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House of Commons Hansard
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Written Answers
26 November 2009
Volume 501

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 26 November 2009

International Development

Afghanistan: Health Services

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many health clinics in Afghanistan have received funding from the Government in each year since 2001. [301524]

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The majority of UK support for health in Afghanistan occurs through contributions to the Afghan Government’s budget. Since 2002, the Department for International Development (DFID) has contributed £360 million to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Fund (ARTF). The ARTF is managed by the World Bank and reimburses proven Government expenditure on operating costs including on health. DFID will provide a further £165 million to the ARTF to 2012-13 which will cover 14 per cent. of the Government’s recurrent costs in health.

Since 2003 DFID has also invested £32 million in the National Solidarity Programme (NSP), which funds small-scale projects selected by communities all across Afghanistan. The NSP has funded the construction of over 100 health projects nationwide.

Construction of individual health clinics in Helmand is undertaken by the UK-led Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), to which DFID contributes staff and funding. In the last six months, the PRT has constructed or refurbished four health centres in Helmand province. Last year, the Bost hospital in Lashkar Gah received approximately £800,000 for a new maternity clinic and college. This would not have been possible under the Taliban.

Afghanistan: Overseas Aid

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department has provided for rehabilitation projects for (a) health clinics, (b) schools and (c) drinking wells in Afghanistan in each year since 2001. [301522]

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The majority of the Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) support for health and education in Afghanistan is not through direct construction projects, but rather support to the Afghan Government budget. Since 2002 DFID has contributed £360 million to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Fund (ARTF) which is managed by the World Bank and reimburses proven Government expenditure on operating costs including in health and education. We will provide a further £165 million to the ARTF to 2012-13. This will cover 14 per cent. of the Government’s recurrent costs in health and education.

Since 2001 DFID has also contributed to a number of specific programmes involving the construction of health clinics, schools and drinking wells. Between 2006 and 2009, DFID contributed £30 million to various construction projects in Helmand through the Helmand Agriculture and Rural Development Programme (HARDP). This included almost £4.4 million for the construction of wells and latrines.

Through the UK-led Provincial Reconstruction Team, the Bost hospital in Lashkar Gah received approximately £800,000 last year for a new maternity clinic and college that would not have been possible under the Taliban.

Since 2003, DFID has also contributed £32 million to the Government of Afghanistan’s National Solidarity Programme (NSP), which funds small-scale projects selected by communities all around Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: Roads

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many road projects in Afghanistan have been funded by the Government in each year since 2001. [301525]

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The majority of the Department for International Development's (DFID’s) funding for construction projects in Afghanistan is through support to the Afghan Government’s budget. Since 2003, DFID has contributed £32 million to the National Solidarity Programme (NSP). This funds small-scale projects selected by communities all around Afghanistan, and has funded the construction of almost 12,000 ‘transport’ projects.

Since 2001 DFID has also funded the design, improvement or construction of almost 150 kilometres of roads in Helmand province. This includes:

59 kilometres of small road projects selected by local communities and funded through the Helmand Agriculture and Rural Development Programme (HARDP);

12.5 kilometres in various districts of Helmand as part of the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team's road building programme;

a 2.5 kilometre road providing access to the Gereshk power station, the rehabilitation of which DFID is financing;

the design of the 48 kilometre Lashkar Gah to Gereshk road.

Afghanistan: Schools

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many schools in Afghanistan have been funded by his Department in each year since 2001. [301523]

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The majority of UK support for education in Afghanistan occurs through contributions to the Afghan Government budget. Since 2002, the Department for International Development (DFID) has contributed £360 million to the Afghanistan Reconstruction Fund (ARTF). The ARTF is managed by the World Bank and reimburses proven Government expenditure on operating costs including on education. We will provide a further £165 million to the ARTF to 2012-13 which will cover 14 per cent. of the Government’s recurrent costs in education.

Since 2003 DFID has also invested £32 million in the National Solidarity Programme (NSP). This funds small-scale projects selected by communities all across Afghanistan, including the construction of almost 6,000 education projects nationwide.

DFID funded the refurbishment of training infrastructure and a teacher training centre in Kandahar province in 2002. UK support to construct schools in Helmand is, however, normally undertaken by the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), to which DFID contributes staff and funding. In the last six months, the PRT has refurbished five schools in Helmand.

Departmental Disclosure of Information

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many allegations of victimisation for whistleblowing have been made to his Department by its staff since 6 June 2006. [301489]

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No formal allegations of victimisation for whistleblowing have been made to the Department of International Development (DFID) by current staff since 6 June 2006.

Departmental Meetings

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which (a) individuals other than ministerial colleagues and officials of his Department and (b) organisations he met in an official capacity in the week commencing 9 November 2009. [301166]

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In its response to a report by the Public Administration Select Committee—‘Lobbying: Access and influence in Whitehall’, the Government agreed to publish online, on a quarterly basis, information about ministerial meetings with outside interest groups. Information for the period 1 October to 31 December 2009 will be published by Departments as soon as the information is ready.

Departmental Rail Travel

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on what date he last travelled by train in the course of his official duties. [301205]

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I last travelled by train in the course of official duties on 20 November 2009.

Departmental Recruitment

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of jobs advertised by his Department in the last 12 months were online only applications; and what provision his Department makes for those wishing to apply for jobs in his Department who do not have access to the internet. [301538]

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All external vacancies in the Department for International Development (DFID) are advertised in the National press and on our website and we use an e-resourcing system to help us to manage applications.

Since November 2008, a total of 63 posts have been advertised. 58 posts (92 per cent.) were advertised through our e-resourcing system (using online applications) and five posts (8 per cent.) were advertised inviting word applications by e-mail and hard copy.

There is an expectation that applicants will apply online however alternative application methods for all of our posts are considered on request.

Departmental Recycling

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what mass of paper his Department recycled in each of the last five years. [301565]

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All waste paper used by the Department for International Development (DFID) is recycled. The amount of paper in tonnes which has been recycled over the last five years by DFID is set out in the table. This information was provided by our waste contractors, based partly on estimates derived from waste audits which measured the proportion of paper waste out of the total recycled waste.

Tonnes

2004-05

208.5

2005-06

146.4

2006-07

140.2

2007-08

126.4

2008-09

110.2

Departmental Training

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what training sessions were attended by (a) Ministers and (b) special advisers in his Department at public expense in each of the last three years. [301373]

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Training is provided to Ministers and special advisers as part of their induction and continuing development in order to carry out their respective duties effectively under the ‘Ministerial Code’ and the ‘Code of Conduct for Special Advisers’. Details of training provided to Government Ministers by the National School of Government are publicly available and can be found at:

http://www.nationalschool.gov.uk/policy/MinisterialProgramme/Table.asp

Departmental Working Hours

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many and what proportion of staff of his Department and its non-departmental public bodies work flexibly or part-time; and what his Department’s policy is on making jobs available on a job-share or flexible basis. [301328]

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The Department for International Development (DFID) provides a wide range of flexible working options.

Most staff work their contracted hours via the Flexible Working Hours Scheme. This offers flexibility on the hours worked and allows employees to work additional hours and convert them to leave, up to three days in every four-week period. Within this Flexible Working Hours Scheme, staff work alternative working patterns including reduced hours, compressed hours, job-sharing and term-time working. At July 2009, 144 Home Civil Servants worked part-time, equating to 8.6 per cent.

DFID’s policy is that unless there is a clear business reason all jobs are available on a job-share or flexible basis.

DFID does not have any responsibility for any executive agencies. Nor do we have any staff working in non-departmental public bodies.

Remittances

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate his Department has made of the value of remittances as a percentage of the gross domestic product of each country which receives support from his Department in each year since 2005. [301221]

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The World Bank is the leading source of reliable data on remittances. However, there is no information for the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Iraq. The available information for the years 2005-08 is as follows:

Remittances as a share of GDP

Percentage

2005

2006

2007

2008

Ethiopia

1.41

1.30

1.80

1.50

Ghana

0.90

0.80

0.80

0.80

Kenya

4.30

5.30

5.45

4.90

Malawi

0.03

0.04

0.03

0.00

Mozambique

0.90

1.10

1.25

1.20

Nigeria

2.96

2.90

6.66

4.70

Rwanda

0.90

0.80

1.86

1.20

Sierra Leone

0.16

2.40

9.44

7.70

Sudan

4.22

3.10

3.80

5.30

Tanzania

0.12

0.10

0.08

0.10

Uganda

4.60

8.70

7.23

3.40

Zambia

0.74

0.50

0.48

0.50

Bangladesh

7.20

8.80

9.55

11.40

India

2.60

2.80

3.09

4.20

Nepal

14.90

18.00

15.50

21.60

Pakistan

3.90

4.00

4.20

4.20

Cambodia

3.10

4.10

4.20

3.40

Vietnam

7.60

7.90

7.90

7.90

Yemen

7.60

6.70

6.08

5.30

Jamaica

16.00

18.50

19.30

14.50

Guyana

25.30

24.30

23.50

24.00

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he made of the amount of remittances sent (a) in total, (b) to Pakistan and (c) to Nigeria in the latest year for which figures are available. [301314]

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Total global remittances are estimated at $444 billion in 2008, of which $338 billion flowed to developing countries.

Remittances to Pakistan totalled $7.0 billion in 2008.

Remittances to Nigeria totalled $10.0 billion in 2008.

Data Source:

The World Bank

UNESCO: Prizes

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations he has received on UNESCO's decision to establish the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences; and if he will make a statement. [300240]

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The UK Delegation to UNESCO has received one e-mail expressing concern at the creation of this prize, from the Open Society Institute in November 2009.

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what role his Department played in the processes leading to UNESCO's decision to establish the UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences; and if he will make a statement. [300241]

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The proposal to establish this prize was put forward by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to UNESCO's Executive Board on 29 September 2008; and it was approved by the Executive Board on 17 October 2008. The UK was not a member of the Board and therefore took no part in the decision.

World Food Programme: Somalia

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what involvement the UK has in the World Food Programme's activities in Somalia; what actions the World Food Programme took in Somalia in the last 12 months; and what actions are planned in the next 12 months. [301469]

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The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received $335 million so far in 2009 from various donors for its emergency food aid operations in Somalia, against stated requirements of $475 million. It expects by the end of 2009 to have delivered 304,000 metric tonnes of emergency food aid to 3.1 million Somalis.

WFP expects to appeal for $309 million to continue its emergency food aid and $40 million for its emergency nutrition operations in 2010. This will include Special Operations to improve the security of staff operating in Somalia, finance a humanitarian air support operation, and improve key port and road infrastructure to facilitate its food aid operations.

In 2008 the Department for International Development (DFID) provided $23.8 million to the WFP Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation for Somalia, which was spent by WFP from June 2008 to March 2009.

DFID contributed $102 million in 2009 to the cost of WFP's global operations, and plays an active role in the WFP Board in discussion of its programmes and policies.

Church Commissioners

Farm Land Management

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9. To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what the policy of the Church Commissioners is on the management of their holdings of farm land. [301673]

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The Church Commissioners seek the best possible total return from all their assets (not just farm holdings) within an acceptable level of risk and their ethical investment policy.

Church of England: Finance

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To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what formula each diocese uses for calculating parish share. [301363]

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The Commissioners do not collect individual dioceses’ parish share formulae. However, I will shortly place in the Library a document entitled “Parish Share Systems by Diocese” which summarises dioceses’ approach to the calculation and allocation of parish share. More detailed information would have to be obtained from each diocese.

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To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners with reference to the answer of 15 October 2009, Official Report, column 996W, on the Church of England: finance, how the number of church members is calculated; what the average parish share per church member in each (a) parochial church council (PCC) area and (b) diocese is; what the parish share in each PCC in England in 2009 was; what revenue each diocese received (i) in total and (ii) per Church member from the (A) parish share and (B) other sources in the last 12 months; and how much each diocese spent in that period. [301531]

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Church membership is estimated as an average of electoral roll, average Sunday attendance and average weekly attendance numbers.

Parish share per church ‘member’ requested in each diocese was given in my answer of 15 October 2009, Official Report, columns 995-96W. Parish share and other income per church ‘member’ received in each diocese in 2007 (the latest year for which such figures are available), using figures from diocesan accounts, is shown in the table.

The Commissioners do not collect the other information requested by the hon. Gentleman.

