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Written Answers

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 7 January 2010

Prime Minister

Departmental Conferences

To ask the Prime Minister how many (a) away days and (b) conferences that took place outside his Office's buildings attended by civil servants in his Office there have been since 2005; and what the cost was of each. (307470)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Cabinet Office on 16 December 2009, Official Report, column 1253W.

Departmental Written Questions

To ask the Prime Minister how many and what percentage of parliamentary questions tabled for written answer by him on a named day in session 2008-09 received a substantive answer on that day. (307534)

My office aims to answer all ordinary written parliamentary questions within five working days, and named day written parliamentary questions on the day named.

In the parliamentary session 2008-09 87 per cent. of named day questions were answered on the day named.

Iraq Committee of Inquiry

To ask the Prime Minister whether it is his policy not to make any substantive comment on Iraq until the Chilcot Inquiry on Iraq has completed its work. (308058)

I will continue to take forward the Government's policy in Iraq. As to the inquiry, it continues to sit and will hear evidence and then make its report.

Members: Surveillance

To ask the Prime Minister with reference to the answer to my right hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice and Howden (David Davis) of 21 July 2009, Official Report, column 1166W, on Members: surveillance, whether the Wilson Doctrine applies to forms of surveillance and interception which are not subject to authorisation by the Secretary of State's warrant. (308634)

I have nothing further to add to the answer I gave on 21 July 2009, Official Report, column 1166W.

Official Gifts

To ask the Prime Minister (1) what official gifts he and his predecessor have received from the President of Pakistan in each year since 2001; (307738)

(2) what official gifts he and his predecessor have received from the President of Afghanistan in each year since 2001.

The Government have published annual lists of gifts received and given by Ministers in an official capacity valued at more than £140 since 2001. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. Information for the current financial year will be published in the usual way.

House of Commons Commission

Disabled People

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what steps the House of Commons Commission has taken to apply the principles of Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in respect of making reasonable adjustments to enable a disabled person to hold office in the last five years. (307865)

The House provides considerable support for Members with disabilities to help them to carry out their duties. Support and advice are provided by the Department of Resources, the Department of Facilities and the Parliamentary ICT Service. This support includes medical appraisals and help from the Consultant Occupational Health Physician, the provision of a variety of equipment (i.e. specialised IT software and equipment, motorised wheelchairs etc.), accommodation adjustments, and funding for transport needs and additional staff help where necessary. A leaflet is in preparation setting out the help that is available to Members with disabilities after the next general election.

The Commission’s duties under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 are duties owed as an employer rather than duties owed to holders of elected office.

Defence

Afghanistan: Reconstruction

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the Kajaki dam in Northern Helmand province to be operational. (308633)

I have been asked to reply.

The Kajaki dam is operational and producing around 33 MW of power, benefiting at least 200,000 people.

Armed Forces: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his statement of 15 December 2009, Official Report, columns 801-04, on the future defence programme, (1) which training exercises will be cancelled; (309240)

(2) what aspects of Army training his Department plans to reduce.

Given our current commitments, we must ensure that our core activity is focused on preparing our soldiers for the Department’s main effort, success on operations in Afghanistan. Combined with the pressures that the Defence budget has faced, this means prioritising our resources to these critical activities, and reductions in some non-operational specific training. Our training, and associated equipment fleets, are being managed to this effect.

We are working through detailed implementation. But no training for current deployments will be cut. An example where we could expect reductions, however, is in the levels of training provided for heavy armour, such as Challenger 2 tanks which have not been deployed in Afghanistan.

Departmental Billing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of invoices submitted to his Department have been paid within 10 days in each month since October 2008; and if he will make a statement. (307961)

Information currently available for the Department, its agencies and trading funds is provided in the following table:

MOD and agenciesUKHOMet OfficeDSTLDSG

Total

Percentage paid

Total

Percentage paid

Total

Percentage paid

Total

Percentage paid

Total

Percentage paid

November 2008

390,354

72.3

December 2008

415,608

85.0

January 2009

361,494

80.0

1,267

55.5

February 2009

459246

85.0

1,010

82.5

March 2009

466,246

90.7

740

94.7

1,271

86.2

April 2009

472,644

92.8

551

97.6

1,090

81.3

May 2009

445,844

98.4

572

98.1

922

77.5

June 2009

448,697

97.5

574

97.4

610

92.3

July 2009

431,323

97.7

800

98.5

729

93.0

3,592

72.5

August 2009

412,871

98.0

547

97.8

577

95.1

2,284

98.0

September 2009

398,351

98.0

491

94.9

638

95.9

2,234

88.5

6,286

76.4

October 2009

415,740

98.6

600

98.0

647

95.0

3,081

98.8

6,446

88.7

November 2009

420,291

98.4

577

95.0

594

96.8

2,621

98.6

7,047

92.5

Key:

UKHO: United Kingdom Hydrographic Office

DSTL: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

DSG: Defence Support Group

The Government are committed to improving the payment culture in the UK in order to create a fair and stable business climate. Government Departments and their agencies should aim to pay all invoices not in dispute within 10 days or within the agreed contractual terms if otherwise specified.

The Ministry of Defence fully supports this policy.

Olympics

Olympic Games: Education

To ask the Minister for the Olympics whether she plans to take steps to provide educational materials to schools on the history of the Olympic Games. (308476)

“Get Set” is the official London 2012 education programme for schools, colleges and local authority education providers across the UK. It is managed by The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

The “Get Set” programme offers a wide range of opportunities for young people between 3 and 19 to connect with London 2012 and also for education providers across the UK to use “Get Set” materials. There are over 9,000 schools, colleges and other learning institutions registered.

The “Get Set” website:

www.london2012.com/getset

offers learning providers a range of resources such as films, activity ideas and games based around the Paralympic and Olympic values.

It is updated on a regular basis to provide fresh ideas and additional support materials. For example, teachers were provided with material to mark 1,000 days to go to London 2012 and resources will also be released to tie in with the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games beginning in February.

The resources available include information on the history of the Olympic/Paralympic movements which can be used on the web or downloaded as factsheets.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Welfare Act 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 279W, on the Animal Welfare Act 2006, what progress has been made on considering the consultation responses; and when he expects revised drafts to be published. (309329)

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: The codes of practice for the welfare of cats, dogs and horses were laid before Parliament on 8 December. If approved by Parliament, they will come into force on 6 April 2010.

A summary of the responses can be found on the DEFRA website and copies of all the responses have been placed in the House Library.

Animals: Codes of Practice

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons the recently published codes of practice for the welfare of dogs and cats did not include guidance on breeding. (308187)

The main purpose of the cat and dog codes is to assist the courts in cases of poor welfare, brought under the Animal Welfare Act, in relation to cats or dogs. Another purpose is to provide owners of cats and dogs with guidance in how to meet the welfare needs of their animals, as required under the Act. Protecting the progeny of animals is not covered in the code.

The breeding of dogs has been considered by the Associate Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare, which reported in the autumn. The report from Sir Patrick Bateson on dog breeding will be published in January. The recommendations from these two inquiries will need careful consideration and to issue a code of practice on breeding at this juncture might preempt the conclusions we draw from this valuable work.

Campaign for the Farmed Environment

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Country Landowners Association and the National Farmers Union on (a) the Campaign for the Farmed Environment sponsored by these bodies and (b) progress towards the targets set by that campaign for (i) England, (ii) Lancashire and (iii) Cumbria. (308541)

I have met with the leaders of both organisations a number of times over recent months to discuss how best to recapture the environmental benefits of set-aside through the development of the Campaign for the Farmed Environment, as have my ministerial colleagues and our officials. The Memorandum of Understanding which has been signed by all the campaign partners, including DEFRA, CLA and NFU, and the nearly £3 million of funding which the Department has earmarked for the campaign, demonstrates the commitment of all the partners to its success.

The campaign's targets are for England and are not county-specific. It is currently too early to assess the impact of the campaign on the ground, following its official launch on 5 November 2009, but I have just received an interim report from the campaign's industry partners reporting on progress to date with setting up the campaign. DEFRA has also recently sent out a baseline sample survey of farmers' existing voluntary actions, against which future annual surveys will establish the progress of the campaign. Our intention is that the results of the first of these surveys will be published in summer 2010.

Domestic Waste: Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which local authorities levy an annual charge for wheeled refuse containers; what charge was set by each such authority in 2009-10; and how much each such authority raised in such charges in the most recent financial year. (309433)

Food: Climate Change

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps in consultation with farmers and supermarkets to undertake research into the effects of climate change on the preservation of foodstuffs grown in an extended growing season. (308885)

The Government have not funded research to look specifically at the impacts of climate change on storage of food products. However, we have funded research to improve storage of products to extend storage time, maintain quality in storage and therefore reduce losses. This has been achieved through improvements in storage technology and crop management.

We have also commissioned research to develop storage technologies that are more sustainable. The knowledge and improved technologies delivered provide greater resilience to climate change because they provide options for adaptation. A non-exhaustive list of relevant research projects is shown in the following table.

Further information on these projects is available from the DEFRA website at:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Location=None &Module=FilterSearchNewLook&Completed=Q

Code

Title

Start

End

Cost (£)

FO0308

Development of diffuse browning disorder in relation to physiological and biochemical changes in apple fruit during development and storage

April 2007

March 2009

201,094

LK09105

A novel strategy for reducing wastage in potato storage by improved control of tuber dormancy.

