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Written Answers

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 2 December 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Culture, Media and Sport

Capita

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on how many occasions Capita Group plc tendered for contracts let by his Department in each of the last five years; how many such tenders were successful; how much his Department paid to Capita Group plc for the execution of contracts in each such year; how many contracts which terminate after 2010 Capita Group plc hold with his Department; and what the monetary value is of all outstanding contracts between his Department and Capita Group plc. (303153)

The Capita Group plc have tendered for contracts let by the Department in the last five years as follows:

Number

2008-09

1

2007-08

2

2006-07

0

2005-06

1

2004-05

3

Two of these tenders were successful, both in 2007-08. These were to carry out an executive search role to appoint the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Sport England and to provide the Department with a flight travel booking service.

Capita were paid £29,250 for the executive search contract in 2007-08. For the flight travel booking service the following has been paid:

2007-08: £31,234

2008-09: £127,235

Neither of these contracts will terminate after 2010.

There is no outstanding amount with reference to the executive search contract, while the flight travel booking service does not have an outstanding monetary value associated as this will be dependent upon the number of flights booked within the remaining term of the contract.

Christmas

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much (a) his Department and (b) its agency has spent on Christmas (i) cards, (ii) parties and (iii) decorations in the last 12-months. (303843)

My Department (i) produced an e-card using internal services, (ii) used no official funds for departmental Christmas parties and (iii) spent £559.44 on undressed Christmas trees (decorations were reused from previous years) for Christmas 2008.

The Royal Parks (i) spent £200 on Christmas e-cards, (ii) had their staff Christmas party paid for by The Royal Parks directors and (iii) spent no money on decorations in the last 12 months.

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether his Department has entered into any contracts with Siemens or its subsidiaries since February 2009. (303763)

The Department for Culture Media and Sport does not hold any contracts with Siemens or its subsidiaries.

Departmental Information Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many full-time equivalent press officers (a) are employed by and (b) work for his Department. (303595)

There are nine full-time equivalent press officers employed by the Department and one full-time equivalent currently on secondment from another Government Department.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) year end and (b) in year bonuses were paid to officials in his Department in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08; how many in year bonuses were paid in 2008-09; and how much was paid out in bonuses in each year. (301015)

The Department makes non-consolidated performance payments to its employees for two purposes: (a) year end non-consolidated performance payments to reward highly successful performance over a whole year; and (b) in year non-consolidated performance payments to reward outstanding contributions in particularly demanding tasks or situations. These figures cover all civil servants on standard terms. They are exclusive of two key senior staff in the Government Olympic Executive, who were appointed on non-standard terms with fixed term contracts ending in 2012 and whose remuneration reflects extensive relevant experience and the unique challenge of delivering the Olympics to a fixed deadline. Details of their remuneration were published in the departmental annual reports and accounts 2009. The data are set out in the table.

Number of year end non-consolidated performance payments

Number of in year non-consolidated performance payments

Total amount paid out (£)

2008-09

219

178

517,167

2007-08

235

144

520,713

2006-07

149

96

392,114

Departmental Taxis

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many miles (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have travelled by taxi in the course of their official duties in each year since 1997; and at what cost to the public purse in each such year. (302701)

All official travel is undertaken in accordance with rules set out in the Department's staff guide under Travel and Subsistence and is consistent with the civil service management code. Travel by Ministers is in respect of their ministerial duties and complies with guidance set out in the Ministerial Code.

The Department's records relating to expenditure and mileage on taxis are not analysed by the categories requested and to provide this would incur disproportionate cost.

As part of monitoring the Department's carbon emissions, the Department's supplier has provided the overall mileage incurred for pre-booked taxis since 2006-07. These details are set out in the following table. Records for earlier years and for hailed taxis are not available.

The total expenditure incurred by the Department on taxis since 1998-99, the earliest year for which information is readily available, is also set out in the table.

Financial year

Amount (£)

Mileage (pre-booked taxis only)

2008-09

32,179

7,276

2007-08

36,359

9,287

2006-07

38,421

6,002

2005-06

21,759

2004-05

22,157

2003-04

21,878

2002-03

16,109

2001-02

20,812

2000-01

26,415

1999-2000

21,686

1998-99

15,891

These figures represent expenditure on taxis and black cabs but exclude expenditure in respect of ministerial car service provided by The Government Car and Despatch Agency. In addition, some expenditure on taxis and black cabs included under general travel and subsistence account cannot be separately identified except at disproportionate cost.

Digital Broadcasting: Video Equipment

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people have lost functionality of video recorders as a result of the digital switchover in (a) East Devon, (b) Devon and (c) England. (303448)

Digital television services can be recorded using any standard recording device including video recorders (VCR). Therefore, in terms of recording functions, no one should lose functionality of their VCR after switchover. However, in areas where digital switchover has taken place, any VCR with an analogue tuner will not be able to independently record one digital channel while the TV receiver is tuned to another digital channel.

For Devon, Digital UK has estimated that around 1 per cent. of homes experienced problems with independent recording following switchover in the region. It is too early in the switchover process to quote figures for England.

Gambling: Addiction

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the number of problem gamblers requiring specialist treatment; and what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of voluntary contributions from the gambling industry for the treatment of problem gambling. (303708)

The British Gambling Prevalence Survey (BGPS) 2007 estimated that 0.6 per cent. of the adult population are categorised as problem gamblers, however the Department does not hold data on the number of problem gamblers requiring specialist treatment.

The gambling industry has agreed to provide a minimum of £5 million each year over three years to fund the research, education and treatment of problem gambling. The Department continues to monitor progress against the agreed funding targets.

KBR

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether his Department has entered into any contracts with Kellogg, Brown and Root or its subsidiaries since January 2009. (303343)

The Department has not entered into any contracts with Kellogg, Brown and Root or its subsidiaries.

Pyramid Selling

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many representations his Department has received alleging breaches of the prohibition on chain-gifting under section 43 of the Gambling Act 2005 since the entry into force of that provision; and whether any prosecutions have been made for offences under that section. (302842)

My Department has not received any representations alleging breaches of the prohibition on chain gifting under section 43 of the Gambling Act 2005 since the provisions came into force. Information regarding any prosecutions for offences under that section would be held by the Ministry of Justice.

Sports: East of England

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many sports and leisure facilities there are in each (a) district and (b) unitary local authority area in the Eastern region. (303185)

The information requested is as follows:

Local authority

Number of facilities

Babergh District

191

Basildon District

247

Bedford District

433

Braintree District

247

Breckland District

210

Brentwood District

180

Broadland District

189

Broxbourne District

151

Cambridge District

248

Castle Point District

132

Chelmsford District

358

City of Peterborough

232

Colchester District

343

Dacorum District

378

East Cambridgeshire District

180

East Hertfordshire District

313

Epping Forest District

244

Fenland District

152

Forest Heath District

83

Great Yarmouth District

137

Harlow District

137

Hertsmere District

269

Huntingdonshire District

310

Ipswich District

210

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk District

250

Luton

256

Maldon district

99

Mid Bedfordshire District

306

Mid Suffolk District

218

North Hertfordshire district

273

North Norfolk District

216

Norwich District

155

Rochford District

150

South Bedfordshire District

251

South Cambridgeshire District

343

South Norfolk District

287

Southend-on-Sea

266

St. Albans District

373

St. Edmundsbury District

236

Stevenage District

136

Suffolk Coastal District

323

Tendring District

177

Three Rivers District

184

Thurrock

236

Uttlesford District

189

Watford District

125

Waveney District

197

Welwyn Hatfield District

209

Total

11,029

Note:

The number of facilities is not the same as the number of sites: there may be more than one facility on any given site.

Defence

Armed Forces: Cadets

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what funding will be disbursed to the army cadet programme in (a) 2009, (b) 2010 and (c) 2011; (300759)

(2) whether he plans further to reduce the budget of the army cadet programme;

(3) what his most recent assessment is of the likely effects on recruitment to the army cadet programme of reductions in its budget.

[holding answer 23 November 2009]: The funding disbursed to the army cadet programme in 2009 was £42.46 million. In-year savings have reduced this amount by £4 million.

Planning is under way across the Army for next and future financial years but it is too early to say what the outcome of this will be.

