UN World Conference against Racism

Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's planned approach is regarding the UN World Conference against Racism in September 2011. [70312]

Mr Jeremy Browne: I will reply to the hon. Member shortly.

Vitol Group

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) meetings and (b) other contacts he has had with Vitol Group since May 2010. [70519]

Mr Bellingham: A full list of ministerial meetings with external organisations is published quarterly on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website at:

www.fco.gov.uk/en/publications-and-documents/transparency-and-data1/hospitality/

Home Department

Detention Centres

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what monitoring arrangements have been put in place in respect of the reception and removal centres in Turkey to be established under twinning arrangements with the UK Border Agency to ensure compliance with international agreements on human rights to which the UK is a signatory. [69684]

7 Sep 2011 : Column 642W

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency is not aware of any monitoring arrangements currently in place or any plans for such in respect of the reception and removal centres in Turkey.

The projects' purpose has been to develop the standards for the management of the reception and removal centres as well as addressing overall needs for legislative and administrative alignment with EU law requirements and best practices.

Government Authorised Exchange Medical Training Initiative

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages her Department has assessed in respect of the proposal to reduce the Tier 5 visa period for the Government Authorised Exchange Medical Training Initiative from two years to one year. [69782]

Damian Green: The Government are committed to reducing net migration to the United Kingdom. This requires action across all immigration routes of entry. Against that background, the consultation document ‘Employment-Related Settlement, Tier 5 and Overseas Domestic Workers’, published on 9 June, sets out proposed changes to Tier 5. This includes a proposal to cap leave across the Tier 5 Temporary Worker route, which includes Government Authorised Exchange schemes, of which the Medical Training Initiative is one. The purpose of the consultation is to invite views on this proposal. The consultation closes on 9 September. A decision on the way forward will be assessed in the light of responses to the consultation, including those from the Royal Colleges.

Immigration

Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were granted indefinite leave to remain having entered the UK on a Tier 5 (temporary worker) visa in each year since 2008. [70308]

Damian Green: Tier 5 came into existence in 2008 and no one who has entered the UK on a Tier 5 visa will have as yet completed the five years needed to be granted indefinite leave to remain. However, some of those who have entered on a Tier 5 visa may have switched into the marriage route and thereby been granted indefinite leave to remain but the information requested could be obtained only by the detailed examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

Immigration: Females

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the confirmed number of women granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK under the domestic violence rule in 2009; and what the equivalent provisional number is for 2010. [69480]

Damian Green: The requested information is provided in the following table:

7 Sep 2011 : Column 643W

Wives granted settlement due to domestic violence after leave to remain granted as a spouse
Year of grant Number of people

2009

708

2010

766

Notes: 1. Data for 2010 are provisional. 2. Settlement is a grant of indefinite leave to enter (on arrival) or indefinite leave to remain (after entry) to a non-EEA national. 3. Excludes dependants. 4. Includes those grants of settlement which follow the outcome of reconsideration cases and the outcome of appeals. 5. May include a small number of cases in which a decision is recorded twice, where an individual has dual nationality. 6. ‘Wives’ includes same sex, civil and unmarried partners.

Information on grants of indefinite leave to remain under the domestic violence rule is published annually in the Immigration Statistics release, which is available from the Home Office Science web site at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/migration/migration-statistics1/

A copy of the latest release, Immigration Statistics April to June 2011, will be placed in the House Library.

National DNA Database

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals' records are held on the National DNA database. [69616]

James Brokenshire: As at 30 June 2011, there were 6,696,156 DNA profile records on the National DNA database taken by all UK police forces which relate to an estimated 5,729,959 individuals (estimate taken 4 July 2011). On 30 June 2011 there were 6,264,559 profile records taken by forces in England and Wales, which relate to an estimated 5,368,950 individuals (estimate taken 4 July 2011).

The number of individuals is estimated because a proportion of DNA profiles held on the NDNAD are replicates, that is a person's profile has been loaded on more then one occasion, for example because a person gave different names on separate arrests. The presence of these replicate profiles on the NDNAD does not impact on the effectiveness and integrity of the database.

The data provided are management information and have not been formally assessed for compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. These figures may also be subject to further quality assurance checks.

Overseas Workers

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effects of abolishing the overseas domestic worker visa on the security of domestic workers; and if she will make a statement. [69794]

Damian Green: The Government's consultation on employment-related settlement, Tier 5 of the points based system and overseas domestic workers, which is open for comment until 9 September 2011, includes an option to abolish the route for overseas domestic workers to work in the private household of their employer in the UK.

7 Sep 2011 : Column 644W

As the consultation acknowledges, it is an important consideration that there can be serious problems associated with the treatment of people working for others in a domestic capacity. Documented abuses and the suspicion that the route can enable people to be brought here to be abused or exploited, provide a case for closing it. We will assess evidence and views submitted in response to the consultation that closure of the route would increase the likelihood of abuse.

The consultation is available on the UK Border Agency website at:

www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions she has had with Ministerial colleagues at the (a) Foreign and Commonwealth Office and (b) Department for International Development on the consultation document on Employment Related Settlement, Tier 5 and Overseas Domestic Workers. [70309]

Damian Green: The content of the consultation document was agreed collectively by interested Ministers prior to publication. The UK Border Agency continues to discuss the proposals with other Government Departments.

Police

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department from which foreign countries UK police forces have purchased equipment in the latest period for which figures are available. [69356]

Nick Herbert: This information is not held centrally.

Police Custody

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police cells were available for use in England in (a) 2011, (b) 2010, (c) 2000 and (d) 1990. [69911]

Nick Herbert: The provision of police cells is an operational matter for each chief officer. As such, the information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Police: Budget

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what tasks she expects the police no longer to carry out as a result of reductions in the policing budget. [69804]

Nick Herbert: In response to necessary reductions in central Government funding, every police force should be driving through efficiencies and rooting out wasteful spending in order to maintain or improve services while providing them at lower cost. The Government are playing their part by reducing central direction, getting rid of needless bureaucracy, cutting out wasted time and money in IT, and making sure police forces make the most of their vast purchasing power by buying together.

7 Sep 2011 : Column 645W

Police: Manpower

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will estimate the change in the number of positions in each police force in each of the years from 2011-12 to 2015-16. [69899]

Nick Herbert: It is a matter for the chief constable and the police authority in each force to determine the number of police officers that are deployed within the available resource.

Social Services: Manpower

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what estimate her Department has made of the number of people employed in the adult social care sector who will be subject to regulated activity following the implementation of the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Bill; [68711]

(2) what estimate she has made of the number of people employed in the adult social care sector who undertake (a) regulated and (b) controlled activity. [68712]

Paul Burstow: I have been asked to reply.

We are informed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department that a research exercise carried out in 2007 estimated that the total numbers in regulated activity under the then Vetting and Barring Scheme were around 9.3 million, based on a summation of estimates for a range of job categories.

The categories likely to correspond most closely to adult social care are ‘Residential and day care managers’, ‘Houseparents and residential wardens’ and ‘Care assistants and home carers’, although these will also include some people who provide care to children.

The estimated total for those three categories is some 713,000(1). Other categories in the survey are also likely to include elements of adult social care(2).

