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Written Answers

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 16 March 2010

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Scotland

Future Jobs Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to the answer of 24 February 2010, Official Report, column 552W, on the Future Jobs Fund, which projects the Future Jobs Fund is supporting in Scotland, and how many jobs have been provided through each project. (322406)

By the end of the eighth bidding round announced on 15 March 2010, the Government had approved 58 Future Jobs Fund bids to create up to 10,328 jobs in Scotland.

Bidding organisation

Number of jobs

Aberdeen City Council

28

Aberdeen Works

32

Aberdeenshire Council

23

Angus Council

34

Angus Council

50

Apex Scotland

30

Argyll and Bute Council Employability Team

50

Argyll and Bute Council Employability Team

30

Argyll Training

35

Barnardo's Scotland

20

Big Issue Scotland

10

City of Edinburgh Council

80

City of Edinburgh Council

57

Clackmannanshire Alliance

77

Coalfield Regeneration Trust

30

Dumfries and Galloway Council

91

Dundee City Council

51

Dundee Partnership

158

East Ayrshire Council

483

East Ayrshire Council

155

East Dunbartonshire Council

60

East Lothian Council

26

Falkirk Council

90

Fife Council

238

Fife Council

122

Glasgow City Council

250

Glasgow City Council

300

Highland Council

203

Inverclyde Council

240

M. I. Technologies

30

Midlothian Council

45

Midlothian Council

108

Moray Council Community Partnership

15

North Ayrshire Council

180

North Lanarkshire Council

1,200

Perth and Kinross Community Planning Partnership

90

Project Scotland

153

Raploch Urban Regeneration Company

35

Real Work Skills Ltd.

10

Renfrewshire Council

203

Scottish Borders Council

51

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

330

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

1,464

Scottish Council for Voluntary Services

390

Scottish Forestry Commission

210

Scottish Premier League

432

Scottish Wildlife Trust

61

Scottish Wildlife Trusts

400

South Ayrshire Council

57

South Ayrshire Workforce Plus Forum

15

South Lanarkshire Council

1,200

Stirling Council Youth Services

31

The Bambury Regeneration Centre

60

Third Sector Hebrides

165

West Dunbartonshire Council

70

West Lothian Council

30

West Lothian Council

150

Workers' Educational Association

90

Total

10,328

Taxation

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the economic effects in England of the tax proposals set out in paragraphs 4.13 to 4.39 of “Scotland's Future in the United Kingdom”, Cm 7738. (322282)

The tax proposals set out in the Government's White Paper “Scotland's Future in the United Kingdom” will deliver real financial accountability to the Scottish Parliament and, once fully implemented, mean that a substantial proportion of the Scottish budget will derive directly from taxes determined and raised in Scotland. At the same time, the proposals safeguard the economic and administrative efficiencies inherent to the unified tax system within the United Kingdom.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Floods: Gloucestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) his Department and (b) the Environment Agency have provided to (i) Tewkesbury council and (ii) Gloucestershire county council for flood prevention schemes since the flooding of July 2007; and if he will make a statement. (321053)

DEFRA provides grants to operating authorities in England to manage the risks of flooding and coastal erosion. DEFRA’s grants to the Environment Agency to tackle flooding increased from £499.8 million in 2007-08 to £659 million in 2010-11.

The Environment Agency has provided Tewkesbury borough council with £75,000 for capital improvement works. Some £119,000 has been allocated to Tewkesbury borough council for property level flood protection and resilience measures.

DEFRA has allocated Gloucestershire county council £200,000 for surface water management.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) his Department and (b) the Environment Agency have provided to (i) Tewkesbury council and (ii) Gloucestershire county council for repairs relating to flooding of July 2007; and if he will make a statement. (321054)

The Government made a comprehensive package of over £136 million available to support areas affected by the flooding of summer 2007.

This included around £19 million provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) through the Bellwin scheme. Flood-affected local authorities applied for help through the scheme, which provides financial assistance to local authorities dealing with emergencies. Exceptionally, the terms of the scheme were made more generous because of the circumstances of the 2007 floods.

Through the Bellwin scheme £2.8 million was provided to Gloucestershire county council and £350,000 to Tewkesbury borough council. In addition £950,000 was provided to the Gloucestershire police authority.

The other main elements of the £136 million package are:

Around £41 million from the Department for Transport for repairs to the local highway.

£30.6 million from CLG, through the Restoration Fund, that we have been able to release through a successful European Union Solidarity Fund bid.

£18.4 million from CLG for Flood Recovery Grant to support the recovery work of local authorities, and particularly their work with those in greatest and most immediate need. The latest £1 million released on 31 January was allocated to the nine local authorities with the highest number of households still displaced.

£13.5 million from the Department for Children, School and Families for schools and children's services affected by the floods. A total of 858 schools were damaged in the June floods and those in July.

Over £11 million from Regional Development Agencies for businesses affected in their regions.

Over £1.2 million from CLG for local authorities giving council tax discounts, so families do not face council tax bill for homes they could not live in.

£1 million which could be drawn on as contingency reserve by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for use by Jobcentre Plus to support additional demand for Social Fund Community Care Grants. DWP paid Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans totalling £810,891 to people on qualifying benefits to meet the cost of replacing essential household items.

£1 million from the Department for Culture Media and Sport to support rural tourism in England through promoting rural destinations and visitor attractions. It will also be used to fund a targeted marketing campaign for the regions of England and businesses such as B and Bs, caravan parks and attractions.

The Environment Agency has not provided funding to either Tewkesbury borough council or Gloucestershire county council for repairs relating to the 2007 flooding.

Seals: Canada

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he last discussed the seal hunt in Canada with the Canadian Government. (322677)

The Secretary of State has not held recent discussions with the Canadian Government on the seal hunt in Canada.

The Government’s opposition to the annual Canadian seal hunt is well known and remains unchanged. We have lobbied since 2006 to promote EU-wide action and on 23 July 2008, the European Commission proposed an EU-wide ban on trade in seal products from a range of species where it cannot be proved that the seals were killed humanely.

Tree Planting

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage the Forestry Commission to assist in the acquisition and replanting of agricultural land with native species of trees. (321538)

The Delivery Plan for our Strategy for England's Trees, Woods and Forest produced by the Forestry Commission and Natural England includes the objective to create new woodland in priority areas.

The English Woodland Grant Scheme administered by the Forestry Commission offers incentives to landowners to encourage them to plant trees. These grants are part of the Rural Development Programme for England 2007-13. Under the scheme rules it is not permissible to reimburse costs of land acquisition, but the grants do cover a proportion of the planting costs and the agricultural income foregone. The current target for new woodland creation is 2,200 hectares per year of which 2,000 hectares are expected to be on agricultural land.

In the 2009 Low Carbon Transition Plan we set out our intention to support a new drive to encourage private funding for woodland creation and options to achieve this are being explored by the Forestry Commission and DEFRA.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage the Forestry Commission to reduce the number of trees planted per acre for new growth. (321539)

We are not taking any steps to encourage the Forestry Commission or other landowners to reduce the number of trees planted per hectare and there is no reason to do so. The English Woodland Grant Scheme, administered by the Forestry Commission and which supports most new woodland creation, allows for trees to be planted at a range of densities depending on the purpose of the woodland. These include densities as low as 100 trees per hectare for ‘special’ broadleaves such as poplar, ranging through 1,600 trees per hectare for native woodlands and up to 2,250 trees per hectare for ‘standard’ woodlands.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 24 February 2010, Official Report, column 565W, on departmental internet, what the cost was of the website redesign; and what estimate he has made of the cost of the latest redesign. (321933)

The design costs for the redesign of the website in 2005 were £31,104.54.

In 2009-10 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport commissioned a digital agency to design and create five themed landing pages for its website. This work is essential to bring the current site up to date, by providing better access to content allowing more flexibility and the ability to pull in relevant social media feeds (which the current single homepage cannot support). The total cost for design was £8,383.75.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many designs for its (a) internal website and (b) intranet his Department has commissioned since 2005; and what the cost was of each such design. (321984)

Greater Manchester

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to the Manchester, Gorton constituency, the effects on that constituency of his Department's policies since 1997. (322132)

My Department's aim is to improve the quality of life for everyone through cultural and sporting activities, to support the pursuit of excellence and to champion the tourism, creative and leisure industries.

The impact of bodies and policies of my Department on the Manchester, Gorton constituency since 1997 include:

£316,615 given from Arts Council England to organisations based in Gorton in 2008-09 through the Grants for the Arts programme.

Digital Switchover has been completed in the Gorton region, and by 2012, 98.5 per cent. of households nationwide will be able to receive digital TV—the same number that can currently receive analogue.

£1,416,994 of Exchequer investment to the Gorton constituency provided through Sport England since 2002.

Over £20 million of national lottery grants made to applications from the constituency since 1995.

The Big Lottery Fund and its predecessor bodies have awarded £5,694,522 to projects located in the constituency since the 1996/97 financial year. This includes an award made in 2008-09 of £446,140 for an active project to redevelop Levenshulme. United Reformed Church into a multi-purpose community centre.

£117,483 of English Heritage grant offers to the Gorton constituency in 2008-09.

The Manchester, Gorton constituency has also benefitted from other policies and spending whose impact cannot be broken down by constituency. This includes:

£4 billion of Exchequer funding spent on culture

More than £5.5 billion invested in sport by the Government and the national lottery since 1997.

Over 2 million free swims taken in the north-west region since the Free Swimming programme was introduced.

