Aviation: Security

Paul Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) senior officials in her Department have had with (i) airport operators and (ii) airline companies at which border checks were discussed in the last 12 months. [81164]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 15 November 2011]:Details of ministerial meetings with external organisations are published quarterly and can be found at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/ministerial-transparency/#meetings

Airport operators and airline companies have raised passenger facilitation aspects of border controls with departmental officials on a number of occasions over the last 12 months, not least in the South East Airports Taskforce, which I chaired, and in the regular Facilitation Stakeholders Forum, which is chaired by officials.

Aviation: Snow and Ice

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps her Department is taking to raise awareness amongst travellers of their rights when flights are cancelled due to winter weather. [80821]

Mrs Villiers: The Government expect air carriers and tour operators to honour their obligations to passengers under EU Regulation 261/2004 on denied boarding, cancellation and delay, and under the package travel directive 90/314, and to look after their passengers during times of adverse weather conditions.

The Civil Aviation Authority provides guidance on their website notifying air travellers of their rights when flights are delayed or cancelled and is the UK's complaint handler.

Aviation: Standards

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department's Sustainable Aviation Policy Framework will promote competition and choice to improve the passenger experience. [81207]

Mrs Villiers: The Government wants to see a successful aviation sector which facilitates economic growth and addresses its environmental impacts. We will issue a Sustainable Framework for UK Aviation for public consultation in spring 2012. We are also reforming the economic regulation of airports to put passengers at the heart of the regulatory regime and to support investment in our airports.

Bus Services

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Government's response to the Transport Committee's Eighth Report of Session 2010-12, Bus services after the Spending Review, published with the Committee's Ninth Report of Session 2010-12, HC 1550, when her Department will

22 Nov 2011 : Column 256W

publish the result of its work with the Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers on collating information in respect of tendered bus services across England. [81225]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport is working with the Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers to agree how information in respect of tendered bus services is collated, and the nature and timing of any future publication of those data.

Design Services

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what contracts her Department has awarded for design services since May 2010; and what information her Department holds on the location of such companies; [80181]

(2) how much her Department has spent on design in respect of (a) logos, (b) buildings, (c) advertising, (d) stationery and (e) campaigns in the last year for which figures are available. [80206]

Norman Baker: The information is as follows:

Design contracts

Since May 2010, the Department for Transport, including its seven executive agencies, has awarded the following visual design contracts for communications media.

Contract title Value (£) Supplier

THINK! Road Safety secondary education website design (technical and visual design and build/delivery)

52,000

EdComms

THINK! Road Safety primary education website design amendments

2,315

EdComms

SHARP Motorcycle Safety website design amendments

750

EdComms

Blue Badge Scheme logo design for information pack and workshops for local authorities

1,200

Domarn Ltd

Maritime Coastguard Agency Annual Report Design

1,410

Chalk and Ward

Safety Leaflet Design

752

Rima Design

Safety Leaflet Design

140

Rima Design

Questionnaire Design

282

Rima Design

Safety Leaflet Design

552

Spy Design

All companies are London based except Chalk and Ward which is based in Devon.

Design c osts

In respect of design costs in last year for which figures are available, in the financial year 2010-11 the Department for Transport, including its seven executive agencies, spent £1,200 on logo design. There was no expenditure on the design of stationery in 2010-11.

Spend on design in respect of advertising, campaigns and buildings is not separately recorded from other costs on buildings, advertising and campaigns and this could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Pay

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many officials in her Department received a pay rise other than by promotion in the last two years; and what the average increase was in each such year. [78531]

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Norman Baker: The following table shows how many employees in the Department for Transport and its seven executive agencies received a pay rise other than by promotion in the last two years, and what the average increase was in each such year.

  Number of increases Average increase (£)

2010

13,064

664

2011

10,996

584

Senior civil service (SCS) pay has been frozen since 2009. Employees outside the SCS in DfT(C) and six of the executive agencies entered a two-year pay freeze in 2010, and those in the Highways Agency entered the pay freeze in 2011.

Employees on full-time equivalent earnings of £21,000 and under are eligible for a consolidated pay increase of at least £250. In addition, employees below the SCS with a contractual entitlement remain eligible for progression payments and this is reflected in the table.

Disability Aids: Visual Impairment

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the merits of introducing a minimum eyesight requirement for (a) users of powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters and (b) pedal cyclists; and if she will make a statement. [82223]

Norman Baker: As part of the Department for Transport’s review of the use of mobility vehicles, I have asked my officials to undertake further work with transport operators, the mobility vehicles industry and user groups on a range of issues, including a possible minimum eyesight requirement for mobility vehicle users and incentives for them to meet these requirements. No final decisions have been made.

Further details are in my recent announcement in response to parliamentary questions from the hon. Member for Bury South (Mr Lewis) on 26 October 2011, Official Report, column 249W, and my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Dorset and North Poole (Annette Brooke) on 27 October 2011, Official Report, column 284W.

There are no plans to require cyclists to meet a minimum eyesight requirement.

