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Written Statements

Volume 511: debated on Thursday 10 June 2010

Written Ministerial Statements

Thursday 10 June 2010


Financial Services Authority (Annual Report)

The Annual Report 2009-10 of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has today been laid before Parliament. Copies have also been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.

The report forms a key part of the accountability mechanism for the Financial Services Authority under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA), and assesses the performance of the Financial Services Authority over the past 12 months against its statutory objectives.

Communities and Local Government

Local Government Savings Package

The Government have made clear that deficit reduction is their most urgent priority. On 24 May, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced therefore that the Government would save over £6 billion from spending during this financial year. Included in that savings package were £1.166 billion reductions in grants to local government. I have today placed in the Library of the House information on the revenue and capital grants that will be reduced.

The Government are clear that deficit reduction, and continuing to ensure economic recovery, is the most pressing issue facing Britain. This will restore confidence in the economy and support the recovery. Advice from the Treasury and Bank of England is that it is better to start to make the reductions in the current financial year. Not to do so will simply delay the need for savings in future years, thereby compounding the impact on public services, including those delivered by local authorities, in the future. It is fair that local authorities make a contribution to the savings to enable Government to take immediate action to tackle the UK’s unprecedented deficit in this financial year.

It is time for a fundamental shift of power from Westminster to individuals and their communities. We want to end the era of top-down government by providing a radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local authorities.

So we will reduce the performance management burden on local government through abolishing the comprehensive area assessment and reducing ring-fencing of central government grants, freeing up resources to concentrate on local priorities and the delivery of essential front-line services. We are committed to a full review of local government finance, to giving councils a general power of competence, and to working with local authorities to freeze council tax in England for at least one year as outlined in the coalition agreement and seek to freeze it for a further year, in partnership with local authorities. All of this will help to create the shift of power from the centre to local people that we are determined to deliver.

I am absolutely clear about the importance of the services that local government provides. So we have been determined to ensure local authorities can shield their key front-line services.

The Government have looked at whether it is possible to focus the reductions on grants which have not yet been committed through grant determinations or other statutory restrictions. This has been possible to some extent. Some of the reductions occur in grants where there are underspends, where the money has yet to be allocated or where a grant determination has not yet been made. However, because of the scale of the contribution from local government, it has not been possible to achieve the necessary levels of reduction without reducing some allocations included in grant determinations. Local government, along with the rest of society, is being asked to play its part in helping to reduce the deficit. Where we have reduced revenue grants, no local authority will face a reduction of more than 2%. This compares to the cut in running costs for my Department and its quangos of 10% in 2010-11

We have ensured that councils have the flexibility to take decisions locally on how to deliver the savings needed. I am pleased that we have been able to keep formula grant at the level approved by Parliament of £29 billion. We have also announced further removal from ring-fencing of central government revenue and capital grants. This gives councils extra flexibility to make decisions about where savings are found, although this is subject to the usual rules which ensure that capital funding is used on capital expenditure. A list of grants that have been removed from ring-fencing is included in the information made available in the House.

There are good reasons for the changes we have made. For example, we believe that the housing and planning delivery grant has proved to be an ineffective and excessively complex incentive. The coalition agreement set out that we will provide incentives for local authorities to deliver sustainable development, including for new homes and businesses.

The Government believe that there is significant scope for local authorities to find efficiencies in the way in which they deliver services. We believe there are further opportunities for an increased role for joint working between local authorities and between different types of public authorities across local areas. Our focus on providing councils with the flexibility to manage budgets effectively will ensure that councils can deliver those services that local people wish to see.

I recognise that making savings in-year will be challenging for local authorities, as it will be for other parts of the public sector. The information that my Department is sending today to every local authority provides the detail councils need to make the necessary decisions as quickly as possible on how they will deliver the necessary changes. I have also made available in the Library of the House a copy of the information that we have sent to each local authority which sets out the revised allocations.

I know that councils want this information as a matter of urgency and we have worked hard to deliver this. The Government therefore wish to provide as much clarity and flexibility to local authorities and other public bodies as quickly as possible so that they can best handle the changes proposed without an impact on key front-line services.

I am satisfied that we have adopted a fair approach to making the necessary reductions in the different grants and funding streams. We are therefore simply asking councils to check quickly to make sure that there are no errors in the calculation of the reductions.

The detailed spending decisions we are outlining today show a clear determination to help tackle the immense public deficit the new Government have inherited.


Munro Review (Child Protection)

I informed the House on Monday 7 June 2010 that the Government had decided to commission Professor Eileen Munro of the London School of Economics to carry out an independent review to improve child protection. The Secretary of State for Education has written to Professor Munro today to set out the remit of this review and I would like to take this opportunity to provide the House with further details.

The reforms led by the previous Administration were well intentioned. The immense dedication and hard work of front-line professionals is an inspiration. But the child protection system in our country is not working as well as it should. It is the Government’s view that we need a fundamental review of the system and to ask ourselves what will help professionals to make the best judgments they can to protect vulnerable children.

I firmly believe we need reform to frontline social work practice. I want to strengthen the profession so that social workers are in a better position to make sound judgments, based on first hand evidence, in the best interests of children, free from unnecessary bureaucracy and regulation. I want social workers to be clear about their responsibilities and to be accountable in the way they protect children. I particularly want social workers to have the confidence they need to challenge parents when they have concerns about the circumstances in which children are growing up, and to know they will be supported by the system in doing so.