A 68 per cent. increase in national museum visits from 1998-99 to 2008-09—10 per cent. of which were by adults from lower socioeconomic groups.

£416.6 million in grants allocated by English Heritage since 1997.

48 per cent. of buildings on the original 1999 Buildings at Risk Register having their future secured.

90 per cent. of all pupils taking part in at least two hours of high quality PE or sport per week in 2008 from an estimated 25 per cent. in 2003-04—exceeding our target.

Local Government: Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 3 February 2010, Official Report, column 341W, on local government finance, what performance data local authorities regularly submit on libraries and museums to the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. (319795)

There is no requirement for local authorities to submit performance data on libraries and museums to the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. The MLA:

1. Part-fund the collection of local authority data relating to National Indicator Set 9 and 10 (in order to enable libraries and museums to manage their own performance better). Local authority National Indicator Sets are required by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

2. Collects information (on Cultural Strategies, Business Plans, accounts and collecting policies) from all local authorities when they apply to become Accredited museums or Designated collections. The MLA also collect data returns from local authorities with Renaissance funded museums. This does not form part of the wider local authority performance framework.

3. Advises CIPFA on their annual public library statistics on expenditure, income, staffing and service provision, for all library authorities in England.

Summertime

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions he has had with the tourism industry on the merits of introducing British Summer Time and Double British Summer Time. (322497)

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and I have held a number of recent discussions with the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers, and Attractions (BALPPA) and other tourism industry stakeholders about the potential benefits to DCMS sectors, including tourism and sport, of making changes to British Summer Time (BST).

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is the lead policy Department on BST, and the DCMS have raised these issues with BIS for their consideration.

Tourism: Poole

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much funding has been allocated to the promotion of tourism (a) in Poole and (b) nationally in each year since 1997. (320486)

The information requested on funding to promote tourism in Poole is not held centrally. Responsibility for tourism in the regions was taken over by the regional development agencies (RDAs) in 2003.

I have therefore asked the chief executive of the South West regional development agency to write to the hon. Member for Poole directly. Copies of the response will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The overall level of public sector investment in tourism from local, regional and national sources will exceed £2 billion in the current spending review period (2008-09 to 2010-11).

Nationally, funding to promote tourism is directed through VisitBritain and VisitEngland.

VisitBritain's Grant in Aid since 1997 (including VisitBritain's predecessor bodies —the British Tourist Authority and the English Tourism Council—up to 2002-03) is outlined in the following table:

£ million

1997-98

44.7

1998-99

44.7

1999-2000

47.2

2000-01

47

2001-02

64.1

2002-03

68

2003-04

51.3

2004-05

48.4

2005-06

48.9

2006-07

49.9

2007-08

50.7

2008-09

49.9

The rise in spending between 2001 and 2003 represents the additional funding invested by the Government and the industry to support tourism in response to specific national and international events that occurred in and immediately preceding this period (foot and mouth, 9/11 and SARS).

Wales

Business: Montgomeryshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many businesses were registered in Montgomeryshire in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. (322012)

Montgomeryshire has consistently had the second highest number of VAT registered businesses in Wales after Brecon and Radnorshire.

The number of enterprises registered for VAT at the start of each year in Montgomeryshire is as follows:

Number

2001

4,030

2002

4,035

2003

4,035

2004

4,060

2005

4,050

2006

4,080

2007

4,095

2008

4,085

Figures for 2009 are not available at this time.

Departmental Lost Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what property has been recorded as (a) lost and (b) stolen from his Department in the last 12 months; and what estimate has been made of the cost of the replacement of that property. (322084)

Transport

Bus Services: Concessions

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will assess the merits of introducing a concessionary bus travel scheme for persons aged (a) up to 15 years old and (b) between 16 and 19 years old; and if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of introducing such a scheme in (i) England, (ii) Gloucestershire and (iii) Stroud constituency. (322051)

The Government have no plans at present to introduce a statutory bus concession for young people. Any extensions to the scope of the current statutory minimum would bring with them associated costs and would require careful consideration of the full impacts, including: the effect on limited spare bus capacity; the potential for distortion of the commercial bus market; and the impact on walking and cycling initiatives.

Local authorities are best placed to decide on the most appropriate discretionary concessions in their areas, offering far more flexibility than would be the case with a blanket statutory concession.

The Department for Transport recently commissioned some research on the cost and impact of options for extending the current statutory minimum concessionary travel scheme. Based on this research, the Department estimates that it would cost:

(a) around an extra £1.2 billion per annum to extend the statutory minimum concession to enable 5 to 16-year-olds to travel anytime for free on buses England-wide.

(b) around an extra £740 million per annum to extend the statutory minimum concession to enable 14 to 19-year-olds in full-time education to travel anytime for free on buses England-wide.

The Department does not have any estimates for specific counties or constituencies.

Departmental Internet

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2010, Official Report, column 1363W, on departmental internet, what the cost was of the website redesign. (321924)

The Department for Transport last commissioned a new design for its corporate website in 2005:

www.dft.gov.uk

The work to develop a new information architecture and associated usability testing cost £39,500 (net). The subsequent work to develop a new visual design around the revised information architecture cost £55,825 (net).

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many designs for its (a) internal website and (b) intranet his Department has commissioned since 2005; and what the cost was of each such design. (321979)

Since 2005 the Department has commissioned one new design for its intranet at a cost of £10,210 (ex VAT). The design work was part of a larger technical upgrade.

East Coast Railway Line

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will make an assessment of the merits of increasing capacity for (a) passengers and (b) freight on the East Coast Main Line, with particular reference to (i) the lengthening of station platforms and (ii) the raising of freight loading gauges. (322242)

The assessment of the merits of increasing capacity on the East Coast Main Line is a matter for Network Rail. The East Coast Main Line Route Utilisation Study was published by Network Rail in February 2008 and made recommendations for increasing the route's capacity for both passenger and freight services. This can be found on Network Rail's website at:

www.networkrail.co.uk

Motor Vehicles: Excise Duties

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the cost to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has been of administering the free prize draw for motorists renewing their vehicle tax online or by telephone to date. (322390)

The administrative costs associated with the free prize draw for motorists renewing their vehicle tax online or by telephone are as follows:

£

June 2008 to March 2009

13,697.69

April 2009 to March 2010

11,332.00

National Bullying Helpline

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what contacts the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has had with the National Bullying Helpline since 2004; and whether the agency has made any payments to (a) the National Bullying Helpline and (b) HR and Diversity Management Limited in that period. (320131)

The Civil Service has a zero tolerance policy on bullying and harassment.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has had no contact with the National Bullying Helpline since 2004.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has made no payments to the National Bullying Helpline or HR and Diversity Management Limited in that period.

Railways: Chesham

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when he expects construction work on the High Speed Two route in Chesham and Amersham constituency to (a) commence and (b) be completed. (322673)

As with any major infrastructure project, there will need to be extensive and detailed consultation, particularly with local communities affected. We will consult on the recommended route this autumn before the finalisation of Government policy and, if the decision is taken to proceed, will introduce a hybrid Bill following further detailed work.

Construction on the line would not begin until after the completion of Crossrail from 2017, with services on a London to Birmingham line commencing from 2026 at the earliest. Start and finish of works in specific locations would be subject to detailed work by HS2 Ltd. following decisions made after the autumn consultation.

Thameslink Railway Line: Rolling Stock

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether he expects the electric multiple unit trains cascaded from Thameslink stock for services in the North West to be in service by March 2014. (322449)

The cascade of existing trains operating Thameslink services is made possible by the procurement of new vehicles through the Thameslink Programme. The commercial negotiations on the procurement of the new vehicles are ongoing and until these are finalised, it will not be possible to confirm the timing of the resulting cascades.

Solicitor-General

BAE Systems: Fraud

To ask the Solicitor-General (1) what the total cost to the Serious Fraud Office was of the recently-settled case against BAE Systems; (318575)

(2) what estimate she has made of the total cost to the Serious Fraud Office of its investigations into BAE Systems to date.

Departmental Sick Leave

To ask the Solicitor-General how many staff in the Law Officers’ Departments have had five or more periods of sickness absence of less than five days in two or more of the last three years. (316450)

The information requested is as follows:

Crown Prosecution Service and Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office

The number of staff who have had five or more periods of sickness absence of less than five days in two or more of the last three years is 131.

The Serious Fraud Office

In the last 12 months 19 staff had five or more short- term absences. The most recent available data before this (2006-07) can be found at the following link:

http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/Assets/Sickness_Absence_2006to2007_tcm6-3302.pdf

Treasury Solicitors, Attorney-General’s Office and HM Crown Prosecution Inspection Services

Over the three years 2007-09 there have been 27 people who meet the criteria above. This represents less than 3 per cent. of the total workforce.

The National Fraud Authority

The NFA was launched in 2008-09 and no members of staff are recorded as having had five or more periods of sickness absence of less than five days during this period.

Electoral Commission Committee

Bearwood Corporate Services

To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission from which (a) legal firms, (b) Queen's counsel and (c) other sources the Electoral Commission sought advice in connection with its investigation into Bearwood Corporate Services; and how much was paid for such advice in each case. (322506)

The Electoral Commission informs me that in addition to legal advice from its in-house Legal Counsel, it also obtained legal advice from Queens counsel, Michael Beloff QC and Andrew Mitchell QC; and from junior barristers, Jane Collier and Sarah Palin. Payments to Queen's counsel amounted to £61,000 and payments to junior counsel amounted to £20,000.

