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Written Answers

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Work and Pensions

Carers: National Insurance Contributions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate her Department has made of the number of people in receipt of carer's allowance who may have recourse to national insurance contribution credits in accordance with the provisions of the National Insurance Contribution Credits (Transfer of Functions) Order 2009; and what estimate she has made of the monetary value of such credits in 2009-10. (282800)

[holding answer 29 June 2009]: Since 1976, people receiving carer's allowance (formerly invalid care allowance) have normally been awarded National Insurance credits for weeks for which the allowance is paid unless they have a valid married women's election. The National Insurance Contributions Credits (Transfer of Functions) Order 2009 is an enabling instrument which allows HMRC to award and administer National Insurance credits on behalf of the Secretary of State. It does not provide for any new credits. However, it is anticipated that regulations will be introduced shortly which will extend the range of credits available for certain people engaged in caring from April 2010. These credits will have no monetary value in 2009-10 since they will not be available before 6 April 2010.

International Labour Organization

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which Minister represented the UK at the recent International Labour Organization annual meeting. (282410)

At least one DWP Minister normally attends the annual International Labour Conference. My hon. Friend the Member for Chatham and Aylesford (Jonathan Shaw) was scheduled to attend the 2009 event but had to withdraw at very short notice due to unforeseen parliamentary business arising on the day of his planned visit.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when she plans to reply to the letter to her predecessor of 19 March 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. J Harris. (283358)

I refer my right hon. Friend to the replies given on 11 May 2009 and 21 May 2009, Official Report, columns 571W and 1502W.

New Deal Schemes: South East

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent changes have been made to the methods of delivery of Flexible New Deal contracts in the south east district; and if she will make a statement. (282684)

[holding answer 29 June 2009]: None. Following the announcement of the preferred bidders on 29 May 2009 we remain committed to bringing in the Flexible New Deal Phase 1 from October 2009. At this time, Phase 1 contracts have not been let.

Pension Protection Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) the UK and (b) Tamworth constituency have claimed pension payments from the Pension Protection Fund in each year since its inception. (282740)

Information relating to the Tamworth constituency could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Such information as is available is as follows:

The cumulative number of people in the UK whose pension scheme transferred into the Pension Protection Fund

Year ending 31 March

People receiving compensation

People due to receive compensation on retirement

2006

Nil

Nil

2007

1,457

5,621

2008

3,596

8,577

2009

12,778

17,737

Social Security Benefits: Fraud

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information her Department collects on benefit claims to assist in detecting fraudulent claims. (273207)

To detect both fraud and error once a benefit claim is active within our systems we match our data against that from other sources. We do this using a range of data from both other Government Departments and private sector sources. Data are extracted from these sources at routine intervals and matched against our benefit data to identify anomalies, which are then referred for investigation.

Social Security Benefits: Low Incomes

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment her Department has made of the effect on customers from low-income socio-economic backgrounds of recent changes to the frequency of benefit payments. (275746)

The changes made to frequencies and paydays are a key step in the, long-term, simplification of the benefits system. Before implementing this policy we consulted extensively with customer representative groups to ensure that customer's interests were fully considered.

We do, however, recognise that the initial move from weekly payments to fortnightly payments may be difficult for some of our customers but have addressed this by making a repayable loan equal to the customer's weekly benefit.

Unemployment

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have registered as unemployed at Jobcentre Plus in the last six months. (278310)

[holding answer 8 June 2009]: The available information is in the following table:

Jobseeker’s allowance—on-flows onto JSA for the last six months—Great Britain

Date

On-flow

Off-flow

Net difference

November 2008

350,920

265,555

85,365

December 2008

288,192

191,255

96,937

January 2009

290,785

163,585

127,200

February 2009

474,127

298,035

176,092

March 2009

336,234

272,085

64,149

April 2009

311,697

276,360

35,337

Notes:

1. This information is published on the Nomis website at:

www.nomisweb.co.uk

2. Off-flow data are rounded to the nearest five.

Source:

Count of unemployment-related benefits, Jobcentre Plus computer systems (computer held cases only).

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK (a) citizens and (b) residents have been arrested by (i) British, (ii) International Security Assistance Forces, (iii) American and (iv) Afghan authorities in Afghanistan since 2001. (280191)

[holding answer 16 June 2009]: No UK nationals suspected of links to the insurgency have been arrested by British forces in Afghanistan since 2001.

Since 2004, the number of arrests on a variety of charges and not necessarily specifically linked to insurgency of UK nationals in Afghanistan by Afghan authorities is provided in the following table.

Number of arrests1

2008-09

4

2007-08

4

2006-07

3

2005-06

3

2004-05

2

1 From 2004-08 as reported in the Consular Annual Return from the British embassy Kabul and from 2008 as reported from the Consular Assistance Database held by the British Embassy Kabul. Information on arrests prior to 2004 and on arrests made by International Security Assistance or American Forces are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Air Force: Military Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cannibalisations of each type of RAF aircraft there have been in (a) each year since 2005 and (b) the last 12 months. (279952)

The information requested covers a large number of aircraft and will take some time to collate. I will write to the hon. Member when this work is complete.

Substantive answer from Quentin Davies to Liam Fox:

I undertook to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Question of the 17 June 2009, (Official Report, column 334W) about the number of cannibalisations undertaken, broken down by each type of RAF aircraft, in each year since 2005 and in each of the last 12 months, once officials had completed collating the data.

As I am sure you will be aware, cannibalisation is where one aircraft benefits from the removal of serviceable parts from another. It is a routine and temporary measure to ensure that the maximum number of aircraft is available for front line duty.

The number of cannibalisations in each year since 2005 broken down by aircraft is provided in the following table.

2005

2006

2007

2008

Harrier (all types)

530

505

862

924

Tornado GR4

1,863

2,048

1,838

2,012

Tornado F31

872

667

667

238

Typhoon

243

542

540

621

Nimrod MR2

510

224

344

151

Nimrod R1

48

61

41

69

Sea King

270

204

115

126

Tristar

154

182

126

90

VC10

177

82

167

148

Hercules C130K

203

167

185

207

Hercules C130J

662

691

591

541

Sentinel R12

7

36

Sentry

51

140

81

95

BAe 125

58

49

23

46

BAe146

8

9

17

15

C17

40

45

39

39

Dominie

161

95

46

53

Hawk

415

398

241

135

Tucano

4

8

32

34

Vigilant

10

29

20

24

Viking

4

1

2

0

1 The drop in cannibalisations for the Tornado F3 in 2008 is due to the drawdown of the force and its replacement by Typhoon.

2 Sentinel R1 did not enter service with the RAF until 2007.

The number of cannibalisations in each of the last 12 months broken down by aircraft is provided in the following table.

20082009

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Harrier (all types)

82

71

58

102

89

75

61

91

45

88

55

78

Tornado GR4

172

188

132

140

158

198

160

178

163

194

104

119

Tornado F3

27

13

10

11

9

10

7

5

5

7

10

0

Typhoon

44

61

47

59

61

36

53

36

55

80

55

22

Nimrod MR2

16

7

17

14

8

8

8

5

18

14

2

6

Nimrod R1

0

2

3

1

0

4

2

10

9

7

2

3

Sea King

10

21

14

17

12

15

12

9

13

13

16

12

Tristar

5

6

16

3

4

0

7

3

5

6

9

1

VC10

14

6

6

10

19

13

10

3

4

14

7

3

Hercules C130K

35

16

13

25

21

15

11

12

15

9

8

11

Hercules C130J

66

48

33

57

55

37

33

42

15

24

34

17

Sentinel R11

2

2

12

10

7

2

4

8

Sentry

4

9

3

5

7

1

3

5

3

2

13

6

BAe 125

2

13

4

2

4

2

0

4

7

10

1

2

BAe 146

0

1

1

0

0

5

3

5

1

0

4

0

C17

3

7

5

4

3

5

4

1

3

5

3

4

Dominie

17

11

5

2

2

0

2

0

2

0

0

0

Hawk

13

14

5

7

13

14

11

13

22

37

13

26

Tucano

1

3

0

1

2

2

0

0

1

2

0

2

Vigilant

1

2

2

2

1

1

0

2

1

1

0

0

Viking

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1. Sentinel R1 figures for June to September 2008 are not available

Army: Clothing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the merits of replacing bearskin caps worn by the Guards Regiments with caps made from synthetic material. (282942)

The Ministry of Defence has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to the use of faux fur products in military ceremonial clothing wherever a suitable alternative can be found to real fur. Examples of this include the Busby cap worn by the members of the Royal Horse Artillery and the Shako hat worn by the Rifles Regiments.

Officials met with representatives of several potential suppliers at an Industry Day on 23 October 2008 to investigate whether the market could deliver an alternative solution to meet the Guards' requirements. Our conclusion is that industry is not currently able to produce a synthetic material with the properties required for the ceremonial cap, whose iconic design is closely associated with this nation's traditions and is recognised around the world.

However, we remain open to testing material that industry might offer us as a potential synthetic alternative.

Defence: Inflation Index

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress his Department has made in establishing a defence-specific inflation index. (283300)

The programme of work is on course and in April 2010, as notified to the HCDC over scrutiny of the 2006-07 annual report and accounts, the MOD will publish estimates of defence inflation for financial years 2006-07 through to 2008-09. For financial year 2009-10 a provisional estimate of defence inflation will be produced in September 2010.

Departmental Older Workers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff in his Department will reach the age of 65 years in the year 2011. (283367)

Nuclear Weapons: Arms Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what reports he has received on the implications for UK defence policy of the recent statement by Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, on the disarmament of nuclear weapons; and if he will make a statement. (282010)

We believe in the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons. We are committed to working towards multilateral nuclear disarmament, and are encouraged that Russia also shares this commitment. We also welcome the fact that Russia and the US are currently engaged in negotiations over a successor to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. As the Prime Minister announced on 17 March, we will soon be publishing further UK proposals in a “Roadmap to 2010”.

Northern Ireland

Bill of Rights: Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what progress his Department has made on preparation of a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland in the last six months; (282174)

(2) when the consultation on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland will be launched.

The Government have been considering the proposals put forward by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission for a package of new statutory rights and duties on public authorities. It is taking time to consider fully all these detailed proposals. The Government aim to publish a consultation paper after the parliamentary summer recess.

Departmental Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield of 2 April 2009, Official Report, columns 1457-61W, on departmental training, what service was provided by Oasis training. (279283)

Oasis is the Northern Ireland Office in-house IT network infrastructure, providing a platform for e-mail and general administration tools.

Olympic Games 2012

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether any full-time equivalent members of staff in (a) his Department and (b) its associated public bodies are working on projects relating to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. (283162)

House of Commons Commission

Members: Allowances

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much was spent on the redaction of material relating to hon. Members’ allowances prior to publication; who undertook the redaction process; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidelines provided for the conduct of the redaction work. (282239)

[holding answer 24 June 2009]: The scanning and redaction of material relating to hon. Members’ allowances was undertaken by staff employed by The Stationery Office, the contractor employed for this project. Final figures are not yet available but, to the end of March 2009, the cost of redaction has been £451,966.

