Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 507: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 8 March 2010

Prime Minister

Departmental Official Engagements

My official spokesman announces my forthcoming official engagements each day.

On 6 March, I visited Helmand where I was briefed by our military and civilian leaders, and by Afghan Commanders, on the latest developments on the ground, in particular on Operation Moshtarak, and on the challenges faced by our forces throughout Helmand, especially in Sangin.

I was updated on ISAF plans to reorganise responsibilities and command and control in Southern Afghanistan, as the operational situation evolves after Operation Moshtarak and the deployment of additional US forces. Key to this will be building on the increasingly successful partnering of the Afghan security forces, and achieving the right ratios of security forces (international and Afghan) to the civilian population to enable General McChrystal’s counter-insurgency approach. And although final decisions have yet to be taken it is likely UK forces will increasingly concentrate in central Helmand.

I was updated on ongoing stabilisation efforts: provision of jobs on projects, efforts to strengthen the local economy, and helping farmers cultivate a range of legal crops rather than poppy. 1,000 Afghan civil order police are now being deployed into the areas cleared in Operation Moshtarak. Over time they will be replaced by 1,000 regular Afghan police. To support this the UK are deploying an additional eight police mentoring teams, additional police advisers for the NATO training mission and the EU police mission, and additional support for the police training centre, a total of over 150 extra personnel.

I was updated on progress with recruiting in the Afghan army, which has increased sevenfold since the end of 2009, with 500 more Afghan army in Helmand since December. Embedded partnering between British forces and the Afghan army is already generating positive results: for example, UK battlegroups report a 30 per cent. improvement in intelligence collection, including on the location of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), after the introduction of joint patrolling with Afghan forces.

I was updated on progress in equipment including faster delivery of Vallon IED detectors towards our target of deploying over 6,500 by July, together with additional sets of ground penetrating radar. Specialised Talisman route-clearance vehicles and equipment will deploy in the next two months. The Ministry of Defence is also committing a further £18 million over the next two years to strengthen pre-deployment training on counter-IED techniques, in addition to the significant investment announced in December.

I was updated on the increased number of hours our Chinook and Apache helicopters can fly each month; the successful introduction of Merlin helicopters; the deployment of Czech helicopters made possible by the British helicopter fund initiative; and the recent increases of Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicles and options for accelerating the planned increase of Predator/Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles.

Finally, I visited engineers responsible for sustaining the fleet of protected mobility vehicles including Mastiff and Ridgeback vehicles—offering world-leading protection against IED strikes. Over 100 more of those vehicles have been deployed since last summer. I also inspected the newly introduced Husky utility vehicle, 100 of which are in transit to Afghanistan. I was able to update our forces on the Ministry of Defence’s plans for a new light protected patrol vehicle, with Treasury approval of the first 200 vehicles as an urgent operational requirement. The Ministry of Defence judge that this meets the requirement in Afghanistan and will make announcements on further tranches in due course, as is standard practice with major equipment procurements.

I look forward in the coming weeks to discussing the position in Afghanistan with the King of Jordan and Prime Minister Erdogan when they visit London. I also plan to attend the European Council meeting in Brussels on 25 to 26 March.

Northern Ireland

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what information technology projects initiated by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies were cancelled prior to completion in the last 12 months; and what the cost of each such project was to the public purse. (320422)

During the last 12 months no information technology projects initiated by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) or its agencies have been cancelled prior to completion.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was paid in reimbursable expenses to special advisers in his Department in each of the last five years. (320484)

The following table shows how much the Northern Ireland Office, including its arms-length bodies and the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland but excluding its agencies and NDPBs, paid in reimbursable expenses to special advisers in each of the last five years:

£

2004-05

11,579.84

2005-06

9,182.01

2006-07

1,837.74

2007-08

1,068.97

2008-09

1,457.49

House of Commons Commission

14 Tothill Street

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer of 3 February 2010, Official Report, column 329W, on 14 Tothill Street, how much has been spent in total to date, including the House of Commons contribution and the House of Lords contribution to the Commission on (a) rent, (b) refurbishment, (c) business rates and (d) utilities in respect of the unoccupied premises at 14 Tothill Street. (319800)

The expenditure to the end January 2010 on the unoccupied premises has been:

£000

Account

Commons

Lords

Total

Rent

4,592

2,256

6,848

Refurbishment

1,598

2,293

3,891

These figures exclude costs incurred by the House of Lords since taking up occupancy on 1 September 2009. Business rates and utility costs, of £340,000 and £72,000 respectively, have also been incurred since the building became partially occupied. These are shared between the Commons (60 per cent.) and Lords (40 per cent.).

Illegal Immigrants

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip Northwood of 3 February 2010, Official Report, column 411W, on illegal immigrants, how many House of Commons staff have been appointed and later discovered to be illegal immigrants since 2005. (320492)

Since 2005, one employee of the House of Commons has been found to be not eligible to work in the UK. This was due to a change in circumstances that occurred after the employment began.

Members: Allowances

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer of 22 February 2010, Official Report, column 38W, on Members: allowances, how much has been spent under each budgetary heading referred to in the answer. [Official Report, 11 March 2010, Vol. 507, c. 11-12MC.] (319926)

The costs to date, inclusive of VAT, are as follows:

£

Sir Thomas Legg's review

Work commissioned

870,784

Staff costs

306,534

Office supplies

5,889

Total

1,183,207

Sir Paul Kennedy's work

Work commissioned

18,327

Travel

643

Office Supplies

180

Total

19,150

Older Workers

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what guidance the House authorities have issued on arrangements to enable staff of the House, excluding its Officers, who wish to continue to work beyond the age of 65 years to do so; and if he will make a statement. (320991)

The House of Commons service currently has a “no retirement age” policy for most of its staff. This will be extended to include all staff from 1 April 2010 when the retirement age of 65 for the senior commons structure is removed.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many House of Commons staff, excluding Officers of the House, there are over the age of 65 years; and if he will make a statement. (320992)

64 members of staff, excluding Officers of the House (staff in pay band A and above), are over the age of 65.

Parliament: Internet

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission with reference to the answer of 20 July 2009, Official Report, columns 747-8W, on standing committees: internet, what progress the Commission has made on placing on Parliament's website the transcripts of Standing Committee debates held prior to 1997; and if he will make a statement. (320641)

Standing Committee debates held prior to 1997 have been digitised (421 volumes covering the period 1919 to 2004-05) and have now gone through the necessary quality assurance procedures. These data, along with many other related stand-alone sites will be brought into the main site over the next few months as part of the implementation of a new, improved content management system.

Trade Unions

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many days staff of the House of Commons Service spent on trade union activity in the latest year for which figures are available; and what recent estimate has been made of the annual cost to the public purse of such activity. (320671)

A record of the number of days that staff of the House of Commons Service spent on trade union activity is not maintained centrally.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Departmental Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for which Google Adword online advertising keywords his Department and its agencies have paid in the last 12 months; and at what cost. (315466)

The Department has spent £156,000 on Google Adwords in the last 12 months. A list of the keywords used has been placed in the House Library. We are unable to disclose the individual cost against specific keywords as this information is commercial in confidence.

Detailed spend on advertising by DEFRA agencies is not held centrally and could be collated only at disproportionate cost.

Land: Forestry

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has made a recent estimate of the amount of land available for afforestation. (320744)

We have not made any recent estimates of the amount of land available for afforestation. The Forestry Commission is currently working with DEFRA and Natural England to develop a high-level spatial framework to guide where woodland creation could best deliver a range of benefits. This work is likely to be completed over the coming year.

Land: Set-aside Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of former set-aside land (a) has gone back into agricultural production since the abolition of the set-aside scheme in 2008 and (b) remains as fallow land. (321178)

The June Agricultural Survey only records aggregate areas and does not collect information on individual fields. Hence, it is not possible to say how much of the set-aside land recorded in 2007 was located on fields that remained fallow in subsequent years. Nor is it possible to say how much of the former set-aside land is now cropped. However, in 2009 there were 254,000 hectares of uncropped land in the UK, which is equivalent to 58 per cent. of the 2007 set-aside area.

Quarries: Nottinghamshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which extraction quarries are currently licensed in Nottinghamshire; and which of them have received aggregate levy sustainability fund Objective 5 money for community projects. (321070)

There are currently 31 aggregates extraction sites in Nottinghamshire, of which 19 are active (Abbey Quarry, Bellmoor; Besthorpe; Bestwood 2; Burntstump; Carlton Forest; East Leake; Finningley; Girton; Langford Lowfields; Linby; Lound/Blaco Hill; Misson Bawtry Road; Misson Newington; Misson West; Nether Langwith; Ratcher Hill; Rufford; Scrooby; and, Scrooby Top) and 12 that are currently inactive (Carlton in Lindrick; Cromwell; Holme Pierrepont; Hoveringham; Mattersey (two sites); Rampton; Serlby; Sturton le Steeple; Styrrup; Warsop; and, Yellowstone).

None of the sites has received funding directly from the communities theme (“Objective 5”)—aggregate levy sustainably fund funding is directed, via Nottinghamshire county council, to community projects.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many current aggregate levy sustainability fund Objective 5 projects in Nottinghamshire are taking place at sites within one kilometre of a quarry. (321071)

Nottinghamshire county council has targeted communities “within 2 km of mineral extraction sites and any known extraction routes” for its funding from the communities theme (“Objective 5”) of the aggregate levy sustainability fund.

Of the current (2009-10) projects, three are directly associated with former aggregates workings within this limit, and the remaining 15 fall within defined target areas of active and spent quarries and any known extraction routes.

Renewable Energy: Fuel Oil

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to increase regeneration capacity for waste oils; and if he will make a statement. (319846)

DEFRA's policies on waste oils are set out in Waste Strategy for England 2007. We are currently considering the responses to the stage one consultation on the transposition of the revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC), including the provisions in article 21 on waste oils.