We are extremely grateful to the adult cadet instructors for their commitment and dedication. As a result of their leadership, the vast majority of cadet detachments are riding out the temporary difficulties caused by the reduction in the Army Cadet Force budget this year.

Armed Forces: Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military Land Rovers are deployed in Northern Ireland. (302822)

Departmental Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of maintaining his Department's website in the 2008-09 financial year; and what the forecast cost is of maintaining websites within his responsibility in the 2009-10 financial year. (302414)

The Ministry of Defence and armed forces collectively maintain four corporate websites. Identified direct expenditure on running these in the financial year 2008-09 was as detailed in the following table. This analysis complies with the guidance issued by COI on the methodology for identifying website costs in response to a Public Accounts Committee recommendation1.

1 Public Account Committee Sixteenth Report;

http://www.publications.parliament.Uk/pa/cm200708/cmselect/cmpubacc/143/l4302.htm

Website

URL

FY 2008-09 (£)

FY 2009-101 (£)

MOD Corporate Website

www.mod.uk

464,853

485,3052

Royal Navy

www.royalnavy.mod.uk

283,000

283,000

British Army

www.army.mod.uk

501,814

n/a3

Royal Air Force

www.raf.mod.uk

425,241

423,663

1 Forecast costs for 2009-10 are based on the best available information.

2 Excludes some external support costs which cannot be separated out from costs incurred in support of the internal Defence Intranet.

3 Projected costs for FY 2009-10 are not available as the rationalisation of Army websites is in the scoping phase and costs are being defined. It is likely to be in the region of £1.35 million.

A number of other websites are run by different parts of the Ministry of Defence, but these are not managed centrally. This information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Geneva Conventions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what advice his Department gives British troops in theatre on their requirements under the Geneva Convention. (303565)

Aspects of the Geneva Convention are applied throughout military training and will be bolstered before deployment to an operational theatre by further mandatory training, common across all the Services. Irrespective of the theatre to which a person is deploying, specific training based on the Geneva Convention as applied to UK law must be fulfilled. This training includes: compliance with operational law, such as the legal basis for operations, the law of armed conflict, the application of the rules of engagement, the use of force, prisoner handling, understanding the powers of stop and search and the powers of arrest; culture and language training, including cultural awareness; firepower training, including identifying and engaging targets and reacting to fire control orders; and protection training, including procedures for challenging and reaction to direct and indirect attack.

All deployed personnel are issued a rules of engagement card, which specifies exactly the aspects of the law that allows them to conduct operations and react to hostile action.

Role specific training that covers the pertinent application of the Geneva Convention is also undertaken. For example, dedicated prisoner handling teams and medics are briefed in depth of their responsibilities that may be in addition to those usually held.

Trained and qualified lawyers are deployed on all standing operations and are an integral part of the targeting process, are consulted on all forms of the conduct of operations and are available for specialist queries if doubt exists.

Royal Military Academy: Admissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people have applied for a place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in each month of the last five years; and how many of those applications were rejected in each such month. (302826)

The following table provides the number of applicants who attended the three and half day Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB) and those that were successful.

Financial year

Those that having applied to join the Army were invited to attend AOSB

Those that were successful at AOSB

2009-10 to date

613

294

2008-09

1,482

816

2007-08

1,068

608

2006-07

1,602

843

2005-06

1,531

865

2004-05

1,140

604

Those that are found unsuccessful at any stage of the officer recruitment process will be given feedback on where they have not met the required standard. Those who attend AOSB and are unsuccessful are rarely rejected outright. Their application will usually remain open, should they at some point decide to re-apply.

These figures do not include: serving soldiers applying to become officers, potential Gurkha officers, Territorial Army applicants or professionally qualified officer applicants (doctors, lawyers, etc).

Somalia: Piracy

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to contribute to measures to deter piracy in the Gulf of Aden in the last five years; what contribution his Department has received from the governments of (a) Kenya and (b) the Seychelles in such effects; and what steps are available to armed forces personnel upon detection of an act of piracy on the Gulf of Aden. (300484)

We are taking the situation off the coast of Somalia very seriously and have played an important role in developing the military response to pirate activity. We have key command roles within all of the international task forces and continue to develop our strategies in line with changing operational and political requirements. Piracy is a symptom of wider instability in Somalia and the MOD continues to work comprehensively with other Government Departments and the International community as part of a coherent strategy to address the root causes of piracy.

The UK is providing a sizeable contribution to the military effort in the region and has a leading role in countering pirate activity off the coast of Somalia:

MOD has been at the forefront of the European Union mission—Operation Atalanta—since it was introduced in December 2008, providing the Operation Commander, the Operation HQ at Northwood, and a frigate for the first period of the operation.

The Royal Navy has a long standing commitment of frigates and a tanker to the Combined Maritime Force conducting maritime security operations in the region.

The Royal Navy is a contributor to the Standing NATO Maritime Groups, which at present are rotationally undertaking NATO’s counter piracy mission—Operation Ocean Shield. The UK currently has command of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2.

The Royal Navy manned UK Maritime Trade Organisation has been supporting Merchant Vessels transiting through the region since 2001.

The UK has a bilateral arrangement with the Kenyan and Seychellois Governments which allows the transfer of suspected pirates for prosecution. Kenya is currently prosecuting eight suspected pirates detained by a Royal Navy vessel. We are very grateful for their ongoing support.

Royal Navy vessels and coalition forces in the region seek to deter and disrupt pirate activity. Specifically, Royal Navy vessels can actively search for suspected pirate vessels. The Royal Navy can also take robust action to come to the aid of a victim vessel under attack by pirates in international waters. This can again range from deterring and disrupting the attack to the use of reasonable force to defend the victims. However, the safety of any hostages involved remains paramount.

If suspected pirates are encountered, a decision will be made by the UK Maritime Component Commander, based on legal advice, on whether or not they could be transferred to a regional state for prosecution. If there is insufficient evidence to be confident of a successful prosecution, they will be released. Any piracy equipment found, such as ladders and weapons will be seized and disposed of accordingly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many pirates have been apprehended by UK forces off the Somalia coast; whether prosecutions have been brought against any of them; and if he will make a statement. (301402)

To date, eight suspected Somali pirates have been detained by the Royal Navy and transferred to Kenya for prosecution. A further 53 suspected pirates have been encountered during boarding operations. However, following detailed analysis of all physical evidence and witness statements, all suspects were released as it was assessed that there was insufficient evidence to be reasonably confident that a successful prosecution could be undertaken in either Kenya or (more recently) Seychelles. The subsequent destruction of any pirate equipment and weapons serves as a disruption measure and prevents their future use.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Subsidies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the European Commission on the effectiveness of controls over payments under the 2005 and 2006 Single Farm Payment schemes. (303425)

The Department has, in the normal way, been in regular discussion with the European Commission to follow up audits of the 2005 and 2006 Single Payment Schemes. However, no definitive conclusions have been reached to date and further discussions are expected in due course.

Badgers

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many licences to move badger setts English Nature has issued in each of the last 10 years. (302760)

Policy on wildlife management issues is a devolved matter, therefore this answer relates to England only.

Since it was formed in October 2006, Natural England has issued all licences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Prior to this the licensing responsibility was split between English Nature and DEFRA depending upon the purpose for which the licence was to be issued.

Licences are not issued to move badger setts, but to trap and move badgers. The number of licences issued each year since 2001 is as follows:

Number of licenses

2008

0

2007

1

2006

0

2005

1

2004

1

2003

2

2002

0

2001

2

Records are unavailable prior to 2001. The 2007 licence was issued by Natural England. The licences from 2001 to 2005 were issued by DEFRA.

Forests

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has for the implementation of the recommendation of the recent report commissioned by the Forestry Commission for an additional four per cent. of the United Kingdom's land to be planted with new woodland. (303437)

Forestry is a devolved matter so plans for woodland creation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a matter for the respective governments. In England DEFRA and the Forestry Commission are working with key stakeholders to develop a framework to encourage an enhanced woodland creation programme. This work is being undertaken to respond to the potential for woodland creation to deliver emissions abatement as outlined in the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan and to the announcement that 'the Government would support a new drive to encourage private funding for woodland creation'. Progress on this work will be outlined in DEFRA's Climate Change Plan early next year.