Most areas of adult social care will remain in regulated activity following the changes proposed in the Protection of Freedoms Bill, so we do not expect a significant reduction in the figure.

It is estimated that a total of 0.5 million people are currently in controlled activity, but figures for individual sectors such as adult social care are not available. This category will be repealed under proposals in the Protection of Freedoms Bill.

(1) The research on which this figure is based has a planning accuracy tolerance of +/-15%.

(2) For example, various forms of therapists, social workers, housekeepers-and related occupations.

Warwickshire Police Authority

Chris White: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost was of police officer pensions to the Warwickshire Police Authority in each year since 2005. [69500]

7 Sep 2011 : Column 646W

Nick Herbert: The costs of police officer pensions to a police authority consist of the employer contribution, currently 24.2% of an officer's pensionable pay, and additional costs in the event of an officer's compulsory retirement on ill-health grounds. A police authority also bears the cost of injury pensions paid to former officers injured in connection with police duty, under the Police Injury Benefit Regulations. However, information concerning the costs associated with police injury benefits are not routinely collected by the Home Office and are not included here.

The relevant costs to Warwickshire Police Authority for police officer pensions (not including injury pensions) each year were:


£ million

2006-07

8.382

2007-08

8.635

2008-09

8.601

2009-10

8.696

2010-11

(1)8.869

(1) Currently based on unaudited information.

Figures before 2006-07 relate to the previous system of police pensions financing. Information for 2005/06 and previous years about police pensions costs is included in the relevant annual reports published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). This information was gathered independently of the Home Office.

Communities and Local Government

Councillors: Travel

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on the use of (a) taxis and (b) leased vehicles for travel by their elected members. [69074]

Robert Neill: No such guidance has been issued.

The new Code of Recommended Practice for local authorities on data transparency introduces full transparency on (a) councillor allowances and expenses and (b) expenditure on goods and services over £500. Such openness will help prevent wasteful spending of taxpayers' money.

Enterprise Zones

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions he has had with business organisations about the criteria on which applications for enterprise zones are being assessed. [69914]

Greg Clark: Bids to the competition were put forward by local enterprise partnerships, who were asked to provide, in addition to other information, evidence and analysis that their proposals were likely to meet the needs of targeted business.

7 Sep 2011 : Column 647W

Government Procurement Card

Chris Kelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many Government Procurement Card transactions were made by his Department's officials withdrawing cash from automated teller machines from 2006-07 to 2009-10; at what cost; and on what dates. [67432]

Robert Neill [holding answer 19 July 2011]:The following cash withdrawals have been made by departmental officials from April 2006 to March 2010:


Amount (£)

24 April 2006

235.10

1 June 2006

611.03

8 September 2006

88.93

8 September 2006

351.42

8 September 2006

351.42

8 September 2006

402.64

18 October 2006

861.21

7 November 2006

73.12

27 November 2006

527.82

1 December 2006

205.52

5 December 2006

36.76

5 December 2006

477.94

10 January 2007

348.34

28 June 2007

500.00

2 July 2007

500.00

3 July 2007

200.00

4 November 2008

190.68

9 December 2008

49.64

Currently the Department pays a 2.95% fee on cash advances (minimum charge of £2.95). For foreign exchange transactions we pay a 2.95% fee (minimum charge of £2.95 plus a further currency exchange purchase fee of 2.95%).

The new Administration has reviewed its policy on Government Procurement Card usage. As well as reducing the number of cards held, the Department has cancelled

7 Sep 2011 : Column 648W

the cash withdrawal facility for all but two Government Procurement Card holders (for business continuity reasons).

Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) date of purchase, (b) amount, (c) supplier and (d) level 3 or enhanced transaction entry was of each transaction undertaken by Firebuy using the Government Procurement Card since its establishment. [68892]

Robert Neill: A table providing a breakdown of expenditure by Firebuy using Government Procurement Cards since its establishment has been placed in the Library of the House. This includes (a) date of purchase, (b) amount and (c) supplier; (d) level 3 or enhanced transaction details are not held centrally. Each transaction does have an expenditure type which is a broad description of the type of goods purchased. These data cover the periods July 2006 to June 2011.

Firebuy is closing as part of Government's review of arm’s length bodies and it went into voluntary liquidation on 13 July 2011.

My Department is committed to greater transparency over the use of the Government Procurement Card than under the last Administration, and has strengthened checks and balances to ensure protection of taxpayers' money.

Housing: Greater London

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the level of (a) central Government and (b) local authority expenditure on social housing development in each London borough in (i) 2012-13 and (ii) 2013-14. [69078]

Grant Shapps: The following table sets out the existing commitments through the Homes and Communities Agency's National Affordable Homes and Kickstart programmes in each London borough for 2012-13 and 2013-14.

£ million
  2012-13 2013-14 Total 2012-14

Social Rent Affordable Housing (including Social Rent) Social Rent Affordable Housing (including Social Rent) Social Rent Affordable Housing (including Social Rent)

Barking and Dagenham

7.6

9.1

18.3

21.9

25.9

31.0

Barnet

9.8

10.0

10.3

12.3

20.1

22.3

Bexley

1.2

1.4

0

0

1.2

1.4

Brent

12.2

13.9

0

0

12.2

13.9

Bromley

5.8

5.9

0

0

5.8

5.9

Camden

17.3

18.7

4.7

4.7

22.0

23.4

Croydon

8.0

8.5

0

0

8.0

8.5

Ealing

13.9

16.4

0

0

13.9

16.4

Enfield

6.6

9.8

0

0

6.6

9.8

Greenwich

30.0

35.1

25.0

26.7

55.0

61.8

Hackney

21,0

25.0

3.4

3.6

24.4

28.5

Hammersmith and Fulham

0.7

1.0

0

0

0.7

1.0

Haringey

3.0

5.5

7.3

11.1

10.2

16.6

Harrow

7.1

10.4

2.1

2.9

9.2

13.3

Havering

17.4

19.0

0

0

17.4

19.0

7 Sep 2011 : Column 649W

7 Sep 2011 : Column 650W

Hillingdon

5.6

6.9

0

0

5.6

6.9

Hounslow

2.4

3.1

0

0

2.4

3.1

Islington

10.4

12.0

4.3

8.2

14.7

20.2

Kensington and Chelsea

2.3

2.3

1.1

1.1

3.4

3.4

Kingston upon Thames

0.7

0.8

1.3

1.6

1.9

2.4

Lambeth

1.0

1.3

0

0

1.0

1.3

Lewisham

14.6

18.5

9.2

11.5

23.9

30.0

Merton

2.6

4.4

0.2

0.2

2.8

4.6

Newham

15.6

17.3

6.8

11.0

22.4

28.3

Redbridge

3.6

5.7

0

0

3.6

5.7

Richmond upon Thames

2.3

2.5

0

0

2.3

2.5

Southwark

9.2

9.3

10.7

14.4

19.8

23.7

Sutton

3.1

3.4

0

0

3.1

3.4

Tower Hamlets

27.0

31.2

3.2

4.3

30.2

35.5

Waltham Forest

10.8

12.0

0

0

10.8

12.0

Wandsworth

4.2

4.5

1.7

2.3

5.9

6.7

Westminster

1.9

2.2

0

0

1.9

2.2

Total for London

278.9

327.3

109.7

137.8

388.5

465.1

Notes: 1. The information is committed expenditure in London as at end of July 2011. 2. Includes expenditure relating to the National Affordable Housing Programme and Kickstart. 3. Excludes expenditure relating to FirstBuy and Kickstart Investment Support. 4. The Affordable Housing Total includes grant provided for social rent, as identified separately, and also grant provided for Low Cost Home Ownership 5. Figures may not sum due to rounding. Source: Homes and Communities Agency

On 14 July I announced the outcome of the Homes and Communities Agency's assessment of the proposals of the new Affordable Homes Programme 2011-15. Through this new programme 146 providers will deliver 80,000 new homes for Affordable Rent and Affordable Home Ownership with Government funding of £1.8 billion over the next four years. From this the total available to London is £627 million.

