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Written Answers

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 28 October 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Air Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 March 2009, Official Report, columns 697-8W, on air pollution, if he will indicate the increased morbidity and mortality levels assumed behind each of the six monetised social health costs in 2020 listed in the table. (296192)

[holding answer 27 October 2009]: The six scenarios discussed in the answer of 26 March 2009 were compared with a ‘business as usual’ scenario, during the development of the Renewable Energy Strategy to assess the additional air quality impacts of possible approaches to biomass heat uptake. It was found that the impact on concentrations of nitrogen dioxide was negligible on a national basis.

The impacts on morbidity resulting from the uptake of biomass as a renewable energy source were not assessed during the analyses.

The initial analysis of mortality for scenario 1 and 2 used an alternative approach to valuing the air quality impact which was not directly comparable in its intermediate assessment of mortality although the resulting monetise health costs are comparable.

An intermediate stage in the analysis of scenarios 3 to 6 was the calculation of the mortality resulting from the increment in particulate matter (PM10) concentrations in ambient air. The results of this stage of the analysis are shown in the following table. The analysis is subject to considerable uncertainty in the underlying assumptions. Including the time delay between the exposure to the air pollution and the resulting health impact. The values presented for Scenarios 3 to 6 represent the central case within this uncertainty. Other uncertainties include the biomass emissions, the spatial distribution of biomass uptake and the valuation methodology. The results presented are for the whole of the UK and are given in their raw output form.

Scenario

Life years lost over a 100 year period

Life years lost in 2020

Annualised health costs (£ million)

1

728,086 to 1,389,577

731

2

2,766,736 to 5,280,418

2,803

3

452,554

189

4

1,748,651

732

5

339,861

142

6

1,331,693

557

Departmental Drinking Water

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on bottled water in each of the last five years. (292110)

[holding answer 12 October 2009]: The core-department and its catering services provider has not supplied bottled water for meetings since 19 February 2007. In the years 2005, 2006 and 2007 the core-Department purchased 9848, 12948, and 1969 litres respectively of bottled water at an average price of £1.72 per litre, a total cost of £42,595.80.

Departmental Rail Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 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. (293332)

From information held centrally, the core-department's expenditure on first class rail travel for officials in each of the last three years and the current financial year to date is:

£

July 2006 - March 2007

817,167

April 2007 - March 2008

853,334

April 2008 - March 2009

668,733

April 2009 - August 2009

249,680

Travel by civil servants is undertaken in accordance with Section 8 of the Civil Service Management Code and the principles set out in Managing Public Money. Staff are expected to use the most efficient and economic means of travel.

Food: Packaging

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the formulation of the Courtauld Commitment Mark II; and if he will make a statement. (295591)

During the past year the Waste and Resources Action programme (WRAP) has worked closely with Government and signatories on the development of a successor to the original Courtauld Commitment, which finishes in spring 2010. The ‘next phase’ of the Courtauld Commitment, or ‘Courtauld 2’ (it has yet to be officially named), which includes more sophisticated and ambitious targets on packaging and food waste, is due to be launched in the new year. WRAP is currently discussing the shape of the targets with the four UK Administrations and signatories and is not yet in a position to release further information.

Lorries

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on the environment of the operation of lorries weighing over 44 tonnes; and if he will make a statement. (292665)

I have been asked to reply.

In order to be better informed about the likely consequences of allowing longer and/or heavier goods vehicles on the English road network, the Department for Transport commissioned a study which reported in 2008. The report of this study: "Longer and/or Longer and Heavier Goods Vehicles (LHVs) - A study of the likely effects if permitted in the UK" (reference: TRL Report PPR 285), concluded that allowing longer and/or heavier vehicles onto the network could lead to an increase in CO2 emissions. The report also concluded that there would be a limited impact on the structural performance of pavements and bridges but did not cover the specific issue of the likely effect on the annual cost of maintaining the road network.

National Bee Unit: Qualifications

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff of the National Bee Unit have qualifications in bee biology at postgraduate level or above. (294990)

The National Bee Unit (NBU) is part of the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) where approximately 150 staff comprising bee inspectors, scientists, policy specialists and other staff have an input into the bee health programme. Many of these staff have post graduate degrees in subjects related to, but not specifically in, bee biology. For bee inspectors, practical knowledge of beekeeping is an essential requirement of FERA's job specification and some Inspectors have over 30 years experience in this field.

Recycling: Leeds

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make an assessment of the environmental effects of the separated refuse recycling scheme in use in Leeds; and if he will make a statement. (295420)

No such assessment has been made by DEFRA. The Government believes that local authorities are best placed to make decisions on the waste management strategy for their communities and therefore DEFRA does not interfere in these matters.

Rural Areas: Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance his Department has issued on the use of mobile advertising billboards in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. (295312)

I have been asked to reply.

Guidance on advertisements alongside motorways and trunk roads, including guidance on advertisements on vehicles parked in fields, verges or in lay-bys is provided in paragraphs 147-148 of CLG Circular 03/2007, “Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007”.

Outdoor advertisements are controlled by these regulations. Generally, mobile advertising billboards will require the express consent of the local planning authority before they can be displayed. It will be for the relevant local planning authority to determine whether a particular advertisement should be permitted and the most appropriate course of action to take when an advertisement is displayed in contravention of the regulations.

Waste Management

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the national adoption of a zero waste standard. (295427)

Building on the success of the original zero waste places initiative, which developed innovative best practice in sustainable waste management, the Government have developed a new Zero Waste Standard. This seeks to provide recognition of, and stimulation to, the work of local authorities in their efforts to minimise waste and maximise the use of resources in their communities.

We hope that local authorities across England will seek to meet the new standard and realise the benefits of adopting the zero waste concept

Wind Power: Floods

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent guidelines his Department has issued on the construction of wind turbines on flood plains. (295260)

I have been asked to reply.

The Government's spatial planning policies relevant to new wind turbines are set out in Planning Policy Statement 22 (PPS22), 'Renewable Energy', while policies on development in flood risk areas are contained in Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS25), 'Development and Flood Risk'.

On 11 August 2009, Communities and Local Government issued for consultation proposals to amend PPS25 to clarify certain aspects of the policy. This includes clarification of how the policy should be applied to proposals for new wind turbines in flood risk areas, including flood plains, taking account of the policy in PPS22. The proposed amendment would clarify that wind turbines can be constructed in flood risk areas, subject to demonstrating that the turbines would be safe, without increasing flood risk elsewhere and, if proposed for a functional flood plain, would be designed to remain operational during a flood, result in no net loss of flood plain storage and not impede water flows.

The consultation period for the proposed amendments to PPS25 closes on 3 November.

Wind Power: Somerset

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the need for new pylons to service the wind turbines across the Somerset Levels proposed by EDF Energy. (295259)

I have been asked to reply.

I understand that the hon. Member's question relates to the proposed wind farm at Withy Farm, Puriton near Bridgwater. I have been asked to respond as renewable energy falls within my Department's responsibilities.

As you may be aware, I am unable to comment on any aspect of a wind farm proposal that is currently in the planning system as that is a matter for the relevant local planning authority. This would include any assessment of the need for new pylons.

A report by the Electricity Networks Strategy Group1 ‘Our Electricity Transmission Network: A Vision for 2020’ published in March 2009, set out the potential transmission investments needed to connect large volumes of onshore and offshore wind generation across the UK required to meet the 2020 renewables target, while, at the same time, facilitating the connection of other essential new low carbon generation.

A copy of the report is available at

http://www.ensg.gov.uk/index.php?article=126

1 The Electricity Networks Strategy Group (ENSG) is a senior industry group chaired by DECC and Ofgem

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect the proposed construction of nine wind turbines on the Somerset Levels as proposed by EDF Energy would have on the environment; and if he will make a statement. (295261)

I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave today to his parliamentary question, number 295259, regarding wind farm proposals that are currently in the planning system.

The Government have made clear that wind farms should be located in appropriate places and that local concerns should be listened to. We recognise the need to ensure that all renewable energy developments take place within the formal planning procedure, which allows all relevant stakeholders, including members of the public, to put forward their views on the likely impact of any proposal on the environment and the local community.

Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 22 on renewable energy highlights the need to take account of environmental impacts in terms of landscape and visual effects, which will vary on a case by case basis according to the type of development, its location and landscape setting.

House of Commons Commission

Portcullis House: Smoking

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much the smoking shelter constructed between Norman Shaw North and Portcullis House is expected to cost. [Official Report, 12 November 2009, Vol. 499, c. 9MC.] (296230)

Recruitment: Pay

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what process the House of Commons Service follows to establish salaries for new posts; and which new posts have been established at each pay band since 1997. (296177)

New posts are evaluated using the House of Commons pay band guidance which sets out the criteria for allocating posts in the pay band structure and gives examples of the typical tasks and demands of the work expected at each pay band level. New posts within the Senior Commons Structure are reviewed using the Job Evaluation for Senior Posts (JESP) methodology. Each pay band has a defined salary range.

