Written Answers to Questions
Wednesday 3 February 2010
Crown Prosecution Service: Victims
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) introduced the initiative known as Direct Communications with Victims in 2001. Under this initiative, victims are written to when key prosecution decisions are taken. Senior CPS prosecutors also meet victims or their families in very serious cases to explain decisions. Additionally the phased introduction of witness care units (WCU) across England and Wales during 2004-05 has meant that CPS and police staff are able to provide information and support to victims and other witnesses based on the individuals preferred means of contact.
The review referred to was intended to assess and inform the staffing of the joint police/CPS witness care units (WCU), and thereafter the effective deployment of victim and witness care resources.
The first strand of the review, in relation to the staffing of the WCU, has been completed, and CPS resources dedicated to these units have been maintained for the financial year 2010-11. A further strand of the review will take place during 2010, to ensure full consideration is given to the impact of the launch of the National Victims Service.
Departmental Information Officers
The Scotland Office does not employ any staff directly. All staff in the Office are seconded from other Government Departments, mainly the Scottish Executive and Ministry of Justice. Staffing information containing the grade and gender breakdown of all staff using the Scottish Executive's grading structure, for illustrative purposes, is published in the Office's annual report. Under this grading structure, there are currently nine grades between the most senior and the most junior posts in the Scotland Office. The Office does not keep information on salary and associated employment costs in the form requested.
Departmental Public Consultation
The Scotland Office does not separately record information on the grade of hotel booked by officials.
All travel and subsistence is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Ministerial Code, Travel by Ministers and the Civil Service Management Code. All expenditure has been incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.
During recent bi-lateral meetings with Ministers at the Welsh Assembly Government I have discussed the Child Poverty Bill. This Bill commits the Government to eradicating child poverty by 2020 and will enshrine in law an ambitious set of targets to achieve this goal.
The Government are also taking action to assist children from low income families across the UK through the introduction of Child Trust Funds enabling families to save for their children's future with additional funding for low income households. 64,000 children in Wales will benefit from an additional Welsh premium. The Government have also ensured an increase in the child element of child tax credit benefiting an estimated 380,000 children and in child benefit, benefiting an estimated 640,000 children in Wales.
The Welsh Assembly Government are further complementing these efforts through the introduction of legislation such as the proposed Children and Families (Wales) Measure underpinning their commitment to the target set for 2020. This recognises families in poverty often face multiple disadvantages requiring specialist and intensive support. The Welsh Assembly Government also has in place a range of policies aimed at tackling child poverty including employment support programmes, childcare initiatives, education and health programmes and Communities First interventions.
Performance Management in the Wales Office is an ongoing process, with all staff undergoing annual and mid-year formal performance reviews. The total numbers of annual performance reviews carried out in each of the last five years are set out in the following table.
Number 2004-05 52 2005-06 57 2006-07 57 2007-08 56 2008-09 59
Only a very small number of staff received 'unsatisfactory' markings during each of those five years. Therefore actual numbers cannot be provided without compromising staff confidentiality.
The award of an unsatisfactory performance marking invokes poor performance procedures, but would not directly result in dismissal. Support is provided to employees to reach and maintain the required standards of performance.
Departmental Public Consultation
Electoral Commission Committee
Electoral Register: Expenditure
The Electoral Commission informs me that total expenditure on electoral registration initiatives in each of the last two years was as follows:
Initiatives included in these costs include guidance for electoral administrators, activity relating to the performance standards framework for electoral registration officers, research, the Commission’s partnership grants programme and public awareness campaigns to promote voter registration.
Equivalent information for earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost as expenditure was accounted for under more than one corporate objective.
Local Government Finance
The Electoral Commission informs me that local authorities are not required to submit any data sets to the Commission.
However the Commission further informs me that Electoral Registration Officers and Returning Officers employed by the local authority are each asked to complete a self assessment return against a performance standards framework and also complete a financial information survey at the end of the financial year. Both the standards and the financial survey are available on the Commission’s website:
Local Government: Suffolk
Criminal Justice and Policing: Devolution
I announced in December 2007 that 400 additional adult male places would be made available by the end of 2010. 230 of these are now operational and 140 under tender for construction. In addition further accommodation is being refurbished and brought back into use at Maghaberry. A detailed business case and design for the replacement prison at Magilligan is under way. An options appraisal for a discrete women’s facility has been prepared. Final decisions must take account of funding availability.
The following table shows the percentage of invoices that have been paid by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) within 10 working days during the nine month period to 31 December 2009.
Percentage paid within 10 working days Core Department1 92 Executive agencies: Northern Ireland Prison Service 92 Compensation Agency 98 Forensic Science Northern Ireland 83 Youth Justice Agency 81 1 Including arm’s length bodies and the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland but excluding Executive agencies and NDPBs
Percentage paid within 10 working days
Northern Ireland Prison Service
Forensic Science Northern Ireland
Youth Justice Agency
1 Including arm’s length bodies and the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland but excluding Executive agencies and NDPBs
In line with guidance issued by Cabinet Office on 17 November 2008, the Department and agencies revised internal timescales for the processing and payment of invoices with effect from 1 December 2008. Since then, there has been a steady improvement in the NIO’s statistics.
The Government policy of paying within 10 working days applies to invoices from all suppliers irrespective of size—no distinction is made for small or medium-sized enterprises and separate statistics relating to these groups are not recorded.
Departmental Mobile Phones
Departmental Public Consultation
State Visits: Republic of Ireland
House of Commons Commission
14 Tothill Street
Leader of the House
I have today issued a written ministerial statement outlining proposed subjects for topical debate between 18 November 2009 and 31 January 2010.
Following a review of topical debate procedure in October 2007, the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons has issued regular written ministerial statements setting out this information. These can be found in the Official Report:
7 February 2008, Official Report, column 83WS
24 April 2008, Official Report, column 110WS
14 July 2008, Official Report, column 7WS
25 November 2008, Official Report, column 79WS
12 February 2009 Official Report, column 108WS
3 June 2009, Official Report, column 14WS
3 December 2009, Official Report, column 135WS.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The current assessment of the salmon population size in the Mersey catchment covers two elements of the fish's life cycle:
1. Numbers of adult fish entering the Mersey Catchment.
2. Numbers of juvenile salmon in the Rivers Goyt and Bollin.
No distinction is made between (a) River Mersey and (b) All Rivers in the Merseyside region when assessing adult salmon. All monitoring of adult numbers is carried out at the Woolston Weir Fish Pass and Trap in Warrington.
The Woolston fish pass was adapted to trap fish in 2001, shortly after evidence was collated to confirm the arrival of adult salmon in the river. It has since been run in the autumn of each year.