The Homes and Communities Agency is currently negotiating contracts with providers. Once this is completed they intend to publish on their website the allocations by local authority area.

This Government are also providing funding to help first time buyers and maintain capacity in the house building industry through the FirstBuy programme. The scheme will help nearly 10,500 households to purchase a new build property by spring 2013 with a 20% equity loan co-funded by Government and house builders. An allocation of £20.8 million for FirstBuy in London was announced on 20 June 2011. This has been allocated on an area wide basis, as the breakdown of funding by London borough will not be known until the completion of sales.

In addition, we have set aside almost £1 billion over this spending review period for the New Homes Bonus Scheme. This scheme will match fund the additional council tax raised, using the national average in each band, for new homes and long-term empty properties brought back into use. From 2012-13 an additional £350 will be payable for each affordable home. This unringfenced funding will ensure that the benefits of housing growth are visible to the communities affected. Local authorities will need to lead the debate with their communities to determine local spending priorities.

This Department does not hold details of local authority expenditure used to support social housing development.

The Localism Bill, currently going through Parliament, will devolve further responsibilities to the Mayor.

Land: Waste

Gavin Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether land that is designated with a B2 planning status can be used for a waste incinerator development without requiring a change in the outline planning permission. [69599]

Robert Neill: A decision on whether a development is an appropriate use for land designated in a development plan for B2 use (General Industry), or whether it is acceptable in terms of any outline planning permission already granted, is one for the local planning authority to take having regard to the circumstances of the particular case concerned.

We are currently undertaking a wider review of how change of use is handled in the planning system. This will include consideration of the status of waste management facilities within the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987.

Non-domestic Rates

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what conclusions he has reached as a result of his consultation with local businesses on his proposed changes to local business rates. [68057]

7 Sep 2011 : Column 651W

Robert Neill: The Government published proposals for business rate retention in “Local Government Resource Review: Proposals for Business Rate Retention” on 18 July 2011. Responses are requested by 24 October.

Planning: Radio

Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has any plans to require local authorities to announce public and planning notices on local or regional radio. [69711]

Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government does not have any plans to require local authorities to announce their public and planning notices on local or regional radio.

Local authorities are required by law to publicise planning notices in accordance with Article 13 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010. This normally involves notifying neighbours by letter and/or displaying a site notice, as well as publishing information about each application on their website. Additionally, in certain circumstances, a notice must be published in a local newspaper.

Regional Planning and Development

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 9 March 2011, Official Report, column 1128W, on regional planning and development, and with reference to paragraph 10 of the Government Response to the Communities and Local Government Committee's Report on Abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies: a planning vacuum, by what process the voluntary environmental assessment on the revocation of regional strategies paragraph 10 will be undertaken; and what the arrangements and timetable will be for public engagement consistent with the obligations under the Aarhus Convention. [69583]

Robert Neill: As announced in my written ministerial statement on 5 April 2011, Official Report, column 52WS, a voluntary assessment of the likely significant environmental effect of revoking the regional strategies is being undertaken in line with the process laid down in the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004. The arrangements and timetable will therefore also be in line with the process laid down in those regulations, which is also in line with the Aarhus Convention. An environmental report is being compiled for each regional strategy and public consultation will begin shortly.

South East Plan

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has made a determination under regulation 9 of the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 on the likely environmental effects of revoking the South East Plan; and if he will make a statement. [69582]

7 Sep 2011 : Column 652W

Robert Neill: As announced in my written ministerial statement on 5 April 2011, Official Report, column 52WS, the Government are undertaking a voluntary assessment of the likely significant environmental effects of revoking all eight Regional Strategies. A determination under Regulation 9 has not been made. I will announce the start of public consultation on the assessments shortly.

Tenants: Evictions

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many council tenants in each local authority area have received warnings from their local authority that they could be evicted from their homes if they, or a family member, are convicted of criminal conduct during the public disorders of August 2011. [70578]

Grant Shapps: The Department for Communities and Local Government does not collect data on the number of council tenants who have been issued with warnings by their local authority landlords that they may face eviction as a result of conduct relating to the riots.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Barbary Macaque

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will provide expert advice to the Government of (a) Morocco and (b) Algeria on steps to protect and conserve the Barbary macaque. [70064]

Richard Benyon: We have not been approached to provide expert advice to the Governments of Morocco or Algeria to help protect and conserve the Barbary macaque. We do, however, provide considerable support to several multilateral environmental agreements, such as the convention on biological diversity and the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora in support of biodiversity conservation globally.

Biodiversity

Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether international co-ordination of the conservation of high seas biodiversity will be included in her Department's priorities for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. [69390]

Richard Benyon: The UK priorities for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 (Rio+20) are currently being developed across Government. Biodiversity is likely to feature in those priorities, but the form this will take has yet to be agreed.

Telephone Services

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding she has allocated to each telephone helpline operated by her Department in 2011-12; and what the purpose is of each such helpline. [68544]

7 Sep 2011 : Column 653W

Richard Benyon: We provide the following telephone helplines:

Core DEFRA

General DEFRA Helpline

The general DEFRA Helpline provides a single point of contact for all DEFRA general inquiries from the public. Allocated funding is £252,000.

DEFRA Farming Online Helpline

DEFRA Farming Online allocates an element of its 'business as usual' budget to maintain a dedicated telephone helpline (delivered by the RPA) which provides technical assistance for farmers using DEFRA's online services through the Business Link Farming Theme and offers user technical support for farmers carrying out online transactions in respect of the systems for Cattle Tracing, Single Payment Scheme (SPS) claims and Farm Assessments and Surveys. Allocated funding is £90,000.

Wild Bird Surveillance and Animal Diseases Helpline

The helpline's twin purposes are: to enable members of the public to report mass (five or more carcases) wild bird fatalities for Avian Influenza surveillance purposes; and to provide assistance for animal keepers during outbreaks of non-native (exotic) diseases of animals. Allocated funding is £25,000.

PLANET (Planning Land Applications of Nutrients for Efficiency and the environment) Helpline

The helpline is a support mechanism for the PLANET computer-based decision support tool which helps farmers and land managers optimise their use of fertilisers and other nutrients so helping with growing of crops and avoiding over-use which can harm the environment. The helpline provides a mix of IT help for farmers while they familiarise themselves with the software and provides nutritional advice from trained fertiliser advisers. Allocated funding is £35,000.