The redaction was undertaken in two phases—copies of the redaction guidelines for each phase will be placed in the Library.

Leader of the House

Ministerial Duties: Working Hours

To ask the Leader of the House how many hours she spent on her ministerial duties in the week commencing 21 June 2009. (283543)

To ask the Leader of the House how many hours between 4 May 2009 and 5 June 2009 each Minister in her Office who is also a Member of the House worked. (282778)

Energy and Climate Change

Committee on Climate Change: Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) Display Energy Certificate and (b) advisory report for the offices of the Committee on Climate Change at Manning House, Carlisle Place. (283257)

The CCC leases the fourth floor of Manning House and does not have control over the management of the building. The building managers have not as yet applied for a display energy certificate or advisory report to be undertaken, although the CCC has requested that this is done. We are therefore unable to place a copy of these in the Library. The CCC has installed carbon footprint trackers and is monitoring energy usage for its floor of the building. It has also applied to have an energy performance certificate produced for its offices. The CCC's corporate carbon management policy will be published in its annual report and accounts for 2008-09 which will be laid before both Houses’ Libraries by 22 July 2009.

Fuel Poverty

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) agenda and (b) minutes of the Fuel Poverty Summit convened by Ofgem in April 2008. (283244)

The Department does not hold a copy of the agenda and minutes of the summit.

Information about the summit can be found on Ofgem's website. This includes introductory remarks from Lord Mogg, Ofgem's chairman, at:

http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Sustainability/SocAction/Publications/Documentsl/Action%20Programme%20for%20Energy%20Summit.pdf

the Fuel Poverty Action Plan which was agreed at the summit at:

http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Sustainability/SocAction/Publications/Documents1/Fuel%20Poverty%20Summit%20Action%20Programme.pdf

and the relevant press release at:

http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/media/pressrel/Documentsl/FP%20Summit%20Action%20Planthrid%20final.pdf

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Beaches: Barmston

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons water samples have not been taken from the sea at Barmston in East Yorkshire in 2009; what recent representations he has received on sampling sea waters and Barmston’s ability to obtain Bathing Beach Standard; and if he will make a statement. (282748)

The Environment Agency, with the agreement of DEFRA, decided to stop sampling water quality at Barmston at the start of 2008. This decision was taken due to increased coastal erosion which placed staff under unacceptable health and safety risks when accessing the necessary sampling point.

Barmston is an identified bathing water under the Bathing Water Directives (76/160/EEC and 2006/7/EC). An alternative site for the sampling point is being considered.

The Secretary of State has not received any representations regarding sampling bathing water quality at Barmston and will not be making a statement.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which official is responsible for the energy efficiency of his Department’s estate. (280561)

Departmental Food

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the (a) meat, (b) fruit and (c) vegetables procured by his Department in the last 12 months was produced in the UK. (281944)

A second report on the proportion of domestically produced food used by Government Departments and also supplied to hospitals and prisons under contracts negotiated by NHS supply chain and HM Prison Service was published in November 2008, covering the year from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008. This report and the first one covering the previous year can be found at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/procurement/awareness.htm

The report gives details of the proportion of individual meat, fruit and vegetable categories purchased.

Although it is too early to show a trend, the report indicates that the amount of domestically produced food consumed by Government Departments in England is increasing. The proportion of domestically produced food procured by DEFRA has gone up from 79.5 per cent. in 2006-07 to 85 per cent. in 2007-08. We expect to publish a third report at the end of 2009.

Forests

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what area and proportion of land in each forest district managed by Forestry Commission England has potential for lowland heathland re-creation (a) has been replanted with conifers since 2005 and (b) is scheduled for conifer re-planting. (282479)

The potential area of lowland heath based on recent Forestry Commission surveys in each forest district and the area that has been replanted since 2005 is given in the following table. The area scheduled for replanting following clear felling is given based on the existing management plans to 2020. These plans are subject to revision in the light of new policy developments and any operational considerations such as wind damage, disease etc.

Potential lowland heathlandPotential lowland heathland replanted since 2005Potential lowland heathland scheduled for conifer replanting up to 2020

Forest district

Area (ha)

Area (ha)

Percentage of potential

Area (ha)

Percentage of potential

Kielder FD

108

0

0.0

0

0

North West England FD

0

0

0.0

0

0

North York Moors FD

225

6

0.0

20

9

Sherwood and Lincolnshire FD

4,733

108

0.8

527

11

West Midlands FD

1,527

46

0.4

298

20

Northamptonshire FD

32

0

0.0

0

0

East Anglia FD

18,595

662

2.6

3,436

18

Peninsular FD

0

0

0.0

0

0

Forest of Dean FD2

367

4

0.0

58

16

New Forest FD1 (Dorset)

2,711

68

0.2

1,103

41

South East England FD

1,135

23

0.1

279

25

Total

29,433

917

0.4

5,721

19

1 The New Forest forest district includes land managed by the Forestry Commission in Dorset. The table does not include the SSSI/SPA/SAC designated land managed by the Forestry Commission in the New Forest national park.

2 The figures for the Forest of Dean forest district include land in Gloucestershire and the surrounding counties managed by the Forestry Commission. It does not include the area of the Forest of Dean’s statutory inclosures.

Water Charges: Voluntary Organisations

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received from voluntary and community groups on charges for surface water drainage. (283013)

Since 1 April 2009, DEFRA has received about 40 letters and one e-petition on the No. 10 website from voluntary and community groups on charges for surface water drainage.

Transport

Airports: Carbon Emissions

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the volume of carbon dioxide emissions arising at each airport in the most recent period for which figures are available. (283255)

The Department for Transport published in January 2009 its assessment of the carbon dioxide emissions from each of the 31 UK airports included in the Department’s UK air passenger demand and CO2 forecasting framework. These airports accounted for 94 per cent. of total UK air traffic movements in 2005.

This assessment is reported for the year 2005 and can be found in Annex G, Table G10 of “UK Air Passenger Demand and CO2 Forecasts”:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/atf/co2forecasts09/

Aviation: Fares

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that air fares advertised by low-cost airlines accurately reflect the cost to the consumer. (283156)

Regulation EC 1008/2008, which came into force last November, requires airlines to include in the advertised fare all applicable taxes, charges, surcharges and fees which are unavoidable and foreseeable at the time of publication. It also requires the existence of any optional price supplements to be clearly communicated at the start of the booking process. Department for Transport officials are working with the Civil Aviation Authority and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to establish an enforcement regime for the Regulation, which will include appropriate penalties for non-compliance. The OFT has also taken successful action on all-inclusive pricing by airlines under existing consumer protection legislation.

Multi-Purpose Test Centres

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many multi-purpose test centres were (a) planned to be open and (b) open at the time of the introduction of the new motorcycle practical test. (282909)

The Driving Standards Agency originally intended that a new single-event practical motorcycle test should be delivered from 66 multi-purpose test centres (MPTCs).

It was subsequently decided to split the new test into two modules with module 1 being the specific manoeuvres conducted off-road to ensure safety and module 2 the on-road riding test. This has allowed us to provide 88 per cent. of candidates access to one of the 66 centres offering module 1 testing within our target of 45 minutes or 20 miles, and 97 per cent. can reach one of the 105 centres offering the module 2 test at the same access standard.

When the new test was introduced on 27 April 2009, candidates were able to take their module 1 test at 66 facilities—44 MPTCs, six casual-hire sites, 16 part-time Vehicle Operator and Services Agency sites, and module 2 tests at 105 facilities—43 MPTCs, one casual-hire site; and 61 other suitable Driving Test Centres.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many (a) collisions and (b) collisions causing injuries occurred during motorcycle driving tests in the calendar year up to 28 April 2009; and if he will make a statement. (283301)

The Driving Standards Agency report information on collisions during motorcycle driving tests in the calendar year up to 28 April 2009 as follows:

Period: 29 April 2008 to 28 April 2009

Number

Collisions not involving injury

39

Collisions involving injury

42

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what percentage of the population lives within 20 miles or 45 minutes travel of a multi-purpose test centre. (282910)

The original plans for 66 centres would have enabled 83 per cent. of the population to reach a practical motorcycling testing facility within 45 minutes travelling or 20 miles.

Our decision to split the test into two modules enabled us to increase the number of service delivery points. When the new test was implemented on 27 April 2009, 88 per cent. could access a module 1 testing facility for the off-road element within the travel/distance criteria— 97 per cent. for module 2. The 5 per cent. difference between planned and actual coverage for the off-road element is accounted for by the actual, rather than the previously planned location of the new off road testing facilities.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many planning applications for multi-purpose test centres were refused by local planning committees. (282911)

In total nine planning applications were refused and three were made and withdrawn following discussions with the local planning authorities.

There were numerous other informal discussions with local planning authorities about possible sites where the case did not progress to formal planning application.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of (a) the cost to date of developing and constructing multi-purpose test centres and (b) the cost of completing the remaining centres. (282912)

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has spent, up to the end of the 2008-09 financial year, a total of £51 million of capital funds (£49.29 million on new DSA permanent centres; £1.12 million on shared with Vehicle and Operator Services Agency sites and £600,000 on casual hire sites).

The forecast final capital spend is £71 million which is in line with the agreed programme business case and budget.

Public Transport: Hampshire

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much funding his Department has allocated for the purposes of improving public transport in (a) Test Valley Borough and (b) Southampton in the last 12 months. (283319)

The Department for Transport allocates integrated transport block and highways maintenance funding to local transport authorities for capital investment in transport. Funding provided by the Department to local authorities is not generally ring-fenced and local authorities have discretion to spend their allocations in line with their priorities, such as the provision of public transport. Spending in Test Valley is a matter for Hampshire county council as local transport authority. The table shows funding support for Hampshire and Southampton in 2008-09:

2008-09

£ million

Hampshire

30.601

Southampton

4.158

Revenue expenditure on transport is generally supported through the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Formula Grant.

In 2008-09 and 2009-10 special grant funding is being provided by the Department for Transport to meet the additional cost of the new, England-wide concessionary bus travel. The allocations made to Test Valley and Southampton for 2008-09 is shown in the table:

Concessionary fares funding 2008-09

£ million

Southampton

1.059

Test Valley

0.225

Railways: Carbon Emissions

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the volume of carbon dioxide emissions arising from the operations of each rail franchise in the most recent period for which figures are available. (283256)

The Department for Transport does not hold data in the form requested. The rail industry reports its traction related carbon emissions annually to the Office of Rail Regulation.