October 2007

March 2008

42,468

LK0985

Defining and managing risks to safety and quality during food and feed grain storage

July 2006

July 2011

648,020

LK0967

Biopesticides for the control of storage insect pests

April 2005

September 2009

393,114

AR0603

Interaction of biology and behaviour of storage insects with environmental conditions in bulk grain

April 2002

March 2006

655,327

AR0604

Safe storage of grain by preventing and controlling the development of mite pests

April 2002

March 2006

614,325

HH2602SFV

Molecular and biochemical characters of post harvest quality in brassicas

January 2002

December 2005

539,903

LK0929

Improving the detection and monitoring of storage beetle pests by development of a multi-species lure

October 2002

September 2005

221,329

HH2603STF

The potential for manipulating the orchard microflora to control storage rot fungi

April 2001

March 2005

208,399

HH2604STF

Storage rots in plums and cherries

September 2001

August 2004

154,852

HH2606STF

Identify the mechanisms of a naturally-occurring, heritable trait for reduced ethylene production in apple fruits

April 2001

March 2004

494,252

LK0919

Control of potato storage diseases by laser treatment

October 2001

September 2004

116,015

HH2118STF

Integrated control of new storage rot problems in apples and pears.

April 1998

March 2001

153,781

HH2120TTF

Expanding the potential of the UK stone fruit industry by the use of modern storage technology

April 1998

March 2001

246,847

HH2114STF

Investigation into improving storage of horticultural produce by control of ethylene metabolism.

October 1997

September 2000

306,013

Hunting Act 2004

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many convictions there have been under the Hunting Act 2004. (308234)

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: The following table shows the number of defendants found guilty at all courts in England and Wales for offences under the Hunting Act 2004 from 2005-07 (latest available).

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

Number of defendants found guilty at all courts for offences under the Hunting Act 20041, England and Wales, 2005-072, 3

Number

2005

2

2006

5

2007

48

1 Came into force on 18 February 2005.

2 The court proceedings 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.

3 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. (Ref: 591-09)

Sewers: Private Sector

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to implement a new Mandatory Build Standard for the transfer of private sewers and drains to water company ownership; and if he will make a statement. (308077)

There is little point transferring existing private sewers if a new stock of private sewers is allowed to grow over time to replace it. Therefore, provision is contained in the Flood and Water Management Bill, currently before Parliament, for new sewers connecting to the public system to be built to a mandatory standard and then adopted by water and sewerage companies. DEFRA officials are working with stakeholders on the preparation of a mandatory build standard for consultation.

Subject to the successful passage of the Bill, I anticipate that the standards should be published in advance of the transfer of existing private sewers and lateral drains.

Leader of the House

Members: Allowances

To ask the Leader of the House what timetable has been set for the cessation of the communications allowance. (308809)

No claims for expenditure incurred on or after 1 January 2010 will be paid from Communications Expenditure, with the exception of expenditure on advertisements for surgeries, including posters (subject to restrictions set out as follows) and maintenance of equipment funded from Communications Expenditure where there are contractual commitments.

Advertisements for surgeries, where the expenditure is incurred on or after 1 January 2010 and is funded by Communications Expenditure, must not include party colours or logos and slogans, must not include extraneous material, must be proportionate in nature, and may not include advertisements in national media or leaflets or flyers; references to other elected officials must be approved in advance by the Department of Resources.

No materials or resources, other than websites and office equipment, purchased from Communications Expenditure before 1 January 2010 may be used on or after that date unless the Member first returns the full cost of those resources to the House.

Where Communications Expenditure is used to fund an ongoing cost or item which occurs across both the restricted and unrestricted period, only the relevant fraction of the costs can be paid for out of Communications Expenditure, unless the item concerned is (i) one of the items excepted in the first paragraph above or (ii) the Member entered into an unconditional obligation to pay for the item using Communications Expenditure on or before 23 November 2009 and the item is not used on or after 1 January 2010.

The Department of Resources issued detailed guidance on 16 December 2009. Members who have any queries about their own Communications Expenditure during the restricted period should seek advice from the Department.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has today published a draft allowances scheme for consultation under section 5 of the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009.

Cabinet Office

Central Office of Information: Procurement

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what criteria are used to assess a potential supplier to the Central Office of Information for inclusion on the list of approved suppliers; (307857)

(2) who the members are of the panel which approves suppliers to the Central Office of Information;

(3) what the names are of the approved suppliers to the Central Office of Information.

I have asked the chief executive of the Central Office of Information to reply to the hon. Member.

Letter from Mark Lund, dated 6 January 2010:

As Chief Executive of the Central Office of Information (COI), I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions on the COI Suppliers (307857/8/9).

Central Office of Information (COI) has 29 lists of approved suppliers referred to in the Public Contract Regulations 2006 as framework agreements. As a public sector body, COI has to comply with the requirements outlined in the Regulations when setting up framework agreements. The list of framework agreements and the suppliers that sit on each can be found on the COI website at

http://coi.gov.uk/suppliers.php?page=31

The requirements and deliverables expected of suppliers on each framework agreement differs, however suppliers are assessed to ensure that they are capable of providing the services that the framework agreement is set-up to deliver and to ensure that value for money is achieved through quality of the service, their technical ability and price.

The members of the panel that carry out the assessment of suppliers onto each framework agreement differs for each but is typically made up of at least two technical experts and one procurement expert. The final list of suppliers is signed off by the Director of the area and the Commercial Director.

Government Departments: Security

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions there have been in respect of technical attacks through the internet on the computer systems of Government departments in each of the last three years. (307943)

I have been asked to reply.

Statistical data held by the Ministry of Justice on the Court Proceedings Database record the number of defendants proceeded against, found guilty and sentenced for criminal offences in England and Wales on a persons basis.

These data do not include information on the circumstances of an offence and it is therefore not possible to separately identify offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 that have resulted from unauthorised access to computer systems of Government Departments.

Non-departmental Public Bodies

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when she expects the report of the latest review of non-departmental Government bodies to be published. (309409)

Cabinet Office produces an annual report on the size and spend of the non-departmental public body sector entitled “Public Bodies”. Cabinet Office aims to publish “Public Bodies 2009” shortly.

Northern Ireland

AccessNI

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) basic, (b) standard and (c) enhanced applications have been processed by AccessNI in each month since April 2008; and what percentage of applications in each category was completed within the performance target time. (309171)

It is not possible to provide information for the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009 in the manner requested. During this period AccessNI processed 115,268 applications. It was unable to meet its service standards between May and December 2008, but did meet them between January and March 2009. Information for the period 1 April to 31 October 2009 is set out in the following table.

1 April to 31 October 2009

Month

Number of basic processed

Percentage within target1

Number of standard processed

Percentage within target

Number of enhanced processed

Percentage within target

April

1,092

86.91

281

97.22

10,687

93.14

May

1,310

97.58

386

99.47

8,181

96.9

June

1,691

97.20

1,014

98.99

11,052

94.28

July

1,611

97.63

966

97.12

10,529

94.63

August

1,340

96.21

460

98.95

8,706

96.3

September

1,822

99.19

1,184

99.41

10,538

96.71

October

1,573

98.73

1,497

98.75

13,434

96.43

Totals

10,439

5,788

73,127

1 Basic target is 90 per cent. in two weeks

2 Standard target is 90 per cent. in three weeks

3 Enhanced target is 90 per cent. in four weeks

Clergy: Misconduct

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with (a) the Irish government, (b) the Roman Catholic Bishop's Conference of Ireland and Primate of Ireland and (c) the Papal Nuncio on the implications of the report of the Irish Commission of Inquiry into sex abuse and related misconduct by members of the clergy and religious orders for clergy and members of religious orders transferred to dioceses or religious houses in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. (308061)

Northern Ireland Office Ministers have had no discussions on these matters, nor any requests to discuss them, with any of the parties specified.

Departmental Legislation

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what criminal offences have been (a) created and (b) abolished by secondary legislation sponsored by his Department since 1 May 2008. (307796)

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 7 December 2009, Official Report, column 21W, which considered primary legislation to include both Westminster Acts of Parliament and, for Northern Ireland, Orders in Council which would elsewhere be classified as secondary legislation. For the purposes of the current question I am therefore treating secondary legislation for Northern Ireland to cover statutory instruments excluding orders in Council.

Excluding agencies and non-departmental public bodies, the Northern Ireland Office has made four statutory rules which have made or repealed offences since 1 May 2008.

The Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008; the Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections) (Amendment) Order 2009; and the European Parliamentary Elections (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) Order 2009 updated Northern Ireland electoral procedures. This brought them in line with changes made to UK electoral law by the Electoral Administration Act 2006 and included offences relating to voting and electoral registration procedures.

The Electoral Administration Act 2006 (Regulation of Loans etc: Northern Ireland) Order 2008 also provides for an offence of disclosing information contained in transaction reports in circumstances other than those set out in the order.

Transport

Cycling

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of (i) children and (ii) adults in (A) Stroud district, (B) Gloucestershire and (C) England who cycle regularly. (309140)

Estimates from the National Travel Survey suggest that, across England as a whole, 31 per cent. of children and 10 per cent. of adults regularly cycled (i.e. at least one bicycle trip per week) between 2006 and 2008.

Equivalent statistics for Gloucestershire and the Stroud district are not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, for urban areas with resident populations of between 25,000 and 50,000 (such as the town of Stroud), the equivalent estimates were 30 per cent. for children and 10 per cent. for adults.

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on (i) alcohol and (ii) entertainment in the last 12 months. (305531)

Generally, the Department for Transport (DFT) operates a no alcohol policy. In exceptional cases, where the Department is holding a special event or staff are attending a venue away from their normal office and working long hours necessitating an evening meal, some limited provision of alcoholic drinks at public expense may be permitted at the discretion of a senior civil servant. Spend incurred in such situations is not centrally recorded and this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, The Driving Standards Agency, Government Car and Despatch Agency, Highways Agency, Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Vehicle Certification Agency recorded zero expenditure on alcohol.