Livestock: Antibiotics

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate he has made of the level of use of the practice of using antibiotics as a surrogate for growth promoters in livestock. (303620)

Following the ban of antimicrobial growth promoters by the EU in 2006, DEFRA is not aware of any evidence to suggest that farmers are using antibiotics as replacements for antimicrobial growth promoters.

Poultry: Animal Welfare

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what discussions he has had with the European Commission on potential or actual applications by EU member states for additional time to phase out conventional laying cages for hens; (301717)

(2) what progress has been made on discussions on the introduction of an intra-Community trade ban on eggs and egg products produced by hens housed in conventional cages after 1 January 2012; and if he will make a statement.

The Government are committed to supporting the egg industry during this transitional period and DEFRA officials are continuing to press the Commission and work alongside the industry and any like-minded member states to ensure that everything is done to maintain the ban on eggs and egg products produced by hens housed in conventional cages across the EU. We will continue to discuss this within wider meetings of the commission and other member states.

We have not heard of any applications by other member states for a delay to the ban. However, we have asked the commission to be ready should any such applications be made: to provide sufficient enforcement controls to ensure the ban can be enforced appropriately so that compliant producers and member states are protected from negative impacts of any non-compliance.

At the meeting of the Standing Committee of Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) held on the 30 November, the commission made it clear to all member states that the ban stands and that it must be implemented in full on 1 January 2012, otherwise member states would risk facing infraction proceedings.

Rodents

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 11 June 2009, Official Report, column 961W, on rats, if he will assess the implications for his Department's policies of reports of rising trends in rat numbers; and if he will make a statement. (302782)

With reference to the answer of 11 June 2009, Official Report, column 961W, on rats: the English House Condition Survey did not show a rising trend in rat numbers. Under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1954, local authorities have a duty to take such steps as may be necessary to secure so far as practicable that their district is kept free from rats. We have no plans to change this.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 11 June 2009, Official Report, column 961W, on rats, when officials of his Department last met the UK pest control industry's Rodenticide Resistant Action Group; and if he will make a statement. (302783)

DEFRA is not a member of the Rodenticide Resistant Action Group and does not attend its meetings. However, Natural England's Wildlife Management and Licensing Service does attend meetings as a member of the group and it provides DEFRA with expert advice with regard to operational aspects of wildlife management.

Rural Development Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what projects have been funded by regional development agencies under the (a) Axis 1 and (b) Axis 3 of the Rural Development programme for England since the programme began; and how much funding was awarded for each project. (302640)

The information requested is not obtainable within the time available. I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House.

Thames Water and Yorkshire Water: Sewers

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 16 June 2009, Official Report, column 156W, on rodents, whether his Department has reviewed the revised sewer protocols of Thames Water and Yorkshire Water and their respective local authorities; and if he will make a statement. (302784)

DEFRA has not reviewed the revised sewer protocols of Thames Water and Yorkshire Water and their respective local authorities. The protocols provide a mechanism for improved communication and co-ordination between the two privatised water companies and their respective local authorities with regard to the control of rats in sewers.

Water Supply

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if his Department will take steps to ensure water companies are responsible for water supply pipes to homes. (302112)

Water companies are responsible for water mains and the supply pipes that run to the boundary of individual properties. Householders are responsible for the pipes within their curtilage. The Government have no plans to change these arrangements.

Water: Meters

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many water meters were installed by water supply companies in households in West Derbyshire constituency in the last three years. (303190)

The following table shows the number of meters installed by Severn Trent Water, the water and sewerage service provider for West Derbyshire, over the last three years.

Household meter installation

Meters installed

2006-07

38,594

2007-08

33,215

2008-09

44,331

Ofwat, the economic regulator of the water and sewerage industry, does not collect information on the numbers of meters installed by constituency and so this information is given for the whole area covered by Severn Trent Water.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

China: Milk

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Chinese authorities on tainted milk in that country. (303571)

Although my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not had any discussions with the Chinese authorities on tainted milk, my noble Friend the Minister of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Lord Davies of Abersoch, and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) officials have raised with them the claims by UK companies for compensation against Chinese suppliers of products containing tainted milk.

Separately, the Department for International Development have recently signed a UK-China Food Safety Action Plan and are working with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and relevant partners on improving agricultural collaboration.

Devolved Administrations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions he has had discussions with the representatives of devolved administrations in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland in an official capacity since devolution took place. (303563)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not maintain a comprehensive record of all contact between the current and previous Foreign Secretaries and representatives of the Devolved Administrations since the devolution settlement. There would be disproportionate costs incurred to provide this information.

Driving

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what mechanisms are in place to ensure that staff who drive (a) a vehicle for which (i) his Department and (ii) one of its executive agencies is responsible have valid driving licences and (b) their own vehicles in the course of their official duties for (A) his Department and (B) one of its executive agencies have valid driving licences and insurance; what guidance is issued to those staff in respect of road safety while carrying out official duties; what steps are taken to monitor compliance with that guidance; what requirements there are on such staff to report to their line managers accidents in which they are involved while driving in the course of their official duties; and whether such reports are investigated. (302167)

The following mechanisms are in place covering those staff using UK fleet vehicles for which Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Services is responsible:

The Transport Management Team request and hold copies on file of driving licences of all FCO staff who require hire of official vehicles and visual checks are carried out every six months. This is in line with Freight Transport Association (FTA) regulations.

Staff are covered under a central insurance policy while using official cars for official duties.

The Transport Management Team within FCO Services monitors a range of measures to ensure road safety among their drivers including:

All FCO Services large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers attend at least 35 hours of compulsory training every five years in accordance with FTA/Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency regulations.

Transport Managers who manage drivers with legal commitments (driving hours, tachograph, 48 hour Working Time Directive) have all undertaken and hold the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) in Road Transport. Drivers are also now undertaking the drivers’ CPC qualification.

A programme of courses is in place to up-skill drivers which looks at driving techniques in difficult driving situations.

All accidents involving FCO Fleet vehicles or affecting FCO Services drivers are documented and investigated in accordance with law.

It is not possible to provide an answer covering official vehicles at post overseas without incurring disproportionate cost as arrangements are post specific.

No checks are made on the licences of those staff who use their own vehicles in the course of their official duties. Staff should ensure that their own insurance policy covers use for business purposes. There is no requirement for checks to be made.

No guidance is issued to staff in respect of road safety while using their own vehicles for official duties in the UK. Guidance may be issued to those staff using their own vehicles overseas although this would be specific to the post.

There is no requirement for staff to report accidents in which they are involved while driving their own vehicles in the course of their official duties.

EU Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what EU legislative provisions on police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters adopted on the basis of the Treaty on European Union, other than those that constitute part of the Schengen acquis, apply to the UK and (a) are in force and (b) are due to come into force; (302581)

(2) what EU legislative provisions on police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters adopted on the basis of the Treaty on European Union apply to the UK and constitute part of the Schengen acquis; and which of them (a) are in force and (b) are due to come into force;

(3) what EC legislative provisions adopted on the basis of Title IV of Part Three of the Treaty establishing the European Community that apply to the UK and constitute part of the Schengen acquis (a) are in force and (b) are due to come into force;

(4) what EC legislative provisions adopted on the basis of Title IV of Part Three of the Treaty establishing the European Community, other than those that that constitute part of the Schengen acquis, apply to the UK and (a) are in force and (b) are due to come into force.

I have been asked to reply.

All EU legislative provisions on police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters adopted on the basis of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) apply to the UK, with the exception of the Council Decision concerning access for consultation of the Visa Information System (VIS) by designated authorities of member states and by Europol for the purposes of the prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offences and of other serious criminal offences. The UK was excluded from that measure on the basis that it builds on that part of the Schengen acquis in which the UK does not participate. The UK is challenging this decision before the European Court of Justice.

The only other measures adopted with a legal base in the TEU which build on the Schengen acquis are those relating to the development of the second generation Schengen Information System, where the UK will participate in the police and justice elements of that system. The Council is also negotiating a Council Decision with a TEU legal base to create a mechanism to evaluate applications to join the Schengen area.

