Mr Prisk: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for more than 99% of private businesses, and SME performance and activity is clearly a key driver of the UK economy. If we are to promote growth in the economy, we need to address the challenges that small businesses face providing: a predictable tax system that rewards endeavour; better access to both debt and equity finance; less red tape; a skilled workforce; and support for exports to markets around the globe.
A £200 million extension to the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), to benefit around 2,000 extra small businesses. In total, the EFG will now support up to £700 million in bank lending to viable small businesses.
A new Enterprise Capital Fund to support small businesses with high growth potential-combining both Government and private sector funding.
Confirmation of a Growth Capital Fund, to provide funding of between £2 million and £10 million for SMEs with strong growth potential.
Creation of a Regional Growth Fund in 2011-12 and 2012-13, encouraging private sector enterprise to help areas adjust to reductions in public spending, particularly in those places most reliant on public sector employment.
Two key areas of concern to small businesses are ensuring that there is less red tape and being able to access the finance they need to grow. We have already committed to introducing a "one-in, one-out" rule for new regulations, sunset clauses, a new Reducing Regulation Cabinet Committee and an immediate review of all inherited regulation in the pipeline. We have also published a joint consultation with the Treasury on business finance, aimed at ensuring that the banking system and financial markets meet the needs of the economy over the long term. This is available at:
We are also making it easier for small businesses to bid for public sector contracts, with an aspiration that 25% of all Government procurement should be from SMEs. Together with the Office of Government Commerce, this Department is taking forward measures in this area. For example, by the end of 2010, businesses will be able to gain free and easy online access to all new central Government tender documents for contracts over £10,000. This will be a significant step forward, as currently only contracts worth over £20,000 are available online.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for the future of Business Link West Midlands; what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Business Link West Midlands in (a) supporting access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises, (b) assisting businesses to diversify, (c) assisting businesses to increase their efficiency and (d) assisting businesses to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions; and what steps he plans to take to maintain levels of support for access to business finance in the west midlands. 
Mr Prisk: The Department is committed to modernising how support, information and advice are provided to businesses. With the proposed reform of the regional development agencies who manage the service in the regions, we are currently considering how services are best delivered in the future. The spending review and current financial realities mean that we are also examining how to deliver these within a smaller overall Department budget.
(a) Provided support for access to finance to 731 businesses, with 360 of these undertaking in depth consultancy support helping them to raise over £15 million of external finance.
(b) Helped 300 businesses to diversify into new markets or products, with these businesses investing over £2 million of their own funds to do so.
(c ) and ( d) Supported over 200 businesses via it's Resource Efficiency programme, which was only launched in September 2009 to help businesses to reduce costs and their carbon footprint, and to increase their competitiveness. However, it is too early to be able to measure the impact on carbon dioxide emissions.
Lastly, the Government have also launched a consultation paper 'Financing a Private Sector Recovery', which closes to responses on 20 September 2010 and this will help inform our future approach to supporting businesses to access appropriate finance.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effects on small and medium-sized enterprises in (a) Coventry and (b) the west midlands of the reduction in funding allocated to Business Link West Midlands. 
Following the Chancellor's budget statement on 24 May all RDA's were tasked with finding budget cuts for 2009/10 of £270 million. As a consequence of this all RDAs have reviewed their contractual commitments to all projects and services that they fund to identify areas where budget savings can be made.
I cannot quantify the impact these will make on the ability of the Business Link West Midlands to support
businesses either in Coventry or the west midlands as a whole, as the detail of where cuts will fall are still being worked through.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of invoices from suppliers his Department paid within 10 days of receipt in July and August 2010. 
Mr Davey: Since May 2010 and in line with other Government Departments, BIS has recorded and published the proportion of invoices paid within five working days of receipt. The Department publishes this information at:
However, during July and August 2010, the Department paid 98.6% and 99% on invoices within 10 working days or receipt respectively. In the same period, the Department paid 93.9% of invoices in both months within five working days.
Mr Davey: This Department and its predecessors have had an active estates rationalisation programme since 2000 and have successfully let vacant space on its core HQ estate to other Government Departments. The only vacant space we currently have on the core estate is 800 square metres at St Mary's House in Sheffield. This has been vacant since April 2006 with costs as follows:
After the dissolution of the Learning Skills Council in April 2010, properties not required for the Skills Funding Agency or the Young People's Learning Agency were transferred back to this Department. There are currently 19 properties with vacant space which falls within the BIS estate at an estimated cost this financial year of £8.8 million. An active programme to market this space to seek tenants is under way.
