11 Jan 2011 : Column 235W

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2010, Official Report, column 740, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, how many contracts Joint Force Support manage in Afghanistan; which organisations those contracts are with; and if he will make a statement. [31893]

Nick Harvey: Joint Force Support currently manages 44 contracts in Afghanistan. I am withholding the names of the companies as their disclosure would prejudice commercial interests and would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the (a) number of pallets, (b) tonnage of supplies and (c) number of flights to Afghanistan taken by (i) RAF transport and (ii) leased transport aircraft in each of the last six years. [32339]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not lease aircraft, ie rent them to be flown by MOD pilots, but rather charters with private companies to fly on the MOD's behalf. The number of pallets, weight of supplies (in tonnes) and number of flights taken by RAF and civilian chartered aircraft to Afghanistan over the last six calendar years are as follows:

RAF aircraft Civilian leased aircraft

Number of pallets Weight of supplies (in tonnes) Number of flights Number of pallets Weight of supplies (in tonnes) Number of flights

2005

890

2,579

144

0

0

0

2006

2,368

6,572

394

1,652

3,792

116

2007

3,268

7,550

513

3,258

8,678

234

2008

3,072

6,709

538

4,113

8,817

266

2009

3,654

8,225

619

4,756

10,675

461

2010

2,792

6,971

533

3,756

9,568

443


The figures provided include direct flights from the UK to Afghanistan as well as those via interim destinations, such as Cyprus.

AWE Aldermaston

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the likely effects on the (a) work programme and (b) budget of AWE Aldermaston of changes to the timetable for the replacement of Trident; and if he will make a statement; [32535]


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(2) what assessment he has made of the implications for the Hydrus project at AWE Aldermaston of changes to the timetable for the replacement of Trident. [32536]

Peter Luff: Work is ongoing to examine the effects of the outcome of the strategic defence and security review on the work programme and budget of the Atomic Weapons Establishment. This includes the effect of changes to the timetable for the replacement of Trident.

With regard to the Hydrus project, I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 29 November 2010, Official Report, column 575W, to the hon. Member for Cambridge (Dr Huppert).

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts: Employment

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the number of people employed in the arts sector in each of the borough areas of Greater London; and if he will make a statement. [32412]

Mr Vaizey: This Department does not hold this information. Arts Council England holds information for the number of arts sector staff, in each employment category, in their Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs). The 2009-10 Greater London figures supplied are in the table.

Number
Local authority Permanent full-time Permanent part-time Contractual

Barnet

26

9

166

Brent

24

44

443

Camden

312

171

1,396

City of London

403

31

658

Ealing

5

3

2

Enfield

15

1

67

Greenwich

16

8

374

Hackney

170

161

1,129

Hammersmith and Fulham

84

53

859

Haringey

4

17

29

Hounslow

55

17

121

Islington

316

191

1,732

Kensington and Chelsea

64

30

602

Lambeth

929

322

4,003

Lewisham

41

17

357

Merton

14

22

96

Newham

42

35

336

Redbridge

7

1

26

Southwark

221

213

1,119

Tower Hamlets

147

111

1,754

Waltham Forest

8

1

1,962

Wandsworth

61

30

360

Westminster

1,293

553

3,832

Total

4,257

2,041

21,423


Broadband

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what interim targets he has established in support of his target for high speed broadband connectivity in 2015. [32189]


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Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport has set no specific interim target. Broadband Delivery UK is assessing current broadband provision at community level across the UK in its work to deliver the coalition Government's objective to facilitate deliver the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.

Rupert Murdoch

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what meetings (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) officials in his Department have had with (i) Rupert Murdoch, (ii) James Murdoch, (iii) Rebekah Wade, (iv) individuals representing News International, (v) individuals representing News Corporation and (vi) individuals representing BSkyB since 4 November 2010. [32214]

Mr Vaizey [holding answer 21 December 2010]: Since 4 November 2010, neither Ministers nor officials in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have formally met with Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, Rebekah Wade, any other individuals representing News International, or individuals representing News Corporation.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport met with representatives from BSkyB on 29 November to discuss local television matters. On 4 November an individual from BSkyB attended my roundtable on digital content.

Transport

First Capital Connect

Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment his Department has made of the level of compliance of First Capital Connect with its franchise agreement. [32445]

Mrs Villiers: Department for Transport officials monitor First Capital Connect's performance against the contract on a four-weekly basis. This review includes operational performance and the delivery of committed obligations.

Midland Main Line: Standards

Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 20 December 2010, Official Report, column 1001W, on the Midland main line: standards, what elements comprise the package of works approved in the spending review to allow increased line speeds on the Midland Main Line by 2013. [32838]

Mrs Villiers: The detail of the works and locations where line speeds will be increased on the Midland Main Line is set by Network Rail and is published in their 'CP4 Delivery Plan 2010 Enhancement Programme', available from their website.

Railways: Finance

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he received the interim report of Sir Roy McNulty's value for money review; and for what reasons it was not published prior to 7 December 2010. [30578]


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Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport received a draft of the rail value for money study interim submission in September 2010 to help inform its spending review decisions. The document was then published on 7 December 2010, to coincide with the Government's announcement on franchising and the future structure of the rail industry-the report provides important context for that announcement.

Railways: Overcrowding

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take to reduce the level of overcrowding on the rail network in (a) London, (b) non-metropolitan urban areas and (c) metropolitan areas. [25820]

Mrs Villiers: The Government have confirmed their commitment to implement the Crossrail and Thameslink projects, which will significantly increase rail capacity in and through London and the south-east.

In total the Government will deliver more than 2,100 new rail carriages on to the network by May 2019, which will increase the fleet by around 1,850 vehicles net. An announcement on where additional carriages will be located will be made after negotiations with train operators have concluded.

The Department for Transport has entered into agreements with the following operators to enhance the size of their fleets so that more or longer trains can operate in future: Southern; Southeastern; National Express East Anglia; First Capital Connect; London Midland; Northern; First Great Western; and East Midlands Trains. Additional carriages have also been ordered for West Coast main line services.

In parallel with this, a number of platform lengthening schemes will be delivered over the coming years enabling longer trains to be run. Details of the specific plans are available from the Network Rail website at:

We also remain committed to the High Speed 2 Project to the west midlands and the north of England. This will reduce journey times, provide more capacity and relieve existing lines.

Railways: Snow and Ice

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with train operators serving Brighton on the level of service provided during the recent severe weather; and if he will make a statement. [32315]

Mrs Villiers: Department for Transport officials were in regular contact with Southern Railway during the adverse weather. This dialogue has included how trains became stranded and what lessons are being learned. Additionally, both I and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, have discussed the issues directly with senior managers at Southern.