We do not participate in any measures building on the Schengen acquis with a legal basis in Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC). This is because the UK has not opted into that part of the Schengen acquis which deals with visa and immigration. This is one of the areas regulated by Title IV TEC (the other being civil law, which is not an area of Schengen co-operation).

Measures with a legal basis in Title IV TEC which do not build on the Schengen acquis are subject to the Title IV opt-in protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, which means the UK can chose what it participates in.

To date we have opted in to 43 measures on asylum and migration and 15 measures on civil law. There are 82 measures which we have either not opted in to or have not been eligible to participate in.

Details of all adopted EU JHA legislation can be found at:

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/legis/20091101/chap19.htm

European Commission

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has received any recent representations on proposals for an oath of loyalty to the European Commission. (302757)

Immobilisation of Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department has paid in vehicle clamping charges incurred on (a) privately-owned and (b) publicly-owned land in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (302754)

The requested information is not recorded centrally. However following consultation with the relevant directorates it is believed that no vehicle clamping charges have been paid.

Iran: Arms Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 2 November 2009, Official Report, column 662W, on Iran, on how many occasions the UK has interdicted Iranian weapon shipments in Afghanistan in the last three years. (301971)

The UK has worked with International Security Assistance Force to interdict shipments of weapons to the Taliban, including from Iran. It is the longstanding policy of the Government not to comment on specific operational matters.

Nigeria

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of Nigeria on child welfare in that country, with particular reference to the situation of children identified by other people as witches or wizards. (302951)

We remain deeply concerned about the problem of children being accused of witchcraft in Nigeria. Our high commissioner in Abuja has been in frequent contact with the Governor of Akwa Ibom State to raise our concerns, including in July this year in response to information that charities dealing with the issue in the State had suffered intimidation.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also funds part of the work Stepping Stones Nigeria and the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network are undertaking in Akwa Ibom State including a public enlightenment campaign, which we hope will help change attitudes towards so-called ‘child witchcraft’.

Religious Freedom

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the treatment of (a) converts to and (b) adherents of Christianity in (i) the Middle East and (ii) elsewhere. (302684)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our embassies overseas regularly report and lobby on human rights issues, including freedom of religion or belief.

Our embassies have recently lobbied on the challenges facing non-Islamic faiths in Algeria, analysed the Egyptian authorities’ record on promoting and protecting the rights of Christians in Egypt, and encouraged the Government of Iraq to protect all communities regardless of political, ethnic or religious affiliation. Outside of the middle east, we remain concerned about the suppression of religious freedoms in countries such as China, North Korea and Uzbekistan. We raise these concerns in our regular human rights dialogues with China, and with other Governments at appropriate opportunities.

The UK strongly supports the right to freedom of religion or belief, including the right to manifest one’s religion or belief, the right to change one’s religion or belief and the right not to hold any religious belief. We work closely with EU partners to promote freedom of religion or belief as part of our wider support for human rights. In November, the European Council reaffirmed its strong commitment to freedom of religion or belief and the importance of EU action to promote and protect it.

Russia: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had recent discussions with the Russian government on (a) the rule of law, (b) property rights, (c) human rights and (d) political stability in the Russian Federation; and if he will make a statement. (303661)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary had detailed and wide ranging discussions with Foreign Minister Lavrov when he visited Moscow from 1 to 3 November 2009. Topics included our concerns about human rights and the rule of law. The Foreign Secretary stressed both the importance of effective investigations into attacks on human rights defenders and journalists, including in the North Caucasus, and the importance of the rule of law in protecting property rights and safeguarding investments. The Foreign Secretary also met non-governmental organisations and civil society in Moscow, when he listened to their concerns and reasserted that the UK will continue raising human rights concerns as part of a comprehensive dialogue with the Russian authorities. I followed up these discussions during my recent meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Karasin.

Human rights and the progress of Russian democracy are high on the agenda and we do not shy away from making our concerns known. We support President Medvedev’s ambition to improve the rule of law in Russia, as an important way of protecting human rights and reducing corruption. We want to see democracy in Russia deliver political pluralism and all its associated freedoms. We believe that an open and democratic Russia will provide better opportunities for the Russian people and consolidate Russia as a stable and reliable international partner for the global community.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office spent £1.5 million supporting local human rights projects in Russia in 2008-09. These included promoting media freedom and journalists’ safety, particularly in the North Caucasus, preventing interethnic conflict and working with the families of conflict victims to improve access to justice through the European Court of Human Rights.

Serbia

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it a condition of Serbia’s accession to the European Union that that country shall not be able to exercise a veto over subsequent accession by Kosovo; and if he will make a statement. (302390)

The UK firmly supports the perspective of EU membership for both Serbia and Kosovo. In so doing, the UK emphasises the importance the EU attaches to good neighbourly relations, a factor which is formally taken into account as part of an applicant country’s accession process. Against this background, the UK continues to give firm encouragement to both Serbia and Kosovo to work together to develop a constructive relationship, in order to reinforce stability in the region and facilitate the prospects for its EU integration.

Uzbekistan

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the decision by the European Council not to renew the remaining restrictive measures against Uzbekistan as set out in the Common Position 2008/843/CFSP, with particular reference to the (a) sale, (b) supply, (c) transfer and (d) export of arms and related material to that country. (303379)

Many EU partners took the view that the sanctions against Uzbekistan had served their purpose. The sanctions would have expired by default on 13 November 2009 in the absence of consensus among member states to renew them. We supported the corresponding 2009 Council Conclusions—which maintain the need for progress in Uzbekistan and which contain a review mechanism— achieved that. We hope Uzbekistan will grasp this opportunity to work constructively with the EU and introduce further governance and human rights reforms. The UK stands ready to support that process. I underlined these points in a recent meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Ganiev.

Arms exports to Uzbekistan will still be controlled by consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria. The latter covers the export—including sale, supply and transfer—of military and dual-use rated goods. The EU criteria require an assessment of whether the goods might be used for internal repression.

Health

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many consultant episodes with a primary diagnosis for alcohol-related disease there were in each strategic health authority area (a) in absolute terms and (b) as a proportion of the population of the relevant area in each year since 2004-05. (302537)

Information on consultant episodes with a primary alcohol-related diagnosis is only produced for admission episodes, the first episode in a hospital spell. Admission episodes accounted for 87 per cent. of all episodes in 2008-09. The following table gives the number and rate of admission episodes in England of patients with a primary alcohol-related diagnosis.

Number and rate of hospital admissions in England of patients with a primary alcohol-related diagnosis

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Strategic health authority

Number of admission

Crude rate of admission per 100,000 population

Number of admission

Crude rate of admission per 100,000 population

Number of admission

Crude rate of admission per 100,000 population

Number of admission

Crude rate of admission per 100,000 population

Number of admission

Crude rate of admission per 100,000 population

North East

11,398

448

11,783

462

12,264

480

12,126

473

12,554

487

North West

28,590

417

31,888

464

33,252

483

34,394

499

35,496

516

Yorkshire and the Humber

17,261

341

18,684

366

18,851

367

19,725

381

20,129

386

East Midlands

14,819

348

16,332

380

17,130

395

17,151

393

17,506

395

West Midlands

20,357

382

22,321

417

24,742

461

22,490

418

24,372

450

East of England

15,800

287

17,083

307

17,543

313

18,285

323

18,660

326

London

22,664

307

24,830

333

26,232

349

25,913

343

26,689

350

South East Coast

12,323

295

13,136

312

13,915

328

14,563

341

15,015

348

South Central

10,394

264

11,280

284

10,750

269

11,497

285

11,383

280

South West

17,469

346

18,875

371

19,567

381

20,245

391

21,051

404

Unknown/no fixed abode

2,459

n/a

3,219

n/a

3,211

n/a

4,031

n/a

3,500

n/a

England

173,532

346

189,431

375

197,457

389

200,420

392

206,355

401

Notes:

1. Includes activity in English national health service hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector.

2. Alcohol-related admissions

The number of alcohol-related admissions is based on the methodology developed by the North West Public Health Observatory. Figures for under 16s only include admissions where one or more of the following alcohol-specific conditions were listed:

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (142.6)

Alcoholic gastritis (K29.2)

Alcoholic liver disease (K70)

Alcoholic myopathy (G72.1)

Alcoholic polyneuropathy (G62.1)

Alcohol-induced pseudo-Cushing’s syndrome (E24.4)

Chronic pancreatitis (alcohol induced) (K86.0)

Degeneration of nervous system due to alcohol (G31.2)

Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol (F10)

Accidental poisoning by and exposure to alcohol (X45)

Ethanol poisoning (T51.0)

Methanol poisoning (T51.1)

Toxic effect of alcohol, unspecified (T51.9)

3. Ungrossed data

Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).