Executive Agencies

Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency

PETS Helpline

This provides advice and guidance on pet passports and travelling with pets. Allocated funding is £120,000.

TSE Helpline

This helpline gives general and technical advice to the disposal industry and farmers relating to BSE and scrapie testing requirements. Allocated funding is £50,000.

Rural Payments Agency

(Note technical assistance on using the respective systems covered by the two helplines following is provided by the DEFRA Farming Online Helpline listed above).

The British Cattle Movement Service Helpline

This helpline supports cattle keepers of Great Britain and includes a separate Welsh language helpline. It provides information and guidance on the rules, regulations and requirements in respect of cattle passports and the reporting of birth, death and movement of cattle. Allocated funding is £777,000.

The Rural Payments Agency Helpline

This helpline provides information and guidance on the rules, regulations and requirements in respect of the Rural Land Register, Customer Registration and the Single Payment Scheme (SPS). Allocated funding is £2,726,000.

Non-Departmental Public Bodies

The Environment Agency

The Environment Agency Floodline

This comprises a Recorded Message service and Live Agent service providing information on flood warnings and advice to customers on what to do before, during and after flooding in

7 Sep 2011 : Column 654W

England Wales and Scotland. The Scottish portion is funded by Scottish Government via Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). Allocated funding is £950,000 (which excludes £50,000 funding from SEPA).

The Environment Agency's National Customer Contact Centre (NCCC)

This has three helplines: General inquiries, Hazardous Waste and Agricultural Waste. The NCCC is not purely an inbound helpline service. It provides help and guidance, multiple registration services, an outbound regulation awareness service and a host of non-phone activities that include e-mail correspondence and paper and electronic application processing. Allocated funding within the NCCC for the three helpline services is £1,400,000.

Natural England

Natural England I nquiry Service

This is the first point of contact for general inquiries covering Natural England and its work. Allocated funding is £30,000.

Cross Compliance Helpline

This fulfils an EU legal requirement to provide advice to farmers and landowners. It is available to all Single Payment Scheme (SPS) claimants and is delivered on behalf of DEFRA. Allocated funding is £60,000.

Open Access Helpline

Open Access restrictions, inquiries and advice for landowners, farmers and the public as required by legislation and including fire severity risk advice. Allocated funding is £60,000.

Wildlife Management and Licensing Helpline

This provides advice on wildlife and the issuing of licences as required by legislation. It also provides advice on wild birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians that are legally protected. Allocated funding is £60,000.

Environmental Impact assessment

Advice is provided for landowners and farmers on Environmental Impact Assessment (Agriculture) Regulations as required by legislation. Allocated funding is £20,000.

Wildlife Poisoning Incidents

This is for people seeking advice and guidance on as well as reporting of suspected wildlife poisoning incidents. Allocated funding is £20,000.

Environment Protection

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps she has taken at an international level in respect of steps to (a) reduce levels of overfishing, (b) mitigate the impact of greenhouse gases in acidifying the oceans, (c) reduce levels of man-made pollution and (d) reduce levels of nutrient run-off. [69632]

Richard Benyon: The information requested is as follows.

(a) The UK is leading the calls to reform the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to overcome its serious structural failings, which have led to the over-exploitation of fish stocks including the wasteful practice of discarding fish. The UK is building support for genuine and radical change that includes providing the incentives and regulatory framework to enable us to:

catch less fish but land more of it, for example by replacing landing-based quota with catch quotas;

7 Sep 2011 : Column 655W

adopt a regionalised CFP that eliminates over-detailed central regulation; and

apply the same principles of sustainable use of marine resources within and outside EU waters.

The UK is also calling on Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, which manage fish stocks in international and coastal waters, to set quotas that fully reflect the best available scientific advice in order to ensure the future sustainability of all species.

(b) The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has the lead responsibility for mitigation including international negotiations under the UN framework convention on climate change. However, in order to improve our understanding of the potential impacts of ocean acidification DEFRA, DECC and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are jointly funding a £12 million research programme. This programme has strong links into the European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA) which has enabled cross-national field observations and joint modelling projections to be undertaken which could not have been undertaken by any one country. As a result of this collaborative approach, EU scientists have become the international leaders in ocean acidification research. The next stage is to engage in a major joint EU-US experiment, while maintaining a strong European leadership.

Scientists all around the world are working to understand what these impacts might be. The five year UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme (UKOA) is the UK's response to these growing concerns over ocean acidification and is jointly funded by DEFRA, DECC and NERC. This programme is also inputting to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United Nations Framework convention on climate change.

(c) The UK Government are fully involved in a wide range of international initiatives, beyond those undertaken within the European Union, to address man-made pollution. These include:

The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), which promotes the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle so that, by 2020, chemicals around the world are produced and used in ways that minimise significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

The Rotterdam convention, which promotes shared responsibility and co-operative efforts among parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals in order to protect human health and the environment and to contribute to the environmentally sound use of those chemicals.

The Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs), a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that remain intact in the environment for long periods, become widely distributed geographically, accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans and wildlife, and have adverse effects to human health or to the environment.

The UK, as a party to the Stockholm convention, agreed at the fifth meeting of the Conference of the Parties on 25-9 April 2011 to add endosulfan, a widely used pesticide, to the list of persistent organic pollutants

7 Sep 2011 : Column 656W

to be eliminated worldwide. This decision was among more than 30 measures taken by parties to the convention to boost global action against POPs.

The UK plays an active role in the convention on long range transboundary air pollution (CLRTAP) in order to tackle emissions to air of a range of harmful pollutants from the wider Europe and North America area. In 2009 the protocol on persistent organic pollutants was revised to include controls on additional organic pollutants. Amendments to the Gothenburg protocol are expected to be agreed within the next seven months leading to reductions in emissions of five pollutants (nitrogen oxides; sulphur dioxide; volatile organic compounds; ammonia and particulate matter) that lead to acidification, eutrophication, ground level ozone and particulate matter. Revisions to the heavy metals protocol are expected to be agreed within approximately the next year, bringing further controls on the metals cadmium, lead and mercury.

(d) The UK is participating with other North sea countries in an initiative organised through the OSPAR convention for the protection of the north-east Atlantic to

model the contribution of the nutrient load of different rivers to eutrophication effects (chlorophyll and oxygen) in coastal and offshore areas of the North sea to estimate the degree of change needed in key parameters to bring the current eutrophication problem areas in the eastern North sea to non-problem area status.

Action to amend the Gothenburg protocol under the CLTRAP is expected to lead to further international controls on emissions of nitrogen dioxide and ammonia, and to updated guidance on fertiliser and manure management resulting in more efficient nitrogen use and reduced levels of nutrient run off.

The UK signed up to the commitments under the convention on biological diversity new Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-20 at the Nagoya Biodiversity Conference in October 2010. The Strategic Plan includes target 8 that by 2020, pollution, including from excess nutrients, has been bought to levels that are not detrimental to ecosystem function and biodiversity.

Food: Waste

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has set a date by which no food waste will go to landfill. [69380]

Richard Benyon: The Government's Review of Waste Policy in England, published in June, sets out our vision of a zero waste economy, where resources are fully valued and only disposed of as a last resort.

