Departmental Relocation

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward proposals to relocate (a) staff and (b) offices of his Department to Brighton; and if he will make a statement. [43471]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport comprises DfT (Central), the headquarters functions responsible mainly for policy issues, and seven executive agencies responsible for the delivery of various services.

Department for Transport Central has no current plans to relocate staff or offices to Brighton. The Department for Transport (including our Executive Agencies) will consider opportunities for relocation as they arise, for example, through departmental reorganisation and reviews of estates requirements.

Cardiff-Ebbw Vale Railway Line: Electrification

Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the statement of 1 March 2011, Official Report, columns 185-87, on Intercity Express and rail electrification, what plans he has for the electrification of the Cardiff to Ebbw Vale line; and if he will make a statement. [44536]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 7 March 2011]: The Department for Transport has committed to work with the Welsh Assembly Government to develop a business case for the electrification of the key valley commuter lines north of Cardiff via Pontypridd and Caerphilly to Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, Coryton and

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1138W

Rhymney, as well as the lines to Penarth and Barry Island to the west. There is no current proposal for electrification of the line from Newport to Ebbw Vale.

Departmental Billing

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of invoices from suppliers his Department paid within 10 days of receipt in January and February 2011. [45089]

Norman Baker: The 10 day target has been replaced with a five day target, and information is recorded on this basis.

The percentage of invoices paid within five days of receipt for the Department and its seven Agencies for January 2011 is published on the Department’s website at the following address:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/about/procurement/dft/

The data for February are expected to be available shortly.

Departmental Expenditure

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what expenditure (a) his Department and (b) each public body sponsored by his Department incurred on engaging external audit services in each of the last three years; and to which service providers such payments were made in each year. [43752]

Norman Baker: The information requested is in the following tables:

The auditors of DFT(c) are the National Audit Office (NAO). The notional fees for the NAO’s audit services are as follows:

DFT(c)

DFT(c)

Expenditure (£) Of which:

2009-10

855,000

(1)112,000

2008-09

850,500

(2)99,500

2007-08

737,000

 
(1) To review the transitional steps undertaken by the Department to move from UK Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). (2) To review the transitional steps undertaken by the Department to move from UK GAAP to IFRS.

The NAO also performs other statutory audit activity, including value for money and assurance work, at no cost to the Department.

DSA

In each of the last three years, DSA has engaged the NAO to conduct an annual external audit. The costs are shown as follows:

D SA

Cost (£)

2009-10

69,000

2008-09

64,000

2007-08

55,000

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1139W

DVLA

The following table shows the expenditure the DVLA incurred on engaging external audit services from the NAO for the last three financial years.

DVLA

Cost (£)

2007-08

292,000

2008-09

135,000

2009-10

136,000

GCDA

The GCDA auditors are the NAO:

GCDA

£

2009-10

49,000

2008-09

47,000

2007-08

30,000

HA

HA incurred the following audit costs with the NAO in each of the last three financial years as follows:

HA
£

Actual costs (including VAT) Notional costs (recorded in accounts but without physical payment)

2007-08

13,000.00

312,000.00

2008-09

14,000.00

333,000.00

2009-10

20,400.00

314,000.00

There are no other external audit costs.

MCA

Taken from the MCA’s accounts for the past three financial years.

External auditors

The statutory audit of the MCA’s financial statements is undertaken by the NAO under the provisions of the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000.

The cost of audit services for the financial year ending 31 March 2010 was £85,000. No other fee was received in respect of non-statutory work.

The cost of audit services for the financial year ending 31 March 2009 was £63,000 plus £10,000 in respect of the implementation of IFRS. The auditors received no remuneration for non audit services.

The cost of audit services for the financial year ending 31 March 2008 was £63,000. The auditors received no remuneration for non audit services.

VCA

Audit undertaken by the NAO.

2009-10: £46,000

2008-09: The notional cost of audit services in 2008-2009 was £38,000 plus an additional notional cost of £7,500 for undertaking an additional audit of VCA’s accounts under the new IFRS.

2007-08: £37,000. No fees, actual or notional, were incurred for non audit work.

VOSA

The VOSA has spent the following amount on external auditing services in each of the last three years:

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1140W

VOSA

£

2009-10

58,000

2008-09

77,000

2007-08

59,000

All payments were made to the NAO.

NDPBs

BTP

NAO audit BTP accounts and the charges from them for external audit services and other services in the last three financial years are as follows:

BTP

£

2009-10

(1)145,000

2008-09

(2)140,000

2007-08

110,000

(1) Audit (2 )Audit and £10,000 for IFRS Restatement

The charge for 2010-11 is expected to be £110,000

DOR and BRB (Residuary)

DOR and BRB (Residuary)


Supplier Cost (£)

DOR

2007-08

Nil

(1)0

 

2008-09

Nil

(1)0

 

2009-10

PwC

10,000

       

East Coast Main Line Company

2007-08

Nil

(1)0

 

2008-09

Nil

(1)0

 

2009-10

PwC

67,500

       

BRB (Residuary) Ltd.

2007-08

PwC

49,000

 

2008-09

PwC

126,000

 

2009-10

PwC

139,000

(1) Company dormant

The large increase in BRBR’s costs from 2008-09 arise as a result of new subsidiaries of BRBR, that need to be audited, being incorporated.

GLF

The “external audit” of the GLF is undertaken by the NAO. The payment is made as a single payment out of the GLF which covers all three of the GLAs (Northern Lighthouse Board, Trinity House, Commissioners of Irish Lights). The audit fee for 2009-10 was £135,000, 2008-09 £126,000 and 2007-08 £131,000.

HS2 Ltd.

HS2 Ltd’s external auditors are Thornton Springer LLP.

The cost in 2009-10 was £10,575 (inc VAT).

PF

2008-09: £23,000 paid to NAO including £1,500 for reviewing adjustments required for compliance with IFRS.

2009-10: £23,000 paid to the NAO including £1,500 for reviewing adjustments required for compliance with IFRS.

RHC

Nil

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1141W

RFA

RFA
NAO £

2007-08

4,100

2008-09

13,200

2009-10

12,000

Key:

DFT(c)—Department for Transport (Centre)

DSA—Driving Standards Agency

DVLA—Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Agency

GCDA—Government Car and Despatch Agency

HA—Highways Agency

MCA—Maritime and Coastguard Agency

VCA—Vehicle Certification Agency

VOSA—Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

BTP—British Transport Police

DOR—Directly Operated Railways

BRB—British Railways Board (Residuary) Ltd.

GLF—General Lighthouse Fund

HS2—High Speed 2

PF—Passenger Focus

RHC—Railway Heritage Committee

RFA—Renewable Fuels Agency

Public Bodies Reform Programme

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 16 March 2011, Official Report, columns 9-10W, on the public bodies reform programme, what estimate he has made of the savings to his Department net of costs incurred in the assumption of additional departmental responsibilities to accrue from (a) the abolition of six public bodies within his Department’s area of responsibility and (b) the change in function of one such body. [48146]

Norman Baker [holding answer 21 March 2011]: The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General (Mr Maude) issued a written ministerial statement on 16 March 2011, Official Report, columns 9-10W, updating Parliament on progress on public bodies reform. That statement also announced that Government Departments estimate cumulative administrative savings of at least £2.6 billion will flow from public bodies reform over the spending review period.

