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Written Answers

Volume 497: debated on Thursday 22 October 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 22 October 2009

Justice

Prisoners: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of (a) male and (b) female offenders aged 10 to 17 years entered custody with a substance misuse problem in each year since 1997. (294183)

Prisoners: Mental Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of prisoners were diagnosed with mental health problems during the latest period for which figures are available. (294296)

I have been asked to reply.

Figures about the number of prisoners with mental health problems are not routinely collected. However a survey of mental ill health in the prison population undertaken in 1997 by the Office for National Statistics estimated that around 90 per cent. of prisoners had at least one of the five disorders (personality disorder, psychosis, neurosis, alcohol misuse, and drug dependence) considered in the survey. Co-morbidity levels were also high.

In 2008 Ministry of Justice research suggested that common mental health problems are very prevalent with 82 per cent. of prisoners on sentences of less than four years identified with anxiety or depression.

Prisoners: Suicide

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many reported suicides there have been of prisoners in each year since 1997. (294301)

The following table lists the annual totals for self-inflicted deaths in prison custody for each of the years 1997 to 2008.

Self-inflicted deaths1

1997

68

1998

83

1999

91

2000

81

2001

73

2002

95

2003

94

2004

95

2005

78

2006

67

2007

92

2008

60

1 The Prison Service definition of self-inflicted deaths is broader than the legal definition of suicide and includes all deaths where it appears that a prisoner has acted specifically to take their own life. This inclusive approach is used in part because inquest verdicts are often not available for some years after a death (some 20 per cent. of these deaths will not receive a suicide or open verdict at inquest). Annual numbers may change slightly from time to time as inquest verdicts and other information become available.

Every death in prison is a tragedy, and affects families, staff and other prisoners deeply. Ministers, the Ministry of Justice and the National Offender Management Service are committed to learning from each death and to reducing the number of such incidents. Good care and support from staff save many lives, but such instances go largely unreported. Prisons successfully keep safe in any given month approximately 1,500 prisoners assessed to be at particular risk of suicide or self-harm. Deaths in prisons are among the most scrutinised of all incidents and each case is subject to a police investigation and independent investigation by the prisons probation ombudsman. Robust systems are in place for monitoring deaths and learning from them.

Sexual Offences: Prisons

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many complaints of sexual violence were recorded in prisons in the latest period for which figures are available. (294292)

In the financial year 2008-09, 124 sexual assaults were recorded on the National Offender Management Service’s incident reporting system (IRS). This figure includes proven and unproven allegations and is subject to change because some allegations are removed or reclassified following investigation.

Without cross reference to the police national database, we cannot confirm how many of these original allegations reached a full investigation. Such further information would not prove cost-effective to produce.

Since 2004, a national strategy has directed every public sector prison to have in place a local violence reduction strategy. From mid-2007, this policy has been applied to both the public sector and contracted estate. The strategy requires each prison to undertake regular analysis of the problem areas, consider solutions and provide an action plan to improve personal safety and reduce violence. A whole prison approach is encouraged, engaging all staff, all disciplines and prisoners in challenging unacceptable behaviour, problem-solving and personal safety. This includes environmental and physical measures, as well as alternative ways of managing behaviour.

Transport

Vehicles: Insurance

13. To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps his Department plans to take to reduce the number of vehicles driven on public roads without valid insurance; and if he will make a statement. (294806)

Regulations are being drafted to bring into force a new scheme of continuous enforcement of motor insurance.

This scheme will identify those potentially uninsured by regularly comparing vehicle registration data on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s (DVLA) database with the database of insured vehicles maintained by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. Vehicle keepers found to be without valid insurance will be subject to enforcement action by the DVLA.

High-Speed Rail

14. To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent discussions he has had on proposals for a high-speed rail link between the North West and London. (294807)

The Secretary of State and my ministerial colleagues meet regularly with key stakeholders to discuss a range of transport issues, including high-speed rail.

The Secretary of State was in Manchester on Wednesday 21 October 2009 at the Northern Regeneration Summit, where he engaged with a range of organisations and regional bodies, and provided the keynote speech, on high-speed rail.

I also engaged with stakeholders across the North West, Yorkshire and Humber as part of my rail tour of those regions in September.

15. To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent progress has been made on consideration of proposals for a high-speed rail hub at Birmingham International Airport. (294808)

“High Speed Two” has been formed to help develop the case for high-speed rail services. As a first stage, High Speed Two will report by the end of the year with for a proposed route from London to the West Midlands. This will include consideration of a range of route options as well as access to central London and the other cities served.

Heavy Goods Vehicles

16. To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his most recent estimate is of the number of heavy goods vehicles registered overseas which used roads in the UK in 2008. (294809)

In 2008 around 3.5 per cent. of all heavy goods vehicle traffic in Great Britain were estimated to be foreign-registered vehicles.

A34

17. To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if the Government would support the construction of a full diamond interchange on the A34 at Lodge Hill near Abingdon; and if he will make a statement. (294811)

Oxfordshire county council are examining the impact of junction improvements in the Central Oxfordshire area. The junction operation at Lodge Hill and the impact of any proposed development will need to be examined by the Vale of White Horse District Council for their Local Development Framework. The Government cannot consider supporting such a proposal until the need is established.

Departmental Rail Travel

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department spent on first class rail travel for officials in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. (293338)

The Department for Transport and its agencies do not record rail travel expenditure separately for different classes of travel. The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Official travel in the Department is undertaken in accordance with the requirements set out in the Civil Service Management Code.

Marine and Coastguard Agency

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent progress has been made by the Marine and Coastguard Agency in implementing the findings of research it has commissioned on small vessel safety; and if he will make a statement. (293176)

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in conjunction with the key stakeholders, including the Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG), continues to work on improvements for small vessel safety with the industry through an improving safety culture, influenced by consultants, surveyors and, where appropriate, fishermen.

The MCA has an ongoing programme of research. Each piece of research is validated and subject to cost-benefit analysis. Where practicable and agreed suitable for application it is implemented either through mandatory regulation, instructions to surveyors, or guidance for industry.

Currently, the MCA is considering the outputs of research projects, carried out by a number of consultancies, and accident investigations focussing on the stability and seaworthiness of small vessels.

The review of the fishing vessel projects is being undertaken in conjunction with the Stability Sub-Group of FISG, to ensure they are consistent and address the underlying safety problems identified from the accident investigations.

Motorway: Closures

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport on how many occasions in the last 12 months an initial decision fully to close a motorway by a road policing officer has been overturned by a supervisor at the Highways Agency or Highway Authority. (294744)

No Highways Agency staff have the authority to overturn an instruction given by a police constable.

The Traffic Management Act 2004, Section 4 (1) states

“A traffic officer shall, when carrying out his duties, comply with any direction of a constable”.

Railways: Standards

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what information his Department holds on recent levels of performance of rail services operated by (a) Virgin Trains and (b) London Midland between Milton Keynes and Euston. (294810)

The Department for Transport does not hold the specific data requested but the overall Virgin West Coast Public Performance Measure improved for the period from 23 August to 19 September 2009 against the same period last year, with an increase of 5.7 per cent. from 83.3 per cent. to 89 per cent. For London Midland the equivalent change was a 4.1 per cent. increase, from 86.6 per cent. to 90.7 per cent.

Roads: Construction

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the length of time taken by local authorities adopting residential roads in new developments; and if he will make a statement. (294939)

The Department for Transport has no information on the adoption of streets in new developments by local highway authorities and has made no estimate of the time authorities take to do so.

Energy and Climate Change

Coal Fired Power Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on (i) the reuse of waste ash and (ii) levels of radioactive emissions from coal-fired power stations. (292099)

[holding answer 12 October 2009]: DECC has not commissioned or evaluated research on the re-use of waste ash and levels of radioactive emissions from coal-fired power stations. According to industry sources, around 50 per cent. of waste pulverised fuel ash from coal-fired power stations is re-used in the construction sector.

Collaborative Offshore Wind Research into the Environment

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what procedures are used to allocate funding for research projects by Collaborative Offshore Wind Research into the Environment. (294039)

[holding answer 19 October 2009]: Collaborative Offshore Windfarm Research Into the Environment (COWRIE) is an independent registered Charity that was set up to advance and improve understanding and knowledge of the potential environmental impacts of offshore wind farm development in UK waters. COWRIE Ltd is governed by a board of trustees who are responsible for overseeing the administration of the company and its financial governance. Further information can be found on their website:

http://www.offshorewind.co.uk/Pages/COWRIE

Departmental Rail Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent on first class rail travel for officials since its inception; and if he will make a statement. (293331)

The Department’s officials have spent a total of £217,425 on first-class rail travel since the inception of the Department on 3 October 2008.

Energy: Meters

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) if he will bring forward proposals for the compulsory installation of stand-alone home energy displays alongside smart meters; (294035)

(2) what steps he plans to take to ensure that energy suppliers provide stand-alone home energy displays alongside smart meters under the smart metering scheme.

[holding answer 19 October 2009]: The Government recently published a consultation on smart metering for electricity and gas. As part of the consultation the Government invited views on the type of consumption information that should be provided to consumers, and on the expectation that stand-alone, real-time displays would be provided with smart meters. The Government will respond to the consultation in due course.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to ensure that energy companies work with local authorities to deliver the smart metering scheme. (294107)

[holding answer 19 October 2009]: The Government recently published a consultation on smart metering for electricity and gas. This included questions on a range of delivery and deployment options. The Government will respond to the consultation in due course. Following the Government response work will commence on detailed preparation for the full roll-out of smart meters.

Energy: Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to encourage fuel companies to pass on reductions in energy costs to customers. (294121)

[holding answer 20 October 2009]: The Government have asked Ofgem to report on wholesale costs and retail prices on a quarterly basis, to improve transparency. The latest of these reports was issued in August. The Government and Ofgem have made it clear that we expect to see energy suppliers reduce prices when costs allow.

Plutonium: Exports

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 1976W, on plutonium: exports, (a) which ships were used in each respective transport to which reference is made and (b) which United Kingdom port of departure and Swedish port of destination was used in each case; and when he expects the irradiated advanced cooled reactor fuel pins to be returned to the United Kingdom from Sweden. (292490)

The Intermediate Level Waste containing approximately 5g of plutonium was contained within drums and shipped in a lorry from Immingham to Gothenburg on a normal commercial ferry. The cargo met all the regulatory and licence requirements for the chosen method of transport.