The House of Commons Service manages its workforce numbers by budget and not by complement. Staffing levels are controlled through the annual business planning process and monitored on the basis of actual headcount and full-time equivalency, not in terms of a number of established posts. Records reflecting the number of new posts created over the period requested are therefore not maintained and cannot be produced retrospectively for the period requested. Staff figures are published each year in the Commission's annual report, which is available in the Library and at

www.parliament.uk.

Work and Pensions

Attendance Allowance: Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was paid in attendance allowance to residents of Mid Bedfordshire constituency in (a) 2001, (b) 2005 and (c) 2008. (295407)

The information is in the following table:

Attendance allowance expenditure for mid Bedfordshire parliamentary constituency

Period

Amount (£ million) (nominal terms)

2001-02

3.20

2005-06

4.70

2008-09

5.80

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest £100,000.

2. Tables containing benefit expenditure by benefit, departmental strategic objective, local authority and parliamentary constituency can be found at the following URL:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/medium_term.asp

and a copy has been placed in the Library.

Source:

DWP Statistical and Accounting Data

Carer's Allowance: Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Mid Bedfordshire constituency (a) are entitled to and (b) receive carer’s allowance. (295404)

Carer’s allowance—mid Bedfordshire constituency: February 2009NumberEntitlement only500Receiving benefit470 Notes:1. Caseload totals show the number of people who are entitled to receive carer’s allowance, including those who receive no actual payment.2. Carers entitled to receive carer’s allowance may not be paid it because they receive an overlapping benefit equal to or greater than their weekly rate of carer’s allowance.3. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10.4. Figures are published on the DWP website at:www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/tabtool.aspSource:DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study

Carers' Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Government plan to initiate the review of carers’ benefits outlined in her Department’s carers’ strategy. (295233)

The Government acknowledged in the revised National Carer’s Strategy, published in June 2008, that the current system of carers’ benefits is not flexible enough to adapt to the wide variety of circumstances, responsibilities and needs that carers face.

This is a 10 year strategy with a long-term commitment to review the structure of benefits available to carers in the context of wider reform.

Reviewing carers’ benefits is a complex subject that requires careful consideration which cannot be conducted in isolation if we are to ensure that any changes are properly thought through, sound and lasting. We are continuing to develop our thinking on longer term benefit reform within the context of our plans for simplifying the benefit system as a whole taking account of the review of the care and support system which is currently underway.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are in receipt of benefits as a result of a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis; and what information her Department holds on the medical conditions of such benefit claimants. (295588)

[holding answer 26 October 2009]: Benefits are not paid to customers as a result of a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalitis. Entitlement is based on the disablement that results from it and the effects of that disablement.

The Department holds case specific information on the medical conditions of people who have made claims on the basis of a disability or illness. The information can be gathered from a number of different sources including the claimant, health care professionals involved in their care and departmental medical advisers.

Decision makers consider all the available evidence before deciding on entitlement to benefit.

Employment and Support Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the main disabling conditions are of claimants of employment and support allowance who have been placed in (a) the support group and (b) the work-related activity group; and how many and what proportion of claimants fall into each group of the main disabling conditions. (294743)

Employment Services: Disabled

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what impact assessment she plans to carry out in respect of the effects on disabled people of the implementation of recent changes to arrangements for specialist disability employment services. (294765)

An Equality Impact Assessment was published online in December 2008 on initiatives covered in the White Paper ‘Raising expectations and increasing support: reforming welfare for the future’. This included a focus on disability in the new specialist disability programme replacing WORKSTEP, Work Preparation and Job Introduction Scheme from October 2010—to be known as Work Choice.

We are currently undertaking the procurement process for the delivery of Work Choice and when contracts are awarded in April 2010, an updated Equality Impact Assessment will be produced.

Social Security Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what change there has been in the Government’s latest published tax/benefit tables in the number of people with withdrawal rates of between 60 per cent. and 70 per cent.; and if she will make a statement. (295497)

I have been asked to reply.

An update on the number of people facing withdrawal rates between 60 and 70 per cent. will be provided in the pre-Budget report.

Winter Fuel Payments: Birmingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Birmingham, Northfield constituency received a winter fuel payment in the latest year for which figures are available. (296269)

For winter 2008-09, the number of people who received a winter fuel payment in the constituency of Birmingham, Northfield was 14,240.

Notes:

1. Figures rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate 100 per cent. data.

Winter Fuel Payments: Fife

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people over the age of (a) 60 and (b) 80 years have claimed a winter fuel payment in North East Fife constituency in each year since 2001-02; and what estimate she has made of the number of people in North East Fife constituency who will receive winter fuel payments in 2009-10. (296126)

The number of winter fuel payments paid to individuals aged (a) 60 and over and (b) 80 and over in the North East Fife constituency in each year since 2001-02 are as follows:

Number of individuals aged 60 and over

Number of individuals aged 80 and over

2001-02

16,310

n/a

2002-03

16,660

3,525

2003-04

16,875

3,565

2004-05

16,870

3,525

2005-06

18,280

3,850

2006-07

18,700

3,990

2007-08

19,390

4,070

2008-09

19,830

4,100

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest five, for years 2001-02 to 2004-05 inclusive, and to the nearest 10 for years 2005-06 onwards.

2. Data are not available for the number of individuals aged 80 and over that received a winter fuel payment in 2001-02 for the North East Fife constituency.

3. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate 100 per cent. data.

Forecast benefit caseloads are not produced at constituency level, however we expect similar numbers as in 2008-09 to receive the winter fuel payment in 2009-10 in the North East Fife constituency.

Treasury

Child Trust Fund: Birmingham

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many children in Birmingham, Northfield constituency have received child trust fund payments since the scheme was introduced. (296270)

The most recent published constituency level statistics on child trust fund accounts can be viewed on the HM Revenue and Customs website at:

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

and show that 4,527 children born before 5 April 2007 in the Birmingham, Northfield constituency have a child trust fund account.

Departmental Postal Services

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which companies are under contract to his Department to provide mail services; and when each such contract expires. (296091)

Royal Mail provides external mail services to HM Treasury. This is not a tendered service and therefore there is no formal expiry date.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what training is available to (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department in respect of the delivery of value for money savings following the recommendations of the Operational Efficiency Programme. (296003)

The Treasury offers a range of internal training courses for officials to meet organisational priorities and which form part of the Professional Skills for Government (PSG) framework.

Any bespoke training that Ministers require is made available as necessary.

Due to delegated team budgets for training spend it is not possible to report on specific training relating to the Operational Efficiency Programme; this information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Government Departments: Public Appointments

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the procedures used by Government departments to make appointments to their boards; and if he will make a statement. (295983)

The effectiveness of procedures used by Government Departments to make appointments to their boards is currently under review in the context of the Treasury’s review of the code of good practice on corporate governance in central Government Departments, which is due to report in 2010.

Housing: Greater London

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 1 June 2009, Official Report, column 194W, on housing: construction, which local authorities in London provide details of (a) building control commencement lists and (b) building control completion notices to the Valuation Office Agency; and which such authorities use the Valuebill/e-BAR interface to provide such information. (295844)

A table showing which local authorities within the London region of England have provided building control commencement lists and building control completion notices to the Valuation Office Agency is shown as follows.

The Valuebill/e-BAR interface is not used for the submission of building control commencement lists or building control completion notices.

Billing Authority

Commencement Notices

Completion Notices

Bexley

No

Yes

Bromley

Yes

Yes

Croydon

Yes

Yes

Greenwich

No

Yes

Lewisham

No

Yes

Sutton

No

Yes

Lambeth

No

Yes

Southwark

Yes

No

Kingston

Yes

Yes

Merton

Yes

No

Richmond

Yes

Yes

Wandsworth

Yes

Yes

Brent

Yes

Yes

Ealing

No

No

Hounslow

Yes

Yes

Havering

No

No

Barking and Dagenham

Yes

No

Redbridge

No

No

Newham

Yes

No

Waltham Forest

Yes

No

Haringey

No

No

Enfield

No

No

Barnet

No

No

Harrow

No

No

Hillingdon

No

No

City of London

No

No

City of Westminster

Yes

No

Kensington and Chelsea

Yes

No

Hammersmith and Fulham

No

No

Tower Hamlets

No

No

Hackney

No

No

Islington

No

No

Camden

Yes

Yes

Insurance: Travel

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the insurance industry on reducing the cost of travel insurance for (a) older people and (b) older people with health problems. (296280)

Treasury Ministers and officials have discussions with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such representations.

Local Government: Assets

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of the Government’s proposed sale of assets on local government; and what assumptions about the sale of assets held by local authorities will be made to inform the next local government finance settlement. (294888)

The £11 billion of UK local authority asset sales assumed over the period 2011-12 to 2013-14 are based on historic performance by the sector and forecast recovery in prices and transactions following the downturn local authorities remain free to determine which assets they sell and when local government revenue finance settlements beyond 2010-11 will be determined in the normal way at the next spending review.

