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House of Commons Hansard
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Written Answers
29 March 2010
Volume 508

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 29 March 2010

Northern Ireland

Departmental Buildings

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many smoking shelters have been built for his Department’s staff in the last five years; and at what cost. [324354]

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The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has not built any smoking shelters within the last five years.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether his Department provides subsidised gym facilities for its staff. [324556]

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The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) provides some exercise facilities available for its staff at no cost in London and Belfast. The Department provides these facilities as part of an ongoing commitment to its Workplace Health Improvement Programme.

Departmental Internet

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 1 March 2010, Official Report, column 837W, on departmental internet, what the cost was of the website redesign. [321926]

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The cost for the redesign of the website was £4,185.94.

Departmental Official Hospitality

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the five most expensive hospitality events hosted by his Department and its agencies were in the last three years; and what the (a) cost and (b) purpose was of each. [324416]

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The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) is responsible for hosting events, recorded as expenditure under hospitality, which acknowledge the contribution made by a wide range of people to life in Northern Ireland. These include receptions at Hillsborough Castle for representatives from the voluntary, charity and business sectors as well as the police, armed forces and their families (including those returning from active service in Afghanistan), to recognise their contribution to wider society.

The five events hosted by the Northern Ireland Office over the past three years which have incurred the greatest expenditure are shown in the following table.

Date

Venue

£

Annual Royal Garden Party attended by HRH Princess Anne

May 2009

Hillsborough Castle

72,231.64

This event held to acknowledge the contribution made by a wide range of people to life in Northern Ireland. The 2,500 guests included representatives from the voluntary, charity and business sectors as well as the police, armed forces and their families (including those returning from active service in Afghanistan), to recognise their contribution to wider society.

Annual Royal Garden Party attended by HRH Prince of Wales and HRH Duchess of Cornwall

May 2008

Hillsborough Castle

86,996.18

This event held to acknowledge the contribution made by a wide range of people to life in Northern Ireland. The 2,500 guests included representatives from the voluntary, charity and business sectors as well as the police, armed forces and their families (including those returning from active service in Afghanistan), to recognise their contribution to wider society.

Annual Royal Garden Party attended by HRH Prince of Wales and HRH Duchess of Cornwall

May 2007

Hillsborough Castle

73,698.35

This event held to acknowledge the contribution made by a wide range of people to life in Northern Ireland. The 2,500 guests included representatives from the voluntary, charity and business sectors as well as the police, armed forces and their families (including those returning from active service abroad), to recognise their contribution to wider society.

Royal Garden Party attended by Her Majesty The Queen and HRH Duke of Edinburgh

June 2007

University of Ulster, Coleraine

73,902.33

Royal Garden Party held to acknowledge the contribution made specifically by those living in the north and north-west of Northern Ireland. 2,000 guests included representatives from the voluntary, charity and business sectors as well as the police, armed forces and their families.

Royal Garden Party attended by HRH Princess Anne

May 2007

Hillsborough Castle

64,318.58

This event was held to specifically acknowledge the unique contribution made by those working in the Northern Ireland Prison Service throughout the years of conflict in Northern Ireland. The 2,000 guests were drawn from current and former employees of the Northern Ireland Prison Service and their families.

Hotels

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 8 February 2010, Official Report, column 653W, on hotels, for what reason his Department does not use the Expotel booking service. [324299]

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The Northern Ireland Office (NIO), in conjunction with other public sector organisations in Northern Ireland, has a contract with a travel agent in Northern Ireland which provides a comprehensive travel booking service, including hotel bookings.

Scotland

Departmental Buildings

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many smoking shelters have been built for his Department's staff in the last five years; and at what cost. [324347]

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No smoking shelters have been built by the Scotland Office in the last five years.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department has spent on rooms for staff leisure in each of the last five years. [324426]

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No expenditure has been incurred in the last five years on rooms for staff leisure.

Departmental Energy

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what (a) voltage optimisers and (b) equivalent technologies are used within buildings occupied by his Department. [324970]

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The Scotland Office does not currently use voltage optimisers or other equivalent technologies in its premises.

Departmental Official Hospitality

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the five most expensive hospitality events hosted by his Department were in the last three years; and what (a) the cost and (b) purpose of each was. [324660]

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The following were the five most expensive hospitality events hosted by the Scotland Office in the last three years:

Cost (£)

Event

Purpose

Secretary of State's reception for Trooping the Colour, 2008

To enable Scotland Office Ministers and Scottish MPs to engage with a wide range of Scottish stakeholders

6,477

Secretary of State's reception for Trooping the Colour, 2009

To enable Scotland Office Ministers and Scottish MPs to engage with a wide range of Scottish stakeholders

6,311

Reception for media attending the G20 summit of world leaders, 2009

To promote Scotland to the international media attending the G20 summit

5,065

Secretary of State's reception for Trooping the Colour, 2007

To enable Scotland Office Ministers and Scottish MPs to engage with a wide range of Scottish stakeholders

4,605

Lunch for the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 2009

To enable the Moderator to meet with Scottish MPs, Peers and lobby correspondents

4,123

All expenditure was incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Office for National Statistics: Publications

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements there are for the Office for National Statistics to provide information to his Department for inclusion in Departmental publications; what protocols apply to the use of such information by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [324854]

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Much of the information presented in Scotland Office publications draws on material published elsewhere, including both PESA, published by HM Treasury, and Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland, published by the Scottish Government, both of which are classified as National Statistics. Some material published in the Scotland Office annual report is derived from data collected for administrative purposes. In keeping with any information in the public domain, no protocols exist for the use of information published by other Departments and classified as National Statistics.

Statistics: Scotland

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he had with the National Statistician on the (a) methodology and (b) presentation of national statistics in his Department's publication entitled (i) Scotland and Defence, (ii) Expenditure and revenue in Scotland, (iii) Tax and (iv) Scotland and Oil. [324853]

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The Scotland Office Background Papers in question all draw on existing National Statistics publications but were not themselves classified as National Statistics. Indeed they simply draw on already existing statistics, such as the Scottish Government's GERS result that Scotland had a fiscal deficit of £11.1 billion in 2007-08. Such analysis clearly underlines how Scotland's economic prosperity is best safeguarded as being at the heart of the UK.

Culture, Media and Sport

BBC

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many persons were employed by the BBC in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [324379]

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According to the BBC annual report and accounts, the number of staff employed by the BBC in each of the last three years is set out in the following table.

Number

2008-09

22,874

2007-08

23,101

2006-07

23,037

Detailed information on the nature of the roles undertaken by BBC staff is not held by my Department.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent research he has undertaken on public opinion on the BBC and the licence fee as a means of funding it; and if he will make a statement. [324383]

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The Government undertook extensive research on public attitudes to the BBC and the licence fee as part of the Charter review process, which ran from 2003-06. This research was taken into account in determining the current six-year funding settlement, implemented from 1 April 2007.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will bring forward proposals to allow commercial advertising on BBC channels; what recent representations he has on this issue; what response he gave; and if he will make a statement. [324385]

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Under the terms of the BBC's Charter and Agreement, the BBC cannot show commercial advertising on its licence fee-funded channels without the express approval of the Secretary of State. I have neither been asked for nor given such approval.

I regularly receive representations on various aspects of the BBC. Whenever the issue of advertising is raised, my response is that I have no intention of amending the current arrangements.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport with reference to the 2006 Agreement between the Secretary of State and the BBC; what discussions he has had with the BBC since January 2010 on broadcasting standards; what response he received from the BBC; if he will place in the Library a copy of the note taken of each meeting; and if he will make a statement. [324386]

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I have had no discussions with the BBC on broadcasting standards since January 2010.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he last met the (a) Chairman of the BBC Trust and (b) Director General of the BBC; what issues were discussed; whether a record of the meeting was kept; and if he will make a statement. [324389]

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I last met the Chairman of the BBC Trust on 19 October 2009, when we discussed a range of current issues.

I last met the Director-General of the BBC on 8 March 2010 when he provided a brief summary of the BBC’s Strategy Review, which had been published on 2 March.

According to standard departmental procedure, all ministerial meetings are recorded.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what account he will take of commitments to ensure (a) efficiency savings and (b) the prevention of inflation of staff and talent costs at the BBC in determining the future level of the BBC licence fee; and if he will make a statement. [324422]

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The Government will take all relevant matters into consideration in setting the future level of the licence fee.

Under the terms of the BBC Charter and Agreement, it is the responsibility of the BBC Trust to ensure that the BBC delivers financial efficiency and hold the Executive to account for its performance in delivering value for money.

Departmental Buildings

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on interior design in relation to office refurbishments undertaken in each of the last five years. [324672]

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The Department has not spent anything on interior design in the last five years.

Departmental Contracts

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will issue guidance on his Department's policy on the relocation offshore of departmental jobs to companies bidding for contracts let by his Department. [324793]

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My Department does not have a policy on the relocation offshore of departmental jobs to companies bidding for contracts.

Departmental Manpower

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many grade 2 civil servants are employed in his Department. [324957]

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My Department employs two grade 2 civil servants.

Departmental Public Consultation

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) questionnaires, (b) statistical enquiries and (c) investigations have been carried out wholly or partly at public expense on behalf of or by his Department or public bodies for which he is responsible in each year since 1997; and what the (i) nature, (ii) purpose and (iii) cost was of each. [324380]

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The information requested on behalf of my Department can be provided only at disproportionate cost. My Department does not hold this information in relation to public bodies.

Information on the official statistics produced by my Department and its bodies can be found on the DCMS website in the DCMS Official Statistics catalogue at:

http://www.dcms.gov.uk/reference_library/research_and _statistics/4824.aspx

Television: Licensing

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many free television licences have been issued to residents of (a) Southend, West constituency, (b) Essex County Council authority area and (c) England and Wales in each year since such licences were introduced. [324376]

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My Department does not hold the information. Free television licences for people aged 75 or over are issued by TV Licensing as agents for the BBC. This is, therefore, a matter for the BBC.

I understand that the BBC does not collate information on licence holders aged 75 or over by constituency, county or nation as this is not necessary for the purposes of licence fee collection.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much the television licence fee was in each year since 1990; what plans he has to change the level of the licence fee in each of the next three years; what discussions he has had with the BBC about the licence fee since January 2009; and if he will make a statement. [324381]

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Information on the level of the licence fee since 1990 is available on the BBC website at the following web address:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/keyfacts/stories/licencefee.shtml

A six year funding settlement for the BBC was announced by my right hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich and West Norwood (Tessa Jowell) in January 2007 and took effect from 1 April 2007. The settlement provided for annual increases in the television licence for the six years of the licence fee period, subject to the making of the necessary regulations setting the licence fee for the coming year.

Under the terms of the settlement, the increase in the licence fee from 1 April 2012 will be between 0 per cent. and 2 per cent., subject to a review nearer the time.

The Government remain committed to the settlement and do not intend to reopen it within the six-year period. This is because of the important principle that maintaining multi-year settlements helps to support the BBC's independence from Government and avoids suggestions of political interference.

I have regular discussions with the BBC on a range of issues.

Electoral Commission Committee

Elections: Fraud

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To ask the hon. Member for South- West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission how many allegations of electoral malpractice have been reported to the Electoral Commission by police in each of the last 10 years. [324546]

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The Electoral Commission informs me that police forces are not obliged to report allegations of electoral malpractice to the Commission. Since 2008, however, the Commission has worked with police forces to establish a mechanism for collating information about cases of alleged electoral malpractice reported to the police.

In 2008, police forces reported 103 cases involving a total of 476 allegations of electoral malpractice in England and Wales; there were no elections in Scotland. In 2009, police forces reported 48 cases involving a total of 107 allegations of electoral malpractice in Great Britain.

The Commission has published its analysis of these cases, including the outcome of investigations and prosecutions where relevant. Copies of its reports for 2008 and 2009 have been placed in the Library.

General Elections

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To ask the hon. Member for South- West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what timetable the Electoral Commission has set for the publication of its guidance on counting ballots on general election night; and if the Electoral Commission will make it its policy to ensure that counting on general election night is the expected norm. [324724]

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The Electoral Commission informs me that each Returning Officer is individually responsible for making arrangements for the count, and for complying with any provisions which may impact on its timing.

The Commission further informs me that it published draft guidance for Returning Officers on the timing of UK parliamentary election counts on 16 March 2010 and will publish formal guidance when the relevant provisions of the Constitutional Reform and Governance (CRAG) Bill are commenced. The draft guidance is available on the Commission's website:

www.electoralcommission.org.uk

In its draft guidance the Commission has stressed to Returning Officers that they should be aware of the strength of support among Members of Parliament for overnight counts, although its policy remains that the accuracy of the result and confidence in the election result are of paramount importance.

Political Parties: Finance

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To ask the hon. Member for South- West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Chichester of 15 January 2008, Official Report, column 1084W, on political parties: finance, what stage the Electoral Commission's research into the operation of the political levy and political fund has reached; and whether the Electoral Commission has met (a) the Certification Officer for Great Britain and (b) the Northern Ireland Certification Officer in the course of its research. [324626]

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The Electoral Commission informs me that, further to the answer to the hon. Member for Chichester (Mr. Tyrie) of 25 February 2008, Official Report, column 1149W, its research was limited to the legislative framework and information on how the political levy and political funds currently operate. The Commission completed this work in 2008.

