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Written Answers

Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 10 December 2009

Church Commissioners

Church of England: Green Issues

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what payments the Church Commissioners have made to Green Issues in the last 12 months; for what purpose; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments have been made. (305164)

In promoting strategic development opportunities, the commissioners use a wide range of professional advisers, including public consultation consultants, and I can confirm that Green Issues is one of the firms used.

The firm’s primary role is to organise the public consultation associated with the promotion of major development proposals, including exhibitions and workshops, as well as liaising with various third parties such as local councillors. However, the terms of engagement are commercially sensitive and therefore cannot be deposited in the Library.

Public consultation is, of course, part of the statutory planning process but we also view it as a welcome opportunity to engage with local communities.

Defence

Armed Forces: Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has charged (a) other Government departments, (b) private sector companies and (c) foreign governments in employment costs for members of (i) his Department’s civilian staff, (ii) the MOD Police Service, (iii) MOD Police and Guarding Agency and (iv) military personnel of the (A) Royal Navy, (B) Royal Marines, (C) Army and (D) Royal Air Force in each of the last five years. (304644)

This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Charges for personnel services are levied against outside bodies in accordance with the principles set out by HM Treasury in chapter 6 of Managing Public Money which requires that full costs should normally be recovered for any goods and services provided by MOD.

Armed Forces: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many (a) officers and (b) personnel in other ranks in each regular infantry and Royal Marine battalion were unfit for duty at the latest date for which figures are available; (305723)

(2) what the (a) required and (b) actual trained strength is of each (i) regular infantry and (ii) Royal Marine battalion.

Unfit for duty has been interpreted as medically unfit to perform any duty. Personnel unfit for duty in their primary role but who can perform a role in an alternative capacity are not included in the following tables.

The figures given include personnel filling all roles within each battalion, not just infantrymen. Separate figures for infantry officers and soldiers are not held centrally.

As at 1 October, the figures requested for the infantry are provided as follows.

Division

Unit

Required strength

Actual strength

Number unfit for duty

Guards

1 Grenadier Guards

632

586

4

1 Coldstream Guards

626

606

6

1 Scots Guards

753

665

1

1 Irish Guards

633

629

6

1 Welsh Guards

626

608

12

SCOTS

1 SCOTS

630

556

2

2 SCOTS

627

518

3

3 SCOTS

630

625

11

4 SCOTS

686

584

1

5 SCOTS

657

542

2

Queens

1 Princess of Wales Royal Regiment

755

722

2

2 Princess of Wales Royal Regiment

671

600

2

1 Royal Regt Fusiliers

660

573

6

2 Royal Regt Fusiliers

626

548

13

1 Royal Anglian

713

734

9

2 Royal Anglian

629

628

2

Kings

1 LANCS

757

721

8

2 LANCS

612

622

5

1 YORKS incl. Gurkha Reinforcement Company 3

686

605

2

2 YORKS

623

493

2

3 YORKS

751

608

15

Prince of Wales

1 Mercian incl. Gurkha Reinforcement Company 2

731

648

2

2 Mercian

623

614

10

3 Mercian

678

606

4

1 Royal Welsh

623

611

4

2 Royal Welsh

751

687

6

RIFLES

1 RIFLES

623

712

5

2 RIFLES

623

730

35

3 RIFLES

623

662

12

4 RIFLES

711

752

8

5 RIFLES

752

770

3

Royal Irish

1 Royal Irish

650

586

9

PARA

2 PARA

650

624

14

3 PARA

650

625

7

Royal Gurkha Rifles

1 Royal Gurkha Rifles

643

619

8

2 Royal Gurkha Rifles

758

658

4

In addition to the battalions shown above there are three incremental guards companies which are primarily for public duties but which can also be used to augment the other guards battalions as required;

Unit

Required strength

Actual strength

Number unfit for duty

Nijmegen Coy Grenadier Gds

108

107

1

7 Coy Coldstream Gds

108

97

1

F Coy Scots Guards

110

106

4

The figures in both tables include personnel filling all roles within each battalion, not just infantrymen.

Figures for Royal Marine Commandos units are shown in the table below. Due to changes in the way in which the Royal Navy records its sick personnel, it is not possible to identify the number of Royal Marine personnel who are currently unfit to perform any duty.

Unit

Required strength

Actual strength

40 Commando

Officers

1703

33

Other ranks

1

626

42 Commando

Officers

1703

37

Other ranks

1

617

45 Commando

Officers

1703

33

Other Ranks

1

637

1 Represents a brace

Work and Pensions

Motability

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many vehicles were (a) purchased by and (b) leased by people resident in (i) Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey constituency, (ii) the Highlands, (iii) Scotland and (iv) England and Wales under the Motability Scheme in each of the last five years. (304669)

Motability is an independent charitable company and is responsible for the administration of the Motability Scheme. They have written separately to the hon. Member with such information as they have available.

New Deal for Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 11 November 2009, Official Report, column 583W, on work experiences: young people, how many places were available on each option in the New Deal for Young People in each of the last 24 months. (302239)

The availability of places on the new deal for young persons is demand-led; therefore the new deal providers ensure there are sufficient placements to meet the needs of Jobcentre Plus customers requiring the support given by any particular option.

New Deal Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many bids her Department has received for Flexible New Deal Phase 2 contracts; and how many full-time equivalent staff in her Department are responsible for analysing and evaluating bids submitted for Phase 2 Flexible New Deal contracts. (304539)

To date, the Department has not received any bids. The deadline for flexible new deal phase 2 bids to be submitted to DWP is 6 January 2010.

The number of full-time equivalent staff likely to be involved in the evaluation will be influenced by the number of tenders that are actually returned and will include staff from across several expert domains.

Remploy: Public Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what payments Remploy has made to (a) Portland PR and (b) Greenhause Public Communication in each of the last three years; for what purposes; and if she will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments have been made. (302301)

Remploy has made total payments to Portland PR of £174,680 between 2007 and 2009.

In 2007-08 the amount was £160,665 for public affairs strategy and communications work. £35,000 of this spend was specifically for factory closure communications.

In 2008-09 the amount spent was £14,015 for the public affairs strategy and communications programme.

In 2007 Remploy made a payment to Greenhause Public Communication to a total of £12,277.50. This was paid for public affairs work.

Scotland

Departmental Freedom of Information

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 his Department received in 2008; and how many of these received a substantive response within 20 days. (305490)

Statistics published by the Ministry of Justice on Freedom of Information in central Government for 2008 show that of a total of 111 non-routine requests received by the Department (based on aggregated quarterly data) 71 per cent. (79) received a substantive response within 20 days. 78 per cent. (87) of requests were dealt with ‘in time’, that is within 20 days by meeting the deadline or other permitted extension deadline.

The statistics can be found on the Ministry of Justice website at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/freedomof informationquarterly.htm

and copies are available in the Library.

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on (a) alcohol and (b) entertainment in the last 12 months. (305532)

The information is not held in the form requested; however, in 2008-09 the Scotland Office spent £15,158 on hospitality.

Departmental Publicity

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department has spent on (a) Ministerial photoshoots and (b) production of videos in which Ministers appear in the last three years for which figures are available. (305524)

The Scotland Office has incurred no expenditure on ministerial photoshoots or production of videos in the last three years.

Departmental Written Questions

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many questions tabled for answer on a named day his Department received in each of the last 12 months; and to how many such questions his Department provided a substantive answer on the day named. (305383)

Details of the number of questions tabled for answer on a named day and those that received a substantive answer on the day named are shown in the following table:

Number of named day questions tabled

Percentage of named day questions that received a substantive answer on the day named

December 2008

2

100

January 2009

1

100

February 2009

0

n/a

March 2009

11

90

April 2009

5

100

May 2009

1

0

June 2009

0

n/a

July 2009

6

100

August 2009

0

n/a

September 2009

0

n/a

October 2009

0

n/a

November 2009

2

100

Central guidance on answering parliamentary questions is now available in the “Guide to Parliamentary Work”, at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/parliamentary-clerk-guide.aspx

In the response to the Procedure Committee Report on written parliamentary questions, the Government accepted the Committee’s recommendation that Departments be required to provide the Procedure Committee with sessional statistics in a standard format on the time taken to respond to written parliamentary questions, accompanied by an explanatory memorandum setting out any factors affecting their performance. This will be taken forward as soon as possible.