Driving: Licensing

Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she has taken to increase competition in the provision of identity photographs for driving licences and passports. [81361]

Mike Penning: Competition in the provision of identity photographs for driving licences has been increased through the introduction of a range of service channels. Customers wishing to obtain a driving licence can choose from three channels to make their application:

a paper application, which has to include a passport size photograph supplied from any source (self-produced, and printed professional photographer or automatic booth);

a web-based application service which can be used provided the motorist has a recent, valid passport record held by the Identity and Passport Service on their database. In this case, the customer can choose to have the existing passport photograph

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sent automatically to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency via a secure electronic link, avoiding the need for a new photograph to be supplied; or

for photocard driving licence renewal applications only (since 2009), a post office service that captures a digital photograph and confirms personal details at the counter before transmitting the transaction securely to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

In relation to the provision of photographs in support of passport applications, I understand from the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) discussions with the photographic industry have taken place for over 10 years, with both individual suppliers and trade bodies such as the Photo Marketing Association International. The aim of this activity has been to ensure the widest possible circulation of its specific photo requirements and standards to allow the maximum number of suppliers in the market to be able to offer a compliant service to its customers.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many notifications of attendance on a detoxification programme the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has received from driving licence holders in the last three years; how many licences have been revoked following such notification; and what was the length of ban for each of these. [82147]

Mike Penning: Information on how many notifications of attendance on a detoxification programme or the number of driving licences that have been revoked following a notification of attendance on a detoxification programme or the length of ban for each of these is not held.

Emergencies

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many full-time equivalent staff work on the transport workstream of the Capabilities Programme; and what the staffing level was in each of the last 10 quarters; [79514]

(2) who the lead Minister in her Department is for the transport workstream of the Capabilities Programme; [79515]

(3) what the budget was for the transport workstream of the Capabilities Programme in each year since 2005; and what the budget will be during the comprehensive spending review period. [79516]

Justine Greening: Work on the Capabilities Programme has been carried out within the budgetary provision for work on transport security and contingency planning. The programme does not have a specific budgetary allocation.

Varying numbers of staff from across the Department and its agencies have contributed to the work of the Capabilities Programme over the years. Information on the overall numbers that are or have been involved is not held. But of those in my Department currently involved in this work as part of their duties, the equivalent of one full-time staff member is engaged in the transport work-stream.

I lead on this policy area.

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Halton Curve

Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions she has had with local authorities in Cheshire in respect of the Halton Curve. [81892]

Mrs Villiers: We have had no recent discussions with local authorities in Cheshire in respect of the Halton Curve.

Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment she has had made of the viability of the Halton Curve. [81893]

Mrs Villiers: Merseytravel Passenger Transport Executive carried out an assessment of the viability of the Halton Curve in 2009. This concluded that three of the four options studied had benefit cost ratios of between 1.5 and 1.9 but would require ongoing annual subsidy of between £1.1 million and £2.1 million.

Large Goods Vehicles

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which agencies will be responsible for monitoring the trial of longer semi-trailers for heavy goods vehicles; and if regular updates will be published. [81708]

Mike Penning: The Vehicle Certification Agency will have a role in managing and granting Vehicle Special Orders for vehicles used in the trial and in verifying that the longer semi-trailers comply with the relevant technical requirements of Construction and Use and other Regulations.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency will have a role in plating and testing the semi-trailers, and in enforcing compliance with traffic regulations.

The main responsibility for monitoring will lie with an independent contractor. The contractor's four-monthly monitoring reports and annual reports on the trial will be published on the Department's website.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she has made an assessment of the safety implications for cyclists of the trial of longer semi-trailers for heavy goods vehicles. [81709]

Mike Penning: The revised Impact Assessment published with the Government's Report on the Consultation into longer semi-trailers does not disaggregate the safety risk between different categories of road user.

Motorways: Speed Limits

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent analysis her Department conducted of any potential change in the level of (a) fatalities, (b) serious injuries, (c) slight injuries and (d) carbon dioxide emissions attributable to an increase in the motorway speed limit to 80 mph. [81557]

Mike Penning: The potential effects on casualties and an estimate of carbon emissions will be included in the assessment of all the principal effects of raising the

22 Nov 2011 : Column 260W

national speed limit on motorways. We will include these estimates as part of the documentation for the planned consultation.

Parking: Westminster

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions (a) she, (b) her Ministers and (c) officials in her Department have had with Westminster council on parking changes; and if she will make a statement. [80264]

Norman Baker [holding answer 14 November 2011]:Neither Ministers nor officials at the Department for Transport have had recent discussions with Westminster city council on parking charges.

The setting of parking charges in local authority car parks and in on-street parking bays is a matter for the local authority, in accordance with powers available. to it in the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. The Department's operational guidance to local authorities, “Parking Policy and Enforcement”, makes clear that it is for each local authority to decide what to charge for parking and the decision should reflect the objectives of their Local Transport Plan. The revenue that local authorities raise from on-street parking charges must be used in accordance with section 55 (as amended) of the RTRA 1984, which limits the use of surplus funds to transport related objectives or for environmental purposes.

Ports

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans her Department has to review the 2002 Project Appraisal Framework for Ports. [81217]

Mike Penning: The Department intends to complete a review of the Project Appraisal Framework for Ports during 2012.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Government's response to the Transport Committee's Fifth Report of Session 2009-10, on the Proposal for a National Policy Statement on Ports, published with the Committee's Fifth Special Report of Session 2010-12, HC 1598, when her Department will commission new forecasts into port demand. [81223]

Mike Penning: The Department intends to commission new forecasts in the near future.

Railways: Overcrowding

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of future overcrowding levels on the Greater Anglia rail franchise when Abellio becomes the franchise holder. [82162]

Mrs Villiers: Crowding on the Greater Anglia franchise has the potential to increase in line with growth in commuter numbers, particularly on Great Eastern inner suburban and West Anglia outer suburban services.