The Department for Transport provided estimated net administrative savings from reform of its public bodies to the Cabinet Office for inclusion in the 16 March announcement. These figures are subject to ongoing refinement as the detail of the changes to all bodies has not yet been finalised, but anticipated overall net administrative savings are around £21 million over the spending review period (2011-12 to 2014-15). This figure takes account of the cost of additional departmental responsibilities as a result of the changes.

Fuels: Prices

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has made an assessment of the effect of rising oil prices on the take-up of hybrid vehicles. [47846]

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1142W

Norman Baker: There are many factors which affect the take-up of hybrid and other low carbon vehicles. These include: EU regulations on CO2 from cars, vehicle excise duty rates, the company car tax regime, as well as oil prices as reflected in the price of fuel at the pump.

The recent spending review announced that the Government have made provision of over £400 million for measures to promote the uptake of ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies. These measures include support for consumer incentives, development of recharging infrastructure, and a programme of research and development work.

Highways Agency: Finance

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate has been made of the level of savings arising from better management of Highways Agency contracts in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13, (d) 2013-14 and (e) 2014-15. [46641]

Mike Penning: I refer the hon. Member to my answers of 16 March 2011, Official Report, columns 348-9W and 22 March 2011, Official Report, column 1056W, which explain that savings are implicit in future year indicative budgets which are soon to be published in the 2011-12 Highways Agency Business Plan at the end of this month. A key enabler to successful delivery of the efficiency savings will be the introduction of new contracts as well as continued effectiveness of contract management. At this stage, it is difficult to separate the future efficiencies gained through contract management between the two tools.

The Highways Agency is working on plans, including improvements in contract management, to make the necessary reductions in expenditure within the spending review period ending in 2014-15.

Local Government Finance

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish his Department’s impact assessment in respect of the reduction in local government resource grants. [46337]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport did not prepare an impact assessment in respect of the reduction in local government resource grants. Spending proposals do not generally require an impact assessment, as they are developed through a business case process. Further information on business case process can be found at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/data_greenbook_business.htm

In addition, the equality impact assessment undertaken by the Department for the local authority finance simplification undertaken as part of the spending review is available at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/adobepdf/165220-/equalityia.pdf

Railways: Construction

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people (a) have applied for the Exceptional Hardship Fund (EHS) associated with High Speed Two and (b) have been approved for the EHS in (i) the UK and (ii) Tamworth constituency to date. [47829]

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1143W

Mr Philip Hammond: The Exceptional Hardship Scheme has, as of 16 March, received 154 applications. Decisions have been taken on 123 of them. 31 applications have been accepted so far and 92 applications have been rejected. Of the 31 accepted applications, two were for properties in the Tamworth constituency.

Railways: Crime

Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many incidents of crime at each rail station in (a) the West Midlands and (b) Solihull constituency were reported in each of the last five years. [47994]

Mrs Villiers: This information is not held by the Department for Transport, but by the British Transport Police who can be contacted at:

25 Camden Road

London

NW1 9LN

or by e-mail at:

[email protected]

Railways: Electrification

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for how long he expects the Severn Tunnel to be closed during electrification of the Great Western Main Line; and at what stage during the electrification process this will take place. [46316]

Mrs Villiers: Network Rail has confirmed that the Severn Tunnel is capable of accommodating electrification, and is continuing to develop a detailed solution for provision of wiring through the tunnel that is both cost effective and keeps passenger disruption to a minimum. That process is ongoing and, until further work is completed, it is not possible to confirm the extent or timing of the tunnel works.

Railways: Fares

Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the level of fare evasion on passenger rail services operated by London Midland Trains for each of the last five years. [47992]

Mrs Villiers: London Midland has provided information to officials in the Department for Transport on the level of ticketless travel as a percentage of passenger revenue. No information is available as to what proportion of ticketless travel on London Midland is due to sustained evasion of fares by passengers. London Midland commenced operation in November 2007.

London Midland has provided the following data:


Ticketless travel as percentage of passenger revenue

2008

 

April to June

1.7

July to September

1.4

October to December

1.4

   

2009

 

April to June

1.6

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1144W

July to September

1.8

October to December

1.6

   

2010

 

January to March

1.9

April to June

1.4

July to September

2.2

October to December

2.1

Source: London Midland

Railways: Greater London

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Mayor for London and (b) train operators on the overcharging of passengers using Oyster pay-as-you-go cards; and if he will make a statement. [46981]

Mrs Villiers: There have been no discussions between the Department for Transport and the Mayor of London on this matter. The operation of the Oyster pay-as-you-go system is a matter for the Mayor and Transport for London. The hon. Member may wish to write to the managing director of London Underground and London Rail, Mike Brown, at:

London Underground

55 Broadway

London

NW1 3HG

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passengers using Oyster pay-as-you-go cards have been overcharged on London rail services in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [46983]

Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport does not hold this information. This is a matter for the Mayor and Transport for London. The hon. Member may wish to write to the managing director of London Underground and London Rail, Mike Brown, at:

London Underground

55 Broadway

London

NW1 3HG

Renewables Fuel Agency

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what (a) costs will be incurred and (b) savings will be made from abolishing the Renewables Fuel Agency in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13, (iv) 2013-14 and (v) 2014-15; [46478]

(2) what residual functions will remain following the abolition of the Renewables Fuel Agency; which organisation will carry out each such function; what the estimated costs of each such function are; and what transfer of funds will be made to each organisation to carry out each such function; [46479]

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1145W

(3) what the budget for the Renewables Fuel Agency (a) was in (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11 and (b) will be in (A) 2011-12, (B) 2012-13, (C) 2013-14 and (D) 2014-15. [46679]

Norman Baker: The Renewable Fuels Agency’s (RFA) budget in 2009-10 was £1.43 million and in 2010-11 it was £1.75 million.

On 14 October 2010, as part of the cross-Government review of Public Bodies, it was announced that the Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) would be abolished and its functions transferred to Department for Transport (DfT).

To manage this process as smoothly as possible, on 24 February 2011 the Office of the Renewable Fuels Agency (Dissolution and Transfer of Functions) Order 2011 was laid. This Order will dissolve the RFA and transfer its functions to the Secretary of State for Transport on 1 April, to align with the financial year break. From 2011-12, budgeting for the functions previously carried out by the RFA will be included in Department for Transport business planning.

The Order transfers all the functions of the RFA and will deliver administrative efficiencies without compromise to the important regulatory role that the RFA currently provides. It introduces no new business costs. Exact future costs and savings are inherently uncertain, however, transitional costs are currently estimated at £100,000 and these would likely be incurred in financial years 2011-12 and 2012-13. We intend that by 2014-15, the cost of administering the renewable transport fuels obligation scheme will be reduced by around a third in real terms against the current baseline.

Rescue Services: Helicopters

Mr Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had on the provision of search and rescue helicopters. [47889]

Mike Penning: Recent discussions have been held with officials, who are conducting a series of discussions with search and rescue industry representatives.