Finally, in April 2010, ownership of Investors in People was transferred from this Department to the
UK Commission for Employment and Skills leaving one vacant floor in 7-10 Chandos Street, London. The estimated cost of this space for the current financial year is £430,000.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many transport-related fines his Department has settled on behalf of its staff in each year since 2005; and what the cost to the public purse was in each such year. 
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many unpaid, expenses-only internships there have been in (a) his Department and (b) public bodies which fall within his Department's area of responsibility in the last 12 months. 
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether the Export Credits Guarantee Department will provide assistance for the recently-announced sale of Hawk jets to India. 
However, the Government are considering their response to the Office of Fair Trading's review into the corporate insolvency market, published on 24 June 2010. In that review the Office of Fair Trading recommended that the complaints process should be extended to include complaints over fees charged by insolvency practitioners. In advance of the Government's full response it would be inappropriate to comment on one separate recommendation at this stage.
Mr Davey: In March, the Insolvency Service published the second annual Review of Insolvency Practitioner Regulation. The review sets out the essential features of the regulatory regime that governs insolvency practitioners, what the public and businesses can expect from it and what steps the regulators are taking to improve it.
Changes were also made to the procedural insolvency rules in England and Wales in April to require insolvency practitioners to provide more information to creditors on the progress of insolvency cases, in particular in relation to remuneration and other expenses incurred. Additionally, creditors have been given new rights to request further information from the office holder on the remuneration and expenses shown in the progress reports that they are sent.
The Office of Fair Trading recently issued a report on its market study into the operation of the corporate insolvency industry and the Government are studying its findings prior to issuing a response.
Following the introduction of the Enterprise Act 2002, administration has a statutory time limit of 12 months, although this may be extended with the permission of the court or by the agreement of creditors.
Mr Davey: At present, operation of the Insolvency Service is regulated through the requirement to produce, and lay in Parliament, an annual corporate plan, as well as annual fees orders, which set the fees charged by official receivers for their work in dealing with bankruptcy and insolvency case administration. For the service's work in company investigation and enforcement, and redundancy payments, funding is set through allocations made from BIS and HMRC respectively and the level of this allocation is made in response to submissions from the service to each Department, as part of their wider budget-setting.
For all areas of the service, the corporate plan sets out its vision for delivering services, with particular emphasis on its plans and targets for the coming year. The plan is reviewed by BIS to ensure that its goals are realistic and that targets are achievable within the resources available, and yet are set at a level to stretch the organisation. Performance against the targets and budgets is reported to the Minister on a quarterly basis.
Emma Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for the future of the (a) Manufacturing Advisory Service and (b) Manufacturing Advisory Service West Midlands. 
Mr Prisk: The Government fully recognises the vital role that is played by the Manufacturing Advisory Service, both nationally and in the west midlands, in helping UK manufacturers to improve productivity and achieve success in an increasingly competitive economy. Future funding for all business support, including the Manufacturing Advisory Service, is subject to the spending review which will be announced on 20 October 2010.
Mr Spencer: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will take steps to encourage UK-based manufacturers to employ staff locally rather than import products, with particular reference to Rolls Royce Hucknall. 
Mr Prisk: This Department recognises the importance to the UK of the advanced manufacturing sector and the high-value jobs it supports. Growth in this sector is an important part of creating a balanced and resilient economy. In a globally competitive market it must ultimately be a commercial decision for individual companies whether to manufacture items themselves or put work into the supply chain, either in the UK or overseas. However, we are committed to working with businesses, including Rolls-Royce, to create conditions that enable UK manufacturers to thrive; to see how we can better support employers and individuals to invest in learning and to develop the skills they and our economy need; and to promote best practice and effective employment relations.
Mr Prisk: The final figures for orders taken under the vehicle scrappage scheme will not be available until all outstanding claims under the scheme have been validated and paid. This work continues as final claims are submitted under the scheme.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the total level of trade between the UK and Algeria in (a) 2005, (b) 2008 and (c) 2009. 
|UK exports of goods to Algeria||UK imports of goods from Algeria|
|UK exports of services to Algeria||UK imports of services from Algeria|
|(1) Data for services trade in 2005 are taken from the 2007 publication and may not be consistent with the later figures.|
Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will place in the Library a copy of the Post Office's branch business migration industry standard gravity model. 
