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Written Answers

Volume 505: debated on Friday 5 February 2010

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 5 February 2010

Transport

M1: Road Traffic

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will instruct the Highways Agency to make improvements to junction 10a of the M1 to reduce congestion; what assessment he has made of the effect of such congestion on the flow of traffic on the M1; and if he will make a statement. (316066)

Junction 10a is the responsibility of Luton borough council as the Local Highway Authority. Improvement of the junction was not included as a priority in the East of England's February 2009 Regional Funding Allocation advice to Government.

The Highways Agency is working closely with Luton borough council to find an appropriate proposal for improvements.

Roads

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many miles of road have been detrunked in each of the last 10 years. (316003)

The lengths of road detrunked in the last 10 years under the New Deal Detrunking Programme are given in the following table:

Route length detrunked

Calendar year

km

miles

2000

0

0

2001

444.6

276.3

2002

1,123.4

698.0

2003

568.2

353.0

2004

392.5

243.9

2005

111.6

69.3

2006

109.4

68.0

2007

80.1

49.8

2008

126.3

78.5

2009

126.8

78.8

2010

0

0

Total

3,082.9

1,915.6

The road lengths given above are for the New Deal Detrunking Programme and do not include the more routine detrunking that will occur after construction of a bypass or new road.

Travel: Costs

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the percentage change in real terms of the cost of travelling by (a) private car, (b) bus, (c) train and (d) domestic aeroplane since (i) 1980 and (ii) 1997. (315796)

Between 1980 and 2009 the real cost of motoring, including the purchase of a vehicle, declined by 17 per cent., bus and coach fares increased by 54 per cent. and rail fares increased by 50 per cent. in real terms. These figures are based on the transport components of the Retail Prices Index.

Between 1997 and 2009 the real cost of motoring, including the purchase of a vehicle, declined by 14 per cent., bus and coach fares increased by 24 per cent. and rail fares increased by 13 per cent. in real terms.

The costs of travelling by air are not available from the Retail Prices Index. However, the cost of the average UK one-way air fare, including taxes and charges, covering domestic flights fell by 35 per cent. between 1997 and 2008, the latest date for which figures are available.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Research

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much (a) his Department, (b) the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and (c) other public bodies spent on each category of agricultural research in each of the last 10 years; (315151)

(2) what estimate he has made of public expenditure on research and development on agriculture as a proportion of total spending on research and development in each of the last 10 years;

(3) what proportion of publicly-funded research and development related to agriculture is (a) basic and (b) applied research.

Over the last 10 years research programmes and public funders of agricultural R and D (including DEFRA) have been restructured and comparable data across this period are not available by categories. The following table presents the food and farming R and D funding by the main sponsors (DEFRA, BBSRC and DFID) since 2003-04.

R&D funding on farming and food per financial year

£ million

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

DEFRA agricultural R and D funding

81

75

78

78

75

68

65

Total BBSRC funding on farming and food research

132

129

138

150

171

185

189

DFID

n/a

30

38

36

35

38

41

Total

n/a

234

254

264

281

291

295

Total Government (inc NERC, ESRC, FSA, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

368

365

Note:

DEFRA's research is primarily applied strategic, BBSRC's is primarily fundamental and DFID funds research in and for developing countries.

National statistics on R and D spend are presented per calendar year, and the latest year available is 2007. The following table compares the combined DEFRA, BBSRC and DFID funding on farming and food R and D with total spend on R and D between 2003 and 2008, indicating that Government expenditure in food and farming research has represented on average 1.2 per cent. of total R and D investment.

Year1

Total Government expenditure on R and D in the UK (£ million)2

Year3

Defra, BBSRC and DFID funding on agricultural R and D (£ million)

Ratio (percentage)

2008

n/a

2008-09

295

n/a

2007

25423

2007-08

291

1.14

2006

23410

2006-07

281

1.20

2005

22106

2005-06

264

1.19

2004

20242

2004-05

254

1.25

2003

19727

2003-04

234

1.19

1 Expenditure shown by calendar year.

2 Source: Office for National Statistics.

3 Expenditure shown for financial year.

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBASE/tsdataset.asp?vlnk=532&More=N&AII=Y

In 2007-08, over 68 per cent. of public investment on food and farming research and development supported applied (strategic and specific) research (based on the international Frascati coding definitions), with the remainder for basic research.

Source:

http://www.dius.gov.uk/~/media/publications/GO-Science/UK-Cross-Government-Food-Research-Strategy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the return on investment in agricultural research and development. (315152)

DEFRA has not carried out a full assessment of return on its investment on agricultural R and D. DEFRA R and D has been commissioned to develop evidence to inform policy development or develop solutions which underpin policy objectives.

In 2006 DEFRA assessed the rationale for investment in animal and plant genetics to underpin breeding. A review of returns on R and D investment1 was commissioned to inform this assessment, which considered relevant UK studies and their estimates of the rates of return on agricultural R and D. These studies showed a great deal of variance in rates of return, which reflects both the length of time period studied and improvements in the estimation method employed, but the three most recent reported internal rates of return between 22-44 per cent.

Part of the economic benefit of investment in R and D arises from the support of research facilities which maintain strategic capabilities, and this is equally difficult to quantify. An independent report by DTZ consultants in 2008 estimated that the Institute for Animal Health work on bluetongue virus potentially saved the UK economy £485 million and 10,000 jobs in that year2.

1 DEFRA (2006). The rationale for DEFRA investment in R and D underpinning the genetic improvement of crops and animals—Project IF0101:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module =More&Location=None&Completed=0&ProjectID=14403

2 The economic and social impact of the Institute for Animal Health’s work on Foot and Mouth Disease:

http://www.iah.bbsrc.ac.uk/ecosoc/docs/Foot-and-Mouth-Case-Study.pdf

Departmental Billing

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the average length of time taken by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies to pay invoices from (i) small and medium-sized enterprises and (ii) all creditors in the last 12 months. (315131)

The Department produces statistics each month on the time taken to pay invoices and specifically within the 10 day target. This is reported to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which collects 10 day payment performance data for 22 Departments and shares collated data with key external stakeholders (such as the CBI and IoD).

In December 2009 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs paid 99.92 per cent. of invoices within 10 days. From data held centrally, the performance of Natural England was 100 per cent., Animal Health Agency was 100 per cent. and Marine and Fisheries Agency was 99.62 per cent.

Scotland

Departmental Billing

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the average length of time taken by his Department to pay invoices from (a) small and medium-sized enterprises and (b) all creditors in the last 12 months. (315127)

The Prime Minister announced in October 2008 that all central Government Departments will aim to pay invoices within 10 days. The Scotland Office does not differentiate between creditors and endeavours to pay all valid invoices within 10 days of receipt. The Scotland Office have managed to meet this target so far in 99.1 per cent. of cases in 2009-10.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many performance reviews were undertaken in respect of staff of (a) his Department in each of the last five years; in how many cases performance was rated as unsatisfactory or below; how many staff left as a direct result of such a rating; and what percentage of full-time equivalent staff this represented. (313825)

All the staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from the Scottish Executive or the Ministry of Justice. The Office follows the relevant performance appraisal schemes for each of those parent bodies, and as such, all staff are subject to annual performance review. Details of the exact number of performance reviews undertaken would be a matter for the parent bodies. No staff are currently subject to poor performance procedures nor have there been any instances in the last five years.

House of Commons Commission

Reprography: Paper

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the average purchase price, excluding value added tax was of a 500 sheet ream of white A4 photocopier paper for use in the House of Commons; and how much the House of Commons Commission spent on photocopier paper in the latest year for which figures are available. (314938)

The House Administration spent a total of £129,506 excluding VAT on A4 80 gsm paper for use in photocopiers at an average cost of £2.15 per 500 sheet ream during the period 1 January to 31 December 2009.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Accountancy

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether any written instructions have been provided to his Department's Accounting Officer in accordance with paragraph 5.5 of the Ministerial Code since 1997. (315322)

There have been no instances since 1997 when the Minister in charge of the Department has provided the Department's Accounting Officer with written instructions in accordance with paragraph 5.5 of the Ministerial Code.

Departmental Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many job vacancies in his Department and its agencies were filled through using external recruitment in the last year for which figures are available; (315213)

(2) how many job vacancies in his Department and its agencies were filled through external recruitment in the last year for which figures are available.

Six vacancies were filled by DCMS through external recruitment during 2009. Our agency the Royal Parks have filled 14 jobs through external recruitment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department and its agencies spent on external recruitment consultants in the last 12 months. (315214)

In the last 12 months neither DCMS nor the Royal Parks have used recruitment consultants for external recruitments.

Digital Broadcasting: Scotland

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2010, Official Report, column 777W, on digital broadcasting: Scotland, how many meetings with small local radio stations in Scotland have been held to date; and with which stations meetings have been held. (315682)

My Department has held two local radio summits with the commercial radio representative body RadioCentre, to discuss the effects of the Digital Radio Switchover with small station owners. This included representatives of radio stations in Scotland.