Mr Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had on potential long-term procurement options for search and rescue helicopters; and if he will make a statement. [47891]

Mike Penning: Recent discussions have been held with officials, who are subsequently conducting a series of discussions with search and rescue industry representatives to establish what short term procurement options may be available for the future provision of search and rescue helicopters. We have yet to engage with industry on long term options. We are considering those options and will make a statement in due course.

Roads: Bedfordshire

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what date he expects Central Bedfordshire Council to have received additional funding to repair potholes on roads in its area; and how much it will receive. [48131]

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1146W

Norman Baker [holding answer 21 March 2011]: The Secretary of State for Transport wrote to leaders of all local highway authorities in England on 23 February 2011 setting out the conditions for exceptional additional funding to repair damage caused by the severe winter weather. This requested that authorities responded by 16 March 2011 confirming their acceptance of these conditions.

We are now collating the responses received and expect to inform authorities, including central Bedfordshire, of their allocations shortly. As we have explained, we intend to distribute the funds formulaically based on the Department’s existing highways maintenance capital funding formula which takes into account road length and condition.

Roads: Noise

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that resurfacing of the A19 near Elwick, Teesside is undertaken with materials that help to reduce the noise of traffic. [47904]

Mike Penning: The A19 in the vicinity of Elwick forms part of the A168/A19 Design Build Finance Operate contract and is operated and maintained by Autolink Concessionaires (A19) Ltd on behalf of the Highways Agency. The contract requires Autolink to maintain the road to standards that existed at the time the contract was signed in 1996. These standards did not require the use of low-noise surfacing materials.

The northbound carriageway of the A19 is being resurfaced between the A689 and A179 junctions, commencing on 19 June 2011 for a period of approximately three weeks. Autolink Concessionaires do not propose to use low-noise surfacing for these maintenance works.

Severn River Crossings: Tolls

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on arrangements for collection of Severn Crossing tolls after the end of the current concession. [48178]

Mike Penning: There have not been any recent discussions held between the Secretary of State for Transport or Ministers, with the Welsh Assembly Government on the Severn Crossing Tolls.

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has any plans to transfer responsibility for the collection of tolls on the Severn Crossing to the Welsh Assembly Government after the end of the current concession. [48179]

Mike Penning: No decisions have been made regarding the future of the Severn Crossings once the concession ends in 2017.

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether revenue from tolls on the Severn Crossing will be hypothecated for any purpose after the end of the current concession. [48180]

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1147W

Mike Penning: No decisions have been made regarding the future of the Severn crossings once the concession ends in 2017.

West Coast Railway Line: Rolling Stock

Mr Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 14 March 2011, Official Report, column 106W, on the West Coast Railway Line: rolling stock, what assessment his Department has made of the costs and benefits of the introduction of double deck passenger trains on the West Coast Main Line compared to those of constructing a new high speed rail line. [47861]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 18 March 2011]: In 2007, Network Rail released the Preliminary Evaluation of Double Deck and Extra Long Train Operations report that concluded that the costs of introducing double deck passenger trains on the existing West Coast Main Line outweighed the benefits. The introduction of double deck trains was dismissed at the preliminary sift of the options-to-evaluate stage of the High Speed Rail Strategic Alternatives study because of the prohibitive costs identified in the Network Rail report.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Burma: Elections

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the conduct of the recent elections in Burma. [48385]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Although voting on the day was calm, the UK Government received widespread reports of severe vote manipulation, particularly through the use of additional advanced votes after the count had officially closed and coercion of voters. Moreover, we have serious misgivings over the regime’s official results. The Election Commission initially reported that in some constituencies voter turnout exceeded 100% and in Kachin state where the regime had banned the elections, two pro-government candidates were declared winners.

Before any votes were cast, 25% of seats in the legislature were reserved for the military, the regime’s proxy political party received privileged access to state resources, and Aung San Suu Kyi was excluded from the process.

Under such circumstances, there is no doubt that elections were not free, fair or inclusive.

Council of Ministers

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the forthcoming UK Chairmanship of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers; what programmes, conferences and activities he has planned for the UK Chairmanship; and if he will make a statement. [48392]

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1148W

Mr Lidington: Programmes, conferences and activities for the UK Chairmanship of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers are currently under discussion. No costings have yet been agreed. We will formally announce our Chairmanship priorities at our handover meeting with the outgoing Chairmanship (Ukraine). This will probably take place in early November 2011.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Elections

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support his Department is providing to the Democratic Republic of Congo in preparation for its presidential and parliamentary elections. [48388]

Mr Bellingham: Our ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has met Government figures including the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to press for elections to be free, fair and well administered. Our ambassador has also recently met the leaders of the main opposition parties and our embassy continues to monitor the human rights situation pertaining to freedom of expression around the elections.

Under UN Security Council resolution 1925, the United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) is mandated to provide logistical and technical support for the elections. The UK’s assessed contribution to MONUSCO is around £62 million per year.

The Department for International Development is one of the major donors to the 2007-13 electoral cycle. This contribution is focused on voter registration, strengthening the electoral commission, as well as funding civil society to provide education. It is aimed at ensuring that everyone has the right to vote, and encouraging as wide a participation as possible.

Iran: Politics and Government

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the removal of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from a clerical assembly in Iran; and what assessment he has made of the effect of that removal on the political situation in that country. [47765]

Mr Hague: We assess that Ayatollah Rafsanjani's decision to relinquish the chairmanship of the Assembly of Experts will not have a significant impact on Iran's internal and external policies, which remain a serious concern for the international community.

Iran: Sanctions

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had on the effectiveness of the Iranian sanctions programme imposed by the international community in meeting its objectives; and if he will make a statement. [47692]

Alistair Burt: We, and our E3+3 partners, are gravely concerned by the Iranian nuclear programme. We continue to pursue a diplomatic solution to the issue, through the dual track policy of pressure and engagement.

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1149W

Sanctions are having an impact and have slowed the programme. But Iran has yet to resolve our concerns on meeting its obligations. So we believe further pressure will be required.

Japan: Natural Disasters

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his Japanese counterpart in relation to the recent earthquake and tsunami. [47390]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs spoke on the telephone to the Japanese Foreign Minister on 12 and 13 March to discuss the situation following the earthquake and tsunami to offer UK assistance and to express his condolences.

The Secretary of State also held a meeting with the Japanese Foreign Minister at the G8 Foreign Ministers in Paris on 14 March and reiterated the Government's offer of assistance.

Libya

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff of his Department have been (a) sent to and (b) evacuated from Libya in the last three weeks. [46709]

Alistair Burt: In order to assist the recent evacuation of British nationals from Libya, in the period up to 28 February we deployed five Rapid Deployment Teams, in total 26 staff, to reinforce the approximately 80 Foreign and Commonwealth Office employees based in our embassy in Tripoli. Since then, a sixth Rapid Deployment Team has been deployed. As a result of the suspension in operations at our embassy on 26 February 2011, all of the British embassy staff not employed locally in Libya have left. A small team of officials recently dispatched to eastern Libya was withdrawn on 6 March 2011.