Special Protection Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 9 February 2010, Official Report, column 831W, on Special Protection Areas: cats, what guidance the European Commission has provided on the (a) implementation of the European Habitats Directive and (b) appropriateness of banning domestic cats and dogs in housing developments close to areas with Special Protection status. (319799)

The European Commission has produced a range of guidance on specific articles of the Habitats Directive which is available on its website. I am not aware that any of this guidance gives specific advice on the appropriateness of banning domestic pets close to Special Protection Areas.

Tuna: Conservation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons the Government decided not to sign up to the EU protocol on sustainable fishing of tuna. (319210)

There is no official EU protocol on sustainable fishing of tuna. However, the UK plays a full part in tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations to work towards sustainable management of tuna stocks and, in the case of Atlantic bluefin tuna, has been a leading voice within the EU in calling for additional measures through the listing on Appendix I on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in order to protect this stock.

Leader of the House

Departmental Marketing

To ask the Leader of the House pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip Northwood of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 103W, on departmental marketing, how much her Department and agencies have spent on advertising, marketing, public relations and publicity in relation to the (a) Real Help Now and (b) Building Britain’s Future themed campaign to date. (320453)

The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons incurred no cost on advertising, marketing, public relations and publicity in relation to (a) Real Help Now and (b) Building Britain’s Future themed campaigns to date.

Scotland

Departmental Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the volume of carbon dioxide emissions from his Department's buildings in each year since 2005. (320569)

The Scotland Office did not centrally record its carbon emissions before the current financial year. This information is, however, now being recorded and will be reported in our forthcoming annual report.

Departmental Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps his Department plans to take to participate in the Earth Hour event on 27 March 2010. (319099)

As part of the Scotland Office's continuing efforts to reduce energy consumption, staff are reminded regularly to turn off computers, monitors and other electrical equipment, unplug mobile phone chargers and switch off lights when rooms are not in use. As the 2010 Earth Hour event is on the evening of Saturday 27 March, our buildings are likely to be unoccupied. Security guards will ensure that no inessential lights are left on.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information technology projects initiated by his Department were cancelled prior to completion in the last 12 months; and what the cost of each such project was to the public purse. (320435)

The Scotland Office shares an information technology system (SCOTS) with the Scottish Executive, which is responsible for the development, administration and maintenance of the system; consequently, the Office does not directly undertake IT projects.

Departmental Languages

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants in his Department received coaching in a foreign language in the last 12 months; what expenditure his Department incurred in providing such coaching; and in what languages such coaching was provided. (320540)

No Ministers or civil servants received coaching in a foreign language in the last 12 months.

Trade Unions

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many days staff of his Department spent on trade union activity in the latest year for which figures are available; and what recent estimate he has made of the annual cost to the public purse of such activity. (320670)

The Scotland Office do not have any staff that spend time undertaking trade union activities.

Energy and Climate Change

Energy Supply

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the maximum transmission system demand was in each of the last 20 years. (320328)

DECC's data for the maximum transmission system demand are contained in our report ‘UK Energy Sector Indicators 2009: Supporting Indicators Dataset':

http://decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/publications/indicators/indicators.aspx

The following table shows the data for simultaneous maximum electricity load met (left axis) from 1985 to 2008.

Simultaneous maximum electricity load met, 1985 to 2008 (GW)

GW simultaneous maximum load met, UK (left axis)

1985

53.98

55.33

53.833

53.555

53.414

1990

54.068

54.472

51.663

54.848

52.362

1995

55.611

56.815

56.965

56.312

57.849

2000

58.452

58.589

61.717

60.501

61.013

61.697

59.071

61.527

2008

60.289

Source: DECC.

Fossil Fuels

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what proportion of UK energy demand has been met from fossil fuel sources in each year since 2006. (321270)

The volume and proportion of UK energy demand met from fossil fuel sources since 2006 is shown in the following table.

Million tonnes of oil equivalent

2006

2007

2008

Volume

Proportion (percentage)

Volume

Proportion (percentage)

Volume

Proportion (percentage)

Coal

43.5

18.7

40.9

18.0

37.9

16.9

Petroleum

77.1

33.1

75.6

33.4

74.4

33.2

Natural gas

89.2

38.4

90.1

39.8

93.0

41.4

Total all fossil fuels

209.8

90.2

206.6

91.2

205.2

91.5

Mining: Coal

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what (a) deep and (b) open-cast coal mines are operational; and what the annual output was of each such mine in each of the last five years. (320329)

The following table lists deep and surface coal mines operational as at March 2010. Statistics on the output from such mines are provided by operators to the industry's licensing body, the Coal Authority, on a confidential basis and are not publicly available.

Mines

Deep

Aberpergwm Colliery

Neath Port Talbot

Blaentillery No. 2 Colliery

Torfaen

Cannop Drift Mine

Gloucestershire

Daw Mill Colliery

Warwickshire

Eckington Colliery

Derbyshire

Hatfield Colliery

Doncaster

Hay Royds Colliery

Kirklees

Kellingley Colliery

North Yorkshire

Maltby Colliery

Rotherham

Monument Colliery

Gloucestershire

Nant Hir No. 2 Colliery

Neath Port Talbot

Thoresby Colliery

Nottinghamshire

Unity Mine

Neath Port Talbot

Welbeck Colliery

Nottinghamshire

Surface

Broken Cross

South Lanarkshire

Bwlch Ffos

Neath Port Talbot

Chalmerston

East Ayrshire

Cutacre

Bolton

Cwm Yr Onen Colliery Reclamation

Neath Port Talbot

East Pit

Neath Port Talbot

Engine

Derbyshire

Ffos-y-Fran

Merthyr Tydfil

Former Biwater Works

Derbyshire

Glenmuckloch

Dumfries/Galloway

Glentaggart

South Lanarkshire

Greenbank (St. Ninians)

Fife

Greenburn Project

East Ayrshire

House of Water

East Ayrshire

Lodge House

Derbyshire

Long Moor

Leicestershire

Methley Quarry

Leeds

Muir Dean

Fife

Nant Helen

Powys

Nant-y-Mynydd Site

Neath Port Talbot

Powharnal

East Ayrshire

Selar

Neath Port Talbot

Shewington

Midlothian

Shotton

Northumberland

Skares Road

East Ayrshire

Spireslack

East Ayrshire

Steadsburn

Northumberland

Temple Quarry

Kirklees

Wilsontown

South Lanarkshire

Aggregate output from the listed mines in each of the last five years was as follows:

Output (tonnes)

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Deep mines

7,598,740

8,270,180

7,467,230

7,926,010

7,495,440

Surface mines

5,834,290

4,727,330

5,208,960

6,531,130

8,428,900

Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board: Meetings

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will publish on his Department's website the minutes of each meeting of the Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board to date. (320534)

The Department of Energy and Climate Change will aim to publish the minutes of meetings of the Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board on its website around the time of Easter.

Communities and Local Government

Departmental Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much (a) Ministers and (b) staff of each grade in (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies spent on first-class travel in the last 12 months. (320399)

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

Fires Service College could provide this information only at disproportionate cost.

Planning Inspectorate could provide this information only at disproportionate cost.

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre has had no expenditure on first-class travel.

Essex County Council and Castle Point Borough Council: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will make it his policy to (a) collect information on and (b) publish the value of remuneration packages for (i) the chief executive officer and the five highest paid officers of Castle Point borough council and (ii) the chief executive officer and the 10 highest paid officers of Essex county council in each of the last 10 years. (321180)

The Department does not currently collect or publish information about individual remuneration arrangements for local authority officers. However, the Department has brought forward new regulations to require local authorities to publish detailed salary and remuneration information for senior officers in their Statement of Annual Accounts with effect from 31 March 2010.

Local Government: East of England

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the cost to the public purse has been of all legal proceedings relating to the structural review of Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon. (317343)

The Department does not hold information about the costs incurred by local authorities for legal proceedings that they have brought relating to the structural reviews in Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk.

The current costs incurred by the Department are set out in the following table.

Legal costs to Department (£)

Challenge against the Boundary Committee where the Secretary of State has been named as an Interested Party brought by:

Breckland District Council and Others

62,450

East Devon District Council

31,820

Suffolk Coastal (R oao Forest Heath District Council)

45,875

King’s Lynn and Others

6,833

Challenge against the Secretary of State brought by:

Devon and Norfolk County Councils

3,461

In litigation against the Boundary Committee related to the structural reviews, the Secretary of State appeared as an Interested Party and therefore did not seek costs.

The Boundary Committee has incurred costs of some £358,700, some of which it is seeking to recover from local authorities involved in the litigation.

Local Government: Poole

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the borough of Poole council on the effects of trends in Government funding on the level of (a) the provision of services by and (b) employment in the council; and if he will make a statement. (320384)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no recent discussions with representatives of the borough of Poole council on the effects of trends in Government funding.

Olympics

Government Olympic Executive: Pay

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how much has been paid in bonuses to civil servants in the Government Olympic Executive in each year since its inception. (306420)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on 18 January 2010, Official Report, column 5W.

Olympic Games 2012: Private Finance Initiative

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many private finance initiative projects relating to the 2012 Olympics have been delayed because of problems obtaining finance; and what the monetary value of each contract is. (320568)

There are no private finance initiative projects being funded from the public sector funding package for the 2012 Olympics. The former private developer projects—the Olympic Village and the International Broadcast Centre/Main Press Centre—which are now public sector projects, are on track to be delivered on time, as set out in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games Annual Report published on 9 February 2010.

Olympic Games 2012: Yorkshire and the Humber

To ask the Minister for the Olympics if she will take steps to ensure that sporting venues in (a) Yorkshire and (b) Leeds benefit from expenditure incurred in hosting the London 2012 Olympics. (307441)

Sporting venues in Leeds and Yorkshire are well placed to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the London 2012 Olympics.

Sport England has recently made a significant investment in the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Sports Centre in Leeds. These facilities will play a significant part in developing young swimmers and divers and in hosting visiting Olympic squads. The £5 million investment has helped deliver an international standard 50 metre competition and training pool with moveable boom and floor that meets the needs of both performance swimmers and the local community. It also includes one of the best equipped diving competition and training pools in the UK.