Gambling: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether he plans to review the power of local authorities to monitor the activities of licensed social clubs in respect of gambling and gaming. (315427)

There are no specific plans to review the power of local authorities to monitor the activities of licensed social clubs in respect of gambling and gaming. However, together with the Gambling Commission and local authority representatives, we will continue to monitor the operation and effectiveness of the regulatory regime established by the Gambling Act 2005.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether a club premises certificate enables social clubs to facilitate the playing of poker games with cash prizes. (315428)

A Club Premises Certificate is issued under the Licensing Act 2003 (the 2003 Act) and does not authorise social clubs to facilitate the playing of poker games with cash prizes. A certificate relates solely to licensable activities under the 2003 Act and does not confer any entitlements provided for by the Gambling Act 2005, such as offering facilities for gambling.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many prosecutions of unlicensed poker rooms by the Gambling Commission resulted in a conviction in each of the last three years. (315429)

To date, there have been no prosecutions by the Gambling Commission against unlicensed poker rooms that have resulted in convictions. However, the Commission continues to work closely with local authorities to tackle illegal poker including, where appropriate, making objections to club gaming permit applications and taking enforcement action against poker played without the necessary authorisation. The Commission has also been working with the licensed trade to provide guidance on the regulations governing the playing of poker in pubs.

Newspaper Press

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport with reference to the contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport of 13 January 2010, Official Report, column 290WH, on local authority newspapers, what the timetable is for asking (a) the Office of Fair Trading and (b) Ofcom to consider the potential impact of local authority newspapers on the paid-for newspaper market. (314941)

The Government are still considering their response to the Audit Commission's report on this subject and will respond in due course.

Playing Fields: Coventry

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps his Department is taking to retain playing fields in Coventry. (315943)

Playing fields now enjoy the best protection ever through Government planning regulations and arrangements overseen by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. Schools in England need permission from the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families before they can sell any school playing fields or any part of a school playing field.

Under planning guidance, local authorities are required to protect all open space which communities need. Sport England is a statutory consultee on all planning applications affecting local authority owned playing fields. The latest published statistics for 2007-08 show that out of 1,287 planning applications proposing development on playing fields referred to Sport England in 2007-08, 96.3 per cent. led to improved or protected sports provision.

From 6 April 2009, the protection the Government provide for larger playing fields was also extended to cover smaller fields.

As a result of this change a local authority now has to consult Sport England on any planning application in relation to playing fields where the playing field includes a playing pitch of 0.2 ha where the proposal is likely to prejudice the use or lead to the loss of use of land being used as a playing field.

Justice

Corruption: Public Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 19 January 2010, Official Report, column 13WS, on the UK Foreign Bribery Strategy, which Departments and agencies will be regular members of the Foreign Bribery Strategy Board. (313743)

The following Departments and agencies are regular members of the Foreign Bribery Strategy Board:

Attorney-General’s Office, Association of Chief Police Officers, Cabinet Office, City of London Police, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Office, Crown Prosecution Service, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Department for International Development, Export Credit Guarantee Department, Financial Services Authority, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency, Office of Government Commerce, Serious Fraud Office and UK Trade and Investment.

Other Departments and agencies are invited as required by the agenda.

David Kelly Death Inquiry

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Lewes of 1 February 2010, Official Report, column 113W, on the David Kelly death inquiry, whether Lord Hutton made that recommendation after consultation with Dr Kelly's family; and whether Dr Kelly's family has been given access to the post mortem examination report. (316102)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 1 February 2010, Official Report, column 113W. No determination has been made that the medical reports and photographs connected to the death of Dr. David Kelly should be closed for 70 years. Rather, Lord Hutton requested that the post mortem examination report relating to Dr. Kelly not be disclosed for 70 years because he was aware of the distress that could be caused to Dr. Kelly's wife and daughters. Disclosure of information during the course of the inquiry to any party to the proceedings was a matter for the inquiry and is not a matter on which the Government are able to comment.

Departmental Accountancy

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether any written instructions have been provided to his Department's Accounting Officer in accordance with paragraph 5.5 of the Ministerial Code since 1997. (315324)

Since 1997 no written instructions have been provided to accounting officers of the Ministry of Justice or its predecessors, the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Lord Chancellor's Department, in accordance with paragraph 5.5 of the Ministerial Code.

Departmental Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much consultants employed by his Department and its agencies have been paid (a) in total and (b) in reimbursable expenses in each of the last 10 years. (313998)

The information requested is as follows.

(a) The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) collates dates on consultancy expenditure as part of its Consultancy Value Programme which assists Departments in driving greater value from Government’s use of consultants. The Ministry’s expenditure on consultancy for 2007-08 is reported as £56 million and can be found in the following link:

http://www.ogc.gov.uk/professional_services_consultancy_ value_programme.asp

Expenditure for 2008-09 is £49.7 million and will be reported soon on the same website.

The OGC definition of consultancy is broad and includes professional services provided by, for example, lawyers, surveyors and architects and the employment of specialists on an interim basis to deliver project solutions, providing expertise for a defined period of time that is not available in-house.

Both the 2007-08 and 2008-09 figures reflect expenditure by the Ministry of Justice headquarters, Her Majesty’s Courts Service, the Tribunals Service, and the National Offender Management Service (except for the Probation Service).

The Ministry was established in May 2007 so data are not available prior to 2007-08 in their current form.

(b) Expenses incurred by consultants in the course of Ministry of Justice business are normally included within their overall bills and are therefore included within the figures stated in part (a). The amount attributable to expenses can be disaggregated from the total only at disproportionate cost.

The costs of business related travel and accommodation by consultants may sometimes be met directly by the Ministry through contracted booking agents or by Government Procurement Card. Occasionally consultants may also claim for reimbursement of expenses met, in the first instance, from their own pocket. It is not possible to identify amounts relating specifically to consultants in any of these cases without incurring the disproportionate cost of examining huge numbers of supporting records held locally across the business.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many consultants his Department and its predecessors and its agencies have employed in each of the last 10 years; and how many hours were worked by such consultants for his Department and its agencies in each such year. (314020)

The Ministry of Justice was formed on 9 May 2007. This merger included the former Department of Constitutional Affairs and the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). NOMS previously formed part of the Home Office.

Availability of the data requested is therefore incomplete due to several machinery of Government and organisational changes which meant that procurement for my Department was not centralised prior to April 2009, and these data could therefore be gathered only at disproportionate cost.

However, a manual data collection exercise for the period April 2008 to March 2009 was concluded on 31 October 2009. The scope of the manual data collection exercise was limited to NOMS (excluding Probation) and Access to Justice (excluding Legal Services Commission) and did not cover any non-departmental public bodies.

Using the data received, there were 694 consultants/interim managers working for the Ministry of Justice in the financial year of 2008-09.

Limitations with the collected data only make it possible to provide the total number of consultants/interim managers for 2008-09 without any breakdown of the specific hours worked.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many employees in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies are in transition prior to being managed out; how long on average the transition window between notification and exit has been in (i) his Department and its predecessors and (ii) each of its agencies in each of the last five years; what estimate he has made of the salary costs of staff in transition in each such year; and what proportion of employees in transition were classed as being so for more than six months in each year. (313237)

Currently, there are 520 employees in the Ministry of Justice (including all agencies) who are in transition after accepting a voluntary early departure on severance or retirement terms. The breakdown of staff across the Ministry is as follows: two from the Office for the Public Guardian, 308 from the Access to Justice group, 199 from the National Offender Management Service and Her Majesty's Prison Service, 11 from the Corporate Performance Group. The majority are due to leave the Ministry within the next two to three months and the terms are governed by the Civil Service Compensation scheme. There are also 185 employees across the Ministry actively seeking permanent re-deployment following organisational change programmes.

For the early departure, the term 'transition time' is defined as the elapsed time from a formal agreement to leave to the actual date of departure. For redeployment, it is the elapsed time from the re-organisation occurring to the individual taking up a new work post. The average transition time is 90 days. There are 10 staff who have remained on the redeployment list, as an exceptional basis, for longer than 6 months. Whilst employees are on the redeployment list, or have accepted voluntary early departure, they continue to undertake meaningful work duties.

The average transition time in previous years has been 90 days.

The department is unable to provide the average salary costs for staff in transition in each year. This information is not held centrally and obtaining it would incur a disproportionate cost as the department currently operates several pay and HR structures and would be reliant on a number of different sources to establish the information requested.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many performance reviews were undertaken in respect of staff of (a) his Department and its predecessors and (b) its agencies in each of the last five years; in how many cases performance was rated as unsatisfactory or below; how many staff left as a direct result of such a rating; and what percentage of full-time equivalent staff this represented. (313827)

Staff employed by the Ministry are subject to differing performance management arrangements according to their terms and conditions and depending on which part of the Ministry of Justice or its agencies they are employed in.