Libya: British Nationals Abroad

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made provision for UK nationals who have elected to stay in Libya to receive consular advice should they require it. [48118]

Alistair Burt: In the light of the deteriorating situation in Libya we have temporarily suspended the operations of our embassy in Tripoli. The Turkish Government are now temporarily representing British consular interests in Libya. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to Libya. We believe that the vast majority of British nationals who want to leave have now left Libya, through commercial means, Government charters and military evacuations. We urge any remaining British nationals in Libya to leave as soon as they can safely do so and not to rely on further assisted evacuations. We have encouraged British nationals in Libya to register with us to allow us to maintain contact with them. We have maintained contact with all British nationals we know of who have chosen to stay in Libya to advise them of exit options and assist them should they wish to leave.

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1150W

Libya: Politics and Government

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the decision was taken to hold the COBR meeting on Libya on 24 February 2011. [45323]

Mr Hague: The decision that Cabinet Office briefing room (COBR) should meet on 24 February 2011 was taken in the early hours of 24 February 2011 on the grounds that the situation in Libya warranted it. It has met frequently since then.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office crisis centre has been staffed to cover the growing unrest in Libya from 19 February 2011. I was in frequent contact with ministerial colleagues including my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Defence and Secretary of State for International Development as the situation in Libya developed.

Mexico: Smuggling

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the (a) sale of weapons to drugs gangs in Mexico and (b) importing of illegal drugs. [48390]

Alistair Burt: There is no record of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs discussing either topic with his US counterpart.

Middle East: Armed Conflict

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the firing of shells by Hamas into the Eshkol region, of Israel on 19 March 2011; whether he (a) has taken steps and (b) plans to take steps in the next six months at the United Nations in respect of this issue; and if he will make a statement. [48865]

Alistair Burt: As I said in my statement on 21 March 2011, following the recent actions by Hamas:

“I condemn the barrage of mortars on southern Israel from Gaza in recent days. The indiscriminate targeting of Israeli citizens, as they celebrated the Jewish festival of Purim, is unacceptable. The firing of over 50 mortars in the space of a few hours, as well as a Grad rocket on Ashkelon that caused injury and damage, signals a further, worrying escalation in the situation at a time when international efforts are focused on getting Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Hamas must halt these strikes immediately, and rein in other militant factions in Gaza.

These attacks come against the backdrop of last week's footage of Hamas security forces assaulting students and other peaceful demonstrators in Gaza. Over the weekend Hamas also targeted local and foreign media organisations. The people of Gaza, like the people across the region, have an absolute right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Hamas should not think that while the attention of the world is elsewhere we will turn a blind eye to their actions.”

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had recent discussions with the Arab League on the firing of shells and rockets by Hamas into Israel; and if he will make a statement. [48866]

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1151W

Alistair Burt: We are in close contact with the Arab League at ministerial and official level. Recent contacts have focused on the situation in Libya. However, I have underlined our views in public on the recent mortar attacks on southern Israel.

I made the following statement on 21 March 2011:

“I condemn the barrage of mortars on southern Israel from Gaza in recent days. The indiscriminate targeting of Israeli citizens, as they celebrated the Jewish festival of Purim, is unacceptable. The firing of over 50 mortars in the space of a few hours, as well as a Grad rocket on Ashkelon that caused injury and damage, signals a further, worrying escalation in the situation at a time when international efforts are focused on getting Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Hamas must halt these strikes immediately, and rein in other militant factions in Gaza.

These attacks come against the backdrop of last week's footage of Hamas security forces assaulting students and other peaceful demonstrators in Gaza. Over the weekend Hamas also targeted local and foreign media organisations. The people of Gaza, like the people across the region, have an absolute right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Hamas should not think that while the attention of the world is elsewhere we will turn a blind eye to their actions.”

Middle East: Politics and Government

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of recent pro-democracy protests in (a) the Middle East and (b) North Africa; what discussions he has had at the United Nations on each such case; and if he will make a statement. [47681]

Alistair Burt: As the Secretary of State said on 17 March 2011, Official Report, columns 494-83, an unprecedented wave of change is now sweeping across the Arab world. Almost every middle eastern country has been affected at the same time by demands for greater political openness and democratic freedom. In Egypt and Tunisia, it has led to new interim governments and the hope of a more democratic future. In Libya, legitimate protest has been followed by bloody civil strife at the hands of a Government willing to countenance any loss of life in order to cling to power. In each instance of instability, there have been implications for thousands of British expatriates who live and work in these countries.

Each nation involved has a distinct culture, political system and level of economic development, so whatever their futures hold, there will be no single model. However, there is clearly a common hunger for justice, accountability, political rights and economic opportunity, given that the overwhelming majority of the demonstrations that we have seen have been peaceful and staged spontaneously by ordinary citizens. Our message to all Governments of the region is that without change popular grievances will not go away. The right to peaceful protest must be respected and responded to with dialogue.

We have consistently supported the right to peaceful protest throughout all demonstrations in the middle east and north Africa. There is clearly a common desire for justice, accountability, political rights and economic opportunity. We will continue to raise our concerns with international partners and institutions.

Palestinians: Politics and Government

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the presence of al-Qaeda in the Gaza Strip;

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1152W

what recent discussions he has had with

(a)

the government of Israel,

(b)

the Palestinian Authority,

(c)

the government of Egypt,

(d)

the Arab League,

(e)

the government of Jordan,

(f)

his EU counterparts and

(g)

the United Nations Secretary General on this issue; and if he will make a statement. [47693]

Alistair Burt: I refer my hon. Friend to the response given to him on 7 February 2011, Official Report, column 23W.

South Korea: Bears

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the South Korean government to seek an end to the practice of farming bears for bile. [47580]

Mr Jeremy Browne: We consider bear bile farming to be an abhorrent practice. We are committed to promoting the conservation of wild animals worldwide, including through our membership of international agreements such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. In addition, when appropriate, we look for opportunities to raise animal welfare issues bilaterally.

Sudan: Human Rights

Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his most recent assessment is of the human rights situation in Darfur. [48366]

Mr Bellingham: We remain concerned about serious ongoing violations of human rights in Darfur and the increase in violence, which has resulted in an estimated 43,000 civilians being displaced in the last two months. We have raised our concerns about human rights abuses with the Government of Sudan, including the need to end impunity for crime committed in Darfur and to allow full and unhindered access for vital humanitarian work in Darfur.

Syria

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outcome was of his recent visit to Syria; whether he discussed (a) the progress of and (b) Syrian support for the Middle East peace process with his Syrian counterpart; and if he will make a statement. [48087]

Alistair Burt: During his recent visit to Syria the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs covered a wide range of issues, including the need for progress on political reform, human rights and trade. He also discussed the middle east peace process with President Assad and Foreign Minister Muallem. The Secretary of State highlighted our commitment to comprehensive peace, our undertaking to do all that we can to that end and our view that all those in the region have a role to play.

The United Kingdom will continue to press for progress on the middle east peace process. The situation across the middle east demands that, and I recently discussed progress with President Abbas. We want to see a resumption

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1153W

of negotiations based on clear parameters supported by the international community: 1967 borders with equivalent land swaps, appropriate security arrangements, Jerusalem as the capital of both states and a just solution for refugees.

