMNET has recently commissioned a follow-up evaluation, which will be published next year.

In July 2008, DIUS commissioned a study on the impact of science centres on both numbers studying STEM and wider public engagement with science. Science centres in England are principally funded by users and regional or charitable bodies, rather than by central Government. The research compares the contribution of science centres to STEM objective with that of a number of Government-funded initiatives, including STEMNET's STEM ambassadors programme, outreach work of the Royal Academy of Engineering (including the London Engineering Programme), Research Councils UK, and the British Science Association (including the CREST Star Investigator programme). This research will be published shortly.

In January 2009 DIUS published a report on “the Demand for STEM skills” which reviewed the evidence from employers on STEM recruitment alongside analysis of the supply of young people with STEM qualifications and their labour market outcomes. The report included recent trends of STEM qualifications at A Level, First Degree and Postgraduate levels. In addition, DIUS commissioned the Warwick Institute of Employment Research to provide some benchmark projections and associated implications of the demand and supply of STEM graduates. These studies identify the important contribution made by STEM enrichment activities in stimulating interest among young people and their increased attractiveness to employers which results.

On 26 May 2009, DIUS launched a Science and Society strategy, which tackles the five key themes identified in last year's public consultation. In so doing we will develop a more coherent approach to evaluating the impacts of science and society initiatives, including those related to STEM enrichment and enhancement, and the take-up of STEM courses by young people.

Setanta

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what representations he has received on (a) the placing into administration of Setanta and (b) the future financial position of (i) Setanta and (ii) its employees; and if he will make a statement. (282801)

[holding answer 29 June 2009]: The company approached the Department on 28 May to seek our influence with certain commercial stakeholders to help facilitate rescue discussions. Although we were unable to intervene in commercial discussions, officials kept in contact with the company throughout the period in which it was attempting to agree a rescue deal.

The administrators are shutting down the company's UK operation and have made 102 London-based staff redundant, along with a further 73 staff in Glasgow. They are keeping on another 21 staff in the short-term to help close the business down; 15 in London and six in Glasgow. Setanta's sales team is outsourced and I understand that the loss of Setanta's contract will result in around 95 redundancies at the out-sourcing company.

Students: Loans

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much of the student loan book has been sold under the provisions of the Sale of Student Loans Act 2008. (282854)

The Government still intend to make sales from the student loan book, but it is clear that this should be done only at a time when we can get a good return for the taxpayer. For the time being, the market conditions do not allow this. However, we will actively look to identify opportunities for a sale that represents value for money as market conditions improve.

UK Trade and Investment: Offices

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many staff of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) have been based in each UKTI office in (a) Brazil, (b) Russia, (c) India and (d) China in each year since 2003. (277788)

The following table reflects the allocation of UKTI full-time equivalent staff in Brazil, Russia, India and China each year since 2008.

2003-4

2004-5

2005-6

2006-7

2007-8

2008-9

Brazil

51.11

39.13

39

33.65

38.15

38.18

Russia

17.19

17.92

16

25.75

29.30

29.30

India

81.26

76.12

76.34

73.98

80.42

86.30

China1 (including Hong Kong)

87.74

94.63

98.75

113.47

116.81

116.47

1 In addition to the total given for China, since June 2007 17.5 full-time equivalent staff of the China Britain Business Council based in China have delivered, on behalf of UKTI, the majority of trade services in respect of China.

Defence

Afghanistan: Armed Forces

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date he received the latest Theatre Capability Review for Afghanistan; and what change in the number of troops the review recommended. (282182)

[holding answer 25 June 2009]: We regularly assess the military capability required for operations in Afghanistan; periodic theatre capability reviews are one element of this assessment process. Following the most recent assessment submitted to Ministers, the Prime Minister announced on 29 April 2009, Official Report, column 869, the deployment of additional troops to provide extra security during the Afghan election period, improve force protection particularly against improvised explosive devices and to command the International Security Assistance Forces' Regional Command (South).

Armed Forces: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many patients have received treatment under his Department’s contract with the Priory Group in each year of its operation; and what the cost of the contract has been in each such year. (283076)

The information requested, up until 31 March 2009, can be found in the following table.

Number of patients treated

Contract value (£ million)

1 December 2003 to 31 March 2004

58

0.4

1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005

321

4.2

1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006

351

4.5

1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007

305

3.4

1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008

289

3.9

1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009

284

3.3

These figures take into account the cost of assessing patients as well as any treatment programmes provided; the individual care needs of each patient will vary depending on their particular medical circumstances. They also include services provided by the Priory Group between 1 December 2003 and April 2004 prior to the formal contract start date.