For all employees, performance management is a continuous process with annual and mid-year formal performance reviews of progress against objectives. The Ministry’s performance management system requires poor performance to be addressed when it occurs and not simply at specific points in the reporting year. Where appropriate, additional coaching and support is provided to employees to enable them to reach and maintain the required standards of performance appropriate to their roles. However, when employees are unable to meet and maintain acceptable standards of performance, sanctions up to and including dismissal are available.

Senior civil servants

Members of the senior civil service (SCS) are subject to a common performance management system based on relative assessment of achievement. Since 2007, the system has had four performance categories. Performance group four denotes performance not meeting the required standard. Prior to this, the performance management system had three performance categories: top, middle and lower tranche. The number of SCS employees receiving either a lower tranche or performance group four assessment is set out as follows.

Year of award

Number in lowest performance group

Percentage of SCS staff

2009

15

5.9

2008

14

5.7

20071

8

5.6

20061

10

6.7

20051

12

9.1

1 Refers only to former Department for Constitutional Affairs.

Non-SCS employees

Separate performance management arrangements (both in respect to in year and end of year assessment) exist for staff in grades below the SCS. Unlike the SCS, where employees are subject to relative peer group assessment with a guideline distribution between performance groups, below the SCS performance assessment is linked solely to the achievement of an individual’s work objectives. Ministry of Justice (excluding the National Offender Management Services) employees receive annual performance appraisals that indicate one of three performance markings—“Outstanding”, “Effective” and “Improvement Required”. The number of employees receiving an “Improvement Required” or equivalent during the past five years is as follows:

Year of award

Number in lowest performance group

Percentage of staff1

2009

137

0.6

2008

107

0.4

2007

49

0.2

20062

25

0.2

20052

25

0.2

1 The percentage does not reflect all poor performers in so far as the appraisal system does not capture those individuals who are exited for capability and performance reasons within a reporting year. The percentages are also different to the SCS position because the performance assessment basis is different.

2 Figures for 2005 and 2006 omit staff from the former magistrates courts service who transferred to the Ministry in 2005. Details relating to these staff are included from 2007, following the introduction of common terms and conditions.

As the award of an unsatisfactory performance marking invokes poor performance procedures but does not directly result in dismissal it has not been possible to provide information on the number of staff who have left as a direct result of an “Improvement Required” rating during the past five years without incurring disproportionate costs. However, we can confirm that in 2009, of the 134 staff below the SCS who were judged “Improvement Required”, 22 are no longer employed by the Ministry of Justice.

Appraisals are held annually for staff in the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) in grades below the SCS and there are four possible ratings: “Exceeded”, “Achieved”, “Almost Achieved”, and “Unacceptable”. The number of staff in NOMS who received an “Unacceptable” marking during the past five years, and the total number of recorded markings is as follows:

For year

Number in lowest performance group

Percentage of staff1

2004-05

96

0.22

2005-06

134

0.33

2006-072

79

0.25

2007-08

77

0.19

2008-09

72

0.16

1 The percentage does not reflect all poor performers in so far as the appraisal system does not capture those individuals who are exited for capability and performance reasons within a reporting year. The percentages are also different to the SCS position because the performance assessment basis is different.

2 There were fewer markings recorded in 2006-07 due to a change in reporting systems.

Information on the number of staff who received an “Unacceptable” marking and then left NOMS within the following year is contained in the following table (departures could be for any reason).

Staff receiving unacceptable markings who then left within one year

For year

Number

As percentage of unacceptable markings

As percentage of all staff

2004-05

45

46.9

0.1

2005-06

75

56.0

0.2

2006-07

37

46.8

0.1

2007-08

29

37.7

0.1

2008-09

10

13.9

0.0

NOMS processes mirror those in the rest of the Ministry in that performance management is a continuous process, based upon agreed objectives and in-year reviews. The “Unacceptable” marking does not automatically result in dismissal. However, employment may be terminated where the employee fails to meet the appropriate standard despite appropriate warnings and support. It has not been possible to provide information on the number of NOMS employees who have left the service as a direct result of an “Unacceptable” rating as the information is unavailable.

Departmental Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department and its agencies spent on recruitment consultants in the last 12 months. (315292)

The majority of permanent recruitment is managed internally by the Ministry's HR function. For specialist or senior vacancies, it is sometimes necessary, however, to use recruitment consultants to access a wider pool of talent.

The Ministry's accounting systems do not separately identify expenditure on recruitment consultants. Payments to recruitment consultants are recorded within the wider categories of recruitment expenditure. To specifically identify expenditure on recruitment consultants would involve the disproportionate cost of examining a large number of invoices held locally across the business.

Additionally, recruitment consultants are usually involved in the continuing supply of temporary and contract staff where the fee paid represents the amount paid directly to the contractor, plus the agency's management fee which includes their charge for recruiting the contractor. The management fee element can vary depending on the terms negotiated for individual contracts. Fees to recruitment consultants for the continuing supply of contract and agency staff can only be distinguished from fees for specific recruitment campaigns at a disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department and its agencies have spent on font licensing in the last three years. (315331)

Payments by the Ministry of Justice for software application licences, for example for Microsoft Windows, include an amount in respect of core fonts used within the application. Software publishers license fonts from foundries and are responsible for passing on the royalty to the foundries from the licence fee. The element of the total licence amount that relates to fonts is not identifiable to the Ministry of Justice as the purchaser of the software application licence.

The Ministry of Justice does, however, make some payments directly in respect of the licence of specialised fonts used in publications. The amounts are not separately identified in accounting records. Payments are normally made via the Government Procurement Card and could be identified only at disproportionate cost by examining thousands of statements held locally around the business.

However, we are aware that £437 has been paid in respect of five font licences in the 2009-10 year to date by the Ministry's central design team which is responsible for group wide publications.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many job vacancies in his Department and its agencies were filled through external recruitment in the last 12 months. (315332)

For the period 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2009 the Ministry of Justice and its agencies, including the National Offender Management Service, filled a total of 4,175 job vacancies through external recruitment. The vacancies advertised were for permanent as well as fixed-term posts.

The Ministry recruits in line with the Civil Service Commissioners' recruitment principles and is committed to recruitment on merit through fair and open competition.

Driving Offences: Fines

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in other EU member states on the implementation of the Council Framework Decision 2005/214/JHA on the cross-border collection of fines for motoring offences. (316000)

My officials have been in contact with officials at the European Commission, the Scottish and Northern Irish Ministries of Justice both prior to and post-implementation of this EU directive. They conducted a webcast on 9 October 2009 in conjunction with SPARKS in which a member of the EC responsible for MRFP also participated; they attended a European workshop in Stockholm on 15 October 2009 organised by the Commission; and they visited their counterparts in the Netherlands' Central Authority (CJIB) on 4 December 2009.

Fines

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many applications have been received from other EU member states for the payment of fines under the terms of the Council Framework Decision 2005/214/JHA on the application of the principle of mutual recognition of financial penalties; and how many such applications have proceeded to court. (315999)

The Central Authority for England and Wales has received four mutual recognition of financial penalties (MRFP) applications from EU member states since the Framework Decision was implemented on 1 October 2009. These applications concerned offences in the Netherlands which were convicted prior to the implementation date and therefore had to be returned to the originating state. No applications have yet proceeded to court.

Freedom of Information

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 9 December 2009, Official Report, column 351W, on freedom of information, if he will bring forward proposals to ensure that public bodies which enter into partnership with other public bodies are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. (315621)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives the Secretary of State the power to extend the coverage of the Act, by way of a section 5 order, to organisations that he considers to exercise public functions or deliver public authority services under contract.

On 16 July 2009, the Government published their response to the consultation on extending the scope of the FOIA to cover additional bodies by way of a section 5 order. The Government response proposed an initial, focused section 5 order and noted their intention to consult Academies, ACPO, Financial Ombudsman Service and UCAS on their possible inclusion in such an order.

The Government are keeping the possibility of further section 5 orders under review.

Injunctions

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme of 28 October 2009, Official Report, column 422W, on Trafigura: injunctions, when he expects to announce the result of his assessment of the effects of the practice of granting injunctions which prohibit the reporting of the grant of the injunction. (315309)

At my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor’s (Mr. Straw) request, senior officials at the Ministry of Justice have met with representatives of the national press to discuss the issues raised by the Trafigura case and the use of so-called super-injunctions generally. The Justice Secretary is considering matters in the light of this, including engaging with the senior judiciary. He will make a statement to the House after that.

Knives: Sentencing

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many retailers have been (a) cautioned, (b) fined and (c) imprisoned for selling knives to people under the necessary purchasing age in each police force area in each year since 1998-99. (315060)

The requested information is shown in the following table.