Number of adult salmon Number of days fish trap is operated 2001 3 18 2002 26 48 2003 1 6 2004 1— 1— 2005 42 10 2006 8 21 2007 35 41 2008 45 20 2009 3 4 1 Shut for health and safety modification
Number of adult salmon
Number of days fish trap is operated
1 Shut for health and safety modification
The number of days spent trapping varies from year to year and is dependent upon the amount of resource available.
Video technology is currently being developed for the trap to enable the remote counting of adult salmon all year round.
Juvenile salmon distribution is currently monitored on the River Goyt by electric fishing for young fish and the counting of adult redds (nests). Since young salmon were discovered on the River Goyt in 2001, they have been counted in small numbers every year on the river.
Number of juvenile salmon Number of surveys in the lower Goyt 2005 4 4 2006 6 8 2007 4 5 2008 0 1 2009 1 6
Number of juvenile salmon
Number of surveys in the lower Goyt
Juvenile salmon surveys will start on the River Bollin in 2010. This river has now been opened up to adults by the building of two new fish passes, developed as part of the Environment Agency Mersey Life project.
Business, Innovation and Skills
Ofcom’s Communications Market Report: English Regions (Published August 2009) reported that about 4,200 UK households were not connected to a broadband enabled exchange at the end of 2008. The report can be found at:
For some 11 per cent. of households connected to a broadband enabled exchange, line lengths or other technical issue mean that the speed delivered to the customer is less than 2 Mbits.
I have been asked to reply.
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.
Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated 29 January 2010:
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning what information the department collates on the (a) number of businesses in and (b) annual revenue of the independent hand car wash sector (312694).
The ONS does not collect information specifically relating to the independent car wash sector. This industry is subsumed within a larger industrial classification, which is 'Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles' and estimates of the number of businesses and their revenue can only be produced for the aggregate.
The law in this area is clear: it does not permit the copying for personal use of a recording the copier has purchased, without permission of the copyright holder. For example, tracks purchased online are often accompanied by licences permitting consumers to make a limited number of copies for their own use, but many CDs have “all rights reserved”.
The Government carefully considered this issue in their Copyright Strategy, “© the way ahead”, and the second stage consultation on copyright exceptions arising from the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property. We concluded that a UK-only approach will be unable to deliver the correct balance between the access that consumers desire and the appropriate remuneration that rights holders need. EU-wide consideration is required, which we would support.
Departmental Visits Abroad
The Department does not centrally record details of representation at official level at overseas events. The Department holds information on overseas travel at the aggregate level but does not specifically relate these costs to events abroad, to obtain this information would entail disproportionate cost.
The Department publishes details of senior staff on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website at:
Overseas conferences attended are included.
I have been asked to reply.
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.
Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated 28 January 2010:
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what estimate has been made of the proportion of women who work (a) between one and five, (b) between six and 10, (c) between 11 and 15, (d) between 16 and 20, (e) between 21 and 25, (f) between 25 and 30, (g) between 31 and 35 and (h) over 35 hours a week in each year since 1997. (313558)
The table provided shows the usual weekly hours worked by women as published in the monthly Labour Market Statistical Bulletin, accessible via the link below. Estimates for the more detailed categories requested are not available on a basis consistent with those published.
As with any sample survey, estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) are subject to a margin of uncertainty. Indications of the sampling variability of LFS aggregate estimates are provided in the Statistical Bulletin.
Percentage Less than 6 hours 6 up to 15 hours 16 up to 30 hours 31 up to 45 hours Over 45 hours 1997 3.1 13.9 27.3 45.3 10.4 1998 3.0 14.1 27.2 45.6 10.1 1999 3.0 13.2 27.7 45.8 10.2 2000 2.7 13.1 28.7 45.4 10.1 2001 2.5 12.4 28.9 46.3 9.9 2002 2.5 12.0 29.1 46.1 10.2 2003 2.5 12.2 29.6 46.0 9.7 2004 2.3 11.9 29.6 46.7 9.6 2005 2.2 11.2 29.6 47.6 9.5 2006 2.5 11.4 29.6 46.8 9.7 2007 2.2 11.4 29.3 47.5 9.7 2008 2.3 10.7 30.1 47.3 9.7 2009 2.3 11.0 30.8 46.3 9.6 1 Main job only including paid and unpaid overtime. Note: It should be noted that the above estimates exclude people in most types of communal establishment (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites etc.) Source: Labour Force Survey
Less than 6 hours
6 up to 15 hours
16 up to 30 hours
31 up to 45 hours
Over 45 hours
1 Main job only including paid and unpaid overtime.
It should be noted that the above estimates exclude people in most types of communal establishment (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites etc.)
Labour Force Survey
Higher Education: Chelmsford
[holding answer 1 February 2010]: The information is in the following table.
Year of entry 2005 2006 2007 West Chelmsford constituency Applicants 874 915 984 Of which: Obtained a place 753 786 834 Unplaced 121 129 150 Chelmsford local authority Applicants 1,372 1,402 1,517 Of which: Obtained a place 1,190 1,195 1,287 Unplaced 182 207 230
Year of entry
West Chelmsford constituency
Obtained a place
Chelmsford local authority
Obtained a place
Creditors have a financial interest in the outcome of insolvency proceedings and are therefore well placed to monitor the actions of insolvency practitioners. Ultimately insolvency practitioners are subject to the control of the court.
The OFT is currently undertaking a study into various aspects of the corporate insolvency market.
Manufacturing Industries: Government Assistance
The manufacturing strategy launched in September 2008 brings together over £150 million support for a range of policy measures that address key issues impacting on competitiveness such as skills, design, technology, global value chains and the move to a low carbon economy.
The advanced manufacturing package of measures announced in July 2009 provides more than £150 million from the strategic investment fund to support the development of high tech manufacturing that will enable UK manufacturers to take advantage of new market opportunities.
In addition, manufacturing benefits from:
The Real Help for Business package—support for manufacturers is described in the leaflet which is available at:
The Vehicle Scrappage Scheme where more than 330,000 orders for new vehicles have been placed.
The Manufacturing Advisory Service which has been expanded and has conducted over 32,000 manufacturing reviews and supported more than 11,800 implementation projects worth nearly £700 million value added.
Museums and Galleries: Finance
(2) how much funding the Higher Education Funding Council for England has allocated to museums and galleries in each of the last five years, expressed in 2009-10 prices.
[holding answer 6 January 2010]: The Higher Education Museum, Galleries and Collections Fund recognises the importance of these nationally valued institutions. I am pleased that the resources we have allocated to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) mean that they are planning not only to continue this funding stream, but also to increase it to £10.6 million in 2010/11.