The Commission further informs me that Commission staff met staff of the Certification Officer for Great Britain in the course of the research but that there were no equivalent meetings with staff of the Certification Officer for Northern Ireland.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Beaches: Standards

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress has been made in increasing the cleanliness of beaches. [324641]

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Local authorities have a duty to keep their relevant land, including beaches above the high water mark, clear of litter and refuse. While local authorities monitor cleanliness through the National Indicator 195 (improved street and environmental cleanliness), DEFRA does not ask authorities to specifically report on the cleanliness of their beaches. This makes it difficult to assess whether or not beaches in general are achieving higher levels of cleanliness. Through the Blue Flag Beach Award scheme, administered by DEFRA's delivery partner Keep Britain Tidy, beaches are assessed for litter, amongst other indicators. The latest awards will be announced in May of this year.

Coastal Erosion

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department undertakes surveys of cliff and coastal erosion. [323994]

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Surveys of cliff and coastal erosion are undertaken by local authorities. The frequency of surveys is determined by the scale of the risk.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many full-time equivalent staff of each grade are employed by his Department to assist special advisers. [321135]

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The Code of Conduct for Special Advisers states that, in order to enable special advisers to work effectively, departments may allocate permanent civil servants to provide support of a non-political nature. In DEFRA, two members of the Secretary of State’s private office assist the special advisers; they are an executive officer and an administrative officer.

Domestic Waste: Waste Disposal

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy to ensure that all households are able to have a weekly domestic refuse collection. [323645]

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The Government believe that local authorities are best placed to make decisions for their own communities, so does not interfere in the waste collection decisions local authorities make.

Electronic Warfare

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of an electromagnetic pulse strike caused (a) deliberately and (b) through solar activity on the critical infrastructure of his Department. [321759]

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I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Delyn (Mr. Hanson) to the hon. Member for East Devon (Mr. Swire) on 3 March 2010, Official Report, column 1282W.

Floods: Castle Point

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has made a recent assessment of the (a) likelihood and (b) potential effects of surface water flooding in built-up areas in Castle Point constituency; and if he will make a statement. [324588]

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The Environment Agency has modelled areas susceptible to surface water flooding in Castle Point constituency and elsewhere. The model shows the effects of a single storm with a 1:200 annual chance of occurring, allowing for regional variations in rainfall.

DEFRA carried out an assessment which ranked settlements nationally based on numbers of properties at risk. Castle Point settlements identified were: Canvey Island: 240th (1,700 properties), Benfleet: 316th (1,000), and North Benfleet: 1,411th (100).

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations his Department has received from (a) Essex county council and (b) Castle Point borough council on the methodology used to allocate funding for the development of surface water management plans. [324589]

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My Department has received no formal representations from Essex county council or Castle Point borough council about the methodology used to allocate £9.7 million funding for the development of surface water management plans (SWMPs) announced in August 2009, or on the allocations for Early Actions bids announced on 19 March 2010.

A formal process was put in place for local authorities to challenge the methodology used to allocate the £9.7 million funding for the development of SWMPs. This was not used by either Essex county council or Castle Point borough council.

Castle Point borough council wrote to the Secretary of State on 16 March 2009 requesting consideration be given to funding a SWMP for Canvey Island and my reply of 14 May 2009 explained the funding arrangements available.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department received bids for funding for early actions to tackle local flood risk from (a) Essex county council and (b) Castle Point borough council. [324648]

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Essex county council did not bid for Early Action flood protection funding.

Castle Point borough council bid for a Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP). This was unsuccessful. We received bids totalling in excess of £20 million. Allocation was prioritised on the scale of risk reduction; number of properties within the SWMP; certainty of the risk being managed; and confidence of the proposal delivering by March 2011.

Forests: West Midlands

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps he has taken to protect woodland in the West Midlands. [324277]

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All tree felling is administered by the Forestry Commission in accordance with the felling regulations under the Forestry Act 1967 (as amended). Any felling carried out without a licence is an offence, unless it is covered by one of the exemptions specified in the legislation. Under the Forestry Act, the Forestry Commission usually attaches conditions to the felling licence to secure replanting of the area felled.

Other measures to protect woodland, such as tree preservation orders, are available to local authorities in the West Midlands and throughout England.

Landfill

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether local authorities will be fully refunded for costs incurred in complying with the proposed landfill ban under the new burdens principle. [324625]

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A consultation is currently taking place on options to restrict the landfilling of biodegradable and recyclable wastes, including landfill bans. This is a first stage consultation on the principle of introducing such restrictions, and responses from this consultation will inform Government consideration of whether it is desirable, practical and affordable to introduce restrictions.

The consultation is accompanied by an impact assessment which sets out the estimated costs and benefits of any potential landfill restrictions. Should Government conclude they wish to introduce restrictions, the specific proposals would be the subject of a second stage consultation.

Depending on the nature of any proposal the Government may publish in a second stage consultation, the new burdens principle would apply to any policies which increase the cost of providing local authority services and impact solely or disproportionately on local government.

Marine Conservation Zones

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps he plans to take to ensure scientific evidence is taken into account in identifying marine conservation zones under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009; [324272]

(2) what socio-economic criteria will be taken into account in (a) the selection of individual sites and (b) the design of an ecologically cohesive network of marine conservation zones;

(3) whether the seven principles of ecological cohesion will be adhered to in the designation of marine conservation zones;

(4) whether the minimum conservation objectives for marine conservation zones will be a favourable condition used in designating sites of special scientific interest.

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Designations of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), by necessity, must be based on science to identify the case for conserving habitats, flora and fauna in accordance with the provisions set out in the Marine and Coastal Access Act. The Government have established an independent Science Advisory Panel who will advise both the regional projects and Government on the science. In our statement of 11 March to Parliament, the Government set out the seven principles of ecological coherence it will apply. The development of the ecological guidance to be issued by the SNCBs is being informed by research that has been subject to peer review.

It will be the responsibility of the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies, working with four regional stakeholder projects, to set out the rationale in its advice to Government on where to create MCZs and the conservation objectives to be achieved. A key part of this will involve assembling evidence, including scientific and socio-economic data. We consider that the concept of Good Environmental Status—which will be defined through implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive—should guide the minimum level acceptable for MCZ objectives, as far as that is an appropriate measure for a site-based conservation tool. Government expect that scientific uncertainty will be explicitly recognised in that advice. For example, our understanding of the connectivity principle is still evolving and while not unimportant it will be a secondary consideration.

There will be choices to be made, for example between replicate features, or site management measures, or how to support both development and conservation policies. We expect socio-economic considerations to be taken into account at all stages to inform these choices. These considerations will include opportunity costs. The criteria to be applied will be ones that provide confidence that decisions will result in an ecologically coherent network that is well supported, understood and can be managed to contribute to our vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive, and biologically diverse oceans and seas.

Nature Conservation: West Midlands

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps he has taken to protect wildlife in the West Midlands. [324278]

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Natural England is the lead delivery body for the Government’s strategy to conserve wildlife in England. Examples of Natural England’s action in the West Midlands include:

Increasing the total area of the most important sites for nature conservation—Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs)—in the region in favourable or recovering condition; this being 20,000 ha or 89.75 per cent. of the total resource in the region.

Getting 63 per cent. of the utilisable agricultural area of the region under an agri-environment agreement through £40 million of annual investment in environmental stewardship and classic schemes, which pay land managers to manage their land in ways that benefits biodiversity, the historic environment and the landscape.

In particular through the Higher Level Stewardship scheme (HLS) bringing over 3,000 ha of existing wildlife habitats into favourable management and creating an additional 450 ha of new habitats across the region, and bringing an additional 800 ha of farmland under specific agreement to provide suitable feeding and breeding habitats for target species of farmland birds.

Ensuring that 2,816 ha (97.3 per cent.) of the region’s National Nature Reserves are in favourable or recovering condition.

Providing funding of £186,000 in 2009-10 to regional and local biodiversity partnerships in the West Midlands, and supporting the local Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB on “Wetland Vision, Lapwing Meadows” and other projects, with more than £60,000 of funding in the same year.

Recycling: West Midlands

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps he has taken to encourage recycling in the West Midlands. [324280]

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Local authorities are best placed to make decisions on the waste management strategy for their communities, although the Government strongly encourage recycling through a range of measures. Local authorities are required by law to provide every household with a kerbside collection of at least two materials by December 2010 as part of a strategy to increase recycling.

Through the Waste Resources Action programme (WRAP) we are providing tailored support to local authorities to facilitate and encourage recycling.

Over the last five years, WRAP has provided advice and support to every local authority in the West Midlands. Three authorities (Stratford on Avon, Newcastle under Lyme and Shropshire council) are already signatories to the recently launched Waste Collection Commitment, developed by WRAP and the Local Government Association. This sets out the principles of a good recycling service, one of which is that local authorities should collect as many materials for recycling as possible and then explain clearly what happens to them.

WRAP is working with the Regional Development Agency, Advantage West Midlands, to deliver a £5.4 million programme to increase collections of waste material, develop recycling infrastructure and increase the use of recycled materials. The support will be a mixture of capital funding and business development support.

Prime Minister

Building Resilience

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To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 22 March 2010, Official Report, column 2W, on community relations, when the paper was classified; what level of classification it has; what assessment has been made of that classification in the last 12 months; and what the reasons are for its classification. [324578]

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I have nothing further to add to the answer I gave on 22 March 2010, Official Report, column 2W.

Tony Blair

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To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of (a) the memorandum written by David Manning on 30 January 2003 and (b) the minutes of the meeting which took place between Tony Blair and President Bush in Crawford, Texas, on 22 February 2003. [323269]

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I have been asked to reply.

The Government do not publish classified documents in the Libraries of the House.

Solicitor-General

Corruption

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To ask the Solicitor-General whether the Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has classified MW Kellogg as a self-reporting company under the SFO's Approach to Dealing with Overseas Corruption issued in July 2009. [324647]

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The Serious Fraud Office does not confirm or deny the existence of such classification in any particular case it may be investigating.

Government Departments: Judicial Review

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To ask the Solicitor-General with reference to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 1 March 2009, Official Report, column 943W, on Government departments: judicial review, in respect of what cases each Department was a first defendant and the judicial review was granted following a substantive hearing between 2007 and 2009. [323694]

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I have been asked to reply.

The cases where challenges by way of judicial review were upheld against Government Departments following substantive hearings, as set out in the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr. Maude) of 1 March 2010, are as follows:

2007

Secretary of State for Defence

Challenge against orders of Secretary of State “stopping up” two footpaths and setting out replacement routes;

Secretary of State for Home Department (SSHD)

Challenge to removal directions set by SSHD;

SSHD

Challenge against decision of SSHD to detain claimant following his release on bail;

Secretary of State for Justice (SSJ)

Challenge to decision to revoke licence and take claimant back into custody;

SSJ

Challenge against effects of Training Centre (Amendment) Rules 2007;

SSJ

Challenge against decision of Governor to handcuff prisoner while attending hospital for treatment;

SSJ

Challenge regarding failure to move prisoner to open prison following Parole Board decision;

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (SSCLG)

Challenge against decision to allow appeals against dismissal of 2 Fire Officers pursuant to the Fire Services (Discipline) Regulations 1985;

SSGLG

Challenge against decision to dismiss an appeal against a determination made under the Local Authority Business Growth Incentive Scheme (LABGIS);

SSCLG

Challenge against decision of Defendant to refuse to retrospectively review the claimant's one year grant under the LABGIS;

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (SSTI)

Challenge to decision announced in July 2006 Energy Review Report deciding to support nuclear new build;

SSTI

Challenge to October 2005 decision transposing into domestic law provisions of the Equal Treatment Amending Directive (CB2002/73EC);

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Challenge to Defendant's decision confirming overpayment of income support.

2008

DEFRA

Challenge against approach taken and policy adopted by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the control of the use of pesticides in crop spraying;

HMCS

Challenge against defendant's decision to issue a warrant of commitment to prison for a term of 1,190 days;

SSHD

Challenge to decision of SSHD not to treat further representations of claimant as a fresh claim pursuant to paragraph 353 of the Immigration Rules;

SSHD

Challenge of decision of SSHD informing claimant that she had no basis to stay in UK following refusal of her application for leave to remain;

SSHD

Challenge to decision of SSHD not to treat further representations of claimant as a fresh claim pursuant to paragraph 353 of the Immigration Rules;

SSHD

Challenge to decision of SSHD to continue to detain the claimant pending ongoing arrangements being made for his removal;

SSHD

Challenge to decision of SSHD not to treat further representations of claimant as a fresh claim pursuant to paragraph 353 of the Immigration Rules;

SSJ

Challenge regarding failure to move prisoner to open prison following Parole Board decision;

SSJ

Challenge by category A prisoner serving life sentence against decision not to re-categorise him to category B;

SSCLG

Challenge against various decisions of Planning Inspector ordering council to pay an interested party's costs of pursuing her planning appeals;

SSCLG

Challenge against decision of Planning Inspector dismissing an application for costs on appeal under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

SSTI

Challenge of decision of Inspector to exclude certain evidence in respect of an application by the National Grid for wayleaves over the land of the claimant.

2009

SSHD

Challenge against decision of SSHD refusing claimant leave to remain in the country;

SSHD

Challenge against decisions of SSHD to: (i) remove the claimant from the country while he still had a valid appeal pending; (ii) to revoke his residence permit; and (iii) to arrest and detain him;

SSHD

Challenge against decision of SSHD refusing claimant leave to remain as a student;

SSJ

Challenge by category A prisoner serving life sentence against decision not to re-categorise him to category B.

Women and Equality

Equality and Human Rights Commission: Industrial Disputes

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To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer of 25 January 2010, Official Report, column 556W, on Equality and Human Rights Commission: industrial disputes, how much was paid out of public funds to settle the dispute in each of the 12 cases. [319749]

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EHRC is independent and it manages its own affairs; the following is based on information it has provided.