Cautions, fines and custodial sentences for selling a knife to a person under age1 by criminal justice area, 1998 to 2008

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Bedfordshire

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cumbria

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Derbyshire

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Devon and Cornwall

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

1

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Gloucestershire

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Greater Manchester

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

2

2

1

0

3

2

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Hampshire

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Hertfordshire

Cautions

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lancashire

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Leicestershire

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Lincolnshire

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

London2

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

Fines

2

1

0

1

3

3

1

16

31

15

11

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Yorkshire

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

4

0

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nottinghamshire

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Surrey

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

4

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Sussex

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Thames Valley

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

4

0

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

West Mercia

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

West midlands

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

4

1

1

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Wiltshire

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

4

5

1

0

0

0

0

1

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Dyfed-Powys

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Gwent

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

3

0

1

2

0

0

1

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Wales

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Wales

Cautions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fines

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

England and Wales total

Cautions

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

2

0

1

Fines

2

1

0

8

10

14

6

25

43

29

22

Custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1 16 as enacted by the Criminal Justice Act 1988 amended to 18 by Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006.

2 Includes City of London and Metropolitan police force areas.

Note:

Where a criminal justice area doe not appear in the table there have been no fines, custodial sentences or cautions issued in any of the years shown.

Land Registry

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many properties registered with the Land Registry have changed ownership in each month since January 2009. (315654)

Land Registry is able to provide information on the total number of registered properties sold in each month from January 2009 to December 2009. As these figures are extracted using price paid data, no information is available for any properties which have not been sold. The only way to identify other changes of ownership would be to extract data regarding every application event over the time period asked for. This could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The figures are reflected in the following table:

Month

Vol sales

January 2009

27399

February 2009

28387

March 2009

37423

April 2009

40004

May 2009

46142

June 2009

53901

July 2009

63382

August 2009

58276

September 2009

57838

October 2009

64123

November 2009

57613

December 2009

66664

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) mean and (b) median sale price in 2008-09 prices was of house sales registered with the Land Registry in each year since 2000. (315655)

Land Registry is able to provide data on the mean price paid of all residential sales registered in each year since 2000. Details of the percentage change on annual average prices has been calculated on the basis of the 2008 calendar year prices as the RPI data covering the 2008-09 financial year are not yet available.

This question has been answered on the basis of recorded sales figures in England and Wales. Land Registry does not hold the information requested on median price paid and could not produce it except at disproportionate cost.

The figures are reflected in the following table:

Mean price paid in (£)

Mean price paid in £ (adjusted to 2008 prices)1

RPI index (1987 = 100)

2000

108,164

136,428

170.3

2001

119,275

147,838

173.3

2002

138,200

168,475

176:2

2003

156,154

185,008

181.3

2004

178,542

205,414

186.7

2005

189,580

212,093

192

2006

203,708

220,881

198.1

2007

219,408

228,116

206.6

2008

217,010

217,010

214.8

2009

213,370

214,468

213.7

1 Prices adjusted using the UK all items Retail Prices Index (RPI)

Youth Justice Board and Legal Services Commission: Sick Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of working days lost per employee at (a) the Legal Services Commission and (b) the Youth Justice Board in the latest period for which figures are available; and what steps he is taking to reduce levels of staff absence at each body. (312509)

The average number of days taken as sickness absence at the Legal Services Commission during 2008-09 was 7.98 per employee. This has decreased from 9.17 in 2007-08 and 10.7 in 2006-07.

The LSC has been reviewing its absence policy year-on-year in order to reduce absence levels. The target for 2009-10 is 7.66 days (a 4 per cent. reduction on 2008-09). Following the most recent review in 2009, online training has been further developed to support managers and absence trigger points (where the return to work meeting between the manager and employee become a more formal process) have been lowered to seven days. An absence panel has been set up to review any long-term sickness absence and ensure support systems such as occupational health referrals, home visits and the employee assistance programme are in place.

No days are recorded as having been lost as a result of staff being unable to make it to work due to adverse weather conditions or travel disruption as it is the LSC’s policy to give line managers the flexibility to authorise home working where appropriate or convert any absences in these circumstances into annual, flexible or special leave.

In 2008-09, the average number of days taken as sickness absence at the Youth Justice Board was 3.7 days per employee. It has a robust attendance management policy in place outlining clearly line managers’ responsibilities to support staff, manage absence and the actions they need to take at different trigger points. This includes interventions at cumulative absence and consecutive absence points, the requirement to conduct documented “return to work” interviews, line manager and/or occupational health and welfare services contact and formalised case conferences.

The YJB’s HR team works closely with line managers across the business to monitor instances of sickness absences and provide advice, support and interventions, where necessary, to reduce the level of sickness absence even further. Sickness absence figures are also included in the YJB’s “Organisational Health Indicators”.

In addition the YJB runs a health and well-being programme to encourage staff to be aware of the health and fitness and take steps to improve their well-being. This includes access to eye tests, cycle to work schemes, discounted gym memberships, advice on tackling stress and access to health screening.

No days are recorded as having been lost as a result of staff being unable to make it to work due to adverse weather conditions or travel disruption as it is the YJB’s policy to give line managers the flexibility to authorise home working where appropriate or convert any absences in these circumstances into annual, flexible or special leave.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

British Council

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the reason for the cost of (a) IT for his Department and (b) the finance function for the British Council referred to in the publication Benchmarking the Back Office: Central Government; and if he will make a statement. (312682)

The information requested is as follows:

Cost of IT for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

The figures reported in ‘Benchmarking the Back Office: Central Government’ equate to costs of £115 million in running and maintaining the FCO IT estate in 2008-2009. This reflects the fact that the FCO operates over a substantial global network on behalf of the Government overseas and needs to conform to strict security standards. The figure also includes temporary costs related to the transformation of our IT platforms. We expect IT costs to reduce following completion of this transformation.

Finance function for the British Council

The figures reported in ‘Benchmarking the Back Office: Central Government’ report were based on the British Council's published 2008-09 statutory accounts and include all UK and overseas transaction processing staff, corporate finance, management accounting, tax, treasury and training staff together with their share of IT and accommodation costs.

The British Council has embarked on a programme to double its cultural relations impact. This includes a global finance transformation project to ensure effective and efficient support services, which will deliver improved service quality and increased efficiency with significantly lower transactional costs.

Departmental Billing

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the average length of time taken by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies to pay invoices from (i) small and medium-sized enterprises and (ii) all creditors in the last 12 months. (315132)

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced in October 2008 that all central Government Departments would aim to pay invoices within 10 days.

In December 2009, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and FCO Services (its Trading Fund) together paid 97.5 per cent. of invoices within 10 days. This performance is an increase of 27.2 per cent. points compared to November 2008, when 70.3 per cent. of invoices were paid within 10 days.

We do not differentiate payments by supplier size as we have determined to pay all suppliers within 10 days.

This response relates to the FCO in the UK. Information regarding the status of suppliers overseas is not available without incurring disproportionate costs.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department and its agencies have spent on font licensing in the last three years. (315504)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has no font licensing agreements and no expenditure was incurred on font licensing in the last three years.

Departmental Information Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in his Department and its agencies have the status of (a) embedded communicators and (b) are members of the Government Communications Network and are not listed in the Central Office of Information White Book. (315567)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not hold this information centrally and it is available only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many employees in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies are in transition prior to being managed out; how long on average the transition window between notification and exit has been in (i) his Department and (ii) each of its agencies in each of the last five years; what estimate he has made of the salary costs of staff in transition in each such year; and what proportion of employees in transition were classed as being so for more than six months in each year. (313241)

As there were fewer than five cases, in line with Cabinet Office guidance, details are not provided to avoid revealing the identity of individuals and on grounds of confidentiality.

Departmental Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many job vacancies in his Department and its agencies were filled through external recruitment in the last year for which figures are available. (315503)

Since February 2009 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has filled 211 vacancies through external recruitment.

In the same period the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also filled one vacancy at the Imperial War Museum through external recruitment.

European Council

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will propose at the next meeting of the European Council at which the proposed inter-governmental conference is to be discussed, amendments under Article 48 of the Treaty on European Union to (a) assert the sovereignty of the UK and (b) ensure that the Declaration of Primacy No. 17 of the Lisbon Treaty shall not be deemed as being capable of being construed by UK courts as preventing Parliament (i) legislating expressly and inconsistently with and (ii) amending or overriding European legislation. (315344)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons he agreed at the meeting of the European Council in December 2009 to request that the European Parliament should not convene an intergovernmental conference; and if he will make it his policy to seek such a conference to be convened. (315345)

Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he has made to the UN in respect of the rules of engagement in the (a) Southern and (b) Northern No Fly Zones in Iraq between 1998 and 2002; (315619)

(2) what representations his Department has received in respect of the rules of engagement in the Southern No Fly Zones in Iraq between 1998 and 2002.