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 8 July 2010, Official Report, column 508, to the hon. Member for Norwich South, on the Post Office network, what account he is taking in his consideration of the case for a Post Office bank of the effects of such a bank on (a) sustaining the Post Office network and (b) the wider society and economy of the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: We want Post Offices to offer a wide range of services-including financial and Government services-to generate revenues in order to help sustain the network. Post Offices already play an important role in putting essential financial services within everyone's reach, in particular those who may have difficulty accessing other providers. The size of the Post Office network means that important services are available throughout the country: the access criteria for the Post Office network ensure that 99% of the UK population are within three miles of their nearest post office outlet, and in deprived urban areas 99% are within one mile of their nearest post office outlet.
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills who will have responsibility for regional economic and skills strategies after regional development agencies have been abolished. 
|Average press officer salary|
|Number of press officers (FTE)|
Mr Davey: Ministers have not recently held any specific discussions with the Competition Commission (CC) on the supermarket sector. However, BIS Ministers and officials regularly meet with the CC to discuss a wide range of competition issues.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 14 June 2010, Official Report, column 319W, on "Window Blinds: Safety", what assessment he has made of the joint statement of 15 June 2010 from the US Administration, Health Canada and the European Commission on the safety of looped blind cords. 
Mr Davey: The Government welcome the joint letter of 15 June by the Commission, Health Canada and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, to their respective standardisation organisations urging them to come to a swift and ideally harmonised response to the safety risks posed to young children by certain internal blinds. This letter has further highlighted the urgent need to take action if we are to eliminate this cause of injury and death.
The standard-setting process will take time and looks unlikely to be concluded until late 2011 at the earliest. In the meantime, this Department will continue to work with industry, through the British Blind and Shutter Association, and others like Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, and the Child Accident Prevention Trust in ensuring the appropriate safety messages are conveyed to consumers and retailers. To this end the Department has invited the major retailers of internal blinds to a safety seminar to be held on 27 September.
Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions he has had on policies to increase public awareness of different cultures, religions and communities. 
My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Minister for Decentralisation met leaders from the main faiths at an event hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace on 16 July 2010, where the big society was discussed. I met a
diverse faith-based audience when I spoke at the annual meeting of the Inter Faith Network for the UK on 8 July 2010. The Government are working to help create a big society where everyone, whatever their background, is able to contribute to Britain's prosperity and to play their part in a proud and inclusive society.
Andrew Stunell: Cohesion in Coventry will be promoted by local activity arising through reforms linked to localism and the big society. Building cohesion requires a bottom-up approach that promotes social responsibility and uses the energy and ideals of citizens, communities and the voluntary sector to bring different people together. This Government are working to help create a big society where everyone, whatever their background, is able to contribute to Britain's prosperity and to play their part in a proud and inclusive society, bringing people to come together to solve problems and improve life for their communities.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many transport-related fines his Department has settled on behalf of its staff in each year since 2005; and what the cost to the public purse was in each such year. 
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the decision to freeze further North West Development Agency spending from funds allocated under the current European Regional Development Fund programme. 
Robert Neill: There is not a freeze on RDAs spending funds allocated under the European Regional Development Fund. However, in view of the impending abolition of the RDAs, a moratorium has been placed on them providing match funding from their own resources where this goes beyond the 2010-11 financial year.
Potential ERDF beneficiaries should therefore continue to submit applications to the relevant Regional Development Agencies until new arrangements for the regional administration of the programmes have been announced.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he consulted (a) employees, (b) businesses and (c) local authorities in the west midlands before his decision to abolish the Government Office for the West Midlands. 
Greg Clark: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to the hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Katy Clark) and the hon. Member for Liverpool, Riverside (Mrs Ellman) on 27 July 2010, Official Report, column 1037W.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his most recent estimate is of the savings which will accrue to the Exchequer consequent on the closure of the Government Office Network. 
Greg Clark: On 22 July 2010 the Government announced their intention in principle to abolish the remaining Government offices. We anticipate savings from any final decision to close the Government offices. The exact sums will not be clear until the end of the spending review.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the likely effects on equalities in each region of the abolition of the Government Office Network. 
Greg Clark: On 22 July 2010 the Government announced their intention in principle to abolish the remaining Government offices. Equality assessments on the impact on staff and delivery of Government policy are being carried out as part of the consideration of consequential issues referred to in the Secretary of State's announcement.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the savings that will be made in each region in England arising from the closure of the Government Office Network; what analysis his Department has made of such savings; and what methodology was used to calculate them. 