House of Commons Commission

Nurseries

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the oral answer of 11 March 2010, Official Report, columns 428-30, on a day nursery, whether the Chairman of the House of Commons Commission decided that the proposals for a day nursery at Bellamy's would not be placed before the Finance and Services Committee. (322446)

The Commission took the decision in principle on the setting up of a nursery facility at 1 Parliament street on 14 December 2009 with a view to making the facility available in the new Parliament. In view of the time constraint for its implementation, the Commission decided on this occasion not to refer the matter to the Finance and Services Committee.

Northern Ireland

Departmental Lost Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what property has been recorded as (a) lost and (b) stolen from his Department in the last 12 months; and what estimate has been made of the cost of the replacement of that property. (322081)

During the 12-month period from March 2009 to February 2010 the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), including its arm’s length bodies and the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland but excluding its agencies and NDPBs, recorded 12 floppy disks as being lost in transit between Belfast and London. They did not contain any personal or classified information. As the disks were not replaced there was no cost of replacement to the Department.

No items of departmental property were reported as stolen during this period.

Defence

Armed Forces: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many single living accommodation units for service personnel in Scotland are in each standard for condition. (322039)

[holding answer 12 March 2010]: Single Living Accommodation (SLA) is not assessed for its Standard for Condition, but graded according to its condition and ‘scale’, which includes things like the amount of storage and size.

As at October 2009, the latest date for which figures are available, SLA bed-spaces in Scotland were at the following Grade.

Grade

SLA bed-spaces

1

3,395

2

1,104

3

2,188

4

1,078

Armed Forces: Orthopaedics

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel have had limbs amputated in the last six months. (322518)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 23 February 2010, Official Report, column 410W, to the hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey).

Children, Schools and Families

Academies: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will guarantee the provision of funding at current levels for the Academies programme in the next spending round. (322492)

The pre-Budget report announced a real-terms increase of 0.7 per cent. for DCSF frontline services including schools for 2011-12 and 2012-13. The remaining DCSF budgets for this period will be finalised in the spending review later this year. Open academies will receive funding increases in line with those for maintained schools and the 0.7 per cent. real terms increase already announced.

Children: Social Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how long each local authority's Director of Children's Services has been in post. (321084)

Departmental Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much (a) his Department and (b) each (i) non-departmental public body and (ii) executive agency for which his Department is responsible spent on advertising in 2009. (317070)

It has not been possible to identify the Department's spend on advertising in 2009 without incurring disproportionate cost. However, the Department's spend on advertising in the 2008-09 financial year was £13,891,106.

Advertising expenditure by non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies in 2009 cannot be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department and its agencies spent on font licensing in the last three years. (315283)

Since 2007 the Department of Children, Schools and Families has not directly purchased any font licences for related publications work that has been specifically billed.

Departmental Languages

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families 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. (320411)

No DCSF Ministers have received coaching in a foreign language in the last 12 months.

With regard to civil servants, the Department does not collect this information centrally in the form requested. Information on external training courses attended by employees in the last 12 months and the cost of each course is held locally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many and which telephone helplines received funding from his Department in 2009; (318378)

(2) how many telephone calls were (a) received and (b) answered by each of the helplines funded by his Department in each month since their commencement;

(3) how much funding each of the helplines funded by his Department receives each month.

Departmental Temporary Employment

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which companies were contracted by his Department and its predecessor for the provision of temporary staff in each of the last three years; how many temporary staff were employed by his Department in each such year; and what the monetary value was of contracts with each such company in each such year. (317998)

The Department was created on 28 June 2007. The Department has used three agencies for the provision of its temporary staff (admin and clerical)—Adecco, Reed Employment and Hays Office Support. The contract with Adecco expired on 31 August 2007, when new contracts were established with Reed and Hays.

The number of temporary staff employed by the Department is as follows:

Number

July to December 2007

98

January to December 2008

207

January to December 2009

130

We are unable to provide the monetary value of the contracts as this is commercial in confidence.

For a small number of specialist temporary staff and interim managers the Department has used other agencies but information on this could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Written Questions

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 10 February 2010, Official Report, columns 1087-8W, on departmental written questions, by what mechanism his Department monitors its responses to parliamentary questions; what its target time is for responses; and how its performance against that target is measured. (318385)

The Department has recently implemented a new IT system for monitoring its responses to parliamentary questions. This Department aims to ensure that Members receive a substantive response to their named day question on the date specified, and endeavours to answer ordinary written questions within a working week of being tabled. The new system will enable the Department's performance to be measured against these targets.

Family Proceedings

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent assessment he has made of the likely effects on the welfare of children of the provisions in the Children, Schools and Families Bill on family court proceedings. (312932)

Protecting the welfare of children is our paramount concern. In developing the proposals for the Bill, officials met and sought the views of various stakeholders including 11 Million, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services and the Association of Lawyers for Children. My hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, East (Bridget Prentice) also met the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service/National Youth Advocacy Service Young People’s Board to seek their views on proposals in the Bill.

The proposals in the Bill are carefully drafted in response to this stakeholder feedback to ensure that children’s welfare is protected and sensitive personal information remains confidential. In addition, the measures in the Bill propose to strengthen the current position and give indefinite anonymity to children involved in family proceedings.

The current proposals before Parliament make clear that it is only possible to alter the treatment of sensitive personal information once an independent review of the operation of the provisions has been carried out, including their impact on the welfare of children.

National Youth Community Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the Prime Minister's speech at Britain's Everyday Heroes Book Launch of 24 July 2007, what progress has been made on the launch of the National Youth Community Service for Britain since July 2007. (318354)

The 44-week volunteering programme vTalent Year was launched in January 2009 involving young people aged 16 to 25 volunteering for approximately 30 hours per week. The first cohort of 358 young people is working across 32 local authority children and young people's services and the second cohort will start in March 2010.

Volunteers are undertaking a range of placements from nurseries, children and youth centres to youth crime prevention, asylum seekers and substance misuse teams. Nearly 60 per cent. of the volunteers were not in education, employment or training prior to starting the programme.

In April 2009 the Prime Minister alongside Ministers for the Cabinet Office and the Department for Children, Schools and Families also announced a package of measures to support our ambition that, in time, all young people should give at least 50 hours of their time between the ages of 14 and 19 to serve their communities.

The measures include:

incorporating community action into learning programmes for 20,000 16 to 18-year-olds as part of Entry to Employment programmes in 2009/10 and again as part of Foundation Learning in 2010/11;

the creation of five intensive local authority pilots to test approaches to achieving near-universal participation among 14 to 16-year-olds;

new ways of recognising participation in community action; and

more support for schools to engage their pupils in this activity, to complement existing local support teams for 16 to 25-year-olds.

Office for Standards in Education: Children's Services and Skills

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent representations he has received on the system of inspection operated by Ofsted. (321867)

As the Secretary of State stated in Oral Questions on 25 January 2010, stakeholders are in regular contact with Ministers and the Department about a wide range of matters, including Ofsted jinspections.

Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate his Department has made of the cost of providing one-to-one or small group tuition to every child not reaching the expected level at key stage 1 and 2 in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. (317823)

Funding for the one-to-one tuition programme was announced as part of the most recent comprehensive spending review (CSR) settlement. There is a total of £468 million funding over the CSR period, including £138 million to support 3.5 per cent. of the key stage 2, key stage 3 (and in National Challenge schools key stage 4) cohort in each of English and maths in 2009-10; and £315 million to support 300,000 pupils in English and 300,000 children in mathematics in 2010-11.

In 2009-10, pupils who enter key stage 2 behind expectations and/or who are not on course to make two levels of progress will be eligible for one-to-one tuition, but there is no entitlement to this support. Subject to the will of Parliament, from September 2010 one-to-one tuition will be guaranteed for all children who enter key stage 2 behind national expectations and are not on course to make two levels of progress over the course of the key stage. The funding for 2010-11 is sufficient to cover this guarantee.

The Every Child Counts and Every Child a Reader programmes in key stage 1 and the Every Child a Writer programme at key stage 2 comprise of both one-to-one tuition and small group work. Taken together, these programmes will have £52.7 million funding in 2009-10, and £94.6 million funding in 2010-11.

Schools received a personalisation budget of £1.6 billion for the three-year period of this CSR, and this funding can be used to provide further small group support.

No decisions on funding for the one-to-one tuition programme or the Every Child programmes have been taken for 2011-12.

Schools: Fires

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what estimate he has made of the number of fires reported in schools in each year since 2005; (318629)

(2) what his most recent estimate is of the annual cost to the public purse of fires in schools.

[holding answer 26 February 2010]: The latest confirmed figures we have from the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) for England and Wales cover the period 2000 to 2007, and are shown in the following tables.

Number of fires

Total costs (£ million)

Percentage arson

2000

1,275

45

63

2001

1,529

67

58

2002

1,332

67

55

2003

1,232

n/a

61

2004

1,229

~52

56

2005

1,102

n/a

44

2006

1,075

n/a

41

2007

825

n/a

42

n/a = not available

Total

Accidental

Deliberate

2003

1,232

478

753

2004

1,229

551

677

2005

1,102

615

487

2006

1,075

639

436

2007

825

480

345

Note:

Excluding incidents not recorded during periods of industrial action in 2003 Ref: 2008066(2003-2007) .sas 12OCT09

Source:

CLG

The costs are rounded to the nearest £1 million and are derived from the CLG's cost of Fire Estimates. They cover property damage and the costs of the fire and rescue services attending the fires. They do not include costs of any fires not attended by the Fire and Rescue Services.