22 Nov 2011 : Column 261W

However, the trains in these service groups on which crowding is liable to worsen are all ones that Abellio plans to run at the maximum length that the infrastructure will allow.

Railways: Shrewsbury

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has to ensure greater funding for development and modernisation of Shrewsbury railway station. [81980]

Mrs Villiers: A scheme to provide improvements at Shrewsbury station is included in the National Stations Improvement Programme and the proposed works are planned to start next year. They will deliver better passenger waiting facilities, a new customer information point, refurbished toilets and additional customer information screens.

Shrewsbury station has benefitted from investment over the past three years. These benefits include a new fully accessible lift, upgraded signalling to deliver increased capacity, a new customer information system and major repairs to the canopy at the front of the station.

Road Traffic Control

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had with (a) the National Union of Journalists and (b) proprietors of local newspapers on her proposals to amend guidelines requiring local authorities to publish temporary and permanent traffic regulation orders in local newspapers. [80688]

Norman Baker: The Secretary of State for Transport has not had discussions with the National Union of Journalists or proprietors of local newspapers on the proposals to amend guidelines requiring local authorities to publish temporary and permanent traffic regulation orders in local newspapers. The Department will be going to full public consultation on this matter shortly, providing anyone with an interest with the opportunity to respond.

Roads: Accidents

Gavin Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents have occurred at Junction 2 of the M54 since December 2010. [82132]

Mike Penning: There were no recorded accidents at Junction 2 of the M54 between December 2010 and the end of March 2011, the latest date for which information is available.

Speed Limits: Association of Chief Police Officers

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the guidance issued by Association of Chief Police Officers that 20 mph limits and zones should not routinely be considered for enforcement. [81379]

22 Nov 2011 : Column 262W

Norman Baker: The Association of Chief Police Officers' (ACPO) guidance, while indicating 20 mph limits and zones should not routinely be considered for enforcement, does indicate that some enforcement may be appropriate.

The Department for Transport is planning to revise and reissue its guidance about speed limits in urban areas with the aim of increasing flexibility for local authorities. As part of that process, planned for 2012, it is liaising with ACPO on enforcement.

Thameslink Railway Line: Rolling Stock

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to announce the award of the Thameslink rolling stock contract. [R] [81315]

Mrs Villiers: The Department expects to reach financial close on the Thameslink rolling stock contract in the new year.

Transport: Passengers

Stuart Andrew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the administrative cost was of each passenger transport executive in 2010-11. [81954]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport does not hold this information. Such information can be found in the annual accounts that each passenger transport executive is required to publish.

Transport: Snow and Ice

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what extra funding she has made available in respect of winter resilience of the transport system; [80824]

(2) what steps her Department has taken to prepare transport infrastructure for extreme weather in the last 12 months. [80846]

Norman Baker: The Department has been working with public and private sector organisations across the modes of transport to improve winter resilience.

This includes through refining and promoting operational co-ordination and best practice, as in the ports sector, and targeted funding, as in the £200 million allocated to councils to address road damage caused by last year's sever winter weather or the development of a strategic salt reserve, currently valued at £27 million.

While we have to acknowledge there may be some transport disruption in the event of severe winter weather, the actions taken by the Department and transport operators will ensure that the country's transport systems are better equipped to cope with them.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the budget of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency is in each year of the current spending review period; and what its budget was in each of the preceding five years. [82163]

Mike Penning: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency's accounts and future budgets are set out in the following table.

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22 Nov 2011 : Column 264W

VOSA 2005-06 to 2014-15
£ million
  Annual Accounts Budget Plan
  2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15

Total Income

151.9

165.5

176.4

184.4

190.2

187.0

182.4

180.6

179.0

177.7

                     

Expenditure

(160.3)

(184.1)

(193.1)

(197.7)

(204.8)

(179.3)

(177.5)

(173.7)

(172.0)

(168.6)

                     

Surplus/(Deficit)

(8.4)

(18.5)

(16.6)

(13.3)

(14.6)

7.7

5.0

7.0

7.1

9.1

Work and Pensions

Atos Healthcare

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he plans to include Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the list of continuing media education topics available to Atos professionals. [81321]

Chris Grayling: There are no current plans to include a module on inflammatory bowel disease in the list of continuing medical education topics available to Atos Healthcare professionals. However, all health care professionals have access to an evidence based repository which contains information about these conditions.

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

Dame Anne Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the outcome is of the review by the Major Projects Authority of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission's major change programme to deliver a new statutory maintenance scheme. [80228]

Maria Miller: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Noel Shanahan:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the outcome is of the review by the Major Projects Authority of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission's major change programme to deliver a new statutory maintenance scheme. [80228]

A strategic assessment review of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission Change Programme by the Major Projects Authority took place during July 2011 as part of a planned assurance process. Their brief was to review the outcomes and objectives for the programme and confirm that they make the necessary contribution to the overall strategy of the organisation and its senior management. The review team provided their report with a series of recommendations and I can confirm that these are being actively followed up by the Commission.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

Child Support Agency

Stephen Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many cases are being dealt with by the Child Support Agency where there is no current assessment but where there are arrears of less than a year; [80120]

(2) in how many cases being dealt with by the Child Support Agency there is no current assessment and there are arrears to be collected which are between one and three years old. [80241]

Maria Miller: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Noel Shanahan:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases are being dealt with by the Child Support Agency where there is no current assessment but where there are arrears of less than a year. [80120]; and

How many cases being dealt with by the Child Support Agency where there is no current assessment and there are arrears to be collected which are between one and three years old. [80241]

At June 2011 there were 14,700 cases with no current assessment with arrears of less than a year old and 38,400 cases with no current assessment with arrears between one year and three years old. Cases with no current assessment value have been defined as cases with a missing assessment value. This will therefore include cases that should not have a current assessment because the case has been closed as well as those for which the assessment is currently in progress.