The Secretary of State for Education and I have therefore asked Professor Munro to set out the obstacles preventing improvements and the steps required to bring about improved social work practice. This will include considering how effectively children’s social workers and professionals in other agencies work together. As part of the review, we have asked Professor Munro to take account of emerging thinking from parallel reviews such as the Family Justice Review. We also want any review to be informed by the strongest systems of child protection in other countries.

This is complex territory and necessarily wide-ranging. We have given Professor Munro a broad remit, so that she is able to consider a wide range of issues. Three principles will underpin the Government’s approach to reform of child protection: early intervention; trusting professionals and removing bureaucracy so they can spend more of their time on the front-line; and greater transparency and accountability. We have asked Professor Munro to produce her final report by April 2011 with an interim report in January 2011 and a first report in September 2010.

The Government are committed to implementing the recommendations of the social work taskforce, which provide a strong starting point for Professor Munro’s review. We look to the social work reform board to take forward those recommendations while the review is in progress.

To support further improvement on the front line, the DfE is confirming today that the £23 million local social work improvement fund will be available to local authority children’s services in 2010-11.

The successful CWDC programmes to support recruitment and retention of social workers will also continue, subject to some efficiencies, which have been achieved by reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and marketing and overlap with the work of the social work reform board.

We are also confirming the funding that will support the establishment of an independent college for social work and that pilots of social work practices will continue. This confirmation relates to funding, which has been protected in 2010-11. Funding for future years will need to be confirmed as part of the forthcoming comprehensive spending review.

I would also like to take this opportunity to confirm to the House the Government’s commitment to ensuring that serious case reviews, with identifying details removed, are published.

The key purpose of undertaking serious case reviews is to enable lessons to be learned from cases where a child dies or is seriously harmed and abuse or neglect is known, or suspected, to be a factor. In order for these lessons to be learned as widely and thoroughly as possible, professionals need to be able to understand fully what happened in each case, and most importantly, what needs to change in order to reduce the risk of such tragedies happening in the future. Only by publishing serious case reviews will this greater level of transparency and accountability be achieved. The Government’s aim in publishing SCR overview reports is to restore public confidence and improve transparency in the child protection system, and to ensure that the context in which the events occurred is properly understood so relevant lessons are learned and applied as widely as possible.

That is why Ministers have today written to all local safeguarding children board chairs and directors of children’s services to confirm that, with immediate effect, the overview report and the executive summary of all new serious case reviews initiated from today should be published. Overview reports should be published together with the executive summaries unless there are compelling reasons relating to the welfare of any children directly concerned in the case for this not to happen. Both the overview report and the executive summary should be anonymised and should not contain identifying details. This means preparing SCR overview reports in a form suitable for publication, or redacting them appropriately before publication.

The publication of serious case reviews is a sensitive and complex matter. Serious case review overview reports contain personal information and it is vitally important that published serious case reviews are appropriately redacted and anonymised to protect the privacy and welfare of vulnerable children and their families. There is an important balance to be struck between transparency and openness so that lessons can be learned, and the protection and welfare of individuals. We believe that publication to the extent that we are proposing is reasonable and in the greater public interest.

The tragic case of Peter Connelly, and other recent high profile cases such as those in Edlington, Birmingham and Kirklees, shocked the nation. They also prompted public concern that vital information needed to be made available so that agencies could be properly held to account and all the lessons properly learned. The Government are therefore confirming today their intention that the overview reports (together with the executive summary) of all these serious case reviews will be published, appropriately redacted and anonymised, starting with the two serious case review overview reports on the case of Peter Connelly.

As part of her review, Professor Munro has also been asked to consider how serious case reviews could be strengthened and whether there are alternative learning models that could be more effective and efficient.

Finally, I want to inform the House that the cross-Government National Safeguarding Delivery Unit will be disbanded with immediate effect and staff resource allocated to new priorities, including supporting the Munro review. The safeguarding group within the Department for Education will retain lead responsibility for the Government’s child protection policy and will continue to work closely with other Government Departments, in particular the Department of Health, the Home Office, and the Ministry of Justice.

I have placed a copy of the letters sent today to Professor Munro, and to all chairs of local safeguarding children boards and directors of children’s services, in the House Library.

Energy and Climate Change

Environment Council

Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and I will represent the UK at the Environment Council in Luxembourg on 11 June.

The Council will consider progress reports on the proposal for a regulation on the placing on the market and use of biocidal products; the proposal for a directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS) (recast); the proposal for a directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) (recast); and the proposal for a regulation concerning the setting emission performance standards for new light commercial vehicles as part of the Community’s integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles.

The Commission will present to Council its communication on the options to move beyond 20% greenhouse gas emission reductions and assessing the risk of carbon leakage. This will be followed by a policy debate and the adoption of some procedural Council conclusions.

The Council will also seek the adoption of Council conclusions on water scarcity, drought and adaptation to climate change, on preparing forests for climate change, and the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP/MOP 5) serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (Nagoya, Japan, 11 to 15 October 2010). There will also be an exchange of views and adoption of Council conclusions, on the first session of the Preparatory Committee for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”) (New York, 17-19 May 2010).