Syria: Nuclear Power

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of Syria's nuclear programme; what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Government of Israel, (b) the Palestinian Authority, (c) the Government of Egypt, (d) the Arab League, (e) the Government of Jordan, (f) his EU counterparts and (g) the United Nations Secretary General on this issue; and if he will make a statement. [47699]

Alistair Burt: The UK strongly supports the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) investigations on Syria and welcomes the recent report by the Director General on Syria's nuclear activities. It is important that Syria co-operates with this international body and ensures that the IAEA can complete its investigations.

We urge Syria to comply with the IAEA's requests to be given further access to Syria's nuclear sites, and to provide documentation on these sites. We believe it is in Syria's interests to provide full transparency in order to allow the agency to investigate effectively.

We discuss the issue of Syria's nuclear programme regularly within the EU, but have not recently raised bilaterally with the countries listed.

Third Sector

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what account he has taken of the compact between the Government and civil society in policy development. [42597]

Alistair Burt: We take our relationships with civil society organisations seriously and engage with them throughout the world on foreign policy issues. Working with civil society is central to the way we deliver policy and is fundamental to the work of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Some examples of our engagement with civil society organisations, in line with the compact, include working with the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Control Arms Coalition (this includes Oxfam, Amnesty International and Saferworld) on trying to secure the Arms Trade treaty; holding round table events with NGOs to listen to their concerns ahead of visits or events, including recent events on China, Burma and Sudan; and we are undertaking a programme of outreach events around the UK to further develop our links with civil society organisations and inform them of foreign policy aims.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) hosts the Advisory Group on Human Rights, which he established to ensure that he receives the best possible information about human rights challenges and benefits from outside advice on the conduct of our policy. The group’s members are eminent individuals with a broad range of human rights

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1154W

experience, drawn from non-governmental organisations, the legal and academic communities and international bodies.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department provided to each charity it funds in each of the last five years; and how much he has allocated for funding to each such charity in each of the next five years. [48274]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not allocate any central funding to specific charities, other than the British Council, through an annual grant in aid. The details of this funding are published in our annual accounts and also annual parliamentary estimates. The British Council is an executive non-departmental public body, a public corporation (in accounting terms) and also a charity.

We do use charities as project implementers around the world to help deliver UK foreign policy objectives, where they have the necessary skills or experience.

Budgets in the FCO are devolved to over 260 posts and details of such payments to charities are not held centrally. As a result, this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The FCO does provide office space and services, but no financial support, to the Pimpernel Trust in the UK. It is a registered charity which helps retired members of the diplomatic service.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Nature Conservation

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much funding his Department allocated to the Turks and Caicos Natural Trust in each of the last five years. [48036]

Mr Bellingham: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has allocated the sum of £20,000 to the Turks and Caicos Islands National Trust in the last five years. The project was approved in 2006 to support restoration work following hurricane damage.

Venezuela: Trade Unions

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the situation of trade unionists in Venezuela. [47558]

Mr Hague: Our embassy in Venezuela, together with the EU delegation in Caracas, continue to monitor trade union issues. Trade union issues are also the subject of reports by Venezuelan non-governmental organisations, international human rights organisations and international organisations such as the InterAmerican Commission of Human Rights. Although some organisations have welcomed recent increases in the minimum wage and the high level of job security in Venezuela, some recent reports have expressed concern about threats against trade union leaders, restrictions on freedom of association and collective bargaining rights.

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1155W

International Development

Burma: Overseas Aid

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department had discussions with Aung San Suu Kyi on its policy on aid to Burma. [48351]

Mr O'Brien: Officials from the Department for International Development (DFID) and Her Majesty’s ambassador to Burma are in regular contact with Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy. Recently DFID officials have informed Aung San Suu Kyi about the UK’s plans on aid to Burma and sought her views.

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department provides funding to the Women’s League of Burma. [48386]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) is providing funding to one member of the Women’s League of Burma, the Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN). In 2010, DFID provided £76,413 to SWAN to improve health, education and livelihoods, and to empower women and promote their rights, in communities displaced by conflict along the Thailand-Burma border. DFID does not provide funding to the Women’s League of Burma itself.

Third Sector

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department provided to each charity it funds in each of the last five years; and how much he has allocated for funding to each such charity in each of the next five years. [48277]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) supports non-government organisations (NGOs) through a range of centrally managed funds and through DFID's country programmes. Details of funds provided to UK-based NGOs in 2009-10 through these different channels can be found in table 19 of Statistics on International Development 2010, which is available in the Library of the House and on the DFID website. Details of funding to NGOs based in other countries and the specific purpose and conditions attached to all funding to NGOs cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate costs. However, further details of all DFID projects, including those delivered by NGOs, can be found on the project database on our website;

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-DFID/Finance-and-performance/Aid-Statistics/

Data for 2010-11 will be available in October 2011.

Final decisions are still being taken for funding for 2011-12 and beyond. DFID has recently introduced the Aid Transparency Guarantee, which commits the Government to making our aid fully transparent to citizens in both the UK and overseas, increasing accessibility and feedback, and pushing international partners to follow this UK lead. Under this guarantee we will

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1156W

publish full and detailed information on our projects and programmes on our website—in a standardised, accessible format so that it can be freely used by third parties.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Nature Conservation

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department has allocated to the Turks and Caicos Natural Trust in each of the last five years. [48035]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) allocated a total of £212,509 between June 2004 and March 2008 from the Overseas Territories Environment Programme (OTEP) for projects implemented by the Turks and Caicos National Trust. This funding was channelled through the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum.

World Bank: Energy

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 9 March 2011, Official Report, column 1094W, on development countries: energy, if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department’s submissions to the World Bank energy strategy review. [47967]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: I have arranged for the Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) input to the World Bank’s energy strategy review to be placed in the Library of the House.

Cabinet Office

Average Earnings

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will estimate the average wage of employees of businesses with more than 10 employees of each (a) gender and (b) age group for those in (i) full-time and (ii) part-time employment. [48322]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking us to estimate the average wage of employees of businesses with more than 10 employees of each (a) gender and (b) age group for those in (i) full-time and (ii) part-time employment. (48322)

Average levels of earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for all employees on adult rates of pay whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence. The ASHE, carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom.

I attach a table showing the median gross weekly earnings for full-time and part-time employees of businesses with more than 10 employees of each (a) gender and (b) age group for April 2010.

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1157W

UK median gross weekly earnings for businesses with more than 10 employees by age bands (1) : April 2010
£
  Full-time Part-time

Male Female Male Female

16-17(2)

*188.2

*180.0

*56.5

50.4

18-21

287.5

271.5

100.0

90.1

22-29

424.9

404.7

145.0

147.7

30-39

581.1

514.4

187.9

186.9

40-49

626.4

478.5

189.0

183.9

50-59

592.7

448.1

198.9

180.7

60+

489.8

392.5

163.2

145.0

(1) Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence. (2) Figures for 16 to 17-year-olds include employees not on adult rates of pay. Guide to quality: The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of a figure, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an average of 200 with a CV of 5%, we would expect the population average to be within the range 180 to 220. Key: CV <= 5% * CV >5% and <=10% Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), Office for National Statistics

Census

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what plans he has for the presentation of data resulting from those who have chosen to write in a religion on their 2011 Census form. [47622]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to respond to your recent question asking what the plans are for the presentation of data resulting from those who have chosen to write in a religion on their 2011 Census form. [47622]

The ONS is currently consulting with users on the main set of statistical outputs designed for the 2011 Census (including religion) to ensure it reflects user needs and meets expectations. The current proposal lists twenty-eight tables relating to religion with cross-tabulations against other variables such as age, sex, health and occupation, and the religion categories presented in these tables include write-in responses. The tables will be available at different levels of geography down to Census outputs areas (approximately 175,000 areas in England and Wales consisting of an average of 125 residents each).