Greg Clark: On 22 July 2010 the Government announced their intention in principle to abolish the remaining Government offices following consideration of consequential issues. We anticipate savings from any final decision to close the Government office network. These will be worked out as part of the spending review process with the exact sums to follow in the autumn.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of his Department's annual estate costs, including dilapidations, following the closure of the Government Office Network. 
Greg Clark: The Department's annual estate running costs are estimated to be £21.5 million. The Department does not publish its estimates of dilapidations settlements as to do so may impact on the outcome of commercial negotiations or associated court proceedings.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what resources he has assigned to redeploying Government Office Network staff; and whether he has had discussions on this matter with (a) Ministers and (b) officials of the Cabinet Office. 
Greg Clark: The Government office for London assigned existing resources to support the redeployment of staff. The Government office for London closed on 1 September with staff returning to their Departments for redeployment.
The Secretary of State's announcement on 22 July made clear that final decisions regarding the future of the Government offices will be made at the end of the spending review following consideration of consequential issues. Any decisions on resources for the redeployment of staff will therefore be made once the spending review is complete. Extensive discussions have taken place with Departments including Cabinet Office.
Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what proportion of the council tax allowance for each unit of new build housing district councils will receive under the New Homes Bonus Scheme in the first six years of its operation; and to which bodies, and in what proportion, the remainder of the allowance will be allocated; 
Grant Shapps: The Government are committed to increasing housing supply and seeing more of the homes that people want, in the places that people want them, to meet Britain's housing need. The previous Government's policy of centralist top down targets clearly failed. The New Homes Bonus will shift power back into the hands of individuals, communities and councils and give local communities a direct and substantial share in growth rather than just absorbing the costs.
In a letter to local authority leaders on 9 August, I set out my intention to consult on the specific design features of the New Homes Bonus alongside the spending review. A copy of this letter was sent to all MPs and placed in the Library of the House.
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will consider the merits of abolishing the floor damping factor in his next calculation of the local government finance settlement. 
Robert Neill: Floor damping has a role in limiting changes in formula grant from one year to the next. The 2011-12 Local Government Finance settlement will be consulted on in the usual manner in due course.
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will estimate the grant to Medway council (a) with and (b) without floor damping in each of the last five years. 
|Floor damping||Formula g rant|
Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions he had with representatives of tenants' groups (a) prior to and (b) after taking the decision to abolish National Tenant Voice. 
Grant Shapps: I have had many discussions with tenants' groups over the past few years, and more recently with representatives of the National Tenant Voice (NTV). before taking the decision not to proceed with the NTV. I plan to meet representatives of the National Tenant Organisations shortly.
Anna Soubry: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent discussions he has had with Ofcom on the future of the contract rights renewal merger undertakings. 
Hugh Robertson: The Secretary of State has regular discussions with senior representatives from Ofcom about issues of interest. The contract rights renewal undertakings is one of a wide range of issues which have been covered in the course of these discussions.
Anna Soubry: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent discussions he has had with Ministerial colleagues on responsibility for the contract rights renewal merger undertakings. 
My hon. Friend the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries has discussions with ministerial colleagues about a wide
range of issues, relevant to his portfolio, and these have included the contract rights renewal undertakings.
Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will hold discussions with the International Cricket Council on measures to restore public trust in the sport. 
Hugh Robertson: I hope to meet the President of the International Cricket Council (ICC), Sharad Pawar, to discuss what more we can do to support the true values of the game at the beginning of October during my visit to the Commonwealth games in Delhi.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what progress has been made on proposals to reform football governance to encourage and support the co-operative ownership of football clubs by supporters. 
Hugh Robertson: I am answering in my capacity as Minister for Sport and the Olympics. Our priority for football is to win the Football World Cup bid for 2018. However, co-operative ownership of football clubs by supporters is a matter I take seriously and I will work closely with the football authorities on this issue. I am encouraged by plans from the Arsenal Supporters' Trust to increase supporter involvement in Arsenal Football Club and look forward to seeing how the scheme develops.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will bring forward proposals to prohibit the advertising of sexual services in newspapers and other mainstream media. 
Hugh Robertson: The Government have no plans to prohibit the advertising of legally permitted sexual services in newspapers and other mainstream media. Non-broadcast advertising in the UK is strictly controlled through industry self-regulation, enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Broadcast advertising is similarly controlled by the ASA working in a co-regulatory partnership with Ofcom. This regulatory system is independent of Government and is ultimately responsible for setting the standards in advertising.