Of the 12 cases concerned two have been settled for a monetary sum. The total amount paid in these cases was £25,000. The other 10 cases were settled without a monetary payment.

Equality and Human Rights Commission

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To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer of 1 February 2010, Official Report, column 68W, on the Equality and Human Rights Commission, if she will place in the Library a copy of the correspondence (a) requesting the use of the Commission's buildings for non-Commission business and (b) (i) granting and (ii) revoking such permission. [319741]

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The EHRC is independent and manages its own affairs. I have placed the correspondence it has provided in the Libraries of both Houses.

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To ask the Minister for Women and Equality for what reasons the Equality and Human Rights Commission pays travel and expenses rates to staff based on the rates paid by each of the Commission's predecessor bodies. [323049]

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is independent and manages its own affairs; the following is based on information it has provided.

The EHRC has kept in place existing HMRC approved travel and expenses policy based on the legacy commission rates while it is in the process of finalising its new travel expenses policy that would apply to all EHRC staff. The new policy will be part of a suite of human resource policies which are due to be implemented in April 2010.

Equality and Human Rights Commission: Databases

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To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 22 February 2010, Official Report, column 41W, on the Equality and Human Rights Commission: databases, what requirements there will be on local authorities to provide information for the Equality Measuring Framework database. [323031]

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is independent and manages its own affairs; the following is based on information it has provided.

The Commission advise that no increased burden will fall on local authorities as a result of the Equality Measurement Framework, as all the data for the tool will be taken from existing sources only.

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To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 22 February 2010, Official Report, column 41W, on the Equality and Human Rights Commission: databases, if she will place in the Library a copy of (a) the procurement notice for the Equality Measuring Framework database and (b) the full specification for the database. [323032]

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is independent and manages its own affairs; the following is based on information it has provided.

A procurement notice for the Equality Measurement Framework is expected to be published in April 2010 and will be made available in due course. The contractor will be asked to specify the structure of the database so it is not possible to provide a full specification at this stage.

Energy and Climate Change

Carbon Emissions

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what volume of carbon dioxide has been emitted from the UK in each year since 2007, reckoned on the environmental accounts basis. [321276]

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I have been asked to reply.

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what volume of carbon dioxide has been emitted from the UK in each year since 2007, reckoned on an environmental accounts basis. (321276).

I refer to my previous answer in Official Report, Volume 507, column 793 of 16 March 2010 to your question regarding carbon dioxide emissions since 1990 (320331) which details annual UK emissions up to and including 2007. These are the latest available figures on a national accounts basis. The scheduled release date for the 2008 figures, to be published as part of the UK Environmental Accounts, has been pre-announced as Friday 11 June 2010.

Carbon Emissions: Business

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent representations he has received on carbon reporting by large companies; and if he will make a statement. [323768]

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This year I have received representations from the Aldersgate Group to introduce regulations requiring the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions by large companies as soon as practicable. I have also received ministerial correspondence on this subject from MPs and members of the public. Other Departments have also received representations.

The Government are currently undertaking a review evaluating the contribution which reporting makes to the achievement of the UK’s climate change objectives, as required under the Climate Change Act 2008. The review is due to be completed by 1 December 2010. The conclusions of that review will help to inform decisions on whether to make reporting mandatory.

Collaboration Agreements

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2010, Official Report, columns 1493-4W, on collaboration agreements, on what date the Joint Meeting on Enhanced Collaboration will take place; where the meeting will be held; what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of that meeting; and what (a) organisations and (b) individuals have been invited to that meeting. [322276]

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The UK-India Workshop on Civil Nuclear R&D Collaboration is being hosted by the Energy and Physical Sciences Research Council [EPSRC], with assistance from officials within the FCO, on 22 to 24 March 2010. Whitehall officials from FCO, MOD, DIS, DfID, DECC and BIS have been invited as well as senior figures from India’s Department of Atomic Energy [DAE] and Indian industry representatives.

The workshop is being held at the Cumberland Hotel, London. Stephen Elsby, senior sector manager for power at EPSRC, is leading the event.

As this workshop has not been arranged by DECC I am unable to provide details of exact costs incurred or Indian officials attending.

Departmental Recruitment

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department and its agencies spent on external recruitment consultants in the last year for which figures are available. [315499]

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For the financial year 2009-10 the Department has spent a total of £231,385 on external recruitment consultants.

Energy: Conservation

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when energy efficient circulator pumps will be labelled Energy Saving Recommended. [324288]

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The Department does not have information on when circulator pumps will be labelled Energy Saving Recommended. Responsibility for this issue rests with the Energy Saving Trust.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when energy efficient circulator pumps will be included on the Energy Saving Trust website. [324289]

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The Department does not have information on when energy efficient circulator pumps will be included on the website of the Energy Saving Trust. This is a matter for the Energy Saving Trust.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average payback period is for each type of energy efficient technology commercially available, with particular reference to circulator pumps and technologies applicable to non-domestic properties, ranked by their payback period; and if he will make a statement. [324290]

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Many of the energy efficiency technologies could be employed in both the domestic and non-domestic arena, so the information on payback periods provided in response to question 1088 may be relevant to some smaller non-domestic applications. However, information on the payback periods in non-domestic properties are much more difficult to determine because of the likely significant variation in scale, cost and use. The Department does not hold this information.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the (a) average internal rate of return and (b) cost per kilogram of carbon dioxide not emitted was for each type of energy efficient technology commercially available, in the latest period for which figures are available, with particular reference to circulator pumps and those technologies applicable to non-domestic properties, ranked by their payback period; and if he will make a statement. [324291]

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The Department does not hold information on the internal rate of return, as this information would be specific to each company and installed measure.

The private cost per kilogram of carbon dioxide not emitted (avoided) under a CERT regime can be determined for a range of technologies from the information provided in the following tables 1 and 2. The cost can be obtained by dividing the total cost for the measure, shown in table 2, by the relevant carbon dioxide savings shown in table 1 (multiply the figures shown in table 1 by 1,000 to obtain kilograms of carbon dioxide). The Department does not hold this information for circulator pumps.

Table 1: Lifetime CO2 saving score per measure, in the priority and non-priority groups

Lifetime CO2 savings per measure tCO2 (lifetime)

Carbon saving measure

Lifetime (years)

PG

Non-PG

Insulation

Cavity wall insulation

40

23.74

26.34

Loft insulation professional (from < 60mm)

40

14.70

18.10

Loft insulation professional (from > 60mm)

40

4.34

5.34

Loft insulation (DIY)

40

9.40

11.58

SWI external

30

62.02

68.83

SWI internal

30

58.64

65.08

Insulated wallpaper

30

20.17

22.38

Tank insulation—top-up

10

1.98

1.98

Glazing E to C rated

20

1.52

1.72

Draughtproofing

20

2.32

2.86

Heating

A/B rated boilers (exceptions)

12

3.95

4.47

Fuel switching

20

74.97

84.94

Heating controls—upgrade with boiler

12

0.38

0.44

Heating controls—extra

12

3.09

3.57

Wood pellet stoves (secondary)

20

11.10

12.58

Log burning stoves

20

3.99

4.52

Wood pellet boilers (primary)

20

95.84

108.60

Solar water heater (4m2)

25

8.14

8.14

Ground source heat pumps

40

95.97

108.75

Air source heat pumps

15

42.57

48.23

Wood chip CHP

30

96.48

107.07

Community GSHP

40

20.42

22.66

Community heating to wood chip

30

106.41

118.08

Replacement of G rated boilers

6

5.44

6.17

Lighting

CFLs—retail

8

0.05

0.05

Efficient halogens

6.51

0.02

0.02

LEDs

18

0.14

0.14

Appliances

A rated cold appliances

1

A rated wet appliances

1

iDTVs

1

PC mains panels

5

0.15

0.16

Energy saving kettles

5

0.04

0.04

LNBs

7

0.04

0.04

A++ cold appliances

12

0.58

0.58

A++ wet appliances

12

0.11

0.11

Microgen

Photovoltaic panels (2.5 kWp)

25

22.78

22.78

micro Wind (1 kWp, 10 per cent. LF)

10

3.78

3.78

micro Hydro (0.7 kWp, 50 per cent. LF)

20

26.44

26.44

Mini-wind 5 kW, 20 per cent. LF

22.5

84.98

84.98

mCHP (80 per cent. heat, 15 per cent. elec)

15

2.91

3.30

Other

RTDs

15

0.996

0.996

Advice only

7.5

0.6675

0.6675

1 No longer eligible

Table 2: Assumed costs of measures

£

Basic installation cost

Administration cost

Total cost

Carbon saving measure

All

PG

non-PG

PG

non-PG

PG

non-PG

Insulation

Cavity wall insulation

380

356

395

87

71

443

466

Loft insulation professional (from < 60mm)

286

268

297

70

57

338

355

Loft insulation professional (from > 60mm)

286

268

297

70

57

338

355

Loft insulation (DIY)

120

107

128

32

28

138

157

SWI external

8,500

7,969

8,830

293

225

8,262

9,054

SWI internal

5,100

4,781

5,298

273

210

5,054

5,508

Insulated wallpaper

3,700

3,469

3,843

256

198

3,725

4,042

Tank insulation—top-up

14

14

14

4

3

18

17

Glazing E to C rated

212

199

220

55

45

253

265

Draughtproofing

101

94

105

28

24

123

128

Heating

A/B rated boilers (exceptions)

212

209

214

57

44

266

258

Fuel switching

2,014

1,888

2,092

216

169

2,104

2,261

Heating controls—upgrade with boiler

90

84

94

26

21

110

115

Heating controls—extra

148

139

154

40

33

179

188

Wood pellet stoves (secondary)

1,417

1,399

1,428

192

147

1,592

1,575

Log burning stoves

1,000

988

1,008

164

125

1,151

1,133

Wood pellet boilers (primary)

7,200

7,110

7,256

289

220

7,399

7,476

Solar water heater (4m2)

3,500

3,500

3,500

257

194

3,757

3,694

Ground source heat pumps

11,360

10,295

12,021

301

231

10,596

12,252

Air source heat pumps

5,844

5,771

5,889

281

214

6,052

6,103

Wood chip CHP

9,281

9,165

9,353

298

226

9,463

9,579

Community GSHP

4,250

4,197

4,283

267

203

4,463

4,486

Community heating to wood chip

350

346

353

85

65

430

418

Replacement of G rated boilers

2,500

2,500

2,500

236

179

2,736

2,679

Lighting

CFLs—retail

1.10

1.10

1.10

0.36

0.27

1.46

1.37

Efficient halogens

2.50

2.50

2.50

0.82

0.62

3.32

3.12

LEDs

8.00

7.00

8.62

2.29

2.14

9.29

10.76

Appliances

A rated cold appliances

1

A rated wet appliances

1

iDTVs

1

PC mains panels

25

25

25

8

6

33

31

Energy saving kettles

17

17

17

6

4

23

21

LNBs

10

10

10

3

2

13

12

A++ cold appliances

100

100

100

30

23

130

123

A++ wet appliances

100

100

100

30

23

130

123

Microgen

Photovoltaic panels (2.5 kWp)

6,338

6,338

6,338

285

216

6,623

6,553

Micro wind (1 kWp, 10 per cent. LF)

3,200

3,200

3,200

251

190

3,451

3,390

Micro hydro (0.7 kWp, 50 per cent. LF)

1,890

1,890

1,890

216

163

2,106

2,053

Mini-wind 5 kW, 20 per cent. LF

21,000

21,000

21,000

315

239

21,315

21,239

mCHP (80 per cent. heat, 15 per cent. elec)

600

563

623

119

96

681

719

Other

RTDs

20

20

20

6

5

26

25

Advice only

35

35

35

11

8

46

43

1 No longer eligible

This information was extracted from pages 55 and 56 of the impact assessment for the CERT consultation and can be accessed via the following link:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/cert_ext/cert_ext.aspx

Fossil Fuel Levy: Scotland

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the balance of the Scottish Fossil Fuel levy account was on 28 February 2010. [324521]

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The balance of the Scottish Fossil Fuel Levy account as at 28 February 2010 was £180 million.

National Grid

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking towards the deployment of a smart grid. [325244]

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We published the document “Smarter Grids—The Opportunity” on 2 December 2009.

We are ensuring that the smart meter rollout acts as an enabler to smart grids and are developing potential policy options to ensure the electricity infrastructure can meet future challenges in light of the Energy Market Assessment and the initial findings of the 2050 road map analysis. DECC also issued a press notice on Friday 26 March announcing the winning projects in the smart grids capital grants programme under the Low Carbon Innovation Fund.

National Skills Academy for Nuclear: Finance

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the cost to the public purse has been of the establishment of the National Skills Academy for Nuclear to date; and what the Academy’s annual operating budget is. [325162]

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The cost of running and setting up the National Skills Academy for Nuclear for three years to 31 December 2010 is £6.6 million. Of this, £3.75 million came from the public sector—the Learning and Skills Council.

The annual running cost of the academy in 2010 will be around £1.5 million. Of this, £311,000 will come from the Learning and Skills Council and the rest from employer/provider contributions and other revenue sources.

In line with the Government policy, Skills Academies are required to move to a wholly industry funded model within three years. The National Skills Academy for Nuclear should be self financing by the three year deadline in December 2010.