During the period in question the Department had a number of discussions with the UN and allies on the No Fly Zones in Iraq. The zones, established in support of UN Security Council Resolution 688, were justified under international law in response to a situation of overwhelming humanitarian necessity due to Saddam Hussein’s violent oppression of Iraq’s minority communities. Between 1998 and 2002 Saddam Hussein waged a systematic campaign against UK (and US) aircraft carrying out patrols—violating the No Fly Zones—designed to prevent a return to the brutal repression of the Kurdish and other minorities in the north and the Shi'a in the south. Our aircraft were authorised to respond to attacks solely in self-defence. All such defensive action was strictly limited to proportional responses against Iraqi weapons and facilities that posed a direct threat to coalition forces. My hon. Friend the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. Lewis) will write to the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley with more detail on the representations made between 1998 and 2002.

Middle East: Armed Conflict

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 21 January 2010, Official Report, column 468W, on Palestinians: overseas aid, what assessment he has made of whether Israel is in compliance with its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention in respect of the population of Gaza; and if he will make a statement. (314058)

We have serious concerns about the Israeli restrictions on Gaza and the impact they have on the lives of Gazans. Although there is no permanent physical Israeli presence in Gaza, given the significant control that Israel has over Gaza's borders, airspace and territorial waters, Israel retains obligations under the fourth Geneva convention as an occupying power. The fourth Geneva convention is clear that an occupying power must co-operate in allowing the passage and distribution of relief consignments. The restrictions currently imposed on the passage of relief supplies are, as we see it, a disproportionate response to the security threat.

We have consistently pressed the Israeli Government to comply with their obligations under international law and allow passage of relief supplies. Although aid is entering Gaza, according to the UN this is insufficient to meet the needs of the Gazan people.

USA

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next plans to make an official visit to the United States. (315933)

For security and operational reasons, we do not announce visits by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary significantly in advance.

USA: Nuclear Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the US administration on stockpiles of nuclear weapons; and what his policy is on the steps to be taken by the Government and the US administration on reducing such stockpiles. (315931)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regularly discuss nuclear issues, and UK officials frequently discuss with the US the implementation of all aspects of the non-proliferation treaty including our article VI disarmament obligations.

We look forward to an agreement between the US and Russia to achieve significant cuts in their nuclear arsenals by agreeing a successor to the strategic arms reduction treaty. This will be a major contribution to our shared endeavour towards a world without nuclear weapons, and will help to build trust and pave the way for greater reductions.

The UK has taken a number of significant disarmament steps in recent years, and is committed to retaining only the minimum credible nuclear deterrent capability; we regularly review the number of warheads in the UK stockpile in that light. The UK firmly believes that sustainable global nuclear disarmament can only be achieved through a multilateral process, and stands ready to engage in a broader multilateral process when the conditions are right.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the US administration on international nuclear proliferation. (315932)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discusses a range of international nuclear proliferation issues regularly with Secretary of State Clinton and the US Administration and did so most recently on 28 January 2010. My hon. Friend Mr. Ivan Lewis has done likewise with his counterparts. Strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime and re-energising the nuclear non-proliferation treaty is a top foreign policy priority for the Government and the US Government.

War Crimes: Arrest Warrants

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list each representation he has received from the US State Department (a) orally and (b) in writing on UK procedures for the issue of arrest warrants in respect of foreign nationals alleged to have committed war crimes in the last 12 months. (315804)

I have not had any direct representations from the US State Department on UK procedures for the issue of arrest warrants in respect of foreign nationals alleged to have committed war crimes in the last 12 months. My officials have been asked by colleagues in the State Department for factual accounts of incidents in which such arrest warrants have been sought. There have been no written representations from the US State Department on this subject during this time.

Health

Cancer: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many persons with cancer in Northampton South constituency did not receive drugs designed to prolong their life following a report for such drugs in the latest period for which figures are available. (315007)

This information is not collected centrally. However this information might be available direct from Northamptonshire Primary Care Trust.

Drugs: Children In Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether medical practitioners are required to inform local authorities when they administer drugs to children in care. (316072)

There is no requirement on medical practitioners to inform local authorities when administering drugs to child in care. However, treatment of a child, including the prescription or administrating of drugs by medical practitioners, requires consent. In the case of children who lack the capacity to consent for themselves, a doctor would need to ask for consent from those with parental responsibility, which, for those on a care order, would be a local authority.

Drugs: Testing

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has evaluated on the comparative (a) safety and (b) effectiveness of (i) human biology-based testing and (ii) animal testing of new drugs and treatments. (316006)

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the competent authority responsible for the issuing on Marketing Authorisations (licences) and assessing Clinical Trial Applications for medicinal products and devices.

The MHRA has not directly evaluated any specific studies on the comparative safety and effectiveness of human biology testing and animal testing of new drugs and treatment. The MHRA has, however, been indirectly involved in a number of initiatives in this field that are actively evaluating the replacement of whole animal studies with suitable alternatives, including the use of human tissue samples. Today’s approaches to drug development, involving an integrated programme of non-clinical testing and clinical trials, have been built up on a rational and scientific basis for more than 30 years. At present there are no validated and established laboratory methods available to totally replace animal testing of medicinal products.

Health Protection Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent progress has been made on the Health Protection Agency's Project Chrysalis; and if he will make a statement. (316063)

The Health Protection Agency was given approval of its strategic outline case for Project Chrysalis in August 2008 and since then has been working on the next stage, the outline business case.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the future of the Health Protection Agency site at Porton Down; and if he will make a statement. (316065)

The Department will consider the Health Protection Agency’s business case for redevelopment of its facilities at Porton Down (Project Chrysalis) when it is submitted.

Health Protection Agency: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the Health Protection Agency's Project Chrysalis had cost on the latest date for which figures are available. (316062)

The Health Protection Agency's project Chrysalis has spent a total of £9.4 million from its inception to 31 December 2009.

Health Protection Agency: Location

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received on the proposed relocation of the Health Protection Agency Centre for Emergency Preparedness from Porton Down to Harlow, Essex; and if he will make a statement. (316064)

Written representations have been received from the hon. Member for Salisbury to the Minister for Public Health in July 2009 and from the Leader of Wiltshire council to departmental officials in January 2010.

Health Protection Agency: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many employees work at the Health Protection Agency's Porton Down site. (316061)

The Health Protection Agency's Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, at Porton Down, directly employs 598 staff. After allowing for part-time working, this equates to 578 whole time equivalents.

Health Services: Disabled

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much of the £340 million included in primary care trust (PCT) baseline allocations for the three years from 2008-09 to 2010-11 for disabled children's services under the Child Health Strategy has been allocated to each PCT. (316101)

Individual primary care trusts (PCTs) allocations are not broken down or ring-fenced into funding for individual policies such as the Child Health Strategy. It is for PCTs to decide how best to deliver the national and local requirements of the NHS Operating Framework, including how much resource to invest on individual priorities.

Hospital Beds

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds (a) there were and (b) were occupied in each type of hospital ward in 2008-09. (315539)

The number of occupied and available bed days and day only beds is collected annually, from national health service providers by ward classification. The following tables show the number of available beds by ward classification and the occupancy rate for the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009:

Average daily number of available and occupied beds in wards open overnight by ward classification, England, 2008-09

Ward classification

Available beds

Occupied beds

All ward types

159,386

136,203

Intensive care: neonates

1,805

1,321

Intensive care: paediatric

317

231

Intensive care: wholly or mainly adult

3,727

3,046

Terminally ill/palliative care: wholly or mainly adult

458

365

Younger physically disabled

487

378

Other general and acute: neonates and children

8,123

5,332

Other general and acute: elderly: normal care

19,382

17,898

Other general and acute: elderly: limited care

1,413

1,237

Other general and acute: other

85,976

75,691

Maternity

8,386

5,532

Mental illness: children: short stay

528

389

Mental illness: children: long stay

29

23

Mental illness: elderly: short stay

6,344

5,147

Mental illness: elderly: long stay

2,047

1,646

Mental illness: other ages: secure unit

3,292

3,003

Mental illness: other ages: short stay

11,242

10,040

Mental illness: other ages: long stay

2,948

2,532

Learning disabilities: children: short stay

186

115

Learning disabilities: children: long stay

19

14

Learning disabilities: other ages: secure unit

539

504

Learning disabilities: other ages: short stay

938

709

Learning disabilities: other ages: long stay

1,200

1,051

Average daily number of available beds in wards open day only, England, 2008-09

Available beds

Occupied beds

Total

10,959

9,717

Neonates and children

798

573

Other ages

10,161

9,143

Average daily number of available and occupied residential beds, England, 2008-09

Available beds

Occupied beds

Total

2,941

2,568

Mental illness

1,186

1,017

Learning disabilities

1,646

1,477

Other

109

74

Source:

Department of Health form KH03

NHS Trusts: Registration

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS trusts did not submit an application for registration with the Care Quality Commission by 29 January 2010. (315947)

The information has been provided by the Care Quality Commission. Of the 382 trusts due to submit an application for registration with the Care Quality Commission, 376 did so by 29 January. Of the six applications which were not submitted, two were late. The remaining four did not submit applications by 29 January with the prior agreement of the Commission, because they are in the process of transferring registered services.