The contract with the Priory Group has been replaced by a new one, awarded in November 2008 following open competition, with a partnership of seven NHS trusts led by South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust. This ensures coverage across the country, and complements the community-based approach we follow for our out-patients who are seen at our regional military mental health centres.

Armed Forces: Mental Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what progress his Department has made on arrangements to meet the mental health needs of veterans; and if he will make a statement; (283035)

(2) how many community veterans' mental health therapists there were in each region of (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland in each of the last five years;

(3) what funding (a) his Department and (b) the Department of Health has provided to each of the community veterans mental health pilots in each year since their inception; and how much has been allocated to each in the next two years;

(4) how many veterans have used each of the community veterans mental health pilots in each year since their inception;

(5) what progress there has been on the pilots to examine ways of meeting the needs of veterans with mental health problems announced in 2007.

Veterans’ health care has been the responsibility of the national health service (NHS) since 1948. The MOD is committed to good mental health and well-being for its personnel both in service and after.

While it appears that most veterans use community wide NHS service provision satisfactorily, including for mental health, the Government have taken a number of specific steps to meet the needs of veterans with mental health issues. These steps include creating the Reservists Mental Health Programme, open to any current or former member of the UK Volunteer and Regular Reserves who has been demobilised since 1 January 2003; the Medical Assessment Programme available to veterans deployed on operations since 1982; and more recently engaging with the four UK Health Departments and the ex-service charities in piloting a new best practice, culturally sensitive, mental health care service for veterans in six NHS trusts across the UK.

Each of the six pilots across the UK are operational and being led by a Community Veterans' Mental Health Therapist. The early take up results of the pilots suggest that veterans are willing to access the service, however the numbers making use of the service are currently being validated and are not yet available. An independent evaluation of the pilots is currently under way with a final report due in 2011. Outcomes will include the range of disorders and the level of demand to inform future service planning and subsequent roll out nationwide.

Departmental Information and Communications Technology

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the amount to be paid by his Department to the company awarded the contract to deliver increment 3a of the Defence Information Infrastructure programme. (283173)

No contract has yet been awarded and any estimate of payment is subject to ongoing negotiations and as such is commercially sensitive and cannot be released at this stage.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on the redundancy costs of ATLAS staff working on the Defence Information Infrastructure programme to date. (283174)

The value of payments to ATLAS in respect of those members of staff who occupied in-scope posts, transferred to ATLAS under TUPE arrangements and subsequently made redundant, is between £5 million and £6 million.

Economic and Monetary Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what activities have been undertaken by his Department's Euro Minister in that capacity. (277165)

The Ministry of Defence does not have a specific Minister for Europe. The Secretary of State for Defence has responsibility for NATO and European Security and Defence Policy issues, supported by the Minister for International Defence and Security, Baroness Taylor. Both the Secretary of State and Minister (IDS) have attended meetings of EU Defence Ministers under successive EU presidencies, where discussion typically focuses on issues of operations, capabilities and partnerships.

Equipment: Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the acquisition of rights over design information and assured access to relevant design knowledge in respect of procurement of (a) armoured fighting vehicles, (b) fixed wing piloted aircraft, (c) helicopters, (d) unmanned aerial vehicles, (e) ships, (f) submarines, (g) electronic equipment and programmes and (h) other purchases. (282807)

[holding answer 29 June 2009]: The MOD’s general approach to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is to leave ownership of rights in design information with industry and to secure access and user rights in that information. There is a series of MOD standardised contract conditions (IPR DEFCONs) that are available to secure these rights under contract. However, our approach on an individual project may vary, according to its specific requirements. Details of MOD’s IPR policy are publicly available as part of the Acquisition Operating Framework at:

www.aof.mod.uk/aofcontent/tactical/toolkit/downloads/ipr_ov/iprpol.pdf

Earlier this month I announced the launch of MOD’s new Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) sector strategy, 23 June 2009, Official Report, column 52WS. For this sector, we will in future in principle wish to acquire at the outset rights over design information, as well as assured access to relevant design knowledge, sufficient to allow third party modification of designs where appropriate, and to permit routine maintenance repair and overhaul activities.

The MOD continues to develop a number of industrial sector strategies, under the umbrella of the Defence Industrial Strategy 2005. We expect to make announcements about these, including any relevant IPR issues, as they mature.