Nuclear Waste: Waste Management

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will break down by budget line the funds allocated to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for the development of a geological disposal facility for highly radioactive nuclear waste for the financial years 2010-15. [324265]

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[holding answer 25 March 2010]: The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is responsible for allocating its total funding between its activities. The NDA's budget for its Radioactive Waste Management Directorate for 2010-11 is £19 million. The NDA budget from 2011 onwards has yet to be determined.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much funding has been (a) allocated to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for the development of a geological disposal facility for high level radioactive waste and (b) requested by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for the same purpose for the financial years 2010-15. [324266]

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[holding answer 25 March 2010]: The 2007 comprehensive spending review (CSR07) settlement provided the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) with £1.7 billion direct Government funding for 2010-11. Together with its projected commercial income total funding will be around £2.9 billion. The NDA is responsible for allocating funding between its activities and allocated £19 million to its radioactive waste management directorate, which has responsibility for implementing geological disposal, for 2010-11. The NDA budget from 2011 onwards has yet to be determined.

Personal Carbon Monoxide Alarm

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will bring forward proposals to require all employees of energy companies who enter domestic properties to carry a personal carbon monoxide alarm. [322247]

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I have been asked to reply.

The Government have no plans at present to bring forward proposals in this area. The HSE is aware though that an energy supply company has provided its employees with personal carbon monoxide alarms and that they have been sharing their experience with other companies. HSE will continue to encourage this exchange of information on the practicalities of the use of different types of equipment in order to identify best working practices. HSE has also provided support to a scheme where personal carbon monoxide alarms are used by community-based services.

UK-Indonesia Working Group on Environment and Climate Change

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To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many times the UK-Indonesia Working Group on Environment and Climate Change announced in Poznan in December 2008 has met; what the membership of the working group is; and what the outcomes of the working group have been to date. [324631]

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The UK-Indonesia Working Group on Environment and Climate Change had its first meeting in June 2009. The second meeting will be held in July 2010.

The core members of the working group are DECC, DEFRA and the Indonesian Ministry of Environment as the co-signatories of the Memorandum of Understanding. Representatives from other Government Departments and agencies from both the UK and Indonesia participate in meetings as appropriate.

Outcomes of the working group to date include the exchange of information on the EU renewable energy directive; carbon capture and storage; sustainable palm oil; and forestry and land use issues. Under the bilateral agreement between the UK and Indonesia the UK also funded two Indonesian negotiators' attendance at the June 2009 UNFCCC Intersessional and COP 15 in Copenhagen. In March this year we hosted a two-week placement for an Indonesian Government official at DECC and DEFRA.

House of Commons Commission

Advisory Body

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To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what criteria were used to select hon. Members to serve on the advisory body on the proposed day nursery at 1 Parliament street; which hon. Members were appointed to the advisory body; and if the Commission will publish the advisory body’s advice. [324759]

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The Commission decided in December 2009 that there should be an advisory panel of Members for the nursery project. Mr. Speaker wrote to three Members in February to ask them to serve on the panel. The criteria in asking those Members to serve were that the panel should be small, that each of the three largest parties in the House should be represented, that the panel should otherwise be as representative of the House as a whole as possible, and that panel members should be broadly supportive of the project. The right hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Mr. Kennedy), the hon. Member for Epping Forest (Mrs. Laing) and my hon. Friend the Member for Newport, East (Jessica Morden) agreed to be members of the panel. The panel will convey its views informally to the Commission through the project board rather than in a form suitable for publication.

Members: Email

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To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 24 February 2010, Official Report, column 563W, on Members: email, if the House of Commons Commission will take steps to allow hon. Members to list their Public PGP Key on the parliament.uk website by their entry and contact details. [324304]

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It is more appropriate for Members to list their public PGP keys on their own websites. Members can already choose whether there is a link from the Parliament website to their own sites.

Nurseries

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To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the estimated gross loss of income to the Refreshment Department is in 2010-11 arising from the closure of its facilities at 1 Parliament street. [324262]

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It is estimated that the income (i.e. sales excluding VAT) from the facilities being closed in 1 Parliament street would have been approximately £225,000 in 2010-11. However, this reduction in receipts in 1 Parliament street is expected to be offset to a significant extent by an expected increase in receipts in other venues, such as Moncrieff’s and the private dining rooms in the Palace. On the basis of historical figures, Bellamy’s bar would be expected to make an operating loss in the region of £10,000 in 2010-11, while the Astor Suite would be expected to contribute an operating surplus of some £80,000. These figures, however, do not take into account the costs of accommodation or equipment.

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To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2010, Official Report, column 170W, on nurseries, on what date the nursery is planned to start operating; and on what date it would have been likely to open if the matter had been referred to the Finance and Services Committee. [324987]

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It is planned that the nursery will begin operating in September 2010, but the precise date has yet to be determined. It is not possible to give an exact answer to the second part of the hon. Gentleman's question, but the Commission decided to move ahead in order to achieve the opening date in September without further delay.

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To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what categories of costs will be included in the calculation of the full running cost of the nursery facility at 1 Parliament street, to be recovered from users under the terms of the Commission's decision of 14 December 2009. [324988]

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This has yet to be finally determined.

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To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission when staff working on the site proposed to be used for a day nursery in 1 Parliament street will be informed about arrangements for their redeployment. [324989]

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Catering staff working at 1 Parliament street were told by the Director of Catering Services on 16 December 2009 about the Commission's decision to convert Bellamy's Bar, the Club Room and the Astor Suite into a day nursery. Since then affected staff have had one-to-one consultations with managers to discuss options for their redeployment and the trade unions have been kept informed of proposals. Subject to their acceptance of their proposed redeployment, formal letters notifying staff of their new duties will be issued shortly.

Security

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To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer of 15 December 2009, Official Report, column 953W, on security, what the private security firm was; and how much has been paid to that firm. [324340]

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Detica Ltd. undertook a piece of work, which cost £15,640 inclusive of VAT, in support of the internal inquiry into the unauthorised disclosure of information about Members’ allowances.

Speaker’s Adviser

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To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2010, Official Report, column 171W, on the Speaker’s adviser, for what reason the financial implications of creating a new post of special adviser to the Speaker were not (a) discussed by the House of Commons Commission and (b) referred to the Finance and Services Committee. [324985]

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The question of personal support staff for Mr. Speaker is a matter for him. No additional financial authority was required for the appointment of a special adviser as the costs are being met within existing budgets.

Cabinet Office

Cancer

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the average (a) one-year and (b) five-year survival rates for people diagnosed with (i) melanoma, (ii) prostate cancer and (iii) breast cancer has been in each of the last 10 years. [324851]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what the average (a) one year and (b) five year survival rates for people diagnosed with (i) melanoma, (ii) prostate cancer and (iii) breast cancer has been in each of the last 10 years. [324851]

ONS does not publish site-specific cancer survival figures by single year of diagnosis. For statistical reliability, figures are published for three- to five-year periods, to avoid over-interpretation of random year on year fluctuations.

The latest one- and five-year survival rates available for (i) melanoma, (ii) prostate and (iii) breast cancer arc for persons diagnosed in 2001-2006 and followed up to 2007. These figures arc presented below (Table 1), with figures for each preceding period back to 1998-2001 with follow-up to 2003.

Table 1: One- and five-year age-standardised1 relative cancer survival rates (percentage)2, for melanoma, prostate and breast cancer, adult patients3, England andWales4, and England5

Cancer

One-year relative survival (percentage)

Five-year relative survival (percentage)

Melanoma—men

1998-2001, followed up to 2003, England, Wales

94.2

79.0

1999-2002, followed up to 2004, England, Wales

94.5

80.5

1999-2003, followed up to 2004, England, Wales

94.4

80.4

2000-2004, followed up to 2005, England

94.5

80.6

2001-2006, followed up to 2007, England

94.9

81.1

Melanoma—women

1998-2001, followed up to 2003, England, Wales

96.6

88.2

1999-2002, followed up to 2004, England, Wales

96.9

89.4

1999-2003, followed up to 2004, England, Wales

97.0

89.4

2000-2004, followed up to 2005, England

97.1

89.5

2001-2006, followed up to 2007, England

97.3

89.6

Prostate—men

1998-2001, followed up to 2003, England, Wales

89.8

70.8

1999-2002, followed up to 2004, England, Wales

90.9

74.1

1999-2003, followed up to 2004, England, Wales

91.2

74.4

2000-2004, followed up to 2005, England

91.6

75.8

2001-2006, followed up to 2007, England

92.1

77.0

Breast—women

1998-2001, followed up to 2003, England, Wales

93 7

79.9

1999-2002, followed up to 2004, England, Wales

94.0

80.7

1999-2003, followed up to 2004, England, Wales

94.2

81.0

2000-2004, followed up to 2005, England

94.4

81.1

2001-2006, followed up to 2007, England

94.9

82.0

1 As cancer survival varies with the age at diagnosis, the relative rates for all ages (15-99) have been age-standardised to control for changes in the age profile of cancer patients over time, thus making them comparable with previously published figures

2 Melanoma is defined by code C43, prostate cancer is defined as C61 and breast cancer is defined as C50 in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth edition (ICD-10).

3 Adult patients aged 15-99.

4 Survival rates for patients diagnosed in England and Wales are calculated up to the period 1999-2003 with follow-up to 2004.

5 Survival rates for patients diagnosed in England are available from 2002-2004, with follow-up to 2005.

Central Office of Information: Advertising

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the estimated monetary value is of the contracts to be used under the Central Office of Information's framework for (a) recruitment advertising, (b) public notice advertising and (c) directories advertising over the lifetime of each framework agreement. [323447]

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I have asked the chief executive of the Central Office of Information to write to the hon. Member. The letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) whether any guidance has been given to the Central Office of Information on Government advertising in the period at the end of a Parliament and before the issue of writs for a general election; [323581]

(2) what guidance has been issued to the Central Office of Information on Government advertising and marketing in (a) the period immediately before a general election and (b) during a general election campaign.

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On the announcement of a general election, the Cabinet Office issues guidance on the handling of departmental business during the pre-election period, including on advertising and marketing. Until the announcement of the general election, advertising and marketing will be conducted in line with the “Propriety Guidance” for government communications, a copy of which is in the Library of both Houses. It can also be accessed via:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/cabinetoffice/government_communication/assets/guidance.pdf

Central Office of Information: Video Recordings

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the (a) title, (b) description, (c) purpose and (d) cost was of each video produced by the Central Office of Information for her Department in the last 12 months. [323449]

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I have asked the chief executive of the Central Office of Information to write to the hon. Member. The letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Departmental Advertising

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the cost to her Department was of advertising to promote Backing Young Britain in the Metro newspaper on 5 March 2010. [323570]

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I have been asked to reply.

The cost of Backing Young Britain advertising in the Metro on 5 March was £212,000. The cover wrap ran in 19 cities with a circulation of 1,335,611 and readership of over 3.5 million.

Departmental Buildings

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many smoking shelters have been built for her Department's staff in the last five years; and at what cost. [324360]

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The Cabinet Office built one smoking shelter in the past five years. The cost of the shelter and its installation was £5,500.

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much her Department and its agency have spent on rooms for staff leisure in each of the last five years. [324432]

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Other than planned work to Cabinet Office buildings as a whole, no specific expenditure has been incurred on rooms for staff leisure.

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether her Department provides subsidised gym facilities for its staff. [324568]

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The Cabinet Office does have gym facilities but it is not subsidised. The running costs and equipment are paid for by an external provider through membership subscriptions.

Departmental Computers

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2010, Official Report, column 1190W, on departmental computers, how many of the Cabinet Office computer keyboards replaced in the last 12 months were for computers located in Downing street. [323652]

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Departmental Energy

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what (a) voltage optimisers and (b) equivalent technologies are used within buildings occupied by her Department. [324981]

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The Cabinet Office has installed voltage optimisation equipment into four buildings on the estate. No other voltage reduction equipment has been installed.

Departmental Freedom of Information

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 24 February 2010, Official Report, column 603W, on departmental freedom of information, what target her Department has set to respond to correspondence (a) which makes a request for assistance under section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and (b) correspondence asking about the status of a freedom of information request which has already been submitted. [322920]

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The Cabinet Office responds to requests in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the detailed guidance available on the Ministry of Justice’s website:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/foi-procedural-assistance.htm

Requests must be responded to promptly or in any event not later than 20 working days following receipt. In certain circumstances this 20 working day deadline can be extended.

Departmental Mobile Phones

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many (a) mobile telephones and (b) BlackBerrys were provided to (i) Ministers and (ii) special advisers in her Department in 2009; and at what cost to the public purse. [313176]

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In 2009, six BlackBerrys were provided to Ministers, and five BlackBerrys were provided to special advisers. One mobile telephone is in use by a Minister. This covers the current ministerial team and special advisers and the ministerial team and special advisers prior to the reshuffle in June 2009.

The cost of these handsets cannot be provided as figures for the 2009-10 financial year will be available only when the Department’s resource accounts have been fully audited and laid before Parliament.

Departmental Telephone Services

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office with reference to the answer of 10 November 2009, Official Report, column 311W, on departmental telephone services, whether contracts were awarded for the provision of services relating to the inquiry line run by the Office of the Third Sector. [324111]

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The inquiry line is staffed by Office of the Third Sector staff and no contracts were awarded for the provision of services relating to it.

Departmental Temporary Employment

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many agency and temporary staff were employed in each of the last three years. [324367]

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The information requested for the Cabinet Office is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2010, Official Report, column 1492W, on departmental temporary staff, how much her Department spent in total on temporary and agency staff in each of the last three years. [324368]

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Expenditure on temporary and agency staff in each of the last three years was as follows:

£

2008-09

1,875,000

2007-08

1,720,000

2006-07

3,919,000

Manufacturing Industries

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people were employed in manufacturing in each constituency in each year since 1997. [324781]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people were employed in manufacturing in each constituency in each year since 1997. (324781)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles employment statistics for local areas from the Annual Population Survey (APS) and its predecessor the Annual Labour Force Survey (LFS) following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions.