NHS: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent on (a) management, (b) administration and (c) estates staff by each (i) strategic health authority, (ii) primary care trust, (iii) NHS trust and (iv) non-departmental public body for which his Department is responsible in each year since 1997. (315586)

The information in respect of strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and NHS trusts has been placed in the Library. The Department holds information at organisation level for seven years, therefore 2002-03 is the earliest period for which figures are available.

The information requested for non-departmental public bodies is not held centrally.

NHS: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department took to inform those not party to the negotiations that discussions on the Quality and Outcomes Framework had been postponed. (315251)

The Department issued a press notice on 15 September 2009 announcing that as part of the agreement with the British Medical Association on a vaccination programme for the at-risk groups against swine flu, that there will be no changes to the Quality and Outcomes Framework in 2010-11. A copy has been placed in the Library.

In addition, NHS Employers who negotiate changes to the General Medical Services contract on behalf of the Department published details on the conclusion of the negotiations on its website on 14 January 2010, with a parallel announcement to local primary care trusts issued by NHS Primary Care Commissioning in their newsletter on 13 January 2010.

Details can be found on NHS Employers website at:

http://www.nhsemployers.org/PayAndContracts/General MedicalServicesContract/LatestNews-GMS/Pages/Agreement reachedonGeneralMedicalServices%E2%80%99 contract negotiations.aspx

Nurses: Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many qualified school nurses are employed in schools in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and (b) the London Borough of Bexley. (314291)

The information is not held in the format requested. Information is available for the number of qualified nursing staff in the school nursing area of work, directly employed by national health service organisations. The two NHS organisations which employ school nurses in the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency or the London borough of Bexley are Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust and Bexley Care Trust. The NHS Information Centre reports that there was one qualified nursing staff in the school nursing area of work in the Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust as at 30 September 2008. At a local level, the staff who carry out school nursing roles carry out a range and variety of other duties in addition to their school nursing role and therefore may have different job titles. Bexley Care Trust did not report any school nursing staff on their 2008 census return. However, recent correspondence with the Trust has revealed that this was due to a local coding issue. We advise contacting Bexley Care Trust directly to obtain their figures.

Defence

Air Force: Deployment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average unit tour interval was for each (a) aircraft and (b) helicopter crew type in the Royal Air Force in the latest period for which figures are available. (314479)

The average unit tour interval for each RAF aircraft and helicopter crew type, including those in Joint Helicopter Command, as at 1 February 2010 is provided in the table. The roles and deployment patterns vary between each type of aircraft and this is reflected in the tour intervals experienced by their aircrew. Aircrew when not deployed on operations continue to meet defence commitments and conduct training.

Aircraft type

Average tour interval

Tours

Hercules C130K

42 days

Afghanistan

Hercules C130J

92 days

Afghanistan and Iraq

Hercules C130K

90 days

Falkland Islands

Sentinel

63 days

Afghanistan

Tristar

70 days

Afghanistan

VC10

20 months

Falkland Islands

Tornado GR4

18 months

Afghanistan

Typhoon

45 Weeks

Falkland Islands

BAE125

3 months

Afghanistan

BAE146

3 months

Afghanistan

Chinook

42 weeks

Afghanistan

Merlin

44 weeks

Afghanistan

Sea King

17 months

Falkland Islands

Armed Forces: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he decided to hold a review of out-of-hours primary care for service personnel; what the terms of reference are of that review; and when it will be concluded. (316071)

The review was initiated by the Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff for Health in January 2010. It will look at the current provision of out-of-hours primary care cover for service personnel, and consider other options for providing a service that is both efficient and cost-effective, while fully meeting the needs of patients. An interim report is due in March 2010, from which further plans will be made.

Armed forces: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2010, Official Report, columns 792-4W, on armed forces: housing, to whom the 370 houses in Scotland sold by his Department to persons other than registered social landlords or local authorities were sold. (314919)

Of the 370 houses sold by the MOD in financial year 2008-09, other than to registered social landlords or local authorities, 321 houses in the Moray council area were sold through open competition in two separate transactions to Julian Hodge Bank Ltd., following informal discussions with the local authority and registered social landlords. The remaining 49 houses were sold individually on the open market, further details of which can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 25 January 2010, Official Report, columns 517-18W, on armed forces: housing, for what reason Helensburgh was chosen for the small-scale representative assessment; whether his Department plans to undertake further assessments; and whether the Helensburgh assessment is assumed to be representative of the housing stock held by his Department in Scotland. (314920)

As stated in my earlier response of 25 January 2010, Official Report, columns 517-18W, the small scale representative survey at Helensburgh was carried out in order to assess proposed future investment priorities at that location. We have no plans to carry out any assessments for Energy Performance certificates on any further properties. No assumptions have been made as to the wider implications of the Helensburgh assessment.

As the hon. Member will already be aware, MOD uses the Code for Sustainable Homes for new build and the EcoHomes06 Sustainability Assessment model for major improvement works.

Iraq and Afghanistan: Injuries

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel injured in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan have (i) lost both legs and both arms, (ii) lost both legs at or above the knee, (iii) lost both legs below the knee, (iv) lost one leg at or above the knee, (v) lost one leg below the knee, (vi) lost both arms at or above the elbow, (vii) lost both arms below the elbow, (viii) lost one arm at or above the elbow, (ix) lost one arm below the elbow, (x) received deep second degree or third degree burns to more than 70 per cent. of the body, (xi) been blinded in both eyes and (xii) been made deaf in each month since both conflicts began; and if he will make a statement. (315798)

The Ministry of Defence publishes the numbers of personnel categorised as very seriously injured and seriously injured as a result of Operations Telic and Herrick on its website at:

www.mod.uk

The figures are updated fortnightly. In addition, we are committed to publishing on a quarterly basis the numbers of service personnel who have suffered limb amputations as a result of injuries sustained while on operational deployment, and DAS A will be publishing figures up to the end of 2009 shortly. However, in order both to protect the identities of small numbers of patients and to maintain operational security for the effectiveness of our protective countermeasures, we do not routinely publish VSI and SI sub-classified by other types of physical injury.

We will of course continue to welcome and encourage the publication by members of the Defence Medical Services of clinical papers that advance medical knowledge. These will normally appear in the appropriate peer-reviewed publications, and although they may contain statistics and analysis of specific injuries, care will be taken to ensure that they do not compromise operational security or patient confidentiality.

Military Aircraft: Helicopters

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 January 2010, Official Report, column 205W, on military aircraft: helicopters, when he expects main gate approval to be obtained for specific upgrades to extend the service life of the (a) Merlin Mk3, (b) Merlin Mk3a, (c) Sea King Mk4, (d) Sea King Mk7, (e) Apache, (f) Chinook Mk2 and (g) Chinook Mk2a. (316069)

We expect to proceed to main gate approval for Sea King Mk4 this year. All other main gate approvals, with the exception of the procurement of an additional 22 new Chinook and a relatively modest investment in Sea King Mk7, will not take place until the conclusion of the Defence Review.

RAF Northolt

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) military and (b) civilian aircraft (i) arrived at and (ii) departed from RAF Northolt in each year since 2007. (315378)

This information is not held in the format requested; however, the following table details the number of aircraft movements, which could be an arrival or departure, for each of the last three years:

Civilian

Military

2007

7,377

4,712

2008

7,139

5,373

2009

5,905

6,980

The number of civilian movements quoted in the above table includes non-commercial civilian aircraft movements, for example those transporting visiting Royalty and Heads of State. Civil commercial movements at RAF Northolt are limited to 7,000 per calendar year.

Rescue Services: Helicopters

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contractual provisions his Department has negotiated to ensure that providers of equity capital to the successful bidder for the search and rescue helicopter service private finance initiative contract are required to hold their investment for a defined period of time; and if he will make a statement. (315713)

Under the draft contract the equity providers to the successful service provider for the SAR-H PFI will not be allowed to change their holding in the service provider for a number of years after the service has commenced. After this time, the equity providers may transfer their holding provided they give notice to the Government and the transferee is a suitable third party.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assurances his Department has (a) sought and (b) received that the successful bidder for the search and rescue helicopter service private finance initiative contract will take full responsibility for helicopter search and rescue services and ensure continuity of management and ownership over the period of the proposed contract. (315714)

Assurances have been sought and received from bidders that if successful they will take full responsibility for helicopter search and rescue services and ensure continuity of efficient management for the duration of the contract.

The owners of the service provider will not be allowed to change their holding in the service provider for a number of years after the service has commenced. After this time, the Government restrict the circumstances in which ownership and the principal sub-contracting chain may change.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 January 2010, Official Report, column 206W, on rescue services: helicopters, when he expects the competition for new search and rescue helicopters to be completed; and what progress has been made in the competition. (316070)

The Search and Rescue Helicopter (SAR-H) competition is ongoing. We anticipate making an announcement of the preferred bidder very shortly and, thereafter, working with the preferred bidder to bring the project to contract later in the year.