These figures are for cases with arrears administered under 2003 rules on the Child Support Agency's computer system. It is not possible to break down arrears by age for cases administered under 1993 rules.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

Child Maintenance

Stephen Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases are being dealt with by the Child Support Agency where there is no current assessment but where there are arrears to be collected between (a) three and five, (b) five and 10, (c) 10 and 15 and (d) over 15 years old. [81388]

Maria Miller: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Noel Shanahan:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

22 Nov 2011 : Column 265W

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases are being dealt with by the Child Support Agency where there is no current assessment but where there are arrears to be collected between (a) three and five (b) five and 10 (c) 10 and 15 and (d) over 15 years old. [81388]

The information requested is not available in the specific time frames requested. However, the information which is available at June 2011 is shown in the following table:

Age of arrears Number of cases with no current assessment with arrears

3 to 4 years

30,700

4+ years

32,600

Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100. 2. These figures are for cases with arrears administered under 2003 rules on the Child Support Agency's computer system. It is not possible to break down arrears by age for cases administered under 1993 rules. 3. Cases with no current assessment value have been defined as cases with a missing assessment value. Please note that this will therefore include cases that should not have a current assessment because the case has been closed as well as those for which the assessment is currently in progress.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

Stephen Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of cases within the live and assessed caseload of the Child Support Agency are under one year old. [81389]

Maria Miller: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Noel Shanahan:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of cases within the live and assessed caseload of the Child Support Agency are under one year old. [81389]

At June 2011 the Child Support Agency was dealing with 1,143,400 cases. Of these, 79,500 or seven percent were under one year old.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

Disability Living Allowance

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children with autism were refused the mobility component of disability living allowance in the latest period for which figures are available; and how many were successful in appealing this decision. [81409]

Maria Miller: We are unable to provide information on how many children with autism were refused the mobility component of disability living allowance as claims are not made for separately for mobility or care components but for disability living allowance as a whole and people may be awarded one or both components. Only claims which receive an award of benefit have a main disabling condition recorded against them.

22 Nov 2011 : Column 266W

Learning Disability

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to increase the level of employment among people with learning disabilities. [81324]

Maria Miller: The Government are committed to ensuring that all disabled people, including people with learning disabilities, have the opportunities, chances and support that they need to get a job and remain in employment.

For example, we launched the Work programme, on 10 June 2011, which is the biggest single Welfare to Work programme providing more personalised back-to-work support for unemployed people, including disabled people.

For disabled people with more complex needs which cannot be met through the Work programme, they can access Work Choice, which provides tailored support to help disabled people who face the most complex barriers to employment, find and stay in work and ultimately help them progress into unsupported employment, where it is appropriate for the individual. Work Choice contracted providers aim to help around 9,000 disabled people into work per annum. In addition to the contracted provision, Remploy aims to deliver 7,500 job outcomes through Work Choice in 2011-12. Support can also be provided through Access to Work, Remploy and residential training.

In December 2010, the Government asked Liz Sayce, the chief executive of the disability organisation RADAR to undertake an independent review of specialist employment support for disabled people, specifically Remploy, residential training colleges and the Access to Work programme. The Government's response and a separate public consultation was launched on 11 July 2011. I welcomed the central theme of the review, that resources for supporting disabled people into employment should be focused on disabled people themselves rather than on specific institutions. The consultation closed on 17 October 2011. We are currently analysing responses and will produce a summary of responses as soon as practicably possible.

Following the recommendations of the Sayce review, I have established the Inter-ministerial Group on Disability Employment. The group has set as its aim ensuring coherent working across Government so that meeting their full potential in the workplace is seen as a normal expectation of disabled people and that they receive the support they need to achieve this. On the group Ministers are represented from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Department for Education, Department for Health, Department for Communities and Local Government, Ministry of Defence, Treasury and Department for Transport and I have written to Ministers in the Scottish and Welsh Governments to invite their participation in discussions which concern devolved policies,

DWP is also working with Department for Education through the SEN Green Paper to look at how we can improve transition from education to work, so that young people with special educational needs (including learning disabilities) are better prepared and supported when looking for employment.

22 Nov 2011 : Column 267W

Mobility

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with (a) local authorities and (b) representatives of state-funded care providers on overlap of personal mobility funding in state-funded residential care; and if he will make a statement. [81150]

Maria Miller: When we announced that we would not remove the mobility component of disability living allowance from people in care homes in 2012 we said we would review the position in personal independence payment.

My officials and I have met numerous organisations representing disabled people, visited care homes and had discussions with disabled people as part of the evidence gathering exercise on mobility provision in care homes. My officials also talked to a number of local authorities and many individuals and organisations wrote to us to give us their views.

We are now considering the findings of the recently published review into provision for the mobility needs of care home residents by Lord Low, before we announce our final decision.

Personal Independence Payment

David Tredinnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether people with autism will be expected to undergo a face-to-face assessment process during an application for the personal independence payment. [81642]

Maria Miller: Claims in disability living allowance are currently, for the most part, based on a self-completion questionnaire. Additional medical evidence is gathered in only half of cases and an assessment by a health professional carried out in only a fraction.