The container of 46 irradiated advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) fuel pins containing less than 400g of plutonium was shipped from Workington to Wallhamn on the Atlantic Osprey. This is a special-purpose cargo vessel, approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to International Maritime Organisation standards to be certificated as an INF2 (Irradiated Nuclear Fuel) vessel.

The fuel pins are still undergoing analytical examination and plans for their return to the UK have not yet been made.

Sellafield

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether (a) his Department and (b) the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has contracts with (i) Nuclear Management Partners and (ii) Sellafield Ltd. on the management of the Sellafield site. (289876)

The Department of Energy and Climate Change does not have any contracts with Nuclear Management Partners or Sellafield Ltd. The NDA have:

(i) a Parent Body Agreement with Nuclear Management Partners (redacted copy available on NDA website www.nda.gov.uk; and

(ii) a Management and Operations contract with Sellafield Ltd. (redacted copy available on NDA website www.nda.gov.uk).

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether (a) his Department and (b) the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority expect to receive fees from (i) Nuclear Management Partners and (ii) Sellafield Ltd. in relation to the management of the Sellafield site. (289877)

Under the terms of its contract with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) will be able to earn performance related fees. No fees will be paid by NMP to either the NDA or the Government.

Home Department

Bigamy

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) offences of bigamy have been recorded and (b) how many people have been (i) prosecuted and (ii) convicted for offences related to bigamy in each police force area in each year since 1997. (294156)

The Home Office has responsibility for the police recorded crime statistics and figures for the number of offences of bigamy recorded by the police are given in Tables 1-3.

Court proceedings statistics are collected by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. Table 4 shows the number of persons proceeded against at magistrates’ courts and found guilty at all courts for bigamy in England and Wales from 1997 to 2007 (latest available). Data for 2008 are planned for publication at the end of January 2010.

The police recorded crime data are based on the number of offences recorded in each financial year. Court proceedings data are based on the number of offenders. These data are published on a calendar year basis and are counts of persons classified by their principal offence. For these reasons the two datasets are not directly comparable.

Table 1: Offences of bigamy recorded by the police

Number of offences

Police force area

1997

Avon and Somerset

1

Bedfordshire

0

Cambridgeshire

0

Cheshire

1

Cleveland

1

Cumbria

0

Derbyshire

1

Devon and Cornwall

0

Dorset

1

Durham

0

Dyfed-Powys

0

Essex

1

Gloucestershire

0

Greater Manchester

2

Gwent

0

Hampshire

1

Hertfordshire

0

Humberside

0

Kent

3

Lancashire

1

Leicestershire

0

Lincolnshire

2

London, City of

0

Merseyside

0

Metropolitan Police

48

Norfolk

0

Northamptonshire

0

Northumbria

0

North Wales

0

North Yorkshire

2

Nottinghamshire

0

South Wales

0

South Yorkshire

0

Staffordshire

1

Suffolk

1

Surrey

1

Sussex

1

Thames Valley

1

Warwickshire

0

West Mercia

0

West Midlands

4

West Yorkshire

1

Wiltshire

0

England and Wales

75

Table 2: Offences of bigamy recorded by the police1, 2

Number of offences

Police force area

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

Avon and Somerset

6

4

4

0

Bedfordshire

0

2

0

0

Cambridgeshire

2

0

2

0

Cheshire

1

1

0

0

Cleveland

0

0

0

1

Cumbria

2

0

0

1

Derbyshire

3

1

4

0

Devon and Cornwall

1

0

3

2

Dorset

0

0

1

3

Durham

0

0

0

0

Dyfed-Powys

0

0

0

0

Essex

1

2

0

0

Gloucestershire

1

0

0

2

Greater Manchester

4

0

5

2

Gwent

3

0

1

2

Hampshire

2

2

3

0

Hertfordshire

0

0

1

1

Humberside

1

0

1

0

Kent

2

3

2

2

Lancashire

2

0

1

1

Leicestershire

1

0

0

0

Lincolnshire

1

0

1

0

London, City of

0

0

0

0

Merseyside

3

1

2

1

Metropolitan Police

62

41

33

39

Norfolk

0

0

0

0

Northamptonshire

0

0

1

2

Northumbria

0

2

0

1

North Wales

1

1

0

2

North Yorkshire

0

0

0

0

Nottinghamshire

0

0

1

1

South Wales

2

1

1

0

South Yorkshire

0

1

1

0

Staffordshire

1

2

1

0

Suffolk

2

2

0

1

Surrey

2

0

2

1

Sussex

7

2

4

3

Thames Valley

1

5

1

1

Warwickshire

0

1

0

0

West Mercia

4

1

1

0

West Midlands

4

4

2

2

West Yorkshire

7

3

1

3

Wiltshire

0

1

0

0

England and Wales

129

83

80

74

1 The coverage was extended and counting rules revised from 1998-99. Figures from that date are not directly comparable with those for 1997.

2 The data in this table is prior to the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. These figures are not directly comparable with those for later years.

Table 3: Offences of bigamy recorded by the police1

Number of offences

Police force area

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Avon and Somerset

2

2

2

2

1

3

4

Bedfordshire

2

0

3

1

0

1

1

Cambridgeshire

4

3

1

1

2

0

2

Cheshire

0

1

2

1

0

1

0

Cleveland

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Cumbria

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Derbyshire

0

0

0

0

1

1

1

Devon and Cornwall

2

4

1

0

0

4

1

Dorset

1

2

2

0

0

0

0

Durham

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

Dyfed-Powys

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Essex

3

1

1

0

0

1

1

Gloucestershire

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Greater Manchester

5

1

5

5

5

2

5

Gwent

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

Hampshire

6

4

0

5

0

1

0

Hertfordshire

0

0

4

3

0

0

1

Humberside

3

0

4

1

2

0

0

Kent

1

3

2

1

1

1

1

Lancashire

0

2

0

0

1

2

1

Leicestershire

0

3

1

5

1

0

1

Lincolnshire

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

London, City of

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Merseyside

0

1

0

3

0

2

2

Metropolitan Police

33

25

40

37

21

30

18

Norfolk

0

2

1

1

0

3

2

Northamptonshire

0

2

5

0

3

1

0

Northumbria

1

2

0

1

1

0

1

North Wales

0

0

0

1

1

1

0

North Yorkshire

2

0

1

0

1

0

1

Nottinghamshire

3

3

1

0

2

0

0

South Wales

1

2

2

1

1

1

1

South Yorkshire

2

1

1

3

1

0

0

Staffordshire

1

0

0

2

2

0

3

Suffolk

2

0

2

2

0

1

1

Surrey

1

0

3

1

2

0

1

Sussex

0

0

1

2

1

1

1

Thames Valley

3

1

6

5

2

7

4

Warwickshire

1

0

1

2

0

5

3

West Mercia

1

0

2

0

2

0

1

West Midlands

1

3

4

6

6

1

2

West Yorkshire

2

3

2

2

0

1

4

Wiltshire

2

0

1

5

0

2

0

England and Wales

88

71

104

101

61

74

65

1 The data in this table takes account of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. These figures are not directly comparable with those for earlier years.

Table 4: Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for bigamy, England and Wales 1997 to 20071, 2, 3

Proceeded against

Force

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Avon and Somerset

1

1

1

Bedfordshire

1

1

1

2

Cambridgeshire

1

2

1

Cheshire

1

1

1

City of London

1

Cleveland

1

Cumbria

1

1

1

Derbyshire

3

2

4

Devon and Cornwall

2

2

1

Dorset

1

1

1

1

Durham

1

Essex

1

1

2

Gloucestershire

1

1

Greater Manchester

1

4

1

1

3

3

Hampshire

2

2

1

2

1

3

1

1

Hertfordshire

1

Humberside

1

1

1

1

1

Kent

1

1

1

Lancashire

1

1

1

2

Leicestershire

2

1

Lincolnshire

1

1

1

Merseyside

1

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

Metropolitan Police

8

18

18

4

3

10

9

8

9

6

4

Norfolk

North Yorkshire

2

1

1

Northamptonshire

1

Northumbria

1

1

1

3

Nottinghamshire

1

1

South Yorkshire

1

1

2

1

Staffordshire

1

1

1

1

Suffolk

1

2

1

1

1

Surrey

1

1

Sussex

1

3

4

1

Thames Valley

1

1

1

Warwickshire

West Mercia

1

1

1

West Midlands

1

2

1

1

2

1

1

3

1

West Yorkshire

1

2

1

1

1

1

2

Wiltshire

1

1

1

4

Dyfed Powys

Gwent

2

North Wales

1

1

South Wales

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

England and Wales

22

30

40

17

23

31

29

22

28

23

17

Found guilty

Force

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Avon and Somerset

1

1

Bedfordshire

1

1

1

Cambridgeshire

1

1

Cheshire

1

1

1

City of London

Cleveland

1

Cumbria

1

1

1

Derbyshire

1

1

2

Devon and Cornwall

1

1

1

Dorset

1

1

2

1

Durham

1

Essex

1

2

Gloucestershire

1

1

Greater Manchester

3

1

2

2

Hampshire

1

2

2

1

1

Hertfordshire

1

Humberside

1

1

1

Kent

1

1

1

2

Lancashire

1

1

2

Leicestershire

1

1

Lincolnshire

1

1

Merseyside

1

1

2

1

2

1

Metropolitan Police

7

13

12

4

3

3

4

5

7

2

3

Norfolk

1

North Yorkshire

2

1

1

Northamptonshire

1

Northumbria

1

1

1

3

Nottinghamshire

1

1

South Yorkshire

1

1

1

Staffordshire

1

1

1

1

Suffolk

2

1

1

1

Surrey

1

Sussex

1

3

2

1

Thames Valley

1

1

1

Warwickshire

West Mercia

1

1

1

West Midlands

1

1

1

1

1

2

1

West Yorkshire

1

1

1

1

Wiltshire

1

1

1

2

Dyfed Powys

Gwent

2

North Wales

South Wales

1

1

1

England and Wales

16

18

28

12

17

16

20

22

21

11

16

1 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.