Local Government: Bank Services

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what timetable has been established for the repayment to local authorities of monies deposited with Icelandic banks. (296283)

Some local authorities are creditors of the failed Icelandic banks. Those creditors of UK subsidiaries of the failed Icelandic banks will be paid out in accordance with UK insolvency law. We understand that the administrations of Heritable Bank plc and Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander are progressing. However, the timetable for the administration process is a matter for the administrators. Creditors of the banks in Iceland will make recoveries from the winding up of those banks in accordance with Icelandic law. The timetable for creditor payouts is governed by the process that has been adopted in Iceland for those institutions.

Met Office

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 15 July 2009, Official Report, column 482W, on the Operational Efficiency Programme: Meteorological Office, which further public bodies the Operational Efficiency Programme is consulting as part of the next phase of its review of the Meteorological Office; and if he will make a statement. (295287)

The Operational Efficiency Programme continues to analyse opportunities to work more collaboratively across Government, in preparation for wider consultation. An update on the progress of the review will be provided around the pre-Budget report.

Presbyterian Mutual Society

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) representations and (b) evidence the Prime Minister's working group on the Presbyterian Mutual Society has received in its investigation. (295809)

The Ministerial Working Group on the Presbyterian Mutual Society has received representations from a range of stakeholders. It is not the Government's practice to disclose details of all such representations.

Revenue and Customs: Manpower

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people were employed by HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessors in each year since 1997. (295656)

The number of staff in HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessor departments (HM Customs and Excise and Inland Revenue) for each year since 1997 is shown in the following table.

Headcount

As at 1 April

HMCE

Inland Revenue

Total

1997

24,509

53,315

77,824

1998

25,115

53,163

78,278

1999

24,019

61,339

85,358

2000

23,036

67,347

90,383

2001

23,387

68,292

91,679

2002

23,073

70,103

93,176

2003

23,364

78,456

101,820

2004

23,859

82,151

106,010

2005

104,674

2006

100,738

2007

96,511

2008

90,961

2009

88,875

Taxation: Self-Assessment

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many attempts made by HM Revenue and Customs and its predecessors to collect tax payments outstanding under the self-assessment system resulted in complaints from members of the public in each year since 1997. (295660)

HM Revenue and Customs’ central complaints database cannot provide the disaggregated data on complaints raised for this reason.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many attempts have been made by HM Revenue and Customs to collect tax payments outstanding under the self-assessment system in each year since 1997; how many such attempts resulted in the collection of (a) the full and (b) part of the payment outstanding; and how many such attempts did not recover any outstanding payment. (295661)

The information is not available. HMRC uses a range of interventions to collect unpaid tax. Successful collectors of debt cannot normally be attributed to one specific action.

VAT

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how long on average it took to complete a registration for value added tax in the latest period for which figures are available. (295860)

In 2008-09 the average time taken to complete a registration for VAT was 19.7 days. The figures for recent months are provided in the following table.

Average number of days taken

April 2009

17.7

May 2009

29.0

June 2009

23.0

July 2009

27.7

August 2009

23.1

September 2009

27.1

The difference in average processing times is due to an increase in the number of potential suspect cases which required further risk checks Processing of these higher risk cases often takes longer as the necessary checks are made. HM Revenue and Customs remains committed to improving processing times, and is working with professional bodies, agents and other stakeholders to tackle the level of incomplete and/or inaccurate applications.

Olympics

Olympic Games 2012: Wales

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many contracts related to the London 2012 Olympics have been awarded to businesses and organisations in Wales; and what the total value is of those contracts. (291214)

[holding answer 16 September 2009]: Welsh business is playing a vital role in helping to deliver the venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) do not have a central record of supply chain contracts and their value, but they estimate the overall spend in Wales to be in the tens of millions of pounds. Examples include:

Euroclad, based in Cardiff, supplying the rainscreen cladding for the Olympic Stadium

Rowecord, from Newport, manufacturing the steel for the roof of the Aquatics Centre

Rhino Doors, from Port Talbot, providing security doors for the Olympic Park construction site

In addition the ODA has contracted directly with Welsh companies in a series of small corporate and administrative contracts worth £5,615.

Transport

A14: Road Traffic

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the most recent traffic flow data are for each section of the A14. (296039)

A table providing the 2008 estimated annual average daily flows (AADFs) for each section of the A14, has been deposited in the Libraries of the House.

These figures give estimates of the number of vehicles travelling along individual sections of road on an average day of the year.

AADF data for individual motorway and TV road links for 1999 to 2008 are available on the Department for Transport website at:

www.dft.gov.uk/matrix

A14: Suffolk

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many road traffic (a) accidents and (b) fatalities there have been on the A14 in Suffolk in each year since 1999; and how many of those involved drivers under the age of 21 years in each case. (296040)

The information requested is given in the following tables:

Number of reported personal injury road accidents and fatalities on the A14 in Suffolk: 1999 to 2008

(a) Accidents

(b) Fatalities

1999

122

8

2000

138

8

2001

138

10

2002

157

5

2003

128

3

2004

143

5

2005

150

4

2006

119

6

2007

126

6

2008

126

0

Number of reported personal injury road accidents involving drivers under the age of 21 and resulting fatalities on the A14 in Suffolk: 1999 to 2008

(a) Accidents

(b) Fatalities

1999

21

1

2000

22

0

2001

26

1

2002

27

1

2003

29

0

2004

28

0

2005

28

0

2006

28

0

2007

19

3

2008

30

0

Biofuels

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to paragraph 4.150 of the UK Renewable Energy Strategy 2009, what assessment he has made of (a) increases in commodity prices and (b) effects on food security consequent upon using food crops for fuel. (295778)

The Government are assessing the combination of factors associated with the global food commodity price spike in 2008, and intends to publish the results early in 2010 as part of a food strategy package.

The relationship between biofuels and international food security is also being assessed through research focused on how to increase food production and access in an environmentally sustainable way, which will inform next year’s food strategy package; and longer term through the Government’s Foresight project on global food and farming futures, which is due to produce its final report in October 2010.

The EU Renewable Energy Directive requires the European Commission to monitor impacts of this policy on commodity prices and food security and the Commission shall, if appropriate, propose corrective action. The UK Government will continue to contribute to the EU policy debate. In addition, the UK is working in the Global Bioenergy Partnership to help develop voluntary sustainability criteria and indicators for bioenergy and biofuels, including for potential impacts on food security.

Bournemouth Airport: Roads

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether the Highways Agency has plans for the construction of a new road linking Bournemouth Airport and the A338. (295684)

The A338 is not a Highways Agency trunk road. The Highways Agency have no plans to construct a new road linking to it.

Furthermore, the South West region has not identified such a link as a regional priority within its regional funding allocation advice to Government.

Departmental Motor Vehicles

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department spent on hire vehicles in each of the last five financial years. (291608)

The Department for Transport and its Executive Agencies spend on vehicle hire is set out in the following table:

£

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Department for Transport (Central)

188,144

208,126

353,758

220,352

219,380

Executive Agencies

2,002,484

1,966,637

2,385,202

2,467,707

2,756,202

Total

2,190,628

2,174,763

2,738,960

2,688,059

2,975,582

Driving Offences: Speed Limits

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many vehicles identified by (a) mobile and (b) static speed cameras as driving in excess of the speed limit were not pursued for prosecution purposes because the licence plates indicated that they were not UK-registered in the most recent year for which figures are available. (295577)

[holding answer 26 October 2009]: I have been asked to reply.

Information available on the Court Proceedings Database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform on offences involving vehicles does not identify those cases that are not pursued for prosecution.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his policy is in respect of the (a) identification by (i) mobile and (ii) static speed cameras and (b) prosecution of motorists driving vehicles in excess of the speed limit where the vehicles in question are non-UK registered. (295578)

[holding answer 26 October 2009]: I have been asked to reply.

Foreign drivers are subject to the provisions of the Road Traffic Acts at all times when driving on British roads. They are therefore liable to prosecution for contravention of the legislation. It is for individual chief officers of police to decide what action should be taken against foreign drivers detected speeding by mobile or static speed cameras.

We have taken a number of measures to improve enforcement action against the drivers of non UK registered vehicles. These include a provision in the Road Safety Act 2006 which will allow the exchange of driver licensing and vehicle registration information with other countries.

Further help will be provided by the European Framework Decision on the Mutual Recognition of Financial Penalties, which will allow penalties imposed by courts in one member state to be enforced in another and by the International Convention on the mutual recognition of driving disqualifications. The growing use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, is also helping enforcement against foreign offenders detected speeding and jumping red lights, since a person who succeeds in leaving the country without being dealt with for such an offence can have their vehicle’s number-plate recorded on a database and so be detected and dealt with on return here.

Driving Offences: Working Hours

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many drivers' hours offences were detected in respect of (a) UK-registered and (b) overseas registered drivers in each year since 1997. (295009)

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) do not record the nationality of drivers, the following table sets out the number of drivers' hours offences from the drivers of foreign registered vehicles by type since 2003-04 when VOSA was formed.