Entertainment costs are not recorded as a specific cost category within the Department for Transport's accounting systems. To identify such expenditure would incur disproportionate costs. However, the Government Car and Despatch Agency and Highways Agency have both recorded zero expenditure on entertainment.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport on what pay band his Department's chief information officer (CIO) is employed; whether the CIO is employed on a fixed-term or permanent contract; and what the size is of the budget for which the CIO is responsible in the period 2009-10. (307558)

The Department for Transport does not employ a full-time chief information officer. The role is split between the Director General and Director responsible, alongside wider policy responsibilities, for issues including information and knowledge management, data security, information and communication technology and knowledge management, in which they are supported by professional staff in the central Department and its agencies. There is no centrally managed budget for CIO activity. The budget for 2009-10 for the Information Management Directorate for ICT in the central Department was £13.5 million.

Driving Under Influence: Drugs

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment his Department has made of effectiveness of the recent advertisements on the dangers of drug driving. (309537)

The Department for Transport usually assesses the effectiveness of its advertising in three ways:

The effect on individuals’ awareness, motivation and claimed behaviours, which we measure through quantitative and qualitative research.

Progress against indicators such as in the case of our THINK! road safety campaign, the number of people killed or seriously injured.

How effectively it buys media space. Analysis by independent media auditors benchmarks the Government’s performance against private sector advertisers. Collectively, the Government are an efficient purchaser of media.

The THINK! Drug Drive advertising campaign ran from 17 August to 13 September 2009. The Department has not yet received or assessed all of the data listed above. However, research, including pre-campaign and post-campaign tracking surveys and website statistics, provides early indicators that the campaign has performed well against its core objectives including raising awareness of the risks of drug-driving.

East Coast Railway Line

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether his Department intends to make an assessment of the likely effect on public finances of retaining the East Coast Main Line in the public sector. (309323)

When rail franchises are let, the Department for Transport routinely prepares a “shadow bid” to provide a detailed estimate of the likely costs and revenues of the new franchise. In the case of the next Inter City East Coast franchise, this evaluation will be based on the costs and revenues of the current public sector train operator.

Local Government: Snow and Ice

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Local Government Association and (b) local authorities on the contingency plans of local authorities in respect of extreme weather conditions. (309538)

The most recent discussions I have held with the Local Government Association on local authorities’ contingency plans in respect of extreme weather conditions were on 4 January 2010. Department for Transport officials are also in regular contact and discussion with the Local Government Association on these matters.

Lorries: Road Traffic

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many miles heavy goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes travelled on dual carriageways in England in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what information his Department holds on the equivalent figures for (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland. (308560)

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: The estimated miles travelled by heavy goods vehicles on dual carriageways in England, Wales and Scotland in 2008 is shown in the following table.

Road network information for dual carriageways is not available for Northern Ireland.

Heavy goods vehicles

Billion vehicle miles

England

3.5

Scotland

0.4

Wales

0.2

Great Britain

4.1

Northern Ireland

Not available

Source:

National Road Traffic Survey (2008).

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) how many miles UK and foreign registered heavy goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes travelled on (a) motorways and (b) trunk roads in England in the last year for which figures are available; and what information his Department holds on the equivalent figures for (i) Scotland, (ii) Wales and (iii) Northern Ireland; (308561)

(2) how many miles UK and foreign registered heavy goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes travelled on all roads in England in the last year for which figures are available; and what information his Department holds on the equivalent figures for (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland.

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: The Department for Transport does not hold figures on traffic or the country of vehicle registration for Northern Ireland, but the estimated miles travelled by UK and foreign registered heavy goods vehicles over 3.5 tonnes on all roads in England, Scotland and Wales is shown in the following table.

HGV traffic on all roads by registration and region, 2008

Billion vehicle miles

Registered heavy goods vehicles

UK

Foreign

Total

England

4.78

0.56

15.3

Scotland

1.68

0.03

1.7

Wales

0.77

0.03

0.8

Sources:

Traffic: National Road Traffic Survey.

Registration: Vehicle Excise Duty Evasion Survey (June 2008).

Due to small sample sizes, the estimates of miles driven in England, Scotland and Wales will be subject to a margin of uncertainty, and the sample size is too small to provide reliable estimates of the miles travelled by road class.

Northern Rail: Rolling Stock

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent discussions his Department has had on the future of Northern Rail's Pacer (Class 142) rolling stock. (309498)

The Department for Transport has been in recent discussion with Northern Rail regarding their proposals for delivering additional capacity through the High Level Output Specification (HLOS). These discussions which are currently ongoing have included the totality of their rolling stock fleet including class 142s.

The recently announced electrification programme in the North West will also allow some class 142 Pacer vehicles that operate on these lines to be replaced with electric trains.

In addition, the Department meets with each of the Rolling Stock Leasing Companies (ROSCOs) on a regular basis to discuss their respective portfolio of rolling stock vehicles, which includes class 142 Pacer vehicles.

Railways: Franchises

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the value for money of operating rail passenger services in the public sector after each passenger franchise expires. (309324)

Under current legislation, the Secretary of State has the ability to step in to secure continuity of train service provision only if a train operator becomes unable to meet the terms of its franchise agreement. However, this can only be a temporary arrangement as there is no provision for train services to be permanently retained in the public sector without a change to legislation.

Therefore the Department for Transport has made no assessment of the value for money of operating rail passenger services in the public sector on a permanent basis after each passenger franchise expires.

Rolling Stock

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many of the 1,300 extra carriages referred to in the Government's Rail White Paper published in July 2007 are in operation on the network; and on which lines they are operating. (300347)

[holding answer 23 November 2009]: A total of 380 new and additional vehicles are already either in service or are being prepared for service subject to the train operator finalising service plans.

This includes 232 new vehicles currently in operation with the following train operators:

TOC

Class

Type

Number of vehicles

Southern Railway

377

EMU

48

London Midland

350/2

EMU

148

Southern Railway

377

EMU

36

311 further new vehicles have been ordered and manufacturers are currently progressing their construction.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport who will decide whether the super express trains manufactured by Hitachi will have provision for (a) an operational safety role for a guard or conductor and (b) a restaurant buffet car. (309325)

The Department for Transport has specified all Super Express Trains to be capable of operating either with a guard or in driver-only operation. This reflects the flexibility of train deployment on different route types, including long distance and commuter. As today, the mode of operation of services on specific routes will be managed by the train operating company.

Super Express Trains will offer suitable equipment to deliver on-train catering, ranging from at-seat trolley to full restaurant buffet car service. The catering provision will vary according to the service being operated and, as today, will be managed by the train operating company.

Communities and Local Government

Council Tax

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what complaints relating to council tax collection the Local Government Ombudsman has adjudicated in the last 36 months. (308258)

Councillors: Codes of Practice

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the written ministerial statement of 5 November 2009, Official Report, column 56WS, on judicial declarations (freemasonry), whether he plans to amend the Code of Conduct for Councillors in respect of its declaration requirements. (308800)

While the Model Code of Conduct for councillors contains no specific provision on freemasonry, it does require members to include in their register of interests their membership of any charitable bodies; freemasons consider themselves such a body.

Departmental Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department has spent on (a) print, (b) online, (c) television and (d) radio advertising in each of the last five years; how much has been spent on advertising in 2009-10 to date; and what percentage of advertising expenditure in each year was managed by the Central Office of Information. (309900)

Information on the Department for Communities and Local Government expenditure on advertising is published every year in its Annual Report. Since 2008-09 this information has been published in a format which allows it to be broken down by the type of media used. However, the information is not available for previous years in this format.

For the financial year 2008-09 I refer the hon. Member to the information provided on the Department's website at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/corporate/pdf/1298507.pdf

For previous years I refer the hon. Member to the appropriate departmental Annual Report, available in the House Library.

The Department will publish a breakdown of advertising expenditure in 2009-10 at the time of its next Annual Report.

The Department does not hold data on the proportion of its advertising expenditure managed by the Central Office of Information.

Departmental Conferences

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent by his Department and its agencies on conferences they organised which were subsequently cancelled in each of the last three years; and what the title was of each such conference. (308822)

The Department does not hold this information centrally and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The Planning Inspectorate does not hold this information centrally and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Fire Service College does not hold this information centrally and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre can confirm that have not had any expenditure on cancelled conferences.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) average and (b) highest non-consolidated performance-related payment was in cash terms for a senior civil servant in his Department in each of the last five years. (308246)

The following table shows the average and highest payments of non-consolidated variable payments awarded by CLG to the senior civil service over the last five financial years.

£

Average amount paid

Highest amount paid

2009-10

7,365

12,500

2008-09

8,396

20,500

2007-08

6,597

16,270

2006-07

6,868

12,500

2005-06

4,954

9,500

Departmental Responsibilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what programmes and projects for which his Department is responsible have been cancelled in the last 12 months; and in respect of how many such programmes and projects funding has been reduced. (308424)

The Department’s spending plans for 2009-10 were set out in the main estimates published on 18 June 2009 (HC 514) and the associated explanatory memorandum for the Communities and Local Government Select Committee published at:

http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200809/cmselect/cmcomloc/memo/mainestimate/ucm01.pdf

Changes to those plans were set out in the winter supplementary estimates published on 24 November 2009 (HC 24), with further detail set out in the explanatory memorandum to the Select Committee, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.