However, it is important that all special funding streams are reviewed periodically. This ensures that public funds continue to be spent wisely. The Museums Fund is currently under review by a panel appointed by the Funding Council. The review will make broad recommendations about the fund’s future. The HEFCE Board will make detailed funding decisions for individual institutions based on these recommendations. I understand that those decisions are expected to be made before the summer, after which the review report will be published.
The Department has received correspondence from Oxford university and the university of Central Lancashire on this subject.
The total allocation in each year is as follows:
£ million 2005/06 10.8 2006/07 9.9 2007/08 0.2 2008/09 10.2 2009/10 10.1 2010/11 10.6 Note: The figures show levels of the Higher Education Museum, Galleries and Collections Fund over the past five years in cash terms. In 2005/06 the fund was administered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The figure for 2005/06 shows both core and project funding from the AHRC and is not comparable to that for subsequent years.
The figures show levels of the Higher Education Museum, Galleries and Collections Fund over the past five years in cash terms. In 2005/06 the fund was administered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The figure for 2005/06 shows both core and project funding from the AHRC and is not comparable to that for subsequent years.
Royal Mail: Snow and Ice
Department officials were in contact with Royal Mail during the severe weather.
Decisions relating to operational matters are the direct responsibility of the company and local assessments were made on whether services could operate safely under local conditions. Royal Mail kept customers informed of disrupted services via its website:
but due to the nature of the changing conditions, assessments had to be regularly made and it was not always possible to give customers advanced notice of whether local services will be operating as normal.
Postcomm, the independent postal regulator, is responsible for monitoring Royal Mail's performance in relation to the universal service obligation. The regulator receives regular compliance reports from Royal Mail regarding its quality of service and will where appropriate raise any reasonable concerns with the company over any significant interruption to local services due to the severe weather conditions.
The Government would like to thank postmen and women up and down the country for their efforts to deliver the mail in the face of the extreme weather conditions recently experienced in the UK.
Train to Gain Programme
Video Games: Finance
The following table shows how much has been invested by each RDA in projects specifically aimed at the video game industry.
RDA RDA financial assistance to the video games industry in 2008-09 (£000)1 AWM 729 EEDA 288 EMDA 0 LDA 250 NWDA 135 ONE 931 SEEDA 58 SWERDA 0 YF 195 1 To identify the financial assistance that has been provided from broader programmes (e.g. business support) would incur disproportionate cost.
RDA financial assistance to the video games industry in 2008-09 (£000)1
1 To identify the financial assistance that has been provided from broader programmes (e.g. business support) would incur disproportionate cost.
Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations
The monetary value of cash allowances awarded to military staff in Afghanistan in 2008-09 was £30.6 million on local overseas allowance and longer separation allowance. These allowances contribute towards the necessary additional local cost of day-to-day living of those serving overseas and compensate personnel who are experiencing longer than usual separation from their families.
A further £66.5 million was awarded for the operational allowance in Iraq and Afghanistan, of which approximately £40 million was in Afghanistan. This allowance recognises the increased danger involved in serving in specified operational locations, over and above that which is taken into account in basic pay.
The allowances were funded from the reserve as a net additional cost of military operations.
Armed Forces: Absence without Leave
The information is not held centrally in the format requested. Centrally held information relates to the number of absent without leave incidents and not to the number of personnel. Additionally, data are only available by month in respect of the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. In respect of the Army, only the year to date total is held centrally and to obtain this information by month will require a manual search of records which could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The available figures are provided in the following table.
AWOL statistics are recorded by the number of incidences reported, because the figures may include service personnel who have been AWOL on more than one occasion. Furthermore, following the reporting of an incidence of AWOL, information may later come to light of extenuating circumstances for that unauthorised absence, such as compassionate, hospitalisation or travel delays beyond the individual's control. In such cases a service person may not be formally charged but the incidence is still recorded.
Royal Navy Army Royal Air Force January 5 — 1 February 10 — 0 March 10 — 0 April 5 — 0 May 10 — 0 June 10 — 0 July 10 — 0 August 5 — 1 September 10 — 0 October 10 — 1 November 5 — 3 December 0 — 0 Total 85 12,110 6 1 This is the number of recorded incidences, not the number of people AWOL or the number of charges brought. Note: Figures for the Royal Navy and Army are rounded to the nearest five.
Royal Air Force
1 This is the number of recorded incidences, not the number of people AWOL or the number of charges brought.
Figures for the Royal Navy and Army are rounded to the nearest five.
The Ministry of Defence, its agencies and trading funds are fully committed to achieving the Government target of paying 90 per cent. of invoices within 10 days, and is a signatory to the Prompt Payment Code.
Since March 2009, we have consistently exceeded the target, and the latest figures show that 98.74 per cent. of invoices submitted by all suppliers were paid within 10 days of receipt. But we are not complacent and continue to seek improvements in our bill-paying performance to ensure that all our suppliers are paid promptly.
We have made no separate assessment of the time taken to pay small and medium-sized enterprises.
Departmental Public Relations
The setting of detailed budgetary allocations is delegated to local budget holders. These allocations are revised constantly throughout the financial year to reflect changes in the Department's priorities. They are not therefore held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
However, information on the final budget where this is available is set out in the following table.
Expenditure on public relations activities (mainly recruitment for the armed forces) has been as follows:
£ million 2001-02 35.1 2002-03 52.5 2003-04 61.7 2004-05 79.3 2005-06 76.2 2006-07 43.0 2007-08 46.3 2008-09 155.2 1 Of an allocated budget of £56.7 million
1 Of an allocated budget of £56.7 million
A summary of the MOD's expenditure on external assistance has been placed annually in the Library of the House since 1995-96. The summary includes expenditure information provided by our trading funds that lie outside the MOD's accounting boundary. Budgetary information is not held. External assistance includes management consultancy, specialist lawyers, commercial bankers and IT expertise. Consultants help us to increase our efficiency and effectiveness but we employ them only when we cannot do the work ourselves and can demonstrate value for money.
A list of companies providing public relations services or external assistance is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, we do publish an annual list of those organisations the MOD pays £5 million or more to during the financial year. This information is in Chapter 1 (most recently in Table 1.17) of UK Defence Statistics, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. The current and historical editions are also available on the MOD's website at the following link:
This list includes those major contractors providing external assistance. Where public relations services are required, the MOD may also contract with companies included in the Public Relations Framework, a centralised procurement service run by the Central Office of Information.
We are reviewing the detail of final budgets for 2009-10 pending the presentation of the Spring Supplementary Estimates to Parliament later this month.
Detailed budgetary information for 2010-11 is not yet available as we are reviewing our detailed resource allocations for that year to take account of current priorities, commitments and budgetary pressures.
