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Written Ministerial Statements

Wednesday 13 July 2011


Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station

The Solicitor-General (Mr Edward Garnier): On 18 April 2011, Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, announced that following a review by Clare Montgomery QC, the safety of the convictions of the individuals who protested at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, should be considered by the Court of Appeal as soon as possible.

During that review, the CPS had been conducting an internal investigation into its own handling of the case. However, in light of growing concerns about the non-disclosure of material relating to the activities of an undercover police officer in this case and, following discussion with the Attorney-General and myself, the DPP said last month that he would establish an independent inquiry conducted by a senior legal figure. The DPP has now confirmed that retired Court of Appeal judge. Sir Christopher Rose will conduct this inquiry.

The terms of reference have been agreed with Sir Christopher and are as follows:

The independent inquiry will examine and make findings in respect of the following matters:

a. Whether the CPS approach to charging in this case was right, bearing in mind the known existence of an undercover police officer in the operation.

b. Whether the CPS and prosecution counsel complied with their disclosure duties properly in relation to the known existence of an undercover police officer in this case.

c. Whether the CPS arrangements in place for handling the known existence of an undercover police officer, including arrangements between the police and the CPS, the CPS and counsel and the local prosecuting team and the national co-ordinator, were adequate and properly followed in this case.

d. Whether the CPS followed all relevant guidance and policy in relation to the known existence of an undercover police officer in this case.

The independent inquiry will also make such recommendations it feels appropriate in light of the examination and findings set out above, including, if appropriate, recommendations about CPS policy and/or guidance and CPS arrangements for handling cases involving undercover police officers.

The independent inquiry has been established by, and will report its findings and recommendations to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Sir Christopher will have full access to all the available evidence and will work in tandem with the IPCC inquiry into this matter. Both organisations are committed to sharing all relevant information and arrangements are being made to ensure there is meaningful liaison between the two inquiries. Inevitably this work will take time but will be completed as soon as is practicable. The Director of Public Prosecutions intends to make public the findings and recommendations of the independent inquiry.

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Afghanistan Troop Levels

The Secretary of State for Defence (Dr Liam Fox): The next roulement of UK forces in Afghanistan is due to take place in October 2011. The UK’s current framework Brigade in Helmand, 3 Commando Brigade, will be replaced by 20th Armoured Brigade. The forces deploying include:

20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (200)

Elements of 19th Light Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadron (209)

Headquarters 101 Logistic Brigade

Elements of 845 Naval Air Squadron including members of the Maritime Reserve

Elements of 846 Naval Air Squadron

857 Naval Air Squadron

1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards

The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish)

Elements of 5th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 16th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 26th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 39th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 40th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 47th Regiment Royal Artillery

Elements of 25 Engineer Regiment

35 Engineer Regiment

Elements of 38 Engineer Regiment

Elements of 71 Engineer Regiment (Volunteers)

Elements of 12 (Air Support) Engineer Group

Elements of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group

Elements of 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division Headquarters and Signal Regiment

Elements of 10th Signal Regiment

Elements of 14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare)

Elements of 21st Signal Regiment (Air Support)

Elements of 22nd Signal Regiment

3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (The Black Watch)

1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires)

1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)

2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters)

2nd Battalion The Rifles

5th Battalion The Rifles

Elements of 1 Regiment Army Air Corps

Elements of 3 Regiment Army Air Corps

Elements of 4 Regiment Army Air Corps

Elements of 9 Regiment Army Air Corps

Elements of Joint Helicopter Support Squadron

Elements of Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Support Battalion

1 Logistic Support Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 6 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 7 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 8 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 9 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 17 Port and Maritime Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 23 Pioneer Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 29 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps

1 Medical Regiment

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Elements of 201 Field Hospital (Volunteers)

Elements of 208 Field Hospital (Volunteers)

3 Close Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Elements of 19 Light Brigade Combat Service Support Battalion

Elements of 101 Force Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Elements of 104 Force Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