Work and Pensions

Cold Weather Payments

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) Ribble Valley constituency, (b) Lancashire and (c) the UK received cold weather payments in December 2009. (315029)

[holding answer 2 February 2010]: Cold weather payment information is only available by weather station, not by constituency or county. The number of cold weather payments authorised in December 2009 for Great Britain is estimated to be 4.0 million. Information on cold weather payments in Northern Ireland is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Notes:

1. The information provided is for the estimated number of payments that were authorised in December- this does not necessarily mean they were paid in December.

2. Some people had more than one payment authorised, so the number of payments authorised is greater than the number of people for whom payment was authorised.

Source:

DWP records of triggers to weather stations notified in December 2009 and estimates of potential qualifiers by weather station.

Departmental Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what expenditure her Department has incurred on each management consultant engaged in connection with the Pensions Transformation programme in the last 12 months. (315598)

The Department for Work and Pensions spent £5.007 million on consultants engaged in connection with the Pension Transformation programme for 2008-09. The spend for 2009-10 to date is nil.

We are unable to provide expenditure by individual supplier as this information is commercial in confidence.

Housing and Council Tax Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people received housing benefit in each of the last 10 years, broken down by local authority area; (313976)

(2) how many households received council tax benefit in each of the last 10 years, broken down by local authority area.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) when she plans to reply to the letter of 14 December 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. J Duncan; (315018)

(2) when she plans to reply to the letter of 21· December 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. P Harris;

(3) when she plans to reply to the letter of 22 December 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. M. Naseem.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when she plans to answer the letter of 11 November 2009, ref. SJW/SJW, from the hon. Member for Northavon on the state pension of a constituent. (315953)

I replied to the hon. Member on 4 February 2010 and I apologise again for the delay in doing so.

Nuclear Submarines: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 9 November 2009, Official Report, column 46W, on nuclear submarines, what methodology the Health and Safety Executive’s Nuclear Installations Inspectorate used to determine the radius of the emergency pre-planning zone around a berthed nuclear-powered submarine. (314712)

I have been asked to reply.

As required under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) identified the potential radiation hazards from berthed nuclear-powered submarines and furnished this information to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Having assessed the hazards so identified, HSE formed the judgment that a Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) set at a radius of 1.5 km from the submarines would provide a valid area in which the arrangements of local authorities should be applied to protect the public and society in the event of a reasonably foreseeable radiation emergency involving one of the submarines. The decision to reduce the DEPZ from 2 km to 1.5 km took account of an improved analysis of the potential radiation hazards by MOD.

Pension Credit

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioner households were paid (a) pension guarantee credit, (b) pension savings credit and (c) pension guarantee and pension savings credit in 2009. (314667)

The information requested is in the following table.

Households in receipt and individual beneficiaries of pension credit as at May 2009

Household recipients

Individual beneficiaries

Guarantee credit only

925,710

1,123,530

Savings credit only

599,590

791,520

Guarantee and savings credit

1,205,230

1,425,130

Notes:

1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Household recipients are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves only or on behalf of themselves and a partner.

3. The number of individual beneficiaries includes both claimants and their partners.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal! Study 100 per cent. data

Pension Credit: Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what her latest estimate is of the number of pensioners in each constituency in Derbyshire who are eligible for but do not claim pension credit. (314665)

Estimates of eligibility and therefore those who are entitled to pension credit but have not claimed it are not available below the level of Great Britain.

The latest estimates of the take-up rates and the number of those entitled but not receiving pension credit are published in the report ‘Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2007-08’.

Pension Credit: Yorkshire and the Humber

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people resident in (a) Cleethorpes constituency, (b) North East Lincolnshire local authority area and (c) North Lincolnshire local authority area are in receipt of pension credit; and what the average award was for such people in the most recent period for which figures are available. (315234)

The information requested is in the following table.

As at May 2009

Households in receipt of pension credit

Average award (£)

Cleethorpes constituency

5,070

47.61

North East Lincolnshire local authority area

9,300

48.97

North Lincolnshire local authority area

8,380

46.18

Notes:

1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Household recipients are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves only or on behalf of themselves and a partner.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent data.

Poverty: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children were living in poverty in each local authority area in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland in (i) 1997 and (ii) the most recent period for which figures are available. (314269)

Estimates of poverty for children are published in the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. These figures only allow a breakdown of the overall numbers in poverty at Government Office Region level. Therefore, information is not available for the local authority areas.

However, a local child poverty indicator—including constituency level information—has been developed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs to try and replicate this national measure as closely as possible. It captures the number and proportion of children in families in receipt of out of work benefits, or in receipt of tax credits where their reported income is less than 60 per cent of median income. Details can be found via the HMRC website:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/child_poverty.htm

The Public Service Agreement to halve child poverty by 2010-11 as a step towards eradicating it by 2020 uses a headline indicator of the proportion of children in households with an income below 60 per cent of contemporary household median income before housing costs.

The following table shows the three-year average volumes of children with incomes below 60 per cent. of contemporary median (before housing costs) between 1997-2000 and 2005-08.

Numbers of children living in households with less than 60 per cent of contemporary median income, by Government Office Region and Country, Before Housing Costs, 1997-98 to 1999-2000200506 to2007-08

Government Office Region/Country

1997-98 to 1999-2000

2005-06 to 2007-08

England

2.8

2.4

North East

0.2

0.1

North West

0.5

0.4

Yorkshire and the Humber

0.4

0.3

East Midlands

0.2

0.2

West Midlands

0.3

0.3

East of England

0.2

0.2

London

0.4

0.4

South East

0.3

0.3

South West

0.2

0.2

Scotland

0.3

0.2

Wales

0.2

0.2

Northern Ireland

n/a

0.1

n/a = Indicates figures are not available. Data for Northern Ireland are only available on the Family Resources Survey from 2002-03.

1. These statistics are based on Households Below Average Income, sourced from the Family Resources Survey, both of which are available in the Library.

2. Small changes should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response.

3. The reference period for Households Below Average Income figures are single financial years. Three sample years have been combined as regional single year estimates are subject to volatility.

4. The income measures used to derive the estimates shown employ the same methodology as the Department for Work and Pensions publication 'Households Below Average Income' series, which uses disposable household income, adjusted (or 'equivalised') for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living.

5. For the Households Below Average Income series, incomes have been equivalised using Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) equivalisation factors.

6. Information for adults includes those above state pension age.

7. Numbers of children in low-income households have been rounded to the nearest 100,000 children.

Source:

Households Below Average Income, DWP

Winter Fuel Payments: Torbay

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate she has made of the number of households in Torbay constituency who will receive the (a) £250 and (b) £400 winter fuel payment in 2009-10; (314619)

(2) how many pensioners in Torbay constituency are in receipt of winter fuel allowance; and how much her Department paid to such pensioners in winter fuel allowance in 2009.

For winter 2008-09 (the last year for which information is available) 13,980 households received £250 and 5280 households received £400 in Torbay. We expect to have made a similar number of payments for winter 2009-10.

For winter 2008-09, 29,950 individuals received the Winter Fuel Payment in Torbay at a cost of £6 million.

Notes:

1. Payment figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Expenditure figures are rounded to the nearest £0.1 million

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

Source:

Information Directorate

Winter Fuel Payments: Yorkshire and the Humber

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners aged over (a) 80 and (b) 60 years have received winter fuel payments in (i) Cleethorpes constituency, (ii) North East Lincolnshire local authority area and (iii) North Lincolnshire local authority area in each year since 2007-08. (315236)

Information on winters 2007-08 and 2008-09 (the last year for which information is available) is in the following table.

Individual winter fuel payments

Winter 2007-08

Winter 2008-09

Aged 60-79

Aged 80 and over

Aged 60-79

Aged 80 and over

Cleethorpes

17,820

3990

18,290

4130

North East Lincolnshire

27,230

6390

27,670

6520

North Lincolnshire

29,170

6560

30,000

6740

Notes:

1. Payment figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

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

Source:

Information Directorate

Prime Minister

Deputy Prime Minister

To ask the Prime Minister for what reasons he has not appointed a Deputy Prime Minister. (314738)

Epilepsy: Drugs

To ask the Prime Minister if he will take steps to inform the signatories to the e-petition to No. 10 Downing Street on the generic prescribing of anti-epilepsy drugs submitted on 1 October 2009, of the consultation on that matter which was recently opened by the Department of Health. (313934)

Yes. I refer the hon. Member to the response on the Number 10 website which can be found at

http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page22367

which gives details of the consultation.

Iraq Committee of Inquiry

To ask the Prime Minister if he will release for publication the documents to which Lord Goldsmith made specific reference during his appearance at the Chilcot Inquiry on 27 January 2010 and which he stated he would wish were made public. (314888)

Decisions on declassification are made in line with the protocol agreed between the Government and the inquiry. I have no role in the declassification process.