Snow and Ice
It is not possible to assess the costs to the Department of the disruption to transport arrangements and the consequent impact on the ability of staff to attend for work during the period of the recent bad weather. Costs such as the costs of structural damage to Defence facilities and infrastructure could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
Costs were incurred by the Department in providing military assistance to the civil community where there was an immediate threat to human life or to alleviate suffering. It is standard practice not to charge for such assistance and consequently information on the costs of these operations is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
The Department provided assistance to several external organisations where lives were not in imminent danger. The cost of such assistance will be reimbursed by the external organisations involved and there will be no net cost to the Department.
Culture, Media and Sport
Digital Broadcasting: Radio
Digital Broadcasting: Religious Buildings
Football: World Cup
In addition to staff costs, the Department is making a loan of £2.5 million to the Football Association in support of England's bid to host the 2018 World cup. This money will be used for developing the technical bid and not on entertaining or salaries. It will also be repaid into grass roots football if the bid is unsuccessful, with the loan and a share of the profits from the tournament going into the grass roots if successful. As a result, this represents good value for money for sport.
Local Government Finance
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has no statutory requirements for submission of datasets from local authorities.
Local authorities that have signed up to the free swimming initiative are responsible for submitting quarterly data on the number of free swims that have taken place in their area each month as part of the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the Free Swimming Programme. The Department also collects details of alcohol, entertainment and late night refreshment licensing from licensing authorities on an annual basis.
The Department does not receive any datasets from municipal libraries.
Museums and Galleries
[holding answer February 2010]: My Department collects figures for visitor numbers for museums we fund either through our grant in aid programme or through our Renaissance in the Regions programme. We have no figures for museums in Lancashire.
Visits to museums in the North West and England in receipt of grant in aid or Renaissance funding are detailed in the table:
Areas that are funded by DCMS Museums in receipt of funding through Renaissance in the regions January to September 2009 Sponsored museums 2009 North West total visits 11,465,046 23,300,000 England total visits 13,833,359 41,100,000 1 The museums included in the North West are: Manchester Art Gallery, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, and Whitworth Art Gallery. 2 Imperial War Musem North, Museum Of Science and Industry, National Museums Liverpoool, Tate Liverpool
Areas that are funded by DCMS
Museums in receipt of funding through Renaissance in the regions January to September 2009
Sponsored museums 2009
North West total visits
England total visits
1 The museums included in the North West are: Manchester Art Gallery, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, and Whitworth Art Gallery.
2 Imperial War Musem North, Museum Of Science and Industry, National Museums Liverpoool, Tate Liverpool
Validated data for museums funded by Renaissance is only available up to September 2009. Data for the year will be available in March 2010.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is primarily focused on increasing sports participation, with Sport England as our key delivery partner. However, this is part of a joint target with the Department of Health to get two million more people more physically active, including one million more people playing more sport. DCMS and Sport England work very closely with the Department for Health across this target and sport will, of course, have a great positive effect on people's health.
As the non-departmental public body with responsibility for community sport, Sport England's aim is to increase and sustain levels of participation in sport and develop talent to drive standards of elite performance throughout the country. Their funding is distributed as part of the commitment to get one million more people playing more sport by 2012.
National governing bodies of sport (NGBs) are at the heart of the strategy as it is their networks of community clubs, coaches and volunteers that make sport happen. Sport England is investing £480 million through 46 governing bodies over the next four years and have agreed grow, sustain and excel targets with each one. Each sport has developed a whole sport plan to achieve these targets.
In addition to the current funding being invested through NGBs, Sport England has invested a total of £776,115 Exchequer funding into Torbay since 2002. This includes a recent investment of £634,615 into the Brixham Amateur Swimming and Life Saving Society in order to modernise the pool. Swim Torquay Limited also received funding of £136,500 in 2008-09 to extend their facilities. Sport England has further invested £317,771 of Lottery funding to various projects throughout Torbay since 2002-03.
The number of unique participants in the Free Swimming programme is not collected centrally. Local authorities are responsible for collecting data on the number of free swims that have taken place in their area each month.
The table shows the total number of free swims that have taken place under the free swimming scheme by people aged 16 years and under and people aged 60 and over in North East Lincolnshire local authority and North Lincolnshire local authority between April 2009, when the scheme began, and September 2009.
This is not a measure of the total number of individual participants taking part in free swimming, as the Department does not hold these figures.
Local authority Under 16 swims Over 60s swims Total North East Lincolnshire1 0 20,938 20,938 North Lincolnshire 74,961 15,305 90,266 1 NE Lincolnshire did not offer free swimming to under 16s.
Under 16 swims
Over 60s swims
North East Lincolnshire1
1 NE Lincolnshire did not offer free swimming to under 16s.
The interpretation of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 is a matter for TV Licensing.
TV Licensing officers may enter a person’s home or business premises only with his or her consent or if authorised to do so by a warrant issued by a justice of the peace, a sheriff in Scotland, or a lay magistrate in Northern Ireland.
Under section 366 of the Communications Act 2003, in order to issue such a warrant the presiding judge must be satisfied by information provided on oath, that there are reasonable grounds for believing that an offence of not holding a licence while having installed or using a TV receiver has been or is being committed, that evidence of the commission of the offence is likely to be on the premises, and there is no other practicable way to lawfully gain entry to the premises.
The available information relates to the Halton Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership area. Because of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002, data for 2000-01 and 2008-09 are not directly comparable. Percentage changes between 2002-03 and 2008-09 for the requested offences have been given in the table.
Percentage change between 2002-03 and 2008-09 Total recorded crime -7 Violence against the person 39 Burglary -14 Vehicle thefts1 -37 1 Includes theft or from a vehicle.
Percentage change between 2002-03 and 2008-09
Total recorded crime
Violence against the person
1 Includes theft or from a vehicle.
Crimes of Violence: Convictions
(2) how many people were convicted of overall violent crime offences in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England in (i) 2007, (ii) 2008 and (iii) 2009.
I have been asked to reply.
Information showing the number of persons found guilty at all courts in the North East Government Office Region (GOR) and England for offences of violence against the person, by offence, in 2007 and 2008 (latest available) is shown in the table.
Court proceedings data are not available at parliamentary constituency level. Data are given in the table for the North East GOR in which the Jarrow constituency and South Tyneside are located.
Data for 2009 are expected to be published in the autumn 2010.
Number of persons found guilty at all courts in the North East Government Office Region1 and England for offences of violence against the person, by offence, 2007 and 20082,320072008Violent offencesNorth East RegionEnglandNorth East RegionEnglandMore serious offences—indictable2253,2362023,217Less serious offences—indictable2,70735,8732,57835,842Summary offences2,88549,9312,67649,620Total indictable and summary offences of violence against the person5,81789,0405,45688,679 1 Includes:Cleveland police force area;Durham police force area;Northumbria police force area.2 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.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
Available data relate to handguns and muzzle-loading handguns possessed on certificate for 2004-05 and 2005-06, and are given in the table. Data on certification are now drawn from the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) and information in this degree of detail is not at present available.