4. Finished admission episodes

A finished admission episode is the first period of inpatient care under one consultant within one health care provider. Finished admission episodes are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. It should be noted that admissions do not represent the number of inpatients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.

5. Data quality

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts in England. Data are also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.

6. Assessing growth through time

HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. The quality and coverage of the data have improved over time. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example, a number of procedures may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted for in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time.

7. Assignment of Episodes to Years

Years are assigned by the end of the first period of care in a patient’s hospital stay.

8. n/a = not available.

Source:

HES, The Information Centre for health and social care.

Ambulance Services: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of blue light emergency cases in the London Borough of Bexley were taken to (a) Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, (b) Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich and (c) Darenth Valley Hospital, Dartford, in the last three years for which figures are available. (302592)

We do not hold reliable information in the form requested. We have some experimental data but they are poor in quality and unreliable.

Brain Cancer

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment his Department has made of the standard of treatment of acoustic neuromas; what steps his Department is taking to raise the level of public awareness of that condition; and if he will make a statement. (303043)

We have made no assessment of the standard of treatment of acoustic neuromas. The NHS Choices website at:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/acoustic-neuroma/Pages/Introduction.aspx

contains detailed information suitable for health professionals and the general public on the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this rare neurological condition.

Breast Cancer: Screening

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his most recent estimate is of the (a) number and (b) percentage of mammogram scans which are reviewed by (i) one and (ii) two clinicians; and if he will make a statement. (302653)

Information collected for 2007-08 by the Cancer Screening Evaluation Unit showed that over 95 per cent. of mammogram screens were read by two qualified readers. This is the latest period for which information is available. There were 1.7 million women were screened in this period.

Cancer: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the level of availability of (a) dialysis and (b) cancer services for residents of the London Borough of Bexley. (302103)

Information on the local availability of dialysis and cancer services is not collected centrally.

Chlamydia: Screening

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of young (a) males under 24 years old and (b) other people participating in Chlamydia screening. (302404)

In July 2009 the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) published “Involving young men in Chlamydia screening; a practical guide” aimed at improving access to high quality Chlamydia screening services for young men. The NCSP does monitor and publish on a quarterly basis the number of young male screened in the community.

On 30 November 2009, the Department and the Department for Children Schools and Families, together with the NCSP launched a new public information campaign to tackle the ongoing need to increase knowledge around sexual health, including Chlamydia screening, amongst young men and women.

In January 2010 the Department will be introducing a Chlamydia specific strand to this campaign to raise awareness of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme and to encourage people to accept a test when offered.

Departmental Information Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many full-time equivalent press officers (a) are employed by and (b) work for his Department. (303600)

As of 1 April 2009 the media centre employed 33 full-time and two part-time press officers, making a total of 34.2 full-time equivalent press officers. This figure includes four full-time members of staff who joined the media centre from NHS Connecting for Health following the merger of the media relations functions of the two organisations in April 2009.

Departmental Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what date he last travelled by (a) bus and (b) taxi in the course of his official duties. (302721)

Doctors: Working Hours

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received from the Royal College of Surgeons on the European Working Time Directive. (303054)

We are in monthly contact with the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges meetings, the National European Working Time Directive Reference Group and the Medical Education England Programme Board of which RCS is a member. There are also other meetings. The RCS recently published their college policy document.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what account he took of representations from the Royal College of Surgeons on the European Working Time Directive before the implementation of that Directive; and if he will make a statement. (303055)

Before 1 August 2009 we had been in regular contact with Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), the Academy of Royal Colleges and the National European Working Time Directive (EWTD) Reference Group of which RCS is a member. There have also been meetings between RCS and the Departments National Clinical Advisor for EWTD and other officials.

Heart Diseases: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to receive the report of the National Specialised Commissioning Group on children’s cardiac surgery services in England; what considerations he is taking into account in respect of proposed reconfiguration of these services; and what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the level of specialisation required for children's heart surgery in the last three years. (302953)

The National Specialised Commissioning Group (NSCG) will publish recommendations on children’s cardiac surgery services in England in September 2010. The considerations that will be taken into account by the NSCG are for children's heart surgery services and critical inter-dependent services to be high quality, safe, sustainable and accessible, with as many of the non-interventional elements of care being provided locally as is safe and sustainable.

The Department has not commissioned or evaluated research on the level of specialisation required for children’s heart surgery but the NSCG will publish the evidence on which recommendations for reconfiguration are based in September 2010.

Herbal Medicine: Regulation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will bring forward proposals to introduce statutory regulation of herbal medicine and herbal medicine practitioners. (302646)

The Department has recently undertaken a consultation exercise on whether acupuncture, herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners should be regulated and if so how. Due to the overwhelming number of responses received it is likely to be the spring before the analysis is complete and a decision can be made on the way forward.

The regulation of herbal medicinal products is covered by provisions of European and United Kingdom legislation.

Internet: Health Hazards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent studies his Department has carried out on the effect of wi-fi on the health of (a) people who are electro-sensitive and (b) others. (303441)

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) advises the Government in relation to the protection of communities from radiation hazards, including those associated with exposure to non-ionising radiation such as the radio waves from wireless communication systems. The HPA has concluded that there is no consistent evidence to date that exposure to radio waves from wireless networks adversely affects the health of the general population and that there is no reason why schools and others should not use wi-fi equipment. The HPA also keeps the situation under review.

The HPA has reviewed technical standards and wireless equipment used in United Kingdom schools, and performed laboratory measurements with examples of typical equipment. The results are consistent with the position that exposures to the radio waves from Wi-Fi equipment are not expected to exceed internationally-accepted guidelines and that they are less than from mobile telephones. Further measurements in school classrooms are planned, as are computer modelling studies. Information about these studies is available on the HPA website at:

www.hpa.org.uk/HPA/Topics/Radiation/UnderstandingRadiation/1199451940308/

The Department of Health has not commissioned or undertaken any studies specifically on the effect of wi-fi on the health of people who are reportedly electrosensitive. The independently managed Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme, jointly funded by Government and industry, has investigated whether electrical hypersensitivity symptoms result from exposure to radiofrequency fields emitted by mobile telephones. In its 2007 report the MTHR Programme Management Committee concluded that the MTHR research results, taken together with earlier evidence, offered no support for this hypothesis. The MTHR report is available at:

www.mthr.org.uk/

Maternity Services: Bexley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the future of maternity services for residents in the London Borough of Bexley; and if he will make a statement. (302588)

Mentally Ill: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the incidence of mental illness amongst children in each of the last 12 years; and what recent assessment he has made of (a) trends in that incidence and (b) contributing factors to mental illness in children. (300666)

This Department has not made its own estimates of the level of mental illness among children in each of the last 12 years. It commissioned the Office of National Statistics to carry out surveys in 1999 and 2004 on the mental health of children and young people in Great Britain. The 2004 survey found that nearly one in 10 children aged five to 16 had a clinically diagnosable mental disorder. The 1999 survey, which covered children aged five to 15, produced a similar result. Earlier surveys have shown that the proportion of young people with hyperactive or emotional problems increased significantly between 1974 and 1999 but this increase may not reflect and increase in incidence, but rather greater awareness of conditions. No recent assessments have been carried out on trends because of the difficulty in identifying the extent to which other factors, such as greater awareness of conditions, have contributed to changes in incidence.

A three-year study by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), commissioned by the Department and the Scottish Executive, “Three Years On: A survey of the emotional development and wellbeing of children and young people” published in October 2008 tracked the emotional wellbeing of a sample of children and young people between 2004 and 2007 and reviewed the factors likely to be associated with the onset or persistence of mental disorders. The report is downloadable from the ONS website.

An independent CAMHS Review, commissioned by Ministers, reported in November 2008 setting out 20 recommendations to improve children and young people’s mental health and psychological wellbeing. The full Government response to the CAMHS Review is to be published soon.

Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the oral answer of 13 October 2009, Official Report, column 135W, on Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, and pursuant to the oral answer of 24 November 2009, Official Report, columns 386-87, on parking charges (offsetting), what steps he plans to take to ensure that the programme to bring Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust back into surplus is not undertaken at the expense of staff, with particular reference to the level of car parking charges paid by staff of that trust. (302388)

This is a matter for Mid Essex Hospitals Services NHS Trust. We are advised that the trust is forecasting a surplus for the 2009-10 financial year and it is working to phase out car parking charges for in-patients.

The Department's existing guidance will be reissued to ensure that all organisations providing services to national health service patients are clear about the expectations. Early next year, we will issue revised concession guidance and examples of best practice.

The Department works through the strategic health authorities to ensure that all the organisations forecasting an operating deficit are developing recovery plans to return to financial balance while maintaining and improving services to patients. All trusts must ensure that any profit generated from car parking is used to improve health services in the NHS trust.

MRSA: Screening

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what progress has been made towards meeting his Department’s 2011 deadline for the screening of non-elective patients for MRSA; (302675)

(2) how many primary care trusts have started to screen non-elective patients for MRSA in advance of his Department’s 2011 deadline for such screening.

This information is not collected centrally. It is the responsibility of primary care trust commissioners of national health service services to put in place processes for assuring themselves that trusts are meeting this commitment.

NHS: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department issues to NHS hospital trusts on budget deficits and safeguarding services. (302589)

The Department has made it clear in its guidance to the national health service that proposed changes to NHS services will always be to the benefit of patients and be locally led by clinicians and based on the best available clinical evidence.

In addition, the local NHS will involve patients, carers, the public and other key partners. Those affected by proposed changes will have the chance to have their say and offer their contribution. NHS organisations will work openly and collaboratively.

The Department works through the strategic health authorities to ensure that all the organisations forecasting an operating deficit are developing recovery plans to return to financial balance while maintaining and improving services to patients.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many primary care trusts had a (a) budget surplus, (b) budget deficit and (c) balanced budget in each of the last three years. (303582)

Figures taken from the published NHS (England) Summarised Accounts for 2008-09, 2007-08 and 2006-07 show the following distribution of financial performance.

Number of primary care trusts (PCTs) in surplus

Number of PCTs in deficit

Number of PCTs with break-even position

2008-09

151

1

0

2007-08

146

4

2

2006-07

109

42

1

Nurses: Women’s Prisons

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nurses at each grade are employed in female prisons. (302329)

This category of nursing is not identified separately in the National Health Service Workforce Census. The National Offenders Management Service, part of the Ministry of Justice, would hold such information.

Nursing: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent discussions he has had with the National Union of Students on nursing degrees; and if he will make a statement; (302896)

(2) what recent discussions he has had with student bodies other than the National Union of Students on nursing degrees.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no recent discussions with the National Union of Students on nursing degrees.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council, following wide consultation, announced in September 2008 the principle that there would be a future requirement that the minimum academic level to register as a nurse, for those who train in the United Kingdom, would be a nursing degree.

We strongly support this principle. Following a period of stakeholder engagement, including with the Royal College of Nursing and Unison who both have student nurse membership, we announced on 12 November 2009 that all new nurse pre-registration education programmes in England will become degree-level by 2013.

Organs: Donors

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to his Department's press release of 31 July 2009, on the rules on organ transplants to NHS patients and non-UK EU residents, what his most recent assessment is of progress in the banning of private clinical practices in the UK from using solid organs from live donors (a) within and (b) outside the NHS. (302526)

The Buggins report on the allocation of organs to non UK residents deals only with donations from deceased donors.

We continue to consider the implications for each of the recommendations in the report and have established an implementation group consisting of representatives from the transplant community, NHS blood and transplant, commissioners and others to consider each recommendation and to advise on implementation. The group has met on three occasions, most recently on 23 November. Good progress has been made in this complex area and officials hope to put implementation proposals to their respective Ministers shortly.

Sickle Cell Diseases

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assistance his Department provides to schools in respect of education on sickle cell anaemia. (302904)

The main health contact for schools is likely to be a school nurse. The school health service can provide guidance on medical conditions, including sickle cell anaemia; help schools draw up individual health care plans for pupils with medical needs; supplement and augment information provided by parents and the child's general practitioner; and advise on training for school staff in administering medicines and in taking responsibility for other aspects of support.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on raising the level of public awareness of sickle cell disorders in each year since 1997. (302906)

The Department has funded the NHS Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Screening programme to develop materials for public information (including information on screening, carrier status and a parents’ handbook on children with sickle cell disease) and to undertake a number of public outreach projects in areas where there is a high proportion of black and minority ethnic populations who may have difficulties accessing health care services. For the four years, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09, the programme spent a total of more than £2 million. No figures before this are available.

In addition, the Department awarded the Sickle Cell Society a Section 64 grant of £20,000 over two years (2003-04 and 2004-05) for health education. A Third Sector Investment programme project grant of some £258,000 has recently been awarded to the Sickle Cell Society for three years (2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12) for a named National Support Care Advisor for sickle cell disorders.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on services for those with sickle cell anaemia in each year since 1997. (302907)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of sickle cell anaemia have been diagnosed in each year since 1997. (302910)

Skin Piercing: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which London boroughs have implemented rules prohibiting ear and body piercing for those under the age of 18 years without parental consent; (303052)

(2) what powers local authorities have in respect of the regulation of ear and body piercing for those under the age of 18 years without parental consent; and if he will make a statement.

Local authorities have no specific powers to regulate ear or body piercing of those under the age of 18 years. Ear and body piercing for cosmetic purposes are lawful and there is no statutory minimum age of consent. Minors are able to give valid consent if they are capable of understanding the nature of the act to be done.

Local authorities have powers, under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, to require that businesses offering ear or body piercing are registered with their local authority and observe local byelaws relating to the hygiene of premises, operators and equipment. Local authorities are also responsible for enforcing health and safety at work legislation for such businesses.

The Department does not hold the information requested on the implementation of the London Local Authorities Act 1991 by London local authorities.

South London Healthcare NHS Trust: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the performance of South London Healthcare NHS Trust. (302593)

Under the NHS Performance Framework there are four domains against which trusts are assessed; National Standards and Targets, Finance, Quality and Safety and User Experience. Overall, South London Healthcare NHS Trust has been assessed as 'Underperforming' for Quarter 1 of 2009-10. However, for the category National Standards and Targets, which covers key areas of service performance, it is assessed as 'Performing'.

Stress: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children aged (a) between five and seven, (b) between seven and 11, (c) between 11 and 14 years old have been seen by a medical professional owing to stress-related conditions in each month of the last three years. (303035)

Strokes: Bexley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the future of stroke services for residents in the London Borough of Bexley; and if he will make a statement. (302591)

Surgery: Bexley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the future of elective surgery for residents in the London Borough of Bexley; and if he will make a statement. (302590)

Home Department

Animal Experiments

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many breaches in (a) project and (b) personal licences occurred at Wickham Laboratories between 2003 and 2008; and if he will provide details in each case. (302812)

For security reasons it is not Home Office policy to disclose the compliance record of individual establishments licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

Arrest Warrants

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many European arrest warrants have been issued for arresting and bringing to the UK a suspect from each other EU country in each of the last five years. (301813)

[holding answer 26 November 2009]: The figures for the number of EAWs issued by UK prosecuting authorities and transmitted by the Serious Organised Crime Agency is as follows:

EAWs Issued

Persons extradited to the UK under the EAW

2004

96

19

2005

131

63

2006

126

76

2007

198

99

2008

218

96

It is not possible from current systems to provide data broken down into the number of EAWs issued by the UK to each member state. This would require a manual examination of all files and incur disproportionate cost.

Asylum

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on allowing asylum seekers to work if they have been waiting longer than six months for a full resolution of an asylum claim. (302157)

[holding answer 30 November 2009]: It is not the Government’s policy to allow asylum seekers to work. The only exception is asylum seekers who have been waiting 12 months for a decision where this delay cannot be attributed to them. Allowing asylum seekers to work in these circumstances is in accordance with the EC Directive on the reception of asylum seekers.