Leeds has also benefited from the Free Swimming capital programme with awards totalling almost £2.5 million. This investment will help modernise several key community swimming pools including those at Aireborough and Kirkstall.

There are 49 pre-games training camps in Yorkshire that are available to Olympics teams, and the Serbian and Dutch swimming teams have already committed to holding their pre-games training camps in Leeds.

Sheffield also hosts the GB squads for boxing, volleyball and table tennis, and one of the GB centres for diving. These four sports have received their funding allocation from UK Sport based on their plans for London 2012 and have used some of their Cabinet Office programme's funding to enhance squad facilities. For example, boxing has invested in improving and expanding training areas in the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield into one of the best amateur boxing centres in the world.

Also, Dalby Forest in North Yorkshire has won the right to host the UCI Cross Country Mountain Bike World Cup based on its initial Olympic bid to be a games-time venue.

Transport

Aviation: Exhaust Emissions

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when he last reviewed the processes used to (a) collect and (b) publish the annual emissions of carbon dioxide from domestic aviation; and if he will make a statement. (319816)

I have been asked to reply.

(a) We estimate the annual emissions of carbon dioxide from domestic aviation in accordance with the IPCC 1996 revised guidelines, as we are required to do under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

These guidelines were reviewed and revised in 2006; however, the 2006 guidelines will not be implemented until after the 2008-12 Kyoto protocol commitment period.

Full details of both the 1996 revised guidelines and the 2006 guidelines can be found on the IPCC website at the following link:

http://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/index.html

(b) Estimates of UK carbon dioxide emissions from all sectors, including domestic aviation, covering the period 1990 to 2008 were published by DECC as National Statistics on 2 February 2010.

These form part of the UK’s greenhouse gas inventory submission for 2008, and represent the latest available estimates.

The statistics can be found at the following link:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/climate_change/gg_emissions/uk_emissions/2008_final/2008_final.aspx

Aviation: Safety

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will hold discussions with aircraft manufacturers on the relative safety merits of aircraft black boxes and real time data transmitters. (320230)

The responsibility for determining what equipment should be installed on aircraft registered in the EU now rests with the European Aviation Safety Agency.

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what criteria his Department uses in determining the award of contracts; and how much his Department and its predecessors spent on the advertisement of tenders for Government contracts since 1997. (303097)

The Department for Transport is required to comply with the Public Contract Regulations 2006 which require contracts above the EU threshold to be awarded based on the “most economically advantageous tender” or “the lowest priced tender”. However, it is Government policy to award contracts on the basis of the most advantageous tender and the Department follows this policy in respect of its tender evaluations.

The Department does not hold centrally information relating to the costs of advertising tenders and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, from the information that is available, the Department has spent £51,560 on advertisement of tenders since the Department was formed in May 2002.

Departmental Plants

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on pot plants in 2009-10 to date. (319209)

The requested information is as follows:

(a) £13,724

(b) £57,514

The above expenditure typically relates to interior displays in the public reception areas of Department for Transport offices and in some cases includes maintenance costs.

All expenditure was incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety. We need to provide an environment where people work well and the provision of plants contributes to this, but we recognise the figure is high. These costs will therefore be significantly reduced over the next year along with other efficiency savings.

The data above exclude the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). VOSA does not record the information requested and this can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Temporary Staff

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport from which companies his Department sourced temporary staff in each of the last three years; how many temporary staff his Department employed in each year; and what the monetary value of the contracts with each such company was in each such year. (320013)

The Department for Transport and its executive agencies operate separate finance and human resource systems and there are no centralised records relating to the numbers of temporary staff employed or the value of contracts with suppliers used to source temporary staff. To search across the Department’s disparate finance and human resource systems to obtain this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Information relating to spend on temporary staff is published in the Department’s annual report. In the past three years these figures are:

£ million

2006-07

16.906

2007-08

27.265

2008-09

27.700

Where records are available, the numbers of temporary staff employed by the Department in the past three years are:

Number

2006-07

1,088

2007-08

1,353

2008-09

1,075

A table has been placed in the Libraries of the House showing the suppliers that the Department has used to source temporary staff between April 2007 and March 2009 and spend during this period.

Government Car and Despatch Agency: Consultants

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 22 February 2010, Official Report, column 187W, on the Government Car and Despatch Agency, on which projects the agency engaged external consultants in each of those years. (319587)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency engaged external consultants to work on the following projects in each of the years between 2004-05 and 2008-09 inclusive.

Projects

2008-09

Government Mail Business Development

Working Time Directive implementation

HR Support, including pay negotiations

Maintenance and Award of ISO Management Systems

IT Systems

2007-08

Pay Award Negotiations

Maintenance and Award of ISO Management Systems

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Facilities Management

IT Systems

2006-07

Development of Performance Management Systems

Customer Satisfaction Survey

IT Systems

Maintenance of ISO Management Systems

Government Mail Business Development

Marketing

2005-06

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Maintenance and Award of ISO Management Systems IT Systems

Marketing

HR support

2004-05

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Maintenance and Award of ISO Management Systems Government Mail Business Development

HR support

IT Systems

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities have sufficient funding to undertake repairs and resurfacing work on roads for which they are responsible. (320591)

This Department has provided sustained levels of funding to local authorities to assist them to invest in their roads. Since the introduction of the Local Transport Plan (LTP) settlement in 2001-02 this Department has more than doubled annual capital funding to local authorities across England (outside London) for maintaining local roads. LTP capital funding for highway maintenance in 2009-10 is £736 million, up from £265 million in 2000-01. Funding in London is a matter for the Mayor.

Local authorities are also able to use revenue funding, allocated by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) through the Formula Grant, for maintaining their local highways. Neither of these funding sources is ring-fenced. It is for local authorities to decide upon their spending priorities across the whole range of services that they provide.

In addition the Department has provided PFI funding to assist authorities to develop highway maintenance PFI schemes. Currently £2 billion PFI credits have been allocated for highways maintenance schemes. One project with allocated PFI credits of £121 million has been signed. In addition there are three projects in procurement with approved PFI credits of £1.5 billion. A further highway maintenance PFI project with approved funding of £365 million PFI credits is shortly to enter into procurement.

The Department has also provided emergency funding to local authorities to assist them to carry out repairs to their highways arising from extreme weather events.

We have also encouraged local authorities to adopt transport asset management plans. These will include inventories of highways assets, their existing condition, and the target condition based upon desired service levels. Knowledge of the condition of highways assets and the desired service level that an authority intends those assets to deliver, are key components in the process of deciding what expenditure is required.

A Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy report in July 2008 concluded that £15 million would be necessary to assist local authorities in Great Britain to develop transport asset management. Last year this Department allocated £32 million to assist English local authorities take forward highway asset management.

Roads: Snow and Ice

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what proportion of roads in each region were gritted following snowfall between November 2009 and February 2010. (320297)

The Highways Agency treated the whole of the Strategic Road Network in England throughout the period. Winter service on other roads is the responsibility of each local highway authority and this information is not collected centrally.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps his Department takes to ensure roads are safe for drivers during periods of snowfall. (320298)

The Highways Agency through its service providers implements area-specific winter maintenance plans across the Strategic Road Network throughout the winter period. Snow ploughs are fitted as soon as snow is forecast. Salt is spread both in advance of and during snowfall, supplemented by ploughing as required to ensure that the network remains as safe as reasonably practicable. The agency also provides information and advice to road users using variable message signs, the internet and the media.

Winter service on other roads is the responsibility of each local highway authority. The Department for Transport endorses the winter service guidance provided by the UK Roads Liaison Group in its highways maintenance code of practice, “Well-maintained Highways”. This makes clear that safety is a prime consideration for winter service. My Department wrote to each local authority last year with a leaflet “Are you ready for winter?”, when the winter service guidance was updated, encouraging authorities to review their winter service strategies.

Roads: Speed Limits

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport on which (a) roads and (b) sections of road variable speed limits have been introduced in each of the last 10 years. (319046)

The Department for Transport does not routinely collate information about the location of variable speed limits. For principal roads or if the speed limit is varied to 20 mph, local traffic authorities have powers to introduce variable speed limits without consent from the Secretary of State. On the Strategic Road Network, variable speed limits are located among other locations, on:

M25—Junction 10 to Junction 16

M42—Junction J3A to Junction 7

M6—Junction 4 to Junction 5

M42—Junction 7 to Junction 9

M40—Junction 16 to M42 Junction 3A.

Thameslink Railway Line

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure the availability in the medium term of sufficient rolling stock able to negotiate the Moorgate tunnel. (321072)

The Department for Transport is in negotiation with First Capital Connect to provide additional capacity to the route.

Defence

Afghanistan: Armed Conflict

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's long-term strategy for its activities in Afghanistan is. (320163)

Our military strategy in Afghanistan is designed to set the security conditions for the success of a broader political strategy, led by the Afghans themselves, and supported by the international community.

UK armed forces are operating in Afghanistan as part of the 44-nation international security assistance force (ISAF). ISAF forces are conducting security and stability operations throughout the country in support of the Afghan Government, and are supporting the growth in capacity and capability of the Afghan national security forces. Our armed forces, alongside our ISAF partners, also play an important role in facilitating improvements in governance and socio-economic development.

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much (a) aviation and (b) vehicle fuel for British forces in Afghanistan cost in each of the last five years. (319848)

The following table sets out the ground fuel and aviation fuel costs for Afghanistan for financial years (FYs) 2005-06 through to 2009-10, up to the end of January 2010.

£ million

Financial year

Ground fuel

Aviation fuel

2009-10 (end January 2010)

41.122

61.639

2008-09

48.890

66.317

2007-08

40.182

2.671

2006-07

5.447

2.866

2005-06

1.180

0.436

Total

136.821

133.929

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the budget is per person per day for meals for military personnel serving in Afghanistan. (320753)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer the Minister for Veterans (Mr. Jones) gave on 6 January 2010, Official Report, column 437, to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban).