Handguns Muzzle-loading handguns 2004-051 16,016 7,911 2005-062 16,399 8,728 2006-073 n/a n/a 2007-084 n/a n/a n/a denotes figures not available. 1 Information on the firearms breakdown was provided by 37 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. The missing six forces are: Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Staffordshire, Sussex and South Wales. 2 Information on the firearms breakdown was provided by 38 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. The missing five forces are: Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Staffordshire and Sussex. 3 Figures for 2006-07 are not available, due to the transition from in-force data collection systems to the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) in 2006. 4 Figures for 2007/08 are not available, due to the transition from in-force data collection systems to the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) in 2006.
n/a denotes figures not available.
1 Information on the firearms breakdown was provided by 37 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. The missing six forces are: Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Staffordshire, Sussex and South Wales.
2 Information on the firearms breakdown was provided by 38 of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. The missing five forces are: Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Staffordshire and Sussex.
3 Figures for 2006-07 are not available, due to the transition from in-force data collection systems to the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) in 2006.
4 Figures for 2007/08 are not available, due to the transition from in-force data collection systems to the National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) in 2006.
Remand in Custody: Young People
I have been asked to reply.
The Youth Justice Board reports the number of hours per week that young people spend undertaking education, training and personal development activities across the secure estate. This is a broad category that includes education provision delivered by learning providers commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council, as well as interventions, group work sessions, vocational training, and physical education classes delivered directly by the Prison Service or institution.
The YJB have introduced a new set of data items to allow them to monitor the secure estate. Data based on a new and more robust set of indicators are presented here for STCs and SCHs for September 2009. Data using the previous indicator are presented for YOIs. This information is presented in the following tables.
The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) reports that the average number of hours of OLASS funded learning and skills provision (not including personal development activity) delivered per learner per week in the public sector YOIs in the academic year 1 August 2008 to 31 July 2009 was 15.89 hours.
Data are not broken down to show the number of hours spent on education, training and personal development by young people held on remand but the information from the YJB and the LSC includes young people held on remand.
The data supplied by the Youth Justice Board are drawn from administrative computer systems. As with any large scale recording system, the data are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing and may be subject to change over time.
Average number of hours Average hours of education, training and personal development activity per week for young people at Public youth offenders institutes (YOIs) 25.6 Average hours of education, training and personal development activity per week for young people at Private youth offenders institutes (YOIs) 21.8 Average hours of education received per young person per week at SCHs 23.5 Average hours of education received per young person per week at STCs 25.8
Average number of hours
Average hours of education, training and personal development activity per week for young people at Public youth offenders institutes (YOIs)
Average hours of education, training and personal development activity per week for young people at Private youth offenders institutes (YOIs)
Average hours of education received per young person per week at SCHs
Average hours of education received per young person per week at STCs
The Home Office has introduced a range of policies and initiatives since 2000. The available statistical information relates to the Slough borough.
In terms of police recorded crime, data prior to 2002-03 is not directly comparable because of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. Between 2002-03 and 2008-09, total recorded crime in Slough fell by 7 per cent. More specifically:
Violence against the person—up 47 per cent.
Sexual offences—up 23 per cent.
Robbery—up 12 per cent.
Burglary—down 41 per cent.
Offences against vehicles—down 16 per cent.
Other theft offences—no change.
Criminal damage—up 10 per cent.
Drug offences—up 45 per cent.
Slough local police area together with the Royal borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Bracknell Forest form Berkshire East Basic Command Unit (BCU). As at 31 March 2009 the BCU had 633 police officers.
Comparisons with 2000 for Slough or Berkshire East are not available. There were 90 police community support officers as at 31 March 2009 in the Berkshire East BCU while there were none in existence in 2000.
The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 saw positive effects with the statutory duty to create a Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP). The CDRP has brought new ways of working in a cross cutting way with the police, Council and other key stakeholders and genuine partnership working to help tackle complex issues.
Since 2003 Slough has been funded by the Home Office as an 'intensive' Drug Intervention Programme (DIP) area enabling Slough to tackle drug-related offending through a range of' intensive' DIP applications including drug-testing on arrest and Restriction on Bail provisions allowing more offenders to be targeted, steered into treatment and out of a life of crime.
Slough's DIP budget for 2009-10 is £866,958. The operation of DIP in Slough in 2008-09 saw over 1,500 arrestees being drug-tested and 274 people referred into drug treatment.
Slough, as part of Thames Valley police force has been involved in the Tackling Knives Action Programme for the previous two years. This has provided additional funding and focus to work with young people and the community to prevent and educate about knife crime and serious youth violence as well as undertake enforcement operations to tackle this type of crime. Slough, as part of Berkshire East, has also received funding and support from the Home Office to tackle domestic and sexual violence. The BCU has received £95,000 to support Independent Domestic Violence Advisors and Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences that support the highest risk victims of domestic violence since 2007-8.
Before 1997 there were no bespoke powers to tackle antisocial behaviour but there are now a range of powers to deal with this issue. These include antisocial behaviour orders and designated public places orders (DPPO) from the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. Since 2005-06 at least 155 antisocial behaviour contracts have been issued. Numbers of antisocial behaviour orders have not been published since 2006 and were previously published only at force level.
Slough has benefited from additional funding to tackle antisocial behaviour and improve confidence in its community. In 2009 Slough began operating as a Neighbourhood Crime and Justice pilot area. Key actions have included:
Producing a new set of ASB Service Standards.
Overseeing 2226 hours of Community Payback in Slough during October 2009.
Implementing Community Cashback (assets recovered from criminals). On November 25 a £36,000 cheque from the LCJB (Local Criminal Justice Board) was presented to the Britwell Youth Centre.
Raising awareness of the policing pledge and the rights the public can expect from police when dealing with crime and ASB.
Setting up support for ASB victims and witnesses, ensuring they are supported appropriately.
Publishing all Slough borough council court successes in The Citizen every two months.
Distributing newsletters for North, South and East Slough.
There are 80 CCTV cameras installed in the Town Hall, the Town Centre, Farnham Road and other smaller shopping parades, together with some housing estates and leisure sites and are linked to the council's CCTV monitoring centre. CCTV also operate three mobile CCTV cameras, one of which has a built in digital recorder which can be installed across the borough when required.
Neighbourhood policing has been implemented in Slough since April 2008. Slough borough council has allocated Community Safety Project Officers, Environmental Enforcement Officers and Community Wardens to each of the three police neighbourhood sectors (North, South and East Slough). This means both council and police are properly represented at resident meetings, including Neighbourhood Policing Neighbourhood Action Groups (there is one for each ward).