We are determined to change this in personal independence payment. We think that a face-to-face consultation with a trained independent assessor should be a key part of the assessment process for most individuals. This will allow an in-depth look at the individual's condition to ensure they have support in place that really reflects their needs.

Face-to-face consultations may not be appropriate in every case. These decisions need to be taken on a case-by-case basis.

David Tredinnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will amend the draft criteria and descriptions for the personal independence payment to reflect barriers to participation and independence. [81643]

Maria Miller: The proposals for the assessment criteria were developed in collaboration with a group of disabled people, disabled people's organisations and other independent experts. The activities included were chosen to provide a more holistic assessment of the impact of impairments, whether physical, mental or cognitive.

They are not intended to cover all the areas of everyday activity or all the activities where disabled people face barriers or cost. Doing so would create a very lengthy and complicated assessment. They are instead intended to, as a group, act as an overall proxy

22 Nov 2011 : Column 268W

for the impact of impairments on an individual’s ability to participate in society, allowing us to identify individuals with the greatest need.

I am aware that Scope recently produced a report focusing on the first draft of our assessment criteria. Although we have a shared objective with Scope of reforming disability living allowance, ensuring support is targeted at those who need it most, we disagree on how to do this. We continue to be concerned that trying to look at every barrier or cost that a disabled person might face will lead to subjective decisions, inconsistent outcomes and a more complex, expensive administration process. These are all things we want to avoid in personal independence payment.

A revised draft of the assessment criteria was published on 14 November. The criteria have been refined considerably since the initial draft published in May, and this is in large part as a result of feedback from disabled people and disability organisations. We believe that the revised assessment will provide a fair and accurate reflection of individuals' need, targeting support where it is needed most.

Universal Credit

Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what reporting mechanism he plans to use for the results of the direct payment pilots for universal credit; [81629]

(2) when he plans to commence the direct payment pilots for universal credit. [81625]

Chris Grayling: The Department has announced that we will establish about six small-scale demonstration projects of the direct payment of housing benefit in the social rented sector. The demonstration projects will test some key elements of social sector housing support under universal credit while protecting social landlords' financial position. The demonstration projects will include:

direct payments to tenants being the default;

adopting the payment frequency envisaged under universal credit;

safeguards to pay the landlord directly where necessary.

We will run the demonstration projects in about six local authority areas from June 2012 to June 2013, with a five-month lead in starting in January 2012.

The design of the demonstration projects and the selection of volunteer areas is currently under consideration, more information can be found on the DWP website along with a Q&A.

The areas and volunteers will be announced in December.

The Department is currently tendering for an evaluation of the demonstration projects. The precise form will depend upon the resources that are available, but we anticipate that it will include independent research examining the effects on different types of landlords and households in a range of areas across Great Britain. The results of the evaluation will be published in accordance with the Department's guidelines on commissioned research.

Winter Fuel Payments

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people in (a) England, (b) Swindon

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borough and

(c)

Swindon North constituency who will receive the winter fuel payment in each of the next three years. [82101]

Steve Webb: Projections for the numbers of people receiving winter fuel payments are not produced below the Great Britain level.

The number of people receiving winter fuel payments is expected to reduce slightly each winter due to the rise in the qualifying age linked to women's state pension age.

However, if the England, Swindon borough and the Swindon north constituency share of cases in 2010-11 were maintained in 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 the number of people projected to receive winter fuel payments would be as given in the following tables:

Table 1: Projected winter fuel payment recipients in England
  T housand

2011-12

10,784

2012-13

10,675

2013-14

10,576

Table 2: Projected winter fuel payment recipients in Swindon borough
  R ounded to the nearest 100

2011-12

36,700

2012-13

36,300

2013-14

36,000

Table 3: Projected winter fuel payment recipients in Swindon north constituency
  Rounded to the nearest 100

2011-12

19,400

2012-13

19,200

2013-14

19,000

Source: Budget 2011 forecasts and DWP statistical data.

Defence

Adam Werritty

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Adam Werritty was present during any meeting where the Trident replacement programme was discussed. [81699]

Mr Philip Hammond: He was not.

Armed Forces

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will estimate the total annual wage cost for service personnel from the 39 Engineer Regiment (Air Support) after it includes 34 Field Squadron and 53 Field Squadron from the 25 Engineer Regiment; [81668]

(2) what the (a) required and (b) actual strength is of (i) 39 Engineer Regiment and (ii) the (A) 34 Field Squadron and (B) 53 Field Squadron of the 25 Engineer Regiment. [81669]

Mr Robathan: The total estimated wage costs for 39 Engineer Regiment (Air Support), including 34 and 53 Field Squadrons, is approximately £28 million based on expenditure over the past 12 months.

The required and actual strength of the specified units as at 15 November 2011 was as follows:

22 Nov 2011 : Column 270W

  At 15 November 2011
  Required strength Actual strength

39 Engineer Regiment

509

565

34 Field Squadron

167

176

53 Field Squadron

170

188

Total

846

929

Armed Forces: Housing

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what support his Department is providing to service people to access affordable housing. [81464]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence continues to support the Armed Forces Home Ownership Scheme pilot. We also encourage service personnel to explore the three main products available from the Government to help purchase a property. These are First Buy, New Build Home Buy and Home Buy Direct. Service personnel now have the highest priority for access to First Buy schemes.

We are working with mortgage lenders and their professional bodies to develop guidance for their dealings with members of the armed forces, while assisting personnel to enter into the UK housing market by offering a long service advance of pay to those eligible.