Schools: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department has taken to reduce the (a) administrative burden on teachers and (b) number of national performance standards for schools in the last 12 months. (321718)

The Department works closely with the Implementation Review Unit (IRU), an independent group of front-line practitioners, to ensure that the bureaucratic and work load implications of both new and existing policies are kept under review, and to a minimum. Most recently, the IRU have been remitted to conduct a review of obstacles to effective delivery of government policies which is due to report late spring. We have also made a number of commitments to the Merits Committee and are managing better the impact of new policies on schools.

In answer to the second part of the question, since the removal of the key stage 3 national tests the national performance standards for schools have remained constant in the last 12 months.

Secondary Education: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average staff to pupil ratio is in secondary schools in (a) North East Hertfordshire and (b) England. (321673)

The following table provides the pupil:adult ratios for local authority maintained secondary schools in North-East Hertfordshire constituency and England, January 2009.

Within school pupil:adult ratio (PAR)1 in local authority maintained secondary schools2, year: January 2009, coverage: North-East Hertfordshire constituency and England

Secondary

England

10.7

North-East Hertfordshire

11 8

1 The within school PAR is calculated by dividing the total full-time equivalent (FTE) number of pupils on roll in schools by the total FTE number of all teachers and support staff employed in schools, excluding administrative and clerical staff. 2 Excludes city technology colleges and academies. Source: School Census.

Teachers: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the (a) median and (b) mean salary in (i) nominal and (ii) real terms was of a teacher in a maintained school in each region in each year since 1997. (318692)

The following tables provide the mean and median salary of teachers in service in local authority maintained schools in cash terms and real terms broken down by each Government office region in England and for Wales, March 1997 to 2008.

Mean and median salary of full-time regular teachers1 in local authority maintained schools2 in cash terms and real terms3 broken down by each Government office region, Years: March 1997 to March 2008, Coverage: England and Wales

£

1997

1998

1999

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

Government office region

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

North East

22,500

29,300

22,200

28,900

23,100

29,300

22,900

29,100

24,000

29,800

23,800

29,600

North West

22,600

29,500

22,200

28,900

23,300

29,500

22,900

29,100

24,200

30,000

23,800

29,600

Yorkshire and the Humber

22,700

29,600

22,200

28,900

23,300

29,600

22,900

29,100

24,100

30,000

23,800

29,600

East Midlands

22,800

29,700

22,200

28,900

23,500

29,800

22,900

29,100

24,300

30,200

23,800

29,600

West Midlands

22,700

29,500

22,200

28,900

23,300

29,600

22,900

29,100

24,200

30,100

23,800

29,600

East of England

22,800

29,700

22,200

28,900

23,400

29,800

22,900

29,100

24,300

30,200

23,800

29,600

London

24,500

31,900

24,800

32,400

25,200

31,900

25,000

31,800

26,200

32,600

26,000

32,300

South East

22,700

29,500

22,200

28,900

23,300

29,600

22,900

29,100

24,200

30,000

23,800

29,600

South West

22,700

29,600

22,200

28,900

23,300

29,600

22,900

29,100

24,200

30,100

23,800

29,600

Wales

22,600

29,500

22,200

28,900

23,200

29,500

22,900

29,100

24,100

29,900

23,800

29,600

England and Wales

22,900

29,800

22,200

29,000

23,500

29,900

22,900

29,100

24,400

30,400

23,800

29,600

£

2000

2001

2002

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

Government office region

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

North East

25,000

30,400

24,600

30,000

26,900

32,300

27,000

32,400

28,200

33,200

28,500

33,500

North West

25,200

30,700

24,600

30,000

27,100

32,600

27,400

33,000

28,400

33,400

28,500

33,500

Yorkshire and the Humber

25,100

30,600

24,600

30,000

27,000

32,500

27,000

32,400

28,400

33,400

28,500

33,500

East Midlands

25,200

30,700

24,600

30,000

27,100

32,600

27,300

32,900

28,300

33,300

28,500

33,500

West Midlands

25,100

30,700

24,600

30,000

27,000

32,500

27,000

32,400

28,300

33,400

28,500

33,500

East of England

25,200

30,800

24,600

30,000

27,100

32,600

27,000

32,400

28,600

33,700

28,500

33,500

London

27,200

33,200

26,900

32,800

29,100

35,000

28,700

34,600

31,400

37,000

31,000

36,400

South East

25,100

30,600

24,600

30,000

26,800

32,300

26,600

32,000

28,200

33,200

28,000

32,900

South West

25,100

30,600

24,600

30,000

26,900

32,400

27,400

33,000

28,100

33,100

28,500

33,500

Wales

25,100

30,600

24,600

30,000

27,100

32,600

27,400

33,000

28,400

33,400

28,500

33,500

England and Wales

25,400

31,000

24,600

30,000

27,200

32,800

27,400

33,000

28,700

33,800

28,500

33,500

£

2003

2004

2005

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

Government office region

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

North East

29,800

34,000

29,500

33,600

31,200

34,600

31,400

34,800

32,400

35,000

32,100

34,700

North West

30,100

34,300

30,500

34,800

31,300

34,800

31,400

34,800

32,500

35,100

32,300

34,900

Yorkshire and the Humber

30,100

34,300

30,100

34,300

31,300

34,700

31,400

34,800

32,400

34,900

32,100

34,700

East Midlands

30,100

34,400

30,500

34,800

31,100

34,500

31,400

34,800

32,100

34,600

32,100

34,700

West Midlands

30,200

34,400

30,500

34,800

31,300

34,700

31,400

34,800

32,400

35,000

32,700

35,300

East of England

30,400

34,700

30,500

34,800

31,500

34,900

31,400

34,800

32,600

35,200

32,200

34,700

London

33,300

37,900

32,800

37,400

35,300

39,100

34,400

38,100

36,300

39,200

35,500

38,400

South East

30,000

34,200

29,500

33,600

31,200

34,600

31,100

34,500

32,300

34,900

32,100

34,700

South West

29,800

34,000

29,500

33,600

31,000

34,300

31,400

34,800

32,000

34,600

32,100

34,700

Wales

30,100

34,400

30,500

34,800

31,300

34,700

31,400

34,800

32,700

35,300

32,800

35,400

England and Wales

30,500

34,700

30,500

34,800

31,700

35,200

31,400

34,800

32,900

35,500

32,700

35,300

£

2006

20074

20084

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

Government office region

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

Cash terms

Real terms

North East

33,500

35,400

33,100

35,100

34,700

35,700

34,600

35,600

35,600

35,600

35,400

35,400

North West

33,600

35,600

33,200

35,200

34,700

35,700

33,900

34,900

35,600

35,600

35,400

35,400

Yorkshire and the Humber

33,300

35,300

33,100

35,100

34,400

35,400

33,900

34,900

35,200

35,200

34,300

34,300

East Midlands

33,200

35,200

33,100

35,100

34,200

35,200

33,400

34,400

35,100

35,100

34,300

34,300

West Midlands

33,300

35,300

33,100

35,100

34,400

35,400

34,400

35,400

35,500

35,500

35,300

35,300

East of England

33,600

35,600

33,100

35,100

34,500

35,500

33,900

34,900

35,400

35,400

34,900

34,900

London

37,500

39,700

36,300

38,500

38,600

39,700

37,400

38,500

39,700

39,700

38,500

38,500

South East

33,300

35,300

32,900

34,800

34,300

35,300

33,500

34,400

35,100

35,100

34,300

34,300

South West

33,200

35,200

33,100

35,100

34,300

35,300

33,900

34,900

35,200

35,200

34,300

34,300

Wales

33,700

35,700

33,700

35,700

34,700

35,700

34,400

35,400

35,700

35,700

35,200

35,200

England and Wales

33,900

35,900

33,500

35,500

35,000

36,000

34,400

35,400

35,900

35,900

35,400

35,400

1 Teachers of all grades including school leadership.

2 Excludes CTCs and academies

3 Real terms figures calculated at 2007-08 prices using 4 January 2010 GDP deflators.

4 Provisional.

Note:

Figures are rounded to the nearest £100

Source:

Database of Teacher Records

Teachers: Science

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of schools which were assessed as (a) inadequate, (b) satisfactory and (c) outstanding by Ofsted in each of the last five years do not have any teachers with degree level qualifications in (i) physics, (ii) chemistry, (iii) biology and (iv) another science subject. (321824)

Teachers: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his assessment is of the effectiveness of the system for the monitoring and appraisal of teacher performance. (322300)

[holding answer 15 March 2010]: Revised regulations and guidance on performance management for teachers and head teachers in England were published in October 2006 and came into force from 1 September 2007. The new arrangements provide for more transparent and consistent assessments of teacher performance, and provide a framework for planning continuing professional development and other support teachers need to do their jobs effectively and improve their professional practice.

The first performance management plans for teachers were completed by 31 October 2007 and for head teachers by 31 December 2007 so it is still early days, but evidence we have indicates schools are complying with the new arrangements. We are embarking on a specific piece of research which will be conducted by National Foundation for Educational Research to review, amongst other things, how performance management arrangements are working.

International Development

Africa: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much emergency funding his Department is providing to (a) Niger and (b) Chad to alleviate the current food shortages. (322006)

On 4 March the Department for International Development (DFID) announced a £15 million package of assistance for Niger and Chad. A press release giving full details is available on the DFID website at:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Media-Room/Press-releases/

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid his Department has contributed to (a) Niger and (b) Chad (i) in each sector and (ii) via each implementing partner in each of the last three years. (322010)

The amount of bilateral aid delivered by the Department for International Development (DFID), in each sector, in Niger and Chad, is available on the DFID website, at:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-DFID/Finance-and-performance/Aid-Statistics/Statistics-on-International-Development-2009/

Information on implementing partners is not held centrally and cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate costs.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how much funding the UK's partner bilateral and multilateral agencies plan to contribute to the West Africa Humanitarian Response Fund; (322007)

(2) how the West Africa Humanitarian Response Fund will be administered;

(3) how much funding his Department plans to allocate to each partner non-governmental organisation of the West Africa Humanitarian Response Fund.