The 2011 Census aims to take action to improve outputs (compared to 2001) relating to minority groups who are often captured in written responses including religion. The current consultation refers directly to this and provides users with the opportunity to advise ONS of their requirements for such statistics.

Details of the consultation and the current proposed list of table layouts can be found at:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/census/2011-census/consultations/open-consultations/2011-output-consultation---main-statistical-outputs---second-round/index.html

Charities: Finance

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which charities applied for but did not receive funding from the Transition Fund. [48473]

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1158W

Mr Hurd: There was an early tranche of 18 Transition Fund awards made on 15 February and a further tranche of 183 awards made on 22 March. These awards will be followed by many more in April and May. We do not publish details of unsuccessful applicants.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much has been allocated from the Transition Fund (a) to charities operating in each region and (b) to each type of charity. [48474]

Mr Hurd: To date there have been 201 awards from the Transition Fund. The amount per region and the type of services that these organisations deliver are set out in the tables. These awards are the first of many; further awards will be made in April and May.

Region Number of awards Total amount awarded (£)

East of England

10

938,190

East Midlands

20

1,191,643

London

48

4,952,471

North East

17

1,241,807

North West

21

1,589,516

South East

13

1,027,173

South West

31

2,535,546

West Midlands

24

1,655,836

Yorks and Humberside

17

1,396,480

Total

201

16,528,662

Service area Instances (1)

Health

117

Education

115

Children

133

Employment

64

Homelessness

44

Offenders

34

Debt and legal advice

39

Total

546

(1) Many applicants delivered a range of services, so these figures do not equal to the total number of awards.

Charity Commission: Manpower

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people the Charity Commission employed in each of the last five years; and how many people he expects it to employ in each of the next five years. [48253]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Charity Commission for England and Wales. I have asked the Commission to reply.

Letter from Sam Younger, dated 21 March 2011:

As the Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, I have been asked to respond to your written Parliamentary Question (48253), how many people the Charity Commission employed in each of the last five years; and how many people he expects it to employ in each of the next five years [48253].

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1159W

The average Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) staff in post for each of the years requested is as follows:


FTE

2005-06

517

2006-07

490

2007-08

471

2008-09

464

2009-10

466

2010-11

430

2011-12

387

2012-13

320

2013-14

277

2014-15

272

The projections relate to the financial years covered by the next Spending Review period. FTE in 2015/16 cannot be projected as we do not know what our funding will be in that year.

I hope this information is helpful.

Migration

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people migrated (a) to and (b) from the UK in each of the last five years; and how many are expected to migrate (i) to and (ii) from the UK in each of the next five years. [47447]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to respond to your recent parliamentary question asking how many people migrated (a) to and (b) from the UK in each of the last five years; and how many are expected to migrate (i) to and (ii) from the UK in each of the next five years (47447).

The attached table provides both the latest published estimates of long term international migration and projections of future migration.

Long Term International Migration (LTIM) estimates are provided for the years ending mid-2006 up to and including provisional estimates for the year ending mid-2010. These are the latest available estimates and are derived from several data sources. The International Passenger Survey (IPS) migrant data provides the foundation of the LTIM estimates with adjustments for asylum seekers, people whose intentions change with regard to their length of stay, and for international migration to and from Northern Ireland.

Projections of future migration are provided from the year ending mid-2011 to the year ending mid-2016. The most recent population projections of the UK are based on the mid-year population estimates for 2008 and a set of demographic assumptions about future fertility, mortality and net migration based on analysis of trends and expert advice. The assumptions for in-migration and out-migration are by-products of this process and do not feed directly into producing projections.

The national population projections are not forecasts and do not attempt to predict the impact that future government policies, changing economic circumstances or other factors (whether in the UK or overseas) might have on demographic behaviour. However, the projections included in the table will reflect the impact of any government policy up to 2008.

Long-term international migration data produced by the ONS applies the UN definition of someone who moves from their country of previous residence for a period of at least a year, irrespective of citizenship.

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1160W

Long-term international migration estimates and projection assumptions: All migrants, United Kingdom
Thousand
E nding June each year: Inflow Outflow Balance

2006

565

388

+177

2007

595

387

+208

2008

571

375

+196

2009

563

397

+166

2010(1)

572

346

+226

2011(2)

671

470

+201

2012(2)

671

475

+196

2013(2)

671

480

+191

2014(2)

671

485

+186

2015(2)

670

490

+180

2016(2)

670

490

+180

(1) Year includes provisional estimates for 2010. (2) 2008-based National Population Projections migration assumptions. The projections assume constant levels of annual net migration beyond 2014-15. Notes: 1. From year ending mid-2011, National Population Projection assumptions have been provided. Due to the different methodology used these are not directly comparable with published migration estimates. 2. The assumed net migration is used in the production of the projections. The assumptions for in-migration and out-migration are by-products of this process and do not feed directly into producing projections. Care should be taken when interpreting these figures.

Third Sector

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much the Department gave to the youth volunteering charity v in each of the last five years. [48240]

Mr Hurd: Funding levels for v, the national young volunteers service, can be found on the Cabinet Office web pages at the following url:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/cabinet-office-annual-reports-and-accounts

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent representations he has received from (a) Volunteering England and (b) Citizens Advice on the effects on the voluntary sector of recent reductions in public expenditure. [48314]

Mr Hurd: I meet regularly with a range of voluntary sector organisations. On 16 November 2010 I attended the England Volunteering Development Council organised by Volunteering England and heard first hand about the effects of reductions in public expenditure.

On 24 February 2011, the Office for Civil Society hosted a meeting of a number of advice providers including Citizens Advice. The information from this meeting was shared directly with me.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of the position of England in international comparator tables on levels of (a) volunteering and (b) State support for the voluntary sector. [48486]

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1161W

Mr Hurd: The Giving Green Paper, published in December 2010, cited analysis carried out by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which suggested that the UK ranks in 29(th) place worldwide in terms of giving time.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) estimates that statutory support to general charities in the UK amounted to £12.8 billion in 2007-08. The Cabinet Office has not made any assessment of how this compares internationally.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent assessment his Department has made of the level of social enterprise activity in each region. [48487]

Mr Hurd: The Annual Small Business Survey conducted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, estimates that there are at least 60,000 social enterprises in the UK. The survey does not provide a regional breakdown of the level of social enterprise activity.

The Cabinet Office conducts the National Survey of Charities and Social Enterprises on a biennial basis to gather information on the activities and views of sector organisations, including social enterprises. Results from the 2010 wave of the National Survey, including regional data, are expected to be published in April 2011. The results from the 2008 survey are available at:

www.nscsesurvey.com

Transitional Fund

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office on what date the Transition Fund was (a) opened and (b) closed. [48254]

Mr Hurd: The Transition Fund was opened to applications on 30 November 2010 and closed on 21( )January 2011.