Hotels

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on hotel accommodation for (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) civil servants in each of the last five years. (305655)

The Scotland Office does not separately record expenditure on hotel accommodation from other forms of subsistence such as meal allowances, day subsistence, incidental expenses and motor mileage.

All travel and subsistence is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Ministerial Code, Travel by Ministers and the Civil Service Management Code.

House of Commons Commission

Department of Resources: Finance

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much money was owed to the House of Commons Department of Resources by (a) hon. Members, (b) Officers of the House and (c) the Press Gallery Committee for expenditures incurred on catering and retail goods and services on 1 September 2009. (302830)

It is not possible to provide the figures requested as at 1 September, except at disproportionate cost. This is because the database changes every day and the figures are only readily available if the data for a particular day have been retained. Reconstructing the data for a past day for which the data have not been retained would be an extremely time-consuming exercise involving a lot of manual adjustments to the data.

Speaker’s Adviser

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether Mr. Speaker's special adviser has claimed any expenses for travel since his appointment. (305840)

Culture, Media and Sport

Creativity and Business International Network: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proportion of his budget for c&binet for 2009-10 was spent on the event held at The Grove between 26 and 28 October 2009. (305622)

The gross costs of planning and staging the event at The Grove accounted for approximately 40 per cent. of the budget allocated to c&binet during 2009-10. The investment to develop a network of key professionals in the creative industries also contributed to the success of the event. DCMS is currently in discussions with private sector companies to take forward the project. This has allowed us to reduce the overall budget from £3 million to £2 million over the period 2008-09 to 2010-11.

Departmental Sick Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many days of sick leave were taken by staff in his Department and its agency in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what the cost to his Department was of such sick leave. (305556)

The information is as follows:

Number of working days lost due to sickness during the period from 1 December 2008 to 30 November 2009

DCMS

The Royal Parks

Total

20008

December

134

52

186

2009

January

152

37

189

February

88

33

121

March

115

32

147

April

154

9

163

May

148

20

168

June

149

15

164

July

175

54

229

August

215

52

267

September

211

64

275

October

149

95

244

November

76

60

136

Total

1,766

523

2,289

Cost of sickness for the period from 1 December 2008 to 30 November 2009

£

DCMS

The Royal Parks

Total

20008

December

23,852

9,256

33,108

2009

January

27,056

6,586

33,642

February

15,664

5,874

21,538

March

20,470

5,696

26,166

April

28,182

1,647

29,829

May

27,084

3,660

30,744

June

27,267

2,745

30,012

July

32,025

9,882

41,907

August

39,345

9,515

48,860

September

38,613

11,712

50,325

October

27,267

17,385

44,652

November

13,908

10,980

24,888

Total

320,733

94,938

415,671

Film: Israel

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he expects to sign the co-production treaty concerning the film industry with the Government of Israel. (305358)

We hope to conclude negotiations with Israel on a film co-production agreement and to be able to announce arrangements for the signing of this agreement soon.

Grayling Political Strategy: Public Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what payments Arts Council East has made to Grayling Political Strategy in the last 12 months; for what purpose; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments have been made. (305135)

Arts Council England has advised the following position on the subject of expenditure relating to Regional Cities East (RCE).

Regional Cities East is a partnership between Colchester borough council, Ipswich borough council, Luton borough council, Norwich city council, Peterborough city council, Southend-on-Sea borough council, Arts Council England East and the East of England Development Agency.

In 2008-09, RCE had an overall budget of £120,000 from the partners, including a £60,000 contribution from Arts Council East, to promote the world class arts and cultural assets of these key cities.

In November 2008 Colchester borough council, as budget holder for Regional Cities East, contracted Grayling to deliver the first stage of this programme. Their fee was £90,876.00 + VAT for an initial 12 months from 1 November 2008 to 31 October 2009 and this resulted in press coverage equivalent to an editorial value of £334,000.

ACE East has had no contract with Grayling.

Olympic Legacy Board

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the membership is of the new Olympic Legacy board announced in his Department's press release of 2 October 2009; how many times the board has met; and on how many occasions (a) Sir Steve Redgrave and (b) each of the other six Olympic and Paralympic medallists has attended the board's meetings. (305790)

The Sport Legacy Delivery Board is made up of senior representatives from:

London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games

UK Sport

Youth Sport Trust

Sportscoach UK

Sport England

Sportscotland

Sports Council for Wales

Sport Northern Ireland

Local Government Association

Nations and Regions Board

Paralympics GB

British Olympic Association

British Paralympic Association

National Governing Bodies of Sport

Central Council of Physical Recreation

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Government Olympic Executive.

Sir Steve Redgrave is also a member, and the Department of Health and Department for Children, Schools and Families are auxiliary members.

The board has met twice since October 2009 and is due to meet again in January, February and March 2010. Sir Steve has attended one meeting; the School Sports Ambassadors have not attended either meeting.

Northern Ireland

Christmas

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department budgeted for Christmas trees in 2009. (306150)

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO), including its arms length bodies and the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland but excluding its agencies and NDPBs, does not hold the information required to answer this question because budget information is not broken down to this level of detail.

Employment: Religion

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) Catholics and (b) Protestants were employed in the (i) private and (ii) public sectors in Northern Ireland in each of the past 30 years; how many Catholics and Protestants were employed in the (A) Fire Service, (B) Police Service and (C) Civil Service in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years; and what percentage of the working age population of each community each of these figures represented. (302336)

Employment figures for the total number of Catholics and Protestants employed by the private and public sectors in Northern Ireland and for the proportions of each community that these figures represent are a matter for the Northern Ireland Administration; figures relating to the Fire Service and Northern Ireland Civil Service are also a matter for the Northern Ireland Administration.

The Chief Constable has provided the following table which gives the number of Catholics and Protestants employed as police officers in the Police Service of Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years.

Regular police officers

Protestant

Catholic

Not determined

As a percentage of total economically active Protestants1

As a percentage of total economically active Catholics1

2000

7,517

713

286

1.87

0.24

2001

7,365

706

281

1.83

0.24

2002

6,334

642

251

1.58

0.21

2003

6,117

840

236

1.52

0.28

2004

6,088

1,018

226

1.52

0.34

2005

6,025

1,265

206

1.50

0.42

2006

5,868

1,427

197

1.46

0.48

2007

5,759

1,588

195

1.43

0.53

2008

5,480

1,743

185

1.36

0.58

2009

5,305

1,904

184

1.32

0.64

1 This information has been derived from the Summary Report of Northern Ireland 2001 Population Census. Economically active persons are those aged 16 to 64.

Total number of economically active Protestants—401,473;

Total number of economically active Catholics—299,218.

Irish Language

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to Annex B of the St. Andrews Agreement of October 2006, what steps the Government plans to take to fulfil the commitment to introduce legislation on the Irish language, reflecting on the experience of Wales and the Republic of Ireland. (304265)

Annex B of the St. Andrews Agreement committed the Government to introducing an Irish Language Act, reflecting on the experience of Wales and Ireland, and to work with the Executive to enhance and protect the development of the Irish language.

The Government took forward this commitment through the publication of two consultation papers in December 2006 and March 2007 setting out their proposed approach to an Irish Language Act. The latter included draft clauses.

Following the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 8 May 2007, the responsibility in this area passed to the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive.

The Northern Ireland Executive was placed under a statutory duty, by the Northern Ireland (St. Andrews Agreement) Act 2006, to adopt a strategy to enhance and protect the development of Irish language. The Executive has a similar statutory duty to enhance and develop the Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture.

The Government recognise the close connection between language and identity issues, and understand the concern of individuals to see that the language in which they were brought up, or which is used in their communities, is respected. They therefore believe that these statutory duties are of particular importance and encourage the Executive to complete and publish their strategies.