Pakistan: Military Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK military personnel are deployed in Pakistan; and what duties they are undertaking. (283090)

I can confirm that there are currently 31 UK military personnel based in Pakistan undertaking a variety of roles including training, liaison and diplomatic duties. The number of military personnel based in Pakistan varies from time to time. This can be for a variety of reasons, including revised tasking and changes to previous roles.

Type 45 Destroyers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the launch of the Type 45 destroyer has been delayed; and if he will make a statement. (283017)

The Government have previously acknowledged that the original estimates of the Type 45 destroyers in-service dates were overly optimistic. These judgments were made in the early period of the programme's life when the ship design was still relatively immature. Since a review of the programme and subsequent renegotiation of the contract in 2007, Type 45 has made strong progress, achieving a series of critical programme milestones without any further time or cost overruns.

Veterans Forum

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times the Veterans Forum has met in each year since its establishment; and which Ministers and officials from (a) the Government and (b) the devolved administrations have been present at each meeting. (283024)

The Veterans Forum has met 18 times since its establishment in 2002 and currently meets bi-annually. It is chaired by the Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Veterans, and is attended by a number of officials from the Ministry of Defence, including single service representatives. Representatives are also invited from other Government Departments including the Department for Health; Children, Schools and Families; Communities and Local Government; as well as from each of the Devolved Administrations. A number of ex-service organisations are also in attendance making the total number of attendees more than 30 at each meeting.

Transport

A419

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent discussions he has had with the Highways Agency on required improvements to the A419 between Nettleton Bottom and Brockworth, Gloucestershire. (282722)

The proposed A419 Cowley to Brockworth Improvement Scheme has been considered by the South West Region as part of its refresh of regional funding priorities. The region has not included the scheme in their forward programme of priorities up to 2019 and I am currently considering their advice.

Bus Lanes: Essex

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent representations he has received on funding for the construction of bus lanes in (a) Essex and (b) Castle Point. (282812)

The Department for Transport received advice in February 2009 from the East of England region on its transport priorities in the period up to 2018-19 as part of its Regional Funding Advice to Government. This includes proposals for investment in Essex for bus-based schemes such as South Essex Rapid Transit and the A13 Passenger Transport Corridor. The Department expects to be in a position to respond to this advice in the next few weeks.

Buses: Concessions

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of provision of free bus travel for the elderly; and if he will make a statement. (282683)

The Government are now providing around £1 billion each year to support the statutory minimum concession which improves social inclusion for older and eligible disabled people who can now travel free on local buses at off-peak times in any part of England. The Government are very confident in the adequacy of this statutory minimum. The provision of services over the network of bus routes and their frequency is for operators to decide as most services are run on a commercial basis. Where a commercial service is not considered viable, local authorities may contract with bus operators to provide services.

Channel Tunnel Railway Line

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent progress has been made towards the introduction of a direct high-speed rail service between London and Amsterdam. (283196)

The Government are currently engaged in a restructuring of London and Continental Railways. Following this, it is the Government's intention, as market conditions allow, to sell, via an open and competitive auction, a long-term concession for High Speed 1 in such a way as to maximise value for money for the taxpayer.

High Speed 1 is incentivised to maximise usage of the line, and to help operators develop new international services. London to Amsterdam is a large market under consideration by train operators. Operators that wish to utilise High Speed 1 will negotiate access rights with the holder of the concession to operate the railway.

Crossrail Line: Contracts

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport which Crossrail contracts awarded for (a) the Crossrail Programme Partner, (b) the Crossrail Delivery Partner, (c) the DfT Programme Partner and (d) the Network Rail Delivery Partner were awarded to (i) US companies, (ii) UK companies and (iii) other companies; which were subject to open tender; and if he will make a statement. (282884)

[holding answer 29 June 2009]: The Programme Partner and Delivery Partner contracts were awarded by Crossrail Ltd., the Project Representative contract was awarded by the Department in conjunction with TfL, and the Network Rail Delivery Partner contract was awarded by Network Rail.

The Crossrail contracts referred to above were awarded as shown in the following table. All of the contracts in the table were awarded under European procurement rules.

Client

Contract

Awarded to

Supplier country of origin

Crossrail Ltd.

(a) Crossrail Programme Partner

Transcend—Joint Venture between AECOM, CH2M Hill and The Nichols Group

AECOM—US CH2M Group—US Nichols—UK

Crossrail Ltd.