Keeping food waste out of landfill is central to meeting this objective. It will only be achieved by working with householders, communities and businesses to make sure that waste collection systems are locally appropriate, and that treatment techniques and technologies are as innovative and sustainable as possible.

Although we have not set a date by which no food should go to landfill, we believe that the measures set out in the Waste Review, together with the Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan, put us on the right path to achieving our zero waste ambitions.

7 Sep 2011 : Column 657W

Natural Capital Committee

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the terms of reference will be for the Natural Capital Committee. [69310]

Richard Benyon: The Natural Capital Committee is one of the key commitments of the Natural Environment White Paper, ‘The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature’, and has been set up to advise the Government on the state of English natural capital. Its terms of reference are currently being agreed, and will be based on the commitment in the White Paper.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress she has made in developing a scoping study for a natural capital asset check. [69311]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA will commission a scoping study for a natural capital asset check this autumn. We held a workshop in May to inform thinking about this study, and commissioned think piece papers which are currently being reviewed. The study will be developed in conjunction with the wider research work which builds on the UK National Ecosystem Assessment.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who the members will be of the Natural Capital Committee. [69312]

Richard Benyon: The members of the Natural Capital Committee have not yet been recruited. The Committee will be composed of a small number of leading experts in this area. They will be recruited through an open competition process, consistent with the Code of Practice of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what timetable she has set for the establishment of the Natural Capital Committee. [69448]

Richard Benyon: The recruitment of the chair and members of the Natural Capital Committee will start this autumn. The Committee will meet as soon as possible after they have been recruited.

Natural Environment

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress she has made in developing new supplementary guidance to the HM Treasury Green Book on valuing the natural environment in appraisals. [69313]

Richard Benyon: The Natural Environment White Paper, “The Natural Choice: securing the value of nature”, made a commitment to publish new supplementary guidance to the Green Book, on accounting for environmental impacts in policy appraisal. DEFRA has made good progress, with HM Treasury engagement,

7 Sep 2011 : Column 658W

on guidance emphasising the importance of accounting for the benefits which whole ecosystems provide, as well as more detailed guidance on the assessment of specific types of environmental impacts, such as air quality. DEFRA will be consulting other Government Departments during September on the matter.

Renewable Energy

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what timetable she has set for the establishment of the loan fund to stimulate investment in additional anaerobic digestion infrastructure. [69228]

Richard Benyon: The £10 million Anaerobic Digestion Loan Fund (ADLF), as set out in the Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan, is now up and running.

The ADLF is administered by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). It is WRAP's intention to open the fund for applications in the following periods: July to October 2011, January to April 2012, June to September 2012 and December to March 2012-13.

Energy and Climate Change

Bioenergy Review

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects to publish the UK Bioenergy Strategy; and what account he plans to take of the Committee on Climate Change's Bioenergy Review in formulating the strategy. [70375]

Charles Hendry: DECC is working closely with other Government Departments and Government advisory bodies, including the Committee on Climate Change, to develop a cross-Government bio-energy strategy. We expect to publish this at the turn of the year, as the response to the Committee on Climate Change's Bio-energy review.

Biofuels

Mr Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the contribution renewable heat from biomass combined heat and power generation will make to the target for energy consumption from renewable sources set under the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC). [69494]

Gregory Barker: Analysis undertaken for the renewable heat incentive (RHI) impact assessment (published March 2011) suggests a contribution of around 5 TWh of renewable heat from biomass combined heat and power (CHP) by 2020 based on a 2.5p/kWh tariff (equating to around 9% of 58 TWh). However, actual uptake is uncertain. Our estimates will be subject to further analysis and updated in the light of the proposals in the forthcoming consultation on the banding review of the renewables obligation.

7 Sep 2011 : Column 659W

British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) whether the cost of the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme levelling option is cost neutral; and what profit or loss the option made in the latest period for which figures are available; [70761]

(2) what formulation (a) is and (b) has previously been used to calculate the addition and deduction of payments to the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme levelling option. [70762]

Charles Hendry: This is a matter for the Trustees of the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme who are contactable at the following address;

Coal Pension Trustee Services Ltd

Ventana House

Concourse Way

Sheffield SI 2BJ

E-mail: [email protected]

Carbon Emissions

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will publish his Department's submission to the consultation by HM Treasury on the introduction of a carbon price floor. [69882]

Gregory Barker: The Department made no formal submission to the consultation by HM Treasury (HMT) on the introduction of a carbon price floor. A carbon price floor is the first facet of the Government's four point plan to transform the UK’s power announced in the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) White Paper. Consequently, though the introduction of the carbon price floor was led by HMT/HMRC as it is a tax matter, DECC has been very closely involved in the analysis

7 Sep 2011 : Column 660W

and policy development. All individual responses to HMT's consultation (where confidentiality was not requested) are available on HMT's website:

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

Internships

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Wavertree of 18 October 2010, Official Report, column 479W, on departmental work experience, what the beginning and end dates were of each unpaid internship; for how many weeks each such intern worked in the Department; what the average number of hours worked by each such intern per week was; whether each such intern worked fixed hours; what the recruitment process was for each such vacancy; and where the positions were advertised. [69475]

Gregory Barker: Pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Liverpool, Wavertree of 18 October 2010, Official Report, column 479W, on departmental work experience there were eight unpaid internships. During the course of our current investigations to answer this question further information has come to light and one of these interns has been identified as an existing civil servant on loan to the Department of Energy and Climate Change and therefore not an internship. We apologise for this error.

Detailed information on internships and work experience placements was not centrally approved or recorded prior to April 2011 and for this reason there is a gap in the information relating to one of the seven interns. Since April 2011 DECC has ensured that all work experience placements and internships are awarded through fair and open competition, in line with Baroness Warsi's commitment to end informal internships in Whitehall.

Interns Start date End date Number of weeks worked Average number of hours worked Fixed hours Recruitment process Where advertised

1

27 June 2010

27 August 2010

9

<36

No

Direct approach by student

Not advertised

2

1 July 2010

30 August 2010

9

36

No

Limited competition

Through university

3

1 July 2010

25 August 2011

8

36

No

Direct approach by student

Not advertised

4

16 August 10

28 August 2010

2

No

Through internal contact

Not advertised

5

11 January 2010

5 February 2010

10

36

No

Limited competition

Not advertised

6

13 September 2010

24 September 2010

1

36

No

Through internal contact

Not advertised

7

14 June 2010

2 July 2010

2

36

No

Information not available

Information not available

Electric Cables

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what guidance he gives the National Grid on the use of (a) underground cable and (b) pylons and overhead power lines when establishing new grids. [70085]

Charles Hendry: Government policy on how the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) should consider applications for nationally significant energy infrastructure projects is set out in the Energy National Policy Statements designated on 19 July following their approval by Parliament. The NPS for Electricity Networks Infrastructure (EN-5) specifically covers the impacts of

7 Sep 2011 : Column 661W

overhead lines as well as the undergrounding of lines that National Grid will need to consider when preparing an application for development consent.

Energy: Conservation

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what consideration he has given to offering rewards to communities to encourage the take-up of energy efficiency measures. [69243]

Gregory Barker: The Green Deal supported by the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) will deliver a range of energy saving measures at little or no effective cost to the recipients. Local community partnerships may be a very efficient way of driving take-up.

