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Written Statements

Volume 580: debated on Thursday 8 May 2014

Written Statements

Thursday 8 May 2014

Business, Innovation and Skills

Land Registry

The Land Registry vision is:

“To be recognised as a world leader in digital delivery of land registration services and in the management and reuse of land and property data”.

To meet this vision, the following four strategic objectives have been adopted with associated seven key performance indicators and two equality objectives:


We will unlock efficiency in the public sector and land and property market.

Key performance indicators

(E1) Unit cost to be £19.68 based on a planned volume of 11.65 million units.

(E2) Achieve at least 12 units processed per person per day on a whole agency basis.


We will maximise the reuse of our data for the benefit of the wider economy.

Key performance indicators

(D1) Average external e-service availability at 99.6% or higher during published service hours.

(D2) Increase the number of dealings (with the whole of a registered title) lodged electronically to achieve 65% monthly performance by March 2015.


We will increase and extend the assurance and compliance provided to the market.

Key performance indicators

(A1) The percentage of customers who rate our overall service as good, very good or excellent to achieve 96%.

(A2) Substantive registrations to pass at least 98% of defined quality checks.


We will grow and maximise the benefit of our organisational capability.

Key performance indicator

(C1) Maintain a consistent index score calculated from a basket of four measures designed to measure motivation and performance of our work force.

Equality Objectives

a) Internal equality objective

To drive a culture of inclusion and respect within our organisation and positively seek to improve engagement of staff who share protected characteristics.

b) External equality objective

To equip our staff to identify, anticipate and satisfy our customers’ diverse needs by delivering products, services and channels at a cost we can both afford.

Note: we will assess our achievement against these two equality objectives by monitoring how well we progress in implementing the supporting action plans.


Informal Health Council

EU Health Ministers met in Athens on 28 and 29 April. The UK was represented by a senior official from the Department of Health. The agenda included discussions on e-health, migration and public health, and the economy and health care.

The meeting began with a discussion on e-health. The Greek presidency chaired a discussion on the potential for electronic prescriptions and mobile technology to improve the quality and efficiency of health care and boost economic growth. The UK underlined the importance of innovation and sharing best practices.

On migration and public health, there was a discussion on the screening of migrants for infectious diseases. The UK argued in favour of evidence-based national approaches to screening, and outlined the current position in the UK particularly in relation to TB.

There was also discussion on the need to reform health care systems in light of pressures on public budgets across the EU, the ageing population and the rising burden of chronic disease.

Points were made on the advantages of investing in health prevention, health indicators and using medicines more cost effectively. The UK intervention highlighted the importance of taking action on dementia, the need to focus on prevention, and other measures taken in the UK to ensure the best use of resources, while stressing that matters such as health technology assessment are issues of member state competence.


Deaths of Service Personnel (Inquests)

The Under-Secretary of State for Defence, with responsibility for defence personnel, welfare and veterans, my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Anna Soubry), and I now make the latest in our sequence of joint statements reporting to the House on progress with inquests into the deaths of service personnel on active service overseas. Once more we wish to pay grateful tribute to our armed forces for all their skill and courage on behalf of our country. Our thoughts are with the families of all those who have given their lives. We especially remember the families of Sapper Adam Moralee, Captain James Clarke, Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan, Warrant Officer 2 Spencer Faulkner, Corporal James Walters and Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas, who have died since our last statement.

This statement provides information on the open coroner investigations and inquests being conducted by the senior coroners for Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Swindon and other coroner areas in England and Wales. The statement gives the position at 1 May 2014.

To provide supplementary information we have placed tables in the Libraries of both Houses. The tables give information about the status of all cases and indicate whether a board of inquiry or a service inquiry has been or is to be held.

The Ministry of Defence’s defence inquests unit continues to work with coroners, including the cadre of coroners who have received specialist training to conduct coroner investigations and inquests into service personnel deaths, to progress investigations and complete them as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

The provisions in section 12 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 will enable relevant investigations to be held in Scotland where this is appropriate.

Our thanks are due once more to the Chief Coroner, coroners and their staff, visiting officers and everyone else whose commitment and care help bereaved families through the investigation process.

Repatriations of service personnel who have died overseas have usually taken place at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire and, currently, RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. Joint additional funding has been made available since October 2007 by the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice. This helps the senior coroners for those coroner areas to progress service personnel inquests without detriment to their local caseloads.

Current status of inquests

A further six inquests into the deaths of service personnel on operations in Afghanistan have been concluded since our last statement. There have been a total of 604 inquests into the deaths of service personnel who died in Iraq and Afghanistan or who returned to the UK and died here of injuries sustained on active service. Three cases led to no formal inquest. Two of the deaths were taken into consideration at inquests into other deaths in the same incidents. The third case relates to a serviceman who died from his injuries in Scotland, where it was decided not to hold a fatal accident inquiry.

Coroner’s investigations which have been opened

Deaths in Afghanistan

As at 1 May 2014, 22 coroner investigations are open into the deaths of service personnel in Afghanistan, with five more due to be opened.

The senior coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon has retained nine of the open investigations, and the senior coroner for Oxfordshire five. Senior coroners for areas closer to the next of kin are conducting the remaining eight coroner investigations. Nine hearing dates have been listed.

Deaths of service personnel who returned home injured

There are no open coroner investigations relating to service personnel who returned home injured and thereafter died from their injuries.

We will continue to inform the House of progress.

Work and Pensions

Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council

The informal Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council met on 29 and 30 April in Athens. Robert Specterman, deputy director in the DWP European Union and International Affairs represented the United Kingdom.

The informal started with meetings between the presidency, Commission and social partners on the first day.

The second day commenced with two simultaneous workshops discussing the employment and social dimension of the “Europe 2020 Strategy”. The United Kingdom participated in the workshop which discussed “labour market reforms on the way to a job rich recovery”, emphasising the need for tailored approaches to tackling long-term unemployment, using the Work programme as an example of an innovative approach. The United Kingdom also stressed the need for continued focus on employment as the most effective way for people to lift themselves out of poverty.

The meeting concluded with a plenary session on “Towards quality jobs: Measures to prevent undeclared work” including a discussion of the European Commission’s recent proposal to establish a platform on undeclared work. In common with many other member states who intervened, the United Kingdom explained the domestic measures it already takes to address undeclared work. In addition, the United Kingdom highlighted the range of multilateral forums linked to this issue in which it already participates.