(b) Crossrail Delivery Partner

Bechtel Ltd.

US

DfT/TfL

(c) Project Representative

Jacobs Engineering Ltd.

US

Network Rail

(d) Network Rail Delivery Partner

Bechtel Ltd.

US

All contracts of this scale are subject to the European rules on procurement which require contracts to be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union where any supplier that wishes to do so can express an interest, thus attracting the widest possible field of prospective bidders.

Under the “restricted procedure” interested suppliers are narrowed down, usually by means of some kind of qualifying questionnaire, to a shortlist from which suppliers are invited to tender.

Cycling: Schools

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport in how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools there is a cycling safety programme which has been approved by his Department. (282546)

The Department for Transport provides advice on safer cycling for children of all ages on its “Think” website.

The Department also funds cycle training in schools. Grants are available for local authorities and school sports partnerships for national standard cycle training promoted as Bikeability training in England. The decision on which schools take part is for individual local authority and school sports partnerships to determine. We do not therefore hold information about which schools have taken part to date, though we do plan to ask for it in the future as the delivery in schools expands. To date we have funded around 146,000 training places and have made grants of around £10 million available in 2009-10 to fund over 200,000 places.

Safety may also be covered in a school’s travel plan. Every school should have a travel plan by March 2010. We do not hold data on which plans include any safety aspect.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many local authorities were funding a cycling safety programme in schools on the latest date for which figures are available. (282558)

Most local authorities fund some form of cycle training in their schools usually through their Local Transport Plan funding. Not all of it is National Standard training (see reply to PQ 2588 08/09).

We have in recent years supplemented local authority spend and funded schools direct through their School sports Partnerships to increase the number of children who can receive national standard training as part of our target of delivering an additional 500,000 training places by 2012.

We announced cycle training grants amounting to £5.4 million earlier this year for 94 local authorities and our cycle demonstration towns. All bids for grant were awarded in full. This money will fund around 135,000 training places in addition to the estimated 100,000 being funded through our grants of £4 million to School Sports Partnerships. This builds on the 146,000 places we have already funded and goes a long way to meeting our 2012 target.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport on what core criteria his Department approves school cycling safety programmes; and what account is taken of the inclusion of training in safety in relation to heavy goods vehicles in the approval of such programmes. (282559)

The Department for Transport only provides grant for cycle training that meets the National Standard, promoted as Bikeability training in England. We have made over £9 million available to local authorities and school sports partnerships to deliver the national standard in 2009-10.

The National Standard replaces the old cycling proficiency and been designed and developed by leading experts in the road safety and cycling fields including RoSPA, Local Authority Road Safety Officers (LARSOA) and the Cyclists Touring Club. It is based on similar principles to lessons for motorcycles, allowing cyclists to assess risks and obstacles faced on the road. It involves a higher standard of cycle training, including an on-road element and is designed to give confidence and skills to deal with today’s road conditions. It can only be delivered by qualified national standard trainers.

The training consists of three levels:

Level 1: aimed at 7-9 year olds-off road teaching of basic cycling and balance skills;

Level 2: aimed at 10-11 years-on-road training building on the first level;

Level 3: aimed at older children/adults-includes tackling difficult road features (e.g. roundabouts) and the safe use of cycle facilities.

The National Standard deals with positioning and identifying the different hazards and road conditions cyclists may face on the road including being able to recognise the dangers that can be posed by large vehicles. Positioning and filtering is particularly important when sharing road space. Filtering allows a cyclist to move inside or outside of slow or stationary traffic but the choice to filter rests with the cyclist who needs to know how to judge when to filter. These skills are primarily taught at Level 3. Not filtering up the left of large vehicles at junctions is the main proviso cyclists are taught because the drivers of large vehicles have a blind spot on their nearside when turning left and the space there if occupied by a cyclist becomes closed.

A number of local authorities and other organisations give advice to HGV drivers about sharing road space with cyclists.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent discussions the Secretary of State has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and (b) the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on the efficient funding and delivery of cycling safety programmes in schools. (282560)

None since the Secretary of State only recently took office. However both Department for Transport Ministers and officials here engage with Her Majesty’s Government colleagues on these issues as necessary. Meetings are held regularly with the Department of Children, Schools and Families on the part increases in cycling, particularly cycling to school can play in improving the health and fitness of children as part of the Government’s initiatives to reduce child obesity and increase physical activity.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 24 March 2009, Official Report, column 200W, on departmental manpower, what recent forecast his Department has made of the number of posts in each bargaining unit on 31 March 2010. (282956)

The table shows the forecast change in headcount (permanent staff and those on fixed term contracts), expressed as full-time equivalents, between 31 March 2009 and 31 March 2010 in the centre of the Department for Transport and each of the Department’s bargaining units.