Changes have also been introduced so that our armed forces and former service personnel should not be disadvantaged when applying for social housing. For example, when service personnel can establish a local connection with the area in which they are serving, this will give parity of treatment for service leavers to access social housing. Key worker status has also been extended to service leavers to enable them to access the scheme 12 months after discharge.

The Minister for Housing and Local Government, my right hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps), made a key pledge on 11 November 2011, to our service personnel to give them the support they need—whether buying their first home or applying for social housing.

The Joint Service Housing Advice Office provides service personnel and their families with information and advice on the increasingly complex range of civilian housing options.

Armed Forces: North Yorkshire

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the military establishment will be in Thirsk, Melton and Filey in the next five years. [81527]

Mr Robathan: It is currently too early to say at this time the details of what the military establishment may be in Thirsk, Milton and Filey in the next five years.

Armed Forces: Officers

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many four-star officers were appointed in the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force in each year since 2000; and if he will make a statement. [81353]

22 Nov 2011 : Column 271W

Mr Robathan: The following table shows the numbers of officers who were promoted to four-star in each year since 2000:

Promoted to four-star in year to Naval Service Army RAF

31 March 2000

0

0

0

31 March 2001

2

1

1

31 March 2002

2

0

1

31 March 2003

1

1

1

31 March 2004

0

0

2

31 March 2005

1

3

0

31 March 2006

1

0

1

31 March 2007

0

1

2

31 March 2008

0

2

0

31 March 2009

0

0

0

31 March 2010

1

2

2

31 March 2011

0

2

1

Armed Forces: Children

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he has taken to ensure that UK-supported military training in (a) Ethiopia, (b) Uruguay and (c) Ukraine does not include training of children under (i) 16 and (ii) 18 years. [81587]

Mr Robathan: UK-supported military training in Ethiopia is directed at senior members of the Army (at least major rank). Therefore, this precludes any involvement of children.

In Uruguayan law, an individual cannot join the armed forces unless they are at least 18-years-old. Consequently any UK supported military training is targeted at individuals above this age.

Ukraine's law stipulates a minimum recruitment age of 18 years for both conscripts and contract soldiers. Officer cadets may join at 17 years but are required to complete a minimum of four years' training before joining their first unit. Ukrainian personnel receiving UK-supported military training are required to have several years' experience, and are typically non-commissioned or commissioned officers. The UK does not train Ukrainian officer cadets.

AWE

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether he expects development of a new systems engineering facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment to go ahead; [77628]

(2) what his most recent estimate is of the (a) cost and (b) projected in-service date for each of the new build projects in the Atomic Weapons Establishment Site Development Context Plan 2005-15. [77629]

Peter Luff: The projects included in the Atomic Weapons Establishment Site Development Context Plan 2005-15 are shown in the table. The functions of the projects given in the table correlate with the headings in the Site Development Plan.

Where applicable, the names of projects are indicated where they have been finalised. Costs not shown are being withheld as their disclosure would be likely to prejudice the Department's commercial interests.

22 Nov 2011 : Column 272W

Projected in-service dates are shown in bandings to avoid prejudice to national security and/or Defence.

One of the projects included in the table is a systems engineering facility. This is one of the projects where the decision has been taken to meet the requirement without the need for new buildings.

Project name Function Cost (£ million)

2010-11 prices

   

Completed projects

   

IT server buildings (two projects)

Computer/communications

32

New office accommodation Phase 1-Gemini (two buildings)

Office and business support accommodation

78

Modular accommodation (five buildings)

Office and business support accommodation

27

Car park/landscaping

Office and business support/environmental

3

     

Outturn Prices

   

Projected in-service period 2011-15

   

Orion Laser

Testing/research

183

Small components interim-Leo

Manufacturing/production

16

Building for high performance computer-Orchard

Computing/communications

High explosives fabrication-Circinus

Manufacturing/production

231

     

Projected in-service period 2016-20

   

Warhead assembly/disassembly-Mensa

Manufacturing/production

734

Uranium components-Pegasus

Manufacturing/production

634

Laboratory-Octans

Testing/research

     

Projects under consideration following SDSR publication

   

High explosives climatic trials

Manufacturing/production

Chemical processing-Astra

Manufacturing/production

High explosives assembly for trials

Testing/research

Small components-Libra

Testing/research

     

Projects not taken forward where alternative solutions found

   

New office accommodation Phase 2

Office and business support accommodation

New office accommodation Phase 3

Office and business support accommodation

Systems engineering

Manufacturing/production

Hydrodynamics-Hydrus

Testing/research

Landscaping

Environmental

BAE Systems

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Hyndburn of 14 November 2011, Official Report, column 574, and to the answer from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the hon. Member for Fylde of 1 November 2011, Official Report, column 758, on BAE Systems, whether the job losses at BAE Systems are due to a slow down in the Eurofighter programme or as a result of a slowing down in UK-US defence orders in the F-35 programme. [82177]

22 Nov 2011 : Column 273W

Peter Luff: BAE Systems issued a statement on 27 September 2011 which attributed the job losses to a number of factors, including a slower than planned increase in the F-35 production rates and an agreement by the Eurofighter Typhoon partner nations to a request from industry to slow Eurofighter Typhoon delivery rates in order to protect their industrial capacities to service anticipated export orders. The statement also acknowledged the need to reduce costs to ensure that the company remained competitive both in the UK and internationally. For its part, the UK Government are energetically promoting exports of the Eurofighter Typhoon which will help maintain highly skilled jobs in the UK defence and aerospace industry.