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his most recent assessment is of the tactical requirement for long-range patrol vehicles in the current military operation in Afghanistan. (320763)

Commanders in Afghanistan have stressed the importance of having a range of vehicles from which they can select the most appropriate for specific tasks, including patrol vehicles. The use by our armed forces of all vehicle types is kept under constant review to ensure that they continue to meet operational requirements.

Air Force: Deployment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average weekly flying time for a Royal Air Force pilot is. (320914)

Average weekly flying hours for RAF pilots are not recorded centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Aircraft Carriers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Government plan to exempt the Queen Elizabeth carrier programme from the upcoming Strategic Defence Review. (320817)

We have been very clear since the publication of the Defence Green Paper that everything other than Trident is included in the Strategic Defence Review. But unless the review takes us in a very radical new direction, aircraft carriers are likely to remain critical elements of our force structure. That is why we have signed the contracts and cut the steel.

Army: Counselling

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will investigate the reason for the increase in spending by his Department between 2003 and 2008 on counselling services for new recruits or Phase 1 trainees to the Army; and if he will make a statement. (320833)

Following the Blake Report and the Government’s response in June 2006, the Army has striven further to ensure that the best welfare provision is in place for soldiers under training. We have made improvements in the level of welfare support available to new recruits, as well as in the way in which we monitor and report incidents. For example, the implementation of the Army’s Suicide Vulnerability Risk Management Policy represents a major stride, since the tragic events at Deepcut, in our drive to reduce the incidence of suicide in the Army. We have also improved the military complaints process and increased supervisory levels in establishments with new recruits.

The Army’s efforts to improve the welfare support available to recruits and trainees are having an effect. According to the results of the 2009 tri-service Recruit Trainee Survey over 90 per cent. of recruits and trainees consider that they are well looked after and fully understand the support that is there should they require it. An Ofsted report in June 2009 found that the support and care provided to recruits and trainees was comprehensive and wide ranging.

Bahrain: Military Bases

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which UK military assets are based in Bahrain. (320969)

[holding answer 5 March 2010]: HMS Grimsby, HMS Pembroke, HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Atherstone are permanently based in Bahrain. Other Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels operating in the region routinely visit Bahrain but are not permanently based there.

As Bahrain is within an operational theatre I am withholding information on other UK military assets which may be present because it would, or would be likely to, prejudice the efficiency, security and capability of the armed forces.

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on office refurbishments in each of the last 10 years. (320505)

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

Departmental Legal Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent in (a) legal fees and (b) compensation on cases involving harassment of its employees in each of the last 10 years. (320264)

[holding answer 4 March 2010]: The information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was paid in reimbursable expenses to special advisers in his Department in each of the last five years. (320479)

Procedures for reimbursing staff expenses are set out in the Ministry of Defence policy manual and are in line with the provisions set out in the Civil Service Management Code. The code can be viewed at the following link:

www.civilservice.gov.uk/iam/codes/csmc/index.asp

As temporary civil servants, special advisers are subject to the same rules.

The following table contains the total amount of reimbursable expenses claimed by MOD special advisers over the last five financial years.

Financial year

Total expenses (£)

2004-05

3,465.12

2005-06

1,104.57

2006-07

0

2007-08

44.00

2008-09

2,992.41

Departmental Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many valid civilian passes granting access to his Department's buildings have been issued to employees of private defence companies; (319940)

(2) to which private defence companies civilian passes been issued since 1 January 2008.

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

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what purposes civilian passes are issued to employees of private defence companies. (319942)

Passes are issued to employees of defence companies in order that they may undertake contract-based activity and/or attend meetings with MOD customers.

Departmental Temporary Employment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence from which companies his Department sourced temporary staff in each of the last three years; how many temporary staff his Department employed in each year; and what the monetary value of the contracts with each such company was in each such year. (320014)

The People Pay and Pensions Agency (PPPA) began providing a service to engage manpower substitutes for the Department in November 2006, which covered clerical and administrative grades only. In 2008, the PPPA expanded its service to cover interim professional grades, before the service was further expanded in 2009 alongside the launch of a service to engage agency workers to fill industrial and security guard posts. For other grades employed by the MOD, individual business units are still making their own arrangements to engage temporary staff in some circumstances. The numbers of temporary workers engaged via the PPPA in the last three years are as follows:

Temporary workers engaged

1 March to 28 February

Number

2007-08

1,471

2008-09

1,457

2009-10

2,499

In the past three years, the PPPA has obtained temporary staff from the agencies listed as follows:

1st Choice Recruitment, AACE Ltd., Abacus Recruitment Ltd., Able Recruitment, Acorn 4 Jobs Ltd., Adecco UK Ltd., Alpha Personnel, Atebion, Atos Origin UK Ltd., Aviation Requirements Ltd., Badenoch & Clark, Barbara Barnes Recruitment, Capita Resourcing, Champion Recruitment, Charterhouse Recruitment, Chiltern Recruitment, Classic Recruitment, Clemtech, Concept Staffing, Cooper Lomaz, COS Recruitment, Elite Personnel Ltd., E-Man Solutions, Energy Footprint Ltd., England Associates, Fresh Approach Solutions, G4S, Hays Int Prof, Hays Specialist Recruitment Ltd., HR Go Recruitment, HRM Recruitment, J M Associates, Jennifer Griffiths Recruitment, JRA Aerospace, Kelly Services, Key Personnel, LA International, Macdonald + Company Freelance Ltd., Manpower UK Ltd., Methods Consulting, Military Medical Personnel, Morganblair, Morson International, Mountain HealthCare Ltd., MPI Aviation, MSB, NB Personnel, Office Angels, OfficeTeam, Paterson Accountancy, Personnel Selection, Pertemps Recruitment Partnership Ltd., Phoenix Strategic Ltd., Point Recruitment, Pro Active Personnel, Qinetiq Ltd., Recruitment Solutions (Folkestone) Ltd., Reed Accountancy, Reed Employment plc, Robert Half International, Royle Recruitment, Sally Hawke, SCOM, SIMS Catering Waitress Hire LLP, Storm Recruitment, Systems Consultants Services, Team Support Services, The Top Agency, The Venn Group, Turner Charles Ltd., Venus Office Staffing Recruitment, Vigilant, Wenbee Ltd., WendyB Employment Consultancy, Work Force.

The monetary value of the contracts with each agency is commercially confidential. I am withholding the information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

Royal Regiment of Scotland: Military Exercises

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of his Department’s planned military training exercises for (a) the 1st Battalion, (b) the 2nd Battalion, (c) the 3rd Battalion, (d) the 4th Battalion and (e) the 5th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland were cancelled before they took place in each of the last five years. (320811)

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

Trident Submarines

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on the maintenance, operation and re-fitting of Trident submarines in each of the last 10 years. (317850)

It is not possible to provide full costs for the maintenance, operation and refitting of the Vanguard class submarines over the whole of the last 10 years as some of the information is not held in the format requested or held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The following table therefore shows the costs that are available in each of the last 10 years.

£ million

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

External Contractor Costs

n/a

n/a

n/a

0.5

4.3

1.1

1.8

5.7

7.1

3.0

Estimated HM Naval Base Clyde Labour Costs

n/a

n/a

n/a

0.9

7.7

2.1

3.4

10.7

10.7

5.5

LOP(R) Planning and Long Lead Materials

0.0

6.8

45.4

23.0

32.6

19.5

18.8

17.4

27.2

13.3

Vanguard Class LOP (R)

0.0

0.0

0.0

91.0

60.3

75.2

76.6

96.8

60.3

64.4

Alterations and Additions

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

3.9

Maintenance and refit total

0.0

6.8

45.4

115.3

104.9

97.9

100.7

130.6

105.2

90.8

Vanguard Class Operational Manpower

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

44.2

44.3

46.3

Vanguard Class Stock

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

5.9

6.9

8.1

Other costs across Vanguard Class

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

1.0

1.2

1.6

Operation total

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

51.1

52.3

56.0

n/a = Not available

The columns may not add to the total given due to rounding. All years apart from 2008-09 have some data that are not available, so the totals provided are incomplete for those years.

The Refit and Maintenance costs take account of the costs of delivering the ongoing Vanguard Class Long Overhaul Period (Refuel) (LOP (R)) programme, the costs of LOP(R) planning, and the procurement of long lead materials. The Refit and Maintenance costs do not include the D154 contract for the Submarine Refitting Facilities Upgrade at Devonport.

For 2002-03 onwards, the costs for Refit and Maintenance include external contractor costs, known as Contracted Out Operational Support (COOPS) under the Warship Support Modernisation Initiative (WSMI), where these can be attributed to the Vanguard Class. The COOPS costs relate to the provision of specialist subcontractor support for propulsion systems, masts and sensors, and weapons systems. It is not possible to provide equivalent costs prior to 2002 as these are not held in the format requested. The COOPS figure for 2002-03 only covers the six months for which data are available.

The figures given for the labour costs at Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde are estimated because, under WSMI, these costs are collected for HMNB Clyde as a whole, and are not attributed to specific classes of ships or submarines. The figures quoted are derived from the total WSMI costs using a standard methodology. Costs are not available prior to 2002 because the contract for WSMI did not commence until September 2002, and information prior to this is not held in the format requested.

Alterations and Additions costs have been supplied only for 2008-09, which is the only year for which figures are available.

Nuclear propulsion costs are not held in the format requested because they cannot be broken down by submarine class. These costs would include the supply of spares and maintenance of Nuclear Steam Raising Plant components, the costs of Technical Authority support for maintenance of the design intent and safety case, the independent nuclear safety advice for the plant, and the provision of new reactor cores at refits. They would also cover the provision of cores, spares and other materiel maintenance by the equipment suppliers.

Operating costs prior to 2006-07 are not held centrally. The operating costs include manpower, stock (such as tools and hardware) and other costs such as travel and subsistence, and accommodation stores.