The Government reaffirmed, at the British-Irish Council on 13 November 2009, their commitment to work with the Executive to support the development and implementation of strategies for Irish language and Ulster Scots and are continuing to work with other Administrations through the British-Irish Council to share best practice on the enhancement and protection of minority languages.

In addition, the Government are seeking views in their consultation paper “A Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland: Next Steps” on what additional legislative protections in relation to the Irish language might be included in a Northern Ireland Bill of Rights.

Work is also being taken forward in relation to Irish language broadcasting. The British and Irish Governments hope shortly to sign a memorandum of understanding which will contain commitments to the continuing widespread availability of TG4 in Northern Ireland following the digital switchover, and to exploring the increased availability of RTE in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Courts Service: Public Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what payments the Northern Ireland Courts Service has made to Stratagem in the last 12 months; for what purpose; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments have been made. (305161)

I have been asked to reply.

The Northern Ireland Court Service has not had a contract with Stratagem since March 2009. Between December 2008 and March 2009 the Court Service made payments totalling £1,479.50 to Stratagem for the provision of political monitoring.

Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission: Public Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what payments the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission has made to Weber Shandwick in the last 12 months; for what purpose; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments have been made. (305160)

I have been asked to reply.

During the last 12 months the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission has made payments to Weber Shandwick—Belfast totalling £52 582.84 for communication services for the period May 2008 to August 2009.

A statement of the remit, scope and terms of reference for the contract has been placed in the Library.

Offenders: Deportation

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 4 November 2009, Official Report, column 1039W, on devolution (1) whether primary legislation would be required to provide for a reserve power to block the repatriation of foreign national prisoners from Northern Ireland following the devolution of criminal justice and policing; and if he will make a statement; (304525)

(2) what circumstances would constitute grounds of national security for the purpose of exercising a reserve power to block the repatriation of foreign national prisoners from Northern Ireland following the devolution of criminal justice and policing; and if he will make a statement.

While the repatriation of foreign prisoners will become the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Minister for Justice after the devolution of criminal justice and policing, decisions on the grounds of national security will, however, remain excepted.

New primary legislation would not be required. The grounds of national security would be interpreted consistently with case law.

Terrorism: Compensation

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much compensation has been paid out to those affected by terrorist activity in Northern Ireland in each year since 1979. (305412)

The Compensation Agency is unable to provide the information requested, as the records held do not identify separately claims made as a result of terrorist activity.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Climate Change

18. To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his most recent assessment is of the effectiveness of the UK’s adaptation to climate change; and if he will make a statement. (305592)

Since the Climate Change Act came into force earlier this year, we have:

launched the UK Climate Projections 09

established the Adaptation Sub Committee; and

set out the strategy for using the Adaptation Reporting Power

The Adapting to Climate Change Programme is driving work on the first UK Climate Change Risk Assessment which will report in January 2012, in line with the timetable set out in the 2009 Act.

Food Labelling

21. To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with Ministerial colleagues on country of origin food labelling. (305596)

I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues and the Food Standards Agency to ensure that we have tighter, clearer and more accurate origin labelling.

Waste-to-Energy Plants

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps are being taken to increase the use of waste-to-energy plants; and if he will make a statement. (305575)

The Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy sets out current and future policies to divert biomass waste from landfill, support the supply of biomass waste for energy, and drive the delivery of the necessary infrastructure.

DEFRA has established the Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme to support local authorities and accelerate the building of the infrastructure needed to treat residual waste.

Biodiversity

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when his Department (a) concluded and (b) expects to publish its most recent assessment of the status of the Biodiversity Action Plan, Priority Species and Priority Habitats. (305797)

The most recent assessment of the status of Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species and Habitats was published in April 2009, as part of the update to the UK Biodiversity Indicators in Your Pocket. This can be found on the website of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures he has put in place to halt biodiversity loss beyond the expiry of the EU's 2010 targets; and if he will make a statement. (305798)

We are fully committed to identifying a new challenging ‘post 2010’ biodiversity target and we are playing a leading role in establishing it. For example, earlier this year, we hosted an international workshop in Reading which reviewed the 2010 indicators and considered implications for post 2010 indicator development. We have also been feeding into key discussions at EU and global level on the development of the post 2010 framework. Linked to this, we will co-host an international workshop with Brazil in January. This will be a key stepping stone on the path to agreeing a post 2010 target, or targets, in Japan next October.

Within the UK, we have published targets to increase the population and range of our priority species and restore and expand priority habitats by 2015.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of progress since February 2009 towards meeting the objectives set out in the EU's 2010 targets to halt biodiversity loss; and if he will make a statement. (305799)

The European Commission and member states are currently compiling data to allow an assessment next year of progress against the targets in the EU Biodiversity Action Plan. We measure our progress towards the EU's 2010 target to halt biodiversity loss through the UK Biodiversity Indicators. This was reported in the National Statistics publication “Biodiversity Indicators in Your Pocket 2007”, which was updated most recently in April 2009. Statistics for wild birds were updated in October 2009 and those for sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) are updated monthly.

Overall, 23 (72 per cent.) of the 32 measures that comprise the UK Biodiversity Indicators are “improving” or show “little or no overall change” since the year 2000. In particular, 89 per cent. of SSSIs are in favourable or recovering condition, agri-environment schemes are leading to significant improvements, and we have made great strides with the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009.

Fisheries: White Fish

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consultation his Department undertook with the under 10 metre fishing industry regarding the introduction of the 500kg cod lottery draw. (306058)

No formal consultation exercise was undertaken with the 10 metre and under fishing industry about the allocation of the additional 18 tonnes of cod quota in area VIId. It was not possible given the very short time available to arrange access to the additional fishing opportunity and still allow fishermen a reasonable chance to catch the fish before the end of the year.

The Marine and Fisheries Agency did, however, consult a number of individual fishermen on the south coast of England on a strictly informal basis on alternative allocation approaches before the final method of allocation was decided upon.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his most recent assessment is of the likely effects on the under 10 metre fishing industry of the introduction of the 500kg cod lottery draw. (306059)

The additional 18 tonnes of quota the Marine and Fisheries Agency was able to obtain for the inshore vessels to fish for cod in area VIId will prove a valuable, if limited, fishing opportunity for those vessels that received the quota. It is estimated that the additional quota will have a total value of c.£36,000 at current market prices, or £1,000 for each vessel that receives an allocation of 500kg of quota. An allocation of 500kg of quota per vessel should allow those vessels to undertake normal fishing activity and minimise discards in a mixed fishery until the end of the year.

Given the strictly limited quota available, it was not possible to open the fishery to all the licensed vessels that may have wished to take part in the fishery and remain confident of meeting the UK obligations in ensuring there is no overfish of this quota.

Flood Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of Ofwat's final determination on the ability of water companies to provide alternative water supplies in the event of contamination of usual supplies by flooding; and what recent assessment he has made of the capacity of water companies to increase the resilience of their water treatment plants to flooding. (304954)

Water companies have to provide a safe and secure water supply. It is for the companies themselves to take responsibility and make decisions on how best to protect the essential services they supply.

In its final determination Ofwat included over £414 million to improve the resilience of water and sewerage services against external hazards such as flooding.

Companies are also obliged to have emergency plans in place to maintain supply either through network resilience or deployment of bowsers, for which Ofwat has also allowed funding.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons the chief engineers and regional engineers in each region of England are no longer in place; and what alternative structure is in place for the carrying out of their functions. (304955)

DEFRA has given the Environment Agency a strategic overview of flood and coastal erosion risk management and, in line with this, passed it the management of the capital improvements programme. The chief engineer and regional engineers were primarily focused on this work.

To facilitate this transition the Environment Agency has strengthened its role at both regional and area levels, for example, by recruiting additional coastal engineers. DEFRA also seconded staff to the Environment Agency to ensure continuity of work and training.

DEFRA retains a smaller cadre of engineers and other experienced professionals who provide input to policy development and an intelligent client function for the flood and coastal erosion risk management programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people are registered with Floodline Warnings Direct. (305075)

The Environment Agency has over 450,000 registered users on Floodline Warnings Direct.