Income per church ‘member’ in 20071

£

Parish share

Other income

Total income

Bath and Wells

291

206

497

Birmingham

299

280

579

Blackburn

263

168

431

Bradford

396

391

787

Bristol

387

178

564

Canterbury

338

85

423

Carlisle

302

228

530

Chelmsford

339

174

513

Chester

274

139

414

Chichester

266

160

426

Coventry

306

169

475

Derby

314

133

447

Durham

263

189

452

Ely

281

163

444

Exeter

304

199

503

Gloucester

265

175

440

Guildford

383

68

451

Hereford

271

118

388

Leicester

334

315

649

Lichfield

310

289

599

Lincoln

203

305

509

Liverpool

246

154

400

London

285

193

478

Manchester

264

244

507

Newcastle

276

181

458

Norwich

342

209

551

Oxford

330

131

461

Peterborough

323

886

1209

Portsmouth

286

155

442

Ripon and Leeds

371

211

582

Rochester

354

97

451

St. Albans

316

158

473

St. Edmunsbury and Ipswich

310

97

407

Salisbury

282

99

381

Sheffield

316

293

609

Sodor and Man

270

86

356

Southwark

380

185

566

Southwell and Nottingham

323

249

571

Truro

259

286

545

Wakefield

305

170

475

Winchester

316

74

390

Worcester

315

198

513

York

267

215

482

Total

304

192

496

1 Membership: One-third electoral roll, one-third average Sunday attendance, one-third average weekly attendance.

Electoral Commission Committee

Preferential Voting: Referendum

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2. To ask the honourable Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission whether the Electoral Commission has been requested to advise Ministers on the contents of a paving Bill for a referendum on preferential voting. [301666]

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The Electoral Commission informs me that it has received no such request.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Common Land

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department has taken to facilitate access to manorial documents held by (a) local record offices and (b) other organisations for the purpose of supporting public interest applications for the re-registration of land as common under Schedule 2(4) of the Commons Act 2006. [301457]

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It is the responsibility of an applicant under paragraph 4 of schedule 2 to the Commons Act 2006 to obtain and provide evidence supporting his or her application. Where relevant manorial documents are held by local record offices, they will generally be available to the public for inspection. Where they are held by private individuals, arrangements for inspection should be made with the custodian.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will consider the merits of (a) publishing in electronic format and (b) permitting free access to (i) phase I habitat maps, (ii) the land cover map 2007 and (iii) other resources used by people applying to re-register common land under Schedule 2(4) of the Commons Act 2006. [301458]

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Public access is already generally available to similar documents where they are held by public bodies, under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Under regulation 6 of the 2004 regulations, a person may request information to be made available in electronic form, and a public authority must comply unless the exceptions in regulation 6(1) apply. DEFRA has arranged for electronic copies of the decisions of the Commons Commissioners in England and Wales to be placed on the website of the Association of Commons Registration Officers at

www.acraew.org.uk

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons applicants for the re-registration of land under Schedule 2(4) of the Commons Act 2006 are required to provide large-scale ordnance survey maps describing the application area in circumstances in which existing register maps describing that area are available. [301460]

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The use of large-scale maps is required for the purposes of an application under paragraph 4 of schedule 2 to the Commons Act 2006, in order to ensure accuracy in determining the boundary line of the land specified in the application. However, we accept that, where the application relates to the whole of a cancelled register unit, the representation of the cancelled unit on the register map could otherwise be suitable for the purpose of identification.

We are reviewing the pilot implementation of part 1 of the Commons Act 2006, and will consider what changes might be made to the regulations relating to applications under paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 to the Act when Part 1 is implemented nationally at a later date.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether assistance from his Department is available to individuals or organisations applying to re-register common land under Schedule 2(4) of the Commons Act 2006 to (a) identify and (b) serve notice on the owners of that land, with particular reference to circumstances in which such land is not registered with the Land Registry. [301463]

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No assistance is available from DEFRA for the purposes of making an application to register waste land of a manor under paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 to the Commons Act 2006, regardless of whether the ownership is registered with the Land Registry.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate he has made of the costs expected to be incurred by an individual or organisation applying to re-register common land under Schedule 2(4) of the Commons Act 2006. [301464]

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The impact assessment for the pilot implementation of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 concluded that the completion of an application form by applicants would impose a very small administrative burden on applicants. In addition, the costs of giving notice of an application to prescribed persons would also generally be low. The impact assessment noted that DEFRA intended to gather further information about the burden on applicants, but to date no applications have been submitted under paragraph 4 of Schedule 2 to enable this to be done.

Departmental Cost Effectiveness

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what efficiency savings projects (a) his Department and (b) its agencies put in place under the Operational Efficiency Programme; on what date each such project was initiated; how much each such project was expected to contribute to departmental savings; how much had been saved through each such project on the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [300924]

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DEFRA and its delivery network are contributing to the Government's target of £35 billion VFM savings in CSR07. Overall progress towards the target will be reported in departmental autumn performance reports. Current savings include those arising under DEFRA's Workplace Support Initiative which will bring much of the DEFRA estate (which currently covers over 234 sites across the Department and its agencies) into a single facilities management contract. DEFRA will save £6 million per year in 2010-11 compared to the preceding year through economies of scale and increasing the flexibility of its facilities. Savings will rise to £11 million per year by 2013-14.

The Department's plans for delivering OEP savings over the next spending review are being developed to contribute to the Government's £9 billion target of OEP savings across the public sector.

Departmental Food

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) lamb, (b) beef, (c) chicken, (d) pork, (e) turkey, (f) other meats, (g) vegetables and (h) fruit procured by his Department that was produced in the UK in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [300179]

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A second report on the proportion of domestically produced food used by Government Departments and also supplied to hospitals and prisons under contracts negotiated by NHS Supply Chain and HM Prison Service was published in November 2008, covering the year from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008. This report and the first one covering the previous year can be found at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/policy/publicsectorfood/awareness.htm

The report gives details of the proportion of individual meat, fruit and vegetable categories purchased.

Although it is too early to show a trend, the report indicates that the amount of domestically produced food consumed by Government Departments in England is increasing. The proportion of domestically produced food procured by DEFRA has gone up from 79.5 per cent. in 2006-07 to 85 per cent. in 2007-08. We expect to publish a third report at the end of 2009.

Members: Correspondence

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to reply to the letter of 3 August 2009 from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, transferred from the Treasury, PO Ref: 1/74240/2009, on surface water charges. [301743]

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I replied to the hon. Member for West Worcestershire on 17 August and have arranged for a copy of the response to be sent to him.

Origin Marking: Israel

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 16 July 2009, Official Report, column 568W, on origin marking: Israel, for what reasons the proposals on labelling of goods originating from Israeli settlements have not yet been published for public consultation; and when he expects the proposals to be published. [300306]

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[holding answer 23 November 2009]: We fully appreciate the strong opinions that people have about this issue. It is because of the sensitive and complex nature of this case that the Government are still carefully considering possible next steps.

Solicitor-General

Bribery Bill

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To ask the Solicitor-General what recent discussions she has had with the Attorney-General on the implications of the proposed Bribery Bill for the role of the Attorney-General. [301684]

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The Bribery Bill will no longer require the consent of the Attorney-General or Solicitor-General before a prosecution for an offence under the Bill can be started, and instead will require the consent of the Director of the relevant prosecuting authority. The Bill does not alter the role of the Attorney-General in any other way.

Eddie Gilfoyle

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To ask the Solicitor-General on what dates the Crown Prosecution Service received (a) the report of the review, (b) the draft report and (c) the notes of interviews with police officers between the end of Mr. Eddie Gilfoyle's trial and the time they were disclosed to the defence for Mr. Gilfoyle's appeal in 1995. [301569]

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The Merseyside Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) received the report of the review conducted by Merseyside police on 17 July 1995.

The relevant part of the report, together with the supporting material including the notes with the various officers, was served on the defence by way of a covering letter on 7 August 1995.

The appeal was heard on 11, 12 and 14 September 1995 and the judgment of the Court of Appeal was delivered on 20 October 1995.

Euthanasia: Prosecutions

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To ask the Solicitor-General what recent representations the Director of Public Prosecutions has received on his interim policy for prosecutors on assisted suicide. [301677]

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The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) published the interim policy for prosecutors in respect of cases of assisted suicide on 23 September 2009. At the same time the CPS launched a 12-week public consultation on it. Up to 20 November 2009, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had received approximately 700 pieces of correspondence in response.

Leader of the House

Parliamentary Questions: Written Answers

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28. To ask the Leader of the House what recent representations she has received on the timeliness of answers to Parliamentary Questions for written answer. [301693]

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My right hon. and learned Friend the Leader of the House has today responded to the Procedure Committee report on written parliamentary questions which sets out how the Government plan to improve the quality and timeliness of written parliamentary questions.

Members: Correspondence

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To ask the Leader of the House when she plans to reply to the letter of 21 September 2009 from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. [301742]

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The hon. Member’s letter of 21 September 2009 was transferred to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority; which is part of the Ministry of Justice, for answer, on 5 October 2009.

I apologise for any confusion and delay caused.

Westminster Hall Sittings

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To ask the Leader of the House if she will make arrangements for a full weekly programme of Westminster Hall debates to be held in future in the first full week of a new parliamentary Session. [301892]

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There are practical obstacles to holding sittings in Westminster Hall in the first week of a new Parliament. A few days are needed to hold ballots for adjournment debates, for the necessary consultations over the business to be taken at Thursday afternoon sittings, and for the appointment of the Chairmen’s Panel.

I do not therefore believe that it would be feasible for sittings to take place in the first full week of the next Session.

Transport

A3: Hindhead

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the cost to date was of the Hindhead Tunnel project on the latest date figures are available; and what his most recent estimate is of the total cost of that project. [300744]

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Expenditure to date at the end of October 2009 for the Hindhead Tunnel was £258.6 million.

The most recent estimate of the total cost for the project is £365.7 million.

Aircraft: Air Conditioning

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent reports he has received of (a) incidents involving the contamination of aircraft cabin air supply by fumes from engine lubricants and (b) the commercial aircraft types which have experienced a contamination of the cabin air supply from the fumes of engine lubricants. [301292]

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Incidents of contaminated air events are reported to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) under the mandatory occurrences reporting scheme (MORS). The latest figures, by commercial aircraft type in the UK, for the first six months of this year are shown in the table.

Between 1 January 2009 and 30 June 2009, there were 38 reported contaminated air events. These figures are out of 553,266 airline flights—passenger and cargo operations—for the corresponding period:

Aircraft type

Reportable occurrences involving contaminated air (January-June 2009)

Boeing 757

8

Airbus A319

7

Airbus A320

6

Boeing 737

5

Various other aircraft types

12

Total

38

For ease of reference the figures for the last full year (2008) are also included. In 2008 there were 97 reported contaminated air events. These figures are out of 1.2 million airline flights—passenger and cargo operations—for the calendar year 2008.

Aircraft type

Reportable occurrences involving contaminated air (2008)

Boeing B757

38

Airbus A319

19

Boeing B737

10

Airbus A320

6

Boeing B747

5

Various other aircraft types

19

Total

97

Note:

The British Aerospace BAe146 and Boeing B777 are now included in ‘various other aircraft types’ as the numbers of reported events were two and four respectively.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what statutory basis there is for the use of the automatic number plate recognition technology. [300513]

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The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency uses automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems to identify offences relating to the use of unlicensed vehicles in contravention of Section 29 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994. Evidence relied upon to pursue penalties for these offences is gathered using systems that have been type approved in line with Section 20 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988.

The Highways Agency uses data from ANPR cameras to help with the effective management of traffic on the strategic road network. The statutory basis for this is covered in the Highways Act 1980 and the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the governance system of the use of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system. [300514]

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The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) uses a range of measures to maintain high levels of compliance with vehicle licensing requirements, including the use of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology. DVLA's compliance approach is kept under review by the Vehicle Excise Duty Collection and Enforcement Governance Board, which meets every quarter.

Data from the Highways Agency's ANPR cameras are scrambled at source into a non-unique code which can apply to more than one vehicle simultaneously. It is understood that this process renders the data as non-personal under the Data Protection Act 1998.

In addition, the Highways Agency operates a system of Information Asset Owners to ensure that data are held and used in accordance with current legislation, namely the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with Cabinet Office data handling guidance issued in 2008.

Data gathered by ANPR cameras are stored at the Highways Agency National Traffic Control Centre (NTCC). The Highways Agency's Information Asset Owner (IAO) has ensured that the information is accredited to Information Security ISO27001 standards. In September 2009 Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) conducted a review of procedures at the NTCC and confirmed that standards still met the requirements of ISO27001.

Aviation

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) what the average number of passengers on internal flights within Great Britain in the last period for which figures are available is, expressed (a) in passenger numbers and (b) as a percentage of passenger carrying capacity; [301286]

(2) how many internal flights there were in Great Britain in 2008; and what estimate he has made of the overall number of passengers who travelled on such flights.

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In 2008 there were 255,000 passenger flights departing airports in Great Britain to fly to another airport in Great Britain. These flights carried 15.3 million passengers. This equates to an average of 60 passengers per flight, equivalent to 64 per cent. of estimated seat capacity.