Trident: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his most recent estimate is of the level of (a) actual and (b) projected expenditure on the (A) nuclear deterrent programme, including the Atomic Weapons Establishment and the future submarine programme, (B) Atomic Weapons Establishment and (C) future submarine programme in the period covered by the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review. (318783)

Unidentified Flying Objects

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons his Department plans a retention period of one month for reports of unidentified flying objects. (320982)

The long-term retention of UFO sighting reports delivers no benefit to defence and diverts resources from higher priority tasks. UFO sighting reports passed to the MOD are retained for 30 days to allow correspondents to request the return of their reports should they wish to do so and are then destroyed.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Elections

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the presidential decree regarding the Electoral Complaints Commission in Afghanistan on the likelihood of free and fair parliamentary elections in that country in 2010; and if he will make a statement. (319784)

The Electoral Complaints Commission is a key oversight body and the individuals appointed to its panel will be subject to close scrutiny and will need to be of the highest quality and integrity. As agreed at the London Conference, the Afghan Government will work closely with the UN to learn lessons from the 2009 elections and to deliver improvements to the electoral process in 2010 and beyond. We will continue, alongside international partners, to support Afghan and UN efforts.

British Nationals Abroad: Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the number of British citizens imprisoned in overseas jurisdictions; and what support and assistance his Department provides to such people. (318152)

On 30 September 2009 we were aware of 2,582 British nationals detained overseas. This figure is calculated every six months. In April we will have the figure for 31 March 2010. The support we can offer is set out in the publication "Support for British Nationals Abroad: A Guide". This includes making contact with the detainee, visiting if they want us to, making contact with their family, again if they want us to, offering basic information about the local legal and prison systems and a list of local interpreters and lawyers. If appropriate, we will consider approaching the local authorities if a detainee is not treated in line with internationally-accepted standards, including if they are mistreated. Within certain limits, we can forward funds to the detainee. We can also help them contact non-governmental organisations who offer support, such as Prisoners Abroad and, where appropriate, Fair Trials International or Reprieve.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Armed Conflict

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to (a) encourage the ending of links between the Rwandan authorities and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda and (b) seek to ensure that the sanctions imposed by the United Nations in respect of the Democratic Republic of Congo are maintained. (320592)

The Rwandan authorities are not linked to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). The FDLR is an illegal militia group mainly comprising ex-genocidaires from the previous Rwandan regime. We welcome the rapprochement between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and the co-operation between the two countries in tackling the FDLR.

We take our obligations under sanctions very seriously and will not hesitate to support sanctions against any person or company against whom there is sufficient evidence.

Departmental Languages

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants in his Department received coaching in a foreign language in the last 12 months; what expenditure his Department incurred in providing such coaching; and in what languages such coaching was provided. (320418)

One Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Minister, Lord Mervyn Davies, undertook language training in the past 12 months at a cost of £212.80.

370 FCO civil servants have received language training in the following 52 languages (in no particular order):

French

Danish

Spanish

Vietnamese

Portuguese

Russian

Mandarin

Japanese

Nepali

Norwegian

Polish

Dutch

Turkish

Arabic

Dari

Spanish LA

Malay

Italian

Macedonian

Cantonese

German

Farsi

Pashto

Albanian

Uzbek

Somali

Urdu

Bulgarian

Bengali

Swedish

Montenegrin

Portuguese (Brazilian)

Hebrew

Georgian

Greek

Amharic

Bosnian

Ukrainian

Romanian

Korean

Hindi

Indonesian

Cantonese

Mongolian

Serbian

Czech

Sorani Kurdish

Persian

Thai

Slovene

Latvian

Tagalog.

The total spend by the FCO's Language Policy and Standards Team from 1 March 2009 to date is £2,591,016. (This figure includes administration, travel and examination expenses.)

Government Hospitality: Wines

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 9 February 2010, Official Report, column 835W, on Government hospitality: wines, from what wine merchants and producers his Department purchased wine in (a) 2007 and (b) 2008. (320066)

During 2007 Government Hospitality purchased wines from the following suppliers:

Corney and Barrow Ltd

Justerini and Brooks Ltd

Jereboams

Berry Bros and Rudd Ltd

Averys of Bristol

Lea and Sandeman Ltd

Mentzendorff Ltd

John Armit Wines

Waitrose

O W Loeb

Bibendum Wines Ltd

Pol Roger Ltd

Maisons, Marques et Domaines Ltd

Hatch Mansfield Wines Ltd

Denbies

Three Choirs Vineyards

English Wines Group

Ridgeview Estate

Breaky Bottom Vineyards

Nyetimber Ltd

During 2008 Government Hospitality purchased wines from the following suppliers:

English Wines Group

Denbies

Averys of Bristol

Berry Bros and Rudd Ltd

Pol Roger Ltd

Waitrose

Maisons, Marques et Domaines Ltd

Corney and Barrow Ltd

Haynes Hanson and Clark Ltd

O W Loeb

Hatch Mansfield Wines Ltd

Lea and Sandeman Ltd

Justerini and Brooks Ltd

Jereboams.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the minutes of each of the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee for the Purchase of Wine's meetings in the last 12 months. (320092)

Copies of the minutes of the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee for the Purchase of Wine (edited to protect commercial confidentiality) are available through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Freedom of Information web pages. The Committee's annual report is already in the Library of the House. I will place copies of the minutes from 2009 in the Library of the House.

Greece: Death

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance (a) the British Consulate in Corfu and (b) officials in his Department provided to the next of kin of Stephen Oliver; and if he will make a statement. (320245)

Consular staff both in Corfu and London provided consular assistance to Stephen Oliver's family throughout this tragic case. We advised Mr. Oliver's family of the practical procedures for dealing with a death of a British national in Corfu. As consular staff took immediate action to follow up concerns raised by the family about the behaviour of the local undertaker. We have since removed him from the embassy's list of approved undertakers in Greece. Consular staff are unable to accept personal belongings of British nationals. We tried on several occasions to make contact with Mr. Oliver's friends and the local undertaker in order to arrange for his personal belongings to be returned to the UK. Consular staff further assisted by arranging (for Mrs. Oliver during her visit to Corfu) meetings with the coroner's office and the local undertaker.

Iran: Human Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the imprisonment of Behzad Nabavi; and what his most recent assessment is of levels of political and civil freedom in Iran. (321163)

Former Member of Parliament and Minister, Behzad Nabavi, was one of several notable figures arrested on 16 June 2009 following the disputed presidential elections in Iran. The EU raised concerns about these detentions on 3 August with the Iranian authorities in Tehran, and again in a declaration on 23 October. On 9 February Nabavi was sentenced to five years imprisonment for his role in the post election unrest. The Iranian authorities continue to suppress legitimate protest, restrict civil and political liberties and use the threat of violence, and even execution, to silence dissent. Despite this, many brave Iranians continue to demand their fundamental rights. We urge the Iranian authorities to heed their citizens’ calls, and to release all individuals detained for political offences.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the number of opposition figures (a) imprisoned and (b) executed in Iran since the most recent presidential election. (321165)

While there are no official figures available on the numbers of opposition figures imprisoned since the June 2009 election, international estimates broadly agree that around 3,000 individuals have been arrested. Many have subsequently been released; however, others remain in detention or have stood trial. We are concerned that the whereabouts of many more remain unknown.

We cannot confirm that any opposition figures have been executed for involvement in the post-election unrest; however, we are concerned that a number of individuals have been sentenced to death in televised show-trials which fell far short of international standards guaranteeing the right to a fair trial. On 28 January Iran executed Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad Reza Ali-Zamani; both were sentenced to death for “enmity against God” following prosecution at show-trials.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he plans to take to seek to ensure that Iran complies with international human rights conventions and laws. (321166)

It is clear that the people of Iran are leading the charge for human rights and democracy. However, they need to know that their calls for basic rights and freedoms are supported by the international community. The Iranian Government have a duty to ensure that their actions live up to the human rights standards to which they have committed. The United Kingdom was one of many UN member states to draw attention to the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva on 15 February. The HRC is currently in session in Geneva, and we are seeking every opportunity to draw attention to the situation in Iran, both nationally and as the EU. My noble Friend Baroness Kinnock raised our concerns when addressing the Council on 2 March and we did so again in our response to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 4 March.

We raised concerns with the Iranian authorities on at least 70 occasions last year, either bilaterally or through the EU and UN. We will continue to work hard alongside partners, international non-governmental organisations and civil society to ensure that the Iranian regime is held to account over its appalling human rights record.

Iran: Nuclear Power

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's latest assessment is of Iran’s nuclear capabilities. (321164)

The latest Iran report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General highlights that Iran has increased its stockpile of low enriched uranium to 2,065 kg in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions; is starting to enrich to higher levels when there is no civilian purpose and has announced plans for 10 new enrichment plants. Iran’s refusal to answer questions about possible military dimensions to its programme leads the IAEA to express concern about development of a nuclear payload.

Israel: EU External Trade

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his European counterparts on the provision of EU concessions to the State of Israel following the European Court of Justice ruling that Israeli goods made in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank cannot be considered Israeli; and if he will make a statement. (320609)

[holding answer 4 March 2010]: The European Court of Justice's recent ruling in the case of C-386/08 (Brita-Gmbh) concerned the procedures which a EU member state's customs authority should follow in a case where imported goods are shown as being of Israeli origin, and preferential customs tariff treatment is claimed under the EC-Israel Association Agreement, but where there is reason to suppose that the goods in question did in fact originate in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs).

This ruling has no effect on the Government's policies, since the Court's ruling confirms the correctness of the policy already in place, and I have had no discussions. There are no inconsistencies between the Court's ruling and the technical advice concerning the labelling of produce grown in the OPTs that was issued by DEFRA on 10 December 2009.

Nuclear Weapons: Proliferation

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what negotiating position his Department has adopted for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May 2010; and what objectives he has set for the outcomes of that conference. (320522)

The United Kingdom is committed to working intensively with a wide range of international partners to establish consensus for strengthening the non-proliferation and disarmament regime.