The Environment Agency's Floodline Warnings Direct is a free service that provides flood warnings direct to users by telephone, mobile, email, SMS text message and fax.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects a final national flood emergency framework to be implemented. (305076)

A fully developed National Flood Emergency Framework will be in place by June 2010, in line with the commitment given in response to Sir Michael Pitt’s review on the 2007 floods. The Framework will provide the basis for Exercise Watermark—our planned national exercise in March 2011.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on flood defences in each of the last five years. (305230)

DEFRA provides funding to operating authorities for flood defences from the allocation of funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management. Over the past five financial years this allocation totalled:

Financial year

DEFRA funding (£ million)

2008-09

568.1

2007-08

507.5

2006-07

506.0

2005-06

514.8

2004-05

415.4

Forests

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the proposed sites for tree-planting as recommended by the National Assessment of Forestry and Climate Change. (305624)

The National Assessment of Forestry and Climate Change published on 25 November does not put forward any specific sites for tree planting and we have not received any representations.

Our Strategy for England's Trees, Woods and Forests puts a strong emphasis on planting the right tree in the right place and we will be taking an integrated approach to see where additional woodland can complement other activities.

Forests: West Midlands

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to take steps to increase the area of woodland in the West Midlands. (305625)

As part of the Low Carbon Transition Plan announced in July, the Forestry Commission and DEFRA are working to develop the framework that would be needed to enable 10,000 hectares of new woodland to be created each year for the next 15 years. As part of this, the Forestry Commission will be working with partners in each region to identify the scope for increasing the area of woodland.

Horticulture

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures he is considering to increase the amount of home-grown horticultural produce; and if he will make a statement. (305583)

On 21 October I chaired the first meeting of the fruit and vegetable task force. It will look at how we can boost domestic production and consumption of fruit and vegetables in England. This is in addition to the support already provided which includes funding up to £7 million of research and development last year on horticultural crops.

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has made an assessment of the outcomes of the International Union for Conservation of Nature meeting held on 26 November 2009. (305623)

The Secretary of State co-hosted this roundtable event along with Ashok Khosla, the President of the International Union of Conservation and Nature, in support of the Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration. In the co-chairs' summary, “The London Challenge”, they recognise the progress made by the partnership since its establishment in 2003, the considerable potential for forest restoration globally and the important role of forest restoration in both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Work on restoration complements the work we are doing to tackle deforestation and forest degradation. The summary goes on to reflect issues raised by participants and actions to take forest restoration forward in the coming months. The final summary will be posted on the partnership's website following its distribution to participants.

Marine Management Organisation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on consultancy fees during the selection process of the headquarters of the Marine Management Organisation. (305085)

DEFRA has paid £6,900 in respect of property consultancy, including the site search and financial appraisal of the property options, for the Marine Management Organisation headquarters building in Newcastle.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements have been made for the temporary accommodation of Marine and Fisheries Agency staff in Newcastle before moving to Lancaster House; and what expenditure he expects his Department to incur on such temporary accommodation. (305086)

Since the beginning of October 2009, interim accommodation for Marine and Fisheries Agency staff based in Newcastle has been the Government Office North East. Additional accommodation from 14 December will be in city centre commercial offices. It is estimated that the cost of this interim accommodation will amount to approximately £150,000.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what expenditure has been incurred on recruitment agencies engaged to recruit staff for the Marine and Fisheries Agency in the last 12 months. (305087)

In the 12 months up to November 2009, approximately £153,000 of expenditure had been incurred on recruitment agencies as part of a continuing exercise to recruit Marine and Fisheries Agency staff.

Salmon: River Dee

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has made a recent estimate of the size of the population of salmon in the River Dee. (305341)

The Environment Agency carries out an annual assessment of the number of adult salmon entering the River Dee using data from a fish trap at Chester Weir. The latest available assessment indicates a population of 5,437 adult salmon entering the River Dee in 2008.

Transport

Bridges: Workington

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what plans there are to build a bailey bridge capable of taking wheeled vehicles across the River Derwent in Workington, Cumbria. (304488)

Following the recent floods in Cumbria an immediate priority in Workington is to improve transport links for communities on either side of the River Derwent, which have been significantly curtailed.

The Government are working closely with Cumbria county council on re-establishing those transport links. An additional rail station has been built at North Workington to allow a shuttle rail service to operate. The Army have also built a temporary footbridge, which opened on 7 December. These facilities are being supported with Government funding.

Cumbria county council are considering what measures would be appropriate to restore road vehicle links across the River Derwent at Workington. The Department for Transport is funding project management support to assist the authority with their infrastructure recovery planning. When Cumbria county council decides on how to restore road vehicle links, they will be able to include the costs in their claim to the Department for emergency capital highway maintenance funding.

Bus Services: Finance

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what bids for funding for new and enhanced bus services for local authorities and their partners he has received under the Kickstart Bus Funding Competition announced in January 2009; and when he plans to announce the successful schemes to be funded. (304274)

The Department for Transport received 105 bids for funding, totalling £63 million, from local authorities across England. An announcement will be made in due course.

Bus Services: Lincolnshire

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department has paid in grants to North East Lincolnshire local authority to provide free bus travel for pensioners in the last 12 months. (304428)

In the last 12 months, The Department for Transport has made payments totalling £614,039 in respect of concessionary travel special grant to North East Lincolnshire. The special grant provides funding solely to cover the extra costs that followed from the improvement to the statutory concession to all-England travel in April 2008. The Department for Communities and Local Government continues to provide the bulk of concessionary travel funding to local authorities through Formula Grant.

Crossrail Line

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many lorry movements carrying waste from tunnelling as part of the Crossrail project he estimates will take place in each month in 2012. (304287)

It is estimated that there will be around 60 lorry movements carrying waste from tunnelling as part of the Crossrail project per day during 2012. The need to reduce the number of such movements during the periods of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is recognised and is being actively considered by Crossrail Ltd. in consultation with the Olympic Delivery Authority, although the precise details will not be known until nearer the time.

85 per cent. of the excavated material from the tunnel drives will be removed by rail and boat, removing an estimated 500,000 lorry movements from the streets of London during the life of the project.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport by what means (a) contaminated tunnel waste, (b) non-contaminated tunnel waste and (c) waste of indeterminate quality from the Crossrail project will be disposed of. (304288)

Virtually all of the 7.3 million m3 of excavated material is expected to be clean and non-contaminated and can be reused elsewhere. A significant proportion of this material will be transported to Wallasea Island in Essex to enhance a nature reserve for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). This will be one of the largest new wetland nature reserves in Europe for some 50 years. Other sites being considered for this material include South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA) regeneration sites in Kent.

If any contaminated material or waste of indeterminate quality is found it will be transported to a specialist treatment facility.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what requirements he has identified for the need to stockpile waste during the construction phase of the Crossrail project. (304289)

It is anticipated that all categories of excavated material will be transported straight to its intended destination without the need for stockpiling. However, each construction site will have limited stockpiling capacity in case of unforeseen incidents on the rail, water or road networks.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment he has made of the (a) carbon footprint and (b) environmental sustainability of (i) the construction of Crossrail and (ii) the completed scheme; and what benchmarking exercises his Department has carried out in this respect. (304290)

The carbon footprint and environmental impacts of Crossrail during both construction and operation were assessed and presented in the Crossrail Environmental Statement, which was published in February 2005.

As a sustainable transport project Crossrail forms part of the Mayor of London's ‘London Plan’ which was itself subject to a sustainability assessment.

In addition Crossrail has worked with the Building Research Establishment to develop a BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) for its sub-surface stations and is using that and the Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Award Scheme (CEEQUAL) to benchmark the environmental performance of its designs.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what preparations have been made to reduce the effect of lorry movements associated with Crossrail construction during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. (304291)

Crossrail Ltd. and the Olympic Delivery Authority are working together to ensure that the Games proceed unhindered, and to ensure that the impact of Crossrail works is minimised during the Olympic/Paralympic Games periods.