The following topics will be covered under “any other business”:

Information from the presidency and the Commission on the challenges for a good environmental status of the marine environment;

Information from the presidency on the 18th session of the UN Commission on sustainable development (CSD 18) (New York, 3-14 May 2010);

Information from the Greek delegation on the signing of a memorandum of understanding in the field of forestry between the Government of the Hellenic Republic and the Government of the Republic of Turkey, and of a joint declaration between the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change of the Hellenic Republic and the Minister for Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Turkey;

A request from the French delegation on genetically modified organisms;

Presentation from the Commission on future steps in bio-waste management in the European Union (9955/10 ENV 308 AGRI 178 ENER 158);

Information from the Belgian delegation on the work programme of the incoming presidency; and

A request from the UK on the 62nd meeting of the International Whaling Commission, Agadir, Morocco, 21-25 June.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

General Affairs Council and Foreign Affairs Council

The General Affairs Council and Foreign Affairs Council will be held on 14 June in Luxembourg. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will represent the UK with the Secretary of State for International Development at the respective sessions of Foreign and Development Ministers. I will also attend.

The agenda items are as follows:

Foreign Affairs Council (FAC): Foreign Ministers


Ministers will discuss EU sanctions as part of the dual-track strategy of engagement and pressure, in light of the likely passage of a UN Security Council resolution in week of 7 June. Ministers may also discuss developments in Iran following the anniversary of last year’s June elections.

Western Balkans

Foreign Ministers will discuss the western Balkans, in the light of the Sarajevo high-level meeting on June 2 between EU and western Balkan Foreign Ministers, which the Foreign Secretary attended. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Chief Prosecutor Brammertz is expected to brief Ministers ahead of his six-monthly report to the UN Security Council. Ministers are likely to review the issue of ratification of Serbia’s stabilisation and association agreement with the European Union.

Somalia / Piracy

Ministers will receive an update from the High Representative on her visit to Kenya, Tanzania and Seychelles of 18 to 21 May. Ministers’ discussions are likely to focus on support to regional counter-piracy efforts and strengthening capability for prosecuting pirates.

Middle East Peace Process

Ministers will discuss recent developments on the middle east peace process, the Gaza flotilla incident and international efforts to improve the situation in Gaza. This may include discussions of an independent investigation of events and how restrictions on access might be lifted. Ministers will also discuss the wider peace process, including the American-led proximity talks and their progress.


Ministers will discuss the situation in Sudan, particularly with a view to the January 2011 referendum on self-determination for south Sudan as part of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement (CPA). The Council will also discuss the conflict in Darfur. Ministers will focus on the EU’s engagement on Sudan going forward to support peaceful completion of the CPA, whatever the decision of south Sudan in the referendum. The Council is also likely to stress that efforts must continue to find a political solution to the Darfur conflict and the importance of improving security and humanitarian access in Darfur.

Child labour

Ministers will discuss Council conclusions on the Commission staff working document on combating child labour. The conclusions set out a number of measures the EU should take to combat child labour, including through political dialogue and multilateral affairs; corporate social responsibility; public procurement; and trade incentives.

Corfu Process

The OSCE-led initiative on European security might be discussed in the light of the joint Merkel-Medvedev proposals on strengthening the EU-Russia security policy relationship.


Ministers will discuss the annual evaluation of the EU common position on Cuba, and assess progress made in the EU-Cuba political dialogue. Ministers will also agree Council conclusions on Cuba which will centre on the continuing relevance of the common position, and may call on the Cuban Government to do more to improve the human rights situation in Cuba.

Haiti - Disaster response lessons learned

Ministers will discuss the EU’s response to Haiti. The meeting may also generate further debate on EU disaster response structures and resources.

Any Other Business: Georgia

Georgia is on the agenda at the request of Lithuania. Ministers may discuss the recent local elections (30 May), which the OSCE/ODIHR observation mission noted marked “evident progress towards meeting OSCE and Council of Europe commitments”. There may also be discussion of Georgia’s relations with the EU: a visa facilitation agreement will be signed this month; negotiations on an association agreement are due to start in July; a review of the Georgian action plan for engagement with Abkhazia and South Ossetia; and the European Union monitoring mission’s (EUMM) mandate is due for renewal in the autumn.

FAC: Development Ministers

EU Development Ministers will discuss the following agenda items:

Somalia / Piracy

As with Foreign Ministers, Baroness Ashton will brief on her visit to the region of 18 to 21 May. The discussion is likely to focus on taking a comprehensive approach to all of Somalia’s political, security and development challenges and enhancing co-ordination with the wider international community.

Millennium Development Goals

Ministers will be asked to agree conclusions on a common EU position on the millennium development goals (MDGs) ahead of the UN high-level review meeting on the MDGs in New York in September 2010. Ministers are likely to discuss some of the key issues in the conclusions, most notably levels of official development assistance (ODA) commitments. The UK is committed to supporting an action-orientated and ambitious outcome at the UN Summit.

Gender Equality and Development

This is likely to be a general discussion, focused on the “Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Development, EU Plan of Action 2010-2015” which will be attached as an annex to the Council conclusions on the MDGs. The UK has been involved in the drafting of the action plan, which seeks to establish a practical framework to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs, especially MDG 3 (gender) and MDG 5 (maternal health).

General Affairs Council (GAC)

The GAC will present and discuss the draft Council conclusions for the June European Council (JEC) on 17 June which will focus on the European economy, financial regulation in advance of the G20 Toronto summit, millennium development goals and climate change. Economic issues are likely to dominate the European Council: the presidency will be seeking to finalise the Europe 2020 strategy and leaders will want to discuss reforms to economic governance in the wake of recent turbulence.

The Council is expected to endorse conclusions of the 3 to 4 June JHA Council by welcoming progress in implementing the European pact on immigration and asylum. The GAC will also consider potential external items for discussion at the JEC including possible EU sanctions on Iran, following a new UN Security Council resolution.