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 The number of defendants found guilty in a particular year may exceed those proceeded against, as it may be the case that the proceedings in the magistrates court took place in the preceding year and they were found guilty at the Crown court in the following year, or the defendant was found guilty for a different offence to the original offence proceeded against.

Extradition: USA

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with Ministerial colleagues on the provision of the UK-US extradition treaty; and if he will make a statement. (294307)

The UK-US extradition treaty was one of the topics debated during the Opposition day debate at the end of the last parliamentary Session. There have been no recent discussions between myself and ministerial colleagues on this matter. The Government are satisfied that the treaty is balanced, fair and working well.

Identity Cards: Airports

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate his Department has made of the number of workers at (a) Manchester Airport and (b) London City Airport expected to take up the option of purchasing an identity card in 2010; and how many of those workers are already Critical Workers Identity Card holders. (295020)

All airside workers at Manchester and London City airports will be able to apply for an identity card from later this year. In a written ministerial statement on 30 June 2009, my right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary, confirmed that holding an identity card should be a personal choice for British citizens and that cards issued to airside workers will be voluntary. During an 18-month evaluation period from launch, there will be no fee charged for identity cards issued to airside workers.

Identity Cards: Greater Manchester

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate his Department has made of the number of people in the Greater Manchester area likely to take up the option of purchasing an identity card in 2010. (295021)

No estimate has been made of the number of people in the Greater Manchester area likely to take up the option of purchasing an identity card in 2010. However, the Identity and Passport Service has already been working very closely with local stakeholders and will be making a range of material available to inform local residents in Greater Manchester when they will be able to apply for a national identity card at a fee of £30 that can be used to travel in Europe in place of a passport.

Independent Safeguarding Authority: Members

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether hon. Members will be required to register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority before visiting (a) schools and (b) youth groups in their constituencies or elsewhere under the provisions of the Vetting and Barring Scheme; and if he will make a statement. (288768)

No individual will be required to register on the basis that they are merely visiting a school or youth group; they must be carrying out regulated activities as defined under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which includes work on behalf of the establishment or ‘work of a specified type’ such as the provision of care or guidance to young people. An MP teaching a class on politics or regularly volunteering with a youth group would be required to register as would any private citizen.

Police: Injuries

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers in each police force area have had injury awards (a) reduced and (b) reduced to minimum levels on reaching retirement age in each year since 2004. (294159)

Statistics on the number of injury awards reduced and reduced to minimum levels on reaching retirement age are not collected centrally.

Police: Resignations

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) male and (b) female police officers in each police force area (i) resigned and (ii) were dismissed in each year since 2002. (294182)

The available data have been collected since 2002-03 and are given in the following table:

Police officer dismissals and resignations by police force and gender (full-time equivalent)1, 2002-03 to 2008-/092

2002-033

2003-04

2004-05

Police Officer Voluntary Resignations

Police Officer Dismissals

Police Officer Voluntary Resignations

Police Officer Dismissals

Police Officer Voluntary Resignations

Police Officer Dismissals

Fore name

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Avon and Somerset

8

3

1

n/a

42

10

3

0

30

10

4

1

Bedfordshire

19

3

2

0

30

9

0

0

24

11

4

0

Cambridgeshire

13

9

3

1

20

3

2

0

24

10

4

0

Cheshire

8

2

2

0

14

7

0

0

17

9

2

0

Cleveland

3

0

3

2

19

4

2

1

16

4

4

0

Cumbria

3

6

1

1

5

6

1

0

11

4

0

0

Derbyshire

11

3

4

0

15

6

2

1

15

5

0

0

Devon and Cornwall

16

6

6

1

9

4

2

1

20

12

3

0

Dorset

10

1

2

0

14

4

1

0

14

6

3

0

Durham

2

2

0

0

14

5

0

1

9

10

1

0

Essex

9

3

n/a

n/a

23

13

2

1

50

16

1

1

Gloucestershire

6

4

n/a

n/a

8

8

2

0

12

4

0

0

Greater Manchester

31

12

3

0

97

29

11

0

84

44

4

1

Hampshire

25

10

3

0

51

17

5

1

33

14

4

1

Hertfordshire

25

3

3

0

45

11

4

0

40

15

1

1

Humberside

9

11

0

1

22

7

3

n/a

28

8

0

0

Kent

23

14

0

0

61

11

1

0

47

13

0

0

Lancashire

13

4

5

1

22

6

4

1

33

10

1

1

Leicestershire

11

9

0

0

27

8

0

1

25

11

1

0

Lincolnshire

6

4

0

0

10

6

1

0

16

3

0

0

London, City of

17

2

1

0

10

2

0

0

10

1

0

1

Merseyside

15

8

2

1

20

14

6

1

31

7

8

1

Metropolitan Police

377

75

18

1

425

127

23

-1

326

96

31

1

Norfolk

6

3

0

1

5

5

1

0

11

2

2

0

Northamptonshire

7

2

0

0

15

11

2

0

16

14

0

0

Northumbria

26

9

1

2

20

9

6

0

25

9

2

0

North Yorkshire

9

2

0

0

12

3

3

n/a

10

8

0

0

Nottinghamshire

9

3

1

0

10

3

1

0

21

4

1

0

South Yorkshire

22

14

3

0

37

10

1

0

38

19

0

0

Staffordshire

5

2

0

1

21

6

5

1

31

12

3

0

Suffolk

9

5

1

0

19

9

1

1

16

10

3

0

Surrey

22

5

0

0

21

13

5

2

26

6

2

0

Sussex

30

5

0

0

79

46

4

2

82

30

2

0

Thames Valley

50

14

2

2

52

20

1

0

72

28

1

0

Warwickshire

13

1

1

0

14

5

2

0

7

8

2

0

West Mercia

15

3

0

0

20

7

3

1

14

7

2

0

West Midlands

56

33

11

0

79

29

4

0

86

33

13

5

West Yorkshire

20

14

6

0

28

18

5

1

48

24

2

0

Wiltshire

12

6

2

1

9

9

0

0

16

9

1

0

Dyfed-Powys

4

1

1

0

7

2

1

n/a

12

5

1

0

Gwent

0

1

1

0

9

6

0

0

11

6

2

0

North Wales

7

0

0

0

15

7

0

0

9

8

1

0

South Wales

13

7

0

3

18

3

4

0

13

5

2

1

Total

995

321

89

19

1,491

535

124

16

1,476

566

118

15

2005-062006-07

Police Officer Voluntary Resignations

Police Officer Dismissals

Police Officer Voluntary Resignations

Police Officer Dismissals

Fore name

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Avon and Somerset

54

23

3

1

27

8

1

0

Bedfordshire

20

5

0

0

15

8

5

0

Cambridgeshire

19

7

2

0

17

11

1

0

Cheshire

28

9

3

0

15

9

4

0

Cleveland

19

5

3

0

16

9

0

0

Cumbria

7

4

1

1

9

8

0

0

Derbyshire

13

7

3

0

36

5

3

2

Devon and Cornwall

35

9

0

0

21

14

4

0

Dorset

14

8

2

1

15

4

2

1

Durham

11

4

1

0

9

7

0

0

Essex

62

17

8

1

63

18

5

0

Gloucestershire

17

2

2

0

10

10

2

0

Greater Manchester

152

34

16

5

122

37

3

3

Hampshire

42

22

5

1

34

15

0

1

Hertfordshire

43

12

2

0

43

20

1

1

Humberside

21

10

4

0

23

11

2

0

Kent

48

17

2

1

35

14

1

0

Lancashire

12

14

2

1

22

10

6

0

Leicestershire

33

12

3

0

20

7

2

0

Lincolnshire

11

9

0

0

13

3

3

0

London, City of

8

3

0

0

7

4

0

1

Merseyside

70

13

10

0

47

14

1

0

Metropolitan Police

258

79

24

4

429

102

29

2

Norfolk

15

7

0

1

15

9

1

0

Northamptonshire

14

10

1

0

14

5

2

1

Northumbria

27

11

1

1

35

13

8

0

North Yorkshire

12

5

2

0

24

8

0

0

Nottinghamshire

9

5

1

0

21

7

2

0

South Yorkshire

29

11

2

2

30

9

0

0

Staffordshire

19

5

2

0

16

6

5

1

Suffolk

11

3

4

0

9

3

2

0

Surrey

24

13

4

1

32

14

7

3

Sussex

56

26

4

1

51

24

5

0

Thames Valley

91

40

7

1

53

33

4

1

Warwickshire

10

2

2

0

9

9

0

0

West Mercia

11

8

2

2

27

11

1

0

West Midlands

95

42

7

1

79

27

22

4

West Yorkshire

53

36

5

0

45

20

3

0

Wiltshire

20

6

0

0

9

7

1

0

Dyfed-Powys

8

4

3

0

6

2

0

0

Gwent

16

4

1

2

13

3

1

0

North Wales

22

5

3

0

16

7

1

0

South Wales

22

7

2

1

33

6

1

0

Total

1,559

575

149

29

1,581

569

141

20

2007-082008-09

Police Officer Voluntary Resignations

Police Officer Dismissals

Police Officer Voluntary Resignations

Police Officer Dismissals

Fore name

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Avon and Somerset

35

13

1

0

17

11

2

1

Bedfordshire

20

11

1

0

24

1

3

0

Cambridgeshire

9

3

1

3

18

7

0

0

Cheshire

11

6

3

0

10

7

2

0

Cleveland

15

8

2

0

15

4

3

0

Cumbria

5

6

0

1

13

8

0

1

Derbyshire

31

8

4

0

29

5

4

0

Devon and Cornwall

29

9

2

0

25

12

2

0

Dorset

20

6

2

0

11

3

1

1

Durham

15

4

1

0

10

6

2

0

Essex

59

14

1

0

37

17

2

2

Gloucestershire

13

5

0

0

9

3

0

1

Greater Manchester

98

39

4

4

63

34

7

0

Hampshire

30

16

5

0

31

14

2

2

Hertfordshire

35

15

3

1

21

13

5

0

Humberside

31

10

2

0

29

7

2

0

Kent

42

15

4

0

42

15

1

1

Lancashire

24

10

7

1

18

6

6

0

Leicestershire

38

16

5

2

23

12

2

0

Lincolnshire

12

4

0

0

12

3

0

0

London, City of

12

5

1

1

4

1

0

0

Merseyside

29

12

11

2

34

13

9

1

Metropolitan Police

278

82

22

1

295

88

16

3

Norfolk

11

5

1

0

26

6

3

2

Northamptonshire

14

11

1

1

11

8

4

0

Northumbria

34

12

7

2

40

8

4

0

North Yorkshire

17

14

2

0

19

9

2

0

Nottinghamshire

18

5

2

0

19

6

1

0

South Yorkshire

29

11

0

0

21

9

1

0

Staffordshire

18

6

6

2

16

6

0

1

Suffolk

17

6

2

0

20

11

2

0

Surrey

28

19

4

1

34

18

3

1

Sussex

56

20

0

1

40

20

2

0

Thames Valley

49

29

4

0

29

22

5

3

Warwickshire

17

3

1

0

6

3

1

0

West Mercia

21

11

0

0

21

7

1

0

West Midlands

62

30

11

5

83

26

7

1

West Yorkshire

60

25

6

2

49

24

5

1

Wiltshire

19

9

0

0

23

6

0

0

Dyfed-Powys

10

2

2

1

4

5

2

1

Gwent

17

7

5

1

18

4

2

0

North Wales

10

6

0

0

10

4

0

0

South Wales

68

12

2

0

73

15

1

1

Total

1,461

559

138

32

1,351

504

117

24

1 Full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding, there may be an apparent discrepancy between totals and the sums of the constituent items. Data have not previously been published in this format therefore totals may not match totals found in the published data.