Aviation: Fuels

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much aviation fuel he estimates has been used in the UK in each year since 1997. [301288]

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The amount of aviation fuel uplifted in the UK in each year since 1997 is as follows:

Petroleum consumption (million tonnes)

1997

8.45

1998

9.28

1999

9.98

2000

10.86

2001

10.67

2002

10.57

2003

10.81

2004

11.69

2005

12.55

2006

12.69

2007

12.67

2008

12.17

Bus Services: Concessions

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what guidance his Department gives to local authorities seeking to reduce their expenditure on concessionary bus fares. [301079]

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The Department for Transport does not provide guidance specifically on how to reduce expenditure on concessionary travel. Travel concession authorities (TCAs) are required by law to reimburse bus operators for carrying concessionary bus travellers, with the objective that the operators are left no better off and no worse off by taking part in concessionary travel schemes.

The Department provides guidance to local authorities and bus operators on how to calculate appropriate reimbursement, which sets out the Department’s preferred route for calculating reimbursement (via the use of the reimbursement analysis tool). However TCAs are free to use the methodology of their choice subject to ensuring consistency with the no better and no worse off objective.

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the cost to the public purse of subsidising bus services was in each year since 1997. [301294]

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The Government subsidise bus services in England through the Department for Transport’s bus service operators grant (BSOG) which is paid to operators of local bus services.

Since 1998, the Government have also provided rural bus subsidy grant which helps local authorities to support rural bus services in England.

The following table shows the amounts paid by Government in each year since 1997 through bus service operators grant and rural bus subsidy grant in England:

£ million

Bus service operators grant in England

Rural bus subsidy grant

1997-98

187.3

1998-99

222.3

32.5

1999-2000

277.4

32.5

2000-01

301.3

32.5

2001-02

304.3

41.5

2002-03

317.2

47.5

2003-04

331.4

48.5

2004-05

347.5

51.0

2005-06

357.6

53.0

2006-07

367.5

54.3

2007-08

392.2

55.6

2008-09

423.2

57.0

2009-10

436.6

58.5

Total

4,265.9

564.4

Rural bus services are also supported by local authorities’ revenue support grant (RSG) funding. It is for local authorities to decide what bus services to support in their area according to local needs and priorities.

Cheadle Hulme Station: Finance

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport (1) what proportion of the new £50 million allocated for station improvements will be allocated to Cheadle Hulme railway station; [301077]

(2) what recent assessment his Department has made of the case for improvements to Cheadle Hulme railway station.

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The new £50 million fund is intended for the 10 major (category B) interchange stations identified as requiring urgent improvement in the Station Champions' report. Cheadle Hulme is a medium staffed (category D) station and is therefore not included on this list.

A site survey was carried out on behalf of the Strategic Rail Authority in 2005, as part of the consultation strategy behind the Access for All Programme. This identified that Cheadle Hulme did not meet modern standards for accessibility in a number of respects, and recommended installation of a new footbridge and lifts to all platforms. We currently expect this work to take place during 2010-11.

Climate Change

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants from his Department will be attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in an official capacity. [300986]

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The UK delegation will be led by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and his officials. There are no current plans for Ministers or officials from the Department for Transport (DfT) to attend. Officials from DfT are in constant contact with their counterparts at the Department of Energy and Climate Change and will stay in touch with them throughout the negotiations to coordinate the Department's contribution to the various negotiations that will be taking place at the Conference.

Cycling: Accidents

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many traffic accidents involving cyclists were recorded in each constituency in England in each of the last five years. [301293]

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A table showing the number of reported personal injury road accidents involving pedal cyclists in each constituency in England in each of the last five years has been deposited in the Libraries of the House.

Disability Aids

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when he plans to implement the recommendations made by the review of class (a) two and (b) three powered wheelchairs and powered scooters. [300702]

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The Department for Transport expects to take forward the review's principal recommendations in the form of a public consultation in 2010. The issues we propose to consult on include future fitness to drive, insurance, registration and the training requirements for Class 2 and Class 3 mobility vehicle users.

The Government's aim will continue to be to balance the mobility needs of scooter users with the safety needs of pedestrians and other road users.

Disability Aids: Accidents

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will commission an inquiry into the number of deaths and serious injuries resulting from accidents involving powered wheelchairs and powered scooters; and if he will make a statement. [300703]

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There are no plans to commission an inquiry into to the number of deaths and serious injuries involving mobility vehicles. The Department for Transport is aware that the number of mobility scooters is on the increase and therefore it is procuring a survey to help assess the number of mobility scooter users and the extent to which their use may have injured people. Further, the Department is expecting to publish a public consultation on options for change.

The Government's aim will continue to be to balance the mobility needs of scooter users with the safety needs of pedestrians and other road users.

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many incidents causing injury involving mobility scooters have been reported to the police in each of the last five years. [302126]

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The information requested cannot be identified separately. Reported personal injury accidents involving mobility scooters are recorded as part of the ‘other motor vehicle’ category.

London Airports

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what percentage of and how many passengers using (a) Heathrow Airport and (b) Gatwick Airport were in transit (i) between domestic and international flights and (ii) between international flights in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. [301290]

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The following table shows percentage of passengers transferring between domestic and international flights and between international flights at Heathrow and Gatwick in 2008.

Passengers at Heathrow and Gatwick 2008

Heathrow

Gatwick

Passengers (million)

Percentage of total passengers

Passengers (million)

Percentage of total passengers

Total passengers

66.6

33.4

Of which:

Transfer

Domestic to International

2.7

4

1.1

3

International to International

18.1

27

1.2

4

International to Domestic

2.8

4

0.9

3

Total transfer passengers1

23.6

35

3.2

10

1 This includes domestic to domestic transfer passengers.

Source:

CAA Passenger Survey

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what percentage of journeys made to (a) Gatwick, (b) Heathrow, (c) Stansted and (d) Luton airports were made by (i) train, (ii) bus and (iii) other road vehicles in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [301291]

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The following table shows the percentage of journeys made to Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted and Luton airports that were made by train, bus/coach, tube, and other road vehicles in 2008.

Air passengers who travelled to or from Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted and Luton airports by train, bus/coach and other road vehicles in 20081

Final mode

Gatwick

Heathrow

Stansted

Luton

Rail (percentage)

30

10

26

19

Buses/coaches (percentage)

7

14

21

14

Tube (percentage)

0

16

0

0

Other road vehicles (percentage)

63

60

52

67

Terminating passengers2 (million)

30.1

43.0

20.4

9.7

1 These results are based on a departure survey only. The assumption, for weighting purposes, is that arriving and departing passengers share the same modal characteristics.

2 This includes passengers using other modes to/from airport.

Source:

CAA Passenger Survey

Motor Vehicles

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the average mileage of a car in England was in each year since 1997. [301297]

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The following table gives the estimated annual vehicle mileage for cars in England for from 1997 to 2008, based on data from the National Travel Survey:

Estimated average annual car1 mileage, 1997-20082: England

Year2

Miles

Unweighted sample size (vehicles)

size (vehicles)

1996-98

9,450

8,356

1999-2001

9,270

9,026

2002

9,150

7,387

2003

9,200

7,872

2004

9,100

7,499

2005

8,950

8,212

2006

8,740

8,142

2007

8,850

7,983

2008

8,640

7,767

1 Four wheel cars only

2 Data were reported for three-year intervals as shown prior to the expansion of the National Travel Survey sample in 2002.

Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what the average level of carbon dioxide emissions in grammes per kilometre was for (a) new and (b) all cars in (i) the UK and (ii) each other EU member state in each year since 1997. [301295]

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A fully comprehensive dataset of fuel efficiency data for new cars is only available for the UK and the EU from 2001 in accordance with EU Decision 1753/2000/EC. The EU Commission collects and reports average CO2 emission data for new cars sold across the EU by member state. Table 1 is taken from the latest EU Commission monitoring report and shows average fuel efficiency of new cars sold in the UK and other EU member states where data are available between 2001 and 2007 measured in grams of carbon dioxide per km (gCO2/km). Missing data reflect the expansion of the EU to 25 member states in 2004 and to 27 in 2007 (2007 data for Bulgaria are missing as none were submitted to the EU Commission). Data for 2008 are not yet available.

Table 1: Average fuel efficiency of new cars sold by member state

Member state

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Austria

165.6

164.4

163.8

161.9

162.1

163.7

162.9

Belgium

163.7

161.1

158.1

156.5

155.2

153.9

152.8

Cyprus

n/a

n/a

n/a

173.4

173.0

170.1

170.3

Czech Republic

n/a

n/a

n/a

154.0

155.3

154.2

154.2

Denmark

172.9

170.0

169.0

165.9

163.7

162.5

159.8

Estonia

n/a

n/a

n/a

179.0

183.7

182.7

181.6

Finland

178.1

177.2

178.3

179.8

179.5

179.2

177.3

France

159.8

156.8

155.0

153.1

152.3

149.9

149.4

Germany

179.5

177.4

175.9

174.9

173.4

172.5

169.5

Greece

166.5

167.8

168.9

168.8

167.4

166.5

165.3

Hungary

n/a

n/a

n/a

158.4

156.3

154.6

155.0

Ireland

166.6

164.3

166.7

167.6

166.8

166.3

161.6

Italy

158.3

156.6

152.9

150.0

149.5

149.2

146.5

Latvia

n/a

n/a

n/a

192.4

187.2

183.1

183.5

Lithuania

n/a

n/a

n/a

187.5

186.3

163.4

176.5

Luxembourg

177.0

173.8

173.5

169.7

168.6

168.2

165.8

Malta

n/a

n/a

n/a

148.8

150.5

145.9

147.8

Netherlands

174.0

172.4

173.5

170.9

169.9

166.7

164.8

Poland

n/a

n/a

n/a

154.1

155.2

155.9

153.7

Portugal

n/a

154.0

149.9

147.1

144.9

145.0

144.2

Romania

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

154.8

Slovakia

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

157.4

152.0

152.7

Slovenia

n/a

n/a

n/a

152.7

157.2

155.3

156.3

Spain

156.8

156.4

157.0

155.3

155.3

155.6

153.2

Sweden

200.2

198.2

198.5

197.2

193.8

188.6

181.4

UK

177.6

174.8

172.7

171.3

169.7

167.7

164.7

Source: EU Commission

It is not possible to produce figures for average CO2 emissions for all cars in the UK or other EU member states because of the relatively few years for which average fuel efficiency data have been collected.

Motor Vehicles: Fuel Oil

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what percentage change there has been in the average level of fuel efficiency of cars sold in the UK in each year since 1997. [301296]

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The Department for Transport does not have data on the average fuel efficiency of all cars sold in the UK. However, a fully comprehensive dataset of fuel efficiency data for new cars is available for the UK from 2001 in accordance with EU Decision 1753/2000/EC. Table 1 shows average fuel efficiency of new cars sold in the UK between 2001 and 2008 measured in grams of carbon dioxide per km (gCO2/km). These figures have been used to calculate the percentage change in fuel efficiency for each year.

Table 1: Average fuel efficiency for new cars sold in the UK 2001-08

Fuel efficiency (gCO2/km)

Annual percentage change

2001

177.6

-1.9

2002

174.8

-1.6

2003

172.7

-1.2

2004

171.3

-0.8

2005

169.7

-0.9

2006

167.7

-1.2

2007

164.7

-1.8

2008

158.2

-4.0

Source: DVLA

Motorways: Road Signs and Markings

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the matrix signs over motorways are as up to date as possible; and if he will make a statement. [300470]

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The Highways Agency takes a number of measures to ensure sign accuracy.

The majority of signs are automatic and set by sensors or other roadside infrastructure. As a result any message displayed is real-time and takes account of changing road conditions.

Beyond the automatic signs the remaining messages are set manually by operators in either a regional or the national control centre.

To ensure signs are set in a timely manner, performance indicators have been put in place to monitor how quickly a message is placed on a sign. The indicator requires operators in the regional centres to set or remove legends within two minutes of an incident being confirmed.

Further procedures and alarms mean that checks take place while an incident is running. Procedures in the national centre require operators to review incident “Events” every 45 minutes and alarms are tripped for every three-hour period that a variable message sign is not updated.

Steps are also taken to review sign accuracy. Each month, both the regional and national centres review incidents to assess the overall accuracy of their sign settings, and to identify any opportunities to make improvements.

Pedestrian Crossings

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what guidance his Department issues to local authorities on the siting of pedestrian crossings. [300221]

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Current advice from this Department is contained in Local Transport Note (LTN) 1/95, The Assessment of Pedestrian Crossings and Local Transport Note 2/95, the Design of Pedestrian Crossings.