Strategic Report on the Implementation of Cohesion Policy Programmes

The Commissioners for Regional Policy and Employment and Social Affairs will present the strategic report on the implementation of cohesion policy programmes, published on 31 March 2010. As this is a new requirement for the 2007-13 period, the presidency initiated Council conclusions on the report which are to be adopted. The conclusions invite the Commission to explore possibilities for a better co-ordinated and simplified policy and note that cohesion policy will need to support the Europe 2020 strategy and should continue to foster competitiveness, innovation, employment and economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union.

European Citizens’ Initiative

There will be a discussion of the Commission’s dossier on the European citizens’ initiative. The Government remain concerned that no impact assessment has been carried out with which to better inform the proposed regulation.

2010 Forum for Outermost Europe

The Commissioner for regional policy will present the results of the 2010 forum for outermost Europe to the GAC. Following an initiative of the Spanish presidency, Council conclusions on the outermost regions are likely to be adopted. The conclusions encourage a renewal of the strategy for the outermost regions and a consideration of the role of the outermost regions in EU policies, in particular Europe 2020.

Home Department

Stop-and-Search Authorisation

My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Security, Baroness Neville-Jones, has today made the following written ministerial statement:

I wish to inform the House of errors relating to those periods in the past which have recently been identified following an internal review of the authorisation process for the stop-and-search powers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has undertaken work in relation to a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act concerning authorisations for the section 44 stop-and-search powers. In the course of reviewing their section 44 records, the MPS identified an authorisation from April 2004 which had not been confirmed by a Home Office Minister within the statutory 48 hour deadline for confirmation. Subsequent investigations revealed that approximately 840 were stopped and searched in the relevant area during the period of the invalid authorisation. The MPS are urgently considering what steps can reasonably be taken to contact those individuals involved.

As a result of this discovery, the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) in the Home Office undertook a review in May 2010 of all section 44 authorisations since the Terrorism Act came into force on 19 February 2001, in the course of which a number of other errors came to light. I have to inform the House that it appears that stop-and-search powers have been used unlawfully by a number of police forces on a number of occasions. The Home Office has written to each of the police forces concerned to alert them to these errors and those forces are now in the process of assessing how many individuals were stopped and searched in the periods of invalid authorisations. They will do their best to contact those involved. To summarise these errors, on 33 occasions authorisations were specified to be for 29 days, and two occasions when the authorisations were specified to be for 30 days, whereas the statutory maximum period is 28 days. In addition, there was one further case (as well as the MPS incident in April 2004) where ministerial confirmation for the authorisation was not provided within the statutory 48 hour deadline. All of these cases appear to have been as a result of administrative errors which were not identified at the time by either the police or the Home Office. A full breakdown is included in the attached table.

Lord Carlile, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, has been informed.

Three episodes of errors taking place in the section 44 authorisation process have previously been brought to the attention of the House. For completeness, these are also included in the attached table bringing the total number of such cases to 40. Home Office officials are working closely with the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) with the aim of ensuring there are no incidents in future. Officials will keep Lord Carlile and me informed and I will report back to the House as necessary.

I am aware that there is considerable concern about the operation of section 44 stop-and-search powers going beyond these authorisation errors. The Government are committed to a wider review of counter-terrorism legislation, including the operation of the section 44 stop-and-search provisions. While I take some re-assurance from the fact that no errors have occurred since December 2008 when the authorisation process was tightened, I want to assure the House that there will be utmost vigilance in future. It is with the need for this in mind that I have instructed Home Office officials unconnected with the administrative process to conduct the internal review of procedures.