Details of the West Africa Humanitarian Response Fund are published on the Department for International Development's (DFID's) project database, which can be accessed at:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/

Democratic Republic of Congo: Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports he has received on the steps taken by the Democratic Republic of Congo towards validation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative; and if he will make it his policy to support the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo in its efforts to (a) achieve validation and (b) ensure effective implementation of these initiatives. (320948)

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is making good progress towards validation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The formal validation process is underway and the Government of the DRC expect to meet the outstanding benchmarks for validation by June 2010.

The Department for International Development's (DFID's) staff in Kinshasa are involved in regular dialogue with the Government of the DRC and the international community to promote progress with EITI. DFID is currently preparing a joint mining sector reform project with the World Bank, which will provide long-term support to EITI implementation in the DRC.

Departmental Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 1 March 2010, Official Report, column 877W, on departmental internet, what the cost was of the website redesign. (321928)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer of 14 December 2009, Official Report, column 806W, on departmental internet.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many designs for its (a) internal website and (b) intranet his Department has commissioned since 2005; and what the cost was of each such design. (321985)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has commissioned one intranet (internal website) design since 2005 at a cost of £1,850. This redesign was necessary to accompany an upgrade of the content management system.

Departmental Lost Property

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what property has been recorded as (a) lost and (b) stolen from his Department in the last 12 months; and what estimate has been made of the cost of the replacement of that property. (322079)

Items recorded lost or stolen from the Department for International Development (DFID) during the financial year 2008-09 and the estimated cost of replacing those items are provided in the following table.

Lost or stolen item

Number

Cost (£)

Stolen satellite phone and calls

1

766.66

Stolen camera

1

160

Stolen office passes

2

2.30 plus VAT each

Stolen computer bag

1

Unknown

Laptops

3

Approximately 800 each

Ethiopia: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what information his Department holds on the operations of British companies in Ethiopia; and if he will make it his policy to seek to ensure that the operation in Ethiopia of British enterprises which are wholly commercial does not disadvantage the operation of organisations in receipt of assistance from his Department. (322664)

The Department for International Development (DFID) does not hold specific information on the operations of British companies in Ethiopia, though our office in Addis Ababa has periodic contact with particular companies on matters such as private sector development in Ethiopia.

DFID does not monitor the activities of British companies in Ethiopia or elsewhere overseas. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) leads on the operations of British companies overseas. Where issues arise in relation to the operations of companies overseas, the UK position is to encourage companies to observe national laws and standards.

Home Department

Alcoholic Drinks: Convictions

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions for being drunk and disorderly there were in Milton Keynes in each year since 1997. (315369)

The number of persons found guilty at all courts for being drunk and disorderly within the Thames Valley area in England and Wales from 1997 to 2008 can be viewed in the following table.

A penalty notice for disorder (PND) may also be issued for being drunk and disorderly. The number of PNDs issued for being drunk and disorderly from 2004 to 2008 can be viewed in the attached table. PNDs were introduced to all police force areas in 2004.

Court proceedings data for 2009 are planned to be published in the autumn 2010.

Number of persons found guilty at all courts and penalty notice for disorder (PNDs) issued for being drunk and disorderly related offences within Thames Valley area from 1997 to 20081, 2, 3

1997

199S

1999

200

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Found guilty

1045

1214

1097

911

821

772

853

700

265

253

227

204

Penalty notice for disorder

403

332

228

363

362

1 Data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Data include the following offence descriptions and corresponding statutes:

Being found drunk in a highway or other public place whether a building or not, or a licensed premises. Licensing Act 1872 Sec 12.

Any person who in any public place is guilty, while drunk, of disorderly behaviour. Criminal Justice Act 1967 Sec.91.

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

Source:

Court proceedings data held by CJEA—Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice—Our Ref: IOS 142-10

Anti-Semitism

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take in the next six months to protect the Jewish community from anti-Semitic attacks; and if he will make a statement. (321840)

The Government take attacks on the Jewish community very seriously and provide a co-ordinated and continual response.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) National Community Tension Team (NCTT) carries out community impact assessments and identifies particular Jewish communities for reassurance activity. The NCTT also coordinates a national operation to ensure security and reassure Jewish communities during High Holy Days.

The Community Safety Trust (CST) was a recipient of funding from the 2009-10 Hate Crime section of the Victims Fund to allow them to improve both their reporting of anti-Semitic incidents and the support provided to victims. In addition, in London, the Metropolitan Police's Operation Rainbow Team, the uniformed policing response to counter-terrorism, has been working with the CST on the security of Jewish buildings.

Antisocial Behaviour

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of antisocial behaviour were reported to the police in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales in each year since 1997. (321854)

Antisocial Behaviour Orders: York

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders have been issued by courts in York since the introduction of such orders; and how many people who were issued with such orders were proceeded against for breaching them. (322094)

Antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) became available from 1 April 1999. Between 1 April 1999 and 31 December 2007 (latest currently available) a total of 147 ASBOs were issued at all courts in the North Yorkshire Criminal Justice System (CJS) area.

Data collected centrally by the Ministry of Justice on ASBO breaches held on the Court Proceedings Database only count those occasions where the breach was proven in court to have occurred and are available for ASBOs issued from 1 June 2000. The number of ASBOs issued at all courts in the North Yorkshire CJS area subsequently proven in court to have been breached at least once between 1 June 2000 and 31 December 2007 (latest currently available) is 81.

Data on ASBOs issued and breached collected centrally by the Ministry of Justice are not compiled below Criminal Justice System (CJS) area level.

Crime Prevention: Small Businesses

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to encourage local authorities to design security systems and ensure safe environments for small retailers and traders. (321544)

Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (as amended) requires all local authorities to exercise their functions with due regard to their likely effect on crime and disorder. The prevention of crime and the enhancement of community safety, including that of small retailers and traders, are therefore matters that a local planning authority should consider when exercising its functions under the Town and Country Planning legislation. All police forces have specialist crime prevention design advisors who can provide architects, developers and planners with advice on using design to help minimise the risk of crime for the whole community.

In October of last year I wrote to the chairs of all Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) highlighting the importance of working closely with businesses when developing their annual strategic assessments to make communities safer. These are a requirement for all CSPs and provide an opportunity to identify a better understanding of crime and the solutions which are effective.

To encourage them to develop their working relationship with local businesses, I drew their attention to the guidance produced by the then Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Home Office:

http://www.crimereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/business/partnershipsknow.pdf

This is designed to give businesses and their local partnership practical advice on reducing crime including how to work better together.

I also took this opportunity to draw their attention to the Home Office's ‘Securing your Business’ online self assessment tool:

http://secureyourbusiness.homeoffice.gov.uk/

which allows business users to assess what simple steps they might take to reduce the risk of crime, including store design and security systems.

We are currently distributing the Small Retailers Capital Grants Fund which is designed to help fight crime and is being allocated to around 1,000 small retailers in 50 priority areas across England and Wales. The grants are being used for a variety of purposes including: purchasing security equipment for individual retailers including CCTV, infrared security cameras, security shutters and rollers, safes, alarms, anti-fraud equipment such as UV markers to detect counterfeit notes, and anti-graffiti paint.

Crime: North Yorkshire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences were reported to North Yorkshire Police in each year since 1980. (322111)

The information requested is given in the tables.

Table 1: Offences recorded by the police in North Yorkshire, 1980-97

Number

1980

21,699

1981

25,700

1982

29,611

1983

28,796

1984

31,638

1985

35,427

1986

35,968

1987

37,494

1988

34,686

1989

35,774

1990

46,252

1991

51,471

1992

54,816

1993

57,967

1994

62,153

1995

63,539

1996

56,919

1997

50,252

Table 2: Offences recorded by the police in North Yorkshire, 1998-99 to 2001-021, 2

Number

1998-99

55,309

1999-2000

53,554

2000-01

51,532

2001-02

59,125

1 The coverage was extended and counting rules revised from 1998-99. Figures from that date are not directly comparable with those for 1997. 2 The data in this table are prior to the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard. These figures are not directly comparable with those for later years.

Table 3: Offences recorded by the police in North Yorkshire, 2002-03 to 2008-091

Number

2002-03

67,239

2003-04

71,473

2004-05

61,615

2005-06

58,850

2006-07

54,526

2007-08

49,944

2008-09

48,563

1 The data in this table take account of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. These figures are not directly comparable with those for earlier years.

Crimes of Violence: Merseyside

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many violent crimes took place on Merseyside in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (322639)

The term 'violent crime' is no longer used. Data are supplied for violence against the person offences. In 2008-09, there were 19,015 violence against the person offences recorded by police in Merseyside. In total, there were 903,442 violence against the person offences recorded by police in England and Wales in 2008-09. For information, these data are published in 'Crime in England and Wales 2008-09' and are shown in Table 7.03 at the following link:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs09/hosb1109chap7new.xls

Departmental Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the travel guidance issued to staff of each of his Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies. (315025)

For personal and business travel to benign areas, Home Office Agency staff are referred to the FCO website for general travel advice. We have some internal guidance tailored to Home Office needs which is issued to staff on request. This document is protectively marked and cannot be released for national security reasons. Where travel on Home Office business involves staff visiting non-benign and/or volatile high threat areas, specific advice would be provided on a case by case basis.