We want the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference to produce a mandate or action plan, which is balanced across the three mutually-reinforcing NPT pillars of non-proliferation, disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Spain: EC Presidency

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had in the General Affairs Council on the agenda of the Spanish Presidency of the European Union. (320290)

I attended the General Affairs Council on 25 January 2010 where Spain's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation presented the programme for the Spanish Presidency. We welcomed the Spanish Presidency's choice of priorities, in particular the focus on economic recovery with a low carbon, social agenda at its core.

A more comprehensive overview was given in our Command Paper 7778 "Prospects for the European Union: The Spanish Presidency", laid before the House on 29 January 2010.

Wales

Referendums

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which (a) individuals and (b) organisations will be consulted on the request made by the National Assembly for Wales for a referendum to be held under the provisions of the Government of Wales Act 2006. (321167)

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales by what date he is required to give a response to the request for a referendum from the National Assembly for Wales. (321168)

Welsh Language

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues and the Welsh Assembly Government on the use of the Welsh language in Welsh politics; and if he will make a statement. (320840)

I discuss a range of issues with ministerial colleagues in Whitehall and with the First Minister including those relating to the Welsh language and the passage of the Welsh Language LCO. I also met the Welsh Language Group Mudiadau Dathlu'r Gymraeg last month.

Culture, Media and Sport

Camelot

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what discussions his Department has had with (a) the National Lottery Commission and (b) Camelot on Camelot's application to operate certain commercial services in addition to the National Lottery; and if he will make a statement; (320293)

(2) what steps his Department is taking to ensure the National Lottery Commission consults stakeholders and other interested parties on the implications for its core National Lottery business and brand of Camelot's application to operate certain commercial services; and if he will make a statement.

My officials and I have regular meetings with both the National Lottery Commission and Camelot about the full range of National Lottery regulation issues, and the possibility of Camelot providing commercial services which are ancillary to the operation of the National Lottery has been discussed in that context.

The approval of the National Lottery Commission is required before the National Lottery operator can undertake any ancillary activity and the commission is currently considering a proposal from Camelot to offer commercial services using National Lottery terminals. The commission will consider the proposal in light of its statutory duties and therefore will take into account issues such as the implications for the core National Lottery business and brand.

The commission is currently consulting on the EU/competition law considerations which may arise from the proposal, as these are issues in which those already offering such services have a direct interest. The commission considers that it will have sufficient information to exercise its discretion properly, without consulting on the implications for the core National Lottery business and brand.

Departmental Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the total carbon dioxide emissions from his Department’s buildings in each year since 2005. (319806)

The estimate of carbon dioxide emissions from offices is as follows:

Tonnes of carbon dioxide

2006-07

4,615

2007-08

2,251

2008-09

1,760

Information prior to 2006 is not available.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what information technology projects initiated by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies were cancelled prior to completion in the last 12 months; and what the cost of each such project was to the public purse. (320429)

No information technology projects have been cancelled prior to completion by my Department or its agency in the last 12 months.

Departmental Marketing

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip Northwood of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 103W, on departmental marketing, how much his Department and agencies have spent on advertising, marketing, public relations and publicity in relation to the (a) Real Help Now and (b) Building Britain’s Future themed campaign to date. (320461)

Both Real Help Now and Building Britain’s Future are cross-government campaigns.

This Department spent £300 on a flyer for the Future Jobs Fund, as part of the Real Jobs Now campaign. We have not spent anything directly on Building Britain’s Future.

Departmental Offices

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on office refurbishments in each of the last 10 years. (320468)

The Department has spent the following on office refurbishments in each of the last 10 years.

£

1999-2000

243,000

2000-01

0

2001-02

0

2002-03

0

2003-04

0

2004-05

0

2005-06

0

2006-07

8,700,000

2007-08

0

2008-09

40,625

Departmental Plants

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies has spent on pot plants in 2009-10. (319229)

The Department has spent £11,018 to date on pot plants in the financial year 2009-10.

The Royal Parks has spent £545 to date on pot plants in the financial year 2009-10.

National Lottery: Sports

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much National Lottery funding was spent on grass roots sports (a) in Poole and (b) nationally in each year from 1997 to 2009, expressed in real terms. (320485)

National Lottery funding for grass roots sports is delivered by two bodies, Sport England and the Big Lottery Fund (BIG).

(a) Lottery funding to Poole channelled through Sport England from 1997 to 2009 is as follows:

Financial year

Sport England lottery funding Poole (£)

1997-98

9,735

1999-2000

429,000

2000-01

225,938

2002-03

497,716

2004-05

60,000

2005-06

60,000

2006-07

277,074

2007-08

188,000

2008-09

814,801

2009-101

15,850

Total

2,578,114

1 To 31 December 2009

(b) Total Lottery funding channelled through Sport England nationally from 1997 to 2009 is as follows:

Financial year

Sport England lottery funding nationally (£)

1997-98

189,236,874

1998-99

320,737,864

1999-2000

145,594,539

2000-01

326,520,739

2001-02

470,613,280

2002-03

239,418,750

2003-04

160,389,252

2004-05

188,274,936

2005-06

157,199,588

2006-07

126,031,063

2007-08

106,495,643

2008-09

103,483,937

2009-10

252,700,764

Total

2,786,697,229

(a) The BIG Lottery Fund's actual expenditure (rather than awards made) comprises £830,604, distributed to a total of nine community sports projects where the beneficiaries are located in the Poole constituency.

Financial year

BIG amount distributed Poole (£)

2002-03

15,965

2003-04

423,033

2004-05

391,611

Total

830,609

(b) Total Lottery funding channelled through BIG and its predecessor bodies to England from 1997 to 2009, as actual expenditure (rather than awards made) on sports related projects, is as follows:

Financial year

BIG amount distributed England (£)

2001-02

11,400

2002-03

4,500,970

2003-04

23,957,471

2004-05

60,862,060

2005-06

197,754,894

2006-07

175,423,208

2007-08

100,153,903

2008-09

88,631,818

Total

651,295,724

Children, Schools and Families

Discipline

15. To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department is taking to help teachers maintain discipline in schools. (320690)

This Government have given teachers a range of powers to tackle poor behaviour including, for the first time, a clear statutory power to discipline pupils. We have also provided support, guidance and consultancy to schools on behaviour improvement. Our behaviour challenge launched last September, sets out a series of actions to drive behaviour standards higher—enabling all schools to be not simply satisfactory in their behaviour standards but good or outstanding.

Free School Meals

17. To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent assessment he has made of the level of educational attainment of pupils eligible to receive free school meals; and if he will make a statement. (320692)

Long-term trends show that the achievement of pupils eligible for free school meals is rising, and that gaps in attainment between those pupils and their more affluent peers are narrowing. To give just one example, between 2002 and 2009, the percentage of free school meals pupils achieving the equivalent of five or more good GCSEs rose by 25.9 percentage points (from 23 per cent. to 48.9 per cent.), in comparison with a 19.1 percentage point rise for non-free school meals pupils.

UK Council for Child Internet Safety

19. To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what progress has been made in establishing the UK Council for Child Internet Safety; and if he will make a statement. (320694)

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety was established on 29 September 2008 and now has over 160 members from Government, law enforcement, the third sector and industry.

In December last year, UKCCIS launched its first child internet safety strategy ‘Click Clever, Click Safe’. We believe this is the first such strategy of its kind anywhere in the world and represents a real step forward in the development of work to keep children safe online.

Secondary Schools: Halton

20. To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent assessment he has made of the performance of secondary schools in Halton and the north-west. (320695)

Between 1998 and 2008 the percentage of pupils in Halton achieving five good GCSEs, including English and maths, increased from 24.7 per cent. to 49.2 per cent. making it the sixth most improved local authority nationally over that period. Over the same period the results for the north-west region, on the same measure, improved from 32.9 per cent. to 47.4 per cent. The authority’s results dipped in 2009 and we are working closely with them through the National Challenge programme to provide additional support to those schools that need it.

Academies

21. To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his latest assessment is of progress on the academies programme; and if he will make a statement. (320696)

There are now 203 academies open in 83 local authorities with up to a further 100 opening in 2010. Evidence from independent reports by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ofsted and the National Audit Office show academies are working. For academies with results in 2008 and 2009 the increase in the proportion of pupils achieving at least five A*-C GCSEs including English and maths is 5.0 percentage points, an increase on last year’s academy improvement rate of 4.3 percentage points and double the average national increase.

Building Schools for the Future

22. To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what progress has been made on the Building Schools for the Future programme in Stoke-on-Trent. (320697)

Stoke-on-Trent is in wave 1 of the Building Schools for the Future programme.

The framework contract for construction agents is in place and OBC approval is imminent. The authority expects work to start on the first school in September 2010.

Funding levels for all schools and academies, together with feasibility designs have been approved.

Catch-up Support

23. To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has for the future provision of catch-up support for children in literacy and numeracy. (320698)

The Government's commitment to the future provision of catch-up support in literacy and numeracy is encapsulated in the Pupil Guarantees, which set out entitlements to support for children who are not making good progress in mathematics or English at key stages 1, 2 and 3. The guarantees are underpinned by programmes including Every Child a Reader, Every Child a Writer and Every Child Counts, in addition to the one-to-one tuition programme and secondary programmes such as Literacy Plus and Study Plus.

Bullying

24. To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent estimate he has made of the number of children subject to bullying in schools; and if he will make a statement. (320699)

The annual TellUs survey provides information on this. According to TellUs 4 (2009), 46 per cent. say they have been bullied in school, of these 53 per cent. were bullied in the last year. There was a 24 percentage point improvement on the number of young people who felt their school dealt effectively with bullying.

Overall, 28.8 per cent. of young people surveyed said they had been bullied at some time during the last year, either in or out of school.

NEETs

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has to reduce the number of young people not in education, employment or training. (320691)

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he plans to take to reduce the number of young people not in education, employment or training; and if he will make a statement. (320693)

We published “Investing in Potential” in December 2009 setting out the decisive steps we are taking to reduce the proportion of young people who are not in education, employment or training. Through our September and January Guarantees, we are offering 16 and 17-year-olds a place in learning. The Young Person’s Guarantee will ensure that 18 to 24-year-olds still unemployed after six months will be guaranteed access to a job, training or work experience.