Further changes will be published in the forthcoming spring supplementary estimates in February.

Departmental Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 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. (305209)

Communities and Local Government does not operate or sponsor telephone contact lines with the relevant prefixes. The departmental contact number is an 030 number which is reserved for public services and calls to this service are charged at national rate. No revenue is raised through this service.

Energy Performance Certificates

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield of 18 May 2009, Official Report, column 1193W, on energy performance certificates, if he will place in the Library a copy of the research report commissioned from AECOM. (308740)

The full evaluation of the EPBD is expected to be completed in mid-2010 when copies will be placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department’s most recent estimate is of the effect on the sale price of homes to which energy efficiency improvements have been made of the requirement to produce an energy performance certificate. (309401)

No such estimate has been made.

However, the Department for Communities and Local Government is working with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and other stakeholders on a project to explore the extent to which energy performance is reflected in the value of a property and the effect on the market price of homes as a result of the installation of energy efficiency and renewable heat and energy technologies.

Government Office for London: Location

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress has been made towards the relocation of the Government office for London; whether an alternative location has been identified; and whether he expects relocation to take place before the lease at Riverwalk House expires in 2011. (309492)

A relocation project is in progress, being run jointly by the Government office for London and the Communities and Local Government Estates Directorate, in line with the Government Estates Transformation Programme.

The project has identified Eland House, currently part of the Communities and Local Government Estate, as the most suitable location. The relocation project has an anticipated completion date of 31 December 2010, well in advance of the expiry of the lease on Riverwalk House.

Home Information Packs

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment he has made of the level of compliance of (a) estate agents and (b) home-sellers with requirements relating to home information packs. (308256)

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 8 July 2009, Official Report, columns 902-03W, to the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson).

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 18 May 2009, Official Report, column 1211W, on home information packs, (1) whether rules on misleading omissions apply to property information questionnaires constituting a marketing communication between a home seller and a home buyer; (308603)

(2) whether estate agents are liable for misleading omissions made by a home seller producing a property information questionnaire; and what obligations estate agents have to check the (a) accuracy and (b) truthfulness of property information questionnaires.

Section 155 of the Housing Act 2004 provides that the person responsible for marketing is under a duty to have a Home Information Pack (HIP) in his possession which complies with the Home Information Pack (No. 2) Regulations 2007. Where the person responsible for marketing is an estate agent, Regulation 36 provides that he cannot be held in breach where a document (other than the Index and Sale Statement) fails to comply with the Regulations and the agent believed on reasonable grounds that it did comply.

Estate agents are under a duty under the Home Information Pack (No. 2) Regulations 2007 to ensure that the HIP includes a completed Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) but are not under a duty to ensure that the answers given by the seller are accurate and truthful. An estate agent could be in breach of the Consumer Protection Regulations (CPRs) if he failed to act on information in the PIQ which he knew to be inaccurate or untruthful, because they are required by the CPRs to act in accordance with honest market practice and good faith.

Local Government and Housing Act 1989

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many individuals were found guilty of breaching section 19(2) of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 from its commencement to its repeal. (308733)

The Department does not have information about the number of local authority members who have not complied with section 19(2) of the Local Government and Housing Act.

Local Government Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the monetary value is of the area-based grant to be allocated in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and what criteria are used to allocate that grant to local authorities. (307833)

The monetary value of area based grant (ABG) for 2010-11 is £5,028,317,187. The allocation for 2011-12 has yet to be announced. Decisions on future public spending plans will be a matter for the next spending review.

The criteria used to allocate departmental contributions to ABG are decided by the respective Departments, and will reflect factors such as relative need for the services covered by each contribution to the Grant. For example, the distribution of money for schools intervention will take account of the number of maintained schools in the area.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the central Government grant per capita was to each local authority, including police and fire authorities in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. (308654)

I have placed in the Library of the House tables showing central Government grant per capita by local authority for 2008-09 and 2009-10. However, it should be noted that figures between the two years are not directly comparable because the 2008-09 figures are based on outturn information whereas those for 2009-10 are based on budget information. It should also be borne in mind that local authorities may not have complete information about all central Government grants at the time they completed the budget returns.

The definition of central Government grant used here is the sum of formula grant (revenue support grant, redistributed non-domestic rates and police grant), Greater London authority grant, specific grants inside Aggregate External Finance (AEF), i.e. revenue grants paid for council’s core services and Area Based Grant (ABG).

Figures exclude grants outside AEF (i.e. where funding is not for authorities’ core services, but is passed to a third party, for example, rent allowances and rebates), capital grants, funding for the local authorities’ housing management responsibilities and those grant programmes (such as European funding) where authorities are simply one of the recipients of funding paid towards an area.

Mid-year 2008 population estimates are used to calculate per capita information. 2009 figures are not yet available. For National Parks mid-year 2007 estimates are used because they are the most recent available.

Local Government Finance: Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding the Government provided to (a) Lancashire county council and (b) Preston city council in real terms in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2009. (308652)

The following table shows central Government funding provided to Lancashire county council and Preston city council in real terms at 2008-09 prices. Figures between the two years are not directly comparable because those for 1997-98 are based on outturn information whereas those for 2009-10 are based on budget information. In addition, local authorities may not have had complete information about all central Government grants at the time of completing the budget returns.

£ million

1997-98

2009-10

Lancashire

955.4

1,210.0

Preston

16.9

21.9

Source:

Communities and Local Government Revenue Outturn (RO) returns for 1997-98 and 2009-10.

The definition of central Government grant used here is the sum of formula grant (revenue support grant, redistributed non-domestic rates and police grant) and specific grants inside aggregate external finance (AEF), i.e. revenue grants paid for council’s core services. In 2009-10 figures include area-based grant (ABG).

Figures exclude grants outside AEF (i.e. where funding is not for authorities’ core services, but is passed to a third party, for example, rent allowances and rebates), capital grants, funding for the local authorities’ housing management responsibilities and those grant programmes (such as European funding) where authorities are simply one of the recipients of funding paid towards an area.

Local Government: Accountability

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations he has received on accountability mechanisms for local authority (a) strategic partnerships, (b) safeguarding boards and (c) partnership bodies. (306352)

Chapter 1 of the Strengthening Local Democracy consultation sought views on the extension of scrutiny powers of Local Area Agreement partners and whether these should be made more explicit in relation to the wider delivery of local public services in an area. The consultation also asked whether the structure of local partnerships should be reviewed in order to identify unhelpful overlap and duplication and whether these were particular issues on which such a review should focus. Over 1,400 responses were received to this consultation and I will be publishing the formal response to it in due course.

In addition, on 23 December, I received the formal shortlist of 199 proposals from the Local Government Association in its role as the Selector under the provisions of the Sustainable Communities Act, and a number of these make suggestions about accountability mechanisms for local authorities and other bodies.

Local Government: Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has plans to update the publication Guidance on contracting for Services in the light of the Human Rights Act 1998, to take account of recent judgments relating to the scope of that Act. (308266)

The Improvement and Development Agency for local government (IdeA) have commissioned the British Institute of Human Rights to carry out a project looking at the relevance of a human rights approach to local government and service delivery. We will consider the need for any revised guidance in light of the outcome of this project.

Local Government: Elections

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Standards Board for England has issued on whether local authority (i) buildings and (ii) equipment provided for councillors to carry out their representative role may be used for the production of political campaigning literature. (308638)

As made clear in the statutory Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity issued by my Department, section 2 of the Local Government Act 1986 provides that council resources should never be used for purely political purposes.

Standards for England have published guidance on the use of local authority resource for political campaigning, both in their guide to the local authority members’ code of conduct and in their ‘Case Review’ for 2007. Both publications are available from Standards for England’s website at:

www.standardsforengland.gov.uk

Local Government: Insurance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether an impact assessment was undertaken in respect of proposals to enable local authorities to set up mutual insurance schemes in the Economic Development, Local Democracy and Construction Bill; and what assessment has been made of the level of compliance of those proposals with competition rules. (309005)

An impact assessment reporting on the impact of providing powers for local authorities to enter into mutual insurance arrangements was published on 13 October 2009. This is accessible at:

www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/bestvalueauthorityia

Companies through which authorities are required to operate when exercising the power to form and participate in mutual insurance bodies, as set out in the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009, will be required to comply with competition law.

Local Government: Public Consultation

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the cost to the public purse was of the redress review; and which of its recommendations have been implemented. (308589)

In addition to staff time, the Department for Communities and Local Government spent £113,781 on the redress review.

The Department accepted the recommendation to run a series of pilots for local authorities and partnerships to test and develop the Practitioner’s Toolkit produced by the review when it was presented with the review in June 2009. Nine local authorities are piloting the toolkit, and further information is available on our website at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/communities/communityempowerment/communitiesincontrol/redressreview/

One of these pilots is looking at how best partners could come together to deliver better services and remedies for people recently made redundant. The pilots also include elements as the sharing of learning at regional events, all of which were also recommendations of the review.

The Government will be making a formal response to the review shortly.

Local Government: Publicity

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding his Department has given to the Local Government Information Unit to conduct research in relation to the revised draft Code on Local Authority Publicity. (309002)

The Department has given no funding to the Local Government Information Unit to conduct research in relation to any revised draft of the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity.

Mortgages

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has made an assessment of the variation between mortgage rates offered to homebuyers who wish to purchase a new-build home and those who wish to buy homes which have previously been owned and occupied. (307829)

Communities and Local Government is working closely with HMT, FSA and all those involved in the sale of new homes to support a sustainable and transparent mortgage market.