The advertising of legally permitted sexual services is subject to strict rules in both Advertising Codes on misleading the public, social responsibility, harm, and offence (with a particular emphasis on protecting children) and taking into account both the content of an advertisement and the context in which it appears. Advertisements found to be in breach of these rules are removed and prohibited from appearing again.
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many contracts related to the London 2012 Olympics have been awarded to businesses and organisations in (a)
the west midlands, (b) Wolverhampton and (c) Wolverhampton North East constituency; and what the monetary value is of each such contract. 
Hugh Robertson: Information on businesses across the nations and regions that have won Olympic-related contracts directly supplying the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) or in the supply chains of its contractors is available in the business section of the London 2012 website under the heading ODA Suppliers, where you will be able to find suppliers listed by venue and sector:
The estimated value of the contracts awarded to businesses in the west midlands is to date £418,649,180. Of this, the figure for businesses in Wolverhampton is £261,785,842 and to date no businesses have been awarded contracts in the Wolverhampton North East constituency. The ODA is unable to release the value of individual contracts at this time as this is commercially sensitive information. These figures represent the committed spend to date, rather than the end contract value, as in many cases this will not yet be known. These figures only account for the contracts awarded by the ODA to its own top tier of contractors (tier one contractors). The figures do not include the values of contracts further down the supply chain, in tiers two, three and so on, which are awarded by the tier one contractors and not by the ODA. The ODA estimates that the total value of supply chain contracts to the regions runs into millions of pounds, but these are not public procurements and so the full value of contracts won across the UK is not captured by the figures provided. The ODA estimates that overall up to 50,000 contracts will be generated throughout its supply chains.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 22 July 2010, Official Report, column 472W, on Olympic Delivery Authority, if he will place in the Library an analysis of the polling undertaken by the Olympic Delivery Authority over the last three years. 
|Polling undertaken by ODA Communications|
|Polling undertaken by ODA Transport|
These figures are attributed to attitudinal and awareness research with businesses and Londoners to 2012 Games, events monitoring research, and research carried out at existing events across the UK to verify and align transport modelling assumptions and data.
Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent assessment he has made of the likely effect on the economy of Walsall South constituency of the London 2012 Olympics. 
Hugh Robertson: I have not made a specific assessment of the likely effect on the economy of the Walsall South constituency of the 2012 Games. However, Walsall South and the west midlands region stand to gain from the wide range of opportunities created by the 2012 Games, through businesses winning Games-related work, increased tourism and cultural celebrations.
Information on businesses across the nations and regions that have won Olympic-related contracts directly supplying the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) or in the supply chains of its contractors is available in the business section of the London 2012 website under the heading ODA Suppliers, where you will be able to find suppliers listed by venue and sector:
Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of continuing transmissions from FM radio transmitters in each year after 2015. 
Hugh Robertson: The Government have made no specific assessment of the cost to the public purse of continuing FM transmission in each year after 2015. However, such considerations will form part of the Government cost-benefit analysis, details of which are set out in the Digital Radio Action Plan.
Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of replacing FM radios after the cessation of FM transmissions in 2015. 
Hugh Robertson: No cost to the public purse is anticipated. The Government have suggested that 2015 should be a target date for a digital radio switchover, and if a target date is set, we have stated that FM broadcasting would continue for community and small-scale local stations, for as long as it is needed and is viable. Therefore consumers' FM radios would not become obsolete as a result of the switchover.
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps his Department is taking to increase women's participation in physical activity and sport (a) nationally and (b) in Newcastle upon Tyne North constituency. 
Hugh Robertson: Over the period 2009-12, Sport England plans to invest £480 million in the national governing bodies (NGBs) of sport to deliver increases in participation across different groups in society within their individual sports. In addition to this core funding, Sport England is investing in a £10 million Active Women initiative. This funding is aimed at helping women in disadvantaged communities and women caring for children under 16 to take part. Successful applicants will demonstrate the ability to increase participation for these two groups.
Sport England are committed to continuing to help NGBs deliver and to push them to do as much as possible to deliver for less well represented groups in sport. In the particular case of women and girls; funded and supported by Sport England, the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation is actively engaged with all of the NGBs, working in a consultancy capacity to advise the individual NGBs on best practice for increasing women's participation in sport.