Actual for 31 March 2009

Forecast for 31 March 2010

Change

Department for Transport Centre

1,902

1,902

0

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

6,329

6,328

-1

Driving Standards Agency

2,574

2,560

-14

Government Car and Despatch Agency

315

350

35

Highways Agency

3,416

3,416

0

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

1,128

1,127

-1

Vehicle Certification Agency

136

144

8

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

2,638

2,679

41

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what percentage of (a) white and (b) non-white staff received the highest performance marking in the core business units of (i) the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions and (ii) the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions in each year between 1997 and 2006. (282959)

I have been asked to reply.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and the Department for Transport were formed in 2002, from the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. ODPM then became the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) in 2006. CLG does not hold any data on performance management markings before 2002.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what percentage of (a) white and (b) non-white staff received the highest performance mark in his Department's 2008-09 reporting round. (282960)

The Department for Transport line management are in the process of meeting all permanent staff to deliver annual performance management reviews. Once this process is completed, the results will be collated and published as part of the Department’s annual equality monitoring duties. The Department expects to finalise this process by November 2009.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport which of his Department’s (a) agencies and (b) non-departmental public bodies have submitted bids for efficiency savings to be used for pay improvements in 2009 pay offers. (283030)

Within the Department for Transport, its agencies and associated non-departmental public bodies no bids for efficiency savings have been submitted to be used for pay improvements in 2009 pay offers.

Fuels: EU Law

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2009, Official Report, columns 427-8W, on diesel fuel: EU action, what information his Department holds on the applications (a) made by and (b) granted to member states for derogation from the Fuel Quality Directive 98/70 (EC) in respect of the sulphur content of fuel since its inception. (282575)

The Department for Transport is not aware of such a derogation ever having been either requested by or granted to a Member State. EU Fuel Quality Monitoring reports1 suggest that, with the exception of transitional problems for two accession Member States in 2005, EU petrol and diesel are generally well within the mandatory sulphur content limits.

1 http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/intemal_market/single _market_for_goods/motor_vehicles/interactions_industry _policies/l28077_en.htm

Highways Agency

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much was paid in bonuses to (a) directors, (b) senior managers, (c) specialist and delivery managers and (d) executive support and administration staff in the Highways Agency in each of the last five years. (282145)

Bonus payments to (a) directors are managed by the central Department. A comprehensive breakdown of (b) senior managers, (c) specialist and delivery managers and (d) executive support and administration staff in the Highways Agency can be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, total figures for each of the last five financial years are as follows:

Financial year

PB1-8

2003-04

89,314

2004-05

114,224

2005-06

182,930

2006-07

230,675

2007-08

202,590

Ports: British Overseas Territories

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent steps have been taken to strengthen security at seaports in British Overseas Territories. (282319)

The security of seaports in the British Overseas Territories falls within the remit of the Transport Security and Contingencies Directorate (TRANSEC) within the Department for Transport. TRANSEC provides the Governors and port facility operators in each territory with advice and guidance on port security, based on the globally-adopted International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).

Railway Stations: Disabled

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the number of mainline railway stations in London that do not have full step-free access. (283012)

Studies carried out for the Strategic Rail Authority in 2005 showed that 254 railway stations in London did not provide full step free access. More detailed information about station facilities is held by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and is available from the National Rail Enquiries Service at

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/search.html

A programme of access audits is currently under way to update this information.

Railways: Franchises

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what requirement for train carriages to have windows able to be opened by passengers his Department specified in franchise agreements. (283042)

Railways: Hearing Impaired

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent discussions he has had with (a) holders of rail franchises and (b) other transport operators on the provisions they make for accessibility to their services by the deaf and hard of hearing. (281823)

The Department for Transport has not had recent discussions with rail franchisees, or other transport operators, about the way they provide their services to deaf and hard of hearing passengers. However, improving access to travel for disabled people is an ongoing objective of the Government, and the Department expects all service providers to consider the needs of deaf and hard of hearing passengers as required by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended).