Table of Erroneous Authorisations

Authorisations Over the Statutory 28 Day Period

Authorisation Date

Authorisation Time

Statutory End Date

Actual End Date

Kent Constabulary

19 February 2001

08.00 hrs

18 March 2001

19 March 2001

11 April 2001

08.35 hrs

08 May 2001

09 May 2001

Sussex Police

05 March 2001

11.50 hrs

01 April 2001

02 April 2001

07 September 2001

12.00 hrs

04 October 2001

05 October 2001

19 December 2001

15.30 hrs

15 January 2001

16 January 2001

15 January 2007*

09.15 hrs

11 February 2007

12 February 2007

12 March 2007*

14.21 hrs

08 April 2007

9 April 2007

Durham Constabulary

03 April 2001

09.30 hrs

30 April 2001

01 May 2001

Cleveland Police

02 April 2001

10.30 hrs

29 April 2001

30 April 2001

City of London Police

29 April 2001

12.00 hrs

26 May 2001

27 May 2001

21 June 2001

12.00 hrs

18 July 2001

19 July 2001

20 July 2001

11.20 hrs

16 August 2001

17 August 2001

17 August 2001

12.00 hrs

13 September 2001

14 September 2001

Thames Valley Police

29 April 2001

12.00 hrs

26 May 2001

27 May 2001

25 May 2001

12.00 hrs

21 June 2001

22 June 2001

22 June 2001

08.05 hrs

19 July 2001

20 July 2001

20 July 2001

08.04 hrs

16 August 2001

17 August 2001

17 August 2001

08.01 hrs

13 September 2001

14 September 2001

24 June 2002

11.33 hrs

21 July 2002

22 July 2002

Metropolitan Police Service

29 April 2001

12.00 hrs

26 May 2001

27 May 2001

25 May 2001

12.00 hrs

21 June 2001

22 June 2001

22 June 2001

12.00 hrs

19 July 2001

20 July 2001

20 July 2001

13.00 hrs

16 August 2001

17 August 2001

17 August 2001

12.00 hrs

13 September 2001

14 September 2001

North Yorkshire Police

21 September 2001

12.00 hrs

18 October 2001

19 October 2001

19 October 2001

11. 45 hrs

15 November 2001

16 November 2001

16 November 2001

12.00 hrs

13 December 2001

14 December 2001


02 September 2002

10.25 hrs

29 September 2002

30 September 2002

Bedfordshire Police

15 November 2002

10.00 hrs

12 December 2002

13 December 2002

Essex Police

20 October 2003

08.05 hrs

16 November 2003

17 November 2003

Greater Manchester Police

19 January 2004

09.30 hrs

15 February 2004

16 February 2004

16 August 2007*

15.20 hrs

12 September 2007

14 September 2007

13 September 2007*

12.00 hrs

10 October 2007

11 October 2007

Fife Constabulary

31 March 2008

16.43 hrs

27 April 2008

28 April 2008

South Wales Police

6 February 2007*

13.50 hrs

05 March 2007

7 March 2007

*The two occasions in January and March 2007 were addressed by Lord Carlile in his report for that year

*The two occasions in August and September 2007 were addressed by Lord Carlile in his report for that year.

*The occasion in February 2007 was addressed by Lord Carlile in his report for that year and the Government Response to his report. The Government Response also highlighted an incident in 2005 where South Wales did not have an authorisation in place between midnight on 21 June 2005 and 09.25 hrs on 24 June 2005.

Authorisations not Confirmed Within the 48 Hour Statutory Deadline

Authorisation Date

Authorisation Time

Ministerial Confirmation Date/Time

Actual time taken for Ministerial Confirmation

Metropolitan Police Service

2 April 2004

07.30 hrs

4 April 2004 -11.10hrs

51 hours & 40 minutes

Thames Valley Police

29 November 2006

15.00 hrs

1 December 2006 -15.15hrs

48 hours & 15 minutes

Use of Section 44 Powers Where a Valid Authorisation Was not in Place—as Previously Advised to Parliament

Authorisation Date(1)

Authorisation Expiry Date

Number of days where power could have been used

Sussex Police

June 2003

June 2003


3 September 2007

25 September 2007


Authorisation Date(2)

Authorisation Expiry Date

Number of days where power could have been used

South Wales

22 June 2005

24 June 2005


Total Forces: 14

Total Incidents: 40

(1) The dates indicated here (for both Sussex Police and South Wales Police) are the dates from which the authorisations would commence if they had been submitted.

(2) The dates indicated here (for both Sussex Police and South Wales Police) are the dates from which the authorisations would commence if they had been submitted.

Home Department

Justice and Home Affairs Council

The Justice and Home Affairs Council was held on 3 and 4 June in Luxembourg. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Justice and I, attended on behalf of the United Kingdom. The following issues were discussed at the Council:

The Council began with the Mixed Committee (including Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland). The Commission reported on implementation of the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II), presenting comprehensive global schedule for the entry into operation of SIS II in 2013.

The Council adopted conclusions encouraging member states to make more extensive use of automated border-control systems at their external borders. The UK will not participate in these automated systems, or the EU passport regulation on which the automated systems will be based, as they build on elements of the Schengen acquis in which we do not participate.

The Council received an update on the progress of the visa liberalisation road maps for the western Balkan countries agreed by the EU in 2009. The UK does not participate in EU common visa policy, as it builds on an area of the Schengen acquis in which the UK does not participate.

After the Mixed Committee, the presidency presented the first main assessment description report for internal debate (MADRID) on internal security in the EU. The report is based on a combination of threat assessments from Europol, Eurojust and Frontex on which the Council was invited to debate and consider priorities for future action. The UK intervened to outline that the UK Government wanted to play a strong and positive role in the EU. While recognising the importance of the Stockholm programme in setting strategic guidelines for our work there were some aspects of the programme which caused the UK Government concern. The UK gave as examples the idea of a European public prosecutor and a common asylum policy. The UK confirmed that it would consider whether or not to opt in to new legislative proposals resulting from the Stockholm programme on a case-by-case basis with the objective of preserving security, civil liberties and the integrity of the UK’s criminal justice system. On the MADRID report the UK noted that Europol’s OCTA threat assessment was important and should inform our work. There was a need to focus on non-legislative solutions: practical co-operation and sharing of best practices between member states.

Next there was a discussion on the most recent report from the EU counter-terrorism co-ordinator (CTC), Gilles de Kerchove, on the implementation of the EU strategy and action plan to combat terrorism. The report examined the nature of the threat, transportation security (especially in the field of land transport), monitoring of terrorist travel, and the connecting of internal and external security. Delegations intervened to support the report and the UK used the opportunity to outline the UK’s new national security arrangements, including the creation of the new National Security Council. The incoming Belgian presidency said that they would focus work on the prevention of radicalisation and the threat from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) material.

The Council then adopted the EU-US counter-terrorism declaration where the presidency noted the importance of the relationship between the EU and US.

The Council welcomed agreement to the “European Pact to combat international drug trafficking”, which is designed to enhance operational co-operation of EU countries in the fight against drug trafficking. The pact focuses on three broad areas of activity: disrupting cocaine routes; disrupting heroin routes; and tackling the money flows.

The presidency then provided an update on the EU-Russia JHA Permanent Partnership Council meeting of 25 and 26 May, which was held in Kazan. Discussion focused on possible EU-Russia visa liberalisation and migration dialogue.