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

HGV UK

Offence Prohibitions

at Roadside

4,636

5,416

6,182

4,901

7,339

9,158

Offences (at Roadside)

Drivers' Hours

381

518

586

618

1,040

1,267

Tacho and Records

5,073

5,772

6,726

5,274

7,644

9,794

Total

5,454

6,290

7,312

5,892

8,684

11,061

Prosecutions—presented

Drivers' Hours

4,021

2,952

3,121

2,783

2,056

4,180

Tacho and Records

4,820

4,220

3,850

3,336

2,218

2,621

Total

8,841

7,172

6,971

6,119

4,274

6,801

Prosecutions—convicted

Drivers' Hours

3,629

2,679

2,821

2,515

1,806

3,913

Tacho and Records

3,861

3,063

3,108

2,693

1,714

2,046

Total

7,490

5,742

5,929

5,208

3,520

5,959

HGV Non-UK

Offence Prohibitions

at Roadside

2,282

3,255

4,403

6,376

7,329

9,913

Offences (at Roadside)

Drivers' Hours

1,430

2,342

3,095

4,801

4,915

5,937

Tacho and Records

1,037

1,335

1,800

2,253

2,894

4,719

Total

2,467

3,677

4,895

7,054

7,809

10,656

PSV UK

Offence Prohibitions

at Roadside

364

439

483

464

1,349

1,405

Offences (at Roadside)

Drivers' Hours

18

27

23

24

125

133

Tacho and Records

340

470

541

525

1,419

1,532

Total

358

497

564

549

1,544

1,665

Prosecutions—presented

Drivers' Hours

201

425

235

315

78

253

Tacho and Records

279

561

311

439

274

453

Total

480

986

546

754

352

706

Prosecutions—convicted

Drivers' Hours

133

204

191

211

57

219

Tacho and Records

212

286

263

276

138

326

Total

345

490

454

487

195

545

PSV Non UK

Offence Prohibitions

at Roadside

22

39

30

67

113

91

Offences (at Roadside)

Drivers' Hours

8

21

15

34

37

35

Tacho and Records

15

17

22

34

62

47

Total

23

38

37

68

99

82

Further information is available on VOSA's Effectiveness report which has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Driving: Licensing

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of Commission Directive 2009/113/EC on the eligibility criteria for a UK driving licence; and if he will make a statement. (296041)

This Directive provides minimum standards of physical and mental fitness for driving. We are considering what differences there are between the Directive and the standards currently applied in the UK and what legislative changes will be required to accommodate at least the revised minimum standards. In conjunction with the medical experts on the Secretary of State for Transport’s Honorary Advisory Panels, we are considering what to do in those cases where the revised standards are lower than those currently applied in the UK. In these cases we must determine whether the stricter standards should remain in force, in the interests of road safety. Once the experts provide their advice we intend to issue a public consultation.

Lorries: Accidents

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many personal injury collisions involved (a) left and (b) right hand drive heavy goods vehicles in each year since 1997; and in how many in each category vehicle blind spot was found to be a contributory factor. (295008)

Information concerning the steering position of vehicles in reported personal injury road accidents is only available for foreign registered vehicles. Data in reported road accidents are only available since 2005. The available information requested is given in the table:

Reported personal injury road accidents involving HGVs, by steering position, and whether vehicle blind spot was attributed as a contributory factor1, Great Britain, 2005-08

Foreign registered HGVs

UK2 registered HGVs

Total HGVs

Left hand drive

Right hand drive

Total accidents

Vehicle blind spot

Total accidents

Vehicle blind spot

Total accidents

Vehicle blind spot

Total accidents

Vehicle blind spot

2005

1,014

291

85

6

10,063

341

11,162

638

2006

952

259

91

5

9,423

360

10,466

624

2007

858

193

63

3

8,908

359

9,829

555

2008

760

182

78

10

7,577

331

8,415

523

1 Includes only accidents where a police officer attended the scene and in which a contributory factor was reported.

2 Left or right hand side drive is not recorded for UK registered vehicles.

Lorries: Agriculture

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his policy is on the requirement of registration as heavy goods vehicles of agricultural motor vehicles other than agricultural and forestry tractors regardless of weight for use on public roads. (295063)

Vehicle registration and licensing is determined by a vehicle's construction and how it is used on the public road. In addition to agricultural and forestry tractors, light agricultural vehicles and agricultural engines also fall outside the heavy goods vehicle class.

Lorries: Costs

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the annual cost of maintaining the road network arising from its use by lorries weighing more than 44 tonnes; and if he will make a statement. (292963)

[holding answer 14 October 2009]: In order to be better informed about the likely consequences of allowing longer and/or heavier goods vehicles on the English road network, the Department for Transport commissioned a study which reported in 2008. The report of this study: "Longer and/or Longer and Heavier Goods Vehicles (LHVs) - A study of the likely effects if permitted in the UK" (reference: TRL Report PPR 285), concluded that allowing longer and/or heavier vehicles onto the network could lead to an increase in CO2 emissions. The report also concluded that there would be a limited impact on the structural performance of pavements and bridges but did not cover the specific issue of the likely effect on the annual cost of maintaining the road network.

Lorries: Safety

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the results of his Department's trial of Fresnel window lenses for improving heavy goods vehicles sightlines. (295011)

A copy of the report on Fresnel window lenses for improving heavy goods vehicles sightlines has been placed in the Libraries of the House. A copy is also available on the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency's website:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/publications/consultationsandresearch/researchanddevelopment/researchanddevelopment.htm

Railways: East Midlands

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what plans he has to improve the East Midlands peak time train service between Manchester and (a) Merseyside and (b) South Yorkshire. (295582)

[holding answer 26 October 2009]: On 23 July the Government announced a major £1.1 billion programme of rail electrification, including the electrification by 2013 of the line between Liverpool and Manchester via Newton-le-Willows.

Electrification of the Liverpool-Manchester route via Newton-le-Willows will enable the operation of high-capacity four-carriage electric trains transferred from the cross-London Thameslink route. These trains will be completely modernised before they are transferred, including the installation of air-conditioning.

This additional capacity on the Liverpool-Manchester line running via Newton-le-Willows will relieve pressure on the other Liverpool-Manchester line running via Warrington.

The diesel trains currently operating on the Liverpool-Manchester line via Newton-le-Willows will be transferred onto other routes, delivering much needed additional capacity.

In the meantime, the Department for Transport is in discussion with train operating companies about delivering additional capacity. This includes discussions with Northern Rail about a first phase of additional rolling stock. The Government will publish an updated rolling stock plan taking account of electrification and setting out a revised strategy this autumn.

International Development

Afghan Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department has allocated to the organisation Afghan Aid in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (295350)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has not allocated any funds directly to Afghan Aid in the last five years.

Between 2003 and 2009, DFID provided £430,000 to the British and Irish Agencies Afghanistan Group (BAAG), of which Afghan Aid is a member.

Afghanistan

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many members of his Department are based at Kandahar air base; and what their function is. (295176)

The Department for International Development (DFID) no longer publicises staff numbers for country offices, following an assessment of DFID's work in insecure environments by the National Audit Office in October 2008, and a range of improvements to our security policies and procedures.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many officials of his Department are based in each district of Helmand province. (295179)

The Department for International Development (DFID) no longer publicises staff numbers for country offices, following an assessment of DFID’s work in insecure environments by the National Audit Office in October 2008, and a range of improvements to our security policies and procedures.

Afghanistan: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has budgeted for aid to Afghanistan in 2009-10; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's provision of aid to Afghanistan in the last 12 months against its objectives. (294773)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has budgeted £127.5 million for Afghanistan in 2009-10. This forms part of a £510 million commitment for 2009-13.

DFID's latest Afghanistan Country Programme Evaluation was published in May 2009 and is available on the DFID website:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Where-we-work/Asia-South/Afghanistan/

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations he has received on the delivery of the Government’s humanitarian aid to Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (295426)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is in regular consultation with development agencies, donors and others on the delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. These include the Government of Afghanistan, the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the UN World Food Programme (UN-WFP) and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA).

DFID monitors closely the effectiveness of the delivery of humanitarian aid through assessments made by agencies who deliver aid on the ground such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and UN-WFP.

Afghanistan: Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many schools in Helmand province are (a) open and (b) in operation. (295178)

93 Government-funded schools are both open and operational in Helmand province, compared to 34 in 2006. School enrolment in Helmand has risen from 50,000 in 2006 to 64,500 today.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to implement the efficiency recommendations of the Operational Efficiency programme relating to his Department; and what training is available to (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department in respect of the delivery of value for money savings. (296057)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is committed to implementing the recommendations of the Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP). DFID is currently exploring savings across the full range of back office functions identified in OEP. We are engaging actively in the OEP benchmarking exercise and I have been appointed Value for Money Minister.

There are a wide range of learning and development opportunities available in DFID, many of which are focused on driving VFM.