According to the CML Regulated Mortgage Survey, the average initial mortgage rate on new build was 4.63 per cent. in October 2009, compared to 4.42 per cent. on other properties.

Non-Domestic Rates

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average business rate bill was in (a) cash and (b) real terms based on 2009 prices in each year since 1997-98. (307845)

The average non-domestic rates bill (in £s) in England in each year since 1997-98, including the estimated average figures for 2009-10, both in cash and in real terms based on 2009 prices, is shown in the following table.

Average non-domestic rates bill England

£

Cash

Real terms

1997-98

6,796

9,196

1998-99

7,016

9,126

1999-00

6,998

8,959

2000-01

8,264

10,275

2001-02

8,714

10,647

2002-03

9,071

10,919

2003-04

9,137

10,665

2004-05

9,301

10,593

2005-06

9,997

11,035

2006-07

10,275

11,059

2007-08

10,330

10,637

2008-09

11,274

11,142

2009-10 (estimated)

12,145

12,145

The data are taken from National non-domestic rates (NNDR) returns submitted by all billing authorities in England. Figures for 2009-10 are estimates.

Average business rate is calculated by dividing the net rate yield from local authority's lists by the number of hereditaments on the local list as at 31 December of the previous year.

Comparisons between years may not be valid as the rateable values for individual properties, and hence the actual rates bills, vary greatly. In addition, the figures for 1998-99 to 2000-01 are affected by transfers of properties from the central list to local ones; transfers of crown properties to local lists and adjustments made to the multiplier at the time of the 2000 revaluation. Changes in the figures for the years around 2005-06 are also affected by adjustments made to the multiplier at the time of the 2005 revaluation.

Non-Domestic Rates: Valuation

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 12 November 2009, Official Report, column 884W, on non-domestic rates: valuation, if he will place in the Library a table showing the rateable values for (a) all properties, (b) small properties and (c) large properties in each local authority area according to the (i) 2005 Ratings List and (ii) draft 2010 Ratings List. (309530)

Ordnance Survey: Photography

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what aerial photographs are contained in the Ordnance Survey Mastermap Address Layer 2 product; and to what scale such photographs are produced. (308259)

Planning Permission

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department's policy is on the number of statutory notices placed by local authorities in local newspapers; and what guidance his Department has provided to local authorities on whether their job advertisements should be published in local newspapers. (309001)

We have no policy about the number of statutory notices which local authorities may place in local newspapers.

The Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity, to which local authorities must have regard in coming to any decision on publicity, including their job advertisements, states that the media chosen for job vacancies should be in keeping with the objective of maintaining the politically independent status of local authority staff.

Rates and Rating

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) small and (b) large properties in each local authority area there are on the (i) 2005 and (ii) 2010 Ratings List. (309531)

I have placed in the Library of the House a table showing the number of small and large hereditaments in England broken down by billing authority on the 2005 and the draft 2010 Rating Lists as at 2 November 2009. A hereditament is classified as small in the 2005 Rating Lists if it has a rateable value of less than £21,500 in London or £15,000 elsewhere. A hereditament is classified as small in the draft 2010 Rating Lists if it has a rateable value of less than £25,500 in London or £18,000 elsewhere. These data are consistent with the statistical release titled: “Non-domestic rateable values: 2010 Local Rating Lists—England and Wales”, published on 18 December 2009. A copy of this statistical release is available at the following:

http://www.voa.gov.uk/publications/statistical_releases/VOA_Statistics_Release_Final.pdf

The number of hereditaments has been rounded to the nearest 10.

Social Rented Housing: Waiting Lists

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many households were on local authority waiting lists for social housing in England in April 2009. (308808)

Figures on the number of households registered on social housing waiting lists were published on 26 November in the Statistical Release, “Local Authority Housing Statistics, England: 2008-09”. This release can be found at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/lahousing200809

Tenant Services Authority

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what role the Tenant Services Authority will have in (a) determining policy on rent controls, (b) inspecting local authorities and (c) the Audit Commission’s Comprehensive Area Assessment regime. (309033)

Policy on rent controls is a matter for Government.

Our intention is that the Tenant Services Authority (TSA) should have the role of deciding when an inspection of a local authority’s landlord services is needed, and that the TSA should then commission the Audit Commission to carry out such an inspection. This policy was set out in our consultation document “The Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (Registration of Local Authorities) Order 2009”, published in August 2009, and confirmed in our response to that consultation, which we published in November 2009.

The TSA will participate with the Comprehensive Area Assessment regime alongside the other participating public service inspectorates.

Tenant Services Authority: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many full-time equivalent staff the Tenant Services Authority employs in its regulation team. (309824)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 30 November 2009, Official Report, column 514W.

Home Department

Asylum

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to pages 80 and 81 of his Department’s Resource Accounts 2008-09, for what reasons the UK Border Agency made overpayments of £9.6 million in respect of accommodation and direct support to asylum seekers whose eligibility for the support had ceased. (309309)

The reasons for the overpayment of £9.6 million were set out in the notes to the Home Office Resource Accounts.

The notes also set out the actions taken by UK Border Agency to improve controls, these actions have been subject to continual review during the current financial year to ensure they have been effective.

Asylum: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers were supported in accommodation in each parliamentary constituency in (a) England and (b) Wales on the latest date for which figures are available. (309169)

A table showing asylum seekers supported in accommodation, by UK Government office region and parliamentary constituency, as at the end of September 2009, was made available in the Commons Library on 26 November 2009 as part of the quarterly publications.

Information on immigration and asylum are published annually and quarterly. Annual statistics and the latest statistics for Q3 2009 are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate web-site at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html.

Control Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people who have been but are no longer subject to a control order are resident in the UK. (308402)

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: As of 10 December 2009, the last date covered by the most recent written ministerial statement on control orders, 33 individuals had previously been but were no longer subject to a control order.

The Government are not willing to comment on the residential status of individuals who may or may not be of current interest to the intelligence agencies and the police beyond the information that has already appeared in the public domain in ministerial statements and answers to both Houses, and in open court judgments on control orders.

Counter-terrorism

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) objectives and (b) terms of reference are of the Association of Chief Police Officers' Prevent Channel project for which his Department has provided funding. (308548)

The Channel Project provides a mechanism for ensuring that individuals identified as vulnerable to violent extremism are referred to and assessed by a multi-agency panel. The panel decides on the most appropriate action or intervention required to reduce this vulnerability. It therefore has a key role to play in driving delivery of Objective three of the Prevent Strategy: “Supporting vulnerable individuals who are being targeted and recruited to the cause of violent extremism”.

The Association of Chief Police Officers is responsible for national delivery of Channel, which is currently operating across 12 police forces.

Crime: Computers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) investigations, (b) prosecutions and (c) convictions were made for offences related to phishing attacks in each of the last three years; (306540)

(2) how many (a) investigations, (b) prosecutions and (c) convictions were made for offences related to spamming in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement;

(3) how many (a) investigations, (b) prosecutions and (c) convictions there were for offences involving the deceptive installation of adware on to computer systems in each of the last three years.

Information on the number of investigations undertaken by the police is not collected centrally. The Home Office do collect data on the number of offences that are recorded by the police.

Phishing attacks, spamming and deceptive installation of adware are general terms. Specific offences, as defined in law, would be classified under the appropriate section of Computer Misuse Act 1990 dependent upon the circumstances of the individual offences. Such offences would then be recorded under Home Office classification 53B ‘Preserved other fraud and repealed fraud offences (Pre Fraud Act 2006)’. Offences recorded under individual sections of the Computer Misuse Act cannot be separately identified from the other offences recorded within this offence classification.

Prosecutions and convictions data are collected by the Ministry of Justice and are also related to offences as defined by legislation.

Departmental Fines

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies has to impose administrative penalties; what the statutory basis is for each such power; and how much (i) his Department and (ii) each of its agencies has recovered in administrative penalties in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. (309293)

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 has provided a series of new sanctions for employers who employ illegal migrant workers. This includes a system of civil penalties, under which an employer can be fined up to £10,000 per person he/she is found to be employing illegally.

Additionally, Bulgarian and Romanian nationals who work illegally commit a criminal offence and may be served with a fixed penalty fine of £1,000 under criminal law.

Part II of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 enables the Secretary of State to impose a £2,000 fixed charge on any air or sea carrier for each non-European Economic Area passenger they bring to the UK who fails to produce, on request, a valid travel document satisfactorily establishing their identity and nationality and, if required, a valid visa.

The Department can also impose a civil penalty on those responsible for carrying clandestine entrants, concealed in a vehicle. The maximum penalty which can be imposed upon the owner/hirer of such a vehicle is £2,000 per clandestine and upon the driver £2,000 per clandestine, the aggregated maximum per clandestine (applied where more than one person is responsible) is £4,000.

The UK Borders Act 2007 enables the Secretary of State to make regulations requiring foreign nationals who are subject to immigration control apply for an Identity Card for Foreign Nationals. Failure to comply with such a requirement may result in the imposition of a sanction, which may include a civil financial penalty up to a maximum of £1,000.

The value of penalties recovered is set out in the table.

£000

2008-09

8,512

2007-08

6,844

2006-07

5,787

2005-06

5,932

2004-05

5,872

2003-04

6,843

2002-03

5,279

2001-02

6,783

2000-01

8,892

1999-2000

9,370

The police forces in England and Wales have the power to issue fixed penalty notices as a sanction against a specified list of offences, mainly related to public order (Penalty Notices for Disorder) and motoring.

For the Department's agencies, no penalties are levied.