The need to reduce the number of lorry movements during the periods of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is recognised and is being actively considered. The precise details will not be known until nearer the time.

Departmental Plants

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much has been spent by his Department on (a) cut flowers and (b) pot plants in each of the last three years. (306145)

The information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, the Department for Transport spent £87,401 on pot plants and £3,419 on cut flowers in 2008-09. This excludes spend incurred at the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency as the information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Spend on pot plants includes provision, maintenance and replacement of plants.

All expenditure was incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Departmental Public Relations

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what payments the British Transport Police has made to (a) Grayling Political Strategy and (b) Politics International in the last 12 months; for what purpose; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contracts under which such payments have been made. (305129)

This is a matter for the British Transport Police who can be contacted at 25 Camden Road, London, NW1 9LN, e-mail:

parliament@btp.pnn.police.uk

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what payments Cycling England has made to Blue Rubicon in the last 12 months; for what purpose; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments have been made. (305130)

Blue Rubicon has been contracted through the Central Office of Information (COI) to provide public relations services to Cycling England. The agency delivers a programme of activity targeting consumers and engaging stakeholders with the aim of getting more people cycling, more safely, more often. A key focus of Blue Rubicon’s work is the promotion of Bikeability cycle training for children (supporting the Government’s goal of training an additional 500,000 children by 2012).

In the 12 months from November 2008 to October 2009, £493,177 was paid to Blue Rubicon in connection with the provision of such services. A further £432,985 was spent on external expenses (such as the supply of Bikeability badges) associated with the Cycling England campaign and procured through Blue Rubicon. In total, £926,162 was spent over the 12 months. During this period, the contract was retendered and refocused. As a result, the total value of work for the seven months from April to October 2009 was just over £321,000.

Blue Rubicon’s contract is with the COI who have released a copy of the terms and conditions of the contract and their brief for the work. These have been placed in the Libraries.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what payments the Civil Aviation Authority has made to (a) Waterfront Public Affairs and (b) AS Biss/Mandate Communications in the last 12 months; for what purpose; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the contracts under which such payments have been made. (305131)

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) informs us that they have paid Waterfront Public Affairs a net amount of £96,019.80 in the last 12 months. This was for providing a public affairs and public relations consultancy service to the CAA. No payments have been made to AS Biss/Mandate Communications in the last 12 months. A copy of the Waterfront Public Affairs contract will be made available in the Libraries of the House.

Departmental Rail Travel

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport with reference to the answer of 12 May 2009, Official Report, column 645W, on departmental rail travel, whether (a) his Department's travel policy and (b) the travel policy of his Department's agencies allows staff to make claims from the public purse for travel in first class rail carriages in circumstances on which there are no seats in standard class available. (305148)

The travel policies of the central Department and of its agencies allow claims for first class travel in circumstances on which standard class seats are unavailable.

East Coast Railway Line: Rolling Stock

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the cost of refurbishing existing rolling stock on the East Coast Main Line to enable it to be used (a) up to and (b) beyond 2019. (301211)

In order to provide a comparison with the costs of the new Super Express Trains, which will operate on the East Coast Main Line from 2014, the Department for Transport has prepared an estimate of the costs of the alternative: of continuing to operate the existing intercity rolling stock beyond that time. This includes the period leading up to as well as the period beyond 2019. Release of this comparator information at this stage would diminish the Department's commercial position in negotiations with the preferred bidder, Agility Trains. We therefore remain convinced of the value for money of replacing the old rolling stock with the new Super Express Train, especially in the context of an extensive electrification programme.

Road Salting and Gritting

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on (a) contingency plans in the event of snow and (b) the stockpiling of road grit. (305562)

It is for each local authority to determine how best to set and deliver a winter service strategy for the highway network for which they are responsible. The Department for Transport has not issued formal guidance to local authorities on this, but endorses the UK Roads Liaison Group's (UKRLG) code of practice on highways maintenance management, “Well-maintained Highways”, which includes guidance on winter service. The code is available free from:

www.ukroadsliaisongroup.org

Following the severe weather in February this year, the then Secretary of State commissioned the UK Roads Liaison Group to identify the lessons that should be learnt regarding highway authorities' preparedness for extreme weather events. I will respond to the UKRLG's report shortly.

Roads: Accidents

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of road traffic accidents caused by partial parking on kerbs where the kerb is higher than four inches in the last 12 months. (305297)

Transport: Expenditure

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department spent per capita on transport (a) revenue and (b) capital schemes in (i) England, (ii) each Government region and (iii) the City of York Council area in each year since 1996-97. (304547)

The Department for Transport publishes estimates of its total expenditure on services per head by region and country in its annual report. These figures rest on a number of assumptions, for example about how total expenditure on strategic highways and rail should be attributed to different regions, and figures are not available below regional level. The report does not include the split between revenue and capital schemes.

However, a further analysis showing the breakdown between revenue and capital schemes per capita for the Department since its formation in May 2002 is provided in the following table:

Department for Transport revenue and capital expenditure per capita

Region

CAP or CUR

2002-031

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

North East

CAP

5

5

6

9

9

CUR

65

79

70

77

111

109

North West

CAP

8

9

9

14

16

CUR

81

102

114

111

148

153

Yorkshire and the Humber

CAP

5

5

6

10

9

CUR

67

82

73

76

119

114

East Midlands

CAP

6

7

8

10

9

CUR

90

100

94

104

127

114

West Midlands

CAP

7

9

9

12

12

CUR

85

105

125

121

143

142

East

CAP

5

5

6

8

8

CUR

86

92

73

75

104

99

London

CAP

30

12

13

19

20

CUR

135

285

116

107

141

142

South East

CAP

12

13

13

17

16

CUR

90

155

153

146

182

175

South West

CAP

5

7

9

11

10

CUR

71

89

100

113

148

134

England

CAP

6

6

7

10

10

CUR

89

133

107

107

141

136

1 The figures proved for 2002-03 are aggregate.

These figures do not include grant support provided by the Department to local authorities. Revenue support to authorities for transport is generally provided through the Revenue Support Grant. Amounts provided to York city council in these years are as follows:

£ millions

LTP funding

Pre-LTP funding

Major projects

Total capital funding

2009-10

4.856

4.856

2008-09

5.116

5.116

2007-08

5.560

5.560

2006-07

5.864

5.864

2005-06

6.225

6.225

2004-05

6.302

6.302

2003-04

5.981

5.981

2002-03

5.555

5.555

2001-02

5.995

5.995

2000-01

2.262

2.262

1999-2000

1.983

1.983

1998-99

1.127

1.127

1997-98

2.212

0.977

3.189

1996-97

No data

No data

2.262

2.262

Transport: Per Capita Costs

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much transport spending per person by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies there was on (i) light rail, (ii) heavy rail, (iii) bus and (iv) roads in (A) Yorkshire and Humber and (B) London in each year since 2005. (305767)

The Department for Transport publishes estimates of its total expenditure on services per head by region and country in its annual report. These figures rest on a number of assumptions, for example about how total expenditure on strategic highways and rail should be attributed to different regions.

These figures exclude grant to local authorities, including Greater London Authority Transport Grant, as this information is collated separately by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the Department for Work and Pensions and devolved Administrations.

The report does not provide a specific breakdown per capital for light rail, heavy rail, bus and roads.

To provide a detailed estimate of the figures on the basis sought would incur disproportionate cost.

Written Questions: Government Responses

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when he will respond to question 301331, tabled by the hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire on 19 November 2009, on departmental working practices. (305878)

Prime Minister

Departmental Security

To ask the Prime Minister how many security passes his Department has issued to contractors providing consultancy services in the last 12 months. (303940)

Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills

To ask the Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages of the merger of the Departments for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and Innovation, Universities and Skills. (303932)

I refer the hon. Member to the machinery of government press notice issued by my Office. Copies are available in the Library of the House and are also available on the No. 10 website at:

http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page19525

Iraq Committee of Inquiry: Disclosure of Information

To ask the Prime Minister what protocols have been agreed between the Government and the Iraq Inquiry on the disclosure and publication of documents provided to the Committee. (304131)

I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the Cabinet Office press release of 29 October publishing the information sharing protocol the Government have agreed with the Iraq Inquiry. This is the only protocol agreed between the Government and the Inquiry.