2 Financial year runs 1 April to 31 March inclusive. Comparable data are not available prior to 2002-03.

3 Excludes quarters 1, 2 and 3, as data are not available.

Police: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department against how many statutory performance indicators police forces are being assessed against in 2009-10. (294426)

Following the changes announced in the Policing Green Paper in 2008, indicators within APACS are no longer statutory, but are set for each year following consultation with the National Policing Board, which includes tripartite partners. For 2009-10, 36 performance indicators are in APACS, but the Home Office does not make any assessment of police forces against those with the exception of the remaining single top down target relating to public confidence.

Her Majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary (HMIC) are now responsible for making assessments of police forces and publishing them, drawing on the APACS data set and other information as necessary.

Vetting

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a Criminal Records Bureau check identifies whether the person in respect of which the check is being made has had children taken into care. (294640)

[holding answer 20 October 2009]: Section 114 B (4) of Part V of the Police Act 1997 requires that in addition to criminal record information from the Police National Computer (PNC), Enhanced Disclosures should include any other information which a chief police officer holds and considers might be relevant to the job application in question and ought to be disclosed. This may include information concerning children taken into care.

This is usually non-conviction information deriving from local force records and is referred to as ‘approved information’. Chief officers are obliged to provide such information for Enhanced Disclosures under the Act. Where disclosed, information of this nature is considered by the police to represent a factual record of previous events that an employer in the most sensitive type of occupation should be aware of in making an employment decision affecting the most vulnerable groups of people.

Vetting: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his most recent estimate is of the average time for a Criminal Records Bureau check to be completed. (294297)

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Air Pollution: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many days air pollution recorded at each London air quality monitoring site exceeded EU legal limits for air pollution in each year since 2005. (291635)

The Council Directive 2008/50/EC on Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe requires member states to assess ambient air for levels of a number of defined pollutants. The directive sets out limit values which member states are required to meet. The limit values specify both the level the pollutants must be kept below, and the time over which data should be averaged. Limit values with averaging times of less than or equal to 24 hours, and which have been or are being exceeded in London are detailed below:

NO2 hourly mean of 200 ug/m3 (not to be exceeded more than 18 times per year)

24 hour mean (PM10 of 50 ug/m3, (not be exceeded more than 35 times per year).

The following table indicates for monitoring sites in London the number of days per year where an exceedance of either of the above detailed limit values has occurred, for all years between 2005 and 2008 inclusive.

Site Code

Site Name

Year

Days Exceedence of EU Limit Values

A30

London A3 Roadside

2005

2

CD1

Camden Kerbside

2005

6

HS5

Brentford Roadside

2005

7

KC2

London Cromwell Road 2

2005

2

MY1

London Marylebone Road

2005

156

Total 2005

173

MY1

London Marylebone Road

2006

150

Total 2006

150

CD1

Camden Kerbside

2007

21

HG1

Haringey Roadside

2007

1

HK4

London Hackney

2007

3

HS5

Brentford Roadside

2007

5

MY1

London Marylebone Road

2007

123

total 2007

153

CD1

Camden Kerbside

2008

27

HS5

Brentford Roadside

2008

23

MY1

London Marylebone Road

2008

174

Total 2008

224

The following should be noted in conjunction with the table.

The numbers presented represent a combination of both the above limit values.

If a single day occurred where there was an exceedance of both the above limit values, it has only been counted once, i.e. the total number of days per year exceeding at each site cannot exceed 365.

For the hourly mean N02 limit value, the number presented represents a single hour in the day above 200 microgrammes/m3 (where the total number of hourly means in excess of 200 microgrammes/m3 at that site was greater than 18 in the year). This counts as one day where an exceedance occurred, even though there may have been several hours above this concentration in the 24 hour period. Only hours in excess of the 18 allowed per year have been counted as contributing to the exceedance.

For the daily mean PM10 limit value, the total number of days represents the number of days where 24 hour mean concentrations were in excess of 50 microgrammes/m3, with the first 35 allowed occurrences subtracted.

Therefore the days counted include only those which are above the 35 days per year allowed, or 18 hours per year allowed, as defined by the limit values.

Data have only been reported for sites with more than 90 per cent. data capture.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what average annual concentration of nitrogen dioxide in micrograms per cubic metre was recorded at each London air quality monitoring site in each year since 2005. (291636)

Under EU legislation, the UK is required to assess ambient air for levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and to report to the European Commission on an annual basis. Detailed reports on the assessments are available from the Air Quality Archive (www.airquality.co.uk). Nitrogen dioxide monitoring is undertaken in London at a number of sites for this purpose in accordance with the criteria in the Council Directive 2008/50/EC on Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe.

Annual mean NO2 monitoring data are displayed in the table for sites within London for years since 2005. Data are only displayed for sites where data capture for that year was greater than 90 per cent.

Site code

Site name

Year

Annual mean NO2 ( microgrammes/m-3)

A30

London A3 Roadside

2005

61

BL0

London Bloomsbury

2005

57

BX1

London Bexley

2005

36

BY7

Bromley Roadside

2005

49

HG1

Haringey Roadside

2005

42

HG2

London Haringey

2005

34

HI0

London Hillingdon

2005

45

HK4

London Hackney

2005

49

HS5

Brentford Roadside

2005

49

KC1

London N. Kensington

2005

40

KC2

London Cromwell Road 2

2005

79

LH0

London Harlington

2005

38

LW1

London Lewisham

2005

51

MY1

London Marylebone Road

2005

112

SK1

London Southwark

2005

49

SK2

Southwark Roadside

2005

60

TD0

London Teddington

2005

25

TH2

Tower Hamlets Roadside

2005

61

WA2

London Wandsworth

2005

54

A30

London A3 Roadside

2006

59

BL0

London Bloomsbury

2006

57

BT1

London Brent

2006

30

BX1

London Bexley

2006

36

CD1

Camden Kerbside

2006

71

GR4

London Eltham

2006

30

HG2

London Haringey

2006

33

HI0

London Hillingdon

2006

49

KC1

London N. Kensington

2006

38

KC2

London Cromwell Road 2

2006

83

LH0

London Harlington

2006

37

LW1

London Lewisham

2006

54

MY1

London Marylebone Road

2006

110

TD0

London Teddington

2006

23

TH2

Tower Hamlets Roadside

2006

60

WA2

London Wandsworth

2006

51

WM0

London Westminster

2006

50

BT1

London Brent

2007

32

BX1

London Bexley

2007

34

BY7

Bromley Roadside

2007

47

CD1

Camden Kerbside

2007

77

GR4

London Eltham

2007

30

HG1

Haringey Roadside

2007

42

HG2

London Haringey

2007

32

HI0

London Hillingdon

2007

45

HK4

London Hackney

2007

49

HS5

Brentford Roadside

2007

63

KC1

London N. Kensington

2007

39

KC2

London Cromwell Road 2

2007

71

LH0

London Harlington

2007

37

LW1

London Lewisham

2007

53

MY1

London Marylebone Road

2007

102

SK1

London Southwark

2007

44

TD0

London Teddington

2007

28

BL0

London Bloomsbury

2008

55

BT1

London Brent

2008

33

BX1

London Bexley

2008

33

BY7

Bromley Roadside

2008

45

CD1

Camden Kerbside

2008

76

GR4

London Eltham

2008

26

HG1

Haringey Roadside

2008

37

HG2

London Haringey

2008

32

HK4

London Hackney

2008

51

HS5

Brentford Roadside

2008

58

KC1

London N. Kensington

2008

33

LH0

London Harlington

2008

35

LW1

London Lewisham

2008

52

MY1

London Marylebone Road

2008

115

SK1

London Southwark

2008

47

TD0

London Teddington

2008

25

TH2

Tower Hamlets Roadside

2008

63

WM0

London Westminster

2008

40

All combustion processes in air produce oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric acid (NO) are both oxides of nitrogen and are referred to as NOx. Road transport is the main source. At high levels NO2 causes inflammation of the airways. Long-term exposure may affect lung function and respiratory symptoms.

London is currently exceeding the EU Limit Value of 40 microgrammes/m3 and is not likely to meet this value by the attainment date of 2010. The Council Directive 2008/50/EC on Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe provides for member states to submit plans to the European Commission to postpone the compliance deadline for meeting the limit value for nitrogen dioxide from 2010 to 2015. The UK Government expect to submit such a plan to the Commission in 2010 following consultation early next year.

Carbon Labelling Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the proportion of retail sales accounted for by retailers who have agreed to participate in the Carbon Labelling Scheme. (293675)

I have been asked to reply.

Responsibility for carbon labelling policy lies with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. DECC is responsible for the Government’s sponsorship of the Carbon Trust (CT), of which the Carbon Label Co. (CLC) is a subsidiary.

The CLC has developed the Carbon Reduction Label to help businesses and consumers understand the carbon footprints of the products and services they use.