Over lunch Interior Ministers received an update on the progress of negotiations with the US on the agreement between the European Union and the United States of America on the terrorist finance tracking programme (TFTP). The Council agreed in May a negotiating mandate for the Commission to undertake negotiations with the US. The Commission hoped to present the text of an agreement later in June.

After lunch the Council adopted conclusions on unaccompanied minors, which outline proposals for handling the large numbers of unaccompanied children who enter the EU annually.

The Council then debated the follow-up to the EU pact on immigration and asylum, agreeing accompanying Council conclusions which will be presented to the June European Council. The UK said we had to increase public confidence by getting the right balance between immigration control, integration and protection. Resources should be prioritised on tackling migration challenges at source (overseas), making quick and fair asylum decisions, and enforcing the return of failed asylum seekers. Practical co-operation between member states was more important than harmonised legislation.

Under AOB, Malta said that a report by the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee supported their calls for further physical burden sharing. The Commission provided a progress report on negotiations of the EU readmission agreement with Turkey. The Czech Republic asked the Commission to update the Council on their negotiations with Canada to lift the current visa requirement on Czech citizens. Italy gave a short presentation on the meeting of the G6 Interior Ministers which it had hosted in Varese in May.

There was also under any other business, an item about the International Anti-Corruption Academy, at the request of the Austrians. The academy will be set up in Austria and a conference will be held in Vienna on 2 and 3 September 2010 on this.

On the justice day, a general approach was reached on the Commission proposal for a directive on combating human trafficking as the basis for the next stage of negotiations with the European Parliament. The Government are broadly content with this approach, although they have not yet decided whether to opt in and the proposal remains subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

The Commission presented a state-of-play report on the directive to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse and child pornography. The Commission emphasised the importance of this directive, in particular that it would criminalise “grooming” and enable prosecution without testimony from child victims.

There was a state-of-play report by the presidency on the proposed directive on interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings. The presidency informed Ministers that the current text is the outcome of negotiations with the European Parliament.

There was also a discussion about the directive on the European protection order. Some member states raised their concerns about the legal base of the current text. The UK set out its reservations about the legal base but reiterated its support of the proposal’s objectives. The presidency has stated that it reached a general approach at this Council meeting. However, we and other member states dispute this given that there were enough member states who could not support the text to make up a blocking minority. There could be further discussions about this directive at the JHA Council in autumn.

The Council agreed, without a vote, to a proposal to authorise enhanced co-operation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation (also known as Rome III). The UK reminded the Council that it had decided not to participate in the original proposal, and, while it was highly unlikely that this position would change, it had no desire to prevent others who wished to proceed. Work on the draft regulation implementing enhanced co-operation in this area will continue under the Belgian presidency.

The presidency outlined the approach towards future work on a proposed regulation on succession and wills. These were agreed without discussion. The UK has not opted in to this proposal.

The Council adopted a negotiating mandate for discussions with the Council of Europe on the EU accession to the European convention of human rights. Those discussions are expected to start later in the year and will lead, in due course, to a proposed accession agreement which will have to be unanimously agreed by all member states.

The presidency then presented a state-of-play report on e-Justice work and the Commission confirmed that the e-Justice portal would be launched on 16 July.

The presidency updated the Council on the EU-Russia JHA Permanent Partnership Council meeting that took place 25 and 26 May 2010. The presidency considered this a good basis for the EU-Russia summit that took place 31 May and 1 June 2010.

Belgium listed their priorities for their upcoming presidency. This included continuing work on matters such as the European protection order, the protection of victims, succession and wills, as well as new work on the European investigation order.

Police Authorities (Revised Grant Allocations)

As indicated by my statement of 27 May I have today laid before the House our proposals for the revised allocation of core police funding for England and Wales in 2010-11 in the form of the Police Grant Report (England and Wales) Amending Report 2010-11. I intend to implement the proposals subject to consideration of any representations and the approval of the House.

The Government’s priority is to cut the budget deficit and get the economy moving again. That means the police will have to bear a fair share of the burden, helped by £100 million of savings already identified for this year on areas including procurement and IT. I am quite clear that this saving can be achieved by driving out wasteful spending, reducing bureaucracy and increasing efficiency in key functions, while leaving the front line of policing strong and secure.

Total Home Office cuts will be £367 million and in order to minimise the impact on the police service the Home Office will cut a greater than proportionate share of its central budget. In summary, the Government intend to reduce police funding by a total of £135 million this year. This will be achieved by a proposed £115 million reduction in rule 2 grant, a £10 million reduction in capital grant and a £10 million reduction in counter-terrorism specific grants. Even after these reductions Government funding to the police service will remain at £9.61 billion in 2010-11. This is still £124 million more than last year.

Proposed changes to Home Office 2010-11 Core Settlement

Allocation as at February 2010

Proposed Allocations



Home Office principal formula grant (including MPS Special Payment)



Rule 2 grants



Total Home Office core settlement



Core Settlement

I am proposing to deduct £115 million from the rule 2 element of each force’s core Home Office grant settlement. No other element of the police grant report will be amended. Rule 2 grants are former specific grants from which conditions for how they must be spent have been removed.

Specific Grants

Specific grants for neighbourhood policing, basic command units and crime fighting will remain at planned levels for 2010-11. Counter-terrorism policing grants will be reduced by £10 million. Senior counter-terrorism police officers have provided advice on the most appropriate way to find these savings while ensuring that the police service retains the necessary capabilities to counter terrorist activity and support our national security

The Government will none the less still be providing £569 million to forces through police counter-terrorism specific grants this year, maintaining 09-10 funding levels.