Ethiopia: Human Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his most recent assessment is of the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia. (296279)

A humanitarian assessment carried out by the Government of Ethiopia and international partners released last week indicated that 6.2 million people in Ethiopia will need emergency assistance until the end of the year.

The prospects for 2010 are also a cause for serious concern. An assessment of the November harvest will provide a clearer picture of likely future humanitarian needs. If this harvest does fail, a significant scaling-up of efforts by the Government of Ethiopia and the international community will be needed to prevent the current crisis becoming a catastrophe in 2010. DFID has contributed £54 million to the humanitarian response in Ethiopia in 2009 and will continue to closely monitor the situation with regard to future support.

I also refer my hon. Friend to the written ministerial statement on Ethiopia made on 19 October 2009, Official Report; column 47WS.

India: Tuberculosis

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of his Department’s support for the national tuberculosis programme in India. (295000)

The Department for International Development’s (DFID) support to India’s National Tuberculosis Control Programme has been highly effective. The programme has averted an estimated 180,000 deaths a year since 2005. That is around 500 lives saved in India every day. DFID’s support has helped put 1.5 million TB patients on treatment every year in India.

Our support has ensured that India has faced no drug shortage, despite having the most rapidly expanding TB programme in the world. By March 2006 the programme had been scaled up to cover the entire country. Since 1997 the success rate for TB treatment has tripled from 25 per cent. to 86 per cent. and TB deaths rates have been cut seven-fold from 29 per cent. to 4 per cent.

International Assistance: Tuberculosis

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of his Department’s contribution towards global and regional progress on Millennium Development Goal 6 in relation to tuberculosis. (294999)

The Department for International Development (DFID) contributes to the Global Plan to Stop Tuberculosis (TB) 2006-15, which aims to save 14 million lives, with substantial support through country programmes, multilateral organisations, global partnerships and research. Examples include the following:

Commitment of £1 billion to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) for 2008-15. The GFATM estimates that it has supported the additional detection in and treatment of 5.4 million people with TB.

A 20-year commitment of up to €60 million per year by 2010 to UNITAID, which by 2011 is aiming to triple access to rapid tests for multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB and reduce the price MDR-TB medicines-by 25 per cent.

DFID support to focus states in India on TB funds the purchase and reliable supply of high quality anti-TB drugs. This has contributed to a reduction in TB mortality from 0.35 million to 0.28 million—a saving of 36,000 lives each year during 2005-07.

This year DFID has undertaken an extensive review of its health portfolio, including our work on TB, publication of which is forthcoming.

Pakistan: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much humanitarian aid the UK has provided to Pakistan in each year since 1998. (294841)

Details of UK aid expenditure is published in ‘Statistics on International Development’ which is available online at

www.dfid.gov.uk

and in the Library of House. The relevant figures for Pakistan are reproduced in the following table.

UK gross public expenditure on development to Pakistan

£000

Bilateral

Imputed multilateral share

1998-99

26,937

21,175

1999-2000

23,472

2,105

2000-01

15,890

3,072

2001-02

44,838

25,623

2002-03

46,852

39,756

2003-04

66,299

14,787

2004-05

55,278

15,091

2005-06

97,688

58,671

2006-07

118,150

22,675

2007-08

88,145

58,547

2008-09

129,713

n/a

Cabinet Office

Social Enterprise

10. To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment she has made of the contribution of social enterprise to the economy. (295987)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, North and Leith (Mark Lazarowicz).

Population

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the population of the UK is; how many UK citizens there were in (a) 1992, (b) 1997, (c) 2002 and (d) 2007; and how many citizens there were of (i) another EU member state, (ii) Australia, Canada or New Zealand, (iii) the USA and (iv) other countries who did not also hold UK citizenship were resident in the UK in each such year. (295951)

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 concerning what the population of the UK is; how many UK citizens there were in (a) 1992, (b) 1997, (c) 2002 and (d) 2007; and how many citizens of (i) another EU member state, (ii) Australia, Canada or New Zealand, (iii) the USA and (iv) other countries, who did not also hold UK citizenship, were resident in the UK in each such year. (295951)

Table 1, attached, gives mid-year population estimates in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007. Tables 2, 3 and 4, attached, give the UK population broken down by nationality groupings in 1997, 2002 and 2007 respectively. No data are available for 1992.

These figures are based on survey data and as with any sample survey are subject to margins of error which are shown on the tables. A person’s nationality is self-defined and may not coincide with administrative definitions of citizenship. It is not possible to identify which residents hold dual nationality, as the Labour Force Survey on which the figures are based records only the first nationality given by the respondent.

Please note that the number of people of all nationalities in these tables will not sum to the mid-year population estimates in Table 1, as the survey excludes people in most types of communal establishment.

Table 1: Mid-year population estimates: United Kingdom; estimated resident population

Thousand

Mid-1992

57,584.5

Mid-1997

58,314.2

Mid-2002

59,323.5

Mid-2007

60,975.4

Note:

Figures for the United Kingdom do not include the population of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Sources:

Office for National Statistics, General Register Office for Scotland, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

Table 2: Estimated population resident in the United Kingdom, by foreign nationality—1997

Thousand

Nationality

Estimate

CI +/-

All nationalities

57,537

471

British

55,420

462

European Union (EU15)1

834

57

Australia, Canada or New Zealand2

127

22

United States of America2

102

20

Rest of the world

1,054

64

1 Estimates are shown for the European Union 15, that is: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Those with British nationality are not included in this grouping, but are shown separately in this table.

2 Statistical Robustness—Estimates are reasonably precise

Note on Statistical Robustness:

Sample surveys have a necessary margin of error. CI +/- gives the range in which it is possible to be 95 per cent. confident the true value lies.

Notes:

1. It should be noted that the LFS:

excludes students in halls who do not have a UK resident parent

excludes people in most other types of communal establishments (eg hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites, etc.)

is grossed to population estimates of those living in private households that only include migrants staying for 12 months or more.

2. The LFS weighting does not adjust for non-response bias by the nationality variable.

Source:

Labour Force Survey (LFS), ONS

Table 3: Estimated population resident in the United Kingdom, by foreign nationality—2002

Thousand

Nationality

Estimate

CI +/-

All nationalities

58,261

303

British

55,585

296

European Union (EU15)1

890

37

Australia, Canada or New Zealand2

147

15

United States of America2

104

13

Rest of the world

1,535

49

1 Estimates are shown for the European Union 15, that is: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Those with British nationality are not included in this grouping, but are shown separately in this table.

2 Statistical Robustness—Estimates are reasonably precise

Note on Statistical Robustness:

Sample surveys have a necessary margin of error. CI +/- gives the range in which it is possible to be 95 per cent. confident the true value lies.

Notes:

1. Estimates are based on the Annual Local Area Labour Force Survey (ALALFS) which is the Labour Force Survey (LFS) plus various sample boosts.

2. It should be noted that the LFS:

excludes students in halls who do not have a UK resident parent

excludes people in most other types of communal establishments (eg hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites, etc.)

is grossed to population estimates of those living in private households that only include migrants staying for 12 months or more.

3. The LFS weighting does not adjust for non-response bias by the nationality variable.

Source:

Annual Local Area Labour Force Survey (ALALFS), ONS

Table 4: Estimated population resident in the United Kingdom, by foreign nationality—2007

Thousand

Nationality

Estimate

CI +/-

All nationalities

60,145

318

British

56,192

307

European Union (EU15)1

1,588

52

Australia, Canada or New Zealand

193

18

United States of America2

137

15

Rest of the world

2,036

58

1 Estimates are shown for the European Union 27, that is: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania. Those with British nationality are not included in this grouping, but are shown separately in this table.

2 Statistical Robustness—Estimates are reasonably precise

Note on Statistical Robustness:

Sample surveys have a necessary margin of error. CI +/- gives the range in which it is possible to be 95 per cent. confident the true value lies.

Notes:

1. Estimates are based on the Annual Local Area Labour Force Survey (ALALFS) which is the Labour Force Survey (LFS) plus various sample boosts.

2. It should be noted that the LFS:

excludes students in halls who do not have a UK resident parent

excludes people in most other types of communal establishments (eg hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites, etc.)

is grossed to population estimates of those living in private households that only include migrants staying for 12 months or more.

3. The LFS weighting does not adjust for non-response bias by the nationality variable.

Source:

Annual Population Survey (APS)/Labour Force Survey (LFS), ONS

Scotland

Christmas

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Christmas functions arranged by his Department (a) he and (b) officials of his Department (i) hosted and (ii) attended in 2008; and if he will make a statement. (295448)

Departmental Postal Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which companies are under contract to his Department to provide mail services; and when each such contract expires. (296082)

The Royal Mail provides a range of mail services under contract to the Scotland Office. The services are subject to annual renewal.