DECC has not made an estimate of the proportion of retail sales accounted for by retailers who have adopted the Carbon Reduction Label. More information on the scheme can be obtained from the Carbon Trust direct.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the likely (a) reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and (b) savings to manufacturers arising from the Carbon Labelling Scheme. (293676)

I have been asked to reply.

Responsibility for carbon labelling policy lies with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. DECC is responsible for the Government’s sponsorship of the Carbon Trust (CT), of which the Carbon Label Co. (CLC) is a subsidiary.

The CLC has developed the Carbon Reduction Label to help businesses and consumers understand the carbon footprints of the products and services they use.

DECC has not made an estimate of the likely reductions in CO2 emissions or savings to manufacturers arising from the adoption of the Carbon Reduction Label. More information on the scheme can be obtained from the Carbon Trust direct.

Domestic Waste: Fees and Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme has had with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on charges for the collection of household waste. (294451)

DEFRA and Welsh Assembly Government officials are working closely together on the review of Schedule 2 of the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 and intend to consult jointly.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has not had any discussion with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on charges for the collection of household waste.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 11 November 2008, Official Report, column 1006W, on domestic wastes, which local authorities have sought the advice of the Waste and Resources Action Programme on available options for waste incentive schemes to date. (294458)

General advice on the waste incentive scheme options available was provided by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to a significant number of authorities at meetings which WRAP was invited to attend and in response to individual inquiries. WRAP has not kept a detailed record of all the authorities that have been involved in this preliminary way.

Domestic Waste: Fixed Penalties

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to publish the 2008-09 Flycapture data on fixed penalty notices issued to households for waste offences. (294561)

DEFRA has commissioned returns from English local authorities on fixed penalty notices issued in 2008-09 for a range of environmental offences, including those relating to waste receptacles. Returns are still outstanding from many local authorities and these are being pursued. Results will be published on the DEFRA website in December.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the extent to which the proposals in his Department's consultation document on fairer and better environmental enforcement published in July 2009, will affect the (a) frequency and (b) level of financial penalties issued to households for offences relating to household waste. (294565)

The present fairer and better environmental enforcement proposals and consultation do not extend to local authorities, who are responsible for household waste matters. Any proposals to give local authorities powers to use the civil sanctions enabled by the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 would be subject to a further public consultation and separate secondary legislation, which would be debated in Parliament.

The present proposals would give national environmental regulators an alternative to prosecution in cases when enforcement is necessary and proportionate. The proposals would allow Environment Agency, Natural England and Countryside Council for Wales to take businesses and others with a good general approach to regulation out of the criminal courts when enforcement action was needed. However, regulatory advice and guidance would remain the cornerstone of a well graduated and fair enforcement system. The worst cases of non-compliance would continue to be prosecuted. The proposed changes are designed to strengthen incentives to comply and to promote co-operation between regulator and regulated.

Domestic Waste: Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme have (i) issued guidance and (ii) allocated funding to local authorities related to audits of the contents of domestic waste receptacles; (294430)

(2) what funding and other support (a) his Department and (b) Waste and Resources Action Programme has provided to local authorities to undertake surveys of the contents of household waste from specific properties; and what guidance his Department has issued on whether the prior consent of the householder is required.

DEFRA has not provided any funding or support to local authorities related to audits of the contents of domestic waste receptacles.

Where the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) supports waste composition surveys, it normally contracts this work out directly. Occasionally, when it is part of a wider project, WRAP provides funding to local authorities to carry out the work. In both cases WRAP requires prior consent to be sought from the householders concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme provided for local authorities in relation to waste (i) collection and (ii) disposal in the most recent year for which figures are available. (294466)

In 2008-09 DEFRA directly provided £78.2 million in funding to local authorities outside London via the Waste Infrastructure Capital Grant. £60 million will be made available to London authorities through the London Waste and Recycling Fund for the period 2008-09 to 2010-11. These unringfenced capital grants will be paid to upper tier and unitary authorities to enable them to set up the necessary waste infrastructure to help England meet landfill targets.

DEFRA also provides financial support to local authorities through Private Finance Initiative credits to help accelerate the building of the infrastructure needed to treat residual waste without compromising efforts to minimise waste and increase recycling levels. To date £2.5 billion has been allocated to 37 projects. Further information can be found on DEFRA’s website.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) provided a total of £2.68 million to local authorities during 2008-09. The funds were spent on local communications campaigns specifically to improve communications with householders about local recycling services and to promote the ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ campaign. WRAP has no remit in relation to waste disposal and has not, therefore, provided any funds to local authorities in relation to it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's 4Es Model on planning for waste prevention. (294468)

The 4Es Model was published in “Securing the future: delivering UK sustainable development strategy” (March 2005). This document is available on DEFRA’s website.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on the circumstances in which municipal waste collectors can refuse to collect household waste from a dwelling. (294556)

The amendment to section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act, made through the Climate Change Act 2008, provides a single point of reference in legislation for local authorities in order to further clarify the existing Government policy that where residents put out their waste in a way that does not meet the conditions set out in a section 46 notice, authorities are not required to collect it.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether trade waste collected and placed in landfill by (a) local authorities and (b) private sector contractors in a local authority area is reckoned towards that local authority's Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme quota. (294609)

The Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme (LATS) was set up to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent by local authorities to landfill.

The local authority's LATS quota is based on the biodegradable waste fraction of the overall waste arising for that local authority. Where the local authority collects commercial waste that is included as part of its overall waste arising; waste collected by private waste management companies does not form part of the LATS.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what volume of household waste collected for recycling was (a) incinerated and (b) disposed of in landfill sites in the latest period for which figures are available. (294611)

WasteDataFlow is used to obtain data on waste collected by local authorities. However, the data requested are not available due to the nature of the questions asked in WasteDataFlow and the data collected.

In 2007-08 the amount of municipal waste sent to a materials recovery facility for recycling was 1,571,586 tonnes. Of this:

(a) 36,465 tonnes was rejected and incinerated for energy recovery; and

(b) 68, 644 tonnes was rejected and landfilled.

In 2007-08 the estimated total amount of household waste that was rejected for recycling was 126,626 tonnes. This is out of a total of 8,840,960 tonnes of household waste collected for recycling. The rejected tonnages include not only waste sent to a materials recovery facility, but also recycling rejected at the point of collection and materials collected for recycling that were not passed through a materials recovery facility.

Materials are rejected due to contamination or due to them not being recyclable.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent (a) assessment has been made and (b) research has been commissioned by (i) his Department, (ii) the Waste and Resources Action Programme and (iii) the Environment Agency into the burning of household waste by householders. (294619)

No specific assessment has been made by DEFRA or the Environment Agency of the level of burning of domestic waste by households in England. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is not responsible for research or policy on backyard burning.

In 2006 DEFRA published a research project to review complaints received by local authorities about bonfire smoke, which advised on the legal and practical remedies available to local authorities and private individuals.

In addition, DEFRA carried out research into emissions of dioxins from the burning of domestic waste in 2006. The review recommended that further scientific research should be carried out to establish what practical measures could be taken to reduce dioxin emissions from bonfires and domestic combustion and, consequently, exposure to dioxins. Further work in estimating dioxin emissions from domestic burning has subsequently been carried out and another research programme is currently being undertaken by DEFRA which will establish a release inventory for dioxins as well as provide information on the most effective approach for carrying out a public awareness campaign educating the public on the impacts of burning garden and domestic waste with regard to dioxin emissions. This research work is due to conclude in 2011.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme has issued to waste collection authorities on charging householders for (i) new or (ii) replacement household wheeled refuse containers. (294628)

Neither DEFRA nor the Waste and Resources Action Programme has issued any recent guidance to waste collection authorities on their powers under Section 46(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research his Department has commissioned in relation to household waste in the last 18 months. (294652)

DEFRA's Waste and Resources Evidence Programme (WREP) has just published a major review study to help distil the evidence emerging from research work completed by the Department and other organisations on household waste prevention. In addition, WREP has also commissioned a project looking at approaches for dealing with household hazardous waste and another study investigating waste composition.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the research report commissioned by his Department with reference (a) WR0105 and (b) WR0106. (294965)

DEFRA has received the draft final report for WR0105 ‘Project REDUCE Monitoring and Evaluation—Developing Tools to Measure Waste Prevention’ and the project team is currently completing a finalised version ready for publication. The final report will be made publicly available on DEFRA's website.

The project (WR0106) ‘Achieving Household Waste Prevention Through Product Service Systems’ is publicly available on DEFRA's website.

Litter: Rural Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Campaign to Protect Rural England on measures to reduce the incidence of littering in rural areas. (294996)

DEFRA Ministers have met with representatives from the Campaign to Protect Rural England three times in the last year to discuss their campaign, Stop the Drop.

Marine Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what projects funded from the Marine Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund have involved work by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science. (294719)

[holding answer 21 October 2009]: Projects which have been funded from the Marine Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund involving work by the Centre of Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science are:

Contract number

Full title

Contract status

Start date

End date

Direct customer

C2228

Assessment of the rehabilitation of the seabed following Marine Aggregate Dredging—Part II: Cefas ALSF funds/Defra

Completed

12 May 2004

31 March 2007

MEPF-ALSF

C2282

Eastern English Channel large-scale Habitat Mapping (MEPF 04/01): BGS/Cefas ALSF

Completed

14 February 2005

10 March 2008

MEPF-ALSF

C3092

Initial assessment of the scale and in-situ Impact of fishing activities using geophysical data in the Eastern English Channel: Cefas ALSF

Completed

1 September 2007

28 February 2008

MEPF-ALSF

C3101

Assessing Ecosystem health following Marine Aggregate dredging-Defra (ALSF)—linked toC2167

Completed

9 July 2007

31 March 2008

MEPF-ALSF

C3117

Eastern Seabed Channel Acquisition, processing and interpretation of bathymetric XYZ data to produce digital sea bed bathymetry and 3D surface morphology models

Completed

1 October 2007

31 March 2008

British Geological survey

C3309

Distribution of Defra Marine Aggregate Levy sustainability funds FY 08/09 to FY 10/11: Defra RPD

Current

1 April 2008

31 March 2011

MEPF-ALSF

C3312

A Generic investigation into noise profiles of marine aggregate dredging in relation to the acoustic sensitivity of the marine fauna in UK waters: ALSF