Slough has received £250,000 funding and support as part of the Youth Crime Action Plan since 2008. This has focused on the following activities:
Using child protection legislation to remove young people from the streets at night and take them to a safe place, building on lessons from initiatives such as Operation Staysafe;
Using street-based teams of workers to tackle groups of young people involved in crime and disorder
Tackling antisocial behaviour and disorder at school closing time by increasing after-school police patrols where needed.
Placing youth offending team workers in police custody suites so that young offenders can be assessed and directed to appropriate services at the earliest opportunity;
Making young offenders feel the consequences of their actions by expanding YOT reparation schemes during their leisure time, including on Friday and Saturday nights;
Developing Family Intervention Projects to work with the most vulnerable and problematic families with children at risk of offending, with non-negotiable elements and sanctions for a failure to engage;
Implementation of the 'think family' reforms to provide an integrated and appropriate service response to all families at risk by the end of the funding period.
Slough has received additional funding through the Migration Impact Fund to support delivery of council services being impacted by increased migration. They have received £490,000 in 2009-10 to deliver three projects:
Supporting migrant children through dedicated programmes to assess newly-arrived families and supporting hard to reach groups. This also includes rationalising translation and interpreter services and tailored ESOL provision.
Migrant's Resource Centre focusing on health, education and environmental health, by raising awareness of appropriate access and recruiting community advocates to work with services. Tailored ESOL provision in neighbourhoods on life skills, laws and customs.
Improving housing conditions in the privately rented sector housing a multi-agency programme to improve standards of houses in multiple occupation.
Social Security Benefits: Fraud
I have been asked to reply.
HMCS systems do not identify the value of fines collected for specific offences and this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
The total value of all financial penalties collected in each of the HMCS regions and Wales for the last two years is as follows:
2007-08 2008-09 London 38,252,467 35,497,811 Midlands 49,334,655 47,945,264 North East 35,700,661 33,397,953 North West 35,906,704 34,972,432 South East 52,314,591 52,209,726 South West 28,259,819 27,053,693 Wales 16,348,762 15,442,822
Stop and Search
The Government’s consultation paper “Protecting the Public in a Changing Communications Environment”, published in April 2009, outlined high-level initial estimates of the cost of the options considered as part of the Interception Modernisation Programme. These were in the range of up to £2 billion over a 10-year period.
Work and Pensions
Action for Employment
Action for Employment: Milton Keynes
25,860 domestic flights were taken by Department for Work and Pensions staff, of whom there are some 111,000 throughout Great Britain, during 2008-09 at a total cost of £2.97 million. This has fallen from £4 million in 2004-05.
All official travel within the Department is carried out in accordance with the requirements of both the Civil Service Management Code
and departmental business travel policy.
The Department's business travel policy promotes sustainable travel and air travel is the least preferred method of travel. Departmental policy is that staff should always consider travelling by rail rather than air and must take into account the full trip time (including travelling to and from the airport, checking time etc.), sustainability impact, business needs, convenience and cost when making this decision.
Departmental Cost Effectiveness
The Department has been making substantial efficiencies in its back-office operations throughout the last two Spending Review periods, and was used as an exemplar in the Budget 2009 Operational Efficiency programme (OEP) report. Hence, many of the recommendations of the report were already underway in DWP prior to the report's publication.
Within the Department's “business as usual” operating model are the following activities, all sanctioned by OEP:
All new procurement is conducted collaboratively;
Driving value for money in all new IT contracts, under our future contracting strategy;
Proactively managing internal demand for IT resources;
Benchmarking of property and IT resources; and
Centralisation of back-office functions—with major savings through our shared services organisation, but smaller achievements also demonstrated in other corporate functions.
The Department will continue to report on its efficiency and value for money achievements in its departmental report and other publications. For example, we reported in our 2009 autumn performance report that we had delivered £581 million of efficiency savings during 2008-09 alone.
There are nine layers of management in the Department for Work and Pensions. The following table gives a headcount breakdown of the number of people in each management grade at 31 March 2009.
Grade Jobcentre Plus Pensions and Disability Centre Corporate and Shared Services Total Permanent Secretary 0 0 1 1 Director General 0 1 7 8 Director 11 6 40 57 Deputy Director 34 18 156 208 Grade 6 135 60 378 573 Grade 7 341 113 1,006 1,460 Senior Executive Officer 1,092 326 1,199 2,617 Higher Executive Officer 4,083 691 2,275 7,049 Executive Officer 29,580 5,106 3,340 38,026 Total 35,276 6,321 8,402 49,999
Pensions and Disability Centre
Corporate and Shared Services
Senior Executive Officer
Higher Executive Officer
It is not possible to split staff and associated costs down further by grade as information is not readily available at the level of detail requested, neither is this possible for associated costs of employment. The costs of providing such information would be disproportionate.
Information on the use of external resources to conduct (a) ministerial photoshoots and (b) production of videos in which Ministers appear is detailed in the following tables and is set out as total costs by financial year and is exclusive of VAT.
£ 2007 Nil 2008 906.82 2009 1,000.00
£ 2007 97,977.96 2008 16,100.00 2009 2,621.50 1 This also includes some reproduction and distribution costs where it has not been possible to separate them out.
1 This also includes some reproduction and distribution costs where it has not been possible to separate them out.
These photos and videos were used to promote pension credit, local employment partnerships and integrated employment and skills.
The higher cost of video production in 2007 can mainly be attributed to the making of a film to promote the benefits of local employment partnerships to employers. Filming was extensive and included interviews with a wide range of employers from across the country.
Departmental Telephone Services
It is not possible to give an average cost of a call to the Department’s 0845 numbers.
The cost of calls to the Departments 0845 numbers will vary according to each service provider, who will determine their own costs. BT landlines charge the lowest tariff and 70 per cent. of DWP callers do so from a BT landline. BT provide free 0845 calls if the call is made within the individual caller’s call plan.
Cost of calls to 0845 numbers from mobile phones will vary according to which mobile operator a customer uses. Although we can identify if a caller is using a mobile phone, the Department is unable to identify which mobile operator a caller is using.
Disability Living Allowance: Appeals
Jobseeker’s allowance was introduced in October 1996 and replaced unemployment benefit as the benefit for unemployed people.
Jobseeker’s allowance claimants must be available for and actively seeking work as a condition of their benefit, and Jobcentre Plus provides a wealth of support to help people back into work, including help with jobsearch techniques, basic skills and work-focussed training.
There are also a series of measures in place to help jobseekers in the transition from benefits into work, whether that work is full or part time.
For example, jobseekers can also claim working tax credits, which provide financial support to people who are working and on a low income. This support aims to boost work incentives by topping up the wages of people on lower pay, according to their family circumstances. This includes providing direct help with the cost of child care for working families.