In 2007-08, the most recent year for which figures are available, the rail industry reported combined freight and passenger traction carbon emissions of 3.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Of this 2.7 million tonnes relates to passenger operations. This information is found in Rolling National Rail Trends 2008-09 on the Office of Rail Regulation website at:

http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.2026

Treasury

Banks: Loans

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of trends in levels of bank lending in the last six months. (282882)

In November 2008, the Chancellor set up a lending panel to monitor lending to the UK economy, and to promote best practice across the industry in dealing with borrowers facing financial difficulties. The Bank of England collects data covering aspects of lending to the UK corporate and household sectors on behalf of the lending panel and publishes a monthly trends in lending report. These reports provide an assessment of the latest developments in lending to the UK economy. The first report was published in April and the most recent report is available at:

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/other/monetary/trendsinlending.htm

Financial Services: Crime

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what recent discussions he has had with the Financial Services Authority on infiltration of financial services firms by criminal groups; (283374)

(2) what steps his Department is taking to prevent organised criminal groups from infiltrating financial services firms; and if he will make a statement.

Ministers and officials meet the FSA on a regular basis to discuss a wide range of issues. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has a statutory objective under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to reduce the extent to which it is possible for an authorised firm to be used for a purpose connected with financial crime. As part of that remit, the FSA has drawn attention to the financial crime risks posed by inadequate systems and controls for the recruitment of staff.

All directors of financial services firms are required to satisfy the FSA that they are "fit and proper persons" when they apply for authorisation, and on an ongoing basis. The suitability of each individual person who performs a controlled function will be assessed by the FSA under the approved persons regime. In certain circumstances, the FSA may consider that the firm is not suitable because of doubts over the individual or collective suitability of persons connected with the firm.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) also operate a fit and proper test for key individuals involved in the management and ownership of money service businesses and trust and company service businesses that must be registered with them for supervision under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. If any key individual within the business is not found to be fit and proper, HMRC will not register the business and the business must not operate.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to reply to the letter of 4 December 2008 from the hon. Member for North East Hertfordshire (PO reference: 1/64303/2008). (277309)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to reply to the letter of 3 April 2009 from the hon. and learned Member for Harborough to the right hon. Member for Dudley South about Dr. R. and Mrs. W. Sindall of Oadby, Leicestershire. (280254)

Revenue and Customs: Telephone Services

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average waiting time for a caller to each of HM Revenue and Customs 0845 telephone numbers was in each of the last 12 months; how much the average call to such an 0845 number cost the caller in each of those months; and how many callers received a recorded message telling them to call back later after having been put on hold in each of those months. (280653)

[holding answer 18 June 2009]: HMRC has in excess of 200 different 0845 numbers and cannot therefore provide waiting times for each of these numbers. The majority of calls to HMRC are centrally managed through contact centres and the performance data for these calls are aggregated by each tax/head of duty. In the last 12 months, customers calling the main lines of business waited, on average, the following minutes and seconds before their call was answered by an adviser.

20082009

Average waiting time

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Child Benefit

03:24

03:34

03:44

04:51

04:15

03:33

02:16

01:53

00:09

00:07

00:28

01:21

National Insurance

01:20

02:06

02:04

00:34

00:50

00:31

00:16

01:12

00:36

00:45

00:55

01:13

Online Services Helpdesk

00:09

00:11

00:10

00:28

01:30

00:30

00:09

02:54

01:25

02:09

02:44

01:37

Stamp Taxes

00:20

00:33

00:17

00:06

00:11

00:10

00:11

00:04

00:04

00:05

00:17

00:20

Tax Credits

04:12

04:36

01:18

01:48

00:38

00:18

00:15

01:37

00:25

00:16

00:59

01:33

Taxes (PAYE)

02:42

04:06

02:12

01:47

00:38

00:26

00:36

03:14

01:35

01:49

01:48

03:12

Taxes Helplines

00:35

01:17

00:34

00:25

00:13

00:10

00:13

01:36

00:22

00:22

01:33

02:57

VAT

00:18

00:23

00:37

00:18

00:14

00:25

00:17

00:14

00:19

00:33

00:58

01:13

Call charges to customers are dependent on the tariff arrangements they have with their service provider, the device they use for the call and the location from which they call.

Callers to HMRC either enter the queuing system or, if the queue is full, are played a busy message. The vast majority of callers enter the queue through an initial interactive voice recognition (IVR) service. Some IVR options will advise customers to call back later if HMRC expects to be particularly busy, for example during a peak period. It is not possible to identify the number of callers who receive this specific type of recorded message.

Welfare Tax Credit: Repayments

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people have been required to make repayments as a result of overpayments of their tax credits in Milton Keynes in the last 12 months. (283682)

The latest estimates of the number of families with tax credit awards, including information on overpayments by constituency, based on final family circumstances and incomes are given in the HMRC publication, “Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics Finalised Annual Awards. Supplement on Payments Geographical Analyses”, for 2006-07. This publication is available at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-geog-statshtm

Information for 2007-08 is not yet available at parliamentary constituency level. The geographical finalised awards publications have been delayed following a problem identified with the delivery of geographical information, although this does not affect the UK level statistics which were published on 19 May 2009. More information can be found on the HMRC website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tc-delay-07-08.htm

Justice

Crimes against Property: Fines

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were fined for offences relating to damage to or destruction of property in each year since 2003. (282977)

The number of persons issued with a fine at all courts for offences of criminal damage in England and Wales for the years 2003 to 2007 (latest available) can be viewed in table 1.

These data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Under the Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) Scheme, the police can issue a fixed penalty notice of £80 for the offence of destroying or damaging property (Section 1 (1) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971) where the value of damage caused is under £500. The number of PNDs issued in England and Wales for the years 2004-07 (latest available) can be viewed in table 2: the offence was added to the Scheme in November 2004.

The PND scheme was made available to all 43 forces in England and Wales from April 2004.

PND data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Table 1: Number of persons issued with a fine at all courts for offences relating to 'damaging or destroying property' in England and Wales, 2003-071,2

Statute

Offence description

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Criminal Damage Act 1971 Sec. 1(2) and (3).

Arson endangering life

1

Criminal Damage Act 1971 Sec.1(1) and 3

Arson not endangering life

36

25

22

22

21

Criminal Damage Act 19/1 Sec. 1(2). Explosive Substances Act 1883 Sec 2, Sec 3(l)(a). Malicious Damage Act 1861 Secs 35, 36, 47

Other criminal damage endangering life excluding arson

6

17

18

4

8

Criminal Damage Act 1971 Sec 1(1) as added by Crime and Disorder Act 1998 S.30 (1) and (2)

Racially aggravated other criminal damage

21

22

21

18

17

Criminal Damage Act 1971 Sec. 1(1) as added by Crime and Disorder Act 1998 Sec30(l) and (2).

Religiously aggravated other criminal damage

2

3

Criminal Damage Act 1971 Sec. 1(1) as added by Crime and Disorder Act 1998 Sec30(l) and (2)

Racially or religiously aggravated other criminal damage (any amount)

3

7

4

2

3

Criminal Damage Act 19/1 Sec. 1(1). Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 S.22 as amended by Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994

Criminal damage, value £5,000 or less

7,370

7,129

6,519

5,655

5,634

1 The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source:

Evidence and Analysis Unit

Table 2: Number of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) issued to offenders aged 16 and over for the offence 'Criminal Damage (under £500)' in England and Wales, 2004 to 20071,2

Offence

2004

2005

2006

2007

Criminal Damage (under £500)

1,190

12,168

20,620

19,946

1 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

2 The Penalty Notice for Disorder Scheme commenced in 2004.

Source:

Evidence and Analysis Unit - Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Ministry of Justice

Departmental Information Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to his Department of press office staff other than press officers has been in each year since his Department was established. (283074)

Since its inception on 9 May 2007, the Ministry incurred the following expenditure on press office staff other than press officers:

Financial year

£

2008-09

150,337

2007-08

76,167

Press Office staff other than press officers are interpreted as being secretarial and administrative staff. The increase in expenditure has occurred because it was recognised that, in the transition from the Department of Constitutional Affairs to the Ministry of Justice, the press office function needed to be enhanced to satisfactorily meet the demands placed upon it from all forms of media. As a major Department of state, the Ministry touches the lives of all citizens, and it is important that the public understands how taxpayers money is being used and the services that it provides. The Ministry’s support and administrative staff working in the press office are an integral part of the team, helping with daily operations and the smooth running of the area.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice 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. (283033)

Agencies and non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) within the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have not submitted any bids for efficiency savings to be used for pay improvements in 2009 pay offers. Efficiency savings were removed from budgets before funding was allocated to MoJ agencies and NDPBs. Individual budget managers are required to live within their funding allocation.

Harassment: Fines

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many people were fined for offences of using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 in each year since 2003; (282975)

(2) how many people were fined for offences of intentionally harassing or scaring people in each year since 2003.

The number of persons issued with a fine at all courts for the offences of using threatening words or behaviour likely to cause alarm, harassment or distress and intentionally harassing or scaring people in England and Wales for the years 2003-07 (latest available) is shown in table 1.

These data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Under the penalty notice for disorder (PND) scheme, the police can issue a fixed penalty notice of £80 for the offence of ‘Using words, conduct likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress’ (S5 of the POA 1986). The number of PNDs issued in England and Wales for the years 2004-07 (latest available) can be viewed in table 2. PNDs are not available for offences committed under section 4A.

The PND was made available to all 43 forces in England and Wales from April 2004.

PND data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Table 1: Number of persons issued with a fine at all courts for offences relating to ‘Causing harassment, alarm and distress’, in England and Wales, 2003-071,2

Fine

Statute

Offence description

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Public Order Act 1986 Sec 4A as amended by Crime and Disorder Act 1998 Sec.31(l)(b),(4)

Racially Aggravated causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress

97

94

91

87

134

Public Order Act 1986 Sec 4A as amended by Crime and Disorder Act 1998 Sec.31(1)(b),(4)

Religiously aggravated causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress

0

4

0

2

1

Public Order Act 1986 Sec 4A as amended by Crime and Disorder Act 1998 Sec.31(1)(b),(4)

Racially or religiously aggravated causing intentional harassment, alarm or distress

15

24

21

22

34

Public Order Act 1986 Sec 5

Harassment, alarm or distress

9,932

10,296

9,972

10,235

10,832

Public Order Act 1986 Sec 5 as amended by Crime and Disorder Act Sec.31(1)(b),(5)

Racially Aggravated Harassment, alarm or distress

551

642

724

866

970

Public Order Act 1986 S.5 as amended by Crime and Disorder Act 1998 S.31(1) (c) and 5

Religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress

6

6

5

14

18

1 The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source:

Evidence and Analysis Unit—Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Ministry of Justice.