Due to small sample sizes, accurate estimates of the number of people employed in the manufacturing sector in each parliamentary constituency are not available.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at:

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many manufacturing enterprises there were in each constituency in each year since 1997. [324783]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many manufacturing enterprises there were in each constituency in each year since 1997. [324783]

Annual statistics on business counts are available for 2000 onwards from the ONS release UK Business: Activity, Size and Location at:

www.statistics.gov.uk

The table provides parliamentary constituency estimates from 2003 onwards. Prior to this year it would only be possible to collate estimates for all constituencies at disproportionate cost.

A copy of the table has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

Ministerial Policy Advisers

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office with reference to the written ministerial statement of 16 July 2009, Official Report, column 73W, on special advisers, what the cost was to the public purse of (a) National Insurance contributions and (b) other expenditure in respect of special advisers in 2008-09. [322881]

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The cost of national insurance contributions and other expenditure in respect of special advisers is not held centrally.

Office for National Statistics

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip-Northwood of 18 March 2010, Official Report, column 1032W, on the Office for National Statistics, with what frequency each of the desks at each location are staffed; and how many full-time equivalent staff are allocated to staff the desks at each location. [324692]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question pursuant to the Answer to the right hon. Member for Ruislip-Northwood of 18 March 2010, Official Report, column 1032W, on the Office for National Statistics, with what frequency each of the desks at each location are staffed; and how many full-time equivalent staff are allocated to staff the desks at each location. (324692)

The size of the International Passenger Survey (IPS) operation at each air, sea and international rail site is determined by the volume of traffic. Therefore, the heavier the volume of traffic, the greater the number of IPS shifts operated. Also the higher the density of passengers passing through a particular site, the larger the team of interviewers required to undertake the work.

The IPS operates at all significant ports of entry/departure in the United Kingdom. At smaller sites, where the operating procedures do not require it, or where conditions do not allow it, desks are not provided.

The attached table shows a list of the number of shifts and typical staffing levels planned for 2010 at sites with desks. A shift is typically either AM or PM although this does vary across sites as does the mode of operation. An AM shift is normally 0600-1400 and a PM shift 1400-2230.

IPS locations with desks—shifts per annum, number of desks and number of staff required

Site

Shifts per annum

Number of desks

Total number of staff required per shift

Heathrow Terminal 1 Arrivals

55

1

7

Heathrow Terminal 1 Departures

91

2

9

Heathrow Terminal 1 Transit Arrivals

100

1

4

Heathrow Terminal 1 Transit Departures

50

1

4

Heathrow Terminal 1 Irish Hub Arrivals

12

0

4

Heathrow Terminal 1 Irish Departures

12

1

4

Heathrow Terminal 3 Arrivals

165

2

10

Heathrow Terminal 3 Departures

228

1

9

Heathrow Terminal 4 Arrivals

92

2

9

Heathrow Terminal 4 Departures

120

2

9

Heathrow Terminal 5 Arrivals

110

2

8

Heathrow Terminal 5 Departures North

147

3

10

Heathrow Terminal 5 Departures South

147

2

7

Heathrow Terminal 5 Transit Arrivals

100

1

4

Heathrow Terminal 5 Transit Departures

50

1

4

Gatwick South Arrivals

55

2

9

Gatwick South Departures

82

1

10

Gatwick North Arrivals

54

1

8

Gatwick North Departures

80

1

10

Manchester Terminal 1 Arrivals

51

1

8

Manchester Terminal 1 Departures

78

1

8

Manchester Terminal 2 Arrivals

84

1

8

Manchester Terminal 2 Departures

92

1

8

Stansted Arrivals

120

1

10

Stansted Departures

140

1

9

Unemployment

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many and what proportion of people in each (a) constituency and (b) local authority area lived in households with no-one in full-time employment in (i) 1997 and (ii) the latest year for which figures are available. [324534]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your question asking how many and what proportion of people in each (a) constituency and (b) local authority area lived in households with no-one in full-time employment in (i) 1997 and (ii) the latest year for which figures are available. (324534)

The requested information is not available.

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office in how many and what proportion of households in each (a) constituency and (b) local authority area had no-one in full-time employment in (i) 1997 and (ii) the latest year for which figures are available. [324540]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General tor the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your question asking how many and what proportion of households no-one was in full-time employment in each (a) constituency and (b) local authority area in (i) 1997 and (ii) the latest year for which figures are available. (324540)

The requested information is not available.

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many and what proportion of children in each (a) local authority area and (b) constituency were living in a workless household in (i) 1997, (ii) 2005 and (iii) the most recent year for which figures are available. [324541]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your question asking how many and what proportion of children in each (a) local authority area and (b) constituency were living in a workless household in (i) 1997, (ii) 2005 and (iii) the most recent year for which figures are available. (324541)

Information about children in workless households by (a) constituency and (b) local authority can only be obtained from the Annual Population Survey (APS) household datasets. However, due to the specific level of geographic detail you require, there are insufficient numbers in the sample to provide reliable estimates for practicable purposes. This is explained in an article published on the National Statistics website, published in August 2009, titled, "Quality Measures of household labour market indicators". It can be found at the following address:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/article.asp?ID=2272

The article explains that to provide robust estimates a larger geographical area would be needed and the following web link provides the number and percentage of children in workless households in 2008 for a range of geographic hierarchies across Great Britain:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_labour/WorklessChildren08.xls

Estimates shaded in grey are such that as mentioned they are not reliable for practical purposes.

The Annual Population Survey household datasets are only available for 2004 to 2008, so estimates for 1997 cannot be provided. To provide the same information for 2005 as at the above weblink would involve disproportional cost.

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many and what proportion of people in (a) each constituency in the East of England and (b) the UK were unemployed on the latest date for which figures are available. [324598]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many and what proportion of people in (a) each constituency in the East of England and (b) the UK were unemployed on the latest date for which figures are available (324598).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles unemployment statistics in line with International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions for local areas from the Annual Population Survey (APS). However, due to the small sample size, accurate estimates for parliamentary constituencies in the East of England are not available.

As an alternative, in table 1, we have provided the number and proportion of persons, of working age, claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), in February 2010, for each parliamentary constituency in the East of England and the United Kingdom, from the Jobcentre Plus administrative system.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment and unemployment are available from the NOMIS website at:

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Table 1: Number and percentage1 of people claiming jobseeker's allowance resident in the UK and each parliamentary constituency in the East of England, February 2010

Number

Percentage

United Kingdom

1,657,041

4.4

Basildon

3,035

5.0

Bedford

3,311

5.3

Billericay

2,386

3.7

Braintree

2,522

3.7

Brentwood and Ongar

1,317

2.6

Broxbourne

2,121

3.7

Bury St. Edmunds

1,563

2.5

Cambridge

1,755

2.3

Castle Point

1,880

3.6

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

1,456

2.5

Colchester

2,653

3.4

Epping Forest

2,267

3.8

Great Yarmouth

3,866

7.1

Harlow

2,824

5.1

Harwich

3,178

5.7

Hemel Hempstead

2,341

3.9

Hertford and Stortford

1,576

24

Hertsmere

1,867

31

Hitchin and Harpenden

1,360

2.5

Huntingdon

2,030

2.8

Ipswich

3,198

5.5

Luton, North

2,669

4.6

Luton, South

3,684

5.7

Maldon and East Chelmsford

1,603

2.9

Mid-Bedfordshire

1,286

2.0

Mid Norfolk

1,736

2.8

North-East Bedfordshire

1,844

3.0

North-East Cambridgeshire

2,843

4.2

North-East Hertfordshire

1,585

2.7

North Essex

1,413

2.4

North Norfolk

2,051

3.8

North-West Cambridgeshire

2,624

3.8

North-West Norfolk

2,372

4.1

Norwich, North

2,471

3.9

Norwich, South

3,132

4.7

Peterborough

3,900

6.5

Rayleigh

1,398

2.5

Rochford and Southend, East

3,467

6.0

Saffron Walden

1,503

2.4

South Cambridgeshire

1,120

1.8

South East Cambridgeshire

1,542

2.2

South Norfolk

1,777

2.8

South Suffolk

1,377

2.7

South-West Bedfordshire

2,413

3.9

South-West Hertfordshire

1,412

2.3

South-West Norfolk

2,515

3.5

Southend, West

1,964

4.0

St. Albans

1,382

2.5

Stevenage

2,424

4.2

Suffolk, Coastal

1,432

2.6

Thurrock

3,831

53

Watford

2,292

3.5

Waveney

2,905

4.9

Welwyn Hatfield

2,032

3.1

West Chelmsford

2,110

3.1

West Suffolk

1,999

2.8

1 Percentage of working age people (men aged 16 to 64, women aged 16 to 59) claiming jobseeker's allowance. Source: Jobcentre Plus Administrative System.

Unemployment: Cambridgeshire

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To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent estimate she has made of the level of long-term unemployment in North-West Cambridgeshire constituency. [324597]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2010:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what recent estimate has been made of the level of long-term unemployment in North-West Cambridgeshire constituency. (324597)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles unemployment statistics for local areas from the Annual Population Survey following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions. However, estimates of long-term unemployment for the North- West Cambridgeshire constituency are unavailable.

As an alternative, we have provided the number of persons claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), for 12 months or greater, resident in the North-West Cambridgeshire constituency. In February 2010 this was 375.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Defence

New Aircraft Carriers

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9. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the programme for the new aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. [324454]

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Work on the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers is now under way in five UK shipyards—Appledore, Rosyth, Govan, Portsmouth and Tyne. Work is due to start at the sixth and final yard, Birkenhead, in the next few months.

In addition, equipment sub-contracts to the value of some £1.2 billion have been placed to date, helping to support local economies across the UK.

Defence Spending

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18. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in which financial years defence spending decreased in real terms in comparison with the previous year between 1997 and 2009. [324463]

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Every spending review since 1997 has awarded Defence a real terms rise over the period it covered and defence spending in cash terms has risen every year since 1997.

Defence spending declined in real terms in 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2004-05 and 2006-07. However, in cash terms defence spending has risen every year since 1997.

These figures include the costs of operations, which vary significantly from year to year, and are funded from the Reserve. The Treasury has met every request for Urgent Operational Requirements for our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Service Veterans: Mental Health

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19. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of long-term mental health support for armed forces veterans. [324464]

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I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East (James Duddridge).

NATO

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20. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effects on the future of NATO of his Department's policies on European military co-operation. [324465]

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The Ministry of Defence's policies on European military co-operation are designed to be both supportive of, and supported by, NATO. Greater coherence and effectiveness on the part of the Europeans can only lead to a stronger Alliance.

We will continue to work with our European partners at various levels including: bilaterally; in NATO; in the EU; and in the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe, to ensure that Europe can play its role in ensuring a safe and secure world.

Devonport Naval Base

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21. To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the role of HM Naval Base Devonport in warship maintenance and repair. [324466]

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On 6 May 2009, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence confirmed that all three naval bases, at Devonport, Portsmouth and on the Clyde, have strong futures and will continue to play a vital role in supporting the Royal Navy. Devonport will retain and enhance its position as the centre of excellence for surface ship and submarine deep maintenance (upkeep) activity. In addition, it will undertake Fleet Time Engineering support for base-ported ships and for visiting sea training vessels.

Afghanistan

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Afghanistan. [324467]

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I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Clwyd, West (Mr. Jones).

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel have been deployed within field hospitals during Operation Herrick since April 2009; and how many and what proportion were reservist medical personnel. [324584]

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The numbers of service personnel deployed to field hospitals is shown in the following table:

Operation Herrick

Total personnel

of which reservists

as a percentage

April to October 2009

136

109

80

October 2009 to April 2010

283,

151

53

It should be noted that reservists deploy for periods of three months rather than six months for regular armed forces personnel. As such, the reservists figures look artificially high because they reflect two three-month deployments rather than one six-month deployment.

Air Space

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) on how many occasions since 2005 foreign military aircraft have entered restricted UK airspace over Na h-Eileanan an Iar without permission; [325037]

(2) what investigation has been conducted by (a) the Royal Air Force and (b) his Department into Russian aircraft flying into restricted UK airspace over Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

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No Russian or any other foreign military aircraft have ever entered any part of UK sovereign airspace without permission.

All events where quick reaction alert aircraft have been launched are routinely collated and analysed by Defence officials.

The RAF's air defence capability to detect and deter aircraft approaching UK airspace is just one layer of a multi-layered approach that the UK Government take to protect UK and NATO-monitored airspace.

Animal Experiments

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what budgetary provision his Department has made in 2010-11 for the conducting, directly or otherwise, of scientific procedures on animals; and how much was spent on this in 2009-10. [323211]

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The Ministry of Defence funds an overarching scientific research programme which includes specific aspects which incorporate projects that require studies involving the use of animals. These are undertaken at DSTL Porton Down.

The DSTL accounting system does not differentiate the proportion of the budget that is spent solely on animal studies.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many animals of each species were used in scientific procedures (a) commissioned directly by his Department and (b) otherwise undertaken pursuant to decisions taken by his Department in the latest year for which figures are available. [323213]

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I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 23 March 2010, Official Report, columns 167-68W, to the hon. Member for Romford (Andrew Rosindell).

Armed Forces: Health Services

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much his Department has spent on long-term care for severely wounded soldiers in each of the last five years; [321370]

(2) how much his Department has allocated to long-term care of severely wounded soldiers in the next 10 years.

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Members of the armed forces who sustain serious injuries that require long-term care will receive appropriate treatment funded by MOD for as long as they remain in-Service. Funding has been, and will continue to be, made available to match clinical requirements, including surges in casualty numbers. Funding will come from a wide range of sources and budgets across the three services, and comprehensive financial data for the past five years are not readily available.