As announced in his statement of 22 October 2010, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, commissioned David Quarmby CBE to conduct an audit of the performance of transport systems during the extreme weather and of the implementation of the recommendations in his report of October 2010. The findings of this audit
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were published on 21 December 2010, and emphasised the more severe effect of the weather this winter compared with the previous two winters. The rail industry is being asked to formulate proposals on contingency timetables, improve information to passengers, and examine technological improvements. Network Rail and operators will be asked to focus on their post-winter review of operational performance, as recommended in the audit.

The Secretary of State has also asked the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser to update what our planning assumption should be for future severe winter weather.

Railways: Travel Information

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the processes in place to inform passengers about disruption to rail services. [29271]

Mrs Villiers: An independent review of how our transport systems coped with the last two winters was published on 22 October 2010. The review, commissioned by Transport Ministers and chaired by transport expert, David Quarmby CBE, made a number of recommendations to improve transport resilience during winter conditions for the future.

The Secretary of State asked David Quarmby CBE to audit the implementation of the recommendations in this report to assess the extent to which measures have been consistently implemented, and whether there are any lessons that could be learnt from the recent severe winter weather. The effectiveness of communication with passengers was a key area on which the audit was asked to focus. The audit was published on 21 December 2010 and recommendation six is:

The Department for Transport supports this recommendation.

The Secretary of State wrote to train operators on 2 December to remind them of their obligations with regard to information to passengers during periods of service disruption and to inform them that the ORR would be monitoring performance. Additionally the Secretary of State and I chaired telephone conferences with senior rail industry officials on 15 December to discuss their response to the severe weather, emphasising passenger information as a priority.

Railways: Wales

Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on their assessment of rail transport requirements in Wales; and what the process is for taking account of the assessment in the high level output specification for 2012. [31608]

Mrs Villiers: Department for Transport Ministers have discussed cross border rail links, including electrification, with the Deputy First Minister. Welsh
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Assembly Government officials work with the Department preparing for the next high level output specification for the period 2014-19.

Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on the high level output specification for rail in Wales. [31610]

Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport's high level output specification for the period 2009-10 to 2013-14 was issued in July 2007. The Secretary of State and I have discussed major rail projects with the Deputy First Minister and Department officials meet regularly with Welsh Assembly Government rail officials and Network Rail. The next high level output specification for Great Britain as a whole covering the period 2014 to 2019 is expected to be issued in 2012.

Sea Rescue

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the criteria used to determine the coastguard stations his Department has proposed for closure and the reasons why such criteria were not included in the consultation document Protecting our Seas and Shores in the 21st Century. [32859]

Mike Penning: The proposed locations of Maritime Operations Centres and sub-centres are based on a range of operational and value for money factors which are outlined in full on pages 22 and 23 of the consultation document 'Protecting our Seas and Shores in the 21st Century'.

As part of this consultation the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has asked for comments and supporting evidence on any factors relevant to these choices.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how coastguard staff will receive improvements in remuneration following the implementation of proposals in his Department's consultation document, Protecting our Seas and Shores in the 21st Century and the reasons why detail on the proposed improved remuneration were not published in that document. [32860]

Mike Penning: The proposals for a modernised coastguard service envisages a higher skilled, higher paid but reduced work force operating in fewer locations. It should be noted that these are currently only proposals which are subject to public consultation and no final decisions will be made until this process is complete. It would therefore not be appropriate to outline such detailed information at this stage. Once a final decision is made the remuneration for the new roles in the modernised coastguard service will then need to be negotiated with the appropriate trade unions.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to take steps to ensure the knowledge of the local coastline held by coastguard officers at the stations proposed for closure is replicated in his Department's proposed new structure for coastguard services. [32861]


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Mike Penning: It is the aim of the proposals on the modernisation of the coastguard that local geographical knowledge will be retained and improved principally in the new management structure of the coastguard rescue service. The coastguard rescue teams will continue to be the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's (MCA) dynamic link to local coastal communities. The existing centres, which manage many hundreds of miles of coastline, already are increasing use of technology such as global mapping and information services as well as satellite imagery. In the proposed modernised coastguard service the MCA would maximise and standardise such innovation, provide a 24/7 provision from within coastal communities and provide appropriate training. The MCA will also maintain its current strong working relationships with partner search and rescue organisations such as the RNLI, in which considerable local knowledge and expertise reside.

Sea Rescue: Scotland

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with (a) local authorities in Scotland and (b) the Scottish Executive on the proposed closure of coastguard stations in Scotland. [32525]

Mike Penning: Maritime safety is a reserved matter for the UK Government.

The consultation I launched on 16 December is an opportunity for all UK local authorities, and the devolved Administrations, to consider their views and respond to the proposals we have made. I would encourage them to do so.

South Eastern Trains: Vacancies

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with representatives of South Eastern Trains on filling staff vacancies. [32902]

Mrs Villiers: I have not had discussions with Southeastern regarding the filling of staff vacancies. I expect Southeastern to use careful judgment to ensure sufficient staff are available to deliver the outputs required under its franchise agreement.

Under the terms of its franchise agreement, Southeastern is contracted to deliver specific outputs and my officials meet with Southeastern on a four-weekly basis to review its performance.

Train Operating Companies: Weather

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) meetings and (b) discussions he had with train operating companies during the winter weather of November and December 2010; and if he will make a statement. [29626]

Mrs Villiers: Department for Transport officials have been in regular contact with franchised train operating companies during the recent winter weather to understand the extent of the problems experienced and operators' plans to restore normal operations.

The Secretary of State and other Ministers have also discussed the issues of severe winter weather with operators and with relevant Network Rail managers by teleconference and at regular meetings to discuss rail performance.


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On 2 December 2010, the Secretary of State wrote to train operating companies to remind them of their obligations in respect of provision of accurate information to customers in the event of disruption to service.

Women and Equalities

Equality Act 2010

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities when she plans to make a decision on the implementation of dual discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010. [32534]

Lynne Featherstone: We are considering how best to take forward the dual discrimination provisions of the Equality Act 2010 in the best way for business and others with rights and responsibilities under the Act.

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Miss Begg: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what steps the Government Equalities Office is taking to implement its obligations arising from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in respect of (a) Article 5 on Equality and Non-discrimination, (b) Article 6 on Women and Disability and (c) other Articles of that Convention. [32037]

Lynne Featherstone: The Government Equalities Office (GEO) takes its obligations under the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (UNCRPD) very seriously, recognising the commitment that Government have made to equality of rights and improving outcomes for disabled people.

In their equality strategy, 'Building a Fairer Britain', published on 2 December 2010, the Government committed to address the causes of inequality and promote equal opportunities for all. The strategy is available in alternative formats. It includes addressing the specific barriers experienced by disabled people, working closely with the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) which leads on this topic.