The Department for Transport sets out the strategy for improving access to rail transport in ‘Railways for All: The Accessibility Strategy for Great Britain's Railways’. This strategy anticipates that holders of rail franchises will ensure their services improve access to travel for disabled passengers, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Railways: Maintenance

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many rail services of each train operating company were (a) planned to run, (b) cancelled and (c) not in planned preventative maintenance in the last quarter of 2008-09. (283065)

The number of rail services (a) planned to run and (b) cancelled in the last quarter of 2008-09 are shown in the following table by operating company:

Train operating company

(a) Number of trains planned

(b) Number of trains fully cancelled

Arriva Trains Wales

75,583

179

c2c

27,431

189

National Express East Anglia

143,254

1,809

Chiltern

25,642

156

London Midland

83,202

2,235

First Capital Connect

83,179

2,455

First Great Western

112,848

1,796

National Express East Coast

10,724

172

Merseyrail

48,687

283

Northern Rail

202,449

1,302

Southeastern

130,308

3,569

Southern

180,652

5,294

Stagecoach Southwestern

141,893

3,161

Trans Pennine Express

23,883

156

Virgin Trains

20,576

896

Crosscountry

22,327

236

East Midlands Trains

34,929

222

London Overground

32,540

440

The Department for Transport does not hold information on how many rail services of each train operating company were not in planned preventative maintenance in the last quarter of 2008-09.

Railways: West Midlands

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much has been spent to increase rail capacity in the West Midlands since 2005. (282756)

The information is not available in the form requested. Responsibility for delivering capacity enhancements on the railway rests with Network Rail who also fund any works.

Government support for the railway, including a breakdown of support by region is available in the Department for Transport’s annual report. Copies are available in the Library of the House.

Road Traffic

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many representations his Department has received on traffic congestion in town centres in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (282860)

The Department for Transport's records reveal that the following numbers of ministerial and official correspondence have been received over the last five years which have 'traffic congestion in town centres' within the subject heading:

Number

2004

16

2005

40

2006

27

2007

47

2008

17

2009

8

There will have been many more representations to the Department on this issue, but it would not be possible to provide figures for these without disproportionate cost.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the distance travelled on (a) Highways Agency roads and (b) other roads by foreign-registered light vehicles in the last 12 months. (282889)

[holding answer 29 June 2009]: It is estimated that foreign registered cars and light goods vehicles travelled 319 million kilometres on Britain's motorways in 2008, accounting for around 0.4 per cent. of the total distance travelled by these types of vehicles.

On other roads in Great Britain, it is estimated that foreign registered cars and light goods vehicles travelled 1.438 billion kilometres in 2008, around 0.2 per cent. of the total distance travelled by these types of vehicles.

The estimates are based on information collected through the Department for Transport's Vehicle Excise Duty Evasion survey in June 2008. They have been calculated on the assumption that the rate of foreign registered vehicles in traffic observed during this month is representative of the rate throughout the year.

Estimates of foreign registered traffic are split between motorways and all other roads, while the Highways Agency is responsible for managing both motorways and other major trunk roads in England. Estimates covering all Highways Agency routes are therefore not available, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Roads: Construction

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent research his Department has (a) evaluated and (b) commissioned on the environmental impact of new road building; and what guidance his Department has issued to local and regional authorities on the management of such effects. (280732)

All major road schemes submitted to the Department for Transport by local authorities or promoted by the Highways Agency are subject to a full assessment against the Government's five overarching objectives of safety, environment, economy, integration and accessibility.

The Highways Agency also has in place a set of advice notes in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges that deal with the environmental design and management of roads. These advice notes state clearly that good environmental design is a matter of respecting the special character of each individual location where a road improvement may be sited. While this is written with the trunk road system in mind, local highway authorities are likely to find it useful for their purposes, too.

In addition, the Department has commissioned research into valuing transport's impact on the natural landscape. The results of phases 1 and 2 of the study are reported on the Department's website at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/economics/rdg/landscape/

The Highways Agency has recently released a report, ‘Post Opening Project Evaluation: Meta Analysis’, on the evaluation of a number of Highways Agency schemes. A copy of the report can be found at the following weblink:

http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/18386.aspx

The Highways Agency is also developing an improved methodology to account for the changes to the quantity of vehicle emissions that affect air quality that can result from new road schemes.

Finally, the Department is collaborating with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to manage research that they have commissioned to investigate the health impacts of environmental noise.