Members: Surveillance

To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2009, Official Report, column 366W, on Members: surveillance, if he will provide the information requested in respect of unreported interceptions since 1975. (304285)

Trinidad and Tobago: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

To ask the Prime Minister what (a) discussions he had and (b) conclusions were reached at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Trinidad and Tobago in 2009. (304527)

I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement of 30 November 2009, Official Report, column 113WS.

International Development

Bangladesh: Climate Change

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department is providing to Bangladesh to help combat the effect of climate change; and if he will make a statement. (305288)

The Department for International Development (DFID) works closely with the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) on climate change issues. DFID:

Assisted the GoB in developing a national Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and provided £60 million to help implement them.

Provided more than £6 million since 2004 to support disaster preparedness in the regions of Bangladesh most vulnerable to severe climate shocks. We are providing a further £12 million to support this work over the next five year, covering a wider area. This programme is implemented by UNDP and co-financed by the European Union. It is also part of Bangladesh's Climate Change Strategy.

Is providing £690,000 to research institutions and universities in Bangladesh to increase national capacity to assess the impacts of climate change and improve Bangladesh's climate adaptation strategy and activities.

Is building the country's resilience to climate change through improved governance, health, education and job opportunities.

Bangladesh: International Assistance

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department is providing to Bangladesh for the construction of cyclone defences following Cyclone Sidr in 2007. (305290)

The UK provided around £20 million in response to three natural disasters in 2007, including Cyclone Sidr. Approximately £2 million has been used to repair damaged coastal defences and build shelter homes in areas affected by Cyclone Sidr.

The World Bank has launched a special project called the Emergency Cyclone Recovery and Restoration Project (ECRP). This is a £138 million (US $226 million) project of which £19 million (US$ 30 million) has been specifically allocated to repair the embankments damaged by Cyclone Sidr. The UK has contributed £19.6 million to this project through our support to the World Bank International Development Association 15 fund.

Departmental Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many telephone lines with the prefix (a) 0870, (b) 0845 and (c) 0800 his Department (i) operates and (ii) sponsors; how many calls were received to each number in the last 12 months; and whether alternative numbers charged at the BT local rate are available in each case. (305214)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has one telephone number with the prefix 0845. This is used by the Department's Public Enquiry Point in our office in Scotland. DFID pay a fixed annual fee for this telephone line which includes rental and all outgoing call charges. This line is managed via the Governments Management Telecoms Service and DFID does not receive any payment for calls made to this number. Calls to this number are charged at the local rate.

DFID does not keep a record of calls made to the 0845 number, this information would need to be specifically requested from our supplier.

DFID do not have any telephone lines with the prefix 0800 or 0870.

Health

Autism: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research into cerebral inhibition soothing behaviours and the compromised capacity of persons who are autistic undertaken by autism spectrum experts his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated; and if he will make a statement. (305721)

Neither the Department nor the Medical Research Council (MRC) is currently supporting or evaluating research relating to cerebral inhibition soothing behaviours and the compromised capacity of persons who are autistic. Both fund a portfolio of other research relating to autism on which the MRC, for example, spent over £2.4 million in 2008-09.

Christmas

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department budgeted for Christmas trees in 2009. (306147)

Departmental Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to paragraph 17 of the Explanatory Notes for the Personal Care at Home Bill, which budgets within his Department will fund the Department’s £420 million contribution in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and by how much in each case. (306014)

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 8 December 2009, Official Report, column 296W, to the hon. Member for Boston and Skegness (Mark Simmonds).

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has allocated to the Aiming Higher for Disabled Children programme in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11. (305293)

The 2009 Child Health Strategy, ‘Healthy lives, brighter futures’, confirmed that £340 million was included in primary care trust (PCT) baseline allocations by the Department of Health for disabled children for the period 2008-09 to 2010-11, to support the implementation of the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme and the children's palliative care strategy, ‘Better Care: Better Lives’. This figure includes £30 million to deliver the priorities for children's palliative care. Neither the programme nor the strategy broke down the funding by year. It is for PCTs to determine how best to use this funding based on local needs.

Copies of both documents have already been placed in the Library.

Mental Capacity Act 2005

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions the Mental Capacity Act 2005 has been invoked in order to modify the situation pertaining to someone with disability in order to maximise their individual capacity; and if he will make a statement. (305722)

Mental Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the level of implementation of the National Service Framework for mental health; and if he will make a statement. (305913)

No recent assessment has been made of the level of implementation of the National Service Framework (NSF). However, we know that the NSF has led to an impressive range of policy initiatives in a previously neglected area of service provision. We have seen many benefits for people who use mental health services in the form of more money, with real terms investment in adult mental health services increasing by 44 per cent. (or £1.7 billion), since 2001-02. We also know that more patients have been helped, with crisis resolution teams providing over 106,000 home treatments to patients in the year 2007-08.

Further, because of the NSF the national health service now has 64 per cent. more consultant psychiatrists, 71 per cent. more clinical psychologists and 21 per cent. more mental health nurses than it had in 1997, and over 740 new community mental health teams offering home treatment, early intervention, or intensive support for people who might otherwise have been admitted to hospital.

Mental Health Services: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much funding has been allocated to the provision of cognitive behavioural therapy in each primary care trust in each of the last five years. (305483)

The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme's principal aim is to support primary care trusts (PCTs) in implementing National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines for people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.

To date, IAPT has focused solely on the provision of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). IAPT has allocated funds centrally to the national health service in each of the last two years, rather than directly and individually to each PCT.

This centrally allocated money has seen £33 million allocated in 2008-09, with 35 IAPT services established. A further £70 million (to a total of £103 million) has been centrally allocated in 2009-10, with 115 IAPT services established. In 2010-11, a further £70 million (to a total of £173 million) will be allocated.

The expansion of sites are part of a phased roll-out and services will be beginning to be implemented in every PCT by 2011 and the NHS is committed to delivering universal coverage in the period after 2011. Prior to the start of the IAPT programme in 2008, CBT provision was not funded through centrally allocated money. Information about spending on CBT prior to 2008-09 is not collected by the Department but is held by PCTs.

Neuroblastoma

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy that monoclonal antibody therapy is available to NHS patients diagnosed with neuroblastoma. (305803)

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has not issued any guidance on monoclonal antibody therapy for the treatment of neuroblastoma.

In the absence of NICE guidance, it is a matter for local national health service organisations to decide whether to fund a particular drug or treatment. The NHS Constitution gives patients the right to expect local funding decisions on the availability of drugs and treatments to be made rationally following consideration of the available evidence.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the number of children who have neuroblastoma. (305804)

Information on the number of patients with neuroblastoma (prevalence) is not held centrally, nor has any estimate been made.

However, the following table shows the number of children and young people aged 19 and under diagnosed with an unspecified adrenal gland cancer, which could include neuroblastoma, during 2007. This is the latest year for which incidence data are available.

Registrations of newly diagnosed cases of adrenal gland, unspecified cancer1, in persons aged 19 years and under by age group in England2 during 20073

Age of person diagnosed (years)

Number of cancers diagnosed

Less than 1

7

1-4

19

5-9

5

10-14

0

15-19

4

1 Adrenal gland, unspecified cancer (including neuroblastoma) is coded as C74.9 in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10).

2 Based on boundaries as of 2009.

3 Newly diagnosed cases registered in 2007.

4 For young people aged 15-19, the reported incidence levels indicate less than three individuals. Due to this small cell count, the data have been suppressed to avoid the risk of disclosure.

Source:

Office for National Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Government have allocated to research to find a cure for neuroblastoma. (305805)

The Department's National Institute for Health Research is undertaking translational research specifically concerned with neuroblastoma at two of its Biomedical Research Centres; and via its national cancer research network is currently supporting some nine studies into the condition. The Department has additionally invested over £1 million in experimental cancer medicine centres specifically to support early-phase clinical trials for children with cancer, including trials for children with neuroblastoma. It is not possible to disaggregate the cost of these research activities.