For example, the GEO is working closely with the Cabinet Office and the Office for Disability Issues to take forward the Government's commitment to introduce extra support for disabled people who want to become MPs, councillors or other elected officials. In drawing up proposals, we have taken account of the evidence set out by the cross-party Speakers Conference and involved the expertise of disabled people and disabled organisations.

The GEO works across Government to promote equality and leads on equality legislation. The Equality Act 2010 provides protection from discrimination and harassment for people with protected characteristics which include gender and disability. We will introduce a new public sector Equality Duty in 2011 and we are working closely with ODI on this: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Disabled People (Maria Miller) on 10 November 2010, Official Report, column 344W.


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The equality strategy also commits the UK to set a good example through our implementation of UN conventions on equality and periodic reporting, including UNCRPD. The UK Government will report to the UN in July 2011 setting out how implementation has been achieved across Government. GEO officials are working with officials at ODI in preparing the report.

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Committee

Departmental Telephone Services

Miss McIntosh: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, for what reason the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) proposes to operate its telephone enquiry service between the hours of 1pm and 5pm on weekdays; for what reason no telephone enquiry service is to be provided before 1pm; what the cost to IPSA was of operating the system under the existing hours; what estimate IPSA has made of the cost of operating the system under the new hours; and if he will make a statement. [32917]

Mr Charles Walker: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. I have asked IPSA to reply.

Letter from Andrew McDonald, dated 6 January 2011:

Members: Allowances

Mr Spellar: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, pursuant to the answer of 16 December 2010, Official Report, column 856W, on Members: allowances, if the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority will arrange to place in the Library a copy of the correspondence. [32524]

Mr Charles Walker: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. I have asked IPSA to reply.


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Letter from Andrew McDonald, dated 6 January 2011:

Miss McIntosh: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what the average time taken by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority to process claims for rental payments was in the latest period for which figures are available; what target time has been set for the processing of such claims; what the reason has been for the time taken to process such claims; and if he will make a statement. [32916]

Mr Charles Walker: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. I have asked IPSA to reply.

Letter from Andrew McDonald, dated 6 January 2011:

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has (a) evaluated and (b) commissioned on methods of tackling the spread of bovine TB which do not involve culling badgers, including vaccination, in the last three years. [32558]

Mr Paice: DEFRA has a wide-ranging bovine TB research programme which includes:


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A full list of current commissioned research projects can be found on the DEFRA website at:

A list of completed and evaluated research projects is available at:

Sajid Javid: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps her Department has taken to tackle the spread of bovine TB. [32915]

Mr Paice: DEFRA has continued to maintain a comprehensive and risk based TB surveillance programme through on farm testing of cattle and inspection of cattle carcases at slaughterhouses. To minimise the risk of disease spread, movement restrictions are applied (on cattle herds) as soon as a TB affected animal is identified or a TB test becomes overdue. We are also continuing to fund a wide ranging research programme, which includes developing vaccines, improving diagnostic tests and increasing our understanding on how TB spreads.

The public consultation on 'The Government's approach to tackling the disease and consultation on a badger control policy' closed in December 2010. We received a large number of responses, which we are considering carefully. We plan to publish the Government's response alongside a balanced and comprehensive TB eradication programme for England in February 2011.

Flood Control

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect on the food supply chain of the adequacy of existing flood defence provision. [32364]

Richard Benyon: It is a priority in the DEFRA business plan to help to enhance the resilience and competitiveness of the whole food chain, including farms and the fish industry, to ensure a secure, healthy and sustainable supply of food. Britain enjoys a high level of food security as a stable, developed trading nation with a very diverse supply base. We continually review potential risks to food security. Agricultural benefits are appropriately valued and reflected within flood and coastal erosion risk management appraisal and prioritisation systems.

Nappies: Waste Disposal

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will take steps to encourage the use of reusable nappies. [32127]

Richard Benyon: The Environment Agency report, "An updated lifecycle assessment study for disposable and reusable nappies (2006)", states that it is not clear whether disposable or reusable nappies are better for the environment. The report shows that the relative benefits for reusable nappies are largely driven by how they are laundered. The Government believe that parents should determine which type of nappy is most suitable for their own circumstances.


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Public Footpaths

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions her Department has had with local authorities on steps to ensure that footpaths are kept open and accessible. [32509]

Richard Benyon: We have had no separate discussions with local highway authorities, who are responsible for the management of public rights of way including footpaths. It is for them to decide how to maintain the access network in their area.

Authorities have a duty to assert and protect the rights of the public as to the use and enjoyment of public rights of way and the Government expects local highway authorities to meet their statutory duties and for local people to hold them to account.

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations she has received on proposals to ensure that footpaths are kept open and accessible; and if she will make a statement. [32510]

Richard Benyon: We regularly receive informal representations from stakeholders, local access forums and the general public on ensuring public rights of way including footpaths are kept open and accessible.

Recycling

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps her Department is taking to encourage recycling; [32844]

(2) what steps her Department is taking to encourage waste prevention. [32845]

Richard Benyon: The Government are committed to improving the way in which we manage our waste and are currently conducting a fundamental review of waste policies. This is considering how best to ensure that we do more to prevent waste from occurring in the first place, and continue to increase recycling rates above and beyond the progress made to date. Preliminary findings from the review will be published in May.

Waste Disposal: EU Law

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from which date the waste hierarchy in the revised Waste Framework Directive will apply in the UK. [32843]

Richard Benyon: The transposition and implementation of the revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) are devolved matters. I anticipate that regulations transposing the directive in England will be laid before Parliament later this month. I understand that it is also anticipated that transposing regulations will be laid separately before the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Assembly later this month. In each case the date of implementation of the transposing regulations is dependent on the conclusion of the respective parliamentary processes.


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Waste Management

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will assess the relative (a) financial and (b) environment benefits of (i) waste prevention and (ii) recycling. [32126]

Richard Benyon: The financial and environmental benefits of waste prevention or recycling will be dependent on the individual waste stream under consideration, and the source of that waste. As a general principle, it is better both financially and environmentally to prevent waste from being produced rather than having to recycle or dispose of waste.

We are able to calculate the gross environmental benefits of preventing waste for a range of materials. However, waste prevention covers a wide range of actions and measures. The costs of measures taken to prevent waste are highly variable, and so it is not appropriate to establish a single figure for the net economic benefit of waste prevention.

The Waste and Resources Action programme (WRAP) is currently undertaking a project to quantify the environmental and economic impacts of reusing products. When completed in spring 2011, this, information can then be assessed against the environmental impact of recycling.