The documents can be made available in the Library of the House and are on the internet at the following address:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tpm/ltnotes/ssessment ofpedestriancro4033.pdf

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/tpm/ltnotes/esignof pedestriancrossin4034.pdf

Railway Stations: Finance

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether the funding for the station improvements referred to in his announcement on 17 November is to come from the National Stations Improvement Programme. [300541]

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The £50 million announced on 17 November to tackle improvements at the 10 major interchange stations identified for improvement in the Station Champions' report is in addition to the existing £150 million for station improvements under the National Stations Improvement Programme.

Railways: Accidents

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport with reference to the written ministerial statement of 19 June 2009, Official Report, columns 39-40WS, on rail accidents (Grayrigg and Potters Bar), when he expects an inquest into the Potters Bar derailment to take place. [301147]

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The Lord Chief Justice continues to work to identify a suitable judge for appointment by the Hertfordshire coroner to act as his Assistant Deputy Coroner and conduct the Potters Bar inquests. The timing of the inquests is a matter for the Coroner, or the Assistant Deputy Coroner, once appointed.

Road Signs and Markings

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much his Department has spent on advertising the purpose of driver location signs; and what assessment he has made of the public awareness of such signs. [300471]

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The Highways Agency has spent £5,000 on advertising the purpose of driver location signs. This has included the production of leaflets and information on its website.

The Highways Agency regularly engages with its customers to determine if more can be done to improve their awareness of new projects and initiatives. A recent customer report has highlighted the lack of public awareness of the signs and the Highways Agency is currently considering a range of options to correct this.

Research carried out on trial sections of routes equipped with driver location signs showed that response times of emergency service organisations were 10 per cent. quicker than previous responses to similar incidents. Getting the emergency services to the scene of an incident more efficiently ultimately leads to incidents being cleared more quickly.

Roads: Stonehenge

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether he has plans to seek to mitigate the environmental impact of the use of roads passing close to Stonehenge. [300745]

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English Heritage has recently submitted to Wiltshire county council a planning application for its new Stonehenge Environmental Improvements Project which includes proposals to relocate the visitor centre and to close the A344 local road which currently runs immediately adjacent to the stone circle. The proposals will bring significant environmental benefits and the Highways Agency is working closely with English Heritage to secure the closure of the junction between the A344 and the A303 trunk road to the south east of the stones. Beyond the junction itself, the closure of the A344 is a matter for Wiltshire county council as the local highway authority.

Rolling Stock

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what estimate he has made of the additional cost per vehicle of the proposed new Intercity Express trains which is directly attributable to the inclusion of a bi-mode capacity, as compared to an electric train operating with a diesel engine coupled for non-electrified sections of track. [301146]

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The Department for Transport's analysis suggests that the costs of the bi-mode train, and the electric train followed by diesel loco-haulage, are around the same. The advantages of the bi-mode option are that it will not result in delay to passengers as a locomotive is being attached, that it will provide a more reliable service and that it does not require potentially expensive and disruptive infrastructure work at stations to facilitate the attaching of a locomotive.

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much space will be allocated per seated passenger in (a) standard and (b) first class on the new Intercity Express trains; and how it compares with space allocations on existing rolling stock operating on the East Coast Main Line. [301149]

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Uni-directional seats (those not located around a bay-table) on the new Super Express Trains will have approximately (a) 750mm knee-room in standard class and (b) 915mm knee-room in first class. Similar seats on current Mark 4 carriages on the East Coast Main Line have approximately (a) 700mm knee-room in standard class and (b) 1010mm knee-room in first class.

Shipping: Pollution

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when his Department next plans to review the national contingency plan for marine pollution from shipping and offshore installations. [301636]

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The National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations (NCP) has traditionally been updated approximately every five years, to take account of lessons learned from marine pollution incidents and exercises that have arisen since the last edition.

The next revision exercise is scheduled to commence in late 2010 and will also include amendments to reflect machinery of government changes.

Shipping: Safety

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what (a) conclusions were reached and (b) recommendations were made by the International Maritime Organisation Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers in respect of the safe transit of containers by sea at its meetings on 21 to 25 September 2009; and what steps the Government plans to take in consequence. [301606]

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The 14th meeting of the sub-committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC) considered a range of issues relating to container safety. Of particular note were the decisions reached on harmonized interpretations of the International Convention on Safe Containers (CSC) and on a series of amendments to the guidance associated with the convention. It was also agreed to establish a correspondence group to consider further criteria to identify defects in containers before they represent a safety hazard.

The decisions taken by the DSC are subject to endorsement at the 87th Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in May 2010. The Government plan to support the outcome of DSC at the MSC and push for their adoption internationally.

Stockport Station: Finance

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what timetable his Department plans for the distribution of new funding for station improvements to Stockport railway station. [301075]

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We are expecting money to be spent in Control Period 4 (up to 2014) on the 10 major interchange stations, including Stockport, which have been identified for priority improvement by the Station Champions. We anticipate a rolling programme of improvements including third party funding from industry stakeholders and local government which may be more forthcoming as we emerge from recession.

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what proportion of the new £50 million allocated for station improvements will be allocated to Stockport railway station. [301076]

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Network Rail will take the lead in deciding the proportion of the new £50 million fund that will be spent on Stockport station, although the Department for Transport will need to approve the plans, which will be subject to a satisfactory business case and the prospect of an adequate financial return. We will also challenge the industry and local government to raise part of the money required for each of the stations themselves.

Work and Pensions

Poverty: Children

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when she expects the childhood deprivation data which appeared in her Department's annual Opportunity for All reports to be published on her Department's website. [302011]

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The vast majority of data contained in Opportunity for All is in the public domain and Secretary of State is currently considering whether there is value in publishing this report given the range of other documents covering similar issues.

Data on children in low income households and in families in low income and material deprivation are published in the Households Below Average Income report, which is available on the Department for Work and Pensions' website.

Olympics

Olympic Games 2012: Contracts

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To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many Olympic contracts have been awarded to (a) UK registered and (b) other firms to date. [301961]

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To date, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has awarded contracts to 1,081 suppliers, of these all but 17 are businesses registered in the UK.

Earlier this month, the ODA published a map showing that many suppliers from across the UK were winning work both directly with the ODA and within its supply chain. Details are available in business section of the London 2012 website:

http://www.london2012.com/get-involved/business-network/index.php

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts Council of England

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what he expects the (a) final severance and (b) pension arrangements to be for the outgoing executive director of Arts Council England in the West Midlands. [301897]

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This is a matter for Arts Council England, which operates independently of Government.

I have therefore asked Arts Council England’s chief executive to consider the question raised by my hon. Friend and to write to him direct.

Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Coastal Areas: Finance

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which parliamentary constituencies received funding through the Sea Change programme in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09; and what the monetary value was of each grant. [302006]

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The Sea Change Programme, which has allocated £38 million to 32 resorts, has only been in place since 1 April 2008. The parliamentary constituencies which received funding in 2008-09 (Wave 1 of the programme), and the value of each grant are set out in the following table:

Parliamentary constituency

Value of grant (£)

Blackpool South

4,000,000

Dover

3,850,000

Torbay

1,542,531

Totnes

705,001

Berwick-upon-Tweed

1,000,000

Bexhill and Battle

1,000,000

Weston-Super-Mare

951,447

Bognor Regis and Littlehampton

480,800

Bournemouth East

455,000

Teignbridge

376,676

Torridge and West Devon

1100,000

Blackpool North and Fleetwood

230,000

North Thanet

230,000

North Devon

230,000

Beverley and Holderness

230,000

Tynemouth

229,525

Total

14,610,980

1 Development Grant

2 Feasibility Grant

Departmental Conferences

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on conferences in 2008-09. [302009]

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My Department spent £133,398.30 on holding conferences in 2008-09. This figure includes running costs, room hire, hospitality and accommodation charges.

Departmental Meetings

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which (a) individuals other than Ministerial colleagues and officials of his Department and (b) organisations he met in an official capacity in the week commencing 9 November 2009. [301156]

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In the week commencing 9 November, I met members of the International Press Institute; David Davies, the chair of the Listed Events Review; diplomats at the German embassy and young artists at the unveiling of an art work to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall; members of the House of Lords Communications Committee at a formal hearing of the Committee; representatives of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and Britain’s architectural community at a reception at 10 Downing Street; and organisers of the London Jazz Festival at a parliamentary reception.

Departmental Statistics

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proportion of the statistical datasets collected by his Department it publishes. [302346]

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As a matter of course, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport publishes all of its datasets which meet the definition of ‘official statistics’ set out in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. The statistics are published in accordance with the requirements set out in the ‘Code of Practice for Official Statistics’ and the ‘National Statistician's Guidance on the Presentation and Publication of Official Statistics’.

Gaming Machines

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many self-exclusions have been (a) in operation and (b) breached in relation to gaming machines in each of the last five years. [301769]

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The requirement for licensed gambling operators to put into effect procedures for self-exclusion was introduced in September 2007 by the Gambling Commission. Figures on self-exclusion were published for the first time in the Commission's Industry Statistics for 2008-09. These are available at

www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk

and can be seen in the following table.

Prior to the Gambling Act 2005 coming into force, self-exclusion arrangements were put in place on a voluntary basis by gambling operators and no central data were collected on their use.

Number of exclusions recorded by operators1

Adult gaming centres

Family entertainment centres

Self-exclusions

2,254

201

Known breaches of self-exclusion

132

9

Number of individuals who cancelled their self-exclusion after minimum exclusion period

513

67

1 The numbers of people who have self-excluded and the numbers of people who have cancelled their self-exclusion may be lower than these figures as individuals may have self-excluded from more than one venue and thus been counted more than once. The number of breaches represents the numbers of separate incidents, rather than the number of individuals.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many gaming machines of each category have been located in (a) betting shops, (b) bingo halls, (c) family entertainment centres, (d) adult gaming centres and (e) pubs, clubs and other social venues in each of the last five years. [301829]

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Prior to September 2007, the Gaming Board for Great Britain issued certificates to those who sold and maintained gaming machines. Local authorities issued permits for arcades, family entertainment centres and other premises that had amusement with prizes (AWP) machines; and magistrates issued permits for clubs, pubs and other premises with alcohol licence permitting consumption on the premises. The Gaming Board did not formally collect statistical data about the number of machines. In 2003, using industry data, it estimated that there were 255,000 gaming machines lawfully in operation in Great Britain.

Since 1 September 2007, under the Gambling Act the provision of gaming machines has been regulated by the Gambling Commission. The table, using figures supplied by the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA), shows the approximate number of each categorised machine and their typical locations for each year since March 2008.

Category

Typical location1

Approximate2 number of machines at March 2008

Approximate2 number of machines at March 2009

A

Regional casino only

0

0

B1

Casino

2,000

2,500

B2

Betting shop

27,000

27,500

B3

Bingo halls and Adult Gaming Centres (AGCs)

12,000

11,800

B4

Registered clubs

17,000

15,000

C

Pubs, AGCs and Family Entertainment Centres (FECs)

131,000

121,000

D

AGCs and FECs

72,000

71,000

1 A full list of permitted locations is available on the Gambling Commission’s website (http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/)

2 Numbers are the British Amusement Catering Trade Association’s estimates

Horserace Totalisator Board

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which external parties he has met to discuss the proposed sale of the Tote. [302007]

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So far, the external parties with whom I have discussed the proposed sale of the Tote have been Paul Roy and Nic Coward of Racing Enterprises Ltd., and the hon. Member for Shipley (Philip Davies).

Sport England: Finance

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much funding has been allocated by Sport England to each of the national governing bodies for the (a) Grow, (b) Sustain and (c) Excel element of Sport England's strategy. [301765]

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The figures in the following table are based upon information provided to Sport England by national governing bodies at the time their 2009-13 awards were made in December 2008.

For some NGBs (highlighted by asterisks) an exact Grow/Sustain/Excel breakdown was difficult to determine as their plans for the sport to grow and sustain participation, in particular, are hard to separate. In these cases, the figures are assumptions made by Sport England based on wider information contained in the Whole Sport Plans.

As a result of some amendments made to the final figures in contractual discussions between Sport England and the NGBs concerned, there are some minor discrepancies between the Grow/Sustain/Excel figures in the breakdown and the actual final awards made.