Unemployment: Bexley

Mr Evennett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent estimate he has made of the number of workless households in (a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and (b) the London borough of Bexley. [48106]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what recent estimate has been made of the number of workless households in a) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and b) the London borough of Bexley (48106).

The figures requested come from the Annual Population Survey (APS) household datasets. The latest data currently available is for 2009. The attached table shows estimates for Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and the London borough of Bexley.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty as different samples give different results. These estimates are such that there is 95 per cent certainty that from all samples possible they will lie within the lower and upper bounds.

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1162W

Table 1: Number of workless households (1) i n Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency and London borough of Bexley, January to December 2009
Thousand

Estimate Lower bound (2) Upper bound (2)

Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency

7

5

9

London borough of Bexley

15

12

18

(1) Households containing at least one person aged 16 to 64, where all individuals aged 16 or over are not in employment. (2) 95% confidence interval which means that from all samples possible there would be 95% certainty that the true estimate would lie within the lower and upper bounds. Source: APS household dataset

Voluntary Work: Young People

Tony Baldry: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when he expects to establish a National Citizen Service for all ages. [48327]

Mr Hurd: The Government have no plans at present to widen the age range for participation in the National Citizen Service beyond young people aged 16.

Volunteering England: Finance

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much funding was allocated to Volunteering England in each of the last five years; and how much such funding he plans to allocate in each of the next five years. [48344]

Mr Hurd: Cabinet Office funding to Volunteering England for 2005-06 to 2009-10 is shown in the table.

£

2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10

Strategic funding

1,203,200

1,500,000

1,537,500

1,575,900

1,615,300

Project grant

839,938

0

0

0

0

Management of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (ex VAT)

173,410

177,745

182,189

17,375

0

Total

2,216,548

1,677,745

1,719,689

1,593,275

1,615,300

Through the Office for Civil Society strategic partner transition programme Volunteering England will receive £500,000 in 2011-12, £375,000 in 2012-13 and £250, 000 in 2013-14.

Home Department

Crime: Devon

Dr Wollaston: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of levels of (a) violent crime and (b) domestic violence in South Devon in each of the last three years. [47530]

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1163W

James Brokenshire: The Home Office collects data on violence against the person offences recorded by police forces in England and Wales. Data are collected at police force area level but can be broken down to local authority, Community Safety Partnership (CSP) and Basic Command Unit (BCU) levels. None of these levels have an area exactly corresponding to South Devon, however data are provided for South Hams alongside the total figures for England and Wales for each year from 2007-08 to 2009-10 in Table A.

Data on domestic violence are collected via the British Crime Survey but these can only be broken down to regional level. Data for the South West Region are provided in Table B. Further information can be found in ‘Homicides, Firearms Offences and Intimate Violence 2009-10’ at the following link:

http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs11/hosb0111.pdf

Data on police recorded offences of domestic violence are collected but cannot be broken down beyond police force area level. Data for Devon and Cornwall police force area for 2007-08 to 2009-10 are provided in Table C.

Table A: Recorded violence against the person offences in South Hams and England and Wales, 2007-08 to 2009-10
Area 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10

South Hams

634

554

502

       

England and Wales

961,099

903,447

871,712

Table B: Percentage of adults aged 16 to 59 who were victims of domestic abuse in the last year, 2007-08 to 2009-10 BCS
        Statistically significant change:

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2007-08 to 2008-09 2008-09 to 2009-10

South West

5.8

4.1

4.7

*

Note: To enable comparisons over time, these figures do not include stalking as questions on stalking were not included in the 2007-08 BCS.
Table C: Reported domestic violence incidents (1) , Devon and Cornwall police, 2007-08 to 2009-10

Number of reported domestic violence incidents

2007-08

23,789

2008-09

25,872

2009-10

25,659

(1) All data are provisional and unverified.

Detention Centres: Children

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what date she expects to end the practice of detaining the children of failed asylum seekers. [46734]

Damian Green: On 16 December 2010, the Government announced a new package to deliver our commitment to end the detention of children for immigration purposes and the immediate closure to children of the family unit at the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre. A new

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1164W

approach to managing family returns has been developed which places far greater emphasis on engagement with families and aims to encourage families to leave without the need for enforcement action if they are found to have no legal right to be in the UK.

Most elements of this new process went live across the UK on 1 March 2011, including a new independent Family Returns Panel to advise the UK Border Agency on how to ensure the return of those families who do not take up the opportunities to leave under their own steam. A range of options has been developed to provide sufficient flexibility for a tailored approach to each family.

As a backstop, a new option of pre-departure accommodation is being developed for use when other options for ensuring return have failed or are not appropriate. This will have a secure perimeter but families will be allowed to leave the premises with permission after a suitable risk assessment. It will have an entirely different look and feel to an immigration removal centre with more privacy and strictly time-limited stays. Barnardo’s will deliver the key welfare, safeguarding and support services. We expect this to open in the summer.

The small number of family rooms at Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre may be used in place of the new pre-departure accommodation until May. After May, Tinsley House will only be used for those few families who are refused entry to the UK at the border and need to be held for a short time prior to their return or for criminal and other high-risk families who could not be accommodated safely in the pre-departure accommodation.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if she will introduce a formal time limit on the detention of children in Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre; [47782]

(2) if she will introduce a formal time limit for children to be housed in open accommodation and pre-departure accommodation facilities. [47783]

Damian Green: A new approach to managing family returns has been developed and was introduced on 1 March. It aims to encourage families to leave without the need for enforcement action if they are found to have no legal right to be in the UK.

Where enforcement action does need to be taken, a range of options has been developed to ensure the safe return of families. These options include open accommodation and, as a backstop when other options for ensuring return have failed or are not appropriate, pre-departure accommodation. A small number of family rooms at Tinsley House immigration removal centre may be used in place of the new pre-departure accommodation until May. After May, Tinsley House will be used only for those few families who are refused entry to the UK at the border and need to be held for a short time prior to their return or for criminal and other high-risk families who could not be accommodated safely in the pre-departure accommodation.

Families will enter open accommodation on a voluntary basis and will be entirely free to come and go during their stay. Families will only enter open accommodation where their return can be delivered within 72 hours of the family's arrival there, or within five working days

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1165W

for Third Country Unit or Non Suspensive Appeal cases. If the return fails, the family may remain in open accommodation, but their stay will not exceed a maximum of 28 days. Stays in pre-departure accommodation and in Tinsley House will be strictly time-limited: the normal maximum will be 72 hours, which may be extended in exceptional circumstances to a maximum of seven days with ministerial authorisation.

Other than in border cases, families will enter open accommodation, pre-departure accommodation and Tinsley House only after advice has been sought from a new independent Family Returns Panel.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many families have been separated when one parent is held in immigration detention while their children or spouses stay in the community for the purposes of immigration control; and how many such families were single parent families where the parent detained was the primary or sole care giver in each of the last five years; [47798]

(2) in how many cases where children were cared for in fostering arrangements or by another parent while their parent was in immigration detention the UK Border Agency has information on whether the child's care arrangements gave rise to child protection concerns which were identified by children's services; and of such cases in how many instances were child protection concerns identified. [47784]

Damian Green: The information requested is not recorded centrally by the UK Border Agency and could be obtained only through examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost. However, in response to the Family Removals: Thematic Inspection report by the Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, the UK Border Agency has committed to improving the management information held on families.