Social Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the economic modelling used for the Shaping the Future of Care Together consultation. (305697)

The Department is working towards publishing a White Paper on care and support in early 2010. They have been working with the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) to provide the modelling and analysis to underpin our policy development. We were provided with an interim report from PSSRU in November but that report was based on a view of the system when the Green Paper was published. Our core modelling assumptions have changed quite significantly since then as a result of our stakeholder engagement, responses to our consultation and developments such as the Prime Minister’s announcement on free personal care. The report is therefore only part of the story and we have come to the conclusion that to publish it now could be unhelpful to the wider debate on the future of care and support.

PSSRU continue to model the costs and benefits of a new National Care Service based on revised assumptions.

The whole methodology of the interim report was published in July on the PSSRU’s website at:

www.pssru.ac.uk/pdf/dp2644.pdf

The top level costs and benefits are in the impact assessment published with the Green Paper and available on the Big Care Debate website at:

http://careandsupport.direct.gov.uk/greenpaper/the-green-paper-and-supporting-documents/

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent consideration he has given to raising the charges for lower levels of need in order to subsidise free personal care at the critical level. (305740)

Setting charges for social care is a matter for local authorities. Free personal care will be funded by an additional £420 million from central Government and £250 million from local government efficiency savings.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to paragraph 5.14 of the impact assessment for the Personal Care at Home Bill; what assessment he has made of the likely effect on small businesses in the care sector if individuals and local authorities do not use money that would have been spent on personal care for other purchases. (305742)

The impact assessment published alongside the current consultation document, “Personal Care at Home: a consultation on proposals for regulations and guidance”, sets out the current considerations on the impact on small firms. Both documents have already been placed in the Library.

The consultation will close on 23 February 2010 and a response to the document will be published subsequently. We will also be undertaking direct stakeholder engagement alongside the consultation process and this will be considered as part of this.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the purposes set out for the Personal Care at Home Bill vary between page two of the impact assessment, paragraph 7.2 of the impact assessment and the human rights section of the relevant explanatory note. (305751)

The different sections of text referred to are intended to detail differing aspects of the Personal Care at Home Bill. Therefore, differing explanations are required to appropriately define each section of the text. There are no inconsistencies between them.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the impact assessment for the Personal Care at Home Bill, what recent assessment he has made of the risk of catastrophic costs being incurred. (305976)

Paragraph 5.6 of the impact assessment recognises that the costs of meeting personal care needs will be greater for individuals in higher need and that, if these costs are incurred over an extended period of time, they may sum to a significant and in some cases catastrophic, amount.

It is this risk, which cannot be well insured against in the current market, that the Personal Care at Home Bill is seeking to reduce for individuals in highest need.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he had with Ministerial colleagues in respect of the formulation of his policy on the provision of free personal care at home. (305977)

In formulating policy proposals as part of the Personal Care at Home Bill, there were appropriate ministerial level discussions and clearances.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment his Department has made of the likely effect of future demographic changes on the provision of free personal care; and if he will make a statement; (306151)

(2) what models his Department has commissioned to assess the future provision of free personal care for those people with the highest needs; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr. O'Brien) on 7 December 2009, Official Report, column 166W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment his Department has made of the geographical distribution of the provision of free personal care; and if he will make a statement. (306152)

I refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave to the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr. O'Brien) on 8 December 2009, Official Report, column 294W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how his Department defines eligibility in relation to the provision of free personal care; and if he will make a statement. (306153)

Eligibility in relation to the provision of free personal care is set out in the consultation document, “Personal Care at Home: a consultation on proposals for regulations and guidance” and comments are invited. The consultation will close on 23 February 2010 and will inform the drafting of regulations which will define the scheme.

The consultation document has already been placed in the Library.

Energy and Climate Change

Christmas

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many Christmas trees were purchased by his Department in each year since its establishment; what the cost was of those trees in each year; from where the trees were sourced; what account was taken of the sustainability of the sources of the trees; and by what process the trees were disposed of. (305644)

Climate Change

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department attended the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit; what methods of transport each used to travel (a) to and (b) from the Summit; and whether he has applied carbon offsets to carbon footprint of the collective travel of the UK delegation to the Summit. (305847)

Two Ministers and 38 officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change are in Copenhagen, or will be shortly arriving in Copenhagen, to attend the UNFCCC summit on Climate Change. Seven delegates travelled by rail, 28 by plane, and five have yet to determine their method of travel. All of DECC’s travel emissions are offset.

Departmental Electronic Equipment

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many plasma screen televisions his Department has purchased since its inception; and what the cost has been of purchasing and installing such screens. (306086)

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the cost was of his Department's 1st Anniversary Stakeholder Reception held on 12 October 2009. (303405)

Departmental Publications

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he has taken to (a) inform interested parties of and (b) distribute his Department's publication The arrangements for the management and disposal of waste from new nuclear power stations: a summary of evidence; and how many copies of the document have been printed. (304416)

The Planning Act 2008 requires the Government to consult the public and stakeholders on the National Policy Statements (NPSs) before they can be designated. The waste assessment summary evidence paper is part of a suite of documents supporting the draft Nuclear NPS, which is currently subject to a wide ranging national consultation lasting 15 weeks. As part of this programme the Government have corresponded with statutory consultees, have set up a dedicated NPS website and are conducting national and local engagement events targeting key stakeholders and members of the public. These have been widely advertised through print, broadcast and online media, as well as by generating PR coverage and targeted communications including leaflets and an email campaign.

The waste assessment summary evidence paper has not been printed in large quantities The document is available on the NPS consultation website for viewing or download, and DECC has so far printed over 100 copies from this source and made them available at local exhibition events.

Departmental Taxis

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what contracts his Department has with private hire taxi companies; and what expenditure his Department has incurred against each such contract in each year since his Department was established. (300842)

Industrial Diseases: Compensation

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what hospitality officials in his Department and its predecessors with responsibility for the two miners’ compensation schemes have received from Capita Group plc since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (302087)

Capita became the Department’s claims handling contractor in 2004. Information held by the Department on hospitality received since 2004 related to officials in the Coal Liability Unit (CLU) is provided in the following table:

Hospitality received by officials responsible for the Coal Health Schemes

Date received

Section

Staff by grade

Hospitality received

Total value (£)

October 2005

CLU

SCS plus staff below SCS (x 3)

Dinner

120.00

23 June 2006

CLU

SCS

Lunch

10.00

26 July 2006

CLU

SCS plus staff below SCS (x 1)

Dinner

45.00

August 2006

CLU

SCS

Dinner

25.00

29 March 2007

CLU

SCS

Lunch

10.00

18 September 2007

CLU

SCS plus staff below SCS (x 1)

Lunch and dinner

50.00

13 December 2007

CLU

Staff below SCS (x 3)

Lunch

90.00

30 July 2008

CLU

Staff below SCS (x 3)

Lunch

90.00

22 September 2008

CLU

Staff below SCS

Meal

20.00

22 July 2009

CLU

Staff below SCS

Dinner

25.00

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether Capita Group plc receives a financial benefit from reducing (a) the total money paid out and (b) the amount of money paid to individual claimants under each of the two miners’ compensation schemes. (302089)

I can confirm that there is no financial benefit to Capita in respect to (a) or (b) under the Department’s contractual arrangements for claims handling for the vibration white finger and respiratory disease schemes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what evaluation his Department has made of the effectiveness for claimants of the Coal Health Compensation Scheme. (304683)

The Coal Health Compensation Schemes have been closely scrutinised by a range of reviews including the Boys Smith Review conducted in 2005 for the then Minister for Energy, my right hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, North (Malcolm Wicks); the Trade and Industry Select Committee Review in 2005; and the National Audit Office report in 2007 on the schemes and the subsequent Public Accounts Committee hearing in 2007 and Committee's Report in 2008.