£

Sport

Governing body

Grow

Sustain

Excel

Total

Actual award figure

Angling

Angling Development Board

0

1,414,632

147,274

1,561,906

1,561,906

Archery*

Grand National Archery Association

428,995

428,994

0

857,989

857,989

Athletics

UK Athletics

4,304,463

11,256,229

4,886,477

20,447,169

20,447,169

Badminton

Badminton England

4,280,592

11,217,488

5,301,923

20,800,003

20,800,000

Baseball and softball

Baseball Softball UK

1,441,249

1,258,751

0

2,700,000

2,700,000

Basketball*

England Basketball

4,100,000

4,100,000

0

8,200,000

8,200,000

Boccia*

C P Sport

408,021

408,020

0

816,041

816,041

Bowls*

English Indoor Bowling Association

378,375

378,375

0

756,750

756,750

Boxing

Amateur Boxing Association

846,000

2,820,000

1,034,000

4,700,000

4,700,000

Canoeing

British Canoe Union

1,785,640

3,484,627

3,200,310

8,470,577

8,470,577

Cricket

England and Wales Cricket Board

7,571,420

23,233,082

7,198,856

38,003,357

38,003,357

Cycling

British Cycling

5,680,000

11,704,354

6,903,654

23,244,840

23,244,832

Equestrian

British Equestrian Federation

638,436

2,598,004

1,031,562

4,268,002

4,268,002

Fencing

British Fencing Association

156,212

624,848

260,353

1,041,413

1,041,413

Football

The Football Association

5,852,096

17,546,904

2,236,000

25,635,000

25,635,000

Goalball*

British Blind Sport

177,000

177,000

0

354,000

354,000

Golf

England Golf Partnership

1,737,475

7,890,375

3,297,880

12,925,730

12,851,500

Gymnastics

British Gymnastics

1,964,786

6,248,822

3,174,873

11,388,481

11,388,481

Handball*

England Handball

322,650

322,650

0

645,300

645,300

Hockey

England Hockey

1,786,260

7,667,440

2,046,300

11,500,000

11,511,000

Judo

British Judo Association

2,418,280

5,924,041

1,899,680

10,242,001

10,242,001

Lacrosse

English Lacrosse Association

909,700

920,700

380,600

2,211,000

2,210,993

Modern pentathlon

Pentathlon GB

32,750

287,789

391,282

711,821

886,496

Mountaineering

British Mountaineering Council

227,500

822,350

238,000

1,287,850

1,287,850

Movement and dance

Exercise Movement and Dance Partnership

260,568

480,984

0

741,552

741,552

Netball

England Netball

4,172,855

6,906,070

6,579,191

17,658,116

17,658,116

Orienteering

British Orienteering Federation

1,114,000

446,000

715,000

2,275,000

2,275,000

Rounders

Rounders England

1,148,180

1,051,820

0

2,200,000

2,200,000

Rowing

British Rowing

2,775,344

5,099,575

1,225,081

9,100,000

9,100,000

Rugby League

Rugby Football League

5,748,237

15,593,986

8,066,119

29,408,341

29,408,341

Rugby Union

Rugby Football Union

7,837,452

16,868,791

6,018,665

30,724,908

31,219,004

Sailing

Royal Yachting Association

748,600

6,317,050

2,554,350

9,620,000

9,619,542

Shooting

GB Target Shooting Federation

0

710,000

40,000

750,000

750,000

Snowsport

Snowsport England

447,050

461,790

76,160

985,000

985,000

Squash

England Squash

2,671,050

5,756,950

4,668,192

13,096,192

13,096,192

Swimming

Amateur Swimming Association

5,186,570

8,305,378

7,378,346

20,870,294

20,875,000

Table tennis

English Table Tennis Association

1,437,308

5,537,951

2,326,144

9,301,404

9,301,404

Taekwondo*

To be confirmed

375,000

375,000

0

750,000

750,000

Tennis

Lawn Tennis Association

6,359,909

15,457,080

4,983,011

26,800,000

26,800,000

Triathlon

British Triathlon Federation

1,086,401

2,165,006

1,448,456

4,699,863

4,700,000

Volleyball

Volleyball England

1,387,347

3,419,313

793,340

5,600,000

5,600,000

Waterskiing

British Water Ski

102,824

206,049

642,500

951,373

951,373

Weightlifting*

British Weight Lifters' Association

304,547

304,547

0

609,094

609,094

Wheelchair basketball

GB Wheelchair Basketball Association

120,268

479,602

121,873

721,743

727,683

Wheelchair rugby*

GB Wheelchair Rugby

240,000

240,000

0

480,000

480,000

Wrestling

British Wrestling Association

112,060

144,176

75,588

331,824

331,824

91,083,470

219,062,595

91,341,041

401,487,103

402,102,952

Home Department

Animal Experiments

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he permits rabbits to be tested more than once in pyrogen tests under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. [300322]

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The re-use of rabbits in pyrogen tests is permitted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Consent for re-use of animals in procedures is generally conditional upon the animal having suffered no significant adverse effects as a consequence of the first use, and its not having been subjected to any intervention which compromises its suitability as a subject for the second or subsequent protocol. Authority to re-use any animal that has experienced significant adverse effects in its previous use is unlikely to be granted.

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many facilities are licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 to carry out pyrogen tests on rabbits. [300323]

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Home Office records show that four establishments licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 have completed statistical returns during the last three years reporting pyrogen tests on rabbits.

Ian Tomlinson

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the Independent Police Complaints Commission report on the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests to be published. [301815]

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This is a matter for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), and the hon. Member’s query has been passed to them for consideration.

Identity Cards

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals who are not required to have a compulsory identity card have applied for a voluntary national identity card. [301002]

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My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, announced in a written ministerial statement on 30 June 2009, Official Report, column 11WS that the introduction of identity cards for all British citizens will be voluntary, including those issued to airside workers at Manchester and London City airports.

Since 20 October, up to and including 24 November, 1,107 eligible volunteers, from the Greater Manchester area, London and the two airports, have made an appointment to enrol for an identity card.

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals who are not required to have a compulsory identity card and do not work for his Department, its executive agencies, or sponsored non-departmental public bodies, have voluntarily applied for a voluntary national identity card. [301936]

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My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, announced in a written ministerial statement on 30 June 2009, Official Report, column 11WS that the introduction of identity cards for all British citizens will be voluntary, including those issued to airside workers at Manchester and London City airports.

Since 20 October, up to and including 24 November, 1,107 eligible volunteers, from the Greater Manchester area, London and the two airports, have made an appointment to enrol for an identity card. The information held on the National Identity Register does not include the basis of an individual's eligibility to apply for an identity card.

Identity Cards: Greater Manchester

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 11 November 2009, Official Report, column 430W on identity cards, how many people in Greater Manchester have requested an identity card; and what proportion of the total eligible population of Manchester this represents. [300339]

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Up to and including 20 November, approximately 2,445 people from the Greater Manchester area have expressed an interest in continuing to be updated about the National Identity Service via the Early Interest Website.

Since 20 October, 749 people have made an appointment to enrol in Greater Manchester for an identity card.

From 30 November, in Greater Manchester, approximately 1.7 million people will be eligible to apply for an identity card.

Motorcycles

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what circumstances (a) police and (b) Highways Agency traffic officers may order groups of two or more motorcyclists travelling together on public highways to (i) travel separately on the same route and (ii) take separate routes. [301443]

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There is no specific power to split up groups of motorcyclists. The police and on certain roads Highways Agency traffic officers have a general power to direct a person driving or propelling any vehicle, including a motorcycle, to stop, proceed in, or keep to a particular line of traffic. It is an offence not to comply with such a direction. Exercise of the power to direct vehicles on particular occasions and in particular circumstances is an operational matter for the police and Highways Agency. It may be to reduce or prevent crime, to increase safety, or to regulate traffic.

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether guidance has been provided for police forces on the policing of groups of two or more motorcyclists travelling in convoy on public highways. [301444]

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Neither the Home Office nor the Association of Chief Police Officers has issued such guidance. Policing of roads is an operational matter for individual chief officers of police.

Opinion Polls

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library copies of the reports of all opinion polling commissioned by his Department in the last 12 months. [301264]

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The Home Office does not publish hard copies of the opinion polling results to save expense but they are available electronically online. Results are regularly published on the Department's website and can be found at the following location:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/publications/our-service-to-you/

Similarly, the results for the UK Border Agency can be found at:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/public-attitudes-surveys/

Results for the Identity and Passport Service can be found at:

http://www.ips.gov.uk/cps/rde/xchg/ips_live/hs.xsl/22htm

The most recent sets of polling results are due to be published in the same locations before the end of the year.

Police Custody

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police custody cells there are in (a) Dacorum and (b) Hemel Hempstead; what his plans are for the future number of such cells in each area; and if he will make a statement. [301774]

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The management of the police estate and the allocation of resources in the borough of Dacorum and Hemel Hempstead is a matter for the chief constable of Hertfordshire and Hertfordshire police authority, who are responsible for assessing local needs.

Scotland

Christmas

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Christmas parties his Department plans to host in 2009; what has been budgeted for each such reception; what estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) lamb, (b) beef, (c) chicken, (d) pork, (e) turkey, (f) other meats, (g) vegetables, (h) fruit and (i) alcohol to be served at each such function which is produced in the UK; and if he will make a statement. [300867]

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My Department does not plan to host any Christmas parties in 2009.

Departmental Cost Effectiveness

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what efficiency savings projects his Department put in place under the Operational Efficiency Programme; on what date each such project was initiated; how much each such project was expected to contribute to departmental savings; how much had been saved through each such project on the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [300938]

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The Scotland Office is part of Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The MoJ’s contribution towards the Operational Efficiency Programme will be announced in the pre-Budget report.

Departmental Disclosure of Information

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many allegations of victimisation for whistleblowing have been made to his Department by its staff since 6 June 2006. [301562]

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The Scotland Office has received no allegations of victimisation for whistleblowing since 6 June 2006.

Departmental Mobile Phones

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on (a) purchasing and (b) operating (i) Blackberrys and (ii) other mobile telephones in 2006 to 2009. [300460]

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Information is not available in the form requested. The total costs of Blackberrys and other mobile phones, including the cost of equipment, call charges and line rental, are set out in the following table.

£

Blackberrys

Other mobile phones

2006-07

3,679.12

3,460.19

2007-08

2,073.78

3,983.52

2008-09

8,311.30

2,107.50

Departmental Pay

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what (a) bonuses and (b) incentives have been paid to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors engaged by his Department in each of the last three years. [300735]

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The Scotland Office has paid no bonuses or incentives to consultants or contractors.

Departmental Scientists

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) scientific advisers and (b) civil servants in scientific posts there are in his Department. [302020]

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The Scotland Office has no scientific advisers or civil servants in scientific posts.

Departmental Taxis

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what contracts his Department has with private hire taxi companies; and what expenditure his Department has incurred against each such contract in each of the last three years. [300835]

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The Scotland Office have one contract in place to provide private hire taxi services in Edinburgh. The costs in each of the last three years are shown in the following table:

Expenditure (£)

2006-07

4,692.76

2007-08

3,987.98

2008-09

4,234.10

Northern Ireland

Climate Change

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants from his Department will be attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in an official capacity. [301032]

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No Ministers or officials from my Department will be attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in an official capacity.

Departmental Pay

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) bonuses and (b) incentives have been paid to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors engaged by his Department in each of the last three years. [300645]

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The Northern Ireland Office, including its arms length bodies and the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland, has made no bonus or incentive payments to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors in each of the last three years.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) bonuses and (b) incentives have been paid to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors engaged by executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies for which his Department is responsible in each of the last three years. [300646]

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No executive agencies of the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) have made bonus or incentive payments to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors in each of the last three years.

The NIO does not hold this information for its non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs). This is an operational matter for each of the NIO's executive NDPBs, who operate independently of Government. I would encourage the hon. Member to write to the respective Chief Executives. Details of the NIO's NDPBs can be found on page seven of the NIO 2009 Departmental Report at

http://www.nio.gov.uk/northern_ireland_office_ departmental_report_2009.pdf

Wales

Departmental Pay

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many staff in his Department received bonus payments in 2008-09; what proportion of the total workforce they represented; what the total amount of bonuses paid was; what the largest single payment was; and if he will make a statement. [300569]

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In 2008-09, five staff in the Wales Office received end of year appraisal bonuses, to reward outstanding performance, representing 9 per cent. of the workforce. The total figure paid in bonuses was £6,000, a non-pensionable lump sum. Each of the five members of staff received £1,200, a fixed amount set by the Ministry of Justice.

Departmental Theft

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many of his Department's officials have (a) been reprimanded, (b) had their contract of employment terminated and (c) been prosecuted for theft of departmental property in each of the last three years; and what items were stolen in each case. [300966]

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Departmental Working Hours

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many and what proportion of staff of his Department work flexibly or part-time; and what his Department's policy is on making jobs available on a job-share or flexible basis. [301333]

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The Wales Office employs a total of five staff on a flexible or part-time working contract, which makes up 8 per cent. of the total workforce.

The Wales Office encourages flexible working. In line with the MOJ flexible working policy, all Wales Office posts are open to applicants on a job share or reduced hours basis.