Departmental Information and Communications Technology

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what pay band his Department's chief information officer (CIO) is employed; whether the CIO is employed on a fixed-term or permanent contract; and what the size is of the budget for which the CIO is responsible in the period 2009-10. (307563)

The chief information officer of the Home Office is employed in a substantive senior civil service pay band two post. The CIO is responsible for a delegated budget of £5,109,000 for 2009-10.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officials work in the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism; how many flights (a) within Great Britain and (b) overseas officials in the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism took in 2008-09; and at what cost to the public purse. (301938)

As of 31 October, 397 civil servants worked in the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT).

We estimate that during 2008-09, the OSCT spent some £22,000 on flights within Great Britain and some £264,000 on flights overseas. We do not keep a central record of the number of flights taken by officials and this cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

All travel by civil servants is undertaken in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Civil Service Management Code and any other guidance as applicable contained within Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on (i) alcohol and (ii) entertainment in the last 12 months. (305536)

The Home Office systems do not separately identify the cost of alcohol from overall entertainment costs, and this could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, we do retain records for hospitality provided by both civil servants and Ministers. The spend for 2008-09, the last 12 month period for which there are audited figures, was £50,371.

Home Office expenditure on official hospitality and entertainment conforms to departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, which complies with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety. Hospitality is defined as the provision of food, drink and entertainment of non-civil servants at modest cost where it is beneficial to the interests of the Department.

For the Department’s agencies, the Criminal Records Bureau and the Identity and Passport Service’s spend could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been paid in bonuses to civil servants in his Department in each year since 2006. (306436)

Non-consolidated performance payments are an integral element of the staff reward package in the Home Office. They encourage and reward high performance. As non-consolidated payments, they have to be re-earned each year and do not add to future pay bill costs, for example pensions costs.

The Home Office (including the UK Border Agency), as part of its annual pay arrangements, pays non-consolidated performance related payments to up to 35 per cent. of its staff. There are separate arrangements for the Department’s senior staff, which are set by the Prime Minister for the whole senior civil service, following independent advice from the Senior Salaries Review Body.

In the financial years for which data are available the total salary bill for staff in the Home Office and UKB and the proportion of which was paid in non-consolidated performance payments was:

£ million

Total salary bill

Non-consolidated payments

2005-06

752

4.28

2006-07

723

4.45

2007-08

710

4.48

2008-09

791

4.75

It is also possible to give one-off non-consolidated special payments to members of staff in-year to reward exceptional achievements on a project or programme. The total cost of such payments in 2008-09 was £1.16 million the figure for 2007-08 was £2.56 million.

Departmental Publications

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects his Department’s White Paper on policing to be published. (303710)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to my written ministerial statement of 2 December 2009, Official Report, column 127WS. The White Paper “Protecting the Public: Supporting the Police to Succeed” was published on 2 December 2009 at:

http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/police-reform/protecting-the-public2835.pdf?view=Binary

Departmental Training

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many overseas training courses were attended by his Department’s civil servants in the latest period for which figures are available; how many civil servants attended each course; and what the total cost to the public purse was of each course. (305905)

Data are not collected centrally on the number and cost of Home Office staff who have attended overseas training courses, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Deportation: Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department spent on the removals process between 1 January and 1 December 2009. (309168)

It is not possible to provide this information in the format requested.

There are a range of costs, such as ticketing, escorting and detention costs that might be involved in removal and there are many staff involved in the removal process across the UK Border Agency, including seconded police officers. To disaggregate the funding and other resources in place to support the removals process from the overall budget and resources would incur disproportionate cost.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 25 November 2009, Official Report, column 215W, on the sponsor register, how many institutions (a) have had an application to join the sponsor register refused and (b) have been removed from the register of licensed sponsors under Tier Four of the new immigration rules since 31 March 2009. (308320)

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: There have been 228 institutions that have had an application to join the sponsor register refused between 31 March 2009 and 21 December 2009 under Tier 4.

49 Tier 4 sponsors have been removed from the sponsor register between 31 March 2009 and 21 December 2009.

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

Extradition: USA

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his duty to assess the appropriateness of extraditing persons to the US in relation to health grounds applies (a) at the time of the receipt of the US application, (b) at the time of proceedings in the UK and (c) at the time immediately before the extradition takes place; and if he will make a statement. (308319)

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: In the scheme of the Extradition Act 2003, it falls to the courts to determine whether health factors raise a barrier to a person's extradition. However, the Home Secretary has an implied power to withdraw an extradition order where, exceptionally, a new matter arises subsequent to the completion of all proceedings under the Act but before extradition takes place. The basis for this implied power is section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998, which renders it unlawful for the Home Secretary, as a public authority, to act in a way which is incompatible with a convention right.

Firearms

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in (a) England, (b) Sussex and (c) Lewes constituency were (i) killed and (ii) wounded by a firearm in each year since 1997. (308563)

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: Available information relates to crimes recorded by the police in which firearms (excluding air weapons) were reported to have been fired or used as a blunt instrument resulting in fatal and other injury. Data for England and the Sussex police force area, from 1997-98 up to and including 2007-08, are given in the following table. Constituency level data are not collected centrally.

Firearm offence statistics for 2008-09 will be published on 21 January2010.

Crimes recorded by the police in which firearms (excluding air weapons) were reported to have been used1 resulting in injury: England total and Sussex police force area, 1997-98 to 2007-08

Injury type

Fatal injury

Serious2 or slight injury

1997-98

England

52

745

Sussex

1

15

1998-993

England

50

807

Sussex

2

13

1999-2000

England

62

1,124

Sussex

16

2000-01

England

71

1,275

Sussex

13

2001-024

England

94

1,761

Sussex

2

40

2002-035

England

78

2,041

Sussex

1

20

2003-04

England

68

2,245

Sussex

1

9

2004-056

England

76

3,704

Sussex

25

2005-06

England

48

3,679

Sussex

23

2006-07

England

56

2,855

Sussex

1

23

2007-08

England

53

3,101

Sussex

17

1 Where firearms have been fired or used as a blunt instrument.

2 A serious injury is the one which necessitated detention in hospital or involved fractures, concussion, severe general shock, penetration by a bullet or multiple shot wounds.

3 There was a change in the counting rules for recorded crime on 1 April 1998.

4 Figures may have been inflated by some police forces implementing the principles of the National Crime Recording Standard before 1 April 2002.

5 The National Crime Recording Standard was introduced on 1 April 2002. Figures for some crime categories may have been inflated by this.

6 More explicit guidelines for the classification of weapons introduced on 1 April 2004 may have increased the recording of firearm offences, particularly those committed by imitation weapons.

Gangmasters Licensing Authority: Public Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what payments the Gangmasters Licensing Authority has made to Cavendish Communications 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. (305152)

I have been asked to reply.

The Gangmasters Licensing Authority has not made any payments to Cavendish Communications in the last 12 months.

Hotels

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hotel room nights were booked by officials in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each year since 2007; and how much (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies spent on fees of third party agents in relation to booking hotel accommodation in each such year. (309318)

The current contract for booking hotel rooms for the Home Office Headquarters, Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and UKBA commenced in December 2008. Available information from this contract and since 2007 from the contract with the Identity and Passport Service on the number of nights booked by officials is as follows:

Hotel room nights

January 2007 to November 2008

December 2008 to November 2009

(a) Home Office Headquarters

1

12,345

(b) UKBA

1

16,356

(b) CRB

1

5,977

1Information unavailable.

Hotel room nights

2007

2008

20091

(b) IPS

6,159

10,165

9,376

1To 18 December 2009.

For the period from December 2008 to November 2009, the total fee of the third party agents relating to booking hotel accommodation for both the (i) Home Office Headquarters and (ii) CRB and UKBA equates to £144,469.

Information on hotel room nights booked and the hotel booking fee of the third party agents relating to the previous contract for the Home Office Headquarters and the UKBA for the period January 2007 to December 2008 is unavailable and to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost.

For the Identity and Passport Service the third-party agents booking fee is incorporated into the hotel room cost, and a separate figure is unavailable.

Expenditure is incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Immigration: Bexley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what his most recent estimate is of the number of people in the London borough of Bexley who are awaiting a decision on an application for leave to remain in the UK; (302101)

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of people in the London borough of Bexley who made an application for leave to remain in the UK in the last 12 months.

The requested information is not collated and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost through the examination of individual case records.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he plans to reply to the letter of 10 November 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. R. Z. Ullah. (307502)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 3 December 2009, Official Report, column 83W, on police, when the chief executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency will send a reply to the hon. Member for Wellingborough. (307812)

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: In the answer of 7 December (pursuant to holding answer of 3 December) I indicated that the matter had been passed to the NPIA for reply in June 2009. The chief executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency, Chief Constable Peter Neyroud, in fact wrote to the hon. Member on 30 June 2009 in response to his original query. I have sent the hon. Gentleman a copy of the letter following this parliamentary question.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Minister of State expects to reply to the letters from the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed dated 29 June, 17 September and 9 November 2009 concerning spouse sponsorship. (308131)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when he plans to reply to the letter of 9 November 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Ms S. Mpofu; (309153)

(2) when he plans to reply to the letter of 9 November 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. H. J. Kaabane;

(3) when he plans to reply to the letter of 9 November 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. A. Mortlock and Miss D. Taylor;

(4) when he plans to reply to the letter of 9 November 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mrs. K. Mirza;

(5) when he plans to reply to the letter of 11 November 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester Gorton with regard to Mr G. Singh;

(6) when he plans to reply to the letter of 11 November 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester Gorton with regard to Mr. M. A. Chaudhry.