110 Provost Company Royal Military Police

Elements of 173 Provost Company Royal Military Police

Elements of Special Investigation Branch United Kingdom

Elements of 1 Military Working Dogs Regiment

Elements of 1 Military Intelligence Brigade

Elements of 15 Psychological Operations Group

Elements of 88 Postal and Courier Regiment (Volunteers), The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 148 Expeditionary Force Institute Squadron (Volunteers), The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 156 Transport Regiment (Volunteers), The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 159 Supply Regiment (Volunteers), The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 162 Postal Courier and Movement Regiment (Volunteers), The Royal Logistic Corps

Elements of 166 Supply Regiment (Volunteers), The Royal Logistic Corps

602 Tactical Air Control Party

603 Tactical Air Control Party

606 Tactical Air Control Party

618 Tactical Air Control Party

Number 3 Royal Air Force, Force Protection Wing Headquarters

Elements of Number 2 Royal Air Force Police Wing

Elements of Number 3 Royal Air Force Police Wing

2 Squadron, Royal Air Force Regiment

Elements of 101 Squadron Royal Air Force

Elements of 39 Squadron Royal Air Force

31 Squadron, Royal Air Force

IX(B) Squadron, Royal Air Force

2 (Army Co-Operation) Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 5 (Army Co-Operation) Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 18 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 24 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 27 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 28 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 30 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 78 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of the Tactical Supply Wing, Royal Air Force

Elements of 1 Air Mobility Wing, Royal Air Force

Elements of 1 Air Control Centre, Royal Air Force

Elements of 90 Signals Unit, Royal Air Force

Elements of 2 (Mechanical Transport) Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 5001 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Elements of 3 Mobile Catering Squadron

Elements of Tactical Medical Wing

Elements of 1 (Expeditionary Logistics) Squadron

Elements of 93 (Expeditionary Armaments) Squadron

Elements of Tactical Imagery Wing

Elements of 5131(BD) Sqn

Volunteer and ex-regular members of the reserve forces will continue to deploy to Afghanistan as part of this integrated force package, and we expect to issue around 530 call-out notices. On completion of their mobilisation procedures the reservists will undertake a period of training and, where applicable, integration with their respective receiving units. The majority will

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serve on operations for around six months. As part of this commitment we expect up to 24 members of the sponsored reserves to be in theatre at any one time.

The UK’s conventional force level will remain at 9,500 for the duration of the deployment.

I shall make a further statement on the units we expect to serve under 20th Armoured Brigade’s planned replacement formation, 12 Mechanized Brigade, nearer the time of their deployment.

Operational Allowances

The Secretary of State for Defence (Dr Liam Fox): Our forces currently on operations in Libya are performing brilliantly and at considerable risk to themselves. We regularly review the payment of the operational allowance (OA) that recognises the risk and hardships faced by our forces on operations.

We have recently completed such a review, and have decided it is only appropriate to extend the OA to all those serving this country on operations in Libya.

This will result in the payment of OA to anyone operating within the land mass, airspace and territorial waters of Libya, including all aircrew operating over the Libyan land mass and to ships and submarines within 12 nm of the coast. Payment is based on the number of days within the specified areas, and will be backdated until 18 March 2011 with funding coming from the reserve.

In accordance with the agreed policy, those engaged in operations for which they are in receipt of OA on the day that individuals are notified—1 September 2011 for the Army and the RAF, 30 September 2011 for the Royal Navy —will be excluded from the redundancy programme. Similarly, those on a dedicated operational work-up package, of up to six months, or post-operational tour leave on the day of notifications will also be excluded.

Deputy Prime Minister

Electoral Administration Provisions

The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (Mr Mark Harper): I am announcing today the publication of draft legislation on three electoral administration provisions for pre-legislative scrutiny.

The draft legislation is intended to form part of a larger package of measures which will also include draft legislation on individual electoral registration (IER) which has been published separately for pre-legislative scrutiny.

The draft legislation addresses particular issues that have been raised by MPs and peers, and by electoral stakeholders, and proposes practical and sensible changes that will help to deliver more effective electoral administration.

The draft legislation includes provisions which extend the timetable for UK parliamentary elections from 17 to 25 days and similarly extends the timetable for UK

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parliamentary by-elections. The existing timetable for UK parliamentary elections and by-elections is considerably shorter than the electoral timetable for all other UK polls. The very limited time available for the postal vote process compromises effective participation in elections by certain types of voter, particularly overseas and service voters. Moreover, the existing timetable puts considerable pressure on administrative processes by compressing a large number of tasks into a short period, which represents significant risks to the effective conduct of elections.