Defence

Afghanistan, Peacekeeping operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consideration he has given to the procurement of tank chassis based on those used for heavy armoured personnel carriers. (295209)

We are not currently procuring any new battle tanks. However we are engaged in competitions for the upgrade of the Warrior fighting vehicle and for the procurement of a new Reconnaissance vehicle which will replace CVRT. We hope to have announcements on these two programmes before too long.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the implications for UK security policy in Afghanistan of the report on NATO operations in that country by ISAF Commander General Stanley McChrystal. (295388)

As I told the House on 15 October 2009, Official Report, column 463, we share much of General McChrystal’s thinking. Together with NATO allies and ISAF partners, we are now in the process of assessing the implications of the general’s report.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what leaflet drops UK forces have undertaken in Afghanistan in the last three years; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each such leaflet. (295435)

As of 21 October 2009, UK forces have undertaken 18 Airborne Delivery leaflet drops in Afghanistan over the last three years. Leaflets are distributed in a variety of ways, both by the UK and other coalition nations. I will place examples of leaflets designed by the UK in the Library of the House.

Armed Forces: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements he has made for civilian inspectorates to scrutinise elements of the Service Justice System in order to meet his commitment to implement recommendation 26 of the Blake Review; what the timetable for such inspections is; what recommendations have been made arising from those inspections that have been completed; and if he will place a copy of the summary of findings and recommendations of inspections in the Library. (295196)

In line with the Government’s response to the Blake Review recommendations 24 and 26, arrangements have been made with each of the relevant inspectorates to ensure that all elements of the Service Justice System are inspected regularly. Information about completed and scheduled inspections are provided below:

Service Police—Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary conducted its first full inspection of Royal Military Police Special Investigations Branch in June 2006; a second inspection is planned for 2011. It inspected the RAF Special Investigations Branch this year for the first time, and the first inspection of the RN Special Investigations Branch is scheduled for 2010. Inspections of the wider single service police forces are currently being considered;

Military Court Service—Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Court Administration is currently conducting its first inspection, and is scheduled to report in April 2010. The inspection will also include legal aid and probation services;

Service Prosecuting Authority—Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate published its report of its inspection of the Army Prosecuting Authority in June 2007. The new tri-Service Service Prosecuting Authority having only been created in 2009, its first inspection is not expected before late 2010 at the earliest;

Military Corrective Training Centre, Colchester—Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons first conducted a full inspection in 2004. It reported on its latest inspection in January 2009, and is scheduled to carry out its next inspection in 2012.

The precise dates of inspections are dependent on inspectorates’ programmes and priorities. Full inspections are scheduled to take place approximately every two years, approximately every three years for Military Corrective Training Centre, with unannounced or follow up inspections taking place in between if considered necessary.

Each inspectorate publishes its findings on its website found at the following links:

HMIC: http://inspectorates.homeoffice.gov.uk/hmic/

HMICA: http://www.hmica.gov.uk/

HMCPSI: http://www.hmcpsi.gov.uk/

HMIP: http://www.justice.gov.uk/inspectorates/hmi-prisons/

Chinook helicopters

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the HC3 Chinook helicopters to enter operational service with the Royal Air Force; and how many such aircraft are involved. (295211)

The first of eight reverted Mk3 Chinooks will be made available to the Joint Helicopter Command before the end of this year, with the remaining seven being delivered by the end of 2010.

Czech Republic: Motor Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many vehicles his Department has purchased from Tatra Trucks in the Czech Republic in the last five years. (295882)

MOD has not purchased any vehicles from Tatra Trucks in Czech Republic in the last five years.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to reply to the letters of 27 July 2009 and 31 August 2009 from the hon. Member for Moray on Court of Appeal costs incurred by his Department. (295389)

Trident

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the initial gate decision on Trident replacement has been delayed until after the forthcoming Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference; and if he will make a statement. (295105)

The Defence Board will consider the work required during the Concept Phase work later this year. There has been no decision to delay Initial Gate because of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May 2010.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

African Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made representations to the government of Uganda on its invitation to Omar Bashir of Sudan to attend the African Union meeting in Kampala; and if he will make a statement. (295479)

Our high commissioner discussed the issue with senior officials at the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who indicated that President Bashir would not be attending the AU summit on refugees in Kampala. He has not done so.

We have made clear our expectation that all countries cooperate with International Criminal Court (ICC) investigations on events in Darfur, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1593 of 2005. States party to the ICC, such as Uganda, have particular legal obligations.

Colombia: Foreign Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Answer of 7 July 2009, Official Report, column 625W, on Colombia: foreign relations, on how many occasions the British Ambassador in Bogota has met the Colombian Foreign Minister to discuss (a) bilateral relations and (b) broader global issues in the last 12 months. (296010)

[holding answer 27 October 2009]: Our ambassador in Bogota meets the Colombian Foreign Minister on a regular basis in the course of his duties.

Conflict Prevention

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) which countries the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms has visited in an official capacity since February 2009; and what the costs of such visits were; (295391)

(2) which non-governmental organisations the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms has met since February 2009; and what issues were raised in each meeting;

(3) on which dates since February 2009 the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms has visited (a) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and (b) 10 Downing Street; and what the purpose of each visit was;

(4) what representations of each type the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms has received as part of his dialogue with (a) the United Nations, (b) the EU, (c) the African Union and (d) others; and on which dates each such representation was received;

(5) when the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms last reported to the Prime Minister; and what issues were discussed.

The right hon. Jack McConnell MSP, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Conflict Resolution Mechanisms, was appointed in October 2008 and reports to my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, Defence and International Development. He has made a valuable contribution to advancing the UK’s peacebuilding objectives. He has in particular engaged with the UN Secretariat and key stakeholders around the world to press for an ambitious UN Secretary-General report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict.

Mr. McConnell’s expenses are funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for International Development (DfID) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Travel and approximate costs of visits since February 2009 are as follows:

In Bosnia (February 2009) he met representatives of the EC Delegation and the International Commission for Missing Persons—£1,500.

In Ethiopia (February 2009) Mr. McConnell met with representatives of the African Union; Africa Commission; UN Economic Commission for Africa, Institute for Security Studies; Centre for Policy Research and Dialogue; Ethiopian Institute for Peace and Development—£3,000.

In Uganda (March 2009) he met representatives of various UN agencies—£2,100.

In the USA (April 2009) he met representatives of the International Monetary Fund; World Bank and the UN—£5,900.

In Egypt (May 2009) he met representatives of the UN; Africa Society and International Crisis Group—£4,000.

In Japan (May 2009) he met representatives of the Japan International Co-operation Agency; Peace Winds; Nature Japan; The Japan Foundation; the Association for Aid and Relief; the Japan Centre for Conflict Prevention; the Graduate Institute for Policy Studies—£4,600.

In the USA (June 2009) he visited the Stanley Foundation Retreat—£1,700.

In Brazil (July 2009) he met representatives of Mendes University; Viva Rio; GAPCon; Brazilian Youth Council; University of Brasilia—£8,650.

Mr. McConnell travelled to West Africa in August 2009. In Liberia he met representatives of the UN Development Programme; Committee on Peace and Reconciliation. In Sierra Leone he met representatives of the Gola Forest Programme and G&G Manager Exploration. In Ghana he visited the Kofi Annan Centre for Peacekeeping and met representatives of the Legon Centre for International Affairs—whole visit £5,000.

In Chile (September 2009) he attended a meeting of the UN Peacebuilding Commission—£3,540.

Mr. McConnell travelled to Belgium (October 2009) and met with a range of EU interlocutors from the Presidency, Commission and Council Secretariat on EU/UN relations, civilian capability development, and EU civilian/military cooperation—£1,130.

Mr. McConnell visited East Africa (Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo) (October 2009). In Burundi he met representatives of International Alert, Kamenge Youth Project, EU members and the UN Integrated Office (BINUB). In Rwanda he visited the Motobo Camp, met with members of the UN and representatives of the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative, Search for Common Ground and the Mines Advisory Group. In the DRC he met representatives of the UN, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, International Committee of the Red Cross and Oxfam. This visit has only just been completed and the final cost is not yet available.

Whilst in London Mr. McConnell has met with representatives from the World Child Cancer Foundation and Pumpaid.

Some of Mr. McConnell’s time is spent in London to meet or receive briefings from senior FCO, DfID and MOD officials and to see London-based experts on conflict.

Mr. McConnell has recently met the Prime Minister, and visited the Foreign and Commonwealth office on 1 February 2009, 15 February 2009, 3 March 2009, 5 March 2009, 9 March 2009, 23 March 2009, 9 April 2009, 19 April 2009, 11 May 2009, 9 June 2009, 28 June 2009, 7 July 2009, 18 August 2009, 10 September 2009, 12 October 2009, and 26 October 2009.

Counter-Terrorism: International Cooperation

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much of the $750 million pledged by the UK to the Global Threat Reduction Strategy under the Global Partnership has been spent; and what the budget allocation is for each year up to 2012, broken down by project. (295334)

[holding answer 26 October 2009]: As detailed in the published Sixth Annual Report of the Global Threat Reduction Programme (GTRP) (2008), of the $750 million pledged by the UK in 2002 to the Global Partnership fund, £270 million had been spent by the end of 2008. Figures for 2009 will be published in the 2009 annual report. At the last comprehensive spending review, the GTRP budget was set at £36.5 million per annum for the three years 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11.