Table 2: Number of penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) issued to offenders aged 16 and over for the offence ‘Causing harassment, alarm and distress’ in England and Wales, 2004-071,2Number200428,790200564,007200682,235 200777,8271 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.2 The penalty notice for disorder scheme commenced in 2004.Source:Evidence and Analysis Unit—Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Ministry of Justice

National Probation Service for England and Wales: Secondment

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) whether any people seconded from the Probation Service to (a) the National Offender Management Service and (b) regional offender management services have been (i) offered permanent posts within the Director of Offender Management Structure (DOMS) and (ii) allocated to join a surplus employees' group; (283044)

(2) what his policy is on the secondment of Probation Service staff to the Prison Service;

(3) under what circumstances a prison establishment can opt out of arrangements to second Probation Service staff to prisons;

(4) what the average length of a Probation Service secondment to a prison was in the latest period for which figures are available;

(5) from which budget the salaries of Probation Service staff seconded to work in prisons in England and Wales are drawn;

(6) whether he plans to review the deployment of Probation Service staff to prisons in England and Wales.

Within the Ministry of Justice, prison and probation services in England and Wales have been brought together under the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), an executive agency. It is the agency's responsibility to ensure that the two services operate together to provide the most effective outcomes for offender management, to reduce crime and improve public protection. Each region now has its own Director of Offender Management (DOM), responsible for the operation of both services, and it has been an essential component of the restructuring arrangements that probation service staff continue to operate in prison establishments and to be seconded to NOMS headquarters (including to DOMS' offices).

In particular, throughout the regional restructuring, there has been a clear recognition of the benefits in bringing together skills, competencies and experience from all parts of the new agency. Probation staff were selected for the posts generated by the restructure through established secondment arrangements. It is not possible for probation staff to apply for permanent positions in the civil service other than through open competition where the post is advertised externally. Probation staff are employees of probation areas and secondment arrangements ensure that an appropriate level of integration takes place.

Probation staff work in prisons in the public and private sector under service level agreements (SLA) between the governor or director of each establishment and the chief officer of the local probation area. It is ultimately for the Director of Offender Management to commission the level of service that he or she considers to be appropriate within the region and to determine budget allocation. The budget for probation services provided within prisons is part of the prisons overall budget and the amount is designated by the governor of the prison.

Information on the average length of deployment for probation staff to prison establishments is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. In respect of NOMS HQ, the current requirement of the Civil Service Commission is for secondments to be limited to a maximum of two years. This is currently being reviewed as the future structures with NOMS are developed.

Offences against Children: Sentencing

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were sentenced to terms of imprisonment for offences related to (a) child abuse, (b) child neglect and (c) sexual abuse of children in the latest period for which figures are available. (282978)

The available data are shown in the following table. The data show the number of offenders sentenced to immediate custody for child neglect and sexual abuse of children in the last year for which figures are available. The term “child abuse” has no specific recognised definition but includes a range of sexual and physical offences against children, such as it describes harm caused to a child arising from physical, sexual abuse or neglect caused by a parent, guardian, carer, or stranger. A number of other offences such as offences against the person including physical assault may frequently be used by the police to charge offenders but where the age of the victim is not known. This data are based on the principal offence. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence it is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed, where the same sentence has been imposed for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.

Number of persons sentenced to immediate custody for child abuse including child neglect and sexual abuse of children, 2007

Number of children

Sexual abuse of children1

1,199

Child neglect2

99

Child abuse3

1,298

1 Includes the following offences:

Sexual assault of a male child aged under 13

Rape, attempted rape of a male or female aged under 13 or under 16

Sexual assault of a female child aged under 13

Sexual activity with a male or female child aged under 13

Sexual activity with a male or female aged under 16

Familial sexual offences of a male or female child aged under 13

Abuse of children aged under 18 through prostitution and pornography

Abuse of trust sexual offences against a child aged under 18

Meeting a male or female aged under 16 following sexual grooming.

2 Causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable person.

Cruelty or neglect of children.

Abandoning children under 2 years.

3 The term child abuse has no specific definition, in this answer it refers to the offences included in sexual abuse of children and child neglect.

Notes:

1. The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with.

2. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 came into force on 1 May 2004.

3. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

Source:

OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice.

Probation

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the caseload of the Probation Service in London was in each of the last five years. (282568)

The total case load of offenders supervised by the probation service in London as at 31 December in each of the last four years (the latest figures available) is shown in the table.

Number

2005

41,665

2006

41,338

2007

41,998

2008

43,811

The 2008 figures are provisional and were published on 30 April 2009 in the Ministry of Justice statistics bulletin “Probation statistics quarterly brief October to December 2008, England and Wales”. Copies can be found in the Libraries of both Houses and may be accessed via the Ministry of Justice website:

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

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Probation Officers: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many trained probation staff there were in the Probation Service in each of the last five years. (282809)

The following table shows the number of trained probation staff in each of the last five years:

Full-time equivalents

20031

20041

20051

20061

20071,2

Probation officers3

6,271.45

6,584.94

6,894.36

7,209.45

7,119.53

Trainee probation officers

1,818.20

1,774.20

1,386.70

1,134.09

1,138.00

Probation service officers4

5,386.00

5,623.90

6,235.20

6,502.71

6,221.77

1 Figures taken as at 31 December each year.

2 Figures for 2007 will shortly be published on the Probation Service Intranet and Internet sites.

3 Includes; senior probation officers, senior practitioners, probation officers and practice development assessors.

4 Includes; probation services officers and treatment managers.

Young Offender Institutions: Injuries

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many incidents of (a) self-harm, (b) injury caused by restraint and (c) assault there were in each young offender institution in each of the last five years. (282913)

The annual numbers of recorded self-harm incidents for each of current, single-function young offender institution for each of the last five years is given in table 1.

The National Offender Management Service has a broad, integrated and evidence-based prisoner suicide prevention and self-harm management strategy that seeks to reduce the distress of all those in prison. This encompasses a wide spectrum of prison and Department of Health work around such issues as mental health, substance misuse and resettlement. Any prisoner identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm is cared for using the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) procedures. ACCT is the prisoner-centred flexible care-planning system introduced across the prisons estate in partnership with the Department of Health during 2005-07

Most self-harm is not directly life threatening, but nevertheless can be extremely distressing for all those concerned. A prisoner-focused care planning system for those at risk, (ACCT), has helped prisons manage self-harm. There are no easy answers to preventing self harming behaviour but we remain committed to finding ways to manage it.

Table 1: Recorded self-harm in single-function young offender institutions, 2004-08

Incidents

Prison

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Ashfield

239

172

224

142

106

Aylesbury

83

116

346

265

265

Brinsford

23

73

102

86

87

Castington

89

92

106

68

64

Cookham Wood

163

197

144

216

55

Deerbolt

59

104

131

99

138

Feltham

161

144

126

221

210

Glen Parva

217

232

149

249

231

Hindley

46

156

71

41

81

Huntercombe

73

69

67

86

95

Lancaster Farms

15

92

153

21

5

Northallerton

60

16

35

30

37

Portland

119

110

161

174

80

Reading

39

60

45

38

24

Rochester

58

18

50

47

99

Stoke Heath

250

192

217

227

325

Thorn Cross

3

1

3

4

3

Warren Hill

21

14

18

13

80

Werrington

13

30

24

12

52

Wetherby

60

.67

34

12

34

The information requested on the number of injuries caused by use of restraints is not held centrally in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. A Use of Force Report Form is completed by each member of staff involved in its use, to explain the circumstances in which force was used. Establishments are required to examine this information on a regular basis to determine if there any particular problems in relation to use of force or any resulting injuries. To obtain information on the number of injuries sustained during use of restraint would require contacting each young offender establishment and asking them to analyse their forms for every single use of force for the past five years.

The number of assault incidents for each current, single-function young offender institution for each of the last five years is given in table 2.

The information is subject to important qualifications. The NOMS Incident Reporting System processes high volumes of data which are constantly being updated. The numbers provide a good indication of overall numbers but should not be interpreted as absolute. Rises or falls in reported numbers from one year to the next are not a good indicator of an underlying trend for a particular prison. Additionally there have been improvements in reporting over the years, and this is reflected in the tables.

Assault data are complex and the numbers need to be interpreted with caution. Information recorded as assault incidents may involve one or many prisoners as some assault incidents may involve more than one assailant or more than one victim. Additionally in a proportion of incidents only the victim is known.

Reducing violence in prisons is a priority for Ministers, NOMS and the Prison Officers Association and they are collectively committed to working towards a zero tolerance approach to prison violence. Since 2004, a national strategy has directed every public sector prison to have in place a local violence reduction strategy and since mid 2007 this has been applied to the public and contracted out estate. A whole prison approach is encouraged, engaging all staff, all disciplines and prisoners in challenging unacceptable behaviour, problem-solving and personal safety.

Table 2: Recorded assault incidents in single-function young offender institutions, 2004-08

Assault incidents

Prison

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Ashfield

395

680

761

753

748

Aylesbury

28

96

100

93

120

Brinsford

360

364

197

204

352

Castington

443

412

406

431

462

Cookham Wood

13

5

5

7

20

Deerbolt

234

199

174

194

222

Feltham

751

698

596

544

648

Glen Parva

273

300

387

422

510

Hindley

78

149

407

548

550

Huntercombe

96

110

217

306

426

Lancaster Farms

213

484

428

397

347

Northallerton

110

118

91

108

106

Portland

166

194

170

234

193

Reading

41

93

72

54

37

Rochester

120

102

113

80

173

Stoke Heath

280

498

578

606

561

Thorn Cross

8

21

148

85

45

Warren Hill

183

291

314

371

383

Werrington

123

160

168

154

228

Wetherby

492

568

465

393

432

Young Offender Institutions: Suicide

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what percentage of (a) 12, (b) 13, (c) 14, (d) 15, (e) 16, (f) 17, (g) 18 and (h) 19 year-olds in each young offenders institution committed suicide in each of the last five years. (282919)

Any death in prison custody is a tragic event. The Government, Ministry of Justice and the National Offender Management Service, (NOMS) is committed to learning from such events and reducing the number of self-inflicted deaths in prison custody. NOMS has a broad, integrated and evidence-based prisoner suicide prevention and self harm management strategy that seeks to reduce the distress of all those in prison. This encompasses a wide spectrum of Prison and Department of Health work around such issues as mental health, substance misuse and resettlement. Any prisoner identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm is cared for using the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) procedures. ACCT is the prisoner-centred flexible care-planning system introduced across the prisons estate in partnership with the Department of Health during 2005-07.

The National Offender Management Service holds two groups of offender within its young offender estate. These are young people (15 to 17-year-olds) and young adults (18 to 20-year-olds). Under-15s are not held in Young Offender Institutions (YOIs).

The following table details the numbers of self-inflicted deaths in YOIs in each of the last five years, by age as requested.

Age

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Lancaster Farms

15

1

Lancaster Farms

16

1

Hindley

17

1

Aylesbury

18

1

Portland

18

1

Reading

18

3

1

Stoke Heath

18

1

Brinsford

19

1

1

Glen Parva

19

2

1

Reading

19

1

Rochester

19

1

Total

3

9

0

4

1

It is not possible to give the percentages that these deaths represent, for each age, in each establishment and for each year. Young people and young adults account for some 2.6 per cent. and 10.5 per cent. of all prisoners respectively. The 17 deaths detailed above constitute 0.2 per cent. of under-21s.