NDPBs are not covered by the centrally held guidance and make their own arrangements.

Detention Centres: Glasgow

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding has been allocated to the Alternatives to Detention pilot in Glasgow in 2007 to 2010; and how much funding has been allocated to the pilot for the next three financial years. (321103)

The Family Returns pilot project started in June 2009. The UK Border Agency paid actual start up costs in 2009 of £63,343.62. The first financial year for the project is 2009-10 with the annual running costs being met through the current dispersal contract that the UK Border Agency has with Glasgow city council. Therefore, there is no additional funding allocated for the next three financial years. The project is due to run until 2012 but will be reviewed in 2010.

The cost of the Social Work Services provided by Glasgow City Council is met by the Scottish Government as social services is a devolved matter and the funding relates to two social workers and one social care worker.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many families are included in the Alternatives to Detention pilot being run in Glasgow; and whether there are plans to increase the number. (321105)

The Project is for families only and will accommodate four to five families at any one time. At present there are five families participating in the scheme and there are no current plans to increase the size of the project which is monitored to assess how effective it is and whether any changes or improvements could or should be made. Upon its conclusion an independent evaluation will be conducted and the findings will be published.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) families, (b) individuals, (c) children aged under 18, (d) children aged under 16 and (e) children aged under 10 have taken part in the Alternatives to Detention pilot in Glasgow. (321107)

To date (a) nine families have taken part in this project involving (b) a total of 36 individuals. These families consisted of: (c) five children aged 16 to 18 years, (d) seven aged 10 to under 16 years and 14 children under 10 years.

DNA: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals who have not been convicted of an offence have particulars of their DNA recorded on the national DNA database. (321666)

[holding answer 11 March 2010]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Mr. Llwyd) on 9 February 2010, Official Report, columns 908-09W.

Domestic Violence

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the British Crime Survey takes into account in its methodology the nature of domestic violence abusers when gathering information on domestic violence offences; and whether he has considered the merits of any other method of collecting such information. (321377)

The British Crime Survey (BCS) is carried out in respondents' own homes. It is recognised that respondents may not wish to disclose being victim of domestic abuse in a face-to-face interview, especially if the abuser is present at the time of interview. For that reason, the BCS includes a self-completion module on domestic abuse in which respondents may answer questions in private. It is likely that there remains a degree of under-reporting of the level of such abuse but trends will be unaffected as this methodology has been applied consistently over time. The Home Office also commissions ad-hoc social research projects to explore the nature of domestic violence and also to inform the development and evaluation of policy and practice as and when is required.

Copies of reports can be found online on the Home Office publication website:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/

Drugs: Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many reports of drug-related offences there were in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales in each year since 1997. (321590)

Data collected centrally on recorded crime do not identify whether offences are drug related. The recorded crime statistics do include the number of specific drug offences recorded by the police and the available information is given in the tables.

Statistics for Jarrow constituency are not available centrally and figures for South Tyneside relate to the South Tyneside Community Safety Partnership area.

The increase in recorded drug offences in recent years has been largely associated with the increased use of police powers to issue cannabis warnings.

Table 1: Drug offences recorded by the police, 19971

Number of offences

Offence

1997

South Tyneside CSP

n/a

North East Region

1,076

England and Wales

23,153

n/a = Not available.

1 Trafficking in controlled drugs only.

Table 2: Drug offences recorded by the police, 1998-99 to 2001-021,2

Number of offences

Offence

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

South Tyneside CSP

n/a

n/a

383

509

North East Region

6,442

6,460

6,424

7,230

England and Wales

135,945

121,866

113,458

121,393

n/a = Not available.

1 The coverage was extended and counting rules revised from 1998-99. Figures from that date are not directly comparable with those for 1997.

2 The data in this table are prior to the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard. These figures are not directly comparable with those for later years.

Table 3: Drug offences recorded by the police, 2002-03 to 2008-091

Number of offences

Offence

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

South Tyneside CSP

690

672

692

739

665

680

648

North East Region

9,014

7,987

7,149

8,280

8,447

8,195

9,129

England and Wales2

143,320

143,511

145,837

178,479

194,233

229,881

243,406

1 The data in this table take account of the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. These figures are not directly comparable with those for earlier years.

2 Includes British Transport Police from 2002-03 onwards.

Police: Birmingham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers there were in Birmingham in each year since 1997 and (b) police community support officers there were in Birmingham in each year since 2002. (321568)

The available data are provided in the tables.

Police personnel statistics are not collected at the requested level. Data are collected at basic command unit level (which is equivalent to operational command units in west midlands). Data have been provided for the west midlands operational command units covering the Birmingham area (D1-D2, E1-E3 and F1-F3).

These and other related data are published annually as a supplementary part of the annual Police Service Strength Home Office Statistical Bulletin. The latest bulletin can be found at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/policeorg1.html

and bulletins for this and previous years are deposited in the Library of the House.

Police officer and police community support officer strength, basic command units covering the Birmingham area1, as at 31 March2,3

2002

2003

2004

20054

West midlands

Officer

PCSO

Officer

PCSO

Officer

PCSO

Officer

PCSO

D1

340

n/a

346

n/a

358

n/a

378

8

D2

347

n/a

342

n/a

356

n/a

360

23

D3

379

n/a

398

n/a

395

n/a

403

0

E1

344

n/a

334

n/a

334

n/a

343

4

E2

323

n/a

323

n/a

320

n/a

318

10

E3

286

n/a

295

n/a

292

n/a

296

8

F1

369

n/a

389

n/a

398

n/a

389

24

F2

302

n/a

300

n/a

308

n/a

305

12

F3

304

n/a

314

n/a

317

n/a

318

8

Total

2,992

n/a

3,039

n/a

3,077

n/a

3,110

97

2006200720082009

West midlands

Officer

PCSO

Officer

PCSO

Officer

PCSO

Officer

PCSO

D1

372

10

371

30

381

40

387

50

D2

348

23

343

29

336

34

335

37

D3

399

0

401

25

399

31

418

39

E1

329

4

325

27

342

35

330

37

E2

304

10

306

25

310

28

305

29

E3

290

8

286

26

293

26

314

33

F1

371

27

376

23

384

26

385

26

F2

291

12

297

28

302

31

300

32

F3

308

8

307

25

317

27

333

38

Total

3,013

102

3,012

238

3,065

278

3,106

319

1 Police personnel data are not collected at the requested level. Data are collected at basic command unit level (which is equivalent to operational command units in west midlands). Data have been provided for the west midlands operational command units covering the Birmingham area (D1-D3, E1-E3 and F1-F3).

2 These figures are based on full-time equivalents that have been rounded to the nearest whole number; due to rounding there may be an apparent discrepancy between totals and the sums of constituent items. Figures include those officers on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

3 Data by basic command unit are only available from 31 March 2002 for police officers and from 31 March 2007 for police community support officers.

4 Police community support officer data are at 30 June for 2005 and 2006. This was a special collection made until data were included in the main statistical run.

Police: Milton Keynes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding his Department provided for (a) policing and (b) victim support services in Milton Keynes in each year since 1997. (321871)

The information available can be found in the following tables. There is no available breakdown on figures just for Milton Keynes, as it is included in (a) Thames Valley policing figures and (b) Buckinghamshire victim support services figures.

Thames Valley police authority funding

£ million

1997-98

176.0

1998-991

185.8

1999-2000

188.7

2000-01

195.3

2001-02

218.9

2001-022

213.6

2002-03

223.3

2003-04

231.9

2004-05

239.9

2005-06

249.7

2005-063

249.7

2006-07

259.7

2007-08

270.7

2007-08

270.6

2008-09

275.3

2009-10

313.8

1 For the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) in 1997-98.

2 For the National Crime Squad (NCS) in 2001-02.

3 For pensions and security funding in 2006-07.

Note:

1. These figures comprises the Home Office police grant and certain specific grants and capital provision, and also the Revenue Support grant and National non-domestic rates (both provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government).

2. Figures are not directly comparable across all years because of adjustments to the base line for funding transfers from general grant.

Buckinghamshire Victim Support Services funding

Office of Criminal Justice Reform funding for Victim Support (£)

2001-02

201,951

2002-03

204,389

2003-04

205,845

2004-05

408,146

2005-06

408,076

2006-07

408,076

2007-08

448,805

2008-09

510,995

Notes:

1. Figures provided by the Office of Criminal Justice Reform.

2. The table above illustrates funding given to Buckinghamshire Victim support. There is no available breakdown on figures for Buckinghamshire before 2001.

Proof of Identity

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information his Department holds on which major retailers accept the UK CitizenCard as proof of age. (321952)

The Home Office is aware that the CitizenCard is accepted by a number of major retailers. However, we do not hold specific information on which retailers accept the card and which do not.

The Government support PASS, which is the national proof-of-age accreditation scheme. PASS sets minimum standards for proof-of-age cards including CitizenCard. The PASS hologram on a card is the hallmark indicating that the card issuer has passed a stringent audit carried out by trading standard officers. PASS cards are easily recognisable both to retailers and young people and provide assurance that the age details on the card are correct.

Theft: Motor Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many vehicle-related thefts have been reported in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales in each year since 1997. (321594)

The available information is for offences recorded by the police and is given in the following tables. Statistics for Jarrow constituency are not available centrally and figures for South Tyneside relate to the South Tyneside Community Safety Partnership area.