In a speech earlier this year, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister stated that funding would remain at this level for ‘the foreseeable future’. A breakdown of expenditure to the end of 2008 in the key project areas, also detailed in the Sixth Annual Report, is set out in the following table. An update of spending by project will be provided in the 2009 annual report. The GTRP Ministerial Oversight Board meeting in November is scheduled to approve budget allocations for future years.

Project

£ million

Chernobyl Shelter Project

36.668

Nuclear Safety Programme

23.256

Physical Protection of Proliferation of Sensitive Nuclear Materials

25.161

Decommissioning in CEE/FSU

7.86

Closed Nuclear Cities Partnership

28.28

North West Russia

97.088

KEDO

4.44

UK Support for Decommissioning BN350 Reactor, Aktau, Kazakhstan

5.736

Social and Economic Consequences of Nuclear Power Plant Closure

4.234

Information Dissemination and Programme Publicity

0.295

Plutonium Reactor Closure Project

10.93

Chemical Weapon Projects at Shchuch'ye

16.20

Contractor Project Management and Set-up Cost

2.62

Support to Green Cross Office, and Other Projects

0.64

Biological Projects

2.04

C WD Project Management and Support

3.38

Biological Project Management and Support

1.41

Global Threat Reduction Programme Expenditure total

270.238

The full report is available to download at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/uk_supply/energy_mix/nuclear/nonprolif/global_threat/annual_report/annual_report.aspx

Departmental Motor Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent on hire vehicles in each of the last five financial years. (291610)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and FCO Services, a trading fund of the FCO, spend on hire vehicles in each of the last three financial years is as detailed in the table. We do not have figures for earlier years.

Financial year

Spend (£)

Coaches:

2008-09

60,026.41

2007-08

95,274.76

2006-07

18,794.17

Hired Cars:

2008-09

160,316.00

2007-08

121,011.77

2006-07

130,770.60

Departmental Postal Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which companies are under contract to his Department to provide mail services; and when each such contract expires. (296088)

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Services has a logistics contract that covers diplomatic mail services with DHL Global Forwarding (UK) Ltd. Their current contract expires on 1 October 2010.

Departmental Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many helplines his Department operates; and how much his Department has received from the operation of such helplines in each of the last three years. (294980)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) operates a travel advice telephone information line and does not receive any financial gain from this service.

In addition, in a consular crisis overseas the FCO can release an emergency telephone number for members of the public to use to report the possible involvement of friends or relatives. The FCO does not charge for this service.

Embassies

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which consulates he has visited in the last six months. (296229)

The Cabinet Office produces an annual list of overseas travel by Ministers. A list of all overseas visits undertaken by Ministers costing £500 or more during the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009 was published in July and copies of the list have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Travel undertaken by Ministers in the last six months will be included in next year's list.

Horn of Africa: EU

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 14 September 2009, Official Report, column 2172, on the Horn of Africa: United Nations, what the outcome was of the European Union discussions in September on the appointment of a Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa. (293765)

A final decision has not been made on the appointment of an EU special representative to the Horn of Africa, but the issue was discussed briefly within the wider Somalia context at EU working group level on several occasions in September 2009. EU member states continue to endorse the conclusions from the General Affairs and External Relations Council of July 2009 and the possible appointment of a special representative continues to be viewed positively.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how soon he expects good governance to be achieved in the Turks and Caicos Islands; and what steps he is taking to support this. (294941)

[holding answer 26 October 2009]: A UK-funded governance adviser has been involved in a major review and restructuring of the Turks and Caicos Islands' public service. Work is underway to strengthen a number of areas of public sector delivery including establishing the right balance between ministries and independent public boards to conduct the Government's business, and identifying technical expertise necessary to make the administration fit for purpose. The Government have also funded the National School of Government to provide Senior Leader Development training.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures his Department has put in place to ensure sound financial management in the Turks and Caicos Islands following the publication of Sir Robin Auld's final report on alleged corruption in that country. (294942)

[holding answer 26 October 2009]: A range of UK-funded advisers have been appointed, including an economist, an auditor and two public financial management experts. They have worked with Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) public servants to carry out a full review of the TCI Government's finances. Measures have been put in place to limit public expenditure, increase revenue and bring the Islands' debt under control. These have been included in a new budget which also reflects the restructuring of the public service. The rationale behind the new budget is to provide breathing space for the introduction of the more fundamental reforms needed to ensure transparency, accountability and sustainability in the management of public finances.

Uganda: Armed Conflict

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the districts where troops of the Lords Resistance Army are operating. (292519)

According to reports that we have recently received, the Lords Resistance Army’s main areas of activity are in Southern Sudan (mostly in Western Equatoria State), the Democratic Republic of Congo (the Haut-Uele in the Orientale province) and the Central African Republic (Haut-Mbomou prefecture).

United Nations: Festivals and Special Occasions

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what events in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) overseas territories took place on 24 October 2009 to celebrate United Nations Day. (295663)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is not informed of all events commemorating UN day across the UK or in the Overseas Territories. However, to mark UN Day 2009, my noble Friend Baroness Kinnock, FCO Minister for the UN, will host a reception for members of the UN Association-UK’s young professionals network at the FCO on 28 October 2009. The reception will give young professionals from across the vocational spectrum the opportunity to hear about the ways in which the UK supports the work of the UN. Baroness Kinnock has also paid tribute to the UN and its staff by posting a message on the FCO website.

UN Association-UK have marked UN Day through a range of activities. These included fundraising events to support the UN’s humanitarian work, UN flag-raising ceremonies, conferences and speaker events, as well as the launch of its annual lobby of Parliament which aims to promote dialogue between voters and MPs on UN issues. Other events across the country include, UN ‘flag day’ collections (London and the South East of England), Celebration of UN Day and the International Year of Astronomy (Northern Ireland), UN Day talk on Israel and Palestine (Warwick), UN Day service (Shropshire) and UN Day ceremony (Harpenden).

Home Department

62 South Eaton Place

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 14 July 2009, Official Report, column 310W, on 62 South Eaton Place, how many viewings of 62 South Eaton Place there have been since the property was placed on the market. (294362)

Alcoholic Drinks: Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drink banning orders had been made on the latest date for which figures are available. (294425)

Drinking banning orders (DBOs) on application were commenced on 31 August 2009. Official statistics for 2009 are planned for publication in autumn 2010.

Animal Experiments: Primates

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many procedures carried out on animals in Scotland in 2008 under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 involved (a) New World primates and (b) Old World primates; and what the primary purposes of those procedures were. (295693)

The total number of scientific procedures started using New World Primates in Scotland in 2008 was 37, of which the primary purpose was fundamental biological research for 29 procedures and applied studies—human medicine or dentistry for eight procedures. The number of scientific procedures started using Old World Primates was 1,277, for all of which the primary purpose was applied studies—human medicine or dentistry.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders: Bassetlaw

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders have been issued on application from (a) the police force and (b) registered social landlords in Bassetlaw constituency. (296285)

The information requested is not available centrally.

Information collected centrally by the Ministry of Justice on the number of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) issued is not broken down by individual applicant and not available below criminal justice system (CJS) area level.

The total number of ASBO issued on application in the Nottinghamshire CJS area from 1 April 1999 to 31 December 2007 (latest available) is 158.

Crime: West Yorkshire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of (a) alcohol- and (b) drug-related crime were recorded in (i) Leeds West constituency, (ii) Leeds City and (iii) West Yorkshire in each year since 2005. (295361)

The data requested on incidents are not collected centrally. However, the British Crime Survey provides figures for violent incidents where the victim believes the offender was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This information is provided in the following table.

Violent incidents where the victim believed the offender(s) to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, 1995 to 2008-09

Percentages and numbers (thousand)—BCS

Statistically significant change

Offender(s) perceived to be under the influence of:1

1995

1997

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

1995 to 2008-09

2007-08 to 2008-09

Proportion of all violent incidents2

Alcohol

41

43

48

45

51

49

45

46

46

47

**

Drugs

16

18

21

20

20

18

23

17

19

17

Unweighted

1,078

915

1,285

1,397

1,398

1,455

1,512

1,658

1,477

1,449

Number of violent incidents(thousand)

Alcohol

1,656

1,457

1,244

1,177

1,299

1,105

1,023

1,087

971

973

**

Drugs

655

603

549

544

474

390

531

398

390

334

**

Unweighted

16,348

14,947

32,824

36,479

37,931

45,120

47,729

47,138

46,903

46,220

1 Questions asked only if the victim was able to say something about the offender(s), and if there was more than one offender, victims were asked if any of the offenders were perceived to be under the influence. Questions were not asked if any offender(s) were perceived to be under school age.

2 ‘All violence’ includes wounding, assault with minor injury, assault without injury and robbery. See section 5 of volume 2 for more information.

Notes:

For an explanation of year-labels see ‘Conventions used in figures and tables’ at the start of this volume.