We are exploring with local authorities the potential for them to make use of the new freedoms they will gain under the Localism Bill to develop incentives.

Additionally, the Behaviour Change and Energy Use report released by the Government in July announced a trial to test the impact of offering community rewards on the impact of take-up of energy efficiency measures.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has any plans for a national roll-out of the RE:NEW energy efficiency programme. [70060]

Gregory Barker: From late 2012 the Green Deal will be available to British households and businesses. While there are no Government plans for a national roll-out, the type of partnership arrangements that underpin London's RE:NEW programme is certainly an approach we envisage will be relevant under the Green Deal. Furthermore, under the Home Energy Conservation Act we will encourage local authorities to work together and with the private sector to deliver energy efficiency improvements.

Energy: Prices

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effects of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and carbon floor price on domestic energy bills up to 2020; and if he will make a statement. [70304]

Gregory Barker: DECC's assessment of the overall impact of energy and climate change policies on energy prices and bills was published alongside the Annual Energy Statement in July 2010:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/about/ec_social_res/analytic_projs/price_bill_imp/price_bill_imp.aspx

This assessment set out the estimated impact of the EU Emissions Trading System on an average domestic electricity bill as £30 (6%) in 2020 (in 2009 prices). This is compared to a bill in the absence of energy and climate change policies.

Subsequent to this publication, the impact assessment for the carbon price floor:

7 Sep 2011 : Column 662W

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/consult_carbon_ price_support_ia.pdf

estimated that it would add a further £11 (2%) to the average domestic electricity bill in 2020 (in 2009 prices). This is the marginal impact of the carbon price floor relative to a baseline that includes those policies already in place (or planned to a sufficient degree) at the time of publication.

Both these policies will help deliver a cleaner and more secure electricity supply and their impact on household energy bills will be offset by policies that help to improve energy efficiency.

An updated assessment of the impact of energy and climate change policies on energy prices and bills will be published alongside the Annual Energy Statement in the autumn reflecting policy developments over the last year.

EU Emissions Trading Scheme

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what projects in the UK have received funding from the EU New Entrant Reserve Fund 300 (NER300) since the scheme's inception. [69233]

Gregory Barker: No projects have received funding from the NER300.

All applications for funding from the first tranche of the NER300 are currently undergoing a due diligence assessment, by the European Investment Bank. After this the European Commission will carry out their own checks before making final award decisions (expected in the second half of 2012).

Fuel Oil: Prices

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to ensure that vulnerable people are protected from high domestic heating oil and liquefied petroleum gas costs; and if he will make a statement. [70798]

Charles Hendry: The Government are sympathetic to the plight of many off-grid energy consumers who were hit hard by high prices and supply issues last winter. We are keen that the reasons for this are thoroughly investigated which is why I wrote to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in January to ask it to bring forward its competition and consumer study into off-grid energy. The OFT has launched its market study into the off-grid energy market on 15 March and will publish its findings in October 2011. The market study will provide an independent assessment of the off-grid market and establish what further action may be necessary to ensure it works properly.

Vulnerable off-grid consumers, including those whose primary heating source is heating oil or liquefied petroleum gas, could be eligible for grants under the Warm Front scheme for specified heating and insulation measures up to £3,500 in value or £6,000 where the work includes installation of an oil fired central

7 Sep 2011 : Column 663W

heating system or an alternative low carbon technology for properties off the main gas grid. Additionally the Warm Home Discount scheme introduced in April this year will require energy companies by law to give a discount on electricity bills to more of their most low income and vulnerable customers. Government are working to ensure 600,000 of the poorest pensioners receive a £120 discount on their electricity bill this year, ensuring eligible households off the gas grid will benefit. Other groups such as low income families and those with long-term illnesses and disabilities may also receive this discount; they may also receive assistance under transitional arrangements from the previous voluntary agreement. In total, the scheme will benefit around 2 million households this year, with a value of up to £250 million.

Fuel Poverty

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he last met representatives of charitable organisations to discuss fuel poverty. [70699]

Gregory Barker: Policy officials in the fuel poverty team and I regularly meet with key stakeholders with an interest in fuel poverty. I recently met with Macmillan Cancer Support, and have had wider engagement with other groups through my attendance at the Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency All Party Group, including National Energy Action and Citizens Advice.

Nuclear Power: Research

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been spent on nuclear research and development by (a) the Office for Nuclear Development and (b) the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority since May 2010. [70198]

Charles Hendry: The Office for Nuclear Development has not funded any nuclear research and development (R&D) since May 2010.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) funds R&D to advance the UK's decommissioning and clean-up programme, and to progress the implementation of geological disposal for higher activity radioactive wastes. The figures available cover the period from May 2010 to July 2011:

Direct spend by NDA HQ on decommissioning and clean-up R&D: £5.4 million.

Spend by NDA's Radioactive Waste Management Directorate on geological disposal R&D: £6.0 million.

Total NDA spend £11.4 million.

Oil: Seas and Oceans

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the recent oil spills in the North Sea; and if he will make a statement. [70292]

Charles Hendry: Over the last ten years crude oil releases on the UKCS have been typically relatively small—ranging from 0.0001 tonnes to 36 tonnes. However,

7 Sep 2011 : Column 664W

the Gannet release, which occurred between 10 and 19 August, was the largest oil release on the UKCS in the last decade, totalling approximately 218 tonnes.

There has been no evidence of any significant environmental impact to date resulting from any of these releases, including the recent Gannet release.

Since l June 2011, 15 crude oil releases have been reported with a total volume of approximately 223 tonnes, which includes the Gannet release at approximately 218 tonnes and 14 other releases making up the balance of 5 tonnes.

For details of my assessment of the Gannet oil release, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today to my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond Park (Zac Goldsmith) to question 70147.

Renewable Energy

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the timetable is for the (a) publication, (b) consultation and (c) laying before Parliament of the Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order 2012; and whether he has assessed the potential effects of the Order on delivering investor certainty. [70376]

Charles Hendry: We intend to launch a public consultation shortly on proposals for banded support under the renewables obligation for the period 2013-17. The consultation package will include a draft of the Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order 2012. The final draft order will be laid before Parliament as soon as possible after the Government issues its formal response to the consultation. Subject to State Aid’s approval, the new bands will come into effect on 1 April 2013 as planned (1 April 2014 for offshore wind).

Investor confidence is essential to helping the UK achieve its ambitious aims for renewables energy deployment. That is why I announced last December the speeding up of the renewables obligation banding review. We will complete the review, and introduce the order enshrining support levels in law, several months ahead of the original banding review timetable announced by the previous Government. This will give investors earlier certainty on the support levels available for large-scale renewable electricity deployment from April 2013.

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what financial support his Department allocated to the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) in the financial year (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and what discussions his Department has had with the Department for International Development on the priorities for REEEP funding. [70195]

Gregory Barker: REEEP received a £2.5 million grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for 2010-11, and will receive £1 million for 2011-12. DECC officials consulted officials from the Department for International Development on identifying high quality projects in priority countries for REEEP's 2010-11 project call, and will continue to liaise with them on future priorities and funding for REEEP.