Estimates exist of the relative merits of waste prevention and recycling for food waste. WRAP estimates that the greenhouse gas savings from food waste prevention are 10 times greater than composting or anaerobic digestion.

Home Department

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will publish the minutes of each meeting of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in the last two years. [32611]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 10 January 2011]: It is for the advisory council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to determine how and when to publish the minutes of its meetings. I understand the minutes of meetings are published after they have been approved at the subsequent meeting. The minutes available for the last two years can be found at:

Crime: Overseas Companies

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if she will bring forward legislative proposals to require UK companies convicted of transnational financial crimes in UK courts to make restitution to the population of the country in which the crime was committed; [32698]

(2) if she will bring forward legislative proposals to provide that as a consequence of a conviction in a UK court of a UK company for an offence committed in another jurisdiction, restitution shall be made to the population of that country by the company convicted; and if she will make a statement. [32769]


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James Brokenshire: The UK can already share the proceeds of transnational financial crime with other countries without the need for further legislation. Asset sharing and repatriation following confiscation can be made administratively on a case by case basis guided, where relevant, by provision in international agreement. Article 14 of the UN convention against transnational organized crime and article 57 of the UN convention against corruption provide that confiscated money can be paid to other countries as compensation or restitution to the victims of such crimes. Where necessary, prosecutors and the courts can also explore alternative methods of transferring money if confiscation following conviction is not an option in any individual case.

Criminal Records Bureau

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether she plans to make changes to the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) regime following the completion of the first phase of the CRB review; [32257]

(2) what her policy is on reducing the administrative burden in respect of criminal record checks by allowing employers to share Criminal Records Bureau information; [32258]

(3) when she expects the first phase of the Criminal Records Bureau review to be completed. [32259]

Lynne Featherstone: I refer my hon. Friend to the written ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary on 22 October 2010, Official Report, columns 77-78WS. This statement announced the terms of reference for the review of the Criminal Records Regime and the Vetting and Barring Scheme. The review is due to report early in 2011.

The review will look at scaling back the use of systems involving criminal records to common sense levels and the Government will thoroughly consider the findings of the review before deciding what action to take.

DNA: Databases

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to issue guidance to chief constables on the use of their discretion to remove records from the DNA database for the purposes of ensuring consistency of practice. [32463]

James Brokenshire: The Government are committed to adopting the protections of the Scottish model for DNA retention. In particular, we are examining whether the provisions of section 23 of the Crime and Security Act 2010 should be brought into force. This would empower the National DNA Database Strategy Board to issue binding guidance to chief police officers on the types of case in which deletion would be appropriate.

We will bring forward our detailed proposals shortly.

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to remove and destroy records associated with false or wrongly recorded names on the DNA database. [32465]

James Brokenshire: A number of procedures carried out by police forces, forensic suppliers and the National Policing Improvement Agency's (NPIA) National DNA Database (NDNAD) Delivery Unit are in place to
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ensure that information is recorded as accurately as possible on the NDNAD. These procedures are designed to ensure that, as far as possible, errors are not included on the database in the first place, rather than rectifying them once the profile has been loaded. The procedures include checking the identity of a person from whom a DNA sample is taken against an identity established through fingerprinting.

If any irregular record comes to the notice of the NDNAD Delivery Unit, the record is suspended on the database pending an investigation. The outcome of which is that the record may be re-instated unchanged, amended or deleted.

The NDNAD Data Reconciliation Team (DRT) has access to both the Police National Computer (PNC) and the NDNAD. The team carries out checks to ensure that details held on the two databases are properly reconciled and highlight sampling and administration errors that have led to a record being loaded to the NDNAD with incorrect demographic information (e.g. name, sex, date of birth).

One area of the team's work is to routinely monitor newly-loaded profiles to identify two or more matching DNA profiles shown on different PNC records. The team liaises directly with police forces where replicates have been identified and supports them to resolve any issues. This allows the Police Service to merge and consolidate their information on the individuals who have previously provided incorrect information by updating the appropriate PNC records.

Domestic Violence: Finance

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding her Department allocated to (a) tackling domestic violence and (b) providing support to victims of domestic violence in each year since 2005. [31066]

Lynne Featherstone: Where funding is allocated to tackling domestic violence this includes support for victims:

For the financial years 2008-10 a proportion of the funding identified may have also covered sexual violence.

Human Trafficking

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her most recent estimate is of the level of trafficking into the UK for the purposes of (a) forced labour and (b) domestic servitude. [32485]

Damian Green: There is no overall estimate of the level of trafficking for forced labour including domestic servitude.

We are improving our understanding of the extent of labour trafficking through enforcement efforts, liaison with experts in this area and in part from the statistics
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arising from the National Referral Mechanism, which from 1 April 2009 to 30 September 2010 show a total of 200 referrals of potential victims of trafficking for forced labour and 147 for domestic servitude. Of these 42 people were identified as being victims of trafficking for forced labour and 16 as victims of trafficking for domestic servitude.

Human Trafficking: Sexual Offences

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her most recent estimate is of the level of trafficking into the UK for the purposes of sexual exploitation. [32486]

Damian Green: The most recent estimate of the level of trafficking for sexual exploitation was produced by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on 18 August 2010.

This estimate puts the figure of the number of migrant women trafficked to work in brothels and other premises in England and Wales at 2,600. A copy of the ACPO Report, "Setting the Record" can be found on their website at:

and I will place a copy in the Library.

Immobilisation of Vehicles

Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to bring forward proposals to ban wheel-clamping by private operators; and if she will make a statement [32413]

Lynne Featherstone: We announced on 17 August 2010 the Government's intention to ban wheel-clamping and towing away on private land.

Primary legislation will be needed to bring these changes into force. The Government plan to include this in the Rights and Freedoms Bill which will be introduced into Parliament shortly. We aim to bring the ban into force as soon as possible after the necessary legislation has been passed.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Bangladesh: Politics and Government

Mr Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment his Department has made of the level of compliance with human rights, the rule of law and democratic processes in Bangladesh; and if he will make a statement. [32529]

Alistair Burt: We regularly consider the level of compliance with human rights, the rule of law and democratic processes in Bangladesh. The UK wants to see a stable, prosperous and democratic Bangladesh with strong independent institutions, including the National Human Rights Commission, and a functioning Parliament at the centre of political debate where the focus is on policies for the people, not confrontation. The British Government raise concerns about human rights both
11 Jan 2011 : Column 251W
bilaterally with the Bangladesh Government and through the EU. In addition to this, the British Government provide a range of human rights assistance to Bangladesh as part of its capacity building programmes. Such assistance is fully in line with the UK's laws and values. Respect for human rights is also integral to the UK's development programme in Bangladesh. This covers a range of areas including promotion of better governance, tackling extreme poverty and the challenges of climate change, and improving access to education, health care, and water and sanitation.