The UK Border Agency takes its responsibilities for safeguarding children seriously and where possible ensures that families remain together. Typically, separations would take place only in cases where a member of the family is also a former foreign national prisoner and a decision has been made to maintain their detention pending deportation. Under the new arrangements for managing family returns, families without any criminal history would only be separated in exceptional circumstances and after advice had been sought from the independent Family Returns Panel.

Foreign Nationals

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of (a) Brazilian, (b) Russian, (c) Indian and (d) Chinese nationals resident in the UK. [48338]

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 March 2011:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to respond to your question asking the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1166W

has made of the number of (a) Brazilian, (b) Russian, (c) Indian and (d) Chinese nationals resident in the UK. [48338].

The Office for National Statistics collects data on nationality from the Annual Population Survey (APS) which is a household survey of residents of the UK. It should be noted the survey does not include people living in most types of communal establishment. The latest estimates available are for the 12 month period of July 2009 to June 2010 and these are shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Estimated population resident in the United Kingdom, by selected nationalities July 2009-June 2010
Thousand
Nationality Estimate C I+/-

Brazil

40

9

China

104

14

India

322

24

Russia

21

6

Note: ‘CI’—Confidence Interval Source: Annual Population Survey (APS), ONS

Human Trafficking

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she plans to take to ensure that police receive adequate (a) funding and (b) training to be able to recognise and deal with cases of human trafficking. [48530]

Damian Green: Combating human trafficking is part of core police business. All new police officers receive mandatory training on trafficking and existing officers have access to awareness material.

Immigration: Correspondence

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) letters, (b) emails and (c) other items of correspondence her Department has received on immigration issues in the last 12 months. [47440]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency does not routinely collect statistics on the number of inquiries made by members of the public and these could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However figures are published annually by the Cabinet Office on inquiries from Members of Parliament. In 2009 the UK Border Agency received 66,320 inquiries by letter or e-mail. The figures for 2010 will be published in due course.

Sexual Offences: Males

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will (a) assess the adequacy of provision of specialist support for males who have been subject to sexual violence and (b) take steps to increase such provision. [47168]

Lynne Featherstone [holding answer 16 March 2011]: The Secretary of State for the Home Department has confirmed that Home Office funding of more than £28 million will be available over four years to support victims of sexual and domestic violence including male victims of sexual violence. Of this, £1.72 million will be available each year on a stable basis to support independent sexual violence advisers in both the specialist voluntary sector and in SARCs.

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1167W

Traffic Wardens

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) traffic enforcement officers, (b) traffic wardens and (c) council parking attendants were operating in each police force area in England and Wales in each year since 1997. [47793]

James Brokenshire: The latest available data are provided in the tables which show the number of full-time equivalent traffic wardens employed by the police in each police

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1168W

force area from 1996-97 to 2009-10. The tables also contain the number of full-time equivalent police officers with a traffic function in each police force area from 2002-03 to 2009-10. Figures prior to 2002-03 are not available.

The number of traffic wardens employed by the police has declined substantially in recent years. This reflects the increasing role of local authorities in parking control. However, figures for council parking attendants are not provided as the Home Office does not collect statistics on local authority employed staff.

Police officer traffic function (1) (FTE) (2) in England and Wales as at 31 March (4, 5) . England and Wales
Traffic function

2002- 03 2003- 04 (3) 2004- 05 2005- 06 2006- 07 2007- 08 2008- 09 2009- 10

Avon Police force and Somerset

216

222

228

215

148

160

168

157

Bedfordshire

75

80

80

81

68

65

56

57

Cambridgeshire

85

99

101

99

96

90

99

101

Cheshire

194

200

194

85

91

94

88

90

Cleveland

64

73

2

61

72

104

108

115

Cumbria

107

110

108

111

114

99

88

86

Derbyshire

107

121

116

119

110

109

89

88

Devon and Cornwall

192

198

211

215

225

232

236

239

Dorset

91

86

82

81

80

78

79

76

Durham

111

119

108

105

100

107

104

96

Essex

241

242

243

243

231

219

222

257

Gloucestershire

62

66

67

73

67

67

67

65

Greater Manchester

406

392

359

342

352

338

315

310

Hampshire

248

246

244

240

237

214

187

181

Hertfordshire

150

151

149

149

145

152

151

139

Humberside

123

119

225

181

100

104

97

116

Kent

104

122

116

109

122

138

138

Lancashire

198

187

190

197

184

180

181

171

Leicestershire

92

95

85

77

72

74

85

86

Lincolnshire

90

89

96

102

100

92

86

84

London, City of

24

24

28

24

23

26

23

30

Merseyside

125

119

115

138

150

152

167

164

Metropolitan Police

583

592

1,029

603

611

612

290

297

Norfolk

120

121

107

112

110

118

109

102

Northamptonshire

70

71

65

63

63

60

68

68

Northumbria

245

253

165

167

172

165

164

189

North Yorkshire

151

138

101

97

99

105

103

99

Nottinghamshire

26

121

133

134

139

144

139

47

South Yorkshire

180

127

134

141

143

144

135

130

Staffordshire

50

49

58

28

35

34

30

67

Suffolk

68

72

76

80

77

81

72

67

Surrey

108

110

107

99

87

98

97

100

Sussex

164

163

163

160

169

160

166

159

Thames Valley

259

259

245

236

237

250

249

228

Warwickshire

103

103

93

97

93

93

14

10

West Mercia

292

115

117

116

129

128

119

101

West Midlands

384

405

393

401

383

352

351

351

West Yorkshire

320

314

317

343

324

283

297

315

Wiltshire

91

96

93

13

89

91

85

83

Dyfed-Powys

136

105

141

143

136

126

94

84

Gwent

93

95

96

102

95

57

49

63

North Wales

115

114

76

81

98

90

88

88

South Wales

243

245

243

243

252

233

165

143

Total of 43 forces

6,902

6,706

7,104

6,511

6,412

6,299

5,714

5,634

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1169W

23 Mar 2011 : Column 1170W

(1 )Staff with multiple responsibilities (or designations) are recorded under their primary role or function. The deployment of police officers is an operational matter for individual chief constables. (2) This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding, there may be an apparent discrepancy between the totals in this table and totals in similar published tables. (3) Data not provided by Kent police force. (4) This traffic function table does not appear on our website but is used for policy purposes such as briefing documents, as a result, the data are confirmed with forces. (5) Definition of the traffic function: Staff who are predominantly employed on motor-cycles or in patrol vehicles for the policing of traffic and motorway related duties. This includes officers employed in accident investigation, vehicle examination and radar duties. Include staff who are predominantly employed to support the traffic function of the force including radar, accident investigation, vehicle examination and traffic administration. Include those officers working with hazardous chemicals, and those administrative staff predominantly serving the internal needs of the traffic function of the force and those officer/staff in supporting roles.