Those who remain in-service will continue to receive medical treatment through the Defence Medical Services as required. Suitable adaptations will be made to both working and service-provided living accommodation if necessary. Ongoing welfare support is also available from the individual's chain of command, through the defence welfare services, and from service charities.

For those who are medically discharged from the services, their care and its funding then become the responsibility of the NHS. We take steps to enable them to receive the continuing treatment and care that they deserve. In this context, my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Health informed the House on 11 January 2010, Official Report, column 15WS, that:

“A package of measures will be put in place across the NHS to support the increased number of service personnel who have received serious injuries such as loss of limb or brain injuries whilst on active service. This will include new arrangements with the MOD for life care planning together with a guarantee that those seriously injured and needing continuing health care will receive ongoing high quality care for life based on an early and comprehensive assessment and regular review of their needs overseen by an NHS case manager”.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 14 October 2009, Official Report, column 953W, whether a complete set of data on the extent to which armed forces medical personnel are in breach of the single service harmony guidelines is now available. [324585]

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Army data have now been collected but analysis of the information is not yet complete.

Armed Forces: Interpreters

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military linguists proficient in (a) Pashto and (b) Dari are employed by his Department; and how many of each have been employed by his Department in each year since 2001. [323676]

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The information is as follows:

PashtoDari

Higher level

Lower level

Higher level

Lower level

2001

0

0

0

0

2002

0

0

0

0

2003

0

10

0

0

2004

0

10

0

0

2005

0

10

0

0

2006

0

50

0

10

2007

10

140

0

20

2008

30

150

<5

40

2009

40

720

<5

60

2010 (now)

40

11,200

<5

1200

1 Approximately

Employed is interpreted as serving in HM armed forces. The figures above reflect serving personnel with current language skills; account has been taken of personnel who have left HM armed forces with language skills and those who no longer have currency in their language skills.

Higher level training enables trusted translation. Lower level training enables linguists to undertake basic military business in limited scenarios. The majority of the higher level capability requirement is provided by contractors and locally employed civilians. Figures for 2010 are approximate, based on forecast training output for the first three months. The number being trained at the lower level in both languages will increase significantly during 2010. Higher level Pashto and Dari numbers will also increase in 2010 as courses are completed.

Departmental Buildings

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many personnel are based in commercial properties rented by his Department in the West of Scotland; [324295]

(2) what the cost to the public purse was of commercial properties rented by his Department in the West of Scotland in the latest period for which figures are available;

(3) what the locations are of each commercial property rented by his Department in the West of Scotland;

(4) how many commercial properties his Department rents in the West of Scotland.

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Our records indicate that there are 10 other commercial properties currently being rented in the West of Scotland at the following locations and cost per annum. I also include the current number of defence personnel working at each site where this is known:

Location

Number of personnel based in location

Rent (£)

Brown Carrick Hill Radio Station

7,755

HMS Gannet—Greensite (Prestwick)

103

727,129

Dumbarton Armed Forces Careers Office

4

43,632

Paisley Armed Forces Careers Office

4

18,786

Greenock Armed Forces Careers Office

4

8,400

Glasgow—Cerium Building

86

749,593

Glasgow—Armed Forces Careers Office

18

318,059

Glasgow—Army Personnel Centre Store

50

383,305

Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde Air Sq

7

135,125

Glasgow—Met Office Equipment Store

4

12,780

For completeness, the MOD also rents some commercial Substitute Service Family Accommodation for personnel but I have not included details here.

Departmental Information Officers

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to his Department was of employing press and media officers in the last 12 month period for which figures are available; and what the cost to his Department was of employing such staff in the financial year 1996-97, expressed in current prices. [324812]

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I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for Veterans (Mr. Jones), on 15 July 2009, Official Report, column 378W, to the hon. Member for Chesterfield (Paul Holmes).

Departmental Marketing

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department and its agencies spent on promotional items carrying the Department's branding and logo in the last five years; and what such items were. [324721]

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This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Expenditure on promotional items must be necessary, appropriate, cost effective and an admissible charge to public funds.

Departmental Security

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many valid civilian passes granting access to his Department’s London buildings have been issued to employees of private defence companies in the last 12 months. [323684]

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Records show that in the last 12 months, there were 137 passes issued to employees of companies identified by us as “private defence companies”. We have defined “private defence companies” as those we can readily identify as being primarily suppliers of weapon systems or defence materiel to the Department.

These passes only allow access to MOD Head Office (Main Building, Old War Office and St. George’s Court) and are issued to individuals who hold appropriate security clearances, have a genuine business need to regularly visit one of these London Offices and have been sponsored by a Head Office Business Unit. Figures are not held centrally for passes issued in respect of other MOD London buildings.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to employees of which private defence companies have civilian passes granting access to his Department’s London buildings been issued since 1 January 2008. [323685]

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Since 1 January 2008, building passes have been issued to employees of the private defence companies as listed. We have defined private defence companies as those we can readily identify as being primarily suppliers of weapon systems or defence materiel to the Department.

Augusta Westland

Babcock

BAE Systems

Boeing Defence UK

Cubic Defence Systems

EADS Defence and Security System

General Dynamics UK

J&S Marine

Lockheed Martin

MBDA Missile Systems

Niteworks

Northrop Grumman

Pearson Engineering

QinetiQ

Raytheon Systems

Roke Manor Research

Smiths Detection

Thales

Vega Group

Vosper Thornycroft

These passes only allow access to Ministry of Defence Head Office (Main Building, Old War Office and St. George’s Court) and are issued to individuals who hold appropriate security clearances, have a genuine business need to regularly visit one of these London Offices and have been sponsored by a Head Office Business Unit. Details are not held centrally for passes issued in respect of other MOD London buildings.

Future Rapid Effect System

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to his statement of 22 March 2010, Official Report, columns 3-4WS, on armed forces equipment, whether the base platform for the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) is now finalised for all aspects of the FRES programme; whether there will be further opportunities for unsuccessful bidders to bid for later variants; and if he will make a statement. [324287]

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The Future Rapid Effect System programme has been recast from a single programme into a coherent set of constituent projects namely: the Specialist Vehicles; the Utility Vehicles; and the Manoeuvre Support Vehicles. The Secretary of State’s announcement on 22 March 2010 related to the Specialist Vehicle project, for which the MOD intends to use a Common Base Platform as a base vehicle onto which specific sub-systems, such as the 40 mm Cannon, can be integrated to meet the various Specialist Vehicle roles.

The Utility Vehicle and Manoeuvre Support projects are still in their Assessment Phases and the potential options to deliver these capabilities continue to be developed. No decisions have therefore been made regarding the platforms to be used for the Utility Vehicles or Manoeuvre Support Vehicles, or the companies that will provide them.

Gurkhas: Immigration

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) which Gurkha welfare organisations the Cross-Departmental Working Group on Gurkha settlement policy has consulted; [324750]

(2) on how many occasions the Cross-Departmental Working Group on Gurkha settlement policy has met;

(3) who leads the Cross-Departmental Working Group on Gurkha settlement policy.

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The Cross-Departmental Working Group was set up following the announcement on 21 May 2009 of the new immigration rules for retired Gurkhas. It has met formally on three occasions, twice in 2009 and once so far this year. The working group is jointly chaired by the Command Secretary, Headquarters Land Forces and the Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency. The Ministry of Defence leads across Government on Gurkha settlement issues, although most work is conducted multilaterally between Government Departments, local authorities, pressure groups and other agencies.

The working group has consulted with a wide range of welfare organisations in the course of its work, including the main service charities: the Gurkha Welfare Trust; the Royal British Legion; ABF The Soldiers' Charity; the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association; and Veterans Aid. Informal consultations and briefings have also been held with the ex-Gurkha servicemen's organisation in the UK and in Nepal, including: the British Gurkha Welfare Society; the Regimental Associations Nepal; the Gurkha Army Ex-Servicemen's Organisation; the United British Gurkhas Ex-Servicemen's Association Nepal; the Gurkha United Forum; and the Nepal Ex-Servicemen's Association.

Port Agency Service

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what due diligence tests were conducted prior to the award of the contract for Port Agency Service (FLEET/OPS/0020), with particular reference to (a) credit checks, (b) risk assessment, (c) ownership, including related shareholdings and (d) transparency of company structures and accounts; and what methodology was used to conduct those tests; [324231]

(2) by what (a) method, (b) criteria and (c) through which Agency the Department assessed the security and associated risk profile of those companies who submitted bids for the contract for Provision of Port Agency Services (FLEET/OPS/0020); and if he will make a statement;

(3) whether, when awarding the contract for Provision of Port Agency Services (FLEET/OPS/0020), a requirement was stipulated that the contractor would need to demonstrate that their work would not be exposed to advanced notice of ship and submarine movements globally; and if he will make a statement.

(4) by what method and against what criteria his Department evaluated the tender submissions and related documents in respect of the Provision of Port Agency Services (FLEET/OPS/0020); if he will place in the Library a copy of the documentation setting out the criteria; and if he will make a statement.

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[holding answer 25 March 2010]: Prior to award of the contract for Port Agency Services the Department undertook a tendering process with assessment conducted in two stages:

a pre-qualification assessment, utilising a standardised Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) to select from the companies who had expressed an interest, those that would be invited to tender; and

assessment of tenders received against the award criteria set out in the Special Notices and Instructions issued with Invitation to Tender dated 28 January 2008.

A copy of the PQQ and the Special Notices and Instructions will be placed in the Library of the House.

The PQQ sought details on such matters as technical capability, financial standing, ownership and company structures. Technical, financial and security matters were considered before a company was invited to tender for the requirement. This assessment was informed by reference to company specific reports procured from a reputable private sector business information supplier. Companies invited to tender for the contract were taken from a list of “Approved Defence Contractors” and, where necessary, were afforded provisional List-X Status by the Defence Procurement Agency for the purposes of complying with the Security Aspects of the tender bidding process.

The tender assessment was conducted by appropriate Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and civilian subject matter experts. The results of these assessments were collated and considered by a Tender Assessment Panel chaired by a senior commercial officer which recommended the award decision based on the evidence of the assessment.

After the tendering process was complete, an agreement on the detailed handling of sensitive material was reached with the successful bidder, implementing the more general security requirements set out in the contract documents. This agreement recognised that some sensitive information would need to be disclosed to suppliers of services in sufficient time to enable those services to be provided in a timely manner.

Royal Irish Regiment: Reserve Forces

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers who served with the Royal Irish Regiment transferred to Territorial Army units following disbandment of the Home Service battalions. [324108]

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According to unit records, to date approximately 340 personnel who served with the Royal Irish Regiment Home Service Battalions have transferred or enlisted into Territorial Army units based in Northern Ireland following the Home Service Battalions’ disbandment. This estimate does not include two squadrons of the newly formed 32 Signal Regiment (V), as the records of these squadrons are currently in the process of being transferred to their new units and are currently unavailable for scrutiny.

Submarines

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the timetable is for the delivery of (a) each Astute class and (b) Trident successor submarine; what effect the delay in delivery of the former will have on delivery of the latter; and if he will make a statement. [321416]

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I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement I made on 25 March 2010, Official Report, columns 54-55WS. Of the seven planned Astute class submarines, the first four boats have been ordered. Boat one (Astute) is currently undergoing an extensive programme of sea trials while boats two to four (Ambush, Artful, and Audacious) are in various stages of construction. We have decided to proceed with the initial build work on boat five and to order the long lead items for boat six. The delivery timetable for the class is currently being re-baselined.

We are continuing to target an in-service date for the first Trident successor submarine of 2024, as set out in the White Paper ‘The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent’ (Cm6994). The precise delivery schedule will be determined at Main Gate, currently scheduled for 2014.

The Ministry of Defence and industry are evaluating the lessons from the first boats in the Astute programme and will ensure that there is appropriate sequencing between the Astute and successor programmes to ensure that continuous at sea deterrence can be maintained. We do not expect delays in the Astute programme to affect the timetable for the delivery of the Trident successor submarines.

Sweet Concepts

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer by the Cabinet Office Minister of 22 February 2010, Official Report, column 156W, on the Central Office of Information: marketing, what the (a) type and (b) cost was of the promotional food and confectionery purchased from Sweet Concepts Ltd. by the Royal Air Force. [324303]

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RAF purchases of food or confectionary via the Central Office of Information contract with Sweet Concepts Ltd., are as follows:

(£)

Product

Cost (excluding VAT)

2008

Mints

650

2009

Mints

800

2009

Aeroplane Shaped Sweets

900

2010

Mints

800

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Corruption

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has commissioned or assessed any internal or external reports on the effectiveness of its work to tackle corruption in Afghanistan. [301940]

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I have been asked to reply.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is contributing £6 million to the Accountability and Transparency (ACT) project managed by the United Nations Development Programme. ACT provides support to the Afghan anti-corruption watchdog, the High Office of Oversight. The project has been in operation for less than one year and so no formal assessment has yet been completed.

In May 2009, DFID and other partners undertook six “Vulnerabilities to Corruption Assessments”, the results of which are available at:

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/AFGHANISTANEXTN/Resources/305984-1237085035526/5919769-1249254211329/VCAsSummaryReportFinalJuly172009.pdf.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to combat corruption in Afghanistan. [301941]

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I have been asked to reply.

The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the HMG Multi-Agency Task Force (MATF), established as the primary means of ensuring UK anti-corruption work is well co-ordinated internally, with major donors and Afghan and international civil society organisations. Through the MATF, the UK is taking the following actions:

We are providing £6 million to UNDP's Accountability and Transparency Project, making us the largest supporter of the High Office of Oversight (HOO). The UK will work with the HOO and responsible line Ministries on reform of the public procurement system and Government permits, especially for construction.