Palestinians: Politics and Government

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on recognition of the Palestinian Government in Gaza. [33214]

Alistair Burt: The international community, including the UK, recognised the results of the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections. But Hamas' subsequent actions in using force to oust its political rivals were far from democratic. Hamas' ideology of violence also directly undermines prospects for peace in the region. The Quartet has set out clearly that Hamas must renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept previously signed agreements. With our international partners, we will continue to call on Hamas to take immediate and concrete steps towards the Quartet principles and to release Gilad Shalit unconditionally.

We will also to continue to call on all parties in the region including Hamas to refrain from any activity that could undermine the search for a just and lasting settlement.

Work and Pensions

Carer's Allowance: Chatham

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Chatham and Aylesford constituency (a) are in receipt of carer's allowance and (b) were in receipt of carer's allowance in each of the last five years. [32500]

Maria Miller: The number of people in receipt of carers allowance over the last five years.

Chatham and Aylesford parliamentary constituency( 1)
As at May: Number

2010

1,060

2009

940

2008

870

2007

810

2006

800

(1) Constituencies used for May 2010 are for the Westminster Parliament 2010. Prior to this, the constituencies used are for May 2005.
Notes:
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Caseloads for CA show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.
3. These figures are published at:
http://83.244.183.180/100pc/tabtool.html
Source:
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% data

11 Jan 2011 : Column 252W

Employment and Support Allowance

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, (b) Jobcentre Plus and (c) Atos Healthcare in respect of his proposals to make contributory employment and support allowance payable for a maximum of one year; and if he will make a statement. [29773]

Maria Miller [holding answer 20 December 2010]: The Secretary of State has had no recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, Jobcentre Plus or Atos Healthcare about proposals to time-limit contributory employment and support allowance.

Incapacity Benefit: Unpaid Work

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the evidential basis is for his Department's guidance that unpaid work and incapacity benefit are not necessarily incompatible. [32759]

Maria Miller: People claiming incapacity benefit can undertake a range of activities, including certain unpaid work and continue to be entitled to benefit. These rules are known as "permitted work". The Department for Work and Pensions Research Report No 268 "Final outcomes from the Permitted Work Rules" published in 2005, provides evidence that permitted work can act as a stepping stone to return to work; this forms the basis of the Government's policy. This report can be found at:

Incapacity benefit was replaced by employment and support allowance (ESA) for new claimants in autumn 2008. The "permitted work" rules apply to employment and support allowance claimants in the same way as they do for incapacity benefit claimants.

Industrial Health and Safety

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the actions required to implement the recommendations of Lord Young's review of health and safety. [32555]

Chris Grayling: The Government have welcomed Lord Young's recommendations and is taking forward implementation on the basis of the timetable set out in his report. Actions for individual Departments or Agencies are included in business plans.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is taking forward recommendations within its remit and is on track with delivery to Lord Young's timetable.

Sick Leave: Ankylosing Spondylitis

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made a recent estimate of working (a) years and (b) days lost through sickness absence as a result of ankylosing spondylitis. [32504]

Maria Miller: There are no recent estimates of working years or days lost as a result of ankylosing spondylitis.


11 Jan 2011 : Column 253W

State Retirement Pensions

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the net effect on the state pension of a person of average income who reaches state retirement age in 2011 of the implementation of (a) the triple guarantee and (b) proposed changes in uprating in respect of the second state pension. [19302]

Steve Webb: The net effect of the above policies on a person with an average state pension entitlement reaching state pension age in 2011 is estimated to be a lifetime gain of around £10,000, in net present value terms.

Unemployment People: Harlow

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many unemployed people there were in Harlow constituency in each year since 2000. [32291]

Mr Hurd: I have been asked to reply.

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated December 2010:


11 Jan 2011 : Column 254W
Table 1: Number of persons claiming jobseeker's allowance resident in Harlow parliamentary constituency
November Number

2004

1,052

2005

1,278

2006

1,503

2007

1,401

2008

1,776

2009

2,633

2010

2,398

Source: Jobcentre Plus administrative system.

Welfare Tax Credits

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of households in receipt of (a) working tax credit only, (b) child tax credit only and (c) both working tax credit and child tax credit who do not receive housing benefit or council tax benefit. [26045]

Mr Gauke: I have been asked to reply.

Data from the Department for Work and Pensions' Family Resources Survey 2008-09 suggests that, of families in receipt of tax credits but not housing benefit or council tax benefit:

The Family Resources Survey 2008-09 publication notes that:

This publication is freely available on the DWP website.

Work Capability Assessment Independent Review

Julie Hilling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to ensure that all relevant recommendations of the Harrington Review of work capability assessments are implemented before the commencement of the assessments and the migration of those on income support to employment and support allowance. [31421]

Maria Miller: We believe that the overall principles of the work capability assessment (WCA) are right, but that the specific system which we inherited developed by the previous Government contained flaws that risked undermining its effectiveness. We have therefore moved swiftly to put those right.

We welcome the first independent review of the WCA, led by Professor Malcolm Harrington. This was a thorough review that considered a substantial amount of evidence. Based on those fundings, Professor Harrington has come forward with a wide range of far reaching and challenging proposals which the Government fully supports.

We are committed to taking forward all of the review's recommendations so that we can make the WCA system fairer and more effective. The Government response to Professor Harrington's review sets out how and when we will implement the recommendations of the review, the majority of which will be in place in time for the national roll-out of the incapacity benefits reassessment programme.


11 Jan 2011 : Column 255W

Northern Ireland

Banks

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the effects of banking regulation on its proposals to create an Enterprise Zone in Northern Ireland. [33012]

Mr Paterson: The subject of banking regulation in Northern Ireland has been discussed on a number of occasions between relevant Whitehall Departments. Discussions on the Enterprise Zone proposals are ongoing between HM Government and the Northern Ireland Executive and we intend to consult publicly on the proposals in the near future.

Departmental Press Releases

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions his Department has provided embargoed media briefings prior to an oral statement to the House since 26 May 2010; in respect of how many such briefings his Department was informed that the embargo had been breached; what steps were taken as a result of each such breach; and on how many occasions his Department has provided media briefings without an embargo prior to an oral statement to the House since 26 May 2010. [31910]

Mr Swire: There has been one oral statement since 26 May by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. That statement was on 14 September on the publication of the Report by the Billy Wright Inquiry.

The Prime Minister made a statement on 15 June in relation to the publication of the Bloody Sunday Report.

On both occasions with the agreement of the Speaker and under strictly controlled conditions, accredited media representatives were allowed advance sight of the reports one hour before the oral statements.