Extending the timetable for UK parliamentary elections and by-elections will bring benefits for voters and administrators, as well as adding to the robustness and integrity of the electoral process. The Government propose that, within this extended timetable:

the deadline for parties to nominate candidates should continue to be six days after the start of the timetable, so parties will have the same time as now to put forward candidates to stand for election. In practice this will now be 19, rather than 11, days before the date of poll, which will allow administrators to begin printing ballot papers further in advance of polling day;

provision should be made for updated versions of the electoral register to be created at an earlier point in the timetable to allow postal votes to be distributed to new registration applicants earlier than is currently possible.

We also propose to address an oversight in existing legislation passed during the previous Government’s time in office which allows a candidate standing for a single party in a UK parliamentary election to use an emblem on their ballot paper, but does not allow jointly nominated candidates to do so. This issue has primarily affected candidates standing on behalf of the Labour party and the Co-operative party. The proposal will ensure that electoral law is consistent on this issue.

The draft legislation also makes changes to the existing system for reviews of polling districts and places in Great Britain for UK parliamentary elections to bring them in line with the five-year cycle for UK parliamentary boundary reviews implemented by the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 and the proposed cycle of parliamentary terms under the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill.

I am today sending the draft legislation to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee for pre-legislative scrutiny.

A Command Paper setting out the draft legislation and associated explanatory notes will be laid before the House.


Munro Review of Child Protection

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education (Tim Loughton): On 10 June 2010, I informed the house that the Government was commissioning the Munro review of child protection. This was the very first review established in the Department for Education, underlining the enormous priority this Government place on getting child protection right.

From the start, we wanted the Munro review of child protection to be different. That is why, unlike its predecessors, it was not commissioned as an immediate response to a specific crisis. That is why Professor Munro’s final report—published in May—recommended

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that regulation and prescription are reduced rather than increased. And, most importantly of all, that is why it focused on the child, rather than the system.

I am extremely grateful to Professor Munro for undertaking a wide-ranging and in-depth review. I am also grateful to all the organisations in the sector, the child protection work force and the wider public, including children and young people themselves, who contributed to the review. Their experience, insights and expertise have helped make her final report so well informed, and so widely welcomed.

Just as Professor Munro conducted her review openly and collaboratively, the Government have worked with the sector to develop the Government’s response. An implementation working group, drawing on expertise from local authority children’s services, the social work profession, the police and, in particular, education and the health service, advised on the Government’s response to Professor Munro’s recommendations.

The Government commend Professor Munro’s thorough analysis of the issues and accepts her fundamental argument that the child protection system has lost its focus on the thing that matters most: the views and experience of children themselves. We believe we need to move towards a child protection system with less central prescription and interference, where we place greater trust and responsibility in skilled professionals at the front line.

The Government’s response is not a one-off set of recommended solutions to be imposed from the centre. Rather it is the start of a shift in mindset and relationship between central Government, local agencies and front-line professionals, working in partnership. Change will evolve and best practice will develop based on experience, innovation and evidence. Our aim will be to create the conditions for sustained, long-term reform which enables and inspires professionals to do their best for vulnerable children and their families.

Professor Munro will continue to advise the Government and will undertake an interim assessment of progress in spring 2012. I have placed copies of the Government’s response in the Libraries of both Houses.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Pesticide Residues Committee

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr James Paice): On 14 October 2010, the Government announced the outcome of their review of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs). This reported that the majority of DEFRA’s scientific and technical advisory bodies were to be abolished and reconstituted as expert Scientific Committees to provide advice on specific areas. As part of implementing these reforms, the Pesticide Residues Committee (PRC), which was a non-statutory advisory NDPB, has been abolished and replaced by an expert Scientific Committee from 1 July 2011. The new Committee will be called the Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF) to more accurately reflect its remit.

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The PRiF Committee will continue to support DEFRA, the devolved Administrations and the Food Standards Agency on the scope and operation of surveillance for residues of pesticides in food and the significance to consumers of any residues detected.