Crimes of Violence: Females

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultation was undertaken in Wales as part of his Department’s consultation on violence against women. (303260)

The cross-Government consultation Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls was co-ordinated by the Home Office. Officials at the Home Office liaised with key stakeholders from Wales including officials from the Welsh Assembly Government. Wales has its own domestic abuse strategy and will consider the way it responds to all forms of violence against women.

Criminal Records Bureau: Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons the processing of Criminal Records Bureau checks was tendered to the private sector; when the contract with Capita for processing Criminal Records Bureau checks will next be reviewed; and what arrangements have been put in place to ensure that Capita processes such checks in a timely manner. (303637)

The Disclosure Service operates as a contract between the Criminal Records Bureau and Capita Business Services based upon a public-private partnership agreement. Under this agreement, Capita is required to perform contractually specified services and to develop, deliver and maintain the technical infrastructure of the Disclosure Service. A contract schedule sets out the service levels for Capita to meet. The current contract expires in 2012.

The decision to tender to the private sector was made following a detailed options analysis. Five options were initially assessed and these were then reduced to two—Contract Crown/private entity for design, build and operation of CRB against a traditional Crown agency. Assessments based on investment appraisal, financial risk, technical/operational risk, performance management, skills and capability and implementation time concluded that a public-private partnership (PPP) approach was the most beneficial option against these criteria.

Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many farms are licensed to grow opium; how many hectares each licence covers; and how many companies are licensed to harvest the crop. (303032)

A Home Office licence is not required to grow or harvest opium poppy (papaver somniferum). A licence is only required when the opium poppy is processed in any way.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) acquisitive and (b) sex work-related crime committed which was motivated by the need to raise money to purchase illegal drugs in the latest period for which figures are available. (303033)

The Home Office does not routinely estimate the proportion of acquisitive crime or sex work committed which was motivated by the need to raise money for illegal drugs. Drug use, offending, and sex work are often covert activities and the relationship between them can be complex, thus such estimates are likely to be subject to large uncertainties.

The Department has previously commissioned research that shows proportions of drug treatment seekers and police arrestees who have reportedly committed acquisitive crime in order to buy drugs:

Nearly a quarter (22 per cent.) of a nationally representative sample of drug treatment seekers reported offending in order to buy drugs in the four weeks before interview.

Source:

Home Office Research Report 3

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs07/horr03c.pdf

12 per cent. of a sample of arrestees said that they had committed crime in order to buy or get hold of drugs. This was much more likely among those who took heroin or crack cocaine once a week, 50 per cent. of whom had committed crime to get drugs compared to 4 per cent. of those who did not take heroin/crack weekly

Source:

Home Office Statistical Bulletin 12/07

http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs07/hosb1207.pdf

There are a number of research studies that have shown that prostitution, especially street based prostitution, is linked to illegal drug misuse. A Home Office evaluation of five projects that aimed to provide support to help women involved in street prostitution to exit, indicated that around nine out of 10 women involved in street based prostitution used drugs, although the findings do not indicate whether the sex work was motivated by the desire to buy drugs

Source:

Home Office Research Study 290

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/hors290.pdf

Immigration Controls

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell of 5 November 2009, Official Report, column 1138W, on immigrations controls, how many sponsorship licences have been granted to (a) employers and (b) educational institutions since the inception of the points-based system. (302931)

[holding answer 30 November 2009]: The number of sponsor licences that have been granted to employers since the inception of the points-based system to 27 November 2009 is 13,475.

The number of sponsor licences that have been granted to educational institutions since the inception of the points-based system to 27 November 2009 is 3,065.

Figures for educational institutions are for those sponsors who have specified “Education” as the industry sector that best explains their organisation’s main economic activity, irrespective of PBS tier.

The figures quoted are not provided under National Statistics protocols and have been derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.

Surveillance

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for the use of covert human intelligence sources by (a) police forces in England and Wales, (b) the Security Service, (c) the Secret Intelligence Service, (d) GCHQ, (e) the National Criminal Intelligence Service, (f) the National Crime Squad and (g) the Serious Fraud Office have been refused by his Department under section 29(7) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 in each year since 2000. (302993)

Applications for the use of covert human intelligence sources are not submitted to the Home Office. The authorities responsible for authorising the use of covert human intelligence sources under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 ('RIPA')—including the Serious Organised Crime Agency which replaced the National Criminal Intelligence Service and National Crime Squad in 2005—are listed in Schedule 1 to that Act as amended by statutory instruments 2003 No.3171, 2005 No. 1084 and 2006 No. 1874. The Home Office will shortly bring forward a new statutory instrument to consolidate these earlier instruments.

RIPA vests statutory oversight of such authorisations with the independent Office of Surveillance Commissioners and the Intelligence Services Commissioner. The Chief Surveillance Commissioner publishes annual reports on his findings, copies of which are in the House Library, but the figures provided in the reports relate only to applications granted. The figures are reproduced as follows:

Use of covert human intelligence sources authorised under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

By law enforcement

1

5,400

5,900

5,907

4,980

4,559

4,373

4,498

4,278

By other authorities

1

1

1

273

308

437

429

204

234

1 Not given

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many covert human intelligence sources have been recruited by (a) police forces in England and Wales, (b) the security services, (c) the National Criminal Intelligence Service and (d) the National Crime Squad in each year since 2000. (303142)

The Home Office does not collect such figures. RIPA vests statutory oversight of CHIS authorisations with the independent Office of Surveillance Commissioners and the Intelligence Services Commissioner. The Chief Surveillance Commissioner publishes annual reports on his findings, copies of which are in the House Library, which include statistics on the number of CHIS authorisations granted, but do not provide a breakdown of how many CHIS are recruited by each public authority. No such statistics are provided for the activities of the Security and Intelligence agencies.

Vetting: Waiting Lists

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for Criminal Record Bureau checks that were in progress on 30 September of each year since 2006 had been made (a) less than one month previously, (b) between one and three months previously, (c) between three and six months previously and (d) over six months previously. (303349)

[holding answer 1 December 2009]: Data are not held in the format requested. The following table provides the details of applications in progress for less than eight weeks, more than eight weeks and the total amount of outstanding applications on 30 September in the last four years.

Checks outstanding for

Month ending 30 September each year

Less than eight weeks

More than eight weeks

Total outstanding

2009

238,118

27,905

266,023

2008

220,714

53,904

274,618

2007

120,297

21,734

142,031

2006

176,450

36,680

213,130

International Development

Aid: EU Institutions

10. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department’s aid funding distributed through EU institutions; and if he will make a statement. (303274)

Analysis from the OECD’s donor assistance committee, Oxfam, the House of Lords and our own staff indicate that the effectiveness of Commission aid has improved considerably.

Aid Projects: Gaza

11. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much and what proportion of Government funding available for humanitarian assistance to Gaza in the last three years has been disbursed to aid projects in that area. (303275)

The Department for International Development responded swiftly to the humanitarian crisis following Operation Cast Lead, pledging £26.8 million for immediate humanitarian aid and early recovery activities. Of this, £18.3 million has already been spent. Prior to the conflict, we had given the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) £3 million to meet immediate humanitarian needs in Gaza—£1 million in 2007 and £2 million in 2008.

Afghanistan

12. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department’s activities in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (303276)

The Department for International Development’s latest Afghanistan Country Programme Evaluation was published in May 2009.

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

South Waziristan

13. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department has provided to those displaced by recent violence in South Waziristan. (303277)

We have made available £2 million to help meet immediate needs of those newly displaced by conflict in South Waziristan. Funds are being used by NGOs to support shelter, water, sanitation and medical services. This new funding commitment brings the UK contribution for the displaced in North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to £34 million. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and stand ready to provide further support.

HIV/AIDS

14. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps his Department has taken to advance the Government’s strategy for (a) halting and (b) reversing the spread of HIV and AIDS in middle-income countries. (303278)

The Department for International Development (DFID) works with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in these countries, helping to ensure policies address inequality and challenge stigma and discrimination. Marginalised groups are often most affected.

The long-term costs of treatment place a huge burden on these countries. DFID and partners are helping to reduce prices and for the first time a second-line regimen is available for under $500 annually.