The focus of Sport England funding is delivered through the national governing bodies of sport and as a result we do not break down our funding on a purely constituency basis. Investments have been made on the basis of each governing body's ability to increase the number of people playing and enjoying their sport, and to create development pathways for those with talent. Newcastle upon Tyne North, as well as other areas of the country will benefit directly from this investment.
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how his Department ensures that the views of independent, external experts in ethics and animal
welfare are considered under the local ethical review process within his Department's establishments designated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. 
Peter Luff: Before any research work involving animals is undertaken, it is essential to establish that the use of animals is justified ethically as well as scientifically. Consequently, an ethical review is mandatory under the terms of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 before the Home Office will grant a licence for research involving animals. The Home Office also recommends that the ethical review process should include lay members who are independent of the work.
To meet these requirements the DSTL ethical review process is conducted through meetings that are open to all members of DSTL staff working at the Porton Down site and has an independent chair. The meetings start with the licence holder presenting the work proposed and answering any questions. This is followed by a general discussion of the ethical issues, including the overall welfare of the animals, surrounding the work. The aim of the meeting is to arrive at a consensus as to whether it is reasonable ethically to carry out the work under discussion.
The Home Office independent Animal Procedures Committee (APC) is responsible for monitoring compliance with animal welfare regulations. The MOD is confident that through the Home Office Inspectorate and the APC, the issues of animal welfare will be seriously considered and compliance with all extant regulations ensured.
Dstl Porton Down operates in accordance with the principles of the three Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) and has an active programme to increase the implementation of the three Rs by exploring the use of non-living models in order to reduce the requirement for animal experimentation.
Tissue and cell cultures, and physical or computer based modelling are used wherever it is possible and commensurate with good practice. However, where these alternatives are considered inadequate as a means of predicting human response, experiments on animals may be necessary.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training is provided on the provisions of the Geneva Conventions to personnel of each rank of the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force deployed to an area of conflict; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: In addition to annual Law of Armed Conflict training, all Service personnel are required to complete mandatory pre-deployment training. An element of these training activities is specific to the rules of engagement for a given location and the requirements and responsibilities for compliance with the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols. Service personnel will not be deployed to an area of conflict without knowing how they may engage an enemy and what international laws their actions are subject to.
Caroline Dinenage: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) military personnel and (b) civilian members of his Department are engaged in the Early Training Transformation project on a (i) full-time and (ii) part-time basis; and whether the costs of these personnel are being attributed to the programme. 
Nick Harvey: The information is not readily available as it is not collected in the format requested. It is not possible to break down the figures into military and civilian, because no distinction is made in the data capture.
The number of personnel involved in the Early Training Transformation (ETT) process is estimated to be 108 staff, and their involvement varies from five to 60% of their working day for the duration of the course they are reviewing.
Caroline Dinenage: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what account he has taken in the Defence Training Review of lessons learnt from the private finance initiative project at the Defence Animal Centre. 
Nick Harvey: The Ministry of Defence Private Finance Unit is responsible for the promulgation of specialist advice and guidance on private finance initiatives (PFI) across the Department. A key element of this support function is the ongoing identification of lessons learnt so that best practice is applied. Consequently the Defence Training Rationalisation Project continues to benefit from the very latest experience from PFI projects across Government, including that from the Defence Animal Centre project.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which IT contracts awarded by his Department in each of the last five years have been abandoned; and what the monetary value of each such contract was. 
Peter Luff: Information on IT contracts abandoned in each of the last five years is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Under the ongoing ICT Project Review, one planned Ministry of Defence ICT contract has already been halted: The Land Information Architecture Office (IAO) project which had a projected through life cost of £4,765,000. The ICT Project Review continues to review other existing MOD ICT contracts.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the expenditure on vehicles of (a) his Department and (b) each (i) non-departmental public body and (ii) executive agency for which his Department is responsible in each region of England was in each of the last three financial years; and what the planned expenditure is in each case for 2010-11. 