The new Committee’s membership and terms of reference can be found on the PRiF website: http://www.pesticides.gov.uk/prc_home.asp.

Home Department

Scientific Procedures on Living Animals

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Lynne Featherstone): The “Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals—Great Britain—2010” (HC 1263), was laid before the House today. Copies will be available in the Vote office.

This annual statistical report meets the requirement in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 to inform Parliament about the licensed use of animals for experimental or other scientific purposes. It also forms the basis for meeting periodic reporting requirements at EU-level. Supplementary information with additional tables is also available on the Home Office website.

The 2010 statistical report shows that the number of licensed procedures started in 2010 increased slightly over 2009 to just over 3.7 million scientific procedures and constituted a rise of 105,000 (3%). This rise follows a slight fall in the 2009 statistical report. A number of factors, such as investment in research and development and strategic funding priorities, determine the overall level of scientific procedures

The Home Office, as regulatory authority under the 1986 Act, ensures that its provisions are rigorously applied and only authorises work that is scientifically justified and minimises the numbers of animals used and the animal suffering that may be caused.

The statistical report and supplementary information can be found at:


I am pleased to inform the House that I have also today placed in the Library the annual report of the Home Office “Animals Scientific Procedures Division and Inspectorate” for the year 2010.

Publication of the report honours a commitment given in response to a recommendation of the House of Lords Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures in July 2002 that more information should be made available about the implementation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

As in previous years, the report explains what Home Office inspectors do and how they do it and the inspectorate’s role in assessing and advising on applications for personal and project licences and certificates of designation under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and reporting non-compliance.

The report also contains information on the work of the ASPD policy and licensing teams; it explains how, in partnership with ASPI, ASPD have continued to

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work towards delivering our better regulation programme and new IT system; includes a section setting out the reporting of cases of non-compliance and infringements of ASPA and the outcomes of these cases (see annex D), and records progress with the adoption of European Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, which came into force on 9 November 2010.

Independent Safeguarding Authority

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Lynne Featherstone): I am pleased to announce that the annual report 2010-11 and accounts of the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) will be laid before Parliament and published today.

Copies will be available in the Vote Office.

Family Migration

The Minister for Immigration (Damian Green): Today, I am publishing a consultation on family migration. Immigration has enriched our culture and strengthened our economy, but uncontrolled immigration places pressure on our public services and on community cohesion. The Government have already introduced a limit on non-European economic area economic migrants entering the UK; have reshaped tiers 1 and 2 of the points-based system to increase selectivity and skills requirements; have started implementing changes to tier 4, the student visa system; and are currently consulting on breaking the link between economic migration and settlement, and on other temporary work routes. These policies will reduce net migration, but we need to take action across all routes to ensure this returns to sustainable levels and we bring a sense of fairness back to our immigration system.

This consultation on family migration is the next in our programme of immigration reforms. In the year to September 2010, family migration accounted for around 17% of all non-EU immigration to the UK.

The proposals included in the family consultation are aimed at tackling abuse, promoting integration and reducing burdens on the taxpayer. A contribution to reduced net migration would be welcome but is not the primary goal. The focus is on delivering better family migration: better for migrants, for communities and for the UK as a whole.

The consultation concentrates on the family route: those non-EEA nationals entering, remaining in or settling in the UK on the basis of a relationship with a British citizen or person settled in the UK. This includes fiancé(e)s, proposed civil partners, spouses, civil partners, unmarried or same-sex partners, dependent children and adult and elderly dependent relatives. In 2010, 48,900 visas were granted to people on the family route, of which 40,500 were issued to people on the basis of marriage or civil or other partnership, and 8,400 were issued to dependants.

We set out firm proposals for reform of the family route. The key elements are: a minimum income threshold for sponsors to provide appropriate maintenance, on which we have asked the Migration Advisory Committee

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to advise; in line with other routes, extending the probationary period from two years to five years before a spouse or partner can apply for settlement (and before which non-contributory benefits may not be claimed. Access to the labour market, to the NHS and to schooling will be unaffected by this change); and a requirement to understand everyday English before settlement is granted. We propose that all those seeking settlement or citizenship should demonstrate an appropriate level of English, and we will consider whether changes to the current testing regime could further assist integration.