Education: Charities

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether any additional changes to arrangements for registration of educational charities have been agreed with the Charity Commission since the publication of the protocol on academies in 2009. (319670)

There have been no changes on the registration of educational charities since the publication of the protocol on academies in 2009. Officials are in discussions with the Charity Commission on the ways in which academy trusts can be better supported through the process of registration as charities. The Secretary of State has agreed in principle to become the principal regulator for voluntary and foundation schools, subject to agreement on the details of the associated responsibilities.

GCSE: Poole

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils resident in the Poole unitary authority area sat a GCSE in (a) history, (b) physics, (c) chemistry and (d) biology in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2009. (320386)

Information about whether a pupil has entered GCSEs in history, physics, chemistry and biology has only been available on the National Pupil Database since the 2003/04 academic year.

Students1, 2 resident3 in Poole unitary authority entered for GCSEs in (a) history, (b) physics, (c) chemistry and (d) biology in 2003/04 and 2008/09

Poole unitary authority

2003/04

2008/09

Number of students1, 2 entered for

History GCSE

464

481

Physics GCSE

224

328

Chemistry GCSE

221

328

Biology GCSE

223

336

1 Data for 2003/04 are based on pupils aged 15 on 31 August 2003 and data for 2008/09 are based on pupils at the end of key stage 4.

2 Students attending maintained schools only, including city technology colleges and academies

3 Based on students with a valid postcode in that academic year.

Source:

National Pupil Database (2003/04 final data, 2008/09 amended data).

National Curriculum Tests

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of children achieved at least level 2 in each subject at Key Stage 1 in each year since the introduction of such assessments. (317744)

[holding answer 22 February 2010]: The information requested is in the following tables.

Reading: Key Stage 1: Task/test and teacher assessment results, percentage of students who achieved at or at or above the given level

Level 2

Level 2B3

Level 3

1995

78

33

1996

78

30

1997

80

26

1998

80

62

26

1999

82

66

29

2000

83

68

28

2001

84

69

29

2002

84

69

30

2003

84

69

28

20042

85

71

29

2005

85

72

27

2006

84

71

26

2007

84

71

26

2008

84

71

25

20094

84

72

26

Reading: Key Stage 1: Task/test and teacher assessment results, number of students who achieved at or at or above the given level

Level 2

Level 2B3

Level 3

1995

466,500

199,600

1996

464,600

176,600

1997

489,500

160,300

1998

500,800

389,000

163,600

1999

513,000

412,000

184,300

2000

504,600

409,200

168,900

2001

505,700

413,600

174,400

2002

495,700

405,000

177,200

2003

487,900

401,300

162,200

20042

499,100

415,700

168,000

2005

484,800

411,500

153,500

2006

474,500

400,600

143,900

2007

458,300

388,900

141,300

2008

450,600

382,800

135,900

20094

449,900

383,400

138,200

Writing: Key Stage 1: Task/test and teacher assessment results, percentage of students who achieved at or at or above the given level

Level 2

Level 2B3

Level 3

1995

80

15

19961

79

6

1997

80

6

1998

81

48

7

1999

83

53

8

2000

84

57

9

2001

86

59

9

2002

86

60

9

2003

81

62

16

20042

82

62

16

2005

82

62

15

2006

81

60

14

2007

80

59

13

2008

80

58

12

20094

81

60

12

Writing: Key Stage 1: Task/test and teacher assessment results, numberof students who achieved at or at or above the given level

Level 2

Level 2B3

Level 3

1995

477,300

88,200

19961

474,600

36,700

1997

490,200

36,900

1998

507,800

304,000

45,200

1999

519,600

335,400

51,000

2000

511,000

341,900

53,400

2001

515,800

353,100

57,100

2002

506,100

351,200

55,800

2003

471,000

358,700

93,400

20042

480,900

362,900

93,500

2005

469,200

351,100

85,800

2006

457,300

339,100

78,300

2007

439,300

321,500

69,000

2008

429,800

314,000

65,300

20094

431,100

318,100

65,900

Mathematics: Key Stage 1: Task/test and teacher assessment results, percentageof students who achieved at or at or above the given level

Level 2

Level 2B3

Level 3

1995

79

19

1996

82

19

1997

84

20

1998

84

61

19

1999

87

64

21

2000

90

73

25

2001

91

75

28

2002

90

76

31

2003

90

73

29

20042

90

75

28

2005

91

74

23

2006

90

73

21

2007

90

74

22

2008

90

74

21

20094

89

74

21

Mathematics: Key Stage 1: Task/test and teacher assessment results, number of students who achieved at or at or above the given level

Level 2

Level 2B3

Level 3

1995

470,700

116,200

1996

491,500

114,300

1997

512,700

124,400

1998

529,000

382,500

118,400

1999

544,000

399,000

134,000

2000

542,900

440,800

153,000

2001

546,100

454,300

166,700

2002

531,900

445,100

184,200

2003

523,300

426,000

169,400

20042

531,500

443,600

165,700

2005

518,000

421,900

130,400

2006

507,300

410,600

120,400

2007

491,800

404,200

120,500

2008

481,500

395,600

114,400

20094

476,900

392,400

112,700

Sciences: Key Stage 1: Task/test and teacher assessment results, percentage of students who achieved at or at or above the given level

Level 2

Level 2B3

Level 3

2005

90

25

2006

89

24

2007

89

23

2008

89

22

20094

89

22

Science: Key Stage 1: Task/test and teacher assessment results, number of students who achieved at or at or above the given level

Level 2

Level 2B3

Level 3

2005

510,500

142,400

2006

501,400

133,000

2007

486,100

125,200

2008

476,300

118,800

20094

473,800

116,700

1 The assessment of writing changed in 1996 and is not comparable to earlier years

2 Figures prior to 2004 are based on task/test assessments.

Figures for 2004 are based on a combination of task/test assessment in non-pilot schools and new post-2004 teacher assessment arrangements in pilot schools.

Figures for 2005 onward are based on post-2004 teacher assessment arrangements. There were no test/task reporting arrangements for science, therefore data prior to 2005 are not available.

Figures from 2004 onwards are not directly comparable with those prior to 2004, and care is needed in interpreting trends in the data.

3 Prior to 1998 data on sub-levels are not available.

Science data are not reported at sub-level therefore figures for 2B are not available.

4 All figures are based on final data, with the exception of 2009 which is based on provisional data.

Notes:

Numbers are rounded to nearest 100.

Percentages are rounded to nearest percentage point.

Pearson Group

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what discussions on what topics he has had with senior personnel at Pearson in the last 12 months. (320227)

The Secretary of State and other Ministers have had a number of meetings with senior personnel from Pearson, including its subsidiary Edexcel, over the last 12 months. These meetings covered a range of topics including the establishment of Ofqual, Diplomas and other 14 to 19 qualifications issues.

Personal Social and Health Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what plans he has to provide specialist teacher training to (a) teachers and (b) trainee teachers to deliver sex and relationships education within the personal, health, social and economic curriculum; (312702)

(2) how many teachers he expects to be trained to teach sex and relationships education under the personal, social, health and economic education provisions proposed in the Children, Schools and Families Bill.

The majority of schools have been teaching personal, social, health and economic education (PSHEE)—which includes sex and relationships education (SRE)—as a non-statutory subject for many years, through a mix of specialist PSHEE teachers, as well as form tutors.

In general, budgets for teachers' continuing professional development (CPD) are devolved to individual schools and no central records are kept on how much of this money is spent on CPD for individual subjects. However, in recognition of the sensitive and varied topics covered in PSHEE, additional central funding for a national CPD programme has been available to schools for a number of years. This has resulted in around 8,000 teachers having been trained and a further 1,800 are currently in training this year.

When PSHEE becomes compulsory in the national curriculum from September 2011, we would expect most of the teaching to continue to come from existing teachers who will receive supplementary training, either through the national programme identified above, or from locally sourced training paid for from schools' local budgets.

However, in recognition that PSHEE will be compulsory from September 2011, we are working with the Training and Development Agency for schools (TDA), to develop a route through initial teacher training (ITT) to become a specialist PSHEE teacher. From September 2010, we anticipate that 200 trainee teachers a year will be trained to deliver PSHEE as an enhancement to their main subject area.

To enhance PSHEE coverage in all ITT, we are changing the guidance so that providers of ITT will need to ensure that all of their trainees are familiar with the National Curriculum guidance on PSHEE that is relevant to the age ranges they will teach.

Pupils: Per Capita Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much has been spent per pupil (a) in each local authority area in the East Midlands and (b) on average in England since 1997. (318766)

[holding answer 25 February 2010]: The available information on how much has been spent per pupil in East Midlands and in England since 1997 is shown in the following table.