Jobseekers may also qualify for a Job Grant, a non-taxable, discretionary, work related payment which aims to bridge the gap between a customer’s final payment of benefit and first receipt of wages. To qualify for this, a customer must have been in receipt of a qualifying benefit for 26 weeks immediately prior to starting work of at least 16 hours per week. Awards are £100 for single customers or couples without children and £250 for lone parents or couples with children.
In addition, jobseekers can have their housing benefit extended to cover the first four weeks they are in work, providing they have previously been in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance or other income related benefits for at least 26 weeks immediately before entering work. A similar scheme, with similar rules, exists to support homeowners back into employment. The Mortgage Interest Run-On provides an additional four weeks’ payment of mortgage interest costs after a customer enters work.
We know that the vast majority of people are better off in work. However, we understand that some jobseekers still find the transition into work difficult, and in the December White Paper “Building Britain’s Recovery: Achieving Full Employment”, the Government further announced that we will introduce an enhanced Better off in Work Credit that will ensure that everyone who has been unemployed for 26 weeks or more will receive at least £40 a week more income on moving into work. The new credit will be introduced in one region from October 2010 and we expect the credit will be available nationally from January 2011.
In addition, lone parents in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance may be eligible for the In Work Credit which is paid at £60 a week in London and £40 a week in other parts of the country. Customers who return to work from incapacity benefits may be eligible for the Return to Work Credit which is paid at £40 a week. Both credits are available to these customers when they start work for 16 hours a week, with payments lasting for 52 weeks.
Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force
This question falls under my responsibility, as Chair of the Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force. This Task Force does not have a specific budget and while Secretariat support is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions, this is delivered by the Ethnic Minority Employment policy team.
This question falls under my responsibility, as Chair of the Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force. The Task Force’s aim is to close the ethnic minority employment gap, and in pursuing this aim the Task Force seeks to influence cross Government policies, so that issues and barriers which lead to the gap are identified and tackled. It does not deliver employment programmes directly. As such it is not possible to say how many people the Task Force itself has helped into work.
[holding answer 25 January 2010]: Work for Your Benefit is a pilot programme primarily for customers who have been unemployed for more than two years. The programme consists of a work experience placement and other training and support which will be tailored to the individual. The programme is designed to help participants gain skills and experience which will be of value to them as they move towards work.
The programme does not provide jobs. It provides unpaid work experience placements and participants will continue to receive jobseeker’s allowance. Participants are not employed, and there will be no contract of employment between host organisations and participants.
Safeguards will however, be in place to ensure that Work for Your Benefit participants are properly treated. Participants will have the right to work in a healthy and safe working environment, and of course host organisations and providers will have to comply with all relevant legislation under the Disability Discrimination Act.
Work for Your Benefit participants will not be required to participate for more than 40 hours per week, and some for less than this, if for example they have caring responsibilities or have a health condition. Participants will be able to take time off during the placement, and will be given all appropriate training to allow them to make the most of their placement.
In addition, all suppliers will have in place a complaints mechanism through which customers will be able to raise concerns about their work experience placement, and ultimately can contact Jobcentre Plus if they have concerns over the support they are receiving.
Pension Credit: Overpayments
The proportion of Pension Credit benefit expenditure overpayments has fallen since 2006-07 from 5.3 per cent to 5.1 per cent. The available information is provided in the following table.
Fraud and Error (%) 2006-07 5.3 2007-08 5.1 2008-09 5.1 Note: Percentage figures refer to an estimate of the percentage of benefit overpaid during the time period.
Fraud and Error (%)
Percentage figures refer to an estimate of the percentage of benefit overpaid during the time period.
The Department does not produce projections for the amount it expects to lose as a result of fraud and error. However, the Department does have a departmental strategic objective to reduce overpayments as a result of fraud, official error and customer error to 1.8 per cent. of total benefit expenditure by March 2011.
We have a comprehensive strategy to reduce fraud and error across the benefits system, including initiatives for pension credit. These include addressing the most common errors through staff training, strengthening the checks that are undertaken before claims are put into payment, and matching our pension credit data against data from other Government and external sources to identify potential overpayments.
The total cost to the Exchequer in (a) public sector pensions, of uprating Additional Pension components by 2.5 per cent. is approximately £0.7 billion in 2010-11. More detailed information is not available.
Parts (b) and (c) of this question do not result in any costs to the Exchequer.
Social Security Benefits: Payments
Information on the number and value of delayed benefit payments is not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Delay in making a payment of benefit may be the result of any number of factors including, but not limited to, customers not providing necessary evidence, volumes of work, delays in the banking or postal system, and simple error or oversight. The Department and its Executive agencies, Jobcentre Plus and the Pension, Disability and Carers Service, are committed to providing the best possible customer service and do their utmost to ensure that any delays caused by factors within their control are kept to a minimum.
(2) what steps she has taken to reduce levels of long-term unemployment in Leeds West constituency since 2001; and if she will make a statement.
As part of the Government's commitment to support people into work, £5 billion has been made available across the UK since November 2008 to offer extra support to jobseekers to help them find work at all stages of their claim.
The Department has quadrupled the available funding for the rapid response service, which provides advice and support to customers facing redundancy. Also, we launched an enhanced offer to all jobseekers at day one of their claim which includes targeted group sessions in jobsearch techniques, access to local employment partnership vacancies and access to help with the costs of getting back to work through the adviser discretionary fund.
At the six-month point in a claim, all jobseekers now have access to a substantial package of extra support including recruitment subsidies, work-focused training places, volunteering opportunities and support to become self-employed.
In addition, 18-24 year olds in Leeds West who have been claiming jobseeker's allowance for six months or more have access to the new deal for young people, and customers aged 25 and over who have been unemployed for 18 months continuously or for 18 out of the last 21 months or more have access to the New Deal 25 Plus programme.
The new flexible new deal and supporting interventions, which build on the success of the New Deal programmes, will be introduced in Leeds West from April 2010.
The Government have also targeted significant new resource on young people in recognition of the particular challenges young people face during a recession. These measures are designed to prevent, wherever possible, young people experiencing prolonged spells of unemployment early in their working lives.
On 29 July 2009, the Government launched a campaign called “Backing Young Britain”, calling on businesses, charities and government bodies to create more opportunities for young people, such as internships, work experience placements, links to mentors and apprenticeships. Almost 18,000 graduate internships have already become available across the UK and thousands more opportunities will follow early in 2010. Over 470 organisations are supporting the campaign, with numbers growing all the time.
Furthermore, on 25 January 2010, the Government launched the “Young Person's Guarantee”, meaning all 18-24 year olds who have been claiming jobseeker's allowance for six months are now guaranteed a job, work placement or work-related skills training.