We also propose to help UK Border Agency caseworkers consider spouse and partner applications by defining what we mean under the rules by a genuine and continuing relationship, marriage or partnership; to end immediate settlement, and immediate access to benefits, on entry for spouses and partners who have been married or in a relationship for at least four years before coming to the UK, and for adult dependent relatives, including those aged 65 or over, and to require both groups to complete a five-year probationary period; and to look at arrangements for dependent relatives aged 65 or over to settle in the UK, reflecting health and social care costs to the taxpayer.

The consultation also invites discussion on some broader propositions, particularly in relation to tackling sham marriages and forced marriages. On sham marriages these build on existing joint work between the UK Border Agency and the General Register Offices across the UK, local registration services and the Anglican Church. They also explore the case for legislative change in England and Wales, including making “sham” an impediment to marriage and allowing a marriage to be delayed while a suspected sham is investigated.

It is important that we look at family migration in the round and so the consultation also deals with other family migration issues.

In 2010, 45,200 dependants under the points-based system were granted a visa with a route to settlement in the UK. The consultation proposes moving to a five-year probationary period and everyday English for settlement for the spouses and civil and other partners of points-based system migrants, in line with other groups.

Many British citizens and persons settled in the UK have family members living outside the UK. This results in a high volume of visa applications from people wishing to visit family here. In 2010, 350,300 family visit visas were issued, with around 73% granted on initial decision by the visa officer. In 2010-11, 95% of family visit visa applications were decided by the UK Border Agency within 15 working days.

We have reviewed the arrangements for the operation of the family visit visa. We are concerned that taxpayer funding of around £40 million per year is being spent on appeals where appellants are commonly misusing the appeals system, by submitting information on appeal which should have been put forward as part of the original application, or where a second application (costing another £76) is the most appropriate route for securing a visa. We are also concerned that this is a disproportionate use of taxpayer funding (for an appeal process which can take up 34 weeks to be concluded) for the benefit sought: a short-term visit to the UK. Greater priority should be given to appeal cases that have far-reaching impacts for the individuals concerned and for the public at large, for example asylum claims, settlement applications and the deportation of foreign criminals.

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In the light of this, we are reviewing the full right of appeal for family visit visas and we invite views on whether there are circumstances in which an appeal right should be retained, beyond the race discrimination and human rights grounds which, in line with other categories of temporary entry clearance, will continue to be available.

Finally, the consultation invites discussion on the balance to be struck on article 8 of the European convention on human rights (the right to respect for private and family life) between individual rights and the public interest in public protection and maintaining immigration controls. Article 8 is not an absolute right and our proposals aim to set out requirements that must be satisfied in family migration cases which are consistent with our ECHR obligations. We also want to be clear about the circumstances in which the public interest will outweigh an individual’s article 8 right.

Details of the public consultation can be found on the Home Office website and a copy will also be placed in the Library of the House.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, until 6 October 2011, and we will announce our firm plans in due course, with a view to implementing changes during 2012.

Identity and Passport Service

The Minister for Immigration (Damian Green): The Identity and Passport Service annual report and accounts 2010-11 have been laid before the House today.

Copies will be available in the Vote Office.

Serious Organised Crime Agency

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has today published its annual report and accounts for 2010-11. I have laid a copy before the House and made arrangements to place copies in the Vote Office.

UK Border Agency

The Minister for Immigration (Damian Green): The UK Border Agency annual report and accounts 2010-11 has been laid before the House today.

Copies will be made available in the Vote Office.



The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Mr Crispin Blunt): The Government have become increasingly concerned about the distress and misery that squatters can cause. Law-abiding property owners or occupiers who work hard for a living can spend thousands of pounds evicting squatters from their properties, repairing damage and clearing up the debris they have left behind.

I have met with hon. Members and corresponded with members of the public who have expressed concern about the appalling impact squatting has had on their properties or local neighbourhoods.

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The Government do not accept the claim that is sometimes made that squatting is a reasonable recourse of the homeless resulting from social deprivation. There are options open to those who are genuinely destitute and who need shelter which do not involve occupying somebody else’s property without authority. No matter how compelling or difficult the squatter’s own circumstances are claimed to be, it is wrong that legitimate occupants should be deprived of the use of their property.