School based expenditure per pupil in East Midlands Government office region from 1997-98 to 2007-08

England

Derbyshire

Derby

Leicestershire

Leicester City

Rutland

1997-98

Pre-Primary and Primary Education

1,740

1,580

1,670

1,660

1,740

1,890

Secondary Education

2,360

2,300

2,550

2,290

2,320

0

Special Schools

9,830

10,290

8,890

12,760

9,680

0

Total (including Pre-Primary)

2,080

1,900

2,000

1,990

2,080

1,900

1998-99

Pre-Primary and Primary Education

1,870

1,730

1,850

1,810

1,910

2,130

Secondary Education

2,450

2,370

2,680

2,400

2,540

0

Special Schools

10,110

10,450

8,980

13,270

10,570

0

Total (including Pre-Primary)

2,190

2,020

2,160

2,130

2,280

2,120

1999-2000

Primary Education

2,010

1,820

1,940

1,930

2,130

2,160

Pre-Primary and Primary Education

2,050

1,840

1,990

2,000

2,150

2,190

Secondary Education

2,610

2,430

2,690

2,500

2,920

2,680

Special Schools

10,900

11,760

9,430

11,490

9,120

11,960

Total (including Pre-Primary)

2,390

2,150

2,340

2,280

2,560

2,450

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

2,370

2,140

2,320

2,240

2,550

2,430

2000-01

Primary Education

2,210

2,020

2,170

2,080

2,390

2,260

Pre-Primary and Primary Education

2,280

2,040

2,330

2,160

2,460

2,320

Secondary Education

2,830

2,590

2,910

2,720

3,230

2,920

Special Schools

11,860

12,460

10,170

11,550

12,340

14,890

Total (including Pre-Primary)

2,620

2,340

2,650

2,460

2,920

2,650

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

2,590

2,330

2,550

2,420

2,870

2,620

2001-02

Primary Education

2,480

2,250

2,610

2,260

2,640

2,570

Pre-Primary and Primary Education

2,570

2,290

2,840

2,420

2,730

2,680

Secondary Education

3,150

2,870

3,310

2,970

3,560

3,130

Special Schools

13,030

13,210

11,540

12,140

16,810

16,820

Total (including Pre-Primary)

2,940

2,610

3,120

2,730

3,280

2,950

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

2,900

2,590

2,990

2,640

3,220

2,890

2002-03

Primary Education

2,530

2,350

2,430

2,190

2,520

2,540

Secondary Education

3,230

3,000

3,180

2,930

3,380

3,100

Special Schools

12,820

13,360

11,340

12,640

15,870

18,840

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

2,950

2,700

2,840

2,600

3,070

2,870

2003-04

Primary Education

2,750

2,480

2,730

2,420

2,760

2,840

Secondary Education

3,550

3,270

3,520

3,270

3,680

3,500

Special Schools

14,050

14,050

12,990

13,950

14,760

21,700

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

3,230

2,910

3,140

2,890

3,320

3,230

2004-05

Primary Education

2,910

2,630

2,940

2,580

2,990

2,950

Secondary Education

3,800

3,480

3,810

3,440

3,960

3,650

Special Schools

15,110

14,830

15,310

15,620

15,280

25,140

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

3,450

3,100

3,460

3,070

3,570

3,370

2005-06

Primary Education

3,150

2,900

3,190

2,860

3,210

3,130

Secondary Education

4,070

3,750

4,030

3,630

4,260

3,850

Special Schools

16,430

17,420

17,550

16,390

16,220

25,570

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

3,720

3,380

3,710

3,320

3,830

3,570

2006-07

Primary Education

3,360

3,150

3,420

3,010

3,410

3,370

Secondary Education

4,320

4,030

4,270

3,890

4,600

4,120

Special Schools

17,480

18,930

18,840

17,460

18,160

29,960

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

3,950

3,660

3,930

3,540

4,110

3,840

2007-08

Primary Education

3,580

3,340

3,590

3,220

3,820

3,530

Secondary Education

4,620

4,320

4,590

4,140

4,920

4,370

Special Schools

18,650

20,900

22,700

18,370

20,270

34,230

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

4,210

3,900

4,200

3,780

4,500

4,040

2008-09

Primary Education

3,780

3,450

3,810

3,430

3,750

3,600

Secondary Education

4,890

4,580

4,690

4,460

5,160

4,390

Special Schools

19,790

20,750

25,650

17,840

18,910

47,110

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

4,460

4,080

4,410

4,040

4,550

4,080

Pre LGR Nottinghamshire

Nottinghamshire

City of Nottingham

Lincolnshire

Northamptonshire

1997-98

Pre-Primary and Primary Education

1,720

1,680

1,580

Secondary Education

2,380

2,510

2,250

Special Schools

13,290

9,230

8,140

Total (including Pre-Primary)

2,070

2,070

1,930

1998-99

Pre-Primary and Primary Education

1,810

1,950

1,740

1,720

Secondary Education

2,390

2,580

2,500

2,360

Special Schools

13,530

12,330

9,500

8,310

Total (including Pre-Primary)

2,130

2,250

2,110

2,060

1999-2000

Primary Education

2,010

2,090

1,870

1,910

Pre-Primary and Primary Education

2,030

2,120

1,870

1,930

Secondary Education

2,540

2,760

2,540

2,540

Special Schools

13,520

13,890

10,320

9,940

Total (including Pre-Primary)

2,330

2,460

2,250

2,290

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

2,320

2,440

2,250

2,280

2000-01

Primary Education

2,220

2,260

1,990

2,160

Pre-Primary & Primary Education

2,240

2,310

2,000

2,180

Secondary Education

2,710

3,040

2,690

2,790

Special Schools

13,340

13,600

10,970

10,910

Total (including Pre-Primary)

2,520

2,680

2,400

2,560

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

2,510

2,650

2,400

2,540

2001-02

Primary Education

2,410

2,800

2,070

2,340

Pre-Primary & Primary Education

2,430

2,860

2,090

2,390

Secondary Education

2,970

3,640

2,850

2,940

Special Schools

14,420

15,900

11,930

10,990

Total (including Pre-Primary)

2,750

3,260

2,540

2,740

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

2,740

3,230

2,530

2,710

2002-03

Primary Education

2,500

2,930

2,260

2,280

Secondary Education

3,030

3,720

3,070

2,900

Special Schools

13,770

16,300

12,260

10,730

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

2,810

3,350

2,740

2,660

2003-04

Primary Education

2,740

3,260

2,450

2,600

Secondary Education

3,340

4,180

3,380

3,370

Special Schools

16,040

16,500

13,510

12,730

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

3,100

3,720

3,000

3,040

2004-05

Primary Education

2,900

3,410

2,600

2,720

Secondary Education

3,590

4,430

3,620

3,700

Special Schools

17,180

17,550

14,150

13,620

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

3,320

3,940

3,220

3,270

2005-06

Primary Education

3,150

3,720

2,820

2,880

Secondary Education

3,890

4,710

3,870

3,840

Special Schools

18,450

18,050

15,380

15,000

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

3,600

4,250

3,480

3,430

2006-07

Primary Education

3,240

3,910

3,050

3,020

Secondary Education

4,080

4,890

4,140

4,110

Special Schools

19,690

19,250

16,560

15,680

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

3,740

4,430

3,750

3,630

2007-08

Primary Education

3,430

4,030

3,280

3,230

Secondary Education

4,400

5,270

4,420

4,400

Special Schools

20,940

20,980

17,530

17,160

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

4,000

4,660

4,020

3,890

2008-09

Primary Education

3,690

4,230

3,430

3,320

Secondary Education

4,710

5,700

4,720

4,520

Special Schools

22,760

21,520

18,380

17,740

Total (excluding Pre-primary)

4,290

4,940

4,250

4,000

Notes:

1. The financial information used in the answer to this PQ is taken from the Department’s s52 data collection.

2. 1999-2000 saw a change in data source when the data collection moved from the RO1 form collected by CLG to the Section 52 form from the DCSF. 2002-03 saw a further break in the time series following the introduction of Consistent Financial Reporting (CFR) and the associated restructuring of the outturn tables. The change in sources is shown by the blank rows.

3. Pupil numbers include only those pupils attending maintained establishments within each sector and are drawn from the DCSF Annual Schools Census adjusted to be on a financial year basis.

4. Local government reorganisation (LGR) took place during the mid to late 1990s.

5. Expenditure was not distinguished between the pre-primary and primary sectors until the inception of Section 52 for financial year 1999-2000.

6. School based expenditure in LA maintained nursery schools was not recorded in 2002-03 and comparable figures are not available for 2003-04 onwards.

7. Figures are rounded to the nearest £10. Cash terms figures as reported by local authorities as at 22 February 2010.

Schools: Northampton

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much per head was spent on education for (a) primary school children and (b) secondary school children in Northampton in (i) 1997, (ii) 2001 and (iii) 2009. (321281)

Figures are not available for the parliamentary constituency of Northampton, North as data are collected at a local authority level. The available information on how much was spent per head in Northamptonshire local authority is shown in the following table. The Department is due to collect the section 251 outturn data relating to the 2009-10 financial year later this year.

School based expenditure per pupil in Northamptonshire local authority for 1997-98, 2001-02 and 2008-09

1997-98

2001-02

2008-09

Pre-primary & primary education

Secondary education

Primary education

Pre-primary & primary education

Secondary education

Primary education

Secondary education

England

1,740

2,360

2,480

2,570

3,150

3,780

4,890

Northamptonshire

1,580

2,250

2,340

2,390

2,940

3,320

4,520

Notes:

1. The financial information used in the answer to this PQ is taken from the Department’s s52 data collection.

2. 1999-2000 saw a change in data source when the data collection moved from the RO1 form collected by the CLG to the Section 52 form from the DCSF. 2002-03 saw a further break in the time series following the introduction of consistent financial reporting (CFR) and the associated restructuring of the outturn tables.

3. Pupil numbers include only those pupils attending maintained establishments within each sector and are drawn from the DCSF annual schools census adjusted to be on a financial year basis.

4. Expenditure was not distinguished between the pre-primary and primary sectors until the inception of Section 52 (now section 251) for financial year 1999-2000.

5. Figures are rounded to the nearest £10. Cash terms figures as reported by local authorities as at 5 March 2010.

Cabinet Office

Children: Essex

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many children of school age there have been in (a) Essex and (b) Southend in each year since 1997. (320603)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many children of school age there have been in (a) Essex and (b) Southend in each year since 1997 (320603).

The attached table shows the number of children aged 5-16 inclusive, calculated for each mid-year from 1997 to 2008, which are the latest population estimates available.

Number of school age children1 in Essex and Southend in each year since 1997

Essex

Southend on Sea

1997

193,800

24,100

1998

194,000

24,300

1999

197,500

24,400

2000

199,500

24,300

2001

200,900

24,400

2002

202,100

24,400

2003

203,400

24,300

2004

203,700

24,000

2005

203,400

23,800

2006

202,400

23,400

2007

201,400

23,100

2008

200,100

23,000

1 Ages five to 16 inclusive.

Source:

Office for National Statistics

Communications Electronic Security Group

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2010, Official Report, column 825W, on Communications Electronic Security Group, for what reason the group has not published an annual report since 2006; and whether Ministers approved the deci