Building Stability Overseas

Mr Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to his Department's Building Stability Overseas strategy, which countries his Department has identified as priorities for early warning efforts. [80931]

Mr Robathan: The Building Stability Overseas Strategy (BSOS) was published jointly by the Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development in July 2011 and all three Secretaries of State announced they would share joint responsibility for its implementation. The strategy includes a new approach to turning early warning into early action. By focusing on early warning we will be able to improve our ability to anticipate instability and potential triggers for conflict thus increasing our opportunity to take fast, appropriate and effective action where necessary and where UK strategic interests are at stake.

Early warning processes have been improved by drawing up a watch list of fragile states comprised of countries that have a high risk of instability and are also of high interest to the UK. These states will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that all appropriate action is being taken to support the aims of the BSOS. The strategy makes clear that the watch list is internal and both the watch list and the early warning report draw on a range of internal HMG reporting and cannot therefore be published for security reasons. However, the BSOS is open about the criteria used to select countries for attention.

HMS Poseidon

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 24 June 2009, Official Report, columns 967-8W, on HMS Poseidon, what information his Department holds on the circumstances in which HMS Poseidon was salvaged by the government of China; if he will publish the text of any (a) representations made to the Chinese Government and (b) replies received in respect of the (i) recovery and (ii) disposal of the remains and personal effects of the crew members of the submarine; if he will make it his policy vigorously to pursue this matter on behalf of the families of the deceased crew members; and if he will make a statement. [81646]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence takes matters concerning UK military maritime graves very seriously. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National

22 Nov 2011 : Column 274W

Defence of the People's Republic of China were formally asked in 2009 to provide details of the salvage of HMS Poseidon, particularly with respect to the remains of the dead servicemen. Following inquiries, the Chinese authorities replied that the location of any remnants of HMS Poseidon is unknown and that in the course of the salvage no remains of any sailors were found inside the submarine.

In May 2011 the British embassy in Beijing again raised this matter with the Chinese authorities, who reiterated their previous position and confirmed that a full investigation took place in 2009. It is likely that the Chinese authorities have been constrained by incomplete records, as the salvage occurred during the Cultural Revolution. The Chinese authorities have agreed to share with the UK any further information on this subject that may come to light.

Met Office

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the capital receipts arising from the transfer of the Met Office. [81901]

Mr Robathan: Defence Ministers have had no such discussions.

Military Aircraft

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many qualified fast jet pilots were available for active service at each year end since 2008. [79118]

Mr Robathan: The following table gives information for the number of Royal Air Force and Royal Navy fast jet pilots who were qualified and current on a front-line fast-jet type as at 1 April for the last three years.

  Royal Navy and Royal Marines Royal Air Force

1 April 2009

20

290

1 April 2010

20

260

1 April 2011

0

200

The information has been rounded to the nearest 10.

The number of pilots available for active service will vary on a daily basis, for reasons including other work duties, sickness or annual leave. Retrieving such data would require a manual search of individual pilots' records and so this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The reduction in fast-jet pilot numbers reflects the withdrawal from service of the Harrier and Tornado F3 aircraft.

Military Bases

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much it will cost to convert (a) RAF Cottesmore and (b) RAF Kinloss into Army bases; and how long each such conversion will take. [81486]

22 Nov 2011 : Column 275W

Mr Robathan: It is currently too early to say at this time how long it will take, or how much it will cost to convert RAF Cottesmore and RAF Kinloss into Army bases.

Military Bases: Radioactive Waste

Mr Gordon Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date officials from his Department most recently visited the site where radiation tests are being carried out at Dalgety bay. [81589]

Mr Robathan: Ministry of Defence officials most recently visited Dalgety bay on 27 September 2011.

Trident

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Trident nuclear weapon system and its successor was discussed by his predecessor in Washington (a) between 21 and 22 September 2010, (b) between 22 and 25 May 2011 and (c) between 31 July and 3 August 2011. [81689]

Mr Philip Hammond: They were not.

World War II: Military Decorations

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has found evidence in the archives of the HD Committee that awarding an official campaign star or clasp for the Arctic convoys was (a) considered and rejected or (b) not considered when campaign awards were determined at the end of the Second World War. [81647]

Mr Robathan: The HD Committee is not a Ministry of Defence body, but contemporary medal papers make it clear that the convoys to north Russia were considered at the time that the qualifying criteria for the WWII campaign Stars and Medals were under discussion.

From the outset, the qualifying criteria for the proposed Atlantic Star were designed to include recognition of service on the Russian convoys. The regulations for the Atlantic Star specifically allude to the Arctic convoys in the qualifying criteria.

Accordingly, I have placed a copy of the relevant section in the Library of the House.

International Development

Argentina

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he has any plans to visit Argentina in an official capacity. [77077]

Mr Duncan: I have no current plans to visit Argentina.

Argentina: EU Aid

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is on the provision of aid to Argentina by the EU. [77064]

22 Nov 2011 : Column 276W

Mr Duncan: The EU has allocated €65 million in funding for Argentina through the Development Cooperation Instrument between 2007 and 2013. EU funding for Argentina aims to support reforms to achieve sustainable economic growth, employment and social cohesion. The UK position is that aid spending should target the poorest countries. In the context of the EU, co-operation should take different forms for countries which are already experiencing sustained growth or which have sufficient resources of their own.

Argentina: World Bank

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is on the US Administration's decision to oppose new World Bank loans to Argentina. [77063]

Mr Duncan: As long as a country is not in arrears to the bank, the UK's position on loans from the World Bank to borrowers such as Argentina is based on the merits of each project, on a case-by-case basis.