Completed

1 July 2008

31 March 2009

MEPF-ALSF

C3315

Dredging Impacts verified in relation to scientific evidence (DIVERSE): ALSF

Current

1 July 2008

28 February 2011

MEPF-ALSF

C3324

Best Practice Workshop and Guidelines on Aggregate Ecological Assessments: ALSF-MEPF. MEPF 08/P75

Current

1 July 2008

31 March 2010

MEPF/P75

C3325

Effects of aggregate dredging on marine food web structure and function: ALSF-MEPF

Current

1 September 2008

7 December 2010

MEPF-ALSF

C3326

Distribution and intensity of fishing activities in the vicinity of aggregate extraction sites: ALSF MEPF

Current

21 July 2008

31 January 2011

MEPF-ALSF

C3327

Marine Aggregate integrated assessment—a method to quantify ecosystem sustainability ALSF-MEPF

Current

1 October 2008

1 June 2010

MEPF-ALSF

C3328

MEPF 08/02 South Coast regional environmental characterisation (REC) prog—data analysis and interpretation; BGS

Current

1 July 2008

31 March 2010

British Geological survey

C3340

East Coast regional Environmental Characterisation (REC) Programme MEPF 08/04

Current

5 August 2008

28 February 2011

MEPF-ALSF

C3688

Natural variability of REA Regions, their Ecological significance and Sensitivity

Current

1 September 2009

31 December 2010

MEPF-ALSF

C3687

MEPF: Development of national data layers on Inshore fishing: ALSF

Current

15 September 2009

31 December 2010

MEPF-ALSF

C3689

Seabed Restoration: Do the benefits justify the costs?

Current

1 September 2009

31 December 2010

MEPF-ALSF

Source:

Internal CEFAS Management Database Contract

Rural Areas: Grants

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether provision for Vital Villages Community Services grants exists following the abolition of the Countryside Agency. (294562)

Vital Villages was a demonstration grant programme, set up with the aim of identifying innovative approaches that would meet the needs of rural communities. The programme was set up in April 2001 and ran until 1 April 2005.

The scheme was additional to mainstream Government programmes for community support and development, which remain open to both rural and urban communities.

South Downs National Park

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) has been spent and (b) is planned to be spent on (i) consultation, (ii) organisational set-up, (iii) project management, (iv) communications, (v) planning, (vi) wages, (vii) pensions, (viii) office running and (ix) other costs of the South Downs National Park in the next 12 months. (293991)

The cost of the two public inquiries and a recent hearing totalled £3.26 million. We expect that less than £1 million will be spent on setting up the South Downs National Park Authority in the current financial year. The budgets for future years have yet to be determined.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether any existing local authority staff will be made redundant as a result of the establishment of the South Downs National Park. (293992)

It is for individual local authorities to decide whether or not to retain staff.

Where a national park authority takes over functions from a local authority then, as happened in the New Forest, it is very probable that the existing staff will have employment rights under either (or both) of: the statutory instrument that establishes the national park authority; and the generic Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) legislation.

Waste and Resources Action Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action Programme has provided to Resources Futures; and for what purposes. (294613)

DEFRA's Waste and Resources Evidence Programme has commissioned projects from Resource Futures at a total cost of £137,845. The research covers waste growth and the composition of municipal waste.

Since 1 April 2007, the Waste and Resources Action Programme has bought technical services from Resources Futures at a total cost of £1.2 million. These services cover a range of topics, including work with local authorities, the third sector and on evaluating our programmes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library an example copy of a waste prevention action plan recommended by the Waste and Resources Action Programme. (294618)

The plans are the property of the local authorities concerned and can be obtained directly from them. The Waste and Resources Action Programme's Waste Prevention Toolkit is a starting point for authorities to develop their own plans, typically working as part of a larger partnership, and taking account of their local circumstances and priorities.

Work and Pensions

Children: Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many parents eligible for maintenance payments via the Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission and its predecessor have received no payment for over (a) three and (b) 10 years. (292041)

The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the child maintenance commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many parents eligible for maintenance payments via the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission and its predecessor have received no payment for over (a) three and (b) 10 years. [292041]

The Commission estimates that at the end of June 2009, of the 1,140,400 cases due to receive at least one child maintenance payment in the past three years, no payment had been received from the non-resident parent in 57,250 (or 5%) of these cases. The Commission is not able to provide an estimate on the number of parents eligible for maintenance payments who have not received any payments for the last 10 years.

Some parents will go to great lengths to avoid fulfilling their financial responsibilities to their children. The Child Support Agency has made significant improvements over the last three years increasing the number of cases receiving maintenance by a third. The new enforcement powers set out in the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 will give the Commission the tools it needs to further increase compliance.

I am sorry on this occasion I could not be more helpful.

Disability Living Allowance: Fraud

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate she has made of the (a) number and (b) amount spent on fraudulent claims for disability living allowance in each of the last four years. (293576)

The Department’s measurement system for fraud and error does not estimate the number of fraudulent cases over a given period. It does, however, provide an estimate of the average number of fraudulent claims at any one time. Estimates of fraud in disability living allowance were last measured in 2004-05 when the number of fraudulent cases was estimated to be 10,000 cases. There are no estimates for later years.

An estimate for the percentage of fraudulent expenditure has also been produced for 2004-05 and subsequent years by applying the 2004-05 percentage of fraudulent expenditure to the relevant disability living allowance expenditure in each subsequent year. The estimates are in the following table.

Estimate of the amount overpaid due to fraud in disability living allowance

£ million

2004-05

40

2005-06

40

2006-07

40

2007-08

50

2008-09

50

Employment and Support Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individual claims for employment and support allowance were rejected after the individual participated in a work capability assessment up to the end of February 2009; and how many and what proportion of those rejected claimants were moved on to jobseeker’s allowance. (291281)

[holding answer 16 September 2009]: National level statistics on the Work Capability Assessment covering Great Britain were published on 13 October 2009 and are available via the ONS Publication Hub. A copy of the publication has been placed in the Library and be accessed directly on the website at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/esa_wca.asp

Information on movement to Jobseeker’s Allowance is not yet available but is expected to become available next year.

Employment and Support Allowance: Birmingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many residents of the Birmingham, Sparkbrook and Small Heath constituency have (a) applied for and (b) been refused Employment and Support Allowance since October 2008. (291586)

National level statistics on the Work Capability Assessment covering Great Britain were published on 13 October 2009 and are available via the ONS Publication Hub. A copy of the publication has been placed in the Library and can be accessed directly on the website at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/esa_wca.asp

Equivalent information for the Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath constituency is not held centrally. However, equivalent data for Birmingham local authority are in the table.

Employment and support allowance on-flows October 2008 to February 2009 by result of medical assessment—Birmingham local authority

Work capability result

Volumes

Percentage

Support Group

200

6

Work Related Activity Group

400

10

Fit for Work

1,300

34

Claim closed before assessment complete

1,400

37

Assessment still in progress

500

13

Note:

This data are based on recorded advice from ATOS, rather than the Decision Maker’s final determination. The final outcomes of cases may change. This will be further compounded by reconsiderations following additional medical evidence and the outcomes of appeals. Full guidance on the national figures is included in the published statistics referred to above.

Equality 2025

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been spent on the operation of Equality 2025 to date; and how many people Equality 2025 has employed in each year since its inception. (295027)

Equality 2025 is an advisory non-departmental public body established in response to a recommendation in the 2005 report by the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit ‘Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People’. It is sponsored by (but is not part of) the Office for Disability Issues, part of the Department for Work and Pensions. The advisory group is made up of 19 disabled people appointed to collect and feed the views of disabled people across the United Kingdom into Government policymaking and service design.

Equality 2025 was established in December 2006 and is funded by the Office for Disability Issues. Its total expenditure for the periods 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 has been £1,391,059.

Equality 2025 has not employed any permanent or temporary staff since its establishment, but it does receive secretariat support from the Office for Disability Issues.

Housing Benefit: Travelling People

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the policy of her Department is on the payment of housing benefit to Travellers renting an unauthorised pitch in respect of which planning permission has not been granted; and whether her Department has issued guidance to local authorities on this matter. (294967)

We have not issued any specific guidance on this subject; any claim for housing benefit in these circumstances would be dealt with in the usual way, which would include looking at whether there was a liability for rent.

Jobseeker's Allowance: Fife

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in the North East Fife constituency had been claiming jobseeker’s allowance for (a) less than six months, (b) between six and 12 months, (c) between 12 months and two years and (d) more than two years on the latest date for which information is available. (293975)

I have been asked to reply.

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

Letter from Jil Matheson, dated October 2009:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people in North East Fife constituency had been claiming jobseeker’s allowance for (a) less then six months, (b) between six and 12 months, (c) between 12 months and 2 years and (d) more than two years on the latest date for which information is available. (293975)

Table 1, attached, shows the number of computerised claims of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) for people, aged 16 or over resident in the North East Fife constituency on 10 September 2009, broken down by the duration of the claim.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at: http://www.nomiswcb.co.uk

Table 1: Number of claimants of jobseeker’s allowance resident in North East Fife constituency by duration of claim (10 September 2009)

Duration

Number

Up to 26 weeks

740

Over 26 weeks up to 52 weeks

210

Over 52 weeks up to 104 weeks

80

Over 104 weeks

5

Note:

Data rounded to nearest 5.

Source:

Jobcentre plus administrative system

Office for Disability Issues: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff are employed by the Office for Disability Issues; and how much has been spent on its operation in each year since its inception. (295026)

The Office for Disability Issues employs 78 staff. Taking account of part-time workers this figure equates to a staff in post figure of 75.18.

The Office for Disability Issues is funded by the Department for Work and Pensions. This funding is made up of an allocation for administration and programme. The total amount spent each year by the Office for Disability Issues since its inception is shown in the following table:

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Total spend 2005-09

Total spend on Administration

1,811,762

2,887,502

5,761,253

5,362,035

15,822,552

Total spend on Office for Disability Issues Programme

4,245,283

1,815,043

2,600,995

2,791,698

11,453,019

Total spend on Equality 2025 Programme

0

353,974

531,085

506,000

1,391,059

Total yearly spend by the Office for Disability Issues

6,057,045

5,056,519

8,893,333

8,659,733

28,666,630

Source:

Office for Disability Issues end of year management accounts 2005-2009.