Treasury

Child Tax Credit

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) the North East and (d) Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency have claimed child tax credits in each year since their introduction. [301816]

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Estimates of the average number of recipient families and their entitlements to tax credits, by Government office region, local authority and parliamentary constituency, for each year between 2003-04 and 2007-08, are available in the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) publications ‘Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics Finalised Annual Awards. Geographical Analyses’, available at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-geog-stats.htm

The same information for 2008-09 is not yet available as awards have not yet been finalised. However, estimates of the number of recipient families with tax credits, based on provisional awards, as at 1 April 2009, are available in the HMRC snapshot publication ‘Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Geographical analyses. April 2009’, available at the same web address.

Departmental Official Cars

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of providing official cars for the use of (a) Ministers and (b) officials in the last 12 months. [301172]

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No estimate has been made of the cost of providing official cares to Minsters and officials in the last 12 months. In 2008-09, £582,000 was spent on the provision of official cars for Ministers and officials in HM Treasury.

Departmental Recruitment

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of jobs advertised by his Department in the last 12 months were online only applications; and what provision his Department makes for those wishing to apply for jobs in his Department who do not have access to the internet. [301542]

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From November 2008 to October 2009, 4 per cent. of Treasury recruitment campaigns only accepted online applications. In these instances, a telephone support number and email address were provided to assist candidates who had difficulties accessing the online application system.

All other vacancies allowed candidates to submit application forms via email or hard copy.

Departmental Telephone Services

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider the merits of introducing an automatic callback request feature for callers to his Department's telephone helplines in order to minimise the cost to callers. [301904]

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I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 26 October 2009, Official Report, column 74W. HM Treasury has no plans to introduce an automatic callback facility.

Gurkhas: Pensions

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has made an estimate of the cost to the Exchequer of providing welfare benefits and pensions on terms equivalent to those of the armed forces pension scheme for those Gurkha ex-servicemen who retired prior to 1 July 1997; and if he will make a statement. [300422]

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[holding answer 23 November 2009]: I have been asked to reply.

There have been no recent estimates made of the cost of welfare benefits for those former members of the Brigade of Gurkhas and their dependants who have already settled in the UK or may choose to do so as a result of the discretions announced earlier this year. Nor has there been any estimate of the total cost of welfare benefits for those Gurkhas still serving who choose to settle in the UK when they leave the armed forces.

When the publication of the revised guidance was announced in April 2009, it was estimated, following cross-Government consultation, that the likely annual cost of allowing all former Gurkhas to settle in the UK would be £1.4 billion.

The cost of providing retired Gurkhas with Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) equivalent pension benefits for all pensionable service before 1 July 1997 has been estimated at £1.5 billion over 20 years.

Housing: Construction

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps his Department is taking to stimulate the house building industry; [301134]

(2) what plans he has to assist the house building industry in the next two years.

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At Budget 2009, the Government announced a £600 million housing package to stimulate housing development and boost capacity in the house-building industry. On 29 June, the Government announced in Building Britain's Future that they are investing a further £1.5 billion over the next two years to build an extra 20,000 new energy efficient, good quality, social and affordable homes, and a further 10,000 additional homes for private sale.

Taken together, over £900 million will be allocated over the next two years via the Kickstart Housing Delivery Programme to unlock development on currently stalled housing sites. We expect an additional 22,000 new homes, of which up to 8,000 will be affordable, to be delivered with support from these programmes. £340 million in funding will also be made available to local authorities to deliver new social housing at higher energy efficiency standards, expected to deliver up to 3,900 new homes.

This is in addition to previous announcements in September 2008 of support to the house-building industry and first-time buyers, including the temporary stamp duty land tax holiday and the provision of £300 million in funding for HomeBuy Direct, and the Government's fiscal stimulus at pre-Budget report 2008.

Private Finance Initiative

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which projects funded under the private finance initiative have received loans from the (a) European Investment Bank and (b) Infrastructure Finance Unit; what the amount of such loans was; and in how many cases such a loan represented the single largest contribution to the cost of a project. [301612]

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The Treasury's Infrastructure Finance Unit has lent £120 million to the Greater Manchester Waste PFI; the largest contribution for this project came from the European Investment Bank who lent £182 million. Details of the Bank's other lending are available from its website

www.eib.org/projects/loans/regions/european-union/gb.htm

Private Rented Housing

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward legislative proposals to increase to £9,000 the income tax threshold for income earned through renting a room in a property. [301452]

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what average annual income each homeowner who rented out a spare room or rooms in their property obtained from such rents in the latest 12 month period for which information is available; [301062]

(2) how many homeowners in each region are renting out a room in their property;

(3) what the tax revenue to the Exchequer from homeowners renting out a room in their property was in each of the last five years.

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All taxes are kept under review, with any changes announced by the Chancellor as part of the Budget process.

Based on the Family Resources Survey, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) estimate that the average annual income obtained from renting out a room was £3,000 in 2007-08. Estimated numbers of homeowners renting out rooms by region are shown in the following table.

Government office region

Number of homeowners

North East

1,200

North West

5,600

Yorkshire and Humberside

4,500

East Midlands

4,200

West Midlands

6,100

East of England

11,600

London

40,200

South East

25,800

South West

20,300

Wales

3,700

Scotland

5,800

Northern Ireland

1,000

Total

130,000

HMRC’s administrative systems do not hold sufficiently detailed information to estimate the tax revenue attributable to renting out a room. Estimates of the cost of the rent-a-room income tax relief are provided in ‘Tax ready reckoner and tax reliefs’ published alongside the annual pre-Budget report and available on the Treasury’s website.

Taxation: Low Incomes

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the tax cost of exempting from (a) income tax and (b) national insurance contributions liability those earning the national minimum wage. [301505]

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It is not possible to provide a reliable estimate because of the information requirements and the behavioural effects it would produce.

The introduction of an exemption from income tax and disregard for NICs would have significant behavioural effects as it would introduce a cliff edge to the taxation of employees, and would mean that the personal allowance could be used to offset other income. In addition, a disregard for national insurance purposes would have serious implications for contributory benefit entitlement.

The alternate approach would be to increase the income tax personal allowance and primary threshold for class 1 NICs to the annual level of pay received by someone working full-time at the NMW. The cost of this can be determined from HM Treasury’s “Tax ready reckoner and tax reliefs”, the next edition of which will be published as part of the 2009 Pre-Budget Report supplementary documents on 9 December 2009.

Defence

Afghanistan and Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British armed forces personnel have received serious groin injuries in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq since 2007. [301908]

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The Ministry of Defence publishes the numbers of personnel categorised as Very Seriously Injured and Seriously Injured as a result of Operations Telic and Herrick on its website

www.mod.uk

The figures are updated fortnightly. In addition, we are committed to publishing on a quarterly basis the numbers of service personnel who have suffered limb amputations as a result of injuries sustained while on operational deployment. However, in order both to protect the identities of small numbers of patients and to maintain operational security for the effectiveness of our protective countermeasures, we do not routinely publish VSI and SI sub-classified by other types of physical injury.

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to increase the level of protection provided for translators engaged by UK forces in Afghanistan. [300332]

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We take our responsibilities towards locally employed staff in Afghanistan very seriously and have in place a number of measures to reduce the risks they face. Security of all staff is kept under review and actively managed, and staff are encouraged to raise any concerns. We are unable to provide specific details about these measures, as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice their capability, effectiveness and security.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Chinook helicopters (a) have been sent to Afghanistan in the last six months and (b) are planned to be sent for support operations in the next six months. [301446]

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I am not able to give details of the numbers of helicopters delivered to Afghanistan because the release of this information would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness, or security of our armed forces.

However, since November 2006 we have increased the number of airframes by 79 per cent. and flying hours by 95 per cent. We are also converting eight Chinook Mk 3 aircraft to a support helicopter role, with the first of these aircraft being made available for training before the end of this year, and the remaining seven being delivered to Joint Helicopter Command by the end of 2010. This will allow us to deliver more Chinooks to Afghanistan during 2010.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what provision his Department makes for compensation for British soldiers who incur severe groin injuries whilst serving in Helmand Province in Afghanistan. [301910]

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The Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation Scheme) Order 2005 makes provision of compensation for all members and former members of the Regular Armed Forces or Reserve Forces should they be injured, become ill or die as a result of service.

Awards are tariff based depending upon the nature and severity of the injury. There is no standard provision for particular types of injury or theatre of operation.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what Quick Impact Projects his Department has (a) supported and (b) participated in in the Babaji area of Helmand Province since 2001. [301911]

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There has been no stabilisation activity in the Babaji area of Helmand Province before August of 2009, as up until the recent clearance operations, civilian-military teams were unable to gain access, due to the security situation there. The term “Quick Impact Projects” is no longer used. However, we do provide commanders with the ability to address immediate, tactical and local, consent/stabilisation issues in Babaji and elsewhere in theatre via the Commanders Stabilisation Fund (CSF). Medium and longer term initiatives in theatre (including Babaji) are the responsibility of the Provincial Reconstruction Team which is, in turn, the responsibility of the FCO.

Air Force

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many hours Royal Air Force pilots spent transporting dignitaries in each of the last 12 months. [302002]

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For the purposes of this question we have defined dignitaries to be Government Ministers, other parliamentarians and members of the Royal family.

Dignitaries have been transported by RAF aircraft on a number of occasions over the last 12 months. The number of hours that have been spent by RAF pilots transporting dignitaries is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Air Force: Training

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many hours Royal Air Force pilots spent undergoing training in each of the last 12 months. [302001]

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The centralised collation to record flying hours ceased in 2007-08. This information could be obtained only from individuals in squadrons or training establishments throughout the Royal Air Force at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Allergies

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what his policy is on the eligibility of people with nut allergies for service in the armed forces; [301607]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of service personnel in each armed service who have nut allergies;

(3) whether members of the armed forces with a declared nut allergy are allowed to serve on operations;

(4) if he will consider the merits of providing special ration packs for members of the armed forces who have nut allergies.

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It is our policy that armed forces personnel should be recruited to be fully fit for deployment worldwide on operations. For this reason, the services do not recruit or commission personnel with existing medical conditions which require special diets, such as those with nut allergies. We currently have no plans to review this policy.

This policy is intended to protect such individuals from military circumstances which may adversely impact upon their condition and to ensure the effectiveness of the armed forces. Although it may be possible to accommodate the special dietary requirements of those with nut allergies in a UK-based unit, or possibly on a large ship or at a major overseas base, we cannot guarantee to provide a special diet in the field or when deployed on operations, and individuals are recruited on the basis that they will be able to deploy world-wide. In such circumstances, it would be quite wrong to run risks which could impact on the individual and his or her colleagues on operations. In some cases, personnel will depend on food supplied locally, and our ability to assure nut-free status would not always be possible—as would certainly be the case if an individual were to be captured by enemy forces, for example.

The single services manage individuals who develop nut allergies during their service careers according to their specific operational requirements and each case will be considered on an individual basis. While we will make every effort to retain in-service individuals who subsequently develop this and similar conditions, provided that there are worthwhile military roles for them to fulfil, they may have to be re-graded and will probably not be able to deploy on operations. Again, this will depend on the severity of the individual's allergy; those with life-threatening allergies will almost certainly not be deployed to operational theatres, due to factors such as requirement of access to emergency treatment and storage requirements of the medication required by these individuals. This also applies to other disabilities which arise in service, but the forces do not recruit individuals where they would only be able to serve in a medically restricted capacity from the outset.

The total number of individuals who were diagnosed with nut allergies while serving in the armed forces and are currently still serving is not held centrally, and could be provided only by examining the medical records of all personnel at disproportionate cost.

Since individuals with nut allergies will not usually be deployed, ration packs tailored for such individuals are not produced. Since most food consumption on deployment is delivered by mass catering, often using local sources, and for other reasons noted above, provision of such ration packs would not circumvent the barriers to deployment for those who suffer nut allergies.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what special ration packs are provided to the armed forces to meet specific dietary requirements of service personnel. [301611]

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The 24 hour operational ration pack, which is available for operations, exercises and training, includes the following variants: General Purpose, which is suitable for personnel without specific dietary requirements; Halal; Sikh/Hindu; and Vegetarian, which is also suitable for Kosher diets.

Armed Forces: Housing

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many families have been evicted from service family accommodation for failing to vacate the premises during the agreed 93-day notice to vacate period in each of the last five years; and for what reason each family was being asked to vacate premises. [301862]

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Service Family Accommodation (SFA) is provided to accommodate entitled Service personnel and their families. When occupants cease to be entitled to SFA and do not vacate, the Department is required to take steps to recover possession of the property. In the first instance DE will write to the occupant advising that they are required to vacate the property within 93 days. DE will be as flexible as possible and will extend this so as to accommodate children’s schooling, holidays, etc. or to allow occupants the maximum possible time to secure alternative accommodation arrangements.