Under-18s are also held in secure training centres and secure children’s homes. There have been two self-inflicted deaths in Secure Training Centres and Secure Children’s Homes, both involving 14-year-old boys. One was the death of Adam Rickwood in Hassockfield STC in August 2004 and the other was the death of Wayne Cann at Hillside Secure Children’s Home in January 1998.

STCs and SCHs have stringent screening processes in place to assess young people’s risk of suicide and self-harm (SASH) taking into account vulnerability, safeguarding and risk assessments. Young people are assessed upon admission and regularly thereafter by the relevant staff as part of their review process. Providers have robust systems to record young people’s risk assessments and follow operational policies for managing those who are at risk of self-harm. Establishments regularly provide data to the Youth Justice Board (YJB) on all incidents of self-harm, and this information is regularly reviewed as part of the YJB’s quality assurance monitoring arrangements. Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards also play a key role in working together with establishments in helping address the safeguarding needs of all young people in secure settings.

Young Offenders: Sentencing

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what percentage of (a) 12, (b) 13, (c) 14, (d) 15, (e) 16, (f) 17, (g) 18 and (h) 19 year-olds who were convicted of non-violent crimes were given a community sentence in the last 12 months. (282917)

The available information is found in the following table. Data for 2008 will not be available until “Sentencing Statistics 2008” is published later in the year.

Percentage of persons sentenced to community sentences for non-violent indictable offences1, by age, 2007

Age

Percentage given community sentences

10

91.5

11

92.4

12

88.7

13

87.7

14

82.9

15

79.1

16

72.2

17

64.3

18

34.7

19

29.9

1 This includes all indictable offences not included in the violence against the person offence type. Summary offences have not been included as they are not categorised into violent or non-violent offences.

Notes:

1. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems.

2. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

Source:

OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice

The table shows the percentage of persons aged 10 to 19 sentenced to a community sentence for non-violent indictable offences in 2007. The definition of non-violent offences are all those not included in the offences type, ‘Violence Against the Person’. These data are presented on the principal offence basis. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed. Where the same sentence has been imposed for two or more offences the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.

Home Department

Asylum: Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons seeking asylum who entered the UK at Northern Ireland airports (a) presented themselves with no identification, (b) presented themselves as juveniles without identification and (c) presented themselves as juveniles without identification and subsequently absconded from the social services accommodation in which they were placed in each of the last three years. (261596)

Borders: Personal Records

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his latest estimate is of the cost of the e-Borders scheme; and if he will make a statement. (282986)

The gross cost of the e-Borders Programme to the Government is £1.2 billion, of which the cost of the 10 year contract is £750 million.

Cannabis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many raids upon cannabis factories have been conducted by each police force in the last three years. (278933)

Data are collected centrally and at police force level on offences related to cannabis production, although no data are collected centrally which relate to the number of raids on cannabis factories. It is, therefore, not possible to provide a response to this question.

However, in 2007-08, in recognition of inconsistencies in definitions of the term ‘cannabis factory’ across police forces, a single definition was agreed and a baseline set for the number of operations against such enterprises. The agreed definition was any premises, whether commercial or residential, where the premises, or part therein, has been adapted to such an extent that normal usage would be inhibited and usually present within the premises, or part therein, are items solely concerned for the production of cannabis, i.e.

Hydroponics system

High intensity lighting

Ventilation/extractor fans

Any other affiliated equipment, and/or

Electricity meter bypassed (abstraction of electricity).

The total number of premises meeting this definition recorded in 2007-08 was 3,033. Results by police force are set out in the table. More recent data are not yet available and, as 2007-08 was the baseline year, it is not possible to provide data at a national level for the last three years.

Cannabis factories recorded 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008

Number

Avon and Somerset

207

Bedfordshire

17

BTP

8

Cambridgeshire

112

Central Scotland

1

Cheshire

21

Cleveland

43

Cumbria

11

Derbyshire

53

Devon and Cornwall

19

Dorset

28

Dumfries and Galloway

0

Durham

7

Dyfed-Powys

41

Essex

68

Fife

1

Gloucestershire

4

GMP

227

Grampian

9

Gwent

42

Hampshire

37

Hertfordshire

70

Humberside

18

Kent

73

Lancashire

123

Leicestershire

75

Lincolnshire

49

Lothian and Borders

4

Merseyside

118

Met

289

Norfolk

44

North Wales

31

North Yorkshire

11

Northamptonshire

27

Northern Constabulary

0

Northumbria

38

Nottinghamshire

55

PSNI

4

South Wales

73

South Yorkshire

54

Staffordshire

51

Strathclyde

30

Suffolk

22

Surrey

12

Sussex

37

Tayside

7

Thames Valley

110

Warwickshire

48

West Mercia

18

West Midlands

203

West Yorkshire

368

Wiltshire

14

Crime: Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) cautions and (b) arrests for alcohol-related offences there were in (i) Ashford constituency and (ii) Kent in the last eight quarters. (283002)

Information showing the number of offenders cautioned for alcohol related offences in Kent Police Force Area, 2006-07 (latest available), broken down by quarter, can be viewed in the table. Information held centrally on the Court Proceedings Database from which the data has been derived does not include information on constituencies; therefore data for Ashford constituency are not available.

The cautions statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been cautioned for two or more offences at the same time the principal offence is the more serious offence. Data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

The information requested on arrests is not collected centrally. The arrests collection held by the Home Office covers arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only, broken down at a main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person and robbery.

The alcohol related offences presented in the table are not notifiable offences and do not form part of the arrests collection. Additionally, data on arrests for the offence of ‘Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs' cannot be separately identified from the arrests for ‘violence against the person' reported to the Home Office.

Number of offenders cautioned for alcohol related offences1 Kent Police Force Area, 2006-07, broken down by quarter2,3,4

Quarter 1

Quarter 2

Quarter 3

Quarter 4

Total

2006

20

37

28

31

116

2007

36

23

37

28

124

1 Includes offences under the: Licensing Act 1872 s.12; Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc) Act 1985ss.1(2)(3)(4) and 1A(2)(3)(4), 2(1)(2), 5B(2)(3), 5C(3)(4), 5D(2)(3), 6(2); Confiscation of Alcohol (Young Persons) Act 1997 s. 1; Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 ss.12,17, 25(3)(a)(b), 25(4)(5), 32; Criminal Justice Act 1967 s.91; Licensing Act 1964 ss. 5C(5), 6, 6, 19, 28(3), 34, 36, 39(1)(2)(3)(4), 45, 48, 51(4), 53, 59(1)(a)(b), 71(4), 72, 84, 85(2), 89, 155(1)(a), 157(1)(a)(b), 157(1)(b), 159, 160,(1)(a)(b), 161(1)(2), 162,163,164(1)(2), 165,166(1)(a)(b), 167, 168A, 168(1)(2), 169A, 169B, 169C(1)(2)(3), 169E(1), 169F, 169G, 170,171A(1), 172, 172A, 173, 174, 175,176, 177,178, 179A(6), 179B(5)(6), 179E(8), 179H(2), 181A(1)(2)(3), 183(1)(2)(3), 184,185,186,187(3)(4), 188,193(7) Sch.8 Appendix C s. 6, Appendix D; Licensing (Young Persons) Act 2000 s.1; Licensing Act 2003 ss. 33, 40, 41,46,49, 56, 57, 59, 82, 83, 93, 94, 96,108,109,123,127,128, 132, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 140,141, 142, 143,144, 145, 146, 147,147A, 148,149(1)(3)(4)(7(a)(b), 150(1)(2), 151,152, 153, 156, 157, 158, 160,161,165,168, 179,197, Sch.8 paras 1 and 22; Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 ss. 11, 27; Road Traffic Act 1991 s. 3; Late Night Refreshment Houses Act 1969 ss. 7(2), 8, 9(1)(4), 10; Town Police Clauses Act 1847 ss. 35, 61; London Hackney Carriage Act 1843 s.28; Merchant Shipping Act 1995 s.101(1)(a)(b), (4) and (5); Licensing Act 1902 ss.2. 6(2)(a)(b); Similar provisions in Local Acts; Road Traffic Act ss.4(1)(2) s.5(1)(a)(b), s.6(4), s.7(6); Road Traffic Act 1988 ss. 3A, 7A as added by Police Reform Act 2002 s.56, Transport and Works Act 1992 S.31A as added by Police Reform Act 2002 s.52; Licensing (Occasional Permissions) Act 1983 s.3 [Sch. Para. 2, 3(a)(b), 4(1)(2)(3), 5, 6, 7, 8(2), 9(2)]; Licensing Act 1988 s. 17,18; Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994, s. 19; Children and Young Persons Act 1933 s. 5; Criminal Justice Act 1996 s. 6.

2 The cautions statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been cautioned for two or more offences at the same time the principal offence is the more serious offence.

3 From 1 June 2000 the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 came into force nationally and removed the use of cautions for persons under 18 and replaced them with reprimands and warnings. These figures have been included in the totals.

4 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source:

Office for Criminal Justice Reform - Evidence and Analysis Unit

Crime: Cambridgeshire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) crimes of burglary, (b) violent crimes and (c) vehicle crimes were reported in (i) North West Cambridgeshire constituency, (ii) Cambridgeshire and (iii) Peterborough in each of the last five years. (281198)

The available information is given in the table. Recorded crime data are not specifically available at constituency level.

A number of changes have been made to recorded crime in response to suggestions in the two reviews of crime statistics. One such change is that the term ‘violent crime’ is no longer used in connection with the recorded crime statistics and we now provide figures for violence against the person.

Selected offences recorded by the police in the Cambridgeshire police force area and Peterborough unitary authority

Number of offences

Area and year

Burglary1

Violence against the person

Vehicle crime2

Cambridgeshire

2003-04

10,257

13,663

12,034

2004-05

8,501

13,358

10,219

2005-06

8,217

10,158

9,255

2006-07

8,821

10,421

9,715

2007-08

7,533

10,296

9,126

Peterborough

2003-04

3,656

5,133

5,180

2004-05

2,973

5,165

4,658

2005-06

2,861

4,156

4,182

2006-07

3,046

4,017

4,372

2007-08

2,420

3,847

3,645

1 Includes burglary in a dwelling and other burglary.

2 Includes theft of or from a vehicle and interfering with a motor vehicle.

Cycling

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps have been taken to implement the bicycle purchase initiative in his Department’s agencies’ offices in Merseyside. (282557)

The Home Office is planning to introduce —during the current financial year—the ‘Cycle2Work’ tax efficient bicycle loan scheme across its estates.

Under the scheme rules the Home Office and its agencies cannot state from the outset that the cycles will be made available for purchase at the end of the 12 month hire period.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what auditing his Department undertakes to ensure that IT security policies are being followed; and on how many occasions (a) IT security policies have been breached by employees and (b) a member of staff has been sanctioned for a breach of such policies in the last 12 months. (259805)

Information is a key asset to Government and its correct handling is vital to the delivery of public services and to the integrity of HMG. The Security Policy Framework, the Data Handling Report and the National Information Assurance Strategy produced by the Cabinet Office provide a strategic framework for protecting information that Government handle and put in place a set of mandatory measures which Departments must adhere to.