We are providing mentors to help make the Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF) a transparent and effective 'end to end' judicial process handling cases of kidnap, organised crime and the most serious corruption offences.

We will continue to provide training, mentoring and salary support for prosecutors working within the Anti Corruption Unit of the MCTF and will help establish an Anti Corruption Tribunal.

Reconstruction contracts issued by DFID already contain 'no bribery' clauses that apply equally to all contractors and subcontractors. Our commitment to investigate any international contracted by the UK Government and suspected of corruption remains unchanged.

The London Conference on Afghanistan, in January 2010, provided increased momentum in the fight against corruption. We are working with the international community to support the Afghan Government in delivering its new anti-corruption strategy.

Baltic States: Politics and Government

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the political situation in the Baltic and Black Sea areas; what recent reports he has received on the sale by France to Russia of four Mistral helicopter-carrying warships; and if he will make a statement. [323647]

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We keep the politico-military balance in the Baltic and Black sea areas under close observation. We have discussed with France her intention to consider the export of Mistral ships to Russia. We are aware of concerns about the sale expressed by some countries in both the Baltic and the Black sea regions. France, like the UK, is bound by the same export control regulations, the EU Criteria, in approving or refusing any defence export. These take into account the impact on regional stability.

Departmental Official Hospitality

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the five most expensive hospitality events hosted by his Department and its agencies were in the last three years; and what the (a) cost and (b) purpose was of each. [324414]

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[holding answer 25 March 2010]: This information is not held centrally and is available only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Written Questions

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what methodology his Department used to determine whether answers to Questions in the formulation if he will set out with statistical information related as directly as possible to the tabling hon. Member’s constituency the effects on that constituency of his Department’s policies since 1997 could be provided without incurring disproportionate cost; and if he will make a statement. [323864]

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not recently answered questions about hon. Members’ constituencies in this way.

Diplomatic Service

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with his overseas counterparts the matter of the abuse of domestic workers employed by overseas embassies in the UK. [324638]

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Yes, we have, we do and we will.

Embassies: Festivals and Special Occasions

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is his Department's policy that British missions overseas should hold celebrations to mark the official birthday of Her Majesty the Queen as a part of their diplomatic and trade promotion activities; and which missions will be holding such an event in 2010. [325001]

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No records are held centrally of local celebrations of HM the Queen’s birthday and the frequency and precise nature of such events is at the discretion of the head of mission.

Iran: Foreign Relations

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the state of UK relations with Iran; what plans he has for the future of UK-Iran relations; and if he will make a statement. [324642]

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UK-Iran relations are hindered by the Iranian authorities’ harassment of our embassy in Tehran and their insistence on blaming the UK for all of Iran’s problems. We will continue to seek to engage the Iranian authorities on the many important issues of concern, including Iran’s nuclear programme, human rights abuses and restrictions on civil liberties, and Iran’s role in the region. We will also continue to press for a satisfactory resolution to the bilateral issues between us, including the arrest of embassy staff in Tehran.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Politics and Government

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects the special investigation and prosecution team to report on alleged corruption in the Turks and Caicos Islands. [324882]

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Investigations by the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team are ongoing and it is not possible to estimate how long these, and any subsequent prosecutions, would take.

Western Sahara: Human Rights

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the UN Security Council has been briefed on the human rights situation in occupied Western Sahara by the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy on Western Sahara in 2010. [324140]

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The UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy to Western Sahara regularly briefs the Security Council on developments in the conflict of Western Sahara, including the human rights situation. The current Personal Envoy, Ambassador Christopher Ross, last briefed the Security Council on 18 February. Ambassador Ross holds regular discussions with members of the Security Council on a range of issues related to the conflict.

The Secretary-General will submit his report on the latest developments in Western Sahara to the Security Council in advance of the renewal of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) mandate at the end of April.

World War Two: Genocide

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the policy of the government of Germany on release of files on (a) Nazi war criminals and (b) Adolf Eichmann; and if he will make a statement. [324378]

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The case to which my hon. Friend refers is currently being considered by the German Federal Administrative Court; it is therefore a matter for the Court and the German Government.

Justice

British Constitution

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 12 November 2009, Official Report, column 624W, on democratic reform, on what date the National Deliberative Event was held; who attended the event; which firms were contracted to organise the event; and at what cost to the public purse. [323650]

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The National Deliberative Event was held on Saturday 20 February 2010. An independent report by TNS-BMRB on the programme of engagement will be published shortly and shows that such deliberative approaches were valued by what were demographically representative groups of participants as a means of building public views into policy making. It shows there is a clear appetite to take further these aspects of the debate on constitutional reform: stating the values that bind us together as a nation, building on the existing protections for individual rights and clarifying our responsibilities.

The following persons attended the event:

110 members of the public (selected statistically to reflect the makeup of the population of the UK) who attended previous deliberative events in October and November 2009.

Myself.

Five officials from the Ministry of Justice and one from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The contracts for these events were awarded to TNS-BMRB, a social research organisation, who developed and delivered the recruitment and research elements of the programme (including chairing the events), and M-is, an events agency, who organised the practical arrangements for the events, including venue hire and participants travel and accommodation.

There were eight deliberative events in total between October 2009 and February 2010: five regional events, two reconvened events and one national event. The total cost for all eight events is £842,111.35. The Government do not hold information on the disaggregated costs for the National Deliberative event as individual costings for each of the eight events were not stipulated in the contractual arrangements.

A copy of the independent report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses in due course.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 12 November 2009, Official Report, column 624W, on democratic reform, what the cost to the public purse was of the five deliberative events; which companies were contracted to organise the events and to conduct the opinion research; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the findings of the opinion research conducted. [323651]

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There were eight deliberative events between October 2009 and February 2010: five regional events, two reconvened events and one national event. An independent report by TNS-BMRB on the programme of engagement will be published shortly and shows that such deliberative approaches were valued by what were demographically representative groups of participants as a means of building public views into policy making. It shows there is a clear appetite to take further these aspects of the debate on constitutional reform: stating the values that bind us together as a nation, building on the existing protections for individual rights and clarifying our responsibilities.

The total cost for all eight events is £842,111.35. The Government do not hold information on the disaggregated costs for the five regional events as individual costings for each of the events were not stipulated in the contractual arrangements.

The contracts for these events were awarded to TNS-BMRB, a social research organisation, who developed and delivered the recruitment and research elements of the programme (including chairing the events), and M-is, an events company, who organised the practical arrangements for the events including venue hire and participants travel and accommodation.

A copy of the independent report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses in due course.

Courts: Aberystwyth

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what progress has been made on the development of a new court building in Aberystwyth. [324348]

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The HMCS Asset Management Committee approved the Aberystwyth court building scheme to proceed to Full Business Case on 24 March 2010. It is hoped that a further announcement will be made in summer 2010.

Custodial Treatment

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost to the public purse was of detaining (a) an adult and (b) a person under the age of 21 years old in custody for a year on the latest date for which figures are available. [323745]

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For 2008-09, for prison establishments managed by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), the average cost per prisoner in an “adult” prison (for this purpose adult is over 21 years) was £39,600 and in a young offender institution was £53,400.

The above average costs comprise the expenditure on public and private prisons (as recorded in the NOMS agency annual report and accounts), increased by an apportionment of relevant costs borne centrally and in the regions by NOMS. This involves some estimation. In addition, expenditure met centrally by the Youth Justice Board (YJB) is included. The figures do not include the cost of prisoners held in police or court cells under Operation Safeguard, nor expenditure met by other Government Departments (e.g. Health and Education). The prisoner escort service costs are included. Where the costs of young people are recharged by NOMS to the YJB, expenditure is shown gross and not reduced by income from the YJB. Where a site includes adults and prisoners under 21, costs are allocated to the major use.

Secure training centres and secure children's homes, the responsibility of the YJB, also fall into the under 21 years category. The YJB calculates annual figures for the cost of places in each type of establishment in the under-18 secure estate. As at 1 April 2009, these were as follows:

Average annual cost per place (£)

Secure children’s home

215,000

Secure training centre

160,000

Note:

VAT is not included in these figures

Departmental Buildings

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many smoking shelters have been built for his Department's staff in the last five years; and at what cost. [324353]

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The Ministry of Justice's buildings are smoke free. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has not constructed any smoking shelters on its London HQ building estate in the last five years.

Smoking shelters do exist within the Ministry of Justice's specialist estate. However central records of the construction of smoking shelters across the MOJ estate are not held and could be gathered only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Lost Property

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice 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. [322080]

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With the exception of HM Prison Service, details of individual cases of lost and stolen property are held at a local level across the Department. Occurrences of theft or loss are reportable to the central security team and amount to 354 incidents during the period 1 January to 31 December 2009.

To determine whether these occurrences relate to theft or loss and to estimate a replacement cost would involve a review of individual local records which would incur disproportionate cost.

Separate records are kept by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS), which is part of the National Offender Management Service agency. For the 12 month period 1 January to 31 December 2009 the value of lost or stolen property was £310,078. This comprises:

lost or stolen items: 1,178 instances at a total value of £194,609 of which 1,177 instances were for losses of stores at a value of £194,549;

loss of personal property for which compensation was paid to prisoners, staff or third parties: 1,982 payments at a total value of £123,468.

These figures are currently unaudited. A full stock count will be undertaken at the end of the financial year 31 March 2010.

Departmental Publications

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the dates of publication of any regular statistics or reports by his Department have been affected by planning for the forthcoming general election. [323468]

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On the announcement of a general election, the Cabinet Secretary issues guidance to Departments on their activities during the pre-election period. This will be published on the Cabinet Office website.

Regular statistical releases and reports will continue to be issued and published during the election period on dates which have been pre-announced.

Once the general election is announced, the expectation is that reports which have not been pre-announced and are not yet ready for publication will be delayed until after the purdah period. This includes Ministry of Justice social research reports which are not routinely pre-announced.

I also refer the right hon. Member to the statement released by the Ministry of Justice’s chief statistician on 19 March 2010 regarding the release of youth justice statistics. A copy of the statement is available at:

www.justice.gov.uk/publications/youth-justice-statistics.htm

Departmental Senior Civil Servants

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many grade 2 civil servants are employed in his Department. [324958]

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There are 74,000 full-time equivalent members of staff in the Ministry of Justice, of which 10 are grade 2 (SCS Payband 3) senior civil servants.

Departmental Telephone Services

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 27 October 2009, Official Report, columns 331-32W, on departmental telephone services, whether contracts were awarded for the provision of services relating to the helplines. [324114]

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Of the helplines listed in my earlier answer, contracts have been awarded in respect of the following services: the Community Legal Advice helpline, Criminal Defence Service Direct, the Duty Solicitor Call Centre, the National Mediation Helpline, the Family Mediation Helpline and the Nacro Resettlement Plus helpline.

Departmental Translation Service

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent on translation services in the justice system in (a) Ribble Valley, (b) Lancashire and (c) England in each of the last five years. [324421]

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The Ministry of Justice was formed on 9 May 2007. Information is available for two complete financial years, 2007-08 and 2008-09. Data for 2009-10 will be available in summer when annual accounts have been prepared and audited.

Expenditure on translation services in Ribble Valley and Lancashire by the Department and its agencies.

There has been no expenditure recorded within Ribble Valley and Lancashire by HM Courts Service. Information for other parts of the Department is not recorded on a regional basis and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Expenditure on translation services in England by the Department and its agencies

HM Courts Service and the Tribunals Service are able to isolate expenditure in England which is as follows:

£000

2007-08

2008-09

HM Courts Service (HMCS)1

10

27

Tribunals Service

39

53

1 This figures represents expenditure by Crown courts only as no central records are maintained that breakdown expenditure by magistrates courts.

Other parts of the Department do not maintain records in a way that would enable expenditure in England to be separately identified from expenditure in Wales or Scotland. Total expenditure is shown as follows and will include the cost of translating documents under the Welsh language scheme.

£000

2007-08

2008-09

Ministry of Justice HQ

273

388

National Offenders Management Service—interpretation and translation1

868

966

Office of the Public Guardian2

25

25

1 This figure includes translation costs as well as interpretation costs. The amounts are not separately recorded and can be disaggregated only at disproportionate cost. Additionally, the NOMS figure excludes expenditure by the National Probation Service which is held locally by 42 probation boards and trusts who use separate and different accounting systems. Information could be determined only at disproportionate cost through examination of local records.

2 Figures for the Office of Public Guardian are an estimate of the translation component within a wider category of expenditure.

Interpretation and translation services are provided on the basis of need. Costs are kept to a minimum and, when translation and interpretation services are taken together across all territories served by the Ministry of Justice, expenditure has not risen in recent years.

EC Action: Children

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government are taking to ensure that the 1996 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children is ratified by all EU member states before 5 June 2010 in accordance with Council Decision 2008/431/EC of 5 June 2008; and if he will make a statement. [324640]

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Eight EU member states are already Contracting States to the Convention. Council Decision 2008/431/EC authorised the UK and other remaining EU member states to ratify or accede to the convention, and requires the simultaneous deposit of their instruments of ratification or accession, if possible before 5 June 2010.

In November 2009 the UK expected to conclude its legislative process by June 2010. Under the convention this would have enabled implementation three months later, on 1 October 2010.

However, it will not now be possible for the UK to complete its implementing legislation as intended in June 2010. The intention now is to have all necessary legislation in place to enable the UK to ratify by 16 July 2010 after the general election. Implementation would then follow on 1 November. Whether ratification can take place then is, however, dependent on the position of the remaining EU member states. The Council Secretariat has called for an update from member states for discussion at the May General Questions meeting of the Council's Committee on Civil Law Matters.