I am proud that we are now moving towards the conclusion of these schemes under my ministerial ‘watch’. We believe these are the biggest personal injury schemes in British legal history. They are complex schemes that were set up in agreement between the Department and the miners' solicitors’ representatives following the original judgments in the 1990's and then endorsed by the High Court. This ensured that miners and their families received the level of compensation to which they might reasonably have been entitled had they pursed their claim in common law.

I believe that objective has been achieved as we now draw near to the completion of the vibration white finger (VWF) and respiratory disease schemes. In all almost 760,000 miners' claims have been processed and compensation now totalling £4.1 billion has been paid out.

The VWF litigation was wound up in the High Court on 1 May 2009 following the completion of processing nearly all the 170,000 claims. There are now fewer than 10 VWF general damages and 20 special damages scheme claims left to settle. There are also a small number of claims involving individual mediations or court actions to be concluded. For the respiratory scheme where we had nearly 590,000 claims there are now less than 2,000 active claims left to be settled and we are on track to achieving settlement of the majority of these by mid 2010.

However, it has not all been plain sailing. Clearly we have all learnt lessons from the operation of these schemes.

One of the key issues remains the conduct of solicitors in making deductions from compensation. I continue to hold regular meetings with the Legal Complaints Service (LCS) and Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) and I know that this work remains an important focus for both organisations. I welcome recent developments both in terms of action taken against individual firms of solicitors and actions being taken by solicitors to offer repayment of deductions. I would urge firms that have not taken such actions to co-operate with the LCS.

I also recognise that despite the scale of these schemes it has taken too long for some claimants to receive the compensation they were entitled too. I apologise to those people who have had to wait so long. The key lesson here is about making sure information required to process claims is obtained at an early stage and the use of tight and binding timescales for all parties to manage the claims to be settlement. The successful fast track risk offer scheme has also demonstrated how claims can be settled more rapidly for some claimants.

In overall terms, I believe settling the claims has been a major achievement for this Government delivering over £4.1 billion in compensation to miners and their families. I would also like to pay tribute to those that have contributed to delivery of the schemes on behalf of the Department.

Nuclear Power

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the merits of including in his Department’s report, Appraisal of sustainability of the draft national nuclear policy statement: main report, published on 9 November 2009, an appraisal relating to the uranium mined for the nuclear fuel used in new reactors. (305241)

The Appraisal of Sustainability is intended to assess the environmental and sustainability impacts of the draft Nuclear National Policy Statement and therefore focuses on those impacts which arise from the draft Nuclear National Policy Statement itself. The draft Nuclear National Policy Statement provides guidance to the Infrastructure Planning Commission on the construction and operation of new nuclear power stations. It does not cover mining or milling of uranium.

The Government have previously considered the environmental impacts of uranium mining and milling as part of the 2007 consultation on nuclear power. The Government published their response in the Nuclear White Paper in January 2008. In the Nuclear White Paper, the Government set out that conventional uranium mining do not differ significantly from mining of other metalliferous ores or coal for other types of power stations. Furthermore, an increasing proportion of the world’s uranium now comes from in-situ leaching. This is a process that does not require the ore to be mined and generates much less waste, though it can have a negative impact on the water table and is not suitable for all types of uranium deposits. There are established environmental constraints, such as the regulations governing uranium mining in Australia which cover, among other things, environmental protection and the requirement to meet environmental approvals before mining proceeds. Additionally, most uranium mining companies in Australia and Canada, which supply much of the world’s uranium, have achieved certification from the International Organisation for Standardisation. This body sets the standard for, and undertakes audits of, environmental management systems. These environmental constraints minimise the environmental impacts of mining operations.

The consultation on my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State’s proposed decisions on the regulatory justification of new nuclear power station designs, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House and are available at:

www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/reg_just_cons/reg_just_cons.aspx

also covers this issue. In the consultation, my right hon. Friend explains that he considers that he is not bound to take practices outside the UK into account in making a regulatory justification decision but he has none the less considered the issue in view of fact that various respondents to the previous consultation on the regulatory justification process had raised concerns about the issue.

Renewable Energy: Heating

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he will be consulting on the Renewable Heat Incentive. (306003)

We aim to publish the consultation on the renewable heat incentive (RHI) in January 2010. We had previously intended to publish the consultation by the end of 2009, however, we now plan to publish in January.

Home Department

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will publish a Government response to future recommendations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs; (306009)

(2) what factors he takes into consideration when assessing recommendations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs;

(3) on what basis he rejected the recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs that cannabis should remain a class C drug.

As my right hon. Friend the former Home Secretary, Member for Redditch (Jacqui Smith), advised in her statement to the House on 7 May 2008, Official Report, column 705, the reclassification of cannabis as a Class B drug against the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) was based on a number of factors, including but not limited to scientific evidence. Reclassification on 26 January 2009 is a preventative measure to protect the public, particularly the future health of young people.

The Government’s Reply to the Fifth Report from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Session 2005-06 HC 1031 Drug classification: making a hash of it? can be found at:

http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm69/6941/6941.pdf

sets out the factors, including the ACMD’s recommendations, that are considered in relation to drug classification decisions.

The Government have published and will continue to publish responses to the recommendations in the reports of Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

Alcoholic Drinks: Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his most recent estimate is of the cost to his Department of crime caused by alcohol misuse in each region in the last five years. (305399)

The Home Office has estimated the cost of alcohol-related crime and disorder in England and Wales in 2007-08 as between £8-£13 billion per year. We are unable to break down this estimate by region.

Anabolic Steroids

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) cautioned, (b) arrested, (c) charged and (d) convicted of offences related to the (i) possession and (ii) supply of anabolic steroids in each year since 2005. (304097)

Information from the court proceedings database held by the Ministry of Justice, showing the number of defendants cautioned, proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for offences relating to the possession and supply of anabolic steroids in England and Wales, 2005-07 (latest available) can be viewed in the following table.

The Ministry of Justice do not collect charging data; proceeded against information has been provided in lieu.

Data for 2008 are planned for publication on 28 January 2010.

The arrests collection held by the Home Office covers arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only, broken down at a main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person and robbery. It is not possible to separate data on arrests related to the possession and supply of anabolic steroids from within these offence groups.

Number of defendants cautioned, proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for offences relating to the possession and supply of anabolic steroids1, England and Wales, 2005-072, 3, 4, 5

Cautioned

Proceeded against

Found guilty

2005

28

16

15

2006

15

14

12

2007

24

22

14

1Offence descriptions:

i. Supplying or offering to supply (or being concerned in supplying or offering to supply) a controlled drug: Anabolic Steroids Statute: Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, section 4(3)

ii. Having possession of a controlled drug: Anabolic Steroids Statute: Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, section 5(2)

iii. Having possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply: Anabolic Steroids Statute: Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, section 5(3).

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

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

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

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

Source:

Justice Statistics Analytical Services: Ministry of Justice.

Children: Abuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of his Department's budget was allocated to tackling child abuse and the viewing of images of child abuse online in each of the last five years. (304639)

The Government set up the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in 2006 to help protect children online. They have tackled both those who abuse children and those who are trading in images of such abuse. Since 2006 the Government have provided funding for the Centre as follows.

£ million

2006-07

5.360

2007-08

5.657

2008-09

6.270

2009-10

6.353

In addition, chief constables have their normal policing budget which they are able to use on the priorities for their forces. Any decision on funding or staffing for child protection activity is a matter for the chief constables for their area.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what further work he plans to undertake on the relationship between viewing images of child abuse online and child abuse. (304719)

The Government's efforts on the relationship between viewing images of child abuse online and child abuse focus on the training courses provided by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre for child protection professionals. These courses are designed to do two things. Firstly, to help delegates better understand the nature of sexual offending and secondly to impart the skills and knowledge that can better equip professionals to deal with the difficult and distressing nature of this crime. Many of CEOP's training courses are based on material gathered during investigations, and case studies of sex offenders interviewed by CEOP's dedicated Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU). The relationship between the use of images and contact offending is a key thread that runs through all of their project areas and something that is considered in all of the interviews that the BAU conduct with offenders.

Crime and Disorder Act 1988