On neither occasion was the embargo breached.

Energy and Climate Change

Energy

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 6 December 2010, Official Report, column 11W, on energy, if he will take steps through bilateral discussions to encourage his G20 counterparts to implement national commitments to reduce fossil fuel subsidies. [33075]

Charles Hendry: We will continue to look for opportunities in bilateral contacts with G20 members to support them in their implementation of their national plans for reducing and phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.

Energy: Prices

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the proposed increase in electricity prices attributable to his proposals for electricity market reform with statutory equality duties on the Government. [32365]


11 Jan 2011 : Column 256W

Charles Hendry: As set out in the impact assessment accompanying the Government's consultation on Electricity Market Reform:

it is not envisaged that the reform options will impact measures of equality detailed in the Statutory Equality Duties Guidance. Although the distributional analysis shows that the reforms will have a different impact on different income groups-on account of their different levels of income, expenditure and electricity consumption-it is not envisaged that they will directly affect individuals differently on account of their protected characteristics. Specifically, the options would not have different direct impacts on people of different age, disability, gender, gender-reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, and sexual orientation.

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the average change in electricity bills attributable to his proposal for reform of the energy market in each of the next five years. [32374]

Charles Hendry: On 16 December 2010, Government launched consultations on a package of options for electricity market reform:

The preferred package is to have a feed-in-tariff with a 'contract for difference' model for supporting low-carbon generation in combination with a targeted capacity mechanism, carbon price support and an emissions performance standard. The following tables show the impact on electricity bills for domestic and non-domestic consumers of this preferred package, over the next five years, compared to estimated 'baseline' bills absent the reforms (but including existing policies).

Although the proposed reforms may cause a small increase in electricity bills in the short term, by 2030 electricity bills are expected to be lower than they otherwise would be (in the absence of the reforms).

Both the baseline electricity bill estimates and those including electricity market reform, shown in the following tables, include savings in average household electricity consumption as a result of a range of policies to improve energy efficiency the Government has in place, which help lessen the overall bill impact.

Baseline average domestic electricity bill (£) Estimated average domestic electricity bill including electricity market reform (£) Estimated impact on average domestic electricity bill of electricity market reform (£)

2010

493

493

0 (0%)

2011

480

480

0 (0%)

2012

481

481

0 (0%)

2013

469

471

2 (0%)

2014

476

482

6 (1%)

2015

476

486

9 (2%)


11 Jan 2011 : Column 257W

Baseline average non-domestic electricity bill (£) Estimated average non-domestic electricity bill including electricity market reform (£) Estimated impact on average non-domestic electricity bill of electricity market reform (£)

2010

918,000

918,000

0 (0%)

2011

928,000

928,000

0 (0%)

2012

928,000

928,000

0 (0%)

2013

945,000

950,000

6,000 (1%)

2014

958,000

974,000

15,000 (2%)

2015

981,000

1,007,000

26,000 (3%)


Energy: Private Rented Housing

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will assess the merits of including provisions in the Energy Security and Green Economy Bill to establish a legally binding minimum energy efficiency standard for private rented homes by 2016; and if he will make a statement. [31256]

Gregory Barker: The Green Deal will offer a range of innovative finance packages allowing landlords to install energy efficiency measures in their rental properties at no upfront cost to themselves.

There are no current plans to introduce a legally binding minimum energy efficiency standard for private rented homes. However, we are seeking powers in the Energy Bill that would require landlords to make reasonable energy efficiency improvements to the least energy efficient properties from 2015. These powers will only be used if the sector does not make voluntary improvements under the forthcoming Green Deal.

Fossil Fuels

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has discussed with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs the role of his Department in promoting fossil fuel subsidy reform in emerging economies through the UK's diplomatic network. [33123]

Charles Hendry: Officials from both the Department for Energy and Climate Change and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are working with posts in emerging economies to encourage reform of fossil fuel subsidies.

Fuel: Poverty

Peter Aldous: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department holds on the number of people expected to be in fuel poverty in each year to 2016. [33158]

Gregory Barker: The latest fuel poverty estimates are for 2008 and show that there were 3.3 million households in fuel poverty in England in that year.

DECC has projected the level of fuel poverty in England for 2009 and 2010 given known changes in the prices of energy and estimated changes in household
11 Jan 2011 : Column 258W
incomes. In 2009, due to increasing energy prices in this period, the level of fuel poverty in England is predicted to be around 4.1 million households, falling slightly to 4.0 million households in 2010.

DECC currently has made no projections on the number of households expected to be in fuel poverty in the years 2011 to 2016 as these would require knowledge of future changes in incomes and energy prices.

Heating Oil Suppliers

Caroline Nokes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment his Department has made of the pricing strategies of heating oil suppliers. [33081]

Charles Hendry: We continue to monitor trends in the price of heating oil and other fuels. The UK has open and competitive markets for heating oil and other petroleum products. The Office of Fair Trading continues to consider all complaints and representations carefully and is monitoring for any indications that consumer or competition legislation has been breached.

Natural Gas: Storage

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will implement incentives to encourage the storage of gas for the purpose of energy security in the winter of 2010-11. [32420]

Charles Hendry: The United Kingdom relies on a well defined, independently regulated, competitive market to deliver the necessary energy infrastructure and competitive sources of energy. Market participants, rather than Government, are best placed to assess the complex range of factors affecting the profitability of storing and providing gas; and how these might evolve over time.

There are already sharp incentives on gas shippers to balance their positions across each day of this winter. The market has been working effectively to deliver sufficient supplies of gas to meet the country's needs. It has responded well, bringing forward sufficient supplies even in response to near record levels of demand during the cold spells earlier this winter. However, the Government are not complacent, and are seeking to refine the market framework through the measures contained in the Energy Bill 2010-11. A provision in the Bill will further improve gas security of supply by giving Ofgem a new power to amend the gas market's Uniform Network Code to sharpen commercial incentives on gas market participants to meet their contractual supply obligations and reduce the duration, likelihood or severity of a gas supply emergency. This will help underpin commercial demand for additional gas supply infrastructure such as storage and import facilities, as well as long-term contracts. Ofgem is now launching a "Significant Code Review" exercise to enhance gas market arrangements and believes that there is a reasonable prospect that the new power would enable it to implement these by the end of 2011.

Against that background the government has no plans to introduce further incentives to encourage the storage of gas over the course of winter 2010-11.


11 Jan 2011 : Column 259W

Solar Energy

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer of 16 December 2010, Official Report, columns 1030-31, on community energy schemes, what steps he is taking in respect of photovoltaic solar energy farms. [32250]

Gregory Barker: The coalition Government are committed to the full implementation of FITs and wants to see an ambitious roll out of the widest possible range of domestic and community scale renewables, including solar PV.