The number of eviction orders served on occupants of SFA in Great Britain up to April 2008 and the UK thereafter in the last five years is set out in the following table.

Number of eviction orders

2004

110

2005

102

2006

62

2007

84

2008

113

2009 (to 24 November)

68

Records showing the reasons why entitlement to SFA ceased in each case are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many landlords of (a) substitute service family accommodation and (b) substitute service single accommodation properties are currently members of the armed forces in each region. [302005]

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The occupation of the landlords who provide substitute accommodation is not recorded by this Department.

Defence Equipment

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to provide armed forces personnel with body armour which includes groin protection. [301909]

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We have spent £35 million over the last three years providing new body armour for troops on operations. We are continually seeking ways to protect our personnel, and work is well under way to research ways of providing additional protection for the perineal area.

Departmental Disclosure of Information

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many allegations of victimisation for whistleblowing have been made to his Department by its staff since 6 June 2006. [301501]

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

Departmental Food

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) lamb, (b) beef, (c) chicken, (d) pork, (e) turkey, (f) other meats, (g) vegetables and (h) fruit procured by his Department that was produced in the UK in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [300186]

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A report on the proportion of domestically produced food used by Government Departments, and also supplied to hospitals and prisons under contracts negotiated by NHS Supply Chain and HM Prison Service, was published in November 2008, covering the year from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008. This report, and the first one covering the previous year, can be found at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/procurement/awareness.htm

Overall, the proportion of domestically produced food procured by MOD has increased from 43 per cent. in 2006-07 to 59 per cent. in 2007-08.

The third report of this nature will be published in due course, and will demonstrate the work being undertaken to find opportunities to source British products, while working within the legal framework governing public procurement.

We are hoping to be able to provide specific MOD figures shortly.

Departmental Land

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) television programmes and (b) films have been filmed on locations owned by his Department in each of the last 12 months. [302335]

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

Departmental Recruitment

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of jobs advertised by his Department in the last 12 months were online only applications; and what provision his Department makes for those wishing to apply for jobs in his Department who do not have access to the internet. [301548]

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In the 12 months up to 26 October 2009, no jobs advertised in the Ministry of Defence were restructured to online applications only.

From 26 October 2009, the Ministry of Defence is seeking to encourage the use of online applications for jobs advertised externally, via the website:

www.civilianjobs.mod.uk.

Greater online applications should deliver an improved external recruitment service and generate efficiencies. The new arrangements still permit offline applications in cases where disability prevents internet access and are fully compliant with the Office of the Civil Service Commissioners' (OCSC) principles of fair and open competition and selection on merit.

Departmental Recycling

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what weight of paper his Department recycled in each of the last five years. [300777]

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The Ministry of Defence holds data on the percentage of total waste recycled but not specifically on the weight of paper recycled.

As part of reporting against the Sustainable Operation on the Government Estate targets, the MOD in 2008 agreed with the Office of Government Commerce a new waste baseline for MOD activities. In 2008-09 the Department recycled or reused 51 per cent. of its waste. Recycling and reuse figures prior to 2008-09, based on the best available data at the time and so not directly comparable, were: 34 per cent. for 2007-08; 37 per cent. for 2006-07; 38.5 per cent. for 2005-06, and 22.6 per cent. for 2004-05.

Devonport Dockyard

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Devonport dockyards have been issued with the relevant safety certificates to receive the Trident submarines for refuelling. [302003]

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Devonport Dockyard holds the documentation that is necessary to allow the Vanguard class submarines to be received for refuelling. The documentation consists of a suite of safety cases which covers all aspects of Vanguard submarine operations, including berthing, movements and refuelling. These safety cases are required for Devonport Dockyard to maintain its site licence under the Nuclear Installation Act (1965).

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of Devonport dockyard's capability to meet the refuelling requirements of the Trident submarines. [302004]

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Devonport Dockyard is fully capable of meeting the nuclear refuelling requirements of the Vanguard class submarines. The most recent assessment of this capability was completed on 7 October 2009.

This assessment included a review of the equipment, procedures and personnel required to undertake the refuelling of HMS Vigilant. Such assessments are undertaken before each refuelling of the Vanguard class.

Devonport Dockyard is a licensed site under the Nuclear Installations Act (1965). This licence is granted by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII) of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and approved by the MOD Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator (DNSR). Operations at Devonport Dockyard are carried out in accordance with site licence conditions and the facility safety case.

Ex-servicemen: Radiation Exposure

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many decisions for war pension awards causally linked to service for any condition other than leukaemia and polcythaemia rubra vera have made a finding that a nuclear test veteran was exposed to radiation whilst participating in UK nuclear tests. [302179]

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Data are not held in the format requested.

War pensions are individually determined on the basis of all appropriate medical evidence, and the War Pension Computer System (WPCS) only contains the outcomes of this detailed assessment. Therefore, although the medical conditions claimed and awarded are held, details of the specific causes of these medical conditions are not recorded on WPCS. The manual search of many thousands of files would be required to provide the information requested and this could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Iraq: Network Centre Operations

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent US and UK land-based military services in Iraq share a common information platform to support network centre operations (NCOs); and what innovations have been implemented to improve NCOs in Iraq since 2005. [300502]

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Military information sharing between US and UK has improved since Operation Iraqi Freedom. In Iraq, information transfer was between national-only networks. In Afghanistan, UK land environment forces routinely work within the NATO ISAF information domain while keeping a smaller amount of national-only capability for information that is less readily shared with allies. The US have also taken up this approach, which means UK, US and other allies are routinely conducting operations using the same information domain.

Kentigern House

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (a) how much is expected to be made from the sale of and (b) what the projected costs to the public purse are over the 20 year lease period of the sale and leaseback of the MoD Kentigern House site. [301958]

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The property was advertised for offers in excess of £47.4 million in return for a 20 year lease in favour of the Ministry of Defence, at an initial market rent of £3.511 million per annum with annual fixed increases of 2 per cent. per annum compounded every five years. There are no other additional costs anticipated.

Offers in excess of the asking price were received but remain subject to the completion of formal legal missives and are thus regarded as commercially confidential.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what consultation was held with the Public and Commercial Services union prior to the decision being made to market the Kentigern House site on a sale and leaseback basis. [301959]

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The proposed sale and leaseback of Kentigern House is an estate management initiative which does not threaten any jobs or affect the terms and conditions of employment of any Ministry of Defence employee or contractor.

Consequently, there was no need to formally consult with the trade unions, but, subject to commercial sensitivities, staff have been kept fully informed of progress by local management through a series of briefings discussions.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future status of employees of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; and if he will make a statement. [301657]

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[holding answer 25 November 2009]: As part of our continuing drive to consider the scope for increased value for money in all aspects of Defence, we will be looking at the current arrangement for delivering Maritime Operational Support through the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Broadband

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what percentage of the population has access to broadband of 2 Mbps or more. [301521]

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We estimate that today 89 per cent. of homes can readily get a 2 Mbps (or higher) broadband service (as reported in the Digital Britain White Paper, June 2009).

Copyright: Internet

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether (a) the Secretary of State and (b) he and other Ministers in his Department have discussed (i) internet piracy, (ii) online file-sharing and (iii) online digital media with David Geffen. [301586]

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As we have made clear on numerous occasions there has not been any discussion with David Geffen on internet piracy, file-sharing or on digital media more generally—something that Mr. Geffen himself has confirmed. More generally Ministers do, of course, quite properly discuss these things with a wide spectrum of stakeholders.

Departmental Pay

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what (a) bonuses and (b) incentives have been paid to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors engaged by his Department in each year since his Department was established; [300649]

(2) what (a) bonuses and (b) incentives have been paid to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors engaged by executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies for which his Department is responsible in each of the last three years.

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Information on bonuses and incentives paid to consultants and contractors engaged by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is not held centrally and would incur disproportionate costs.

I have approached the chief executives of the Department's executive agencies and they will respond to the hon. Member directly.

Information on NDPBs is not held centrally and due to the volume of NDPBs, would incur disproportionate cost.

Letter from Gareth Jones, dated 26 November 2009:

I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 18 November 2009, UIN 300650, to the Minister of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

In the last three years Companies House has paid a one-off bonus of £50 each to 26 contractors on completion of the Companies Act Project. A contractual payment of £20,000 was also paid during this time as a final bonus payment to a consultant on completion of the Companies House Implementation Process System (CHIPS).

Letter from Sean Dennehey, dated 25 November 2009:

I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 18 November 2009, to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Office has paid no incentives to consultants or contractors in any of the last three years. The Office also paid no bonuses to consultants or contractors in any of the last three years, with the single exception that in 2008/09 one IT contractor was paid a bonus of £705.

Letter from Sarah Glasspool for and on behalf of Peter Mason, dated 25 November 2009:

I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 18 November 2009, to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The National Measurement Office has not paid any bonuses or incentives to consultants or contractors in the last three years.

Letter from Stephen Speed, dated 26 November 2009:

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has asked me to reply to your question what (a) bonuses and (b) incentives have been paid to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors engaged by executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies for which his Department is responsible in each of the last three years.

The Insolvency Service made one bonus payment in 2007 totalling £20,000 +VAT, paid to a contractor, against delivery milestones. There have been no other bonus payments made in the last three years.

Students: Loans

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people in each age group resident in each local authority area in the South East had not repaid their student loan at the latest date for which figures are available. [301354]

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Borrowers become liable to repay their loans in the April after they leave their course (the Statutory Repayment Due Date, SRDD). After that date those with earnings of over £15,000 will repay, usually by deductions from salary. Those liable to repay who have not yet made a repayment will include borrowers whose earnings are below the repayment threshold, have gone on to further study or are doing voluntary work.

The table covers income contingent loan borrowers past SRDD with a known repayment or non-repayment position by whether or not they have made a repayment.