Depending upon the circumstances, a range of sanctions are available including disciplinary or administrative action, and in extreme or persistent cases, termination of employment/services and, if appropriate, criminal proceedings.

Compliance arrangements comprise a system of self-assessment, accreditation, assurance reporting, audit and review.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what IT security policy his Department has; what procedures are in place to ensure the policy is being followed; what his Department's policy is on encryption of data when they leave departmental premises; and what sanctions are in place for failure to comply with this policy. (259853)

Information is a key asset to Government and its correct handling is vital to the delivery of public services and to the integrity of HMG. The Security Policy Framework, the Data Handling Report and the National Information Assurance Strategy produced by the Cabinet Office provide a strategic framework for protecting information that Government handle and put in place a set of mandatory measures which Departments must adhere to.

The Home Office is compliant with the security policies contained in the Government Security Policy Framework including those for information security and assurance.

Depending upon the circumstances, a range of sanctions is available including disciplinary or administrative action, and in extreme or persistent cases, termination of employment/services and, if appropriate, criminal proceedings.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on energy efficiency measures for his Department’s estate in each year from 2004 to 2009; what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of that expenditure; and what plans he has for future energy efficiency measures. (280535)

The Department is committed to the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) targets which include a reduction in absolute carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency per m2 and action to apply the Building Research Establishments Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) to all of its own new build and major refurbishment projects.

Data on energy efficiency expenditure are not currently recorded separately, as implementation of these measures is generally carried out as part of wider design or refurbishment programmes. Overall progress against the SOGE targets is assessed by the Sustainable Development Commission for inclusion in their annual SDiG publication.

Recent examples of expenditure on energy efficiency include the installation of energy efficient lamps, and the upgrading of thermostatic controls to improve efficiency in certain buildings on the UK Border Agency (UKBA) estate in Croydon. Furthermore our newest office building, Vulcan House, a UKBA property, has a range of measures integrated into the design and construction to optimise energy efficiency including setting the orientation to mitigate the effects of solar gain, building fabric insulation and a thermally efficient envelope including a vegetation roof that acts as a thermal barrier in both winter and summer.

The Department has recently signed up to the Carbon Trust Management Programme which will assist us in identifying low and no-cost measures as well as further investment opportunities to improve efficiency on our estate. This programme is supported by a staff awareness campaign. We shall also be monitoring the effectiveness of the programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which official is responsible for the energy efficiency of his Department’s estate. (280555)

The permanent secretary, David Normington, has overall responsibility for the Department’s sustainable development policy, including energy efficiency. Each year the Home Secretary signs off the Department’s energy data for return to the Buildings Research Establishment.

Departmental Food

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of the (a) meat, (b) fruit and (c) vegetables procured by his Department in the last 12 months was produced in the UK. (281941)

A second report on the proportion of domestically produced food used by Government Departments and also supplied to hospitals and prisons under contracts negotiated by NHS Supply Chain and HM Prison Service was published in November 2008, covering the year from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008. This report and the first one covering the previous year can be found at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/procurement/awareness.htm

The report gives details of the proportion of individual meat, fruit and vegetable categories purchased.

Although it is too early to show a trend, the report indicates that the amount of domestically produced food consumed by Government Departments in England is increasing. The proportion of domestically produced food procured by the Home Office has gone up from 68 per cent. in 2006-07 to 70 per cent. in 2007-08. We expect to publish a third report at the end of 2009.

Departmental Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of invoices his Department and its agencies paid within 10 days of receipt in each of the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (278820)

The Home Department has invested significantly in its people, with the creation of a professional Shared Service Centre and Procurement Centre of Excellence complemented by the creation of new processes and easy to use payment system.

A firm focus has been applied by the Procurement Centre of Excellence in the area of prompt payment. This focus has resulted in the Department exceeding the 90 per cent. target on three occasions in the fiscal year 2008-09 and able to meet the Prime Minister’s target of paying all small, medium enterprises within 10 days, announced in October 2008.

The Department has been working closely with colleagues in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) reporting on both our legislative obligations of 30 days as well as the 10 day PM’s commitment for SMEs for correctly presented compliant invoices.

The Department’s (Home Office HQ and UKBA) performance of paying compliant invoices since the PM’s announcement within 10 days is shown in the following table. The information shown for the Criminal Records Bureau and Identity and Passport Service are for all invoices received and paid as separate figures for SMEs are not retained:

All invoices

HO Headquarters and UKBA

CRB

IPS

Month

SMEs, compliant invoices paid within 10 days

SMEs, percentage of invoices paid within 10 days

Number paid within 10 days

Percentage paid within 10 days

Number paid within 10 days

Percentage paid within 10 days

January 2009

856

100

50

45

1,119

39

February 2009

1,001

100

79

41

1,111

37

March 2009

1,081

99.99

61

26

1,913

51

Until October 2008 the Home Department and its Executive Agencies were required to monitor and publish payment performance against a 30 day payment target.

The first full month of formal recording against the 10 day target was November 2008 and therefore information about payment performance within 10 days is not available prior to this date.

DNA: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many young people aged under 16 years have their details recorded on the ONSET database; and how many such details have been added in the last 12 months; (283051)

(2) which (a) organisations and (b) individuals have access to the information contained in his Department’s ONSET database;

(3) what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the ONSET database in predicting levels of future criminal activity;

(4) what rights of access an individual has to their personal information held on the ONSET database;

(5) how many people have had personal information held on his Department’s ONSET database removed in each year since its inception;

(6) for how long personal information held on his Department’s ONSET database is retained; and what criteria apply for its earlier deletion from the database;

(7) what his most recent estimate is of the average annual cost of the operation of his Department’s ONSET database; and how much has been spent on the ONSET database since the commencement of the project.

I have been asked to reply.

ONSET is a set of assessment and referral tools designed by the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford, for use by local authorities’ youth offending teams to support their work to prevent crime. ONSET identifies whether a child or young person would benefit from an early intervention in order to help prevent antisocial behaviour and offending.

ONSET also helps to ensure the effectiveness of the intervention by determining the risk factors that should be reduced and the protective factors that should be enhanced in any given case based on the individual’s assessment. In 2008-09, youth offending teams reported to the Youth Justice Board that 15,752 children and young people had an ONSET assessment.

The profiles generated by ONSET are stored on the electronic and paper record systems used by local authorities. These systems can be accessed only by the multi-agency staff working for youth offending teams, such as health workers, police officers, social workers, probation officers and housing officers. Access to and sharing of such information is subject to the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. The Youth Justice Board has issued guidance to youth offending teams on compliance with the Act and on effective record keeping and information sharing practice. Children, young people and their parents can have access to the information on request. The guidance also advises on the periods for which certain data should be retained. The length of time ONSET data might be retained will depend on local authorities’ own data retention policies and on issues such as whether the young person goes on to offend, the nature of the offence and the disposal applied.

Entry Clearances

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visa applicants from (a) India, (b) Sri Lanka and (c) Zimbabwe have had their applications refused in each of the last three years; of those how many have appealed; how many such appeals have succeeded; how many decisions have been withdrawn prior to determination of the appeal; and if he will make a statement. (253862)

The number of UK visa applications refused in India and Sri Lanka in each of the calendar years 2006-08 is shown in the following table, together with the number of appeals received and appeals allowed. The same information is shown in the table for Zimbabwe, but this is based on applications made globally by Zimbabwe nationals rather than just those lodged in Zimbabwe as those data are not available.

We are unable to readily separate applications where a decision has been revoked following receipt of an appeal from those where a decision has been revoked following an Asylum and Immigration Tribunal determination. This information could be provided only by checking individual applications and therefore at disproportionate cost.

2006

2007

2008

India

Visas refused

77,291

81,234

78,458

Appeals received

22,164

26,421

33,511

Appeals allowed

11,696

13,181

12,740

Sri Lanka

Visas refused

8,434

8,231

7,875

Appeals received

1,467

954

1,046

Appeals allowed

1,184

671

547

Zimbabwe

Visas refused

7,660

6,463

6,433

Appeals received

2,463

2,697

2,577

Appeals allowed

741

1,186

1,110

Note:

These data are unpublished and should be treated as provisional.

Source:

Central Reference System

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will include medical qualifications in the criteria for awarding a Tier 1 visa. (280857)

On 23 February the Home Secretary asked the Migration Advisory Committee what further changes to the criteria for Tier 1 there should be in 2010-11, given the changing economic circumstances. The Committee are due to report back to the Government in October. There are no plans to amend the Tier 1 points criteria before that time.

However, this is not to say that overseas doctors are unable to work in the UK. It is open for them to do so through Tier 2. Where they are a postgraduate doctor who has studied in the UK the UK Border Agency will, exceptionally, allow the NHS and others to recruit graduates of UK medical schools from overseas under Tier 2 of the points based system without first testing the resident labour market. This concession, which we will apply to the current round of recruitment, will allow these doctors open access to jobs in the UK's health sector, allowing them to continue their careers here.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for the UK Border Agency’s Tier 1 (General) Category Visa Programme have been (a) denied and (b) subsequently upheld at appeal since the introduction of new rules on 29 February 2008; and if he will make a statement. (282217)

As of 31 May 2009, 7,279 overseas visa applications under Tier 1 (general) of the points based system had been refused. There is no right of appeal on immigration grounds against decisions to refuse visa applications under the points based system, including Tier 1.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long on average it took for an overseas student to extend a visa in the last 12 months. (281390)

[holding answer 19 June 2009]: During the last 12 months the average time taken to decide an application for extension of leave for an overseas student was 44 days.

Immigration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 12 May 2009, Official Report, column 667W, on immigration, if he will take steps to expedite his decision in the case with his Department’s reference G1082747; and if he will make a statement. (282802)

[holding answer 29 June 2009]: I wrote to the hon. Member on 27 April 2009 with the latest position on the case of G1082747 and this remains the position.

Immigration: Bicester

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received on the proposed immigration removal centre in Bicester; and if he will make a statement. (283226)

The leader of Cherwell district council wrote to the chief executive of the UK Border Agency on 18 May to highlight his council’s hope that we would proceed with the site at Bullingdon as a first preference. The chief executive replied on 28 May explaining that as we had secured planning permission for a centre at both Bullingdon and Bedford, we are considering which site to develop first, and that a decision will be announced in the autumn.

Immigration: Zimbabwe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of Zimbabwean nationals (a) resident and (b) who have applied for residency in England in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (282924)

[holding answer 29 June 2009]: The Office for National Statistics collects data on nationality from the Annual Population Survey which covers residents of the UK. For the 12 month period from October 2007 to September 2008, I understand that it is estimated that the number of people with Zimbabwean nationality resident in England was 63,000. The margin of error around this estimate is +/-11,000. These are the latest estimates available.