7 Sep 2011 : Column 665W

Renewable Energy: Feed-in Tariffs

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) whether he plans to put in place transitional arrangements for low-carbon projects intending to participate in the feed-in tariff with Contracts for Difference scheme that require a final investment decision before the scheme is implemented; [70135]

(2) whether he plans to put in place transitional arrangements for new nuclear projects that require final investment decisions ahead of implementation of the feed-in tariff with Contracts for Difference; [70148]

Gregory Barker: In order to ensure the continuity of all low-carbon development, the Government are working with relevant parties to enable early investment decisions to progress to timetable wherever possible, including those required ahead of implementation of the feed-in tariff contract for difference. Full details of the EMR transition, including the transition from the renewables obligation (RO) to the Contracts for Difference scheme, can be found in chapter 8 and annex D of the White Paper, “Securing Our Electric Future”.

Renewable Energy: Heating

Mr Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the proportion of the annual renewable heat incentive budget for dedicated biomass combined heat and power generation projects (a) under 200 kilowatt thermal, (b) between 200 and 1,000 kilowatt thermal and (c) over 1,000 kilowatt thermal in 2014-15. [69492]

Gregory Barker: Analysis undertaken for the renewable heat incentive (RHI) impact assessment (published March 2011) suggests around £7 million of spending on biomass combined heat and power (CHP) in 2014 based on a 2.5p/kWh tariff. Our modelling assumes that biomass CHP projects will only come forward above 1,000 kilowatt thermal and are incentivised by the renewables obligation until 2013 and by the RHI between 2014-20. However, actual uptake is uncertain so some smaller projects may nevertheless come forward under the RHI. Our estimates will be subject to further analysis and updated in the light of the proposals in the forthcoming consultation on the banding review of the renewables obligation.

Renewable Energy: Research

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what changes his Department has made in the funding of research and development for renewable energy programmes in financial year 2011-12; whether he has any plans to change the priorities for funding for renewable energy programmes for financial year 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [70196]

Gregory Barker: In order to target support for low carbon technologies, a series of Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs) have been undertaken to provide a robust evidence base on the innovation needs of the technology families most likely to be important in achieving our energy and climate targets.

7 Sep 2011 : Column 666W

Drawing on TINAs and other evidence, the Department is reviewing the needs of a range of innovative technologies and is developing four-year programme plans, in conjunction with others. This summer, the Department announced that it would set aside up to £30 million of its innovation budget over the next four years to support innovation in offshore wind, and up to £20 million to support marine energy. Subject to satisfactory value for money assessments, these schemes will be launched this autumn. Announcements on further allocations are expected to follow later this year.

Shell: North Sea

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the oil leak from Shell's Gannet Alpha platform; and if he will make a statement. [70147]

Charles Hendry: It is estimated that approximately 218 tonnes (1,300 barrels) of oil were released as a result of the incident at the Gannet F subsea development, all of which dispersed naturally.

There has been no evidence of any significant environmental impact to date resulting from this release:

Aerial surveillance was undertaken by Marine Scotland, which confirmed that there were very few birds in the vicinity of the oil release. This was supported by additional vessel-based seabird observations.

Samples of fish, sea water and sediment were also collected by Marine Scotland. A Taste Panel confirmed that the fish samples had not been tainted by the release. Chemical analyses are being undertaken to confirm there has been no significant contamination of fish, seawater or sediment samples.

Regular visual reports received from the area confirmed that no wildlife casualties had been observed.

The leak was stopped on 19 August and my officials are now involved in carrying out a thorough joint investigation with the HSE not only to determine the cause of the incident but to learn the lessons from it. The investigation, which is likely to take a number of months, will focus on all aspects of the incident including any underlying factors which may have contributed. A full report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal in Aberdeen to consider whether further action is appropriate.

United Nations Climate Change Conference

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many officials from his Department he expects to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban. [70775]

Gregory Barker: The UK delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban is yet to be finalised. The final delegation size will seek to strike the right balance between ensuring the UK's effectiveness in the negotiations while minimising the cost and carbon footprint, but will be significantly smaller than the UK delegation to the Conference of Parties in 2009.

7 Sep 2011 : Column 667W

Defence

Sky TV

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on subscriptions to Sky TV since May 2010. [67559]

Mr Robathan: In the 14 months for which data are available since May 2010, payments for the whole range of services in the UK provided by British Sky Broadcasting Ltd have totalled some £285,000. The majority of this expenditure was incurred to provide our ships with Sky TV while in UK waters or docked in certain UK ports as part of the welfare entitlement of our sailors, who would not otherwise be able to arrange such services.

Action has been taken to reduce payments for Sky TV, and they are expected to reduce by some £120,000 per year.

Armed Forces: Education Allowance

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on private or independent education of children of serving military or defence personnel in each of the last five years. [67053]

Mr Robathan: Payments may be paid to Service personnel, and Ministry of Defence (MOD) civilian employees appointed overseas, to allow their children to achieve a stable education. These are made via Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) for Service personnel, and School Allowance (SA) for civilians. Limits apply in respect of the amount that can be claimed and all claims are subject to a parental minimum contribution of 10%. Changes to the regulations governing CEA came into effect on 1 April 2011. Amounts payable were not reduced, but changes to the eligibility rules and the governance of claims will reduce the Department's spend. These changes are expected to have an impact in Financial Year 2011-20.

Details of CEA costs before FY 2007-08 are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Elements of CEA are subject to a PAYE Settlement Agreement with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for tax purposes. Therefore, in addition to the money paid to individuals, the MOD also makes payments to HMRC for tax and National Insurance (NI) for the grossing up of the allowance.

CEA payments to armed forces personnel
Financial Year (£ million)

2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11

CEA

101.8

108.1

111.3

114.9

Tax and NI

60.3

64.7

65.6

(1)n/a

Total

162.2

172.8

176.9

n/a

(1) Tax and NI figures are not yet available for Financial Year 2010-11.
SA payments to MOD civilian staff
Financial Year £ million

2006-07

1.24

2007-08

1.08

2008-09

0.97

7 Sep 2011 : Column 668W

2009-10

0.98

2010-11

0.92

As MOD civilian employees pay for school tuition fees directly in the first instance and these fees are later reimbursed, there is no tax and NI liability.

Both totals include payments to independent sector schools, local authority boarding schools and further education colleges. Spend by educational institution type could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future of the Government grant to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; and if he will make a statement. [66912]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence has no plans to change the long standing arrangement whereby the United Kingdom funds 78% of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission costs, which is proportionate to the number of war casualties the United Kingdom sustained during what are considered the war years. This year's United Kingdom funding is in excess of £44 million.

We remain committed to ensuring that those who died during the two World Wars, and the men and women who have died while serving in HM armed forces in subsequent years, continue to be commemorated with the same honour and dignity as hitherto and which they so richly deserve.

Conditions of Employment

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many meetings officials of his Department have had with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the Government's employment law review since May 2011. [67218]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence does not have responsibility for employment-related legislation. However, in common with partners across Government, we have been consulted throughout on the proposals for the Employment Law review.