Capital Grant

There will be a reduction of £10 million to the capital grant in 2010-11. This still provides a total capital provision of £210 million to police authorities to develop their local infrastructure investment to support their operational activity.

Revised force allocations were set out in my statement of 27 May 2010.


Azelle Rodney Inquiry

I am announcing today the establishment by the Ministry of Justice of an inquiry, under the Inquiries Act 2005, to investigate the death of Azelle Rodney in April 2005.

The inquiry will be chaired by Sir Christopher Holland, a retired High Court judge. I have agreed with Sir Christopher that the inquiry will determine the matters which an article 2-compliant inquest would have determined had it been able to take place.

The inquiry’s terms of reference are therefore:

“To ascertain by inquiring how, where, and in what circumstances Azelle Rodney came by his death on 30 April 2005 and then to make any such recommendations as may seem appropriate”.

The arrangements for the inquiry will now be a matter for Sir Christopher. The Ministry of Justice will provide support to him.

I am very grateful to Sir Christopher for assuming this important role. It is more than five years since Mr Rodney’s death, and I very much hope that this inquiry will be able to satisfy the public need for deaths of this kind to be explained and to resolve matters for Mr Rodney’s mother, Ms Susan Alexander.

Prime Minister

Special Advisers

Listed below are the names of the special advisers in post at 10 June 2010, including each special adviser’s pay band, and actual salary where this is £58,200 or higher, together with details of the special advisers’ pay ranges for 2010-2011, and the total pay bill cost of special advisers for 2009-10.

Also being published today are revised versions of the Model Contract and Code of Conduct for Special Advisers. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Appointing Minister

Special Adviser in Post


Salary if £58,200 or higher (£)

The Prime Minister

Andy Coulson

Within scheme ceiling


Edward Llewellyn

Within scheme ceiling


Kate Fall



Jonny Oates



Gabby Bertin



Tim Chatwin



Steve Hilton



Polly Mackenzie



Henry Macrory



James O'Shaughnessy



Liz Sugg



Peter Campbell



Sean Kemp



Gavin Lockhart


Michael Salter



Rohan Silva



Sean Worth


James McGrory


Deputy Prime Minister

Lena Pietsch



Richard Reeves1



Alison Suttie



Chris Saunders



First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Arminka Helic

Denzil Davidson




Chancellor of the Exchequer2

Ramesh Chhabra

Poppy Mitchell-Rose




Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice

David Hass

Kathryn Laing




Secretary of State for the Home Department and Minister for Women and Equality

Fiona Cunningham

Nick Timothy





Secretary of State for Defence

Luke Coffey

Oliver Waghorn





Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Katie Waring

Giles Wilkes



Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Susie Squire

Philippa Stroud




Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

Duncan Brack

Joel Kenrick




Secretary of State for Health

Jenny Parsons



Secretary of State for Education

Henry de Zoete

Elena Narozanski



Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Giles Kenningham

Sheridan Westlake



Secretary of State for Transport

Sian Jones

Paul Stephenson



Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Simon Cawte

Will Littlejohn



Secretary of State for International Development

Philippa Buckley

Richard Parr



Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Jonathan Caine



Secretary of State for Scotland

Willie Rennie (unpaid)

Secretary of State for Wales


Secretary of State for Culture, Media, the Olympics and Sport

Sue Beeby

Adam Smith



Chief Secretary

Will de Peyer




Minister without Portfolio


Leader of the House of Lords, and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

Flo Coleman



Minister for the Cabinet Office, Paymaster General

Laura Trott


Minister of State, Cabinet Office

Martha Varney


Minister of State (Universities and Science), BIS

Nick Hillman


Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal

Robert Riddell


Chief Whip (Commons)

Chris White

Ben Williams




1Takes up post with effect from 5 July.

2In addition, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has appointed Rupert Harrison (PB3, £80,000) and Eleanor Shawcross (PB2) to the Council of Economic Advisers.

The pay bands and pay ranges for special advisers for 2010-11 are as follows:

Special Adviser Pay Bands for 2010-11

Scheme Ceiling


Pay Band 4

£88,966 - £106,864

Pay Band 3 and Premium

£66,512 - £103,263

Pay Band 2

£52,215 - £69,266

Pay Band1

£40,352 - £54,121

Pay Band 0

Up to £40,352

Pay bill costs

The pay bill for special advisers in 2009-10 was £6.8 million.


Transport (Local Authority Major Schemes)

The Government have made clear their most urgent priority is to tackle the UK’s record budget deficit, in order to restore confidence in the economy and support the recovery. The Department for Transport will play a full part in the spending review which will be reporting in the autumn. Only once the Government’s spending review has been concluded will the Department for Transport be in a position to identify those major investments that can be supported.

The Government have also made a commitment—as set out in the Coalition Agreement—to reform the way decisions are made on which transport projects are prioritised.

Given the uncertainties which both of these factors create, and in view of the likely budgetary constraints, and the consequent likelihood that not all schemes will be able to proceed on their planned timetable, it would be inappropriate for the Department to continue to invest time and resources on development of schemes at the same rate as before. Local authorities will also wish to consider carefully whether investing further time and resources in developing such schemes ahead of the spending review is justified. They should not assume that schemes prioritised under the previous Government’s regional funding allocations (RFA) process will be funded to the previous published levels.