We have therefore expressed concerns that the scheme we inherited leaves open the prospect of large, industrial-scale, greenfield based solar farms distorting the available funding for roof top and other innovative solar technologies, as well as other microgeneration technologies that also qualify for FITs.

We do not want to see such projects soaking up the money that would otherwise go to homes, small businesses and communities. We are monitoring the situation closely and, while we will not act retrospectively, we stand ready to take measures to limit the access of such schemes to FITs if necessary.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Banks: Pay

Mrs Glindon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what representations he has received from the British Bankers' Association on bank bonuses in the current year; and what estimate he has made of the likely change in the level of such bonuses between 2009 and 2010. [27636]

Mr Hoban: I have been asked to reply.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. It is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Bonuses paid in 2011 will be subject to the revised Financial Services Authority (FSA) Remuneration Code. This includes provisions on deferral, payment in shares and other non-cash instruments and performance linkage and clawback arrangements. Significant risk takers and other high earning employees in this industry will not receive all their bonuses in cash whilst leaving their shareholders, and potentially the taxpayer, exposed to the long term risks they take. These reforms will ensure that when a bank underperforms, it is reflected in the remuneration paid.

Broadband

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which body is responsible for ensuring that speeds delivered by broadband providers meet advertised speeds. [31524]


11 Jan 2011 : Column 260W

Mr Vaizey: In the first instance, the Advertising Standards Authority is the body with formal responsibility for making sure that companies comply with the rules that ensure that consumers are not misled by advertising-including those that specify broadband speeds.

Ofcom, the independent regulator of the UK's telecoms industry, has strengthened the Voluntary Code of Practice on Broadband Speeds ("the Code") which it introduced in 2008. ISPs who sign up to the revised code commit to give consumers a more accurate and consistent estimate of the maximum speed likely to be achievable on their line.

Farepak

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will undertake an assessment of debt levels and financial hardship caused by the closure of Farepak. [31878]

Mr Davey: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no plans to undertake an assessment of debt levels and financial hardship caused by the collapse of Farepak.

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will undertake an assessment of the implications for future consumer regulation of the closure of Farepak. [31879]

Mr Davey: The Government believe that effective protection has been put in place since the collapse of Farepak to protect the remaining Christmas saving clubs' customers' prepayments as far as it is practicable to do so.

Intellectual Property and Growth Review

Ms Bagshawe: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on what areas he expects the panel of experts for the Intellectual Property and Growth Review to advise. [32173]

Mr Davey: The members of the independent panel which will advise Professor Ian Hargreaves have been selected in order to equip the review with a range of relevant expertise, including in business, innovation, economics and aspects of intellectual property, and they will provide advice accordingly.

Ofcom: Manpower

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many and what proportion of Ofcom employees had a qualification in an engineering or science subject in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10. [32233]

Mr Vaizey: The matter raised is an operational issue relating to the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is accountable to Parliament rather than to Ministers. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the chief executive's letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.


11 Jan 2011 : Column 261W

Ofcom: Text Relay Services

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment his Department has made of the research on text relay services carried out for Ofcom by Opinion Leader Research. [31768]

Mr Vaizey: BIS have not been involved in the commission, financing or evaluation of this research.

All research that Ofcom commissions is closely managed and continually evaluated by its own research team. The Opinion Leader research on relay services has been subject to the same scrutiny and will be subject to further scrutiny and assessment in Ofcom's forthcoming consultation document on relay services.

Phonographic Performance Limited: Voluntary Sector

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent estimate he has made of the likely cost to the voluntary and charitable sector of the application to them of the (a) Phonographic Performance Limited licence and (b) Performing Rights Society licence. [31734]

Mr Davey: The impact assessment conducted by the previous Government estimated the average annual cost to charities and not-for-profit organisations of the repeal of the current exemptions contained in s. 67 and 72(1B)(a) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be £18.7 million per year for the purchasing of Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) licences. Full details of the impact assessment were published and are available here:

The impact assessment figure of £18.7 million was based on an estimated flat fee of £81 per annum for each music user. However, following negotiations between PPL and the relevant sector, the majority of community buildings/village halls will pay £40 per annum and the vast majority of charity shops will pay the lower rate £54 per annum-this includes both the shop and back office.

Following discussions with this Government, PPL has also agreed to give a year's grace and will not begin charging charities until 1 January 2012.

These changes do not affect the existing licensing arrangements with regard to the Performing Rights Society Licence.

Students: Fees and Charges

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will assess the likely effects on students in Poplar and Limehouse constituency of the implementation of proposed changes to the entitlement to free tuition for those on non-active benefits; and if he will make a statement. [31853]

Mr Willetts [holding answer 20 December 2010]: The Department and the Skills Funding Agency monitor the impact of adult skills policies on an ongoing basis.

8,000 adults in the Poplar and Limehouse constituency participated in training in 2009/10. Of those, 450 indicated that they were primarily eligible for full fee remission as they were in receipt of job seekers allowance.


11 Jan 2011 : Column 262W

Skills interventions will be a key part of the Jobcentre Plus offer to claimants. For those who are unemployed and in receipt of jobseekers' allowance and employment support allowance (Work Related Activity Group), full-funding will still be available for full qualifications and from August 2011 for units from the QCF, for training to help them enter employment.

In the academic year 2011/12, all adults will be able to get their first level 2 qualification fully funded and those aged 19 to 25 will in addition be able to get their first full level 3 qualification fully funded. From 2012/13 the entitlement will change to full funding for first qualifications at levels 2 and 3 for people aged 19 up to 24-years-old only.

Adults of any age will still be eligible for fully-funded tuition in basic literacy and numeracy irrespective of whether or not they are on benefits.

Telecommunications: Hearing Impairment

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on the provision of telecommunications services for British Sign Language users; and if he will make a statement. [31559]

Mr Vaizey [holding answer 20 December 2010]: The Department for Business strives to ensure the best provisions for deaf, hard of hearing and British Sign Language (BSL) users.

The Department is currently implementing revisions to the European Electronic Communications Framework, including a new requirement on equivalence in access and choice for disabled end-users. This provision requires member states to empower national regulators to specify requirements to be met by electronic communications network and service providers, and also requires member states to encourage the availability of terminal equipment offering "the necessary services and functions".

The UK currently has a text relay service and access to the emergency services as mandated in the Framework.

Justice

Local Probation Trusts

17. Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the future commissioning of community punishment will include a central role for local probation trusts. [32693]

Mr Blunt: We are following the policy announced by the previous Government in April 2009 and are preparing a detailed commissioning strategy, which will involve putting all community payback services out to tender in a series of mini-competitions, phased over a period of time. Probation trusts will be able to compete to provide those services.