Defence Equipment and Support: Location

Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what plans he has to consult staff affected by the proposal to relocate Defence Equipment and Support posts from Glasgow to Bristol; [69387]

(2) whether his Department plans to undertake consultation in accordance with the policy of 1 October 2007 on employee relations in relation to the proposed relocation of Defence Equipment and Support staff from Glasgow to Bristol; [69617]

(3) whether his Department has any plans to meet representatives of the Public and Commercial Services Union to discuss proposals to relocate Defence and Equipment and Support posts from Glasgow to Bristol; [69618]

7 Sep 2011 : Column 669W

(4) what assessment he has made of the value for money of relocating Defence Equipment and Support posts from Glasgow to Bristol. [69619]

Mr Robathan: A review is being undertaken to consider the possible transfer of some Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) posts that are currently based in Kentigern House, Glasgow, to the DE&S headquarters in Abbey Wood, Bristol.

This work is at a very early stage, and no decisions have yet been made. Staff in Kentigern House and the trades unions have been advised that the review has been initiated; the work is due to be completed in the autumn.

Staff will continue to be involved in and informed of the work as it progresses. This will include formal trades union consultation as appropriate.

Carbon Emissions

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2011, Official Report, column 1139W, on departmental carbon emissions, whether the sources of low-carbon energy generation on its estate were manufactured in the UK. [67935]

Mr Robathan: Information on the country of manufacture of low-carbon energy technology is not held.

Official Cars

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria are used to determine eligibility for the use of official cars in his Department. [66911]

Mr Robathan: Eligibility for a staff car is currently dependent upon the nature of the duties of an appointment, and it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence (MOD)'s top level budget holders to identify and justify which appointments have such eligibility. For officers and civil servants holding equivalent military rank, eligibility is generally linked to command status, but certain officers holding key staff appointments may also be eligible. This policy applies across the MOD and its agencies, including the trading funds, and their chief executives.

We are, however, reviewing departmental policy on the provision of staff cars, taking account of the need to demonstrate value for money, provide maximum flexibility and meet our sustainable development commitments.

The Ministerial Code, published on 21 May 2010, has already led to changes in the circumstances in which Ministers would be entitled to a car and driver. In the MOD, these cost-saving changes have meant that the junior Defence Ministers have given up their cars with a dedicated driver and now share a central MOD car pool with senior military officers and officials working in Main Building.

Staff cars are an extension of the office and give Ministers and our most senior military and civilian staff a more private space to work in than public transport, so they can make best use of the time they spend travelling, with appropriate security.

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Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on travel by ministerial car for each Minister in his Department in the last 12 months. [66923]

Dr Fox: A breakdown by individual Minister of the cost of using an official car is not available. However, the Ministerial Code, published on 21 May 2010, reduced ministerial entitlement to a car and driver, and thus costs, when compared to the last Government.

To reduce costs, the junior Defence Ministers have given up their cars with a dedicated driver and now share pool cars with senior military officers and officials working in Main Building. I am driven and protected by the Metropolitan Police.

The Ministry of Defence incurred £171,041 on the use of official cars by all Defence Ministers in financial year 2010-11.

Libya: Armed Conflict

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent estimate his Department has made of the cost to date of the military operation by UK forces in Libya for the purposes of implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973. [69796]

Dr Fox: As I announced on 23 June 2011, Official Report, column 24WS, the current estimate of the net additional costs of military operations for six months, from mid-March, in support of Operation Ellamy—the United Kingdom's contribution to coalition operations in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973—is in the region of £120 million. This excludes costs associated with capital munitions expended.

Based upon current consumption rates we estimate the cost of replenishing munitions may be up to £140 million. The Treasury has agreed to meet these costs from the Reserve.

Radar

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements he is making for the continuation of radar coverage following the closure of RAF Leuchars. [69593]

Nick Harvey: There is a Watchman Air Traffic Control (ATC) radar at RAF Leuchars. The drawdown of Leuchars, as an operational RAF airbase, does not necessitate the removal of the Watchman radar from that site. Detailed decisions on the requirement to continue ATC radar services at RAF Leuchars, in light of the planned drawdown of the Typhoon force at the station, have yet to be taken.

Redundancy

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken on employment opportunities for people leaving his Department under its redundancy programme. [66914]

Mr Robathan: For armed forces personnel prior to discharge, individual employment needs are identified from a mandatory interview with a trained service resettlement adviser, who is able to signpost to a number

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of organisations and services, ranging from the 'Flexible New Deal' programme available at Jobcentre Plus through to workshops and training delivered through the Career Transition Partnership. For those who have left, lifetime job finding support is available through the Officers' Association or the Regular Forces Employment Association.

In addition, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has been working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions. Armed forces champions have been appointed who aim to ensure Jobcentre Plus staff are providing the correct advice and support, not only to families of our armed forces but also to former service personnel.

For those civil servants who are leaving on redundancy or early release, the MOD offers an outplacement support programme. Among other services, this provides support and guidance on finding and securing alternative employment.

Furthermore, this support will be enhanced by giving those leaving access to the talent retention system, the new national web-based job vacancy system which is being set up under the initiative announced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

United Kingdom Hydrographic Office

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff at the (a) Met Office and (b) Hydrographic Office earned more than £100,000 on the latest date for which figures are available. [66919]

Mr Robathan: Details of the remuneration of the most senior employees of both Trading Funds are disclosed in their Annual Reports and Accounts, copies of which are available in the Library of the House.

Work and Pensions

Atos Healthcare: Doctors

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions his Department has had with the General Medical Council on the conduct of doctors employed by Atos Healthcare. [70143]

Chris Grayling: DWP has had no discussions with the General Medical Council on the conduct of doctors employed by Atos Healthcare as this is the responsibility of the doctor's employer. It would therefore be inappropriate for the Department to have direct discussions with the GMC regarding individuals.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with Atos Healthcare on the investigation by the General Medical Council of staff it employs. [70295]

Chris Grayling: The DWP Chief Medical Adviser routinely discusses with Atos the suitability of continued employment of doctors who are under investigation by the General Medical Council when either party has concerns about this. The DWP contract requires Atos to discuss with the Chief Medical Adviser those doctors

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who have conditions applied by the General Medical Council pending investigation because of concerns about professional misconduct.

Disability Living Allowance

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions he has had with disabled people on reform of the disability living allowance. [68831]

Maria Miller: Throughout the development of the new personal independence payment, which will replace disability living allowance, we have had extensive discussions and consultation with disabled people, their families and organisations representing them.

We have just completed our informal consultation on the draft assessment criteria. Ministers and departmental officials have between them met with and sought views from around 60 organisations of and for disabled people. In addition, we have received over 160 written responses from disabled people and their organisations on how well the initial draft criteria worked and if they could be improved. We are looking closely at the contributions we have received and intend to publish another draft of the assessment criteria in the autumn.

We will continue to work closely with disabled people and their organisations as the detail of the assessment criteria and its operation is developed and tested.

Mr Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many migrants from Eastern Europe in receipt of disability living allowance had (a) made national insurance contributions and (b) not previously made national insurance contributions in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [69441]

Maria Miller: Disability living allowance is a benefit for children and adults paid as a contribution towards the extra costs of disability, depending on the extent of a persons care and/or mobility needs

Disability living allowance is a non-contributory benefit. As national insurance contributions are not required to claim disability living allowance, information regarding a claimant's record of national insurance contributions is not gathered.

Although nationality data are collected on claim forms, this is not collated as it is not required for the administration of the benefit.