Taken from table 3.16 at the following link:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs09/hosb1109chap3.xls

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many private colleges of further education have been denied registration for the purpose of student visas since the introduction of the points-based scheme. (294011)

In total 188 educational establishments have been denied registration under tier 4 of the points based system, with only one being a private college of further education.

Entry Clearances: Pakistan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what targets apply for timescales for processing visa applications at the British consulate in Islamabad. (293611)

[holding answer 16 October 2009]: The UK Border Agency's agreed target times for processing visa applications, including those received by the Visa Section in Islamabad, are published on its Visa Services website:

www.ukvisa.gov.uk .

They are:

To complete 90 per cent. of straightforward, non-settlement applications in not more than a week, 98 per cent. in not more than two weeks, and 100 per cent. in not more 12 weeks.

To complete 90 per cent. of non-straightforward, non-settlement applications in not more than three weeks, 98 per cent. in not more than six weeks and 100 per cent. in not more than 12 weeks.

To complete 95 per cent. of applications for settlement visas in not more than 12 weeks and 100 per cent. in not more 24 weeks.

The quarterly performance against these targets of each visa processing centre is also published on the website.

We are aware that these targets are not being met in respect of applications made in Islamabad and are therefore taking urgent action to rectify this.

Firearms: Essex

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) handguns, (b) sawn-off shotguns and (c) unmodified shotguns were (i) used in crimes and (ii) confiscated in the Essex Constabulary area in each of the last five years. (295313)

Available data relate to crimes recorded by the police in Essex in which handguns, sawn-off shotguns and long-barrelled shotguns were reported to have been used, from 2003-04 up to and including 2007-08 and are shown in the following table.

Information on confiscated firearms is not available centrally.

Firearms are taken to be involved in a crime if they are fired, used as a blunt instrument, or used as a threat.

Crimes recorded by the police in Essex in which handguns, sawn-off shotguns and long-barrelled shotguns were reported to have been used, 2003-04 to 2007-08—Number of offences

Recorded crime

Principal weapon

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Handgun

84

37

76

86

66

Sawn-off shotgun

6

3

4

8

7

Long-barrelled shotgun

18

5

13

11

14

Forensic Science Service

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions have been held between his Department, the Forensic Science Service (FSS) and chief constables on the proposed closure of FSS centres. (295988)

Such discussions have been a matter for FSS Ltd. The FSS is moving to the new structure in response to the requirements of customers, in line with the new National Forensic Procurement Framework. Consequently, it has consulted closely with customers. This has included corresponding with all chief constables in England and Wales to keep them informed of progress. With a number of chief constables, there have also been informal discussions, at the invitation of the then executive chairman.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria have been taken into account when assessing the costs and benefits of closing forensic science centres. (295990)

The new national structure will be based around four primary sites and a number of factors were carefully considered when selecting the sites to support this structure.

One of the main considerations was the co-location of body fluid examination with DNA analytical facilities to meet the FSS’ customers’ needs. DNA analytical facilities are currently based at Huntingdon, London, Trident Court and Wetherby.

Other considerations include available laboratory space, ability to deliver National Framework, resilient team sizes, response to scenes, mix of skills, alignment to the new structure and the presence of a business stream on at least two sites.

Identity Cards

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many identity card readers he expects to be provided for use by the general population; what estimate he has made of the cost of such readers; and what plans he has to determine the location of such readers. (294290)

Identity cards issued to British citizens can be used for travel in the European Economic Area, and so can already be read, in the same way as machine readable passports, at border controls at all significant points of entry to the United Kingdom. While identity card readers are likely to be used very widely eventually, there will need to be a critical mass of identity cards in use before this becomes feasible.

However, we have published information on how to recognise the new identity cards, and their security features and so anyone presented with an identity card will be able to verify the card by conducting a visual or tactile check of the card, without the need to invest in specialist equipment. As the number of identity cards in circulation builds up, we will continue to explore opportunities with the commercial sector and Government agencies for reader based identity services.

Motorcycles: Registration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy and effectiveness of the regulatory regime affecting off-road bikes. (295920)

[holding answer 27 October 2009]: No assessment has been made of the adequacy and effectiveness of the regulatory regime affecting off-road bikes. There is a range of powers available to tackle the misuse of off-road bikes, such as restrictions on legal use, warnings from a police officer for riding antisocially, and seizing and crushing bikes if riders ignore warnings.

Three independent reports have confirmed our approach to tackling antisocial behaviour is working. The National Audit Office reported that two thirds of people stop committing ASB after one intervention rising to nine out of 10 ceasing after three interventions. The Home Office has commissioned an evaluation of the comparative effectiveness of ASB interventions. It is expected to report in the spring.

North Yorkshire Police: Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the North Yorkshire police authority has spent in (a) cash and (b) real terms in each year since 1996-97. (295226)

The information requested is shown in the following table.

North Yorkshire police authority expenditure

Gross expenditure (£ millions)1

Cash terms

Real terms

1996-97

69

52

1997-98

74

57

1998-99

79

62

1999-2000

82

66

2000-01

89

72

2001-02

101

84

2002-03

100

85

2003-04

106

93

2004-05

118

107

2005-06

139

128

2006-07

158

150

2007-08

154

150

2008-092

150

150

1 Figures quoted from CIPFA statistics 1996-97—2008-09

2 Estimate

Offences Against Children

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what treatment programmes are made available to those convicted of offences of child abuse. (288879)

I have been asked to reply.

The National Offender Management Service delivers a broad range of interventions to address the particular risks and treatment needs of offenders that may benefit those convicted of offences of child abuse, depending on the circumstances of the particular case.

For those offenders convicted of child abuse, including sexual abuse, there are accredited programmes to address their offending behaviour, provided the offenders are assessed as suitable for participating in the programmes. In addition, there are accredited programmes and other interventions to address factors which may contribute to offending behaviour, such as alcohol or drug problems.

The responsibility for the commissioning of services including offending behaviour programmes now rests with the Directors of Offender Management. It is for them to commission services which meet the need to address the offending behaviour of offenders and the requirements of sentencers in their area.

Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the merits of reducing from 16 to 14 the age at which section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 applies. (295164)

The current age limit on directions to leave significantly limits their effectiveness as a tool for preventing alcohol related crime and disorder because it prevents the police from dealing with groups of young people of mixed ages. Clause 31 of the Policing and Crime Bill reduces the minimum age at which directions to leave can be issued from 16 to 10 so that the police can deal with all young people who are likely to be involved in crime and disorder and not just older children.

Energy and Climate Change

Climate Change

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which (a) UK Ministers and (b) Ministers from devolved administrations, will be included in the UK delegation to the UN framework convention on climate change conference in Copenhagen. (293422)

The Department has not yet determined the full composition of the UK delegation, so we cannot say with certainty how many Ministers or officials will be included. This will depend largely on the state of international negotiations at the time of the conference. However, we would anticipate that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I will attend.

Ministers from devolved Administrations will not be attending as part of the UK delegation, though they have been invited to nominate an official to join the delegation if they wish to.

Power Factor Correction: Capital Allowances

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for what reasons Power Factor Correction is not included in the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme; and whether he plans to include Power Factor Correction in the scheme. (293823)

Power Factor Correction (PFC) was considered for the Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme (ECA) in 2006, but not included because it was concluded that existing instruments provided a more effective incentive for the use of PFC.

We do not have plans to include PFC equipment in the ECA scheme, but if a new application to add PFC to the scheme were made, the Carbon Trust would reassess its suitability before advising DECC.

Wales

Christmas

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many Christmas functions arranged by his Department (a) he and (b) officials of his Department (i) hosted and (ii) attended in 2008; what the cost to the public purse was; and if he will make a statement. (295451)

My predecessor, the right hon. Member for Torfaen (Mr. Murphy), hosted one Christmas function at a cost of £1,054.05. Officials did not attend this reception.

Northern Ireland

Police

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he plans to take to assess public opinion on the adequacy of police coverage across the district command units of Northern Ireland. (293654)

A key role for the Policing Board and District Policing Partnerships is to engage directly with the public on policing matters, and to gauge public views on policing. This includes surveys on satisfaction levels with police patrols in local areas. In April 2009 the Policing Board published results of its Omnibus Survey ‘Public perceptions of the police, DPPs and the Northern Ireland Policing Board’. This survey found that 42 per cent. of respondents were very/fairly satisfied with the levels of police patrols in their local area.

Police Service of Northern Ireland: Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans the police in Northern Ireland have to inform persons interested in applying for police careers that from 2011 all applicants are to be treated on their merits alone. (295925)

The temporary 50:50 recruitment provisions will remain in force until the Government's target of 30 per cent. Catholic composition within PSNI regulars has been achieved. It is anticipated that this will occur before March 2011. After the provisions have ended, recruitment to the PSNI will operate on the same legal basis as to other occupations. It will be for the Chief Constable and the recruitment agent to decide how this message will be communicated to potential applicants in the future.

Culture, Media and Sport

Cultural Heritage