Income contingent loan borrowers past SRDD, March 20091

Age band

Numbers who have not yet made a repayment

Numbers who have made a repayment

Total

Bracknell Forest

Less than 20

2

2

2

20 to 24

190

410

600

25 to 29

150

1,070

1,220

30 to 39

50

100

140

40 to 49

30

40

60

50 and over

10

20

30

Total

430

1,630

2,050

Brighton and Hove

Less than 20

2

2

2

20 to 24

360

520

880

25 to 29

540

1,630

2,170

30 to 39

490

840

1,330

40 to 49

190

310

500

50 and over

60

70

130

Total

1,640

3,370

5,010

Buckinghamshire

Less than 20

10

2

20

20 to 24

1,190

2,430

3,620

25 to 29

1,050

6,240

7,290

30 to 39

240

500

740

40 to 49

120

210

340

50 and over

60

90

140

Total

2,670

9,470

12,140

East Sussex

Less than 20

10

10

20

20 to 24

1,040

1,660

2,700

25 to 29

970

4,530

5,500

30 to 39

290

590

880

40 to 49

170

250

420

50 and over

110

120

230

Total

2,600

7,140

9,740

Hampshire

Less than 20

30

20

40

20 to 24

2,570

5,290

7,870

25 to 29

2,220

13,830

16,050

30 to 39

600

1,490

2,090

40 to 49

370

770

1,130

50 and over

180

240

420

Total

5,970

21,630

27,590

Isle of Wight

Less than 20

2

2

2

20 to 24

310

420

730

25 to 29

280

1,250

1,530

30 to 39

80

180

260

40 to 49

40

90

130

50 and over

30

30

60

Total

740

1,980

2,710

Kent

Less than 20

30

10

40

20 to 24

2,710

5,050

7,760

25 to 29

2,380

12,930

15,310

30 to 39

740

1,680

2,420

40 to 49

480

810

1,300

50 and over

220

310

520

Total

6,550

20,790

27,340

Medway

Less than 20

10

2

10

20 to 24

470

950

1,420

25 to 29

420

2,020

2,440

30 to 39

120

270

390

40 to 49

90

170

270

50 and over

40

50

90

Total

1,140

3,480

4,610

Milton Keynes

Less than 20

10

10

10

20 to 24

410

830

1,240

25 to 29

410

2,110

2,520

30 to 39

130

220

340

40 to 49

60

100

160

50 and over

20

30

50

Total

1,040

3,300

4,330

Oxfordshire

Less than 20

2

10

10

20 to 24

1,270

2,240

3,520

25 to 29

1,240

6,570

7,800

30 to 39

430

930

1,360

40 to 49

190

410

600

50 and over

70

120

190

Total

3,200

10,280

13,490

Portsmouth

Less than 20

2

2

2

20 to 24

160

380

540

25 to 29

260

1,290

1,550

30 to 39

190

450

640

40 to 49

110

200

310

50 and over

40

80

120

Total

760

2,390

3,150

Reading

Less than 20

2

2

2

20 to 24

190

400

590

25 to 29

200

1,100

1,300

30 to 39

100

230

330

40 to 49

40

110

150

50 and over

10

30

40

Total

540

1,870

2,410

Slough

Less than 20

2

2

2

20 to 24

230

470

710

25 to 29

270

1,220

1,490

30 to 39

50

120

170

40 to 49

20

40

60

50 and over

10

10

20

Total

580

1,870

2,450

Southampton

Less than 20

2

2

2

20 to 24

340

500

840

25 to 29

360

1,460

1,830

30 to 39

180

440

620

40 to 49

70

130

200

50 and over

30

30

70

Total

980

2,570

3,550

Surrey

Less than 20

20

10

30

20 to 24

2,190

4,770

6,960

25 to 29

2,060

12,590

14,650

30 to 39

440

1,040

1,480

40 to 49

210

420

630

50 and over

90

140

230

Total

5,020

18,960

23,980

West Berkshire

Less than 20

2

2

10

20 to 24

310

650

960

25 to 29

230

1,740

1,970

30 to 39

50

120

170

40 to 49

40

50

90

50 and over

10

20

40

Total

640

2,580

3,230

West Sussex

Less than 20

20

10

40

20 to 24

1,470

2,720

4,190

25 to 29

1,380

7,510

8,890

30 to 39

360

900

1,260

40 to 49

220

420

640

50 and over

110

130

240

Total

3,550

11,690

15,240

Windsor and Maidenhead

Less than 20

2

2

2

20 to 24

310

650

960

25 to 29

270

1,630

1,900

30 to 39

70

120

190

40 to 49

30

50

80

50 and over

10

10

20

Total

690

2,470

3,160

Wokingham

Less than 20

2

2

2

20 to 24

360

910

1,280

25 to 29

310

2,280

2,590

30 to 39

60

150

220

40 to 49

30

60

80

50 and over

10

30

40

Total

780

3,430

4,210

1Table covers income-contingent loan borrowers past SRDD and for whom at least one year of repayment history has been closed off so that the repayment/non-repayment position can be determined. Excludes transitional year loans taken out in academic year 2008/09. Gives the local authority in which the borrower was resident at the time of application for student finance; this does not indicate current residence. Figures rounded to the nearest 10. Age is shown at the end of the last tax year for which repayment/non-repayment information has been posted, mainly end of tax year 2007/08. 2Less than five borrowers. Source: Student Loans Company

Telephone Services

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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of measures to regulate telephone numbers with (a) 0844, (b) 0845, (c) 0870 and (d) 0871 prefixes; and if he will make a statement. [300850]

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The Government have made no recent assessments as the independent regulator Ofcom has responsibility for telephone numbers in the UK.

Ofcom, in 2006, strengthened its price publication rules, requiring operators to make it easier for consumers to find out about the cost of calling 08 numbers. Operators are now required to state maximum charges for calls to 08 numbers in promotional material and also to specify whether 08 calls are included in call packages.

Calls to 0845 numbers are often charged at a small premium from fixed networks. For instance, BT's maximum charge for an 0845 call is 3.867p per minute (including VAT) but most BT customers pay no more than 1.9p per minute. There are also signs that competition is exerting downward pressure on prices. Earlier this year, BT included 0845 in its calling plans on the same basis as 01, 02 and 03 numbers and at least one other operator has since followed BT's lead.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) assessed any internal or external reports on the effectiveness of its work in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. [301939]

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's work in Afghanistan is kept under regular review. The Government's strategy for Afghanistan has a number of medium-term goals and outcomes and progress against these is regularly assessed. Measurement indicators include progress on building the capacity of government institutions against a range of economic indicators. Ministers regularly review progress against these.

Afghanistan: Corruption

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what commitments he has (a) sought and (b) received from the Afghan Government regarding political reform and action against corruption; and if he will make a statement. [301978]

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President Karzai made his commitment to political reform and tackling corruption, including the appointment of clean and competent Ministers and governors, clear in his inauguration speech of 19 November 2009. We welcome the emphasis he placed on the need for Ministers to have integrity and professionalism, and look forward to the announcement of his Cabinet. We regularly discuss the need to tackle corruption with the Afghan Government and offer technical support, for example in providing a multi-agency task force to support the implementation of an anti-corruption strategy.

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whom the Prime Minister plans to invite to the forthcoming conference on the future of Afghanistan to be held in London. [301907]

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My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has offered to hold a conference on Afghanistan in London.

We are currently working up the potential scope of the conference. More information will be made available in due course.

Belarus: Capital Punishment

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representation he has made to the Belarus Government on the decision of the Belarus Supreme Court to reject the appeals of Vasily Yusepchuk and Andrei Zhuk against the death sentence; and what discussions he has had on the matter at the Council of Europe. [301243]

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We and EU partners have raised the cases of Vasily Yusepchuk and Andrei Zhuk with the Belarusian authorities on a number of occasions. We also took part in a European Commission press conference on 12 October 2009 to mark World Day Against the Death Penalty. I referenced two cases in a Westminster Hall debate on the global abolition of the death penalty on 28 October 2009, Official Report, column 71WH. EU member states are working with local and international non-governmental organisations to promote public debate, and publicise EU views on the death penalty. We continue to urge Belarus to abolish the death penalty or, as an initial measure, to introduce a moratorium.

The Council of Europe (CoE) plays close attention to developments in Belarus. In June 2009 the CoE Parliamentary Assembly agreed to the restoration of the Special Guest status of the Belarusian Parliament, which had been suspended in 1997, only after a moratorium on the death penalty. On 30 October 2009 a joint statement was issued by the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the CoE and the Secretary-General of the CoE calling on President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to grant clemency, to declare a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Belarus and to commute the sentences of all prisoners sentenced to death to terms of imprisonment.

Bletchley Park: Medals

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when those who worked on code-breaking at Bletchley Park will receive their service medals. [301814]

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All eligible veterans who have submitted an application for the Bletchley Park Commemorative Badge have been sent their badge and certificate. This amounts to over 2,000 applications up to and including 24 November 2009.

I attended a special celebration ceremony at Bletchley Park on 9 October 2009 to pay tribute to the vital work these veterans carried out during the Second World War. The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) will continue to send out badges and certificates to eligible veterans on receipt of applications.

British Indian Ocean Territory: Environment Protection

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which international parties are considered to be stakeholders for the consultation on the proposed creation of a Marine Protected Area for the Chagos Archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory; what criteria were used to decide who the stakeholders were; and what weight will be given to stakeholder responses to the consultation. [302471]

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The public consultation into whether to create a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the British Indian Ocean Territory is not a limited one. The purpose of the consultation is to seek views from all stakeholders and interested parties to help the Government assess whether an MPA is the right option for the future environmental protection of the territory. We are, therefore, strongly encouraging as many people as possible to participate in the consultation.

The consultation document (pages 12 and 13) does however recognise that the international fishing community, the US, the Republic of Mauritius and the Chagossian community are all groups which may be either directly or indirectly affected by the establishment of an MPA and any resulting restrictions or a ban on fishing.

All responses to the consultation will be taken into consideration.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) entitlements and (b) historic entitlements apply under international law to the management of fishing stocks within the 200 mile limits of the British Indian Ocean Territory. [302473]

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The management of fishing stocks within the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is the responsibility of the UK. The BIOT Administration contracts Marine Resources and Assessment Group Ltd. to manage the fisheries of the territory. The UK is a member of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), both through the European Commission's membership and separately and individually through the BIOT and, as such, provides data on the BIOT fisheries to the IOTC.

Colombia: EU External Trade

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the status is of negotiations between the EU and Colombia on a free trade agreement; and if he will make a statement. [301570]

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The European Commission is pushing forward with negotiations towards a Multi-Party Trade Agreement with Colombia on behalf of the EU. The UK is leading efforts within the EU to ensure that any agreement with Colombia is linked to a robust human rights clause. This clause will enable us to suspend the agreement if it is breached, and will act as a catalyst for frank dialogue with Colombia on the issue. We believe that free trade agreements can help to create the right circumstances for improved stability, where human rights stand a better chance of flourishing. Denying Colombia access to the economic opportunities presented by the Multi-Party Trade Agreement would undermine this prospect.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent progress has been made on his Department's work with the European Commission on the negotiation of a free trade agreement with Colombia. [301894]

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The European Commission is pushing forward with negotiations towards a Multi-Party Trade Agreement with Colombia on behalf of the EU. The UK is leading efforts within the EU to ensure that any agreement with Colombia is linked to a robust human rights clause. This clause will enable us to suspend the agreement if it is breached, and will act as a catalyst for frank dialogue with Colombia on this issue. We believe that free trade agreements can help to create the right circumstances for improved stability, where human rights stand a better chance of flourishing. Denying Colombia access to the economic opportunities presented by the Multi-Party Trade Agreement would undermine this prospect.

Colombia: Trade Unions

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the number of trade unionists murdered in Colombia in the last 12 months. [301895]

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I have seen various reports of the number of trade unionists murdered in Colombia in 2009. The bottom line is that a single murder of a trade unionist or human rights defender is one too many. This issue is of great concern to us. During a meeting with President Uribe while visiting Colombia in October, I urged the Colombian government to do everything possible to ensure that those in Colombia who fight to defend human rights are able to do their work in safety and without fear.

Departmental Internet

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost was of maintaining his Department's website in the 2008-09 financial year; and what the forecast cost is of maintaining websites within his responsibility in the 2009-10 financial year. [302417]

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The cost of maintaining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) entire web platform in the 2008-09 financial year was £1.45 million. This covers hosting, development and support costs.

The FCO's web platform is home to 250 websites, including cross-Government websites such as

www.londonsummit.gov.uk

www.actoncopenhagen.gov.uk

and our network of embassy and high commission websites. It is not possible to calculate the individual cost of the main corporate website.

The forecast cost of maintaining the 250 websites on the FCO web platform in 2009-10 is £1.45 million.

These costs do not include staff time spent updating the websites.

Departmental Pay

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much funding his Department has allocated for (a) year-end and (b) in-year bonuses for staff in 2009-10. [300431]

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For 2009-10 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) allocated the following amounts for variable pay in 2009-10:

(a) £7,693,418

(b) £532,667.

These bonus figures are based on a total pay bill of £213,613,185. The FCO does not pay year-end bonuses as such. Government policy is to differentiate reward to civil servants more effectively and to link it directly to performance. As a result a higher proportion of annual reward now takes the form of non-consolidated, non-pensionable bonus payments (variable pay). The FCO arrangements for bonus payments mirror those adopted by other Whitehall Departments.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) bonuses and (b) incentives have been paid to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors engaged by executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies for which his Department is responsible in each of the last three years. [300654]

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Neither the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), its executive agencies (FCO Services and Wilton Park) or its non-departmental public bodies make bonus payments to consultants or individual contractors.

Incentive regimes are rarely used for contracts with consultants and individual contractors. If incentives are included in a contract they are negotiated on a case by case basis taking care to ensure value for money. No central record is maintained of such contractual provisions.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in his Department received bonus payments in 2008; what proportion of the total work force they represented; what the total amount of bonuses paid was; what the largest single payment was; and if he will make a statement. [300895]

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During the financial year 2008-09, a total of 4,712 staff received a bonus payment. This represents 80 per cent. of the total workforce.

The total amount of bonuses paid was £7,597,836 and the largest single payment was £30,000. The average amount per employee was £1,286.

Departmental Working Hours

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what proportion of staff of his Department, its executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies work flexibly or part-time; and what his Department's policy is on making jobs available on a job-share or flexible basis. [301324]

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As at 1 November 2009 there were 163 Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) staff working part time out of a total of 5,504, representing 3 per cent. These figures include FCO Services, which operates as a trading fund, and Wilton Park which is an agency. We do not hold central records of part-time workers in our non-departmental bodies.

We also have no central records of other types of flexible working, for example compressed hours and working from home, as these are agreed locally between staff and their line-managers. All jobs can be made available on a job-share or flexible basis, including overseas jobs, unless there is an overriding operational reason preventing it.

Diplomatic Service

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many honorary consuls there are; and if he will make a statement. [301881]

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Government Hospitality

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much Government Hospitality spent on (a) champagne, (b) wine, (c) china, (d) cutlery and (e) venue hire in 2008-09. [300704]

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In the financial year 2008-09 Government Hospitality recorded the following expenditure:

Wines and spirits: £121,939 (including £27,136 spent on Champagne)

China: £150

Cutlery: £5,896

Government Hospitality does not meet venue hire costs for functions it organises at non-Government venues.

Middle East

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