Table 1: Vehicle-related thefts recorded by the police, 1997

Number of offences

Offence

1997

South Tyneside CSP

Theft of a motor vehicle

n/a

Theft from a vehicle

n/a

North East Region

Theft of a motor vehicle

24,641

Theft from a vehicle

34,814

England and Wales

Theft of a motor vehicle

407,239

Theft from a vehicle

710,333

n/a = Not available.

Table 2: Vehicle-related thefts recorded by the police, 1998-99 to 2001-021,2

Number of offences

Offence

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

South Tyneside CSP

Theft of a motor vehicle

n/a

1,008

1,014

743

Theft from a vehicle

n/a

1,585

1,671

1,471

North East Region

Theft of a motor vehicle

21,650

18,402

16,307

15,346

Theft from a vehicle

27.524

29,953

27,920

27,113

England and Wales

Theft of a motor vehicle

391,807

374,668

310,613

328,115

Theft from a vehicle

685,919

669,232

571,176

655,161

n/a = Not available.

1 The coverage was extended and counting rules revised from 1998-99. Figures from that date are not directly comparable with those for 1997.

2. The data in this table are prior to the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard. These figures are not directly comparable with those for later years.

Table 3: Vehicle-related thefts recorded by the police, 2002-03 to 2008-091

Number of offences

Offence

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

South Tyneside CSP

Theft of a motor vehicle

734

587

507

461

405

366

306

Theft from a vehicle

1,581

1,117

1,069

1,281

947

779

561

North East Region

Theft of a motor vehicle

13,872

13,277

10,893

9,783

8,028

7,060

5,878

Theft from a vehicle

28,132

24,378

20,761

20,833

19,183

15,344

13,645

England and Wales2

Theft of a motor vehicle

318,507

291,858

242,732

214,182

193.384

170,008

147,342

Theft from a vehicle

663,679

603,256

500,360

507,239

502,651

432,374

396,950

1 The data in this table takes account of the Introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. These figures are not directly comparable with those for earlier years.

2 Includes British Transport Police from 2002-03 onwards.

Treasury

Income Tax Personal Allowance

16. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last reviewed the levels of the income tax personal allowance; and if he will make a statement. (322200)

The 2009 pre-Budget report confirmed that the personal allowance and age-related allowances will remain at their 2009-10 levels for 2010-11, providing a real terms benefit relative to the fall in September's retail price index.

Income Tax

17. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received on the basic rate of income tax; and if he will make a statement. (322201)

Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide range of organisations and individuals. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such representations.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of those in receipt of (a) working tax credit only, (b) child tax credit only and (c) working tax credit and child tax credit pay (i) standard rate and (ii) higher rate income tax. (318389)

The information requested is provided in the following table.

Tax Credits received at April 2008Number of families with taxpayers1, by the highest rate of tax paid by at least one adult in the familyProportion of families with taxpayers1 (%)

Basic rate2

Higher rate

Basic rate2

Higher rate3

Working Tax Credit (WTC)

280,000

0

77

0

Child Tax Credits (CTC)

2,470,000

210,000

69

6

CTC and WTC

1,310,000

0

76

0

1 Income from savings and investments is not included in the tax calculation

2 This includes families that had starting rate income taxpayers

3 This includes families that had basic and higher rate income taxpayers

Economic Growth Forecasts

18. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on forecasts for economic growth. (322202)

The Chancellor and Prime Minister have regular discussions on a range of issues, including the prospects for the UK economy.

Government Debt

19. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received on his Department's programme for reducing the level of Government debt; and if he will make a statement. (322203)

Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide variety of organisations. It is not the Government’s practice to provide details of such representations.

The 2009 pre-Budget report set out the Government’s plans to ensure the sustainability of the public finances, and the Fiscal Responsibility Act has enshrined these plans in legislation.

The Chancellor will provide an update in his Budget statement on 24 March.

Fuel Duty

20. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the effect on motorists of the level of fuel duty. (322204)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer takes a range of factors into consideration when contemplating rates of excise duty on road fuels. These include fiscal, economic, social and environmental considerations.

In the medium term, sound public finances are essential in order to protect stability, employment and growth for all UK residents, including motorists.

It is for this reason that at Budget 2009 the Chancellor announced that fuel duty would increase by 1p per litre in real term, in April 2010 to 2013. These changes will also help to save 2 million tonnes of CO2 per year, by 2013.

Public Expenditure

21. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Prime Minister and (b) other ministerial colleagues on the mechanism to determine the level of public expenditure in the next three years. (322206)

The Chancellor, discusses public expenditure with the Prime Minister on a regular basis.

The level of public expenditure beyond 2010-11 will be set out as part of the next spending review.

The Chancellor continues to make clear that the current level of global uncertainty means that it would be risky to undertake a spending review at this time. The timing of the next spending review will be announced in due course.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much and what proportion of expenditure from the public purse in 2008-09 was spent in each constituent part of the UK. (322253)

[holding answer 15 March 2010]: Table 9.1 of the annual Public Expenditure and Statistical Analyses (PESA), published by the Treasury in June 2009, sets out the total identifiable expenditure on services by country and region for 2008-09:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/pesa09_chapter9.pdf

(Cm7630).

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of (a) tax revenue and (b) other monies collected by his Department in 2008-09 came from (i) Wales, (ii) Scotland, (iii) Northern Ireland and (iv) England. (322254)

[holding answer 15 March 2010]: Figures on total tax revenue and other monies disaggregated by country are not available. Information on tax receipts at a UK level is given in table B10 of the pre-Budget report 2009:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/pbr09_annexb.pdf

(Cm 7747)

Budget Deficit

22. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the current and future level of the budget deficit; and if he will make a statement. (322207)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer will provide an update on the Government’s fiscal position, including forecasts for the public finances, at Budget.

The Fiscal Responsibility Act puts a legal obligation on the Government to more than halve the deficit over four years and see debt falling by 2015-16.

Interest Rates

23. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the effects on savers of low interest rates. (322208)

The Government seek to support savings and asset ownership for all across the life cycle—from childhood, through working life and into retirement.

The Government recognise that low interest rates, while benefiting many people with mortgages, have meant that savers have seen their return from savings fall.

At Budget 2009 the Government announced a package of measures to help savers. This includes an increase in the ISA limits, an increase in the capital disregard for pensioner-related Housing and Council Tax Benefit, and a campaign encouraging 3.4 million beneficiaries of Pension Credit to claim back any tax they may have overpaid on their savings income.

Manufacturing

24. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the effect on the economy of the level of activity in the manufacturing sector. (322209)

Manufacturing is a key part of the economy, accounting for over 13 per cent. of output and over 50 per cent. of exports. In common with other economies, UK manufacturers were hit hard by the global recession. However, manufacturing output grew by 0.8 per cent. in the last quarter of 2009 and private business surveys suggest that the outlook for manufacturing continues to improve.

Business: Government Assistance

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies have used the Enterprise Investment Scheme in each year since its inception. (322712)

The estimated number of companies that have used the Enterprise Investment Scheme in each tax-year up to and including 2007-08 is published annually on the HMRC website:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/ent_invest_scheme/table8-1.pdf

The estimates for 2008-09 are scheduled to be published in December 2010.

Child Tax Credit: York

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families living in the City of York local authority area receive the child element of child tax credit; in respect of how many children that credit is paid; and what the average amount per week each such family received was in the latest period for which figures are available. (322109)

The latest information on the number of households benefiting from the child element of child tax credits, the number of children in those families and the average amount received in child and working tax credits, by local authority, is published in the HMRC publication “Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics Finalised Awards 2007-08. Geographical Analyses”. This is available at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-geog-payments-0708.pdf

The same information for 2008-09 will be published shortly.

Domicil

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate HM Revenue and Customs has made of the number of UK citizens who have permanent residence in the UK that have retained domicile in (a) Belize, (b) the Turks and Caicos Islands, (c) the Cayman Islands and (d) the Bahamas. (316918)

[holding answer 22 February 2010]: The information requested is not available, as individuals are not required to declare their domicile to HM Revenue and Customs.

Employee Benefit Trusts

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 161W, on employee benefit trusts, what the evidential basis is for HM Revenue and Customs' experience that employee benefit trusts with only one beneficiary are very uncommon. (316953)

In HMRC's experience, most companies that use employee benefit trusts (EBT) have more than one employee. This is because an EBT for only one employee would be ineffective for inheritance tax planning purposes.

Inheritance Tax: Housing

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 11 January 2010, Official Report, column 769W, on inheritance tax: housing, (1) what the gross increase in cash terms in revenue from inheritance tax as a result of challenges by the Valuation Office Agency was in each year before 2008-09 for which figures are available; (319645)

(2) how many individual properties had their assessment for inheritance tax increased in 2008-09 as the result of a challenge by the Valuation Office Agency.

The information requested is provided in the following tables.

Gross increase in Inheritance tax revenues following challenge by the VOA, (£ million)

2008-09

96

2007-08

132

2006-07

105

Number of individual properties whose inheritance tax assessment was increased following challenge by the VOA

2008-09

3,589

2007-08

5,529

2006-07

4,935

Non-domestic Rates: Ports

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many port businesses were physically inspected when the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) began to rate port businesses separately; how many were notified that they were being assessed; and from where the VOA derived the information to make its assessments. (322227)

Since May 2006, the Valuation Office Agency has inspected over 800 properties (hereditaments) within 55 ports in England and Wales as part of the ports review.

Information was collected from the statutory port operators, ratepayers and through physical inspection of the property. In cases where the information supported separate assessment, the ratepayer was served a notice informing them of the assessment.