Former Prisoners: Support

18. Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on measures to support former prisoners after their release. [32694]


11 Jan 2011 : Column 263W

Mr Blunt: The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke) is in discussions with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith) on a range of issues relating to resettlement support for former prisoners. In particular, we are jointly taking forward plans to incentivise DWP Work programme providers to give employment support to unemployed offenders, with the providers paid for their success in getting people into work.

Burglary Offences: Custodial Sentences

19. Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of people convicted of burglary offences were given custodial sentences in the latest period for which figures are available. [32695]

Mr Blunt: In 2009, 54% of offenders sentenced for burglary were given an immediate or suspended custodial sentence.

Educational Opportunities: Prisoners

20. Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to increase educational opportunities for prisoners. [32696]

Mr Blunt: Jointly with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills the Ministry of Justice have undertaken a review of offender learning. We expect this to tell us how best to provide learning opportunities and maximise the number of prisoners taking part. We will report shortly.

Arrest Warrants

21. Duncan Hames: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what discussions he has had with the Attorney-General on the resources available to the Director of Public Prosecutions for the implementation of the Secretary of State's proposals relating to arrest warrants for offences under universal jurisdiction. [32697]

Mr Blunt: No such discussions have taken place. Any credible allegations relating to universal jurisdiction offences would continue to be accorded the highest priority, and there is no reason to doubt the capacity of the Crown Prosecution Service to deal with them.

Drug Dependency: Prisoners

22. Caroline Dinenage: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to reduce the level of drug dependency in prisons. [32699]

Nick Herbert: Our proposals on rehabilitation, which include a focus on recovery from drug dependency, were published in a Green Paper on rehabilitation and sentencing in December 2010. These include:


11 Jan 2011 : Column 264W

Human Trafficking: Accommodation

23. Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much funding his Department plans to provide in grants to support the provision of accommodation to adult victims of human trafficking in each of the seven largest cities in England. [32700]

Mr Djanogly: Adults trafficked in England and Wales can access specialist support and accommodation through the National Referral Mechanism, a multi-agency framework for identifying victims of trafficking and referring them to support services.

It is not possible to ascertain the precise level of funding that a particular area will receive to support the provision of accommodation for adult victims of trafficking, as the Government fund such specialist support through a national model rather than through the allocation of funding to local areas.

As part of a wider strategy to combat human trafficking, the Government are in the process of introducing a new model for funding specialist support for adult victims of trafficking in England and Wales. Provision will continue to be funded through a centralised commissioning model, but with a prime contractor allocating and co-ordinating support. A tender exercise to select the prime contractor commenced on 15 December 2010. The value of the contract will only be known once the procurement process has concluded but it is expected to be within a range of £1 million to £2 million per annum.

New Prisons: CSR

24. Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many proposals for the construction of new prisons have been withdrawn as a result of the outcome of the comprehensive spending review. [32701]

Mr Blunt: Plans to build a prison in Maghull, Merseyside will not go ahead, while proposals to build a prison in Runwell, Essex have been deferred for the spending review period.

Community Orders

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people currently serving community sentences are deemed to be high risk by the Probation Service; and how many people serving community sentences have been deemed to be high risk by the Probation Service in each of the last three years. [32787]

Mr Blunt: Data on how many offenders currently serving community sentences have been assessed as high/very high risk of serious harm are not held centrally. Data for the financial year 2010-11 will be available in the summer. Figures for the last three financial years are available and are set out in the following table. The table presents, for each financial year, the number of offenders subject to a community order or suspended sentence order (Criminal Justice Act 2003) who have been assessed as presenting a high or very risk high risk of serious harm. The assessment of risk of serious harm is made through the Offender Assessment System (OASys). The data are drawn from administrative IT systems and are subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale assessment and recording system.


11 Jan 2011 : Column 265W
High/very high risk of serious harm (community)
Financial year Number of assessments Number Percentage

2007-08

139,826

5,814

4.2

2008-09

189,457

6,660

3.5

2009-10

173,743

6,438

3.7


Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the highest number of breaches of a community sentence recorded in respect of an individual was in each of the last three years; [32788]

(2) how many people have breached community sentences in each of the last three years; and how many community sentences have been breached in each of the last three years. [32790]

Mr Blunt: The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Information on breaches of community sentences by individual offenders is recorded by probation trusts on their case management systems. It is used in the day-to-day management of offenders, including as a trigger to appropriate action in response to breach, for example through formal warnings or enforcement action, but the figures requested do not form part of trusts' routine reporting. Therefore to produce the figures requested would entail asking the 35 probation trusts to interrogate the case record of each offender supervised in the past three years and provide a report to the centre on the number of offenders with a breach recorded, the total number of breaches that have occurred in each case and the highest recorded against an individual.

However, data are available on the reasons for termination of community orders and suspended sentence orders. These reasons include early termination for failure to comply with requirements or for conviction of a further offence. Figures for the years 2006 to 2009 are shown at Table 5.1 of the Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2009, published on the Ministry of Justice website:

It should be noted that not all breaches of community sentences will result in early termination. In line with National Standards for the Management of Offenders 2007 an offender who fails to comply with the terms of his or her supervision in the community may be given one formal warning in any 12 month period on an order (and no more than two warnings within a 12 month period while on post-release licence) before breach or recall action becomes required. Furthermore, although the court which hears an allegation of breach relating to a community order may decide to revoke the order and replace it with an alternative community or custodial sentence, it may on the other hand decide that the order should continue with more onerous requirements.

In the recent Green Paper "Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders"(1) the Government stated that it is unacceptable that a quarter of offenders on community orders or on licence do not complete the sentence due to breaking the conditions of that order or licence. The Green Paper sets out in further detail our proposals for making community sentences more robust, rigorous and effective.


11 Jan 2011 : Column 266W

Driving Offences: Bexley

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many residents of the London borough of Bexley were convicted of a motoring offence in each of the last three years. [32462]

Mr Blunt: The number of persons found guilty of motoring offences at all courts in the Metropolitan police force area for the years 2007 to 2009 (latest available) are shown in the following table. Data available centrally do not identify the place of residence of those convicted of an offence.

Court proceedings data are not available at local government authority area level. Therefore, data for the Metropolitan police force area have been provided in lieu.

Data for 2010 are planned for publication in the spring of 2011.

Number of persons found guilty of motoring offences at all courts, Metropolitan police force area 2007 - 09( 1, 2)
Offence group 2007 2008 2009

Motoring offences (indictable and summary offences)

64,031

71,749

77,316

(1) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Source:
Justice Statistics-Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice

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