Police Stations: Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons his Department decided to stop recording the number of police stations operational in the UK in 2007; and if he will make a statement. (309227)

Previously information on the number of police stations opened and closed in England and Wales was collected centrally from police authorities via a yearly survey. The last full survey was for March 2007.

The data that the survey generated were not generally reliable. The management of the police estate and the allocation of resources are matters for police authorities and chief constables to determine.

In the interests of reducing bureaucracy, these data are no longer collected and held centrally.

Police: Complaints

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 3 December 2009, Official Report, column 83W, on police, when the Independent Police Complaints Commission requested police forces to start providing information relating to complainant disability; and when the resultant data will be published. (307811)

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: As stated previously, the IPCC is responsible for the collation and publication of complaint statistics for England and Wales and has done so since it was established in 2004.

The IPCC first captured information relating to complainant disability in April 2009. However, the IPCC had concerns about the accuracy and quality of the data and did not include the data in its Complaints Statistics for 2008-09. The IPCC will not publish the data until it is confident of their quality and accuracy and is working with forces to ensure the quality and accuracy of the disability data on complaints statistics recorded by forces.

Police: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding his Department plans to provide to each police authority in 2010-11; and what mechanism is used to determine the allocation of funding to police authorities. (304013)

The provisional police funding settlement for 2010-11 was announced on 26 November 2009. Formula grant funding for all police authorities was provisionally set at £8.3 billion. The following table lists the grant allocation for each police authority.

Government funding for police authorities is chiefly allocated using a funding formula that distributes resources on the basis of relative need.

Table of police grant allocations by English and Welsh police authority 2009-10 to 2010-11

Police authority

2009-10 formula allocation 1(£ million)

2010-11 allocation1(£ million)

Change on 2009-10 formula allocation(percentage)

English shire authorities

Avon and Somerset

179.7

186.1

3.5

Bedfordshire

70.8

73.1

3.3

Cambridgeshire

81.0

83.5

3.0

Cheshire

120.5

123.5

2.5

Cleveland

97.7

100.1

2.5

Cumbria

67.2

68.9

2.5

Derbyshire

112.6

116.2

3.1

Devon and Cornwall

186.4

191.1

2.5

Dorset

65.3

66.9

2.5

Durham

91.4

93.7

2.5

Essex

177.9

183.1

2.9

Gloucestershire

59.3

60.8

2.5

Hampshire

207.5

213.0

2.7

Hertfordshire

121.2

124.9

3.0

Humberside

128.4

131.8

2.6

Kent

192.1

197.4

2.7

Lancashire

204.1

209.7

2.7

Leicestershire

118.0

121.4

2.9

Lincolnshire

64.3

66.3

3.2

Norfolk

87.6

89.8

2.5

North Yorkshire

76.7

78.6

2.5

Northamptonshire

75.5

77.5

2.7

Nottinghamshire

141.4

146.0

3.3

Staffordshire

120.6

123.8

2.7

Suffolk

71.0

72.7

2.5

Surrey

101.8

104.4

2.5

Sussex

169.8

174.1

2.5

Thames Valley

238.2

244.7

2.8

Warwickshire

54.1

55.6

2.7

West Mercia

121.8

124.9

2.5

Wiltshire

65.2

66.8

2.5

Shires total

3669.0

3770.0

2.8

English metropolitan authorities

Greater Manchester

458.9

472.5

3.0

Merseyside

267.4

274.3

2.6

Northumbria

249.9

256.2

2.5

South Yorkshire

204.1

209.2

2.5

West Midlands

486.1

504.3

3.8

West Yorkshire

339.2

350.5

3.3

Mets total

2005.7

2067.1

3.1

London authorities

GLA - Police

1978.3

2027.7

2.5

City of London2

21.0

21.8

N/A

English total

7674.0

7886.6

2.8

Welsh authorities

Dyfed-Powys3

54.4

55.8

2.5

Gwent3

82.6

84.7

2.5

North Wales3

80.1

82.1

2.5

South Wales3

181.5

186.4

2.7

Welsh total

398.6

409.0

2.6

Total

8072.6

8295.7

2.7

1 Rounded to the nearest £100,000. Grant as calculated under the Local Government Finance Report (England) and Local Government Finance (No.2—Provisional Settlement Police Authorities) Report (Wales). Table includes the effects of floors and scaling.

2 Figures for the City of London relate to Home Office Grant only as calculated in the Police Grant Report (England and Wales). Revenue support grant is allocated to the Common Council of the City of London as a whole in respect of all its functions. The City is grouped with education authorities for the purposes of grant floors.

3 Welsh figures include Home Office floor funding.

Police: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers and (b) police civilian staff are employed in Gloucester; and what the equivalent figures were in 1997. (308231)

[holding answer 6 January 2010]: Police personnel statistics are not collected by parliamentary constituency. Data for police officers have been collected by Basic Command Unit (BCU) since April 2001 and data for police staff have been collected by BCU since April 2002.

There were 292 police officers in Forest and Gloucester BCU as at 31 March 2002 and 359 police officers as at 31 March 2009.

There were 69 police staff in Forest and Gloucester BCU as at 31 March 2003 and 114 police staff as at 31 March 2009.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to his Department's publication, “Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000: Consolidating Orders and Codes of Practice Summary of Responses”, page 18, if he will place in the Library a copy of the response from (a) the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, (b) the Chartered Institution of Waste Management, (c) the British Broadcasting Corporation, (d) the Department of Communities and Local Government/Fire Services in England, (e) the National Undercover Working Group Legal Group, (f) the Chief Surveillance Commissioner and (g) Interception of Communications Commissioner. (308651)

The Home Office intends to publish all responses on its website and will do so shortly. Copies of the responses will also be placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to his Department's publication, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000: Consolidating Orders and Codes of Practice Summary of Responses, page 16, which of the 41 respondents supported local authority use of the Act for dog fouling, littering or school enrolment checking. (308653)

Seven were from members of the public, three identified themselves as individuals from local authorities and the remaining 31 were responses from local authorities.

Religious Buildings: Registration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 28 October 2009, Official Report, column 474W, on “Non-domestic Rates: Religious Buildings”, which organisations have had applications to be certified under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 rejected by the Registrar General since 1979. (308766)

The Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (the Act) provides for places of meeting for religious worship, excluding those belonging to the Established Church, to be certified to the Registrar General. A number of tests are applied by the Registrar General when a place of meeting for religious worship is certified to him. This includes the application of the judgment by the Court of Appeal in the Segerdal case in 1970. The main finding in the judgment is that the words ‘place of meeting for religious worship’ in the Act connote a place of which the principal use is for people to come together as a congregation to worship God or do reverence to a deity. A further test is whether the principal use of the building is for worship or for other matters, such as a private home or social club.

Once the Registrar General is satisfied that the place of worship certified to him is capable of recognition, he adds it to the register of such places which, under the Act, he has a duty to maintain.

The duty placed on the Registrar General does not extend to maintaining and retaining records of places or organisations that are not capable of recognition as places of worship under the Act, and the records held in this respect by the Registrar General are incomplete. However, the records that the Registrar General does hold confirm that since 1979, the following organisations have made unsuccessful applications for buildings certified as places of worship to be added to the register:

Miracle Revival Assembly

Calvary Full Gospel Church

Christians not otherwise designated

Roman Catholics

The Methodist Church

Who object to be designated by any distinctive Religious Appellation

Order of Christ Spirit

Christian Spiritualist

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Centre for Christ

Pentecostal Assemblies of God

Baptists

Mount Zion Holiness Assembly

Church of Christ

Christian Fellowship in Huddersfield

Interdenomination

Christians Nazarenes Methodist and Pentecostal

First Church of Christ, Scientist

Wentworth Road Christian Fellowship

Assemblies of God

Llanelli Baptist

Great Conrad Free Church

Calvary Church of God

Church of God

Good News Church Macclesfield

The Spiritualist Sanctuary

German Speaking Evangelical Lutheran Congregation

The Order of Women Freemasons

Muslims

Gur Sangat

Orthodox Christians

Cramlington Spiritualist Church

Frankley Methodist /Anglican Church

Fellowship of Churches of Christ

God’s Church of Peace

Penzance Christian Fellowship

Nailsea Christian Fellowship

Pentwyn Christian Fellowship

Officers and Members of Emmanuel Pentecostal Faith Church of God

Church of Christ of Bethlehem

Weybridge United Reformed Church

Horringer Court Christian Fellowship

Christchurch Abbeydale

Brotherhood Movement

Caribbean House Chaplaincy

Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association

The Independent African Caribbean Church of Christ of Nazareth

The Pentecostal Evangelistic Assembly

Letchworth Lodge of the Theosophical Society in England

The Holiness Church of God Inc.

The Othona Community

Trinity Church of Christ

The New Benedictine Order

The Spiritualists National Union Redwoods

Redditch Christian Fellowship

The British Sailor’s Society

Emmanuel Christian Fellowship

Highfield Free Church

Good News Church

Hammarens Ordens Sallskap—The Order of the Hammer

Apostolic Church of God Seventh Day

Mechanics

Korean Presbyterian Church

Coptic Orthodox Church

United Reformed Church

The Ashford Christian Spiritualist Church

Universal Life Church

Amazing Grace and Friends

Tavistock Community Church

Apostolics

Trinity Church of Christ

Church of England and United Reformed Church

Confucians (Buddhists, Goddess of Mercy)

Apostolic Church International (in UK)

Members of the Correllian Nativist Church International

Buddhists (New Kadampa Tradition)

Cantheist

Freedom Family Church

Redeemed Christian Church of God

C.J’s City

St. Andrews Church of God

Wiccan

Life Sanctuary Church

Kriya Yoga Ashram

Jesus Christ The Great Salvation Fellowship

Mount Sion Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ

Security: Olympic Games 2012

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there are plans to contract private security firms for the 2012 Olympics. (308811)

The Private Security Industry will play a role in delivering a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic games. LOCOG, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, will require an estimated 6,000 people to protect their assets, protect the perimeters of their venues, screen people and vehicles entering the venues and also to work as safety stewards in the venues.