Transport: Essex

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what representations he has received on the allocation of funding for the construction of (a) bicycle paths and lanes and (b) footpaths in (i) Essex and (ii) Castle Point in each of the last five years. (282436)

The Department for Transport receives representations from time to time about the allocation of funding for various issues, including the construction of bicycle paths, bicycle lanes and footpaths. However, the Department is not aware of any specific representations on these subjects in relation to Essex or Castle Point. Such representations would generally be made to the local authority in question.

Cabinet Office

Breast Cancer: Males

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many adult males have been diagnosed with breast cancer in England in each year from 2005. (282925)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply to the hon. Member. A copy of its response will be placed in the Library.

Central Office of Information: Expenditure

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office with reference to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Blaby (Mr. Robathan) on 12 November 2008, Official Report, column 759, on public relations, what the reasons are for the difference between the figure of £265 million given in the answer and the figure of £391 million for Central Office of Information (COI) spending on public relations, marketing and advertising in 2007-08 given in the most recent COI annual report and accounts. (250300)

I refer the hon. Member to answer given to him on 20 April 2009, Official Report, column 352W.

Central Office of Information: Security

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many breaches of security at the Central Office of Information have occurred in the last five years; and what procedures that agency follows when a breach of security involves the disclosure of personal data. (276941)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Central Office of Information. I have asked the chief executive to reply.

Letter from Mark Lund, dated June 2009:

As Chief Executive of the Central Office of Information (COI), I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question on the Security Breaches (276941).

In the last five years the Central Office of Information (COI) has had no reported breaches of security.

It is COI policy to report all significant personal data security breaches to the Cabinet Office and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Information on personal data security breaches is published on an annual basis in the department's Annual Report and Accounts as announced in the Data Handling. Procedures in Government Review published on 25th June 2008.

Additionally, all significant control weaknesses including other significant security breaches are included in the Statement of Internal Control which is also published within the Annual Report and Accounts.

Jobseeker’s Allowance: South Yorkshire

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the average length of time was for which jobseeker's allowance (JSA) claimants resident in (a) Barnsley and (b) Doncaster received JSA in each of the last five years. (282785)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated June 2009:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for what average length of time jobseeker's allowance (JSA) claimants resident in (a) Barnsley and (b) Doncaster received JSA in each of the last five years. (282785)

The number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) is taken from the Jobcentre Plus administrative system. The length of a claim has been defined as the time between the start of an individual's claim and that claim ending. Table 1 shows the median length of completed claims during the May count period of the last 5 years.

Table 1. Median length of completed claims (off-flows) of jobseeker’s allowance for claimants resident in Barnsley and Doncaster

Months

May

Barnsley

Doncaster

2005

8.5

9.3

2006

11.0

10.7

2007

10.0

12.3

2008

9.5

9.7

2009

12.2

10.8

Source: Jobcentre Plus administrative system.

Regional Planning and Development: South East

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what representations her Department has received on the consultation process on the South East England Regional Spatial Strategy. [R] (279564)

The Cabinet Office received no representations on the South East England Regional Spatial Strategy.

Unemployment: Merseyside

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the average unemployment rate among the working age population in (a) Merseyside and (b) Crosby was in each of the last five years. [R] (282522)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated June 2009:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what the average unemployment rate among working age population in (a) Merseyside and (b) Crosby was in each of the last five years. (282522)

The Office for National Statistics compiles unemployment statistics in line with International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions for local areas from the Annual Population Survey (APS).

Table 1 shows the unemployment rate for people resident in Merseyside and Crosby parliamentary constituency in each of the last five years. The latest period for which data are available is October 2007 to September 2008. Unemployment rates are normally provided for people aged 16 and over, rather than people of working age, thus estimates provided are consistent with this definition.

As these estimates are for a subset of the population in small geographical areas, they, are based on small sample sizes, and are therefore subject to large margins of uncertainty.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment and unemployment are available from the NOMIS website at:

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Table 1: Unemployment rates1 for people resident in Merseyside and Crosby

Unemployment rate (percentage)

12 month period

Merseyside

Crosby

January to December 2004

6.1

2.5

January to December 2005

7.0

3.8

January to December 2006

7.0

7.2

January to December 2007

7.3

3.6

October 2007 to September 2008

6.9

6.0

1 Number of unemployed people aged 16 and over as a percentage of the economically active population.

Source:

Annual Population Survey.