There should be no doubt about the seriousness with which the Government treat this problem or our determination to tackle it. The Housing Minister and I have already published new guidance on the direct.gov website for property owners on evicting squatters under existing legislation.

The consultation paper we are publishing today invites views on whether more should be done to strengthen the criminal law or its enforcement. We could do this, for example, by introducing a new offence of squatting; by strengthening existing offences that currently apply to squatters; or by working with the enforcement authorities to identify and overcome barriers to enforcement of existing offences that may be committed by squatters.

The Government acknowledge that some of the options they are proposing may have an impact on the enforcement authorities, local authorities, homelessness charities and other organisations. Any option we decide to pursue as a result of this consultation will need to be workable and affordable, taking account of the current economic climate and reduction in Government expenditure.

Of course, we must also tackle problems affecting the wider housing market and bring more empty homes back into productive use. The Government intend to publish an empty homes strategy over the summer and a wider housing strategy in the autumn, setting out the overall approach to housing policy, including how we are supporting an increase in the supply and quality of new private and social housing, helping those seeking a home of their own, whether to rent or buy. The Government have already made available £4.5 billion to help deliver new affordable housing through the affordable homes programme and as part of that, £100 million to bring empty homes back into use.

I am placing copies of the consultation paper in the Libraries of both Houses, but it can also be viewed on the Ministry of Justice website: www.justice.gov.uk.

Prison and Probation Services (England and Wales)

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Mr Kenneth Clarke): In the response to the Green Paper, “Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders”, I set out a vision for a transformed justice system that will focus on public protection and cutting crime. An important part of delivering the changes I am committed to is ensuring that the services we provide are focused on delivering the best possible outcomes and the greatest value for money.

Competition between providers of our services can help us to meet these challenges as the previous Government recognised when they made contestability a feature of offender services when setting up the National Offender Management Service in 2004. The “Competition Strategy

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for Offender Services”, which I have published today, sets out how we will change the way we use competition to meet these aims. My approach is based on ensuring an effective balance between making services more efficient while reforming them so that they provide better outcomes for the public. In doing so, we will draw on a wide range of expertise from the private and voluntary sector, which will work in partnership with a strong public sector.

For offender services, I intend to employ the principle that competition will apply at some stage to all those services not currently bound to public sector delivery by statute. This will mean the benefits of competition can be felt much more widely, contrasting with the previous approach of only using competition when procuring new services or as a way of managing poor performance.

Underpinning this approach will be our commitment to apply more widely the principles of payment by results to services which reduce reoffending. By paying some or all of a contract value on the basis of the reduced reoffending levels achieved, we can focus service providers’ efforts on what works. This will ensure that money spent on rehabilitation is spent effectively. We intend to run a number of pilot exercises and competition will be a key mechanism in deciding which models we adopt.

In practice, this will mean taking a different approach for both custodial and non-custodial services. The use of competition in custodial services is now well established, as most recently demonstrated by the successful outcome of the competition for four prisons which I announced in March this year.

To ensure that we build on this strong record I am announcing today my intention to launch competitions for the management of a further nine prisons in the autumn. These are Lindholme, Moorland, Hatfield and The Wolds in Yorkshire, Acklington and Castington in Northumberland, Durham, Onley in Northamptonshire and Coldingley in Surrey. The Wolds is a prison run by G4S that has come to the end of its current contract; the other eight prisons are public sector establishments being competed for the first time. The public sector will have the opportunity to compete in all of these prison competitions.

These prisons have been selected by the National Offender Management Service to balance our need to increase efficiency and to make real the policy intent of the Green Paper.

Looking to the future, there is a need to consider the future shape of probation services in England and Wales to improve justice outcomes and to make the justice system more efficient and effective. I have asked my officials to explore the possible options for service improvements and different models of delivering offender services within the community. I will set out my preferred approach in the autumn. Alongside this, and supporting it, I will set out in detail my competition strategy for non-custodial services, which will also encompass the recently launched competition for community payback services, the competition for electronic monitoring contracts I am announcing today, and payment-by-results pilots in the community.