Northern Ireland

To ask the Prime Minister how many hours he has spent in Northern Ireland on official visits between the date of his appointment and 26 January 2010. (314560)

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

Parliamentary Private Secretaries

To ask the Prime Minister (1) pursuant to the answer of 14 December 2009, Official Report, column 711W, on parliamentary private secretaries, which parliamentary private secretary posts are (a) filled and (b) vacant; (315225)

(2) pursuant to the answer of 14 December 2009, Official Report, column 711W, on parliamentary private secretaries, on what date the list of parliamentary private secretaries was most recently provided to Dods for inclusion in Vacher's Quarterly; and if he will place in the Library a copy of this list.

I have nothing further to add to the answer I gave on 14 December 2009, Official Report, column 711W.

West Wing Writers

To ask the Prime Minister with reference to the registration statement made to the United States Department of Justice under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act 1938, registration number 5838, what expenditure his Office has incurred on procuring services from West Wing Writers to date since he took up his Office; and on what dates and for what purposes such payments were made. (315199)

Home Department

Antisocial Behaviour: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 25 January 2010, Official Report, column 429W, on antisocial behaviour: Greater London, which areas in Greater London have been designated priority areas for combating antisocial behaviour. (315000)

Designated priority areas for combating antisocial behaviour in Greater London are:

Barking and Dagenham

Bexley

Brent

Camden

Ealing

Enfield

Greenwich

Hackney

Hammersmith and Fulham

Haringey

Hillingdon

Hounslow

Islington

Lambeth

Newham

Redbridge

Southwark

Tower Hamlets

Waltham Forest.

Asylum

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will give interim permission to work to asylum applicant Mr. Joseph Bashir Yousif Bunni (HO Ref: B1135644); (315053)

(2) when he expects the UK Border Agency to decide on the application for asylum in respect of Mr. Joseph Bashir Yousif Bunni.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the UK Border Agency to decide on the application for asylum in respect of Ms Rachel Muadi Kumba (HO Ref: K1209955). (315054)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the UK Border Agency to decide on the application for asylum in respect of Ms Sara Kidane (HO Ref: K1203107). (315059)

Asylum: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many unaccompanied minors have arrived in the country seeking asylum in each year since 1999; and how many of them were granted asylum. (313613)

The table shows the number of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) applications, initial decisions and grants of asylum, Exceptional Leave to Remain (ELR), Humanitarian Protection (HP) and Discretionary Leave (DL) between 1999 and September 2009. Statistics on UASC asylum decisions and outcomes until 2002 are not available. Figures only include initial decisions on UASC asylum applications and not any later asylum decisions (e.g. after appeal).

Information on asylum applications is published annually in the Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom bulletin which is available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at:

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

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children applications1, 2, 3 received in the United Kingdom, excluding dependants, and initial decisions4 on applications by year, all nationals

Applications

Total decisions4

Grants of asylum

Grants of ELR5

Grants of HP5

Grants of DL5

Total

Port

In-country

Number

Total granted

Total ELR

Total HP

Total DL

1999

3,350

1,500

1,850

6

6

6

7

7

2000

2,735

1,395

1,340

6

6

6

7

7

2001

3,470

1,645

1,820

6

6

6

7

7

2002

6,200

1,240

4,955

6,990

585

4,830

7

7

2003

3,180

645

2,535

3,835

150

1,255

15

1,525

2004

2,990

540

2,455

3,440

85

7

20

2,505

2005

2,965

445

2,520

2,835

150

7

20

1,965

2006

3,450

395

3,055

2,880

195

7

10

1,960

2007

3,645

480

3,165

3,385

445

7

15

1,780

20088

4,285

380

3,905

3,375

335

7

15

1,795

January-September 20098

2,400

200

2,200

2,645

265

7

15

1,490

1 Figures are rounded to the nearest five and may not sum to the totals shown because of independent rounding.

2 Figures exclude cases where the age of the applicant is disputed.

3 An Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child (UASC) is a person under 18, or who, in the absence of documentary evidence establishing age, appears to be under that age; is applying for asylum in his or her own right and; is separated from both parents and is not being cared for by an adult who by law or custom has responsibility to do so.

4 The year of asylum application may not be the same as the year of initial asylum decision.

5 Humanitarian Protection (HP) and Discretionary Leave (DL) replaced Exceptional Leave to Remain (ELR) from 1 April 2003.

6 Not available.

7 Not applicable.

8 Provisional figures.

Borders: Personal Records

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department plans to introduce passenger name record checks on all passenger movements (a) into, (b) through and (c) out of the UK. (312898)

Passenger name record data (PNR) will be collected on a phased, intelligence-based approach over five years. It is expected that a maximum of 100 million passenger movements will have been collected by the end of December 2013. This equates to approximately 40 per cent. of all passenger and crew movements into, through and out of the UK. The selection of routes required to provide PNR will be based according to risk.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the e-borders programme to include an automated authority to carry capability. (312899)

An automated authority to carry (ATC) capability is not included in the e-Borders contract. UK Border Agency (UKBA) has the option to include this capability at a later stage, but this will need to be funded separately.

As part of the wider rollout of e-Borders in 2011, a capability to support a manual ATC process will be delivered.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of progress in the manual trial period for authority to carry capabilities as part of the e-borders programme. (313295)

The UK Border Agency has completed a proof of concept trial of a manual authority to carry scheme. We are currently evaluating these data in the context of the Prime Minister's recent statement on security and border protection, to examine the broader options for preventing people from travelling to the United Kingdom.

Case Resolution Directorate

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases were resolved by the Case Resolution Directorate in the most recent period for which figures are available. (313895)

The UK Border Agency has made good progress in concluding the estimated 400,000 to 450,000 electronic and paper records in the asylum backlog and remains on track to conclude these cases by summer 2011. The total conclusions now stand at over 220,000 cases concluded to end of September 2009. Lin Homer will update the Home Affairs Select Committee on performance up to December 2009 next month.

Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 25 January 2010, Official Report, column 637W, on crime, which universities received such expenditure; and what crime awareness campaigns were undertaken in each case. (315001)

In 2005-06 the Home Office ran a marketing campaign called ‘Let's Keep Crime Down’. An element of this campaign targeted students. Digital advertising space was purchased to targeted student bars and libraries. Advertising was centred on Leeds, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Bolton and Newcastle.

In 2009-10 Home Office gave a grant to the National Union of Students (NUS) as part of the Securing Homes: Action Against Burglary programme. £78,905.50 has been allocated for NUS to deliver communications activity. The communications work is varied and does not come under a single branded campaign. NUS has distributed a Home Office leaflet called ‘The Student Survival Guide’ that provides crime reduction and personal safety information and a ‘Let' Keep Crime Down’ branded ‘doorhanger’ to 119 students unions across England and Wales and has launched a crime reduction website:

www.nus.org.uk/thelock

In both 2005-06 and 2009-10, Home Office has not given individual universities money to deliver crime awareness campaigns.

Departmental Font Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department and its agencies have spent on font licensing in the last three years. (314752)

From the best available information the Home Department inclusive of its agencies have not incurred any costs on font licensing in the last three years.

Departmental Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate he has made of the (a) potential annual rental and (b) total book value of the residential property owned by his Department. (313741)

My Department currently owns one residential property which is in the process of being sold. Accordingly no estimates have been made of potential rental amounts and the property has an indicated guide sale price of £4 million.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding his Department has allocated for (a) year-end and (b) in-year bonuses for its staff in 2009-10. (307031)

An element of the overall pay award for the Home Office is allocated to non-consolidated variable pay related to performance. These payments are used to drive high performance and form part of the pay award for members of staff who demonstrate exceptional performance, for example by exceeding targets set of meeting challenging objectives.

Non-consolidated variable pay awards are funded from within existing pay bill controls and have to be re-earned each year against pre-determined targets and, as such, do not add to future pay bill and pension costs. The percentage of the pay bill set aside for performance-related awards for the Senior Civil Service is based on the recommendations of the independent Senior Salaries Review Body.

Non-consolidated end-of-year performance payments made in the 2009-10 financial year (in relation to the 2008-09 performance year) amounted to £5.69 million, (0.69 per cent. of the estimated total salary provision for the 2009-10 year). Up to 0.3 per cent. of the pay bill for the current year is allocated for the purpose of non-consolidated special payments to reward exceptional in-year performance.

Departmental Public Consultation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 19 January 2010, Official Report, column 261W, on departmental public consultation, how much was spent by his Department under each budgetary headline on the burglary summit on 4 February 2009. (314026)

The Home Office burglary summit was held on 4 February 2009 at the Home Office headquarters in 2 Marsham Street London. The summit was attended by 40 voluntary, private and public sector representatives. The only costs incurred were for hospitality (refreshments). The total amount spent on hospitality was £203.60

The summit resulted in the launch of the Securing Homes programme two months later under which the Government have invested £20 million in further preventing and tackling burglary.

Departmental Public Expenditure