Research and Development Tax Credit

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many small businesses have applied for research and development tax relief in each of the last three years. (322692)

Annual figures on research and development tax credits are published as National Statistics on the HMRC website:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/corporate_tax/randdtcmenu.htm

The latest figures show that the numbers of claims under the SME scheme were 4,960 in 2005-06, 5,270 in 2006-07, and 5,930 in 2007-08, and the amounts claimed were £180 million, £200 million and £250 million respectively. Figures for 2008-09 are not yet available.

Revenue and Customs: Data Protection

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps have been taken to improve data security at HM Revenue and Customs premises since 2008-09. (317291)

HMRC has an extensive programme of work to improve data security. This programme ran throughout 2008-09 and is continuing.

Key activities have included:

clarifying accountabilities for data security;

improving physical and technical controls on access to and movement of bulk data, and use of removable media; and

driving cultural change through mandatory training for all staff, improved guidance and targeted communication.

Revenue and Customs: Manpower

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of staff of HM Revenue and Customs were (a) on fixed term appointments and (b) agency workers in each of the last three years. (321068)

[holding answer 8 March 2010]: The information is as follows:

(a) The information requested is provided in the following table.

Fixed term appointments

Headcount

Percentage of HMRC total headcount

April 2007

4,206

4.4

April 2008

2,578

2.8

April 2009

1,327

1.5

(b) Agency staff numbers are available only at disproportionate cost, as they are not centrally held by HM Revenue and Customs’ systems.

Tax Avoidance

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he made of the implications for his Department of the judgment of the House of Lords in the case of Furniss v Dawson in 1984; and what estimate he has made of the effect of that judgment on the revenue of the Exchequer. (322243)

The 1984 Furniss v. Dawson judgment is one of a line of cases, often referred to as the “Ramsay” cases. These cases deal with the principle of statutory interpretation and establish the principle that tax legislation must be construed purposively and applied to a realistic view of the transactions that have taken place.

The tax effect of this line of cases is to apply tax provisions in line with Parliament’s intentions, and so collect the tax that is properly due.

Taxation: Pensions

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what his policy is on the (a) removal and (b) reduction of tax relief on pensions savings for people paying income tax at the 40 per cent. rate; (319373)

(2) what his policy is on the introduction of a tax on the interest earned on pension fund investments;

(3) what his policy is on the introduction of a capital gains tax on pension fund investments;

(4) what his policy is on the (a) reduction and (b) abolition of tax free lump sums for qualifying pension schemes;

(5) what estimate his Department has made of the likely effect on Exchequer revenues of the (a) reduction and (b) abolition of tax free lump sums for qualifying pension schemes in the last 12 months;

(6) what estimate his Department has made of the likely effect on Exchequer revenues of the introduction of capital gains tax for pension funds in the last 12 months;

(7) what estimate his Department has made of the likely effect on Exchequer revenues of the introduction of taxation on pension fund growth in the last 12 months;

(8) what estimate his Department has made of the likely effect on Exchequer revenues of the (a) removal and (b) reduction of tax relief on pensions savings for people paying income tax at the 40 per cent. rate in the last 12 months.

The Government introduced a simplified regime for the taxation of pensions with effect from “A-day” (6 April 2006), and their approach to the taxation of pensions is set out in the Finance Act 2004 and in subsequent legislation.

Budget 2009 announced that from April 2011 tax relief on pension contributions would be restricted for those with incomes of £150,000 and over, and a consultation on the implementation of this restriction was launched at PBR 2009.

As with all areas of tax, the Government keep the taxation of pensions under review.

Taxation: Self-assessment and PAYE

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many errors in the calculation of tax based on (a) Pay-As-You-Earn and (b) self assessment were identified in (i) 2006, (ii) 2007, (iii) 2008 and (iv) 2009; and how many errors in the calculation of all types of tax there were in each such year. (313093)

The information requested is not available as data on the numbers of errors in the calculation of tax are not held centrally.

VAT

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints from UK businesses HM Revenue and Customs has received regarding its plans to make submission of value added tax returns online compulsory from April 2010. (321094)

The Government’s plans to make filing online value added tax returns compulsory from April 2010 has been largely welcomed by the professional tax community. HM Revenue and Customs has received 195 complaints, mostly from individual traders, about these plans.

Welfare Tax Credits: Foreigners

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his most recent estimate is of the monetary value of (a) working tax credit and (b) child tax credit paid to (i) non-British EU nationals resident in the UK, (ii) non-EU nationals resident in the UK, (iii) non-British EU nationals not resident in the UK and (iv) non-EU nationals not resident in the UK to date; and if he will make a statement. (320156)

[holding answer 3 March 2010]: The information requested is not available, as tax credit claimants' nationality is not recorded by HM Revenue and Customs.

Tax credits are intended to provide support to families with children and to those in low-paid work in the UK. Therefore eligibility for tax credits depends on the claimants being present and ordinarily resident in the UK. Child tax credit claimants must also have a right to reside in the UK.

Health

Abortion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 684W, on abortions, for what reasons national health service numbers are not used as a unique patient identifier in respect of abortion operations; and what recent representations he has received on the matter. (322328)

The national health service number is not used as a unique patient identifier for women accessing abortion services for reasons of confidentiality, enabling women who wish to remain anonymous to do so. This is in accordance with the ‘NHS Number programme’ implementation guidance issued in December 2008, which confirms that exemptions apply to patients accessing sexual health services. The Government have received some representation on this matter and have no plans to change their position.

Arthritis: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of rheumatoid arthritis services; what steps his Department is (a) taking and (b) plans to take to encourage primary care trusts to commission services in line with this assessment in the next six months; and if he will make a statement. (322283)

The Department has not made any specific assessment of the effectiveness of rheumatoid arthritis services.

It is the responsibility of primary care trusts as commissioners of health care services to ensure that their populations have access to the services that reflect their needs, priorities and aspirations and that the design and provision of services is evidence based.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to improve the training provided to GPs in respect of rheumatoid arthritis; what funding his Department is providing to support this training; when he anticipates the educational material to be provided by his Department; and if he will make a statement. (322284)

We recognise the importance of training in rheumatoid arthritis. The Government do not specify the content of the general practitioner training curriculum. This is developed by the Royal College of General Practitioners. Responsibility for approval of the curriculum reset with the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB), which is the competent authority for postgraduate medical training in the United Kingdom. PMETB is an independent professional body.

From 1 April 2010, the content of postgraduate medical training will be the responsibility of the General Medical Council (GMC) following a merge of the two organisations.

Central funding for postgraduate medical training is provided through Multi-Professional Education and Training (MPET).

Educational materials are developed by the appropriate professional bodies, such as the Medical Royal Colleges, and those responsible for delivering medical education.

While it is not practicable or desirable for the Government to prescribe the exact training that any individual doctor will receive we are, of course, aware of the need to ensure perceived areas of weakness in training curricula are addressed. For that reason, we are liaising with the Regulators and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges about how best to ensure curricula do meet requirements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his most recent assessment is of progress towards meeting the 18-week waiting time target for access to rheumatoid arthritis services; what assessment he has made of the effect of the waiting time target on the provision of rheumatology services; and if he will make a statement. (322285)

Latest figures, for December 2009, show that 98 per cent. of non-admitted rheumatology patients and 99 per cent. of admitted rheumatology patients started their treatment within 18 weeks of referral. Rheumatology is the treatment function category into which most rheumatoid arthritis patients will fall.

The 18 weeks waiting time standard has significantly improved access to consultant-led treatment—including patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Implementing the 18-week standard has driven earlier diagnosis and treatment of new patients—which is of particular benefit for patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Bridlington Hospital: Bus Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reasons the shuttle bus service between Bridlington and Scarborough hospitals and funded by the NHS has ceased operating; and when he expects the service to resume. (322363)

The Information requested is not held centrally. However, the right hon. Member may wish to approach the Scarborough and North East Yorkshire healthcare NHS trust direct for this information.

Cancer: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 10 November 2009, Official Report, column 242W, on cancer: drugs, (1) what period elapsed from the licensing of each drug referred to in the answer to the (a) draft and (b) final National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance being available; (322366)

(2) what cancer drugs have been appraised by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) since the answer; whether each was (a) recommended and (b) not recommended for NHS use; how long the appraisal of each took; whether the pharmaceutical company supplying each such drug offered to make it available through a patient access scheme; and how long it has taken from the licensing of each drug to draft and final NICE guidance being made available.

The information requested is shown in the table.

Topic

Single Technology Appraisal (STA) or Multiple Technology Appraisal (MTA)

Date of market authorisation for relevant indication

Start of NICE appraisal1

Date of draft NICE guidance

Date of final NICE guidance

Recommendation

Patient Access Scheme considered by NICE

Yondelis (trabectedin) for soft tissue sarcoma

STA

September 2007

September 2008

June 2009

February 2010

Partial recommendation

Yes

Hycamtin (topotecan) for small cell lung cancer

MTA

From January 2006

August 2008

July 2009

November 2009

Partial recommendation

No

Hycamtin (topotecan) for Cervical Cancer (recurrent)

STA

December 2006

December 2008

June 2009

October 2009

Partial recommendation

No

Sutent (sunitinib) for Gastrointestinal stromal tumours

STA

July 2006

August 2008

March 2009

September 2009

Partial recommendation

Yes

Alimta (pemetrexed) for the first-line treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer

STA

April 2008

October 2008

April 2009

September 2009

Partial recommendation

No