Leeds is already benefiting from successful future jobs fund bids from Leeds City council and Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Forum Ltd, which will create up to 734 jobs in the Leeds area.
In addition, we are introducing access to a named personal adviser to all young people from day one of their claim. This will be available to all from April.
Unemployment: North Tyneside
[holding answer 1 February 2010]: As at December 2009, there were 40 people claiming jobseeker's allowance in the North Tyneside parliamentary constituency whose sought occupation was recorded as electrician or electrical fitter.
100 per cent. count of claimants of unemployment-related benefits, Jobcentre Plus computer systems.
Unemployment: Young People
Backing Young Britain is a cross-Government campaign targeted at business, public sector organisations and the voluntary sector. It aims to encourage organisations of all sizes to provide more opportunities for young people aged 16-24.
The advertising costs incurred to date in the last 12 months on Backing Young Britain are £98,000.
Work Capability Assessment: Complaints
Information on the number of complaints received by the Department specifically about the Work Capability Assessment element of Employment and Support Allowance is not available.
In the Quarter September 2009 to November 2009 Atos Healthcare received a total of 702 complaints from Employment Support Allowance claimants who were referred for a medical assessment.
Written Questions: Government Responses
Communities and Local Government
Energy Performance Certificates
No information is collected centrally about the number of commercial buildings that are sold, rented out or constructed or the number of fixed penalty notices that are issued for failure to provide an energy performance certificate (EPC) in such cases. It is not therefore possible to say how many such buildings were sold, rented out or constructed without an EPC during that period.
Home Information Packs
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on 6 May 2009, Official Report, columns 240-41W, which dealt with the membership of the Working Group on Condition Information in the Home Buying and Selling Process. The Working Group met six times between March and October 2009. The group has now submitted its final report to the Department and we are looking carefully at the recommendations.
Beyond the information that CLG collects and publishes on local housing authorities' activities under homelessness legislation, the Department has figures on counts of people found sleeping rough. Rough sleeping street count figures, collected from local authorities, are published at a local, regional and national level. In 1998 there were estimated to be 1,850 rough sleepers in England. Since then good progress has been made in reducing the total number of rough sleepers to 464 in street counts in 2009. The 2009 total street count figures are shown in Table 1.
Number North East 5 Yorkshire and the Humber 34 East Midlands 29 East of England 6 London 15 South East 31 South West 265 West Midlands 34 North West 45 England 464
Yorkshire and the Humber
East of England
The Department also has data on Supporting People (SP) clients whose predominant need for housing related support was associated with homelessness when they first accessed a SP service. There are three primary client group categories whose predominant need is associated with homelessness: 'Single homeless', 'Rough sleeper' and 'Homeless families with support needs'.
Data are collected on primary 'client group' categories every time a client accesses housing related support services funded by the Supporting People programme. Figures for the number of clients accessing a SP service at any point in time are not available, but information by region on the number of clients in these client groups who accessed housing related support services during the period 1st April 2008 to 31 March 2009 are available from the Centre for Housing Research at University of St Andrew's Supporting People client record website:
Data are collected on a client group every time they enter a housing related support service, so it could be that clients access different services over the course of a year and appear more than once in the Supporting People data. We are unable to say how many of these clients may potentially be included in the information on local housing authorities' activities under homelessness legislation.
The number of complaints involving aspects of intentional homelessness received by the local government ombudsman for the last three years is as follows:
Complaints 2006-07 9 2007-08 12 2008-09 7
Data on the number of complaints received by the local government ombudsman on rough sleeping is not available.
Homes and Communities Agency and Tenant Services Authority: Loans
From 1 December 2008, the Homes and Communities Agency paid out 93 loans totalling £180,429.03. The TSA paid out 68 loans the total of which was £160,927.
As neither agency existed prior to 1 December 2008 no figures are available for the period before that time.
Housing Corporation and English Partnerships: Redundancy Pay
In respect of the Housing Corporation, no termination payments were made to any of the chief executive, senior managements or board members. Neither were termination payments made to the board members of English Partnerships.
Termination payments were made to the chief executive and two directors of English Partnerships. These were set out in its Financial Statements 2008-09.
Data are only available for January to November 2009. In this period, the Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that there were 171,300 loans to first time buyers in the UK. Of these, CLG estimate that 90 per cent. (154,000) were for properties purchased for £250,000 or less.
Local Government Finance
The amount of (a) redistributed business rates and (b) revenue support grant allocated to each authority for each of the years 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 is available from the departmental website.
The allocations for 2007-08 can be found at:
The allocations for 2008-09 can be found at:
The allocations for 2009-10 can be found at:
The allocations for 2010-11 can be found at:
The pre-application consultation report must be submitted to the IPC as part of the application for an order granting development consent. Section 37(3)(c) of the Planning Act 2008 refers. Therefore, the IPC will have the report before them when considering an application.
Regional Planning and Development: South East
The South East Regional Spatial Strategy, published in May 2009, is part of the development plan under section 38 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 with the exception of Policy H2(i) which was quashed by the High Court.
There are a number of outstanding legal challenges to the specific elements of the South East Regional Spatial Strategy which relate to the adequacy of the strategic environmental assessment that was undertaken and we are currently in legal negotiations with those who have challenged it. Pending the conclusion of these negotiations, we will consider the way forward including the strategic environmental assessment.
Sleeping Rough: Ex-servicemen
The annual headline figure for rough sleeping, based on local authority street counts, does not include information such as whether a rough sleeper is a former member of the armed forces. However, there is specific data for London provided under the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) recording system.
Rough sleeping among ex-armed forces personnel has dropped and earlier surveys found that around a quarter had been in the armed services at some stage and in 2002 this figure was 14 per cent. Better accommodation advice for those leaving the armed forces and closer working between Government and the charitable sector, including provision of supported housing ventures, has helped reduce the numbers. As a result, in 2008-09, for those rough sleepers in London contacted by services 5 per cent. of rough sleepers were ex-service personnel.
Urban Development Corporations
In consequence of the outcome of the Quinquennial Review no changes to funding in the current or next financial year are being made, while funding for subsequent years will be decided in the next spending review. We do not expect the urban development corporations to make any redundancies as a result of the review.
All three development corporations are already participating in the Government's operational efficiency programme, which could yield cumulative savings across their operating costs of £8 million in the period to 2013-14. Increased joint working, delivery and shared services with partners in west Northamptonshire should achieve additional cumulative savings of at least £1 million by 2013-14. Further savings will arise in due course from the transfer of Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation to the HCA but it is too early to estimate what these will be as it will depend upon when, for example, operating systems can be harmonised.
Waste Management: Planning Permission
The most recent statistics available are for the period July—September 2009. During this time, waste planning authorities granted permission for 89 major and 128 minor waste applications. We do not hold information on the number of permissions granted on a month-by-month basis.