Sri Lanka

15. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department’s activities in Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement. (303279)

I visited Sri Lanka in October to see for myself the situation on the ground and the Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) contribution to the humanitarian efforts. Next year it is expected that an independent evaluation of all DFID’s work in Sri Lanka will be undertaken.

Capita

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether any contracts between Capita Group plc and his Department have been cancelled before completion since 1997; and whether Capita Group plc has been liable for any penalties arising from failings in the administration of contracts since 1997. (303088)

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given on 13 February 2003, Official Report, column 921W, which provided a list of contracts awarded to Capita Group plc. These contracts did not incur penalty charges and were not cancelled before completion. No further contracts have been awarded to Capita Group plc.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on how many occasions Capita Group plc tendered for contracts let by his Department in each of the last five years; how many such tenders were successful; how much his Department paid to Capita Group plc for the execution of contracts in each such year; how many contracts which terminate after 2010 Capita Group plc hold with his Department; and what the monetary value is of all outstanding contracts between his Department and Capita Group plc. (303163)

The Department for International Development has no record of receiving tenders from Capita Group plc in the last five years.

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what criteria his Department uses in determining the award of contracts; and how much his Department has spent on the advertisement of tenders for Government contracts since 1997. (303134)

The Department for International Development (DFID) applies the European Union Public Procurement Directives determining the award of contracts. This requires the evaluation criteria to be specified in advertisements, and the award of business on the basis of most economically advantageous tender, taking account of technical and commercial aspects.

The cost of advertising tenders cannot be isolated from other advertising costs without incurring disproportionate cost.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has allocated for (a) year end and (b) in-year bonuses in 2009-10. (302778)

The salary budget for 2009-10 is £104 million of which non-consolidated performance payments represented an estimated 1.27 per cent.1

Awards are intended to reward delivery of personal business objectives during the reporting year or other short term personal contributions to wider organisational objectives and values.

Awards are funding within existing pay bill controls, have to be re-earned each year against the predetermined criteria above and as such do not add to future pay bill costs.

1 Payments made are for the financial year indicated but relate to performance achieved in the previous reporting year.

Departmental Plants

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on pot plants in (a) 2008 and (b) 2009. (303102)

The Department for International Development has not purchased any pot plants in either 2008 or 2009.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost to his Department was of provision of office facilities to (a) special advisers and (b) press officers in the 2008-09 financial year. (302969)

Special advisers and press officers are located in the Department for International Development head office at 1 Palace street. It is not possible to disaggregate the cost.

Departmental Taxis

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many miles (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have travelled by taxi in the course of their official duties in each year since 1997; and at what cost to the public purse in each such year. (302702)

The Department for International Development (DFID) does not hold a central record of mileage travelled by taxi or expenditure on taxi charges. Compiling this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Developing Countries: Disabled

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what steps his Department is taking to include children with disabilities in the programme established to achieve the Millennium Development Goal on schooling; (302994)

(2) whether he expects the Millennium Development Goal on schooling to be achieved in circumstances in which specific provision to meet the needs of children with disabilities is not made in the programme of work towards achievement of that goal.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cannot be achieved without addressing the specific needs and rights of people with disabilities. All children, including those with disabilities must have equal access to a good quality basic education. It is estimated that 90 per cent. of children with disabilities in developing countries are out of school.

The UK is spending £8.5 billion over the period 2006-07—2015-16 in support of education in developing countries. Alongside funding from other donors, these resources are used to support governments to ensure all children have access to basic education—including the children with disabilities. DFID is the second largest donor (£202 million) to the global financing partnership for education, the Education for All— Fast Track Initiative (FTI). We use our support to the FTI to leverage greater attention from partner governments to the needs of the most excluded children. DFID also directly supports Disability Partner Organisations (DPOs) in countries where we work to advocate for the rights for adults and children with disabilities. This is in recognition that social stigma and discrimination remain the main barriers for children with disabilities to attend school.

DFID's new education strategy will be launched early next year and will set out how we propose to implement our commitment to basic education for all children including those with disabilities.

Immobilisation of Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has paid in vehicle clamping charges incurred on (a) privately-owned and (b) publicly-owned land in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (302742)

The Department for International Development (DFID) does not hold a central record of expenditure on vehicle clamping charges. Compiling this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Northern Ireland

Police

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many police officers currently assigned to uniformed response policing duties in each district command unit were so assigned immediately following an assignment to administrative duties observing normal office hours. (303264)

That is an operational matter for the Chief Constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Member, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Prisons: Mobile Phones

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he (1) plans to introduce measures to block mobile phone signals in prisons and detention centres in Northern Ireland; (302943)

(2) has estimated the cost to the public purse of blocking mobile telephone signals in prison facilities in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) is liaising closely with HMPS who are trialling signal blocking equipment in a number of establishments in Great Britain and working with the Home Office Scientific Development Branch and Ofcom to evaluate the technology available. While Ministers are determined to reduce the use of mobile phones in prisons, until the conclusions of the current evaluations and the identification of a preferred option, it is not possible to decide whether such technology will be installed in NIPS. It is also not possible to estimate the likely costs involved at this stage.

Olympics

Departmental Domestic Visits

To ask the Minister for the Olympics on how many occasions she visited (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland in an official capacity in the last 12 months. (303497)

In the last 12 months I have visited Scotland and Wales on one occasion each. I have not made an official visit to Northern Ireland during the last 12 months.

KBR

To ask the Minister for the Olympics whether the Government Olympic Executive has entered into any contracts with Kellogg, Brown and Root or its subsidiaries since January 2009. (303333)

The Government Olympic Executive has not entered into contracts with Kellogg, Brown and Root or its subsidiaries but the Olympic Delivery Authority has procured transport services from Kellogg, Brown and Root since January 2009 under the terms of a framework agreement.

Olympic Games 2012: Contracts

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many tenders have been submitted for Olympic contracts from firms based in (a) Wales, (b) Scotland, (c) Northern Ireland, (d) England and (e) other countries. (302560)

I have referred this question to the Olympic Delivery Authority. I will write to the hon. Member when I have received a reply, and I will place a copy of my reply in the Libraries of both Houses.

Prime Minister

Angad Paul

To ask the Prime Minister whether (a) he and his predecessor and (b) officials in the Prime Minister's Office have had meetings with Angad Paul in each of the last three years. (303112)

My officials and I have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals on a range of subjects.

Departmental Domestic Visits

To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions he visited (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland in an official capacity in the last 12 months. (303491)

For information for 2008-09 I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement of 16 July 2009, Official Report, column 76WS. A list of my UK visits for 2009-10 will be published in the usual way following the end of the financial year.

Departmental Travel

To ask the Prime Minister (1) how many miles (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Office have travelled by taxi in the course of their official duties in each year since 1997; and at what cost to the public purse in each such year; (302705)

(2) on what date he last travelled by (a) bus and (b) taxi in the course of his official duties.

This information is not held in the format requested. Ministers, my officials and I travel making the most efficient and cost-effective arrangements. My travel arrangements are in accordance with the arrangements for official travel set out in chapter 10 of the “Ministerial Code”, and the accompanying guidance document, “Travel by Ministers”.

Meetings: Oil Companies

To ask the Prime Minister (1) on what dates (a) he, (b) his predecessor and (c) officials of the Prime Minister's Office met executives of BP plc in each year since 2002; (301574)

(2) on what dates (a) he, (b) his predecessor and (c) officials of the Prime Minister's Office have met Royal Dutch Shell executives in each year since 2002;

My predecessor and I, and officials in my office, have regular meetings with a wide range of individuals and organisations.

Ministerial Policy Advisers

To ask the Prime Minister which special advisers have visited Chequers since 2006; and on what dates. (302579)

A list of guests who have received official hospitality at Chequers is published on an annual basis and is available in the Library of the House. Information for the financial year 2009-10 will be published in the usual way.

Scotland

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the cost to his Department was of provision of office facilities to (a) special advisers and (b) press officers in the 2008-09 financial year. (302966)

Departmental Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many security passes his Department has issued to contractors providing consultancy services in the last 12 months. (303954)

One security pass was issued to a contractor providing consultancy services in the last 12 months. The pass was returned at the end of the contract.

Transport