The Olympic and Paralympic Security Directorate (OSD) within the office for security and counter-terrorism (OSCT) of the Home Office is supporting an innovative project called ‘Bridging the Gap’ which aims to train up to 10,000 young adults to Security Industry Authority standards to fill these roles. The OSD is working closely with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), LOCOG and the ‘Bridging the Gap’ project to ensure that sufficient numbers are trained and that there is a legacy for the young people in terms of job opportunities in the Private Security Industry, and other uniform services after the games. The OSD is also engaging the Private Security Industry to ensure they are aware of the challenge ahead, not just in securing the games, but also in ensuring that levels of service to businesses elsewhere in the UK are maintained.

Terrorism Act 2000

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many students have been (a) stopped, (b) detained and (c) arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 in the last five years. (301037)

The Home Office does not hold statistics which are recorded in this way. However, the Home Office collates statistics on the number of terrorism arrests and these were included in a Bulletin published for the first time on 13 May 2009 (Statistics on Terrorism Arrests and Outcomes Great Britain 11 September 2001 to 31 March 2008). The first edition of the Bulletin is available at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs09/hosb0409.pdf

The second issue of the Bulletin was published on 26 November 2009 and is available via the link below:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs09/hosb1809.pdf

UK Border Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the budget is of the UK Border Agency Abu Dhabi hub for 2009-10. (301241)

Abu Dhabi is the regional operations centre for the Gulf and Pakistan, dealing with visa applications from Iran, Pakistan, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Abu Dhabi will be the largest UK Border Agency operation overseas by application volume. There are 142 staff.

Abu Dhabi carries out the full range of tasks associated with visa processing, including the administration, pre-assessment and assessment of visa applications, document verification, post-decision work, including appeals, administrative reviews, correspondence and complaints handling, risk and airline liaison, integrity management, and regional management.

Under the finance model agreed with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, upon whose platform the Abu Dhabi hub operates, the budget is not constructed in a way that accounts for particular posts.

The costs passed to the UK Border Agency from the FCO are a combination of variable costs, such as those related to headcount, and fixed charges such as management support and depreciation. The variable costs paid by the UK Border Agency for 2009-10 are around £6.5 million. The fixed element for the Abu Dhabi hub cannot easily be disaggregated from the global total and to do so would incur disproportionate costs.

UK Border Agency: Empty Property

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to pages 80 and 81 of his Department’s Resource Accounts 2008-09, for what reasons the UK Border Agency made payments of £1.3 million to landlords for empty properties. (309310)

A large estate such as that occupied by the UK Border Agency is likely to have some surplus property at times, especially as it is consolidating the number of properties it has to deliver better value for the taxpayer overall. Where a property is empty the Agency is required to declare the costs associated with that property while UKBA retains the lease. In 2008-09 payments for the empty properties were £1,072 million, comprising rent, rates, and a nominal amount for utilities. This represents 1 per cent. of the cost of running the UKBA estate. Overall the agency has benefited from reduced property, IT and productivity gains from rationalisation that outweigh these costs.

Vehicle Intelligence Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) objectives and (b) scope is of the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Vehicle Intelligence Scheme which receives funding from his Department. (308549)

The purpose of the ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (AVCIS) is to retain a strategic overview of issues affecting the UK specifically with regard to vehicle crime and vehicle enabled crime in order to maintain reductions in vehicle crime and vehicle enabled crime in the UK; improve recovery rates of stolen vehicles; and identify emerging threats and trends, developing a range of tactical options which are effective, timely and proportionate.

In order to deliver against its purpose, all the activities of AVCIS are categorised within six aims:

to reduce theft of vehicles;

to reduce theft from vehicles;

to increase recovery of stolen vehicles;

to reduce vehicle fraud;

to deliver bureau functions (including TruckPol); and

to develop AVCIS capability to deliver against its aims.

AVCIS delivers against this remit through close partnership with local police forces and regional intelligence units and national law enforcement agencies such as UKBA, SOCA and HMRC. It also works very closely with partners in the private sector, including insurers, manufacturers, vehicle tracking companies and others.

Vetting

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many checks undertaken by the Criminal Records Bureau a dispute was (a) raised and (b) upheld in each year since 2002, broken down by reason for the dispute. (302193)

The following table details a breakdown of the number of checks undertaken by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) which were the subject of a dispute since the launch of the Disclosure service in 2002. Officials at the Bureau have advised me that they have recently performed a data cleansing exercise which has resulted in some changes to the previous figures disclosed. I have been assured that this exercise has now been completed.

2002-032003-042004-052005-062006-072007-082008-092009-10Total

Error type

Raised

Upheld

Raised

Upheld

Raised

Upheld

Raised

Upheld

Raised

Upheld

Raised

Upheld

Raised

Upheld

Raised

Upheld

Raised

Upheld

Department for education and skills and Department of children schools and families

0

0

3

3

5

5

4

3

10

8

23

15

20

12

15

11

80

57

Department of health

1

1

0

0

2

2

3

3

7

5

8

1

4

1

2

2

27

15

Identification error

0

0

2

2

0

0

3

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

6

Local police force

108

108

321

318

619

602

794

764

804

656

1,787

678

2,378

926

1,302

567

8,113

4619

Other (data cleansing)

569

121

1,189

151

1,280

26

1,456

38

1,467

11

89

1

13

0

11

0

6,074

348

Police national computer (PNC)

408

408

796

792

930

892

1,004

920

1,043

748

3,538

1,297

2,495

810

1,015

332

11,229

6,199

Police national computer identification

588

473

766

621

775

762

667

648

740

683

954

586

1,296

778

647

471

6,433

5,022

System error

0

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

3

2

Uncategorized

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

8

0

32

0

932

0

972

0

Total

1,674

1,111

3,077

1,887

3,613

2,291

3,931

2,379

4,072

2,112

6,408

2,578

6,238

2,527

3,924

1,383

32,937

16,268

Vetting: Councillors

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the (a) Independent Safeguarding Authority and (b) Criminal Records Bureau has provided guidance to local authorities on the undertaking of checks in respect of councillors. (308691)

It is the Home Office, working with other Government Departments, rather than the Independent Safeguarding Authority and the Criminal Records, which is responsible for preparing guidance on the operation of the Vetting and Barring Scheme.

The Home Office is working with the Department for Communities and Local Government and policy leads in the Department of Health/Department of Children Schools and Families to produce specific guidance on the requirements introduced by the Vetting and Barring Scheme for elected members and other local authority officials. Information on the Vetting and Barring scheme has been issued that allows individuals and organisations to assess where they fall under the scheme. This is being supplemented by comprehensive generic guidance and sector specific guidance where required. All of the guidance will be in place by July 2010.

Work and Pensions

Departmental Art Works

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much her Department spent on art works in the last 12 months. (306439)

Works of art displayed in the Department for Work and Pensions are from the Government Art Collection (GAC), which publishes an annual list of acquisitions. The most recent details of acquisitions made by the GAC were published on 5 October 2009 and are available on the GAC website at:

http://www.gac.culture.gov.uk/information/publications.asp

Departmental Assets

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assets of her Department are planned to be sold in each year from 2009-10 to 2013-14; what the (a) description and (b) book value of each such asset is; what the expected revenue from each such sale is; and if she will make a statement. (300376)

The Government have stated their intention to realise £16 billion in asset disposals over the period 2011-14 and will publish further details of opportunities to commercialise business assets in the coming weeks.

One of this Department’s key investment strategies during the 2004 spending review period was to reduce asset ownership, and contract for key services. The successful implementation of that strategy resulted in a greatly reduced asset base.

The DWP does not own any land or property. Asset transfer has already been completed through a PFI contract known as PRIME, returning exchequer receipts of £250 million in 1998 and £100 million in 2003 when DWP outsourced its estate. This arrangement covers the majority of property occupied by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (a Crown non-departmental public body). There is currently no intention to sell any of the Commission’s assets during the years in question.

Planned asset sales for the Health and Safety Executive (a Crown Non-departmental public body) are outlined in the following table:

£000

Vechicles1

Land

2009-10

NBV

235

5

Sales

262

1

2010-11

NBV

362

10

Sales

362

10

2011-12

NBV

347

0

Sales

347

0

2012-13

NBV

277

0

Sales

277

0

2013-14

NBV

362

0

Sales

362

0

1 Vehicle sales are mainly related to the Health and Safety Executive’s Private User Scheme which provides vehicles on a three year contract for staff travelling in excess of 5,000 business miles per annum on a shared cost basis.

The DWP disposed of the majority of its vehicle fleet in August 2007. The Department’s IS/IT and telephony requirements were outsourced to EDS (now part of Hewlett Packard) and BT in 2005.

Leasehold improvements to Jobcentre Plus sites are classed as assets but cannot be disposed of independently so the impact on value is negligible, as the assets themselves (the buildings) are not owned by the Department.

Departmental Conferences

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) away days and (b) conferences that took place outside her Department’s building attended by civil servants in her Department there have been since 2005; and what the cost was of each. (307513)