Mr Gerald Howarth: It is not possible to attribute Ministry of Defence expenditure on vehicles to English regions, as the information is not held centrally and to collate it would incur disproportionate cost. In England, Scotland and Wales, the MOD's fleet of administrative and other non-operational transport, commonly known as the White Fleet, is provided under a private finance initiative contract currently provided by Babcock Land (Whitefleet Management) Ltd. The combined expenditure in the last three financial years was:
|Financial year||Leased vehicles||Short t erm h ires||Total (ex VAT)|
These figures do not include hires through Government Procurement Cards, MOD Agencies, and non-departmental public bodies, as this falls outside the scope of the UK White Fleet contract. These details are not held centrally and-could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Financial year||Total (£ million) (ex VAT)|
On current estimates, the forecast White Fleet expenditure for the current FY (2010-11) is expected to be similar to that for 2009-10. However, on current plans Project Phoenix is looking at how the MOD's White Fleet requirements could be provided in a more cohesive way in order to achieve value for money by, for example, including requirements for Northern Ireland and the mainland UK under one contract or making use of pan-government framework agreements. This work is unlikely to start before September 2011 and is dependent on the outcome of the SDSR.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many external training courses were attended by staff of his Department in the last 12 months; and what the cost to the public purse was of each such course. 
Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence is dedicated to developing its staff by providing training and development opportunities to help employees realise their full potential and support the achievement of business objectives.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what account he has taken of the US administration's recent decision on nuclear warhead production in his assessment of future UK warhead requirements; and if he will make a statement. 
Under the 1958 Mutual Defence Agreement the UK and US communicate closely about nuclear matters and we have noted the recent US decision to cancel the Reliable Replacement Warhead programme. As yet no decisions have been taken on whether to refurbish or replace the UK's nuclear warhead.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the decision on the UK's future nuclear warheads is due to be taken during the present Parliament; and whether he plans to announce to Parliament the estimated cost of warhead (a) replacement and (b) refurbishment as part of the Trident value for money review. 
Nick Harvey: The Trident value for money study is considering the future nuclear deterrent's programme timetable. No decisions have been taken on whether to refurbish or replace the UK's nuclear warhead. The 2006 White Paper 'Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent' (Cm6994) set out the initial cost estimate of replacing or refurbishing the UK's nuclear warhead as £2-3 billion at 2006-07 prices. On current plans, we will be in a position to release more up-to-date cost estimates later this year after the project has passed Initial Gate approval point.
Tristram Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether (a) his Department and (b) its agencies and non-departmental public bodies take into account rolling resistance as a performance criterion when purchasing tyres. 
Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence's vehicles are fitted with tyres as recommended by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Their recommendation results from their experience and exhaustive testing to ensure that vehicles meet with legislative and user requirements. The rolling resistance as a performance criterion is taken into account in some, but not all, instances by the OEM, as other vital criteria such as load carrying capacity, vehicle speed, terrain and/or climatic conditions, as well as whole-life cost and anticipated life, are equally, if not more, important.
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 20 July 2010, Official Report, column 248W on departmental internet, if he will publish (a) the options considered for translation of the content of the Your Freedom website into other languages and (b) the reason given for not proceeding with each option. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: Three potential options were considered for translating the content of Your Freedom in to other languages. Firstly, re-architecting the current system, so that it can handle multiple languages. This would mean that users could view a translated version of the site that would mirror the current site but would not translate any user generated content. While this was the best option in terms of giving equal experience to English and other language speakers, because it would involve significant changes to an off-the-shelf-product, the costs were prohibitive at £120,000 (more than 37 times the cost of the original Your Freedom application).
Secondly, we looked at producing a static page to the existing site copy in other languages and a box into which comments/ideas could be entered. This would have ensured that ideas and comments of those submitting in other languages were gathered. However, the cost of this option was disproportionate at £1, 800 per language, or more than 50% the cost of the original application.
Thirdly, we considered incorporating a sentence of copy at the bottom of the home page text, linking people to a freely-available online translation tool. While cost-free, none of the tools available was judged to be sufficiently accurate.
Having considered options for translation of the content, it was decided that a better approach would be to enable users to submit ideas, which could then be. translated before passing on to officials working on processing and evaluating contributions. At the moment, this option is only available to Welsh speakers. Translation is being provided by the Wales Office.
Simon Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many childcare places there were (a) in each county in the East of England and (b) nationwide in (i) 2007, (ii) 2008 and (iii) 2009; and how many such places there have been in each area in 2010 to date. 
Sarah Teather: Information on the number of registered child care places available in England and in each local authority in the east of England Government office region for 2007 to 2010 is shown in the following table.
|Table: Number( 1) of registered child care places( 2) for children under eight years of age, east of England Government office region, position at 31 March each year, 2007 to 2010|
|(1 )Figures rounded to the nearest 100.|
(2 )Data Source: Ofsted-total includes child minders, child care on non-domestic premises, child care on domestic premises and home child carer.
(3 )Total may not add up to sum of constituent parts due to rounding.