Home Department

Community Policing: Enfield

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of neighbourhood policing schemes in (a) the London Borough of Enfield and (b) Enfield North constituency. (282565)

It is for individual police forces and authorities to ensure the effectiveness of neighbourhood policing in their area. The Government will hold forces to account for progress through the single top-down target we have set them to improve public confidence that crime and antisocial behaviour issues are being tackled locally, and in the light of inspection work by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

HMIC has inspected every force in England and Wales to assess their capabilities in delivering Neighbourhood Policing and Developing Citizen Focus. HMIC’s assessment in September 2008 was that all forces, including the Metropolitan Police Service, had met this standard.

Crimes of Violence

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many reported incidents of (a) attempted murder, (b) wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm and (c) wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent by use of a knife or sharp instrument there have been in each police force area in each year since 1997. (281674)

Available information for knife and sharp instrument offences recorded by the police for selected offences are provided for 2007-08 only. Data are not available for previous years.

Data for 2008-09 will be published on 16 July. It should be noted that GBH offences for 2008-09 will not be comparable with those published for 2007-08.

This is due to a change in the clarification rules for recording GBH with intent, and a change in the definitional coverage of GBH without intent.

Knife and sharp instrument offences recorded by the police for selected offences, 2007-081

Number

Police force

Attempted murder

Wounding with intent to do GBH

Wounding or inflicting GBH without intent

Avon and Somerset

3

85

27

Bedfordshire

4

67

14

British Transport Police

0

11

1

Cambridgeshire

3

21

16

Cheshire

1

64

26

Cleveland

4

76

17

Cumbria

2

20

35

Derbyshire

2

49

28

Devon and Cornwall

5

127

45

Dorset

0

20

11

Durham

2

53

8

Dyfed-Powys

3

31

31

Essex

6

89

10

Gloucestershire

1

15

4

Greater Manchester

20

600

315

Gwent

1

79

8

Hampshire

7

88

108

Hertfordshire

8

46

35

Humberside

2

55

34

Kent

10

94

32

Lancashire

8

138

46

Leicestershire

5

99

25

Lincolnshire

0

29

9

London, City of

1

3

2

Merseyside

3

312

52

Metropolitan Police

59

878

869

Norfolk

1

22

13

North Wales

1

56

25

North Yorkshire

1

21

4

Northamptonshire

3

83

10

Northumbria

1

140

64

Nottinghamshire

5

122

27

South Wales

0

333

46

South Yorkshire

6

111

43

Staffordshire

1

34

75

Suffolk

2

33

42

Surrey

6

25

18

Sussex

2

62

84

Thames Valley

9

63

30

Warwickshire

2

41

14

West Mercia

1

43

20

West Midlands

14

561

370

West Yorkshire

10

306

75

Wiltshire

6

43

17

1 Includes racially or religiously aggravated wounding or inflicting GBH.

Departmental Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department spent on consultancy contracts in 2008-09. (272583)

In 2008-09, the Home Office and its agencies (the UK Border Agency, the Identity and Passport Service and the Criminal Records Bureau) spent £140 million on consultancy services, such as project management, legal services and assistance with major projects, with a wide range of consultants. This represents 7 per cent. of Home Office expenditure on third party goods and services.

DNA: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions a person has been arrested but not charged with an offence following their being suspected of a crime as the result of the use of the national DNA database. (281957)

The information requested is not collected. In 2007-08, there were 37,376 crimes with a DNA match. If the National DNA Database (NDNAD) matches a DNA profile found at a crime scene with that from a known individual, a match report is sent to the police for further investigation. However, the NDNAD does not hold information on the outcome of the police investigation following the match—for example, whether the person concerned is arrested or charged—as its purpose is only to match DNA profiles.

These figures do not constitute part of National Statistics as they are based on internal management information. The information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols, should be treated as provisional and is subject to change.

Entry Clearances

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many telephone interviews with visa applicants from (a) Pakistan and (b) Afghanistan have been conducted by entry clearance officers in (i) Islamabad and (ii) Abu Dhabi since 27 October 2008. (280127)

No telephone interviews have been conducted with visa applicants from either country since 27 October. Visa section staff may contact visa applicants to clarify certain aspects of an application, and there is routine verification of supporting documents which may also result in telephone inquiries being made.

Forced Marriages: Victim Support Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what support services his Department funds in each local authority area for victims of forced marriage; and if he will make a statement; (282249)

(2) what proportion of his Department's budget for 2009-10 is allocated for support for the victims of forced marriage.