Information relating to the number of Zimbabwean nationals who have applied for residency in England in the last 12 months is not held centrally by UKBA.

Serious Organised Crime Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff were recruited by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08 and (c) 2008-09. (281967)

The total number of permanent staff recruited by the Serious Organised Crime Agency in each of the last three financial years was:

Number

(a) 2006-07

144

(b) 2007-08

107

(c) 2008-09

107

Serious Organised Crime Agency: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department 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 Serious Organised Crime Agency in each of the last five years. (280323)

The Serious Organised Crime Agency was established on 1 April 2006. Only staff at grades equivalent to the senior civil service are contractually entitled to be considered for bonus payments. The payments made relate to performance during the previous financial year and the total figures for all such payments were:

£

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Board Members

10,000

2,000

20,000

Deputy Directors

0

35,000

158,358

Wildlife: Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions for offences related to wildlife crime there were in each of the last 10 years. (280362)

I have been asked to reply.

Information on the number of defendants found guilty at all courts for offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Protection of Badgers Act 1992, Deer Act 1991, Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulation 1997, and the Conservation of Seals Act 1970, in England and Wales from 1998 to 2007 (latest available) is shown in the following table.

The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Number of defendants found guilty at all courts for offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Protection of Badgers Act 1992, Deer Act 1991, Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulation 1997, and the Conservation of Seals Act 1970, in England and Wales for the years 1998 to 20071, 2, 3, 4

Found guilty

1998

70

1999

70

2000

64

2001

96

2002

64

2003

63

2004

96

2005

66

2006

130

2007

56

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 Includes the following Statutes:

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Protection of Badgers Act 1992

Deer Act 1991

Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulation 1997

Conservation of Seals Act 1970

4 Staffordshire police force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.

Source:

Evidence and Analysis Unit—Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Burma: Ethnic Groups

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he has made to the government of Burma on the military offensive against the Karen ethnic group; and if he will make a statement; (282491)

(2) what discussions he has had at the United Nations on the Burmese offensive against the Karen ethnic group.

We are deeply concerned about the situation in Karen State and reports of renewed fighting between the Karen National Union and the Democratic Karen Buddhist army, who are supported by the Burmese army. Attacks carried out by the Burmese army and their Karen client organisations on civilians in Karen State have been particularly intense over the past two years. We hope to highlight our concerns in a UN Security Council discussion on the protection of civilians in armed conflict on 26 June 2009.

We have repeatedly called for a halt to such offensives and have urged both the military regime and the Karen National Union to intensify their efforts to find a peaceful settlement that will bring about a permanent end to the conflict. Most recently at meetings between our ambassador and Burmese Ministers on 18 and 19 June 2009. In response to the recent upsurge in violence and reports of large numbers of civilians fleeing over the Thai border, the Czech presidency of the EU, with our strong support, issued a statement on 11 June 2009 calling for an end to the hostilities. It expressed particular concern about the humanitarian impact of the ongoing conflict. We fully support this call and our embassy in Rangoon continues to monitor the situation closely.

Colombia

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria are used in assessing the merits of negotiating trade agreements with Colombia; and what consideration is given to the application of EU policy on human rights in relation to such negotiations. (282624)

The key economic criteria for the EU’s free-trade agreement partners should be market potential (economic size and growth) and the level of protection against EU export interests (tariffs and non-tariff barriers). This was set out in the 2006 Global Europe Paper. The UK is working within the EU to ensure that any free trade agreement with the Andean countries takes account of the EU stance on human rights in Colombia in this context.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had at EU level on the conditions relating to the (a) labour rights and (b) human rights policies of the Colombian government to which negotiation of the proposed free trade agreement between the EU and Colombia is subject. (282625)

The UK remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Colombia. The UK is working within the EU to ensure that any free trade agreement with Colombia includes a link to a human rights clause as an essential element.

Delara Darabi

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made representations to the government of Iran on the execution of Delara Darabi on 1 May 2009; and if he will make a statement. (282497)

We were appalled to learn of the execution of Delara Darabi on 1 May 2009 for a crime she had allegedly committed at the age of 17. The EU, with strong UK support, issued a declaration on 2 May 2009 condemning her execution and urging the Iranian authorities to eliminate the death penalty for juveniles from its penal code.

In a press release issued on 7 May 2009 my predecessor, now the Minister for Armed Forces my hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Bill Rammell), echoed these sentiments and expressed our deep sorrow at the news. My hon. Friend also summoned the Iranian ambassador to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to condemn Ms Darabi’s execution and the continued practice of executing juvenile offenders. He expressed concern at Iran’s continued disregard for international human rights law; and reminded Iran of their freely undertaken obligations.

Iran is signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which unequivocally prohibit the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by those under the age of 18.

Departmental Billing

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 14 May 2009, Official Report, column 917W, 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 in the last three years. (282326)

No payments of interest for late payment of commercial debts were made by Foreign and Commonwealth Office non-departmental public bodies in the last three years.

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with which companies his Department, excluding its overseas posts, entered into contracts in the last financial year. (282659)

The following list gives the companies with which the contracts teams in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and FCO Services have entered into new contracts during financial year 2008-09. It does not include contracts that were entered into prior to or after this period by these teams, or placed by others in the FCO in the UK during this period. This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Adhunik Vatanukool;

AES Electrical Systems;

Alchemist Partnership Limited;

ALCIS Ltd.;

Alfaplan Gradenje;

Ambrose HR Ltd.;

Asbestos Removals Logistics Ltd.;

ATG Access Ltd.;

Avail Consulting;

Balticare;

Bramble.cc Ltd.;

Bright Horizons Family solutions;

Building Services Group Ltd.;

Business Objects (UK) Limited;

Bymaro;

Cambridge Econometrics;

Capita Group PLC;

Certes Computing Ltd.;

Coffey International Development Ltd.;

Cogent Electrical Services Ltd.;

Computacenter;

Concerto Consulting;

Controlled Building Services Ltd.;

Coombs Consulting Ltd.;

Corporate Value Associates;

CP Recoveries;

Cranfield University;

Crown Agents;

Data Capture Solutions;

DGSI;

Disposal Services Authority;

Dytecna Limited;

Ebla Translations;

Elan;

Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP;

Fugro Middle East;

G4S Security Services (UK) Limited;

Gardaworld;

Gilbert Ash Fit-Out;

Gleeds (QS);

Gleeds Building Surveying;

GMW Architects;

GP Supplies Limited;

GTZ;

Haig Consulting Ltd.;

Hanover Aviation Consultants Ltd.;

Hay Group Management Limited;

Heathrow Airport Limited;

Hoare Lea;

HOK International;

Intuity Consulting Ltd.;

Jedi Systems Consulting Ltd.;

Jordan + Bateman;

Kellogg Brown and Root Limited;

Knight Frank;

KPMG LLP;

LA International;

Mayfair Building Services;

MCI UK Ltd.;

Methods Consulting;

Minimal Risk Consultancy Ltd.;

Morson Human Resources Ltd.;

Morson International;

Mott MacDonald;

NSSL;

ODEC Ltd.;

Olive Group;

ORC International;

Orostream International Contracts Ltd.;

Ove Arup;

Oxford Policy Management Ltd.;

PA Consulting Group;

Parity;

Pemco Co. Ltd.;

Pepco Energy Services;

PMR Products Ltd.;

Projected Consulting Ltd.;

Purcon Ltd.;

QA Ltd.;

Ridge and Partners;

RN Golds Associates;

RPS Health Safety;

SMA Ltd.;

South Midlands Communication;

Spire Business Support Ltd.;

Thales UK Ltd.;

The Carbon Trust;

TMP (UK) Ltd.;

Toffco SDN BHD;

TPS Consult;

Tribal Consulting;

UCT Ltd.;

Venn Group Ltd.;

Veredus;

Windell Ltd.;

Zeal Interiors.

Departmental Opinion Polls

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2009, Official Report, column 435W, on departmental opinion polls, if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's Survey of partners across Government. (283234)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office survey of Partners Across Government 2009 has just been completed and the report is currently being finalised. Once the final report is available a copy will be placed in the Library.

Eritrea: Human Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on the human rights situation in Eritrea; and what steps he plans to take to have human rights included on the Article 8 Political Dialogue agenda for discussion between the EU and Eritrea. (282824)

Our ambassador to Eritrea regularly discusses the human rights situation with her EU counterparts in Asmara. The chief reason for these discussions is to raise human rights issues with the Government of Eritrea as part of the Article 8 Political Dialogue.

In furtherance of the EU's desire to discuss human rights with the Government of Eritrea, the EU Heads of Mission produced a human rights report at the end of January. Since initial discussions earlier this year the Government of Eritrea has twice refused to have human rights included on the Article 8 Political Dialogue agenda for discussion. However, when the EU Heads of Mission last met with the Government of Eritrea on 23 June 2009, we were encouraged by the Government of Eritrea proposing human rights form part of the agenda at the next Article 8 Political Dialogue meeting, scheduled for September.

On 18 September 2008 the UK took part in the European Parliament Human Rights Committee discussion on how to address the growing human rights crisis in Eritrea. At this meeting various non-governmental organisations, including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, presented their human rights concerns to the Eritrean ambassador to Belgium and EU representatives.

My noble Friend, the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown raised human rights with the Eritrean ambassador at the end of last year. In February 2009 Lord Malloch-Brown also took part in a debate in the House of Lords, which focused on the human rights situation in Eritrea.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Eritrea; and if he will make a statement. (282825)

We continue to be concerned about reports of human rights abuses in Eritrea. A huge obstacle to making any factual assessment of the human rights situation in Eritrea is that the Eritrean police and security services are not willing to engage with our embassy on human rights abuses. This makes following up or corroborating reports of any abuses very difficult.

The UK raises human rights issues with the Eritrean Government both in Asmara and with the Eritrean ambassador to London on a regular basis, highlighting the amount of public and parliamentary interest we receive. My noble Friend, the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown raised human rights with the Eritrean ambassador at the end of last year.

We also discuss human rights as part of the EU via the Article 8 Political Dialogue. EU Heads of Mission produced a human rights report at the end of January to discuss with the Government of Eritrea. Since initial discussions earlier this year the government of Eritrea has twice refused to have human rights included on the Article 8 Political Dialogue agenda for discussion. However, when the EU Heads of Mission last met with the Government of Eritrea on 23 June 2009, we were encouraged by the Government of Eritrea proposing human rights form part of the agenda at the next Article 8 Political Dialogue meeting, scheduled for September.

We will continue to seek to engage the government of Eritrea on human rights issues at both EU and bilateral levels.

G8: Meetings

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the meetings of (a) G8 Heads of Government and (b) G8 Foreign Ministers in 2010 and 2011 are scheduled to take place. (282590)

In 2010 Canada will host the G8 summit for Heads of Government in Huntsville, on 25-27 June 2010. Dates for Canada's G8 Foreign Minister meeting have not yet been publicly announced.