(4 )Bedfordshire local authority split into Bedford borough and central Bedfordshire on 1 April 2009.
Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the teacher-to-pupil ratio was in each school in Bedford constituency in each of the last five years; and what the average teacher to pupil ratio was in England in each of those years. 
Mr Gibb: The following table provides the pupil-teacher ratio in each local authority maintained school in Bedford constituency and in England in each January from 2005 to 2009. The latest information available. School level figures for 2010 are expected to become available in August 2010.
|Pupil:teacher ratios (PTR)( 1) ,( 2) in local authority maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special schools( 3) : Each January 2005-10( 4) -Coverage: Bedford parliamentary constituency and England|
|LAEstab||School n ame||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010( 4)|
|n/a = not available|
(1) For statistical purposes only, pupils who do not attend both morning and afternoon at least five days a week are regarded as part-time. Each part-lime pupil is treated as 0.5 full-time equivalent (FTE).
(2) The within-school PTR is calculated by dividing the total FTE number of pupils on roll in schools by the total FTE number of qualified teachers regularly employed in schools.
(3) There are no city technology colleges or academies in Bedford constituency.
(5) The overall PTR is based on the total FTE number of pupils on roll in local authority maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools and the FTE of all teachers in these schools (including: centrally employed; occasional teachers; those on employment based routes to QTS; others without GTS, those on paid absence and any replacements). The teacher numbers are from the 618g survey.
(6) Not applicable.
Mr Gibb: Details of the reductions the Department of Education has made to the area based grant and other targeted grants to local authorities as a result of its contribution to the £6.2 billion worth of saving in 2010-11 are set out in the Secretary of State's letter of 16 June 2010 to directors of Children's Services. A copy of that letter is available at the following website.
The Secretary of State also wrote to directors of Children's Services on 14 July 2010 setting out details of the capital grants to local authorities that are being reduced in 2010-11. These reductions were as a result of the Treasury's announcement on 5 July 2010, that Departments had to address unrealistic inherited spending commitments for 2010-11, where funding was reliant on under spends through the end year flexibility system. A copy of that letter is available at the following website.
Sarah Teather: The Government obtain expert medical advice to ensure that our information for young people is accurate and credible. The advice provided to health professionals and young people on Ketamine includes the information on the FRANK website, public health updates and advice provided in leaflets. These are reviewed and approved by the Department of Health.
Ketamine was made a Class C controlled substance in 2006 following a report and recommendations from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). Substances controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act are kept under review.
Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the effect on the provision of (a) homework clubs, (b) breakfast clubs, (c) after school activities and (d) school music of reductions in the levels of area-based grants. 
Sarah Teather: Local authorities should be able to achieve the necessary savings through efficiencies across their budgets rather than cuts to frontline services. The Area Based Grant is a form of funding where the Department makes specific allocations to local authorities, but where local authorities have flexibility about how they spend it.
The ring-fenced Music Grant in the Standards Fund is not part of the Area Based Grant, and is not affected by the wider decision to remove ring-fencing from funds that go to local authorities. The Area Based Grant includes start up funding for extended services through schools-which can include homework clubs, breakfast clubs, and after school activities. The start-up funding is intended to support the co-ordination and advice provided by local authorities that has enabled schools to develop access to extended services. In practice 98% of schools are now providing access to these services, and so there is less need for the start-up funding.
Mr Gibb: The Government announced on 7 June our intention to make changes to the National Curriculum. We intend to restore the National Curriculum to its original purpose-a core national entitlement organised around subject disciplines. We plan to consult a wide range of academics, teachers and other interested parties to ensure that the core curriculum can compare with those of the highest performing countries in the world. Further details will be announced in due course.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will estimate the number of pupils in (a) England, (b) the west midlands and (c) Dudley borough who would have been eligible for a free school meal under the proposal in the Pre-Budget Report 2009 to extend the eligibility criteria. 
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of pupils entered for GCSEs by each school in the Peterborough Local Education Authority area obtained no GCSEs at grades A* to C in each of the last five years. 
Mr Gibb: The proportions of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4, entering the equivalent of at least one full GCSE, that did not pass the equivalent of one GCSE at grade A*-C are presented in the following table.
|(1 )School is not published as part of the Achievement and Attainment Tables.|
(2) School has fewer than 11 pupils that entered the equivalent of at least one GCSE so data has been suppressed to guard against individual identification.
Achievement and Attainment Tables data
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