I am therefore today taking steps to help avoid unnecessary expenditure, while the Government consider their transport priorities:

The previous Major Schemes Guidance for Local Authorities and associated approval processes are being suspended until further notice.

All schemes that were granted conditional approval or programme entry by the previous Government will be reviewed as part of the spending review. Until then, the Government can give no assurances on funding support for any of these schemes.

Ministers will postpone decisions on scheme orders for schemes requiring DfT funding, but consideration will be given if there are alternative funding sources. Similarly, public inquiries on schemes requiring DfT funding will generally be postponed and no further inquiries will be scheduled, but inquiries will be allowed to proceed if there are alternative funding sources.

The previous Major Schemes Guidance for Local Authorities is today being replaced with new interim Guidance to Local Authorities, which has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and will be available on the Department for Transport website ( today. Officials will also be writing to affected local authorities.

The Government will aim to provide a firm indication on the way forward later this year once the spending review is complete.

Marine Aids to Navigation

I wish to inform the House that following the publication of the consultants’ report entitled “Assessment of the provision of marine aids to navigation around the United Kingdom and Ireland” in March 2010 (Official Report, 10 Mar 2010 Column 19WS), I am inviting interested parties to provide me with their views on the recommendations.

The report has over fifty recommendations which would require action by the Governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland or by the general lighthouse authorities (GLAs) of both countries. Some of them are self-evidently sensible and straightforward to implement. The GLAs are already doing so in a number of cases. Others would be more challenging and take longer.

I intend to give everyone with an interest a further opportunity to make their views known and I will take account of any opinions that are expressed before reaching conclusions on how the recommendations should be implemented.

Key recommendations in the report include:

Creating a GLA joint strategic board to drive efficiencies;

Using an annual target reduction calculator (RPI - x%) for GLA running costs;

Developing a “roadmap” with the Irish Government on the financing of the Commissioners of Irish Lights, setting out an incentivised financial model which retains the all-Ireland body while allowing its costs within the Republic of Ireland to be covered wholly from Irish sources; and

Changing the structure and scope of light dues.

I should like to invite comments on these and any other findings of the report by 15 July 2010 before coming to any conclusions. I then intend to publish decisions on what action needs to be taken and, if necessary, to consult further on specific proposals.

The report has been posted on the Department’s website ( and copies are available in the Libraries of both Houses.

Work and Pensions

Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council was held on 7 June 2010 in Luxembourg. I represented the United Kingdom.

The main item of the agenda was a policy debate on the employment and social inclusion aspects of Europe 2020, the new European agenda for the next ten years; and in particular, the employment guidelines and social inclusion target. The general approach on employment guidelines was agreed, but I abstained for the UK, explaining that a final Government position had not yet been reached. The poverty target and three indicators of material deprivation, jobless households and relative income were also agreed. I intervened to state that the UK was content for the poverty target to be forwarded to the June European Council but emphasised that a final view on EU2020 as a whole had not yet been taken, and tabled a minute statement to this effect.

Political agreement was reached on a proposal for a Council regulation extending the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 and Regulation (EC) No [...] to nationals of third countries who are not already covered by these provisions solely on the ground of their nationality. The UK is not opted in to this regulation.

The Council also reached political agreement on a proposal for a Council decision on the position to be taken by the Community within the Association Councils established by the agreements with Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Israel. The UK is not opted in to these agreements. I intervened to state that the text of the decisions went beyond what had originally been agreed, and stressed that social security is principally a national competence rather than an EU competence.

Four sets of Council conclusions (on adequate pensions and social inclusion; new skills for new jobs; advancing Roma inclusion; and active ageing) and a Council resolution on a new European disability framework were adopted.

There was a progress report on the proposal for a Council directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment (anti-discrimination) between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Under any other business, there was information from the presidency on the equal treatment between men and women engaged in an activity in a self-employed capacity. The Italians also raised, as an information point, their ideas on simplifying the delivery rules of the European social fund (ESF), to be discussed fully at a conference later this month. Finally, there was information on conferences held under Spanish presidency and a presentation from the incoming Belgian presidency.

Work Programme

The Government have previously announced their plans for radical reforms of the welfare to work system and the implementation of the Work Programme. The Work Programme will be a single integrated package of support providing personalised help for everyone who finds themselves out of work regardless of the benefit they claim.

This will give providers longer to work with individuals and greater freedom to decide the appropriate support for them. We will also offer stronger incentives for providers to work with the harder to help, paying providers out of the additional benefits they realise as a result of placing people into work.

We are determined to move quickly and are aiming to have the Work Programme in place nationally by the summer of 2011.

Until the Work Programme is implemented, we will ensure support is in place. Where necessary, we will seek to extend current arrangements to ensure that there is no gap in provision and people can continue to receive help and support to get back into work.

Once the Work Programme is implemented it will supersede much of the complicated raft of national programmes currently on offer and these will be phased out. The support currently provided by programmes such as the Flexible New Deal will be folded into the Work Programme as soon as possible.

We are committed to supporting severely disabled people and are currently reviewing the best way of doing this.

The Government have today written to relevant providers and will be beginning one to one discussions with them to discuss what this means for them. We believe that the Work Programme will offer significant new opportunities for contractors from the private and voluntary sectors to deliver truly flexible and personalised support, building appropriate partnerships to do so. We recognise the crucial role that the voluntary sector in particular has to play in tackling worklessness, and our plans reflect this.

We will be publishing further details as the design and implementation of the Work Programme progresses.