The UK remains firmly committed to ratification and implementation of this important convention and is working to achieve this.

Electoral Register: Freedom of Information

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice for what reasons electoral registration officers are not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. [324178]

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The generally held view is that the office of Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) is distinct from the local authority that appoints them, and that EROs are therefore not currently within scope of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the FOI Act”).

In order to come within the scope of the FOI Act, EROs would need to be designated by a section 5 Order under that Act or through an amendment to the primary legislation.

The Government conducted a public consultation between 25 October 2007 and 1 February 2008 to seek views on which bodies might be included within the scope of the FOI Act by way of a section 5 Order. This would be the first such order made under the FOI Act. Electoral Registration Officers were not identified as part of this consultation, or in the responses, as candidates for inclusion.

The list of bodies proposed for inclusion in this first section 5 Order is:

Academy schools

Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)

Financial Ombudsman Service

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

However, the Government made clear in their response to the consultation, published on 16 July 2009, that the first section 5 Order would be an initial step, and that the extension of the FOI Act would be kept under review. I have asked my officials to undertake further work to examine the potential for the FOI Act to be extended to EROs, and to consult the relevant parties on this issue.

Electoral Register: Houseboats

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to ensure that residents of boats without a postcoded address are able to register to vote without having to declare themselves homeless. [324159]

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If a boat, houseboat or other residence has a permanent mooring it is treated by registration officers as a permanent dwelling in which an elector may be resident for registration purposes, and residents can be registered as electors in the standard way.

If the boat or other residence does not have a permanent mooring, then it is open to the resident(s) to make a ‘Declaration of Local Connection’ for the purposes of registering to vote. The residents should register at a place where they spend the most time or where they have some connection, such as the area where they were last permanently registered or any boatyard they may use for maintenance.

The provisions are designed to support participation in the electoral process by recognising that there will be some individuals who are unable to supply a fixed address, but are nonetheless eligible to register and vote. Electors registered by means of a local connection may vote using the same methods as ordinary electors. We have no current plans to amend the relevant legislation.

The Electoral Commission has published guidance for electoral registration officers on these provisions.

Employment Tribunals Service: York

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people living in City of York (a) in total and (b) with less than two years employment won unfair dismissal claims in (i) 1997 and (ii) the latest year for which figures are available; and how much on average was paid out in such claims in each such year. [324216]

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The information requested is either no longer held, or is not collated centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

In relation to information on cases in 1997, while the Tribunals Service continues to hold certain statistical data, it is not possible to interrogate those data on the basis of, for example, residency of one or more of the parties involved. The case details held in local employment tribunal offices are anonymised and archived one year after the disposal of the proceedings.

In relation to cases involving employees with less than two years employment, that information is only recorded on individual employment tribunal claim forms. Those forms are kept in hard copy in each local office and information is not entered onto IT systems. Therefore, it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

In relation to the most recent data concerning unfair dismissal judgments, data are not held centrally in respect of where individual claimants live.

The allocation of claims to all Employment Tribunal office is determined by the postcode of the respondent against whom the claim has been brought. Employment tribunal claims brought by people living in the City of York may, therefore, depending on the business address of the respondent, be made in any Employment Tribunal office in England, Wales or Scotland. Therefore, it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, information was sought from the two offices which deal with employment tribunal cases with respondents (i.e. employers) based in York (Leeds and Newcastle).

Those data have been interrogated to identify the number of successful unfair dismissal awards brought against respondents with a work address with a YO postcode. This shows that in the period 23 March 2009 to 22 March 2010, 35 successful unfair dismissal claims were brought against respondents whose postcode began with YO. The average award was £4,832.51.

Fines: Non-Payment

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people served a custodial sentence for the non-payment of fines in England and Wales in each financial year since April 2005. [323903]

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Figures showing the numbers of prisoners received into all prison establishments in England and Wales in the financial years 2005-06 to 2007-08 (the latest year for which data are available) are shown in the following table:

Fine defaulter first receptions into prison establishments in England and Wales 2005-08

Financial year

Number

2005-06

1,994

2006-07

1,605

2007-08

1,433

First receptions are an estimate of the number of prisoners entering the Criminal Justice System by individual offence in a given time period.

Offenders may be committed to prison for fine default: their sentence remains a fine.

Imprisonment for non-payment of a financial penalty remains the ultimate sanction for the most wilful defaulters. However, only after the court has considered or tried all other methods of enforcing payment of the sum and it appears to the court that they are inappropriate or unsuccessful. The court must also be convinced that the person has either “wilfully refused” to pay or have been “culpably neglectful” which means the person has had the means to pay but have simply neglected to pay.

These figures are a sub-set of first reception data in the first line of table 6.1 in Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2008, adjusted from a calendar year to a financial year basis. They have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

General Elections

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough of 3 March 2010, Official Report, column 1246W, on general elections, whether any local authority which counted votes on the evening of the 2005 general election was not refunded for the full staff costs of counting on that evening. [324842]

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The Representation of the People Act 1983 provides that the Secretary of State will pay the reasonable costs of returning officers for the conduct of elections—including for the count—as long as they are necessary for the efficient and effective conduct of the poll. Where a claim for costs in relation to any aspect of the conduct of the poll does not satisfy this statutory test then it would not be met. Information about whether this happened in respect of the costs of the count process specifically in relation to any of the 569 claims from returning officers in England and Wales in 2005 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. I am not aware, however, that any returning officer was provided with insufficient funding for the count at the 2005 general election.

Human Trafficking: Confiscation Orders

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many confiscation orders there were against convicted traffickers between 1 April 2009 and 31 January 2010; and what estimate he has made of the likely level of savings to the public purse as a result. [324637]

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The available information is provided in the following table. The figures shown in the table relate solely to cases recorded on the Ministry of Justice courts proceedings database where an offence of Human trafficking or Drug trafficking was the principal offence for which the offender was sentenced and where the confiscation order was made at the point of sentence. It is possible that a confiscation order will be made in a separate court appearance following sentence. These cases are not included in this answer so it is possible the true number of confiscation orders is higher than presented here.

Data for 2008 have been provided as data for 2009 and 2010 are not yet available. Sentencing data for 2009 will be published later this year.

No estimates of likely levels of savings to the public purse relating specifically to confiscation orders for trafficking are known to have been calculated by the Ministry of Justice.

50 per cent. of money recovered is given back to the operational bodies to drive up asset recovery work. 50 per cent. is retained by the Home Office for core funding including the Regional Assets Recovery Team. This money represents an addition to budgets rather than a saving and is important in providing extra resources to take proceeds off the criminals.

Confiscation orders issued for drug1 or people trafficking2, 2008

Drug trafficking

People trafficking

Total confiscation orders (number)

11,486

0

Amount confiscated (£)

120,529,373

n/a

n/a = not applicable

1 This includes drug offences relating to importation and exportation, supply, production and other relevant drug offences. These figures have been taken from table 4.10 of Sentencing Statistics 2008.

2 Trafficking into the UK for sexual exploitation

Trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation

Trafficking out of the UK for sexual exploitation

Trafficking people Into the UK for the purpose of exploitation

Trafficking people within the UK for the purpose of exploitation

Trafficking people out of the UK

Note:

1. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

2. These data have been taken from the Ministry of Justice Court Proceedings database. These data are presented on the principal offence basis. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed. Where the same sentence has been imposed for two or more offences the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.

3. Sentencing data are usually based on the principal offence and the primary disposal for that offence. A confiscation order is an ancillary disposal usually given alongside the main sentence, these results show the number and amount for confiscation orders given as any one of four disposals recorded against a principal offence of trafficking.

National Offender Management Service: Manpower

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many persons are employed at the National Offender Management Service (a) head office and (b) regional offices; how many such employees have (i) a probation background and (ii) a prison background; and how many such employees are career civil servants. [323753]

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The prison and probation services operate within the framework of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Agency. For historical reasons the two services have different employment structures. Prison Service staff are civil servants and are directly employed by the NOMS agency. Probation service staff are not civil servants and are employed by a probation board or trust.

Information on the career histories of National Offender Management Service headquarters (NOMS) staff does not include national probation service (NPS) experience. It is therefore not possible to provide figures of how many NOMS headquarters staff have a NPS background. Career history information that is available shows that 1,776 NOMS headquarters staff have previous experience in Prison Service establishments and are considered to have a prison background, although not all would have worked with offenders.

All NOMS headquarters staff other than those seconded from the NPS are civil servants. On 31 December 2009 there were 4,375 directly employed civil servants in national and regional offices and the shared service centre.

Newspaper Licensing Agency

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have paid to the Newspaper Licensing Agency in each year to date. [323966]

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The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the right to control the ways in which their material may be used.

Under this Act, the Newspaper Licensing Agency provides businesses and other organisations with permission to share and copy newspaper content through the sale of a licence.

The level of licence fee payable to the Newspapers Licensing Agency comprises a basic fee payable by all users and a variable element that depends on the size of the organisation, determined by the number of staff employed or by turnover, and the number of titles to which access is required.

The Ministry of Justice is a major department of state that receives a high level of press coverage. It is essential that press coverage of the Department and the wider criminal justice arena is monitored and disseminated on a daily basis.

The Department

The central Communications directorate within the Ministry of Justice's headquarters is responsible for most communications across the Ministry of Justice group, including its agencies and non-departmental public bodies.

Judicial communications are managed by a separate Judicial Communications Office (JCO). Expenditure with the Newspaper Licensing Agency since the Department was established in May 2007 by the central Communications directorate and JCO is as follows:

£000

2007-08

23

2008-09

84

2009-10 (to 28 February 2010)

128

Licences are paid in advance and adjusted in arrears where actual staff or turnover would have led to a different licence fee being due. The 2007-08 fee was based on the staffing levels within the smaller predecessor Department, the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

From September 2009, the Department awarded a new contract for “media cuts” which included access to digital cuts for the first time. As a result of this, the Department's licence with the Newspaper Licensing Agency was extended to include digital licence fees. For 2009-10 these additional costs were £44,289.05 and covered the period from mid-September to the end of the financial year. The use of digital media allows far more staff to access information and helps reduce paper.

Agencies

The Ministry of Justice has four executive agencies: Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS), the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), the Tribunals Service and the Office of the Public Guardian. Only HMCS and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) have incurred expenditure with the Newspaper Licensing Agency.

£000

HMCS

OPG

2007-08

6

2

2008-09

6

2

2009-10 (to 28 February 2010)

2

2

Offenders: Sentencing

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many pre-sentencing reports were requested in relation to offences of (a) false documentation, (b) assisting in the running of a brothel, (c) soliciting or loitering and (d) cannabis cultivation between 1 April 2009 and 31 January 2010. [324636]

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Figures showing the numbers of pre-sentence reports that were issued in the period between 1 April 2009 and 30 September 2009, the latest date for which figures have been published for the offences indicated, are as follows:

Number

Forging vehicle or driving documents

49

Keeping brothel

13

Loitering/soliciting

7

Procuration

14

Soliciting woman from motor vehicle

1

Supply Class B drug

490

All other offences

115,636

All

116,210

These are a reworking of figures available at the following website:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/probation quarterly.htm

Information on cannabis cultivation is not held separately; only offences involving driver and vehicle documentation are included.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Pay

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the written ministerial statement of 23 July 2007, Official Report, column 40WS, on emoluments, when he made the statement on emoluments. [323687]

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No statement on emoluments has yet been made.

Pleural Plaques

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the written ministerial statement of 25 February 2010, Official Report, columns 79-83WS, on pleural plaques, when he expects to announce the full details of the Pleural Plaques Former Claimants' Payment Scheme; who will be eligible for such payments; how the scheme will be operated; on what date he expects the scheme to be operational; and if he will make a statement. [324846]

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Detailed arrangements for the extra-statutory payment scheme on pleural plaques are in the process of being finalised and will be announced in due course. In the meantime, a helpline has been set up to provide information and advice for people inquiring as to whether they qualify for a payment under this scheme. The helpline number is 020 3334 3334.

Prison Sentences

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people are serving a sentence of less than (a) one year, (b) two years and (c) four years for (i) homicide, (ii) rape, (iii) attempted rape and (iv) a sexual offence involving children. [323061]

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The following table gives figures as at 30 June 2009, the latest date of publication for which these figures are available, showing the determinate sentence length bands requested for the total number of prisoners in all prison establishments in England and Wales serving sentences for (i) murder, conspiracy to murder, manslaughter and (ii) rape. Separate figures are not available for attempted rape.

Number of prisoners serving less than four years for specific offences

Sentence length

Murder

Conspire, aid, and incite to murder

Manslaughter

Causing death by reckless driving

Rape

Gross indecency, indecent assault of a child

Less than one year

0

0

0

2

21

5

1 to less than 2 years

0

0

7

26

13

34

2 to less than 4 years

0

3

62

104

104

165

The table also shows number of prisoners serving determinate sentences for (iv) gross indecency with children. However, it is not possible to give a comprehensive total of sexual offence cases which involve offences against children, as other categories of offences do not define the age of the victim. To answer this part of the question comprehensively would involve a manual search of all the relevant prison records, at disproportionate cost.

The courts must impose a mandatory life sentence on any individual convicted of murder. This is the only sentence available for such a conviction.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Prisoner Escapes

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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners at HM Prison Ford (a) escaped, (b) absconded and (c) failed to return in each month since 1 January 2007; what category of offences had been committed by each of those prisoners; what the term of custodial sentence was of each; on what date each (i) left and (ii) was returned to prison; and what sanction was imposed on each.