France holds the G8 presidency in 2011, but has not yet announced the dates for a Heads of Government summit or Foreign Ministers Meeting.

Iran: Demonstrations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise in the UN Council of Human Rights the handling by the authorities in Iran of the public demonstrations on the outcome of the recent presidential election. (282459)

[holding answer 26 June 2009]: The UK regularly raises concerns about human rights in Iran, most recently at the 11th session of the UN Council of Human Rights which took place from 2-18 June 2009.

The UK has strongly supported statements by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and a joint statement under five UN Special Procedures. These statements voiced grave concern about the use of excessive police force, arbitrary arrests and killings in the Islamic Republic of Iran and urged the Iranian Government to refrain from using excessive force and to fully guarantee freedom of expression and assembly throughout the country.

The next session of the Human Rights Council is scheduled to take place from 7-25 September 2009, and the UK will continue to monitor the situation in Iran closely and raise concerns as appropriate.

Iran: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts on the political situation in Iran. (282297)

The political situation in Iran was discussed by EU Foreign Ministers, including my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, at the most recent European Union General Affairs and External Relations Council on 15-16 June 2009. The Council conclusions expressed strong concern about the violence and use of force against the protesters.

The June European Council released a declaration on 19 June 2009 which also expressed concern about the Iranian authorities' reaction to post-election demonstrations and called on the Iranian authorities to investigate allegations of irregularities in the elections.

We continue to keep in close touch with our European partners on the issue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on the political situation in Iran. (282306)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has spoken to Chinese Foreign Minister Yang by telephone since the Iranian elections. They agreed that the international community should follow the situation in Iran closely.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the safety of British nationals resident in Iran. (282696)

On 22 June 2009 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Travel Advice was revised to recommend against all but essential travel to Iran. Consequently we withdrew the dependents of our staff.

We do not believe that it is necessary to advise British citizens to leave Iran. However, we will continue to monitor the situation closely.

We are investigating reports of the arrest of British nationals in Iran and have called on the Iranian authorities to allow consular access.

Israel: Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of Israel on the welfare of Palestinian and Arab prisoners in Israeli detention; and if he will make a statement. (282780)

The administrative detention and treatment of Palestinian prisoners, especially Palestinian teenagers, in Israeli Prison Service facilities is a serious concern.

We have called on the Israeli Government to take immediate action to ensure all cases are reviewed by a court in accordance with fair procedures, and that their rights, particularly the rights to a fair trial and family visitation, are upheld. We made our concerns clear during Israel's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in the Human Rights Council in December 2008 and also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's 2008 Human Rights Report. We will continue to raise this with Israeli officials.

North Korea: Diplomatic Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many full-time staff his Department employs at its embassy in North Korea. (283316)

There are four British diplomatic staff at our embassy in Pyongyang. Six North Korean nationals also work there, under local arrangements by the host Government for the provision of interpreting and maintenance services.

Nuclear Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made on the Road to 2010 Plan in respect of the non-proliferation treaty review conference; and if he will make a statement. (281902)

Work on the Road to 2010 Plan is progressing well and it remains our intention that it will be published this summer.

Nuclear Weapons: Arms Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who will produce the Government's Road to 2010 Plan for the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review conference; what items will be included in the plan; and if he will make a statement. (282054)

The Road to 2010 plan is a cross-departmental effort that is co-ordinated by the Cabinet Office. As outlined in my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's speech at Lancaster House on 17 March 2009, the plan will set out proposals in the following areas:

The safe expansion of Civil Nuclear in the UK and globally;

Fissile Material Security and Nuclear Counter-Terrorism;

Disarmament and non-proliferation; and,

The role and development of the International Atomic Energy Agency and other international institutions.

Sudan: Elections

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Sudanese government on the allocation of funding to non-governmental organisations to support the forthcoming elections. (282397)

We regularly discuss support to elections with the National Elections Commission (NEC), the body charged by the Sudanese Government with delivering elections. The NEC has not yet finalised the budget for elections, which we expect will include allocations of funding for non-government organisations.

We are also in close contact with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which oversees basket funds provided by donors to support elections. We want significant funds to be made available for civic education—the bulk of these activities would be implemented by non-government organisations—and we have emphasised this to UNDP.

Sudan: Peace Negotiations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance his Department has provided to the Doha peace talks on Darfur; what recent steps he has taken to seek to secure progress in those talks; and if he will make a statement. (282826)

The UK strongly supports the African Union/UN political process for Darfur led by Joint Chief Mediator Bassole and welcomes also Qatar's important contribution. We have committed £1 million to support the process.

We welcomed the signing in Doha on 17 February 2009 of an initial agreement by the Government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). We have urged the parties to fully implement the commitments they made. We support the mediators' intention to engage other Darfur leaders and also civil society in further discussions.

The UK Special Representative for Sudan, together with his P5 and EU counterparts, reaffirmed their support for the Darfur political process in a meeting in Qatar on 27 May 2009. They jointly urged the Government of Sudan and JEM to show flexibility, stressed the need for input from all sectors of Darfuri society, and reiterated calls for all parties to urgently accept the invitation extended by the mediators.

We continue to maintain contact with the government of Sudan and other parties to the conflict to urge them to take concrete steps to find a just and lasting solution to the problems of Darfur.

Terrorism: Compensation

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much compensation has been paid to foreign nationals who were victims of terrorism in the UK in each year since 1997. (282494)

I have been asked to reply as the Minister for Humanitarian Assistance.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority does not maintain records for the nationalities of those to whom it makes criminal injuries compensation awards. However, the numbers of awards made under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) to overseas residents who were victims of terrorism in the UK, and the total value of these awards, for the years 1997-98 to 2008-09 are detailed in the following table:

Number of awards made under the CICS to individuals with addresses outside the UK

Total value of awards (£)

1997-98

0

0

1998-99

0

0

1999-2000

0

0

2000-01

1

2,713

2001-02

1

3,225

2002-03

0

0

2003-04

0

0

2004-05

0

0

2005-06

6

44,001

2006-07

11

79,807

2007-08

16

185,266

2008-09

3

539,491

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to which countries he has made representations regarding compensation for British victims of overseas terrorism. (282496)

An EU Council Directive of 29 April 2004 requires EU member states to provide fair and appropriate compensation to victims of intentional crime committed in a member state. Many countries outside the EU also offer compensation to foreign nationals who are victims of terrorism in their countries. Where other governments have compensation schemes, we help signpost them to families if an offer of compensation has not been immediately forthcoming from the country in which the incident took place.

For countries that do not have compensation schemes, we encourage governments to pay compensation to British victims of overseas terrorism. The issue of compensation schemes has been raised with a number of countries, with the aim of more governments around the world compensating victims of terrorism, as the Government does if there is a terrorist incident in the UK.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK nationals affected by overseas terrorism have been assisted by exceptional assistance measures since 2006; and how much each such measure cost. (282498)

Since the Exceptional Assistance Measures were announced to Parliament in June 2008, they have been activated for two incidents affecting British nationals who have been victims of terrorism overseas: to assist the families of those affected by the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008, and more recently to cover the costs of repatriating the bodies of two British nationals who were kidnapped in Iraq in 2007. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provided assistance to the six families affected by these two incidents. The current figure for the Mumbai attacks stands at £7,592 and at £20,000 for the Iraq kidnap repatriation costs.

Western Sahara: Fisheries

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2009, Official Report, column 228W, on Western Sahara: fisheries, if he will make it his policy to seek the inclusion of a reference to Western Sahara in any future proposed agreement between the EU and Morocco on fisheries. (282868)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no plans at present to seek the inclusion of a reference to the territory of Western Sahara in any future EU fisheries agreement with Morocco.

Future negotiations on the expiry of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) will take into account any changes in the situation of Western Sahara that may occur before the FPA's expiry in 2011.

Culture, Media and Sport

Cultural Heritage: Theft

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the findings contained in English Heritage’s Nighthawking Survey; and if he will make a statement. (283268)

[holding answer 30 June 2009]: English Heritage are preparing a draft implementation plan for how they will respond to the recommendations of the Nighthawking Survey. They expect this to be ready shortly and will work with partners in the historic environment sector to implement it in the following months.

Digital Switchover: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of implementing the recommendations made in the Digital Britain report; and if he will make a statement. (282859)

The Digital Britain report makes a number of recommendations that will involve public expenditure. Estimates of the cost of implementing them, where available, are set out here. Some proposals are subject to further consultation and discussion with stakeholders that will have a bearing on the final cost. These estimates do not include public sector staff or administration costs, or areas where further work is planned but no policy decision has yet been taken.

As outlined in the report, the main sources of funding proposed besides general taxation are a new 50 pence per month levy on fixed copper lines, the underspend on the Digital Television Switchover Help Scheme (subject to further consultation with the BBC Trust), and a contained contestable element of the TV Licence Fee from 2013 onwards, on which a public consultation was launched on 30 June.

Cost estimates

Universal Access to Broadband: estimated cost £200 million, based on current estimates of the Digital Switchover Help Scheme underspend. Other public sector organisations including the devolved authorities and regional development agencies may also contribute over the life of the project.

The National Plan for Digital Participation: up to £12 million.

Next Generation Access Broadband Networks Final Third project: to be funded by a centrally held Next Generation Fund raised through a proposed 50p per month levy on fixed copper lines, expected to raise £150-£175 million per year. A further £150,000 is to be made available to help establish an Independent Networks Cooperative Association.

Research: the Technology Strategy Board has committed to fund a £10 million digital test beds programme, and a £30 million digital innovation programme.

Support for SMEs: up to £23 million over next three years will be spent on pilot business support interventions for SMEs to assist them to exploit advanced ICT to transform their business processes.

Cost estimates not yet available

Mobile spectrum refarming: the Government have agreed to meet the costs incurred by broadcasters and Programme Making and Special Events users as a result of spectrum reallocation. Discussions are being held with Ofcom, the PMSE community and broadcasters to determine the level of costs involved and on what basis, and how, costs will be met.

Independently Funded News Consortia: the extent of public funding necessary will depend on the scope of IFNCs and the funding model adopted. Both will be among the issues tested by the planned pilots.

English Heritage: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what income English Heritage has derived from the heritage sites it owns and manages in the last 12 months; and what proportion of that income was used to meet expenditure on (a) site maintenance, (b) publicity and (c) staffing. (282162)

English Heritage advises that its total expenditure on the conservation, maintenance, capital development and operational management of its property portfolio in 2008-09 was £64.4 million. Earned income was £41.2 million. The following table shows expenditure for site maintenance, property related publicity and staffing of properties as a proportion of that income:

2008-09

Expenditure (£ million)

Expenditure as a proportion of earned income (percentage)

Property maintenance

11.9

29

Property related publicity

3.3

8

Property based staff

16.3

39

The remainder of earned income derived goes towards funding areas including education, outreach and non-site based staff.