Poverty: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps her Department is introducing to meet the Government’s target of eradicating child poverty by 2020; what her latest estimate is of the likelihood of the target being achieved; and if she will make a statement. (294302)

The Government believe that, for most families, work is the best route out of poverty. The Department for Work and Pensions is increasing support for lone parents and disabled parents, and testing out new support for second earners, to help them find, remain and progress in work. This support takes the form of both pre-employment support and in-work support.

The latest statistics for 2007-08 show that 500,000 children have been lifted out of poverty since 1997; measures announced in and since Budget 2007 are estimated to lift a further 500,000 children out of poverty. The Child Poverty Bill is currently progressing through Parliament which will enshrine in law the commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2020.

Unemployment: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps she plans to take to assist under-25 year olds who have been unemployed for over 12 months. (290986)

[holding answer 14 September 2009]: As part of the Department’s commitment to support people into work, substantial investment has been made since November 2008 to offer extra support to jobseekers to help them find work at all stages of their claim.

An enhanced offer to all jobseekers at day one of their claim includes targeted group sessions in jobsearch techniques, access to Local Employment Partnership vacancies and help with the costs of getting back to work through the Adviser Discretionary Fund.

At the six-month point of their claim, all jobseekers now receive a substantial package of extra support including access to recruitment subsidies, work-focused training places, volunteering opportunities and support to become self-employed.

We have also targeted significant resource on people under age 25 in recognition of the particular challenges young people face during a recession. These measures are designed to prevent, wherever possible, young people experiencing prolonged spells of unemployment early in their working lives.

On 29 July, the Government launched a campaign called Backing Young Britain, calling on businesses, charities and Government bodies to create more opportunities for young people, such as internships, mentoring support and coaching. As part of this campaign, all young people will receive additional adviser support and can be put forward for a work trial from day one of unemployment. We are also working with businesses to increase graduate internships and to develop work experience and mentoring support for young jobseekers.

In early 2010, young people will be able to benefit from the Young Person’s Guarantee which guarantees a job, work-focused training, or meaningful activity to all 18 to 24-year-olds before they have reached the 12-month stage of their claim to jobseeker’s allowance. This offer will become mandatory from April 2010.

The Future Jobs Fund, one key element of the Young Person’s Guarantee, will create at least 100,000 jobs for young people aged between 18 and 24. The first jobs will be available from October 2009 for customers approaching the 10-month point in their claim.

If young people remain on benefits at the 12-month stage, they will be referred to the provider-led Flexible New Deal programme (in phase 1 areas) and will benefit from work-focused support, tailored to the individual’s needs and local labour market requirements.

In phase 2 areas at the 12-month stage, jobseekers will be participating in one of the New Deal Options. If they remain unemployed following this programme, jobseekers will move into the Follow-Through Stage of the New Deal and receive more frequent, targeted adviser support.

Help is also available for 16 and 17-year-olds. The September Guarantee was introduced in 2007 to ensure that every young person leaving compulsory education at 16 receives a suitable offer of a place in learning. It was extended to 17-year-olds in 2008. By the end of 2008, this guarantee helped to support an increase in the proportion of 16 and 17-year-olds participating in learning to 88 per cent., the highest ever rate. The proportion of 16 and 17-year-olds not in employment, education or training (NEET) fell for the third consecutive year, and only 5.2 per cent. of 16-year-olds were NEET, the lowest rate for more than a decade.

Furthermore, the Government are delivering record numbers of apprenticeships in England and we expect 250,000 people to start apprenticeships this year.

Wales

Departmental Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of procurement contracts his Department awarded to small businesses in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08, (c) 2008-09 and (d) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. (293232)

The Wales Office uses the Ministry of Justice procurement systems and the Office of Government Commerce on-line procurement services.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the date on which the Electoral Complaints Commission in Afghanistan is expected to report its findings in respect of the recent presidential election. (293679)

The Electoral Complaints Commission reported the findings of its investigation to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) on 19 October 2009. The IEC announced the final result of the presidential elections on 20 October 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his (a) EU, (b) UN and (c) NATO counterparts on the conduct of the Afghanistan elections. (293820)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had recent discussions with a range of partners, including US and EU counterparts and the Secretary General of NATO, about the process and conduct of the Afghan elections. The international community continues to support the Independent Election Commission and Electoral Complaints Commission's investigation.

British Overseas Territories: Arms Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings he has held to discuss tackling arms trafficking in UK Overseas Territories in the last 12 months. (293454)

In the last 12 months my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not held any specific discussions on combating arms trafficking in the British Overseas Territories.

Burma

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness against objectives of EU sanctions on Burma. (294540)

Following the sentence imposed on Aung San Suu Kyi on 11 August 2009, the EU put in place further sanctions intended to specifically target the Burmese regime's economic interests, as well as imposing a travel ban on those members of the judiciary responsible for the verdict. These measures came into force on 14 August 2009. The fact that new EU trade and investment is negligible is an indication of the success of this policy.

Moreover, these sanctions leave the regime in no doubt about our determination to see real democracy established and human rights respected in Burma. Their objective is to target those individuals and entities that are most closely linked to the regime's misrule, rather than punishing the Burmese population as a whole.

Burma: Arms Trade

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what UK policy is on proposals for a UN arms embargo on Burma; and if he will make a statement. (294673)

Following the verdict in the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister wrote to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Security Council members calling for a voluntary, global arms embargo against Burma.

The EU and the US have had an arms embargo in place for many years. A UK attempt to secure a non-binding Security Council resolution in 2007 was blocked. We will however continue to work through the UN, the EU and bilaterally to put maximum pressure on the Burmese regime.

Burma: Human Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of recent proposals for a UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in Burma; and if he will make a statement. (294674)

We are aware of several calls for the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate human rights in Burma. While there are a number of ways by which such a commission could be established, all would require a level of international consensus on Burma that is not presently achievable.

In the past two years, our efforts have helped to secure unprecedented UN Security Council action on Burma, in the form of two strongly worded Presidential Statements. We are also active in pursuing strong resolutions in both the Human Rights Council and at the General Assembly. We fully support the efforts of UN Special Rapporteur, Tomas Quintana. His work on human rights abuses in Burma is crucial to holding the regime to account and we have urged the Burmese authorities to grant him the necessary access.

Burma: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the extent of human rights violations in eastern Burma in the last 12 months; and what representations he has made to the Burmese Government on this matter. (294539)

The UK is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in eastern Burma and reports earlier in the year 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 in the last two years. 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.

On 11 June 2009, the Czech Presidency of the EU issued a statement calling for an end to the hostilities. It expressed particular concern about the humanitarian impact of the conflict. We fully support this call and our embassy in Rangoon continues to monitor the situation closely. Our embassy most recently raised human rights issues with the Burmese authorities on 18 October 2009.

Chagos Islands

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to publish in full his Department’s response to the European Court of Human Rights on the application made by the Chagos Islanders. (294108)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my noble Friend, the then Minister for Europe, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on 12 October 2009, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA3. Copies of the Government’s observations on the application have been placed in the Library of the House.

Children: Kidnapping

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much funding has been allocated to his Department's Child Abduction Unit in each of the last five years. (294383)

A dedicated Child Abduction Section was set up in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Consular Directorate in 2003 in response to the growing number of parental child abduction cases. There are currently five staff in the section. In addition to staff costs, the following funding amounts were allocated to projects over the last five financial years:

(£)

2009-101

£102,006

2008-09

£115,200

2007-08

£162,250

2006-07

£66,980

2005-06

2

1 Current year

2 There was no specific funding allocation for Child Abduction Section

China: World Expo

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 21 July 2009, Official Report, column 1259W, on the Shanghai World Expo, when he expects to finalise plans for ministerial attendance at the event. (294382)

The Government are fully committed to Shanghai Expo 2010, which offers the UK a unique opportunity to advance our very broad objectives in China: from trade and industry to climate change, science and technology to tourism, and education to financial services. Plans for ministerial attendance during the six months of the Expo will be decided upon nearer to the opening in May 2010.

Cyprus

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has received representations on the recommendations of Georgios Lordos on a possible property settlement in Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. (293701)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what research his Department has evaluated into the number of Greek Cypriots who in respect of a settlement in Cyprus would wish for (a) restitution, (b) compensation and (c) property exchange; if he will consider the merits of allocating funds to such research; and if he will make a statement. (293702)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the merits of relinquishing the UK’s commitment under the Treaty of Guarantee for Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. (293707)

The leaders of the two communities are continuing to discuss the issue of security and guarantees. The UK will not be an obstacle to a solution.

Cyprus: Green Line

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of people who have crossed the Green Line in Cyprus since 30 April 2008; and if he will make a statement. (293704)

The Government have not estimated this information. However, according to figures provided by the Republic of Cyprus and published in the European Commission’s Green Line Report, 730,310 Greek Cypriots crossed from the south to the north of Cyprus and 1,287,126 Turkish Cypriots crossed from the north to the south of Cyprus during the period 1 May 2008 to 30 April 2009:

http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/turkish_cypriot_cornmunity/glr_report_en.pdf

The same source reports that a further 739,097 non-Cypriot EU citizens and third-country nationals crossed the line during this period.

These figures do not include border crossings within the UK’s Sovereign Base Areas, for which data are not collected.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information his Department holds on the (a) volume and (b) monetary value of cross-Green Line trade in Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. (293705)

The Government do not collect any information on the volume or value of cross-Green Line trade in Cyprus. However, according to figures provided by the Republic of Cyprus and published in the European Commission’s Green Line Report, the total value of goods that crossed the Green Line was €6,111,030 from 1 May 2008 to 30 April 2009, compared to €4,473,408 for the previous reporting period:

http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/turkish_cypriot_community/glr_report_en.pdf

Cyprus: Northern Cyprus

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) recent discussions he has had with (i) the government of Cyprus and (ii) the administration in northern Cyprus and (b) recent assessment he has made of implementation of confidence-building measures in Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. (293708)

The Government follow the Cyprus settlement question very closely and have frequent discussions both with the Government of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot leadership on this topic. They support confidence building measures as an important means of developing trust between the two communities. A number of measures, for example on ambulance crossings and restoration of cultural heritage, have already been implemented. We hope to see further confidence building measures being implemented in the coming months.