A further important element of our drive for greater efficiency is to ensure we have a modern, fit-for-purpose prison estate which can deliver high-quality, cost-effective

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and secure regimes. With the prison population not growing at the rate predicted by the last Government, we have an opportunity to close some of our more inefficient places.

I am therefore announcing the closure of HMPs Latchmere House and Brockhill. This will see a reduction of 377 prison spaces. This is part of an overall programme which includes a further 2,500 new prison places becoming available over the next 12 months. This will ensure that our operational capacity continues to handle the projected prison population in a way which meets the need both for greater efficiency and ability to support a strengthened focus on protection of the public and rehabilitation.

The closure of these places will provide estimated cost savings of £4.9 million this year and an on-going annual saving of £11.4 million. We also anticipate capital receipts from sale of the land at Latchmere House, which is in a prime location. We will transfer resettlement provision from that establishment to HMP Brixton to maintain our focus on reducing reoffending. We expect to be able to absorb staff displaced by this process elsewhere in the system and to avoid the use of compulsory redundancies.

The public have a right to expect continuing improvement in the quality and efficiency of public services, without compromising public safety. The competition strategy and adjustments to the prison estate I have outlined today will help ensure that this is the case.

Copies of the “Offender Services Competition Strategy” have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The document is also available online, at www.justice.gov.uk/publications/corporate-reports/moj/oscs.htm.

Prime Minister

Intelligence and Security Committee

The Prime Minister (Mr David Cameron): I am grateful to the Intelligence and Security Committee for its valuable work and its latest annual report, Cm. 8114. Following consultation with the committee over matters that could not be published without prejudicing the work of the intelligence and security agencies, I have today laid the report before the House.

The Government’s response to this report will be laid before the House after the summer recess.

Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.



The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Mrs Theresa Villiers): Crossrail will support economic growth for London and the UK. As part of the comprehensive spending review in October 2010, the coalition Government confirmed their commitment to the full Crossrail scheme. A re-phased programme of

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delivery means that Crossrail services will commence from 2018. We expect Crossrail to cost no more than £14.5 billion. Forecasts continue to suggest that Crossrail will be delivered within its existing funding.

Crossrail has made significant progress since the last annual update to Parliament. Crossrail Ltd has now let all of its key tunnelling contracts, and enabling works are continuing at a number of sites across central London. Construction is well advanced at Canary Wharf Crossrail station, and tunnel boring machines are expected to be launched in spring 2012. In April 2011, Crossrail passed through the final project review point, at which point the Department and TfL delegated full contractual authority to Crossrail Ltd to deliver the scheme. The new chief executive of Crossrail Ltd, Andrew Wolstenholme, was appointed in May 2011.

During the passage of the Crossrail Act through Parliament, a commitment was given that a statement would be published at least every 12 months until the completion of the construction of Crossrail, setting out information about the project’s funding and finances.

In line with this commitment, this statement comes within 12 months of my last one which was published on 15 July 2010. The relevant information is as follows:

Total funding amounts provided to Crossrail Ltd by the Department for Transport and TfL in relation to the construction of Crossrail to the end of the period (22 July 2008 to 29 May 2011) (excluding recoverable VAT on land and property purchases)


Expenditure incurred (including committed land and property spend not yet paid out) by Crossrail Ltd in relation to the construction of Crossrail in the period (30 May 2010 to 29 May 2011) (excluding recoverable VAT on land and property purchases)


Total expenditure incurred (including committed land and property spend not yet paid out) by Crossrail Ltd in relation to the construction of Crossrail to the end of the period (22 July 2008 to 29 May 2011) (excluding recoverable VAT on land and property purchases)


The amounts realised by the disposal of any land or property for the purposes of the construction of Crossrail by the Secretary of State, TfL or Crossrail Ltd in the period covered by the statement


The numbers above are drawn from Crossrail Ltd’s books of account and have been prepared on a consistent basis with the update provided last year. The figure for expenditure incurred includes moneys already paid out in relevant periods, including committed land and property expenditure where this has not yet been paid. It does not include future expenditure on construction contracts that have been awarded.