Cyprus: Turkey

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his most recent estimate is of the number of settlers from mainland Turkey who are resident in the north of Cyprus who took residence in that region (a) following the invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and (b) since the referendum in 2004; and if he will make a statement. (293697)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information his Department holds on the (a) volume and (b) monetary value of trade between Turkey and Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. (293706)

The Government do not hold any information on trade between Turkey and Cyprus. The most recent publicly available figures are from the Turkish Foreign Trade Under-Secretariat in 2007. Exports from Turkey to the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) equalled US Dollars ($)1.394 million, and imports from RoC to Turkey equalled $8,615 million. Volume of trade equalled $10.01 million.

Democratic Republic of Congo

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the UN Security Council on the implementation of UN Resolution 1820 in Democratic Republic of Congo; and what recent progress has been made on such implementation. (294542)

The UK is a key supporter of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1820, which deals with the issue of sexual violence in conflict situations. We work hard to mainstream its provisions into the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUC). It is referred to in MONUC's mandate, due for renewal in December 2009.

The UK recently co-sponsored UNSCR 1888 (revision of 1820 on women and armed conflict). In addition, the UK continues to push for legal action against five senior Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) commanders accused of committing sexual violence, named by the UN Security Council during their visit in May 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of Democratic Republic of Congo on the prosecution of allegations of gender-based violence by members of the Congolese armed forces; and if he will make a statement. (294543)

Our ambassador in Kinshasa has repeatedly called for members of the armed forces guilty of human rights abuses to be brought to justice. The UN Security Council, including the UK permanent representative, raised this issue in May with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Kabila and DRC Prime Minister Muzito. Kabila gave a speech to the nation on Independence Day in June this year, promising renewed efforts to ensure “total security” for the population, including ending sexual and gender-based violence.

Military courts in Rutshuru have since prosecuted several cases against some Congolese national army (FARDC) officers for crimes including rape. The UK continues to push for legal action against five senior FARDC commanders accused of committing sexual violence, named by the UN Security Council during their visit. We will continue to stress the importance of ensuring the implementation of the UN Mission to the DRC (MONUC)'s policy of withdrawing support from FARDC units implicated in serious human rights abuses.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Internally Displaced Persons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate has been made of the number of people who have been displaced in Democratic Republic of the Congo as a result of the activities of the Lord’s Resistance Army since the beginning of 2009; which countries have received such people; and if he will make a statement. (294536)

According to a recent report by the UN Secretary General, 226,000 people have been displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as a result of the activities of the Lord's Resistance Army since the beginning of 2009.

We are aware that many displaced people from the DRC have moved to South Sudan. We are also aware that some refugees may have fled to Uganda and the Central African Republic.

We strongly condemn the atrocities committed by the Lord's Resistance Army in the northern DRC and throughout the Great Lakes Region of Africa. They have committed appalling human rights abuses against the civilian population, including mass executions and abductions. The UN Mission to the DRC, MONUC, has increased its presence in the north of the country, after being urged to do so by the UK and other governments. MONUC is providing logistical support to humanitarian organisations, which are providing relief to the civilian population.

We also strongly urge co-ordination between the different peacekeeping missions in that region of Africa.

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department has spent on (a) hosting and (b) supporting the involvement of young British people in (i) EU, (ii) Commonwealth and (iii) UN activities. (293805)

Embassies: EU Countries

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what revenue was received at British Embassies from Overseas Passport fees in each country of the European Union in each of the last five years. (294172)

The following table lists the revenue received at our Missions from Overseas Passport fees in each country of the EU in each of the last five years, pro-rated based on accession dates.

£

Country

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Grand total

Austria

37,757

69,567

89,472

123,835

94,071

414,702

Belgium

252,721

257,358

304,304

389,535

34

1,203,952

Bulgaria

0

0

0

5,000

13,661

18,661

Cyprus

321,090

390,832

520,032

600,710

681,560

2,514,224

Czech Republic

40,226

51,840

72,170

80,215

68,429

312,880

Denmark

101,149

123,332

143,663

184,147

173,646

725,937

Estonia

3,057

3,117

5,038

5,460

4,387

21,059

Finland

22,173

21,348

35,768

46,505

42,736

168,530

France

821,553

1,136,118

1,616,805

2,061,027

2,706,459

8,341,962

Germany

935,027

957,092

1,383,448

1,683,959

1,654,141

6,613,667

Greece

138,361

167,218

243,614

288,525

285,333

1,123,051

Holland

323,717

404,678

490,141

608,304

322,955

2,149,795

Hungary

25,545

31,155

37,740

49,399

50,027

193,866

Ireland

614,002

644,937

880,563

1,057,212

1,055,696

4,252,410

Italy

268,705

333,745

409,181

491,835

454,298

1,957,764

Latvia

1,968

3,503

4,717

5,481

5,402

21,071

Luxembourg

42,292

343

548

407

117

43,707

Lithuania

892

2,633

2,249

4,170

2,905

12,849

Malta

42,204

57,117

75,004

85,796

97,130

357,251

Poland

28,020

40,549

41,288

57,431

52,624

219,912

Portugal

147,115

155,024

199,414

176,044

9,488

687,085

Romania

0

0

0

6,071

23,523

29,594

Slovakia

3,878

6,862

10,120

11,368

9,377

41,605

Slovenia

2,058

1,421

3,602

4,479

3,710

15,270

Spain

1,148,209

1,450,790

1,986,662

2,663,752

2,539,259

9,788,672

Sweden

100,120

125,729

178,371

206,218

199,432

809,870

Grand total

5,421,839

6,436,308

8,733,914

10,896,885

10,550,400

42,039,345

EU Institutions

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the prospects for institutional changes in the European Union. (294000)

The Swedish EU presidency wants to see the Lisbon treaty enter into force as soon as possible, to bring into effect the treaty’s institutional reforms which will improve EU decision-making, transparency and accountability, and the effectiveness of EU action around the world. This is a priority that the UK shares.

Following the Irish referendum endorsement of the Lisbon treaty on 2 October 2009 and signature of the Polish instrument of ratification by President Kaczynski on 10 October 2009, 26 member states have now completed their national processes to ratify the treaty. We hope that the Czech ratification will follow shortly.

EU Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which powers ceded to EU level under the Treaty establishing the European Communities and the Treaty on European Union have subsequently been returned to the UK under the principle of subsidiarity. (293798)

The principle of subsidiarity is not a mechanism for “returning powers” to the member states, but for determining whether or not Community action should be set in motion.

The member states, through the EU treaties, set the EU certain tasks and give it the powers to achieve those tasks. Article 5 of the treaty establishing the European Community states that, in areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Community shall take action, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, only if and in so far as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the member states and can therefore, by reason of the scale or effects of the proposed action, be better achieved by the Community.

Further guidelines for assessing whether these requirements are met are laid down by the Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality. The Protocol also requires the Commission to justify the relevance of any of its legislative proposals with regard to the principle of subsidiarity.

The Lisbon treaty would strengthen the role of national Parliaments in EU decision-making, so that for the first time national parliaments could challenge draft EU legislation on subsidiarity grounds. It is for Parliament to decide how to exercise its rights under these procedures.

EU: Financial Institutions

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the General Affairs Council on the Swedish presidency's agenda for banking and financial regulation and shareholding in the EU. (294363)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the European Commission's proposals on financial regulation and supervision with his counterparts at the General Affairs Council (GAC) of 27 July 2009 and 14 September 2009. EU member states are agreed on the necessity of making swift progress on the package, with a view to reaching agreement by the December European Council under the EU Swedish presidency.

The GAC has not discussed the EU Shareholder Rights Directive.

European Union: Reform

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the Czech Government on prospects for constitutional reform in the EU. (294699)

I have recently discussed EU institutional issues with my Czech counterpart as part of my introductory contacts with my EU colleagues on issues of mutual interest.

France: Industrial Disputes

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of France on the cost to British businesses and tourists of blockades of Channel ports. (293876)

Our embassy in Paris and our consulate in Lille have both raised issues relating to the blockades with the French authorities.

The Minister of State, Department for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tooting (Mr. Khan), also raised concerns with his French counterpart during the blockade.

Gaza: Borders

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps he has taken to seek (a) the ending of restrictions on access to Gaza imposed by the Israeli authorities and (b) to ensure that international law is observed in that area. (293990)

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu on 15 October 2009. He clearly expressed the UK's concerns regarding the current situation in Gaza and urged unimpeded access for humanitarian aid.

Although there is no permanent physical Israeli presence in Gaza, Israel maintains a significant degree of control, including control of Gaza's borders, airspace and territorial waters. The UK does not consider that Israel's obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949 have ceased to apply in respect of Gaza and we continue to make this clear.

Ilois: Resettlement

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2009, Official Report, columns 605-06W, on the British Indian Ocean Territory, who the interveners are in the case. (294047)

The interveners in the case of Chagos Islanders v. the UK at the European Court of Human Rights are Human Rights Watch and Minority Rights Group International.

India

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Government of India on the situation of the Chin refugees in Mizoram state; and if he will make a statement. (294670)

My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary are in regular contact with their Indian counterparts on the subject of Burma.

The UK believes that the status quo in Burma is inherently unstable and that the case of the Chin refugees is just one example of the Burmese regime's repressive policies towards the country's ethnic groups.

We also remain concerned by the effects of a rat infestation in Chin state during the last two years and the plight of the Chin refugees in India.

In response to an assessment undertaken by the UN, the Department for International Development has approved funding of £880,000 for emergency aid delivered through the UN Development Programme, the World Food Programme and their local partners. About 65,000 people have benefited from this aid. We are keeping the situation under close review.

India: Religious Freedom

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of India on reported persecution of Christians in Orissa state; and if he will make a statement. (293668)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has not discussed the situation of Christians in Orissa State with the Government of India. When the violence perpetrated against these communities occurred in 2008, my noble Friend, the former Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch Brown, raised the issue with his Indian counterpart. Our high commission in New Delhi continues to maintain a constructive dialogue with the Indian authorities about human rights and issues that affect all India's minority groups.

Iran: Overseas Trade

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 1WS, on delegated legislation (counter terrorism), if he will make it his policy to seek European Union sanctions requiring the financial sectors in EU member states to cease all business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines; and if he will make a statement. (293788)