Burundi: Overseas Aid

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to ensure that withdrawal of funding to Burundi is managed in a way which does not negatively affect the country's development. [77555]

Mr O'Brien: Although the office will close and bilateral projects will end, DFID will not stop supporting Burundi. From 2012, DFID will concentrate exclusively on supporting Burundi's integration into the EAC through regional funding of TradeMark East Africa's (TMEA) programme in Burundi. DFID will also continue to contribute to multilateral efforts. This includes around 15% in central funding to the EU's work and 14% of World Bank funding in Burundi. The EU and World Bank provided £135 million to Burundi in 2010. DFID is also a major contributor to the UN's Peace-Building Fund, which agreed a new contribution of $9 million for Burundi in 2011.

Also, the TMEA-funded reform of the Burundi revenue system will in its first full year alone generate over £35 million in additional revenues. This is more than three times the size of the DFID bilateral programme.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Elections

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with (a) diaspora communities, (b) faith groups and (c) civil society groups on the holding of elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [77556]

Mr O'Brien: I had a very interesting meeting last week on the Congo with members of the Congo Now coalition, which includes representatives from non-governmental and faith-based organisations. The group raised the need to increase women's participation in politics and elections, support for elections observation and support for elections beyond 2011, particularly for local elections in 2013. The UK is either already supporting or has plans to support all these areas either directly or as a member of the European Union and their electoral

22 Nov 2011 : Column 277W

observation work. Other than this meeting I have not had any formal direct contact with diaspora communities in the UK.

The DFID office in Kinshasa is in regular contact with the Congolese Government, civil society organisations (including faith-based organisations) and international agencies, especially the UN, with regards to the elections and to support the process.

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department is providing to the holding of elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [77557]

Mr Duncan: The UK's support to the electoral process is focused on strengthening the new electoral commission, voter registration, civic education and election security. We will increase the participation, particularly of women and first-time voters, in both voter registration and the elections themselves, by improving understanding of the electoral process.

Our programme is also helping to develop an independent, well-regulated, more diverse and professional media, which can promote open and issues-based debate in advance of elections. We are supporting elections-related projects implemented by Congolese civil society organisations, through our support to the Civil Society Fund. Along with other donors we are supporting the Congolese police to be able to provide security during the elections, through a focus on communications and applying community policing principles. Complementing this we are assisting the Inspector General Audit and civil society to monitor the role of the police during the elections.

We have already exceeded one of our operational plan results, with voter registration reaching 32 million, compared to 26 million in 2006, and a 31 million target.

DFID's contribution to elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is £31 million. This accounts for more than a third of total donor pledges to date.

Equal Opportunities

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps his Department has taken to promote equality of opportunity for employees of his Department. [77083]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) has developed a new Equality Framework, which is a strategic approach aimed at meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. The framework aims to improve equal opportunities for all our staff and to minimise the administrative burden to achieving this aim. It has a number of objectives intended to provide a workplace that is representative of all groups and values staff.

To enable it to promote equality of opportunity for employees DFID annually monitors its work force against targets intended to address previously identified areas of under-representation at all grades in our work force. We offer a range of development opportunities and training with equalities content, open to all our staff including those located overseas.

22 Nov 2011 : Column 278W

More specifically DFID is participating in the work of the Government-appointed Task and Reference groups on disability.

Flags

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many flags his Department (a) owns and (b) maintains; and at what cost to the public purse [77082]

Mr Duncan: As from May this year the Union Jack flies all year round outside the Department for International Development in London.

The Department for International Development's office in East Kilbride, Scotland has six flags consisting of:

two Union flags that are flown all year round;

one St Andrew flag that is flown all year round;

two European Union flags that are flown when directed. These have not been flown since May 2010.

one Armed Forces day flag that is flown on Armed Forces day and when directed.

These flags were bought several years ago. There are currently no maintenance costs on these flags.

Judicial Review

Mr Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what applications for judicial review have been made against his Department (a) in the last Parliament and (b) since May 2010; whether each such application (i) succeeded, (ii) failed and (iii) remains pending; what legal costs were incurred by his Department for each such application; in each failed application whether he applied for costs against the applicant and whether they were (A) awarded and (B) paid; whether his Department (1) paid for and (2) offered to pay for the legal costs incurred by each such applicant; and what the total cost to the public purse was of payment of the legal costs for each such applicant. [80715]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Department for International Development has had no applications for judicial review made against it since May 2010 or in the period covering the last Parliament.

Developing Countries: Biodiversity

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what the estimated value to the UK economy is of natural capital in developing countries; [80284]

(2) how the value of natural capital in developing countries is taken into account when measuring the effectiveness of UK aid; [80285]

(3) how the UK encourages developing countries to value their natural capital when measuring economic progress. [80286]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The UK is fully committed to supporting initiatives which correct the systematic undervaluation of natural assets in developing countries. The Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting both the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study, which seeks to draw attention

22 Nov 2011 : Column 279W

to the global economic benefits of biodiversity, and the World Bank's Wealth Accounting and Valuation (WAVES) initiative, which seeks to enable developing countries to value biodiversity and ecosystem services and to integrate these values in decision making and national accounting.

DFID's Climate and Environment Assessment mainstreams environmental protection in all of DFID's large programmes. The share of aid which delivers environmental protection is therefore much higher than the share of aid that is directly attributable to biodiversity conservation and eco-systems services.

Developing Countries: Climate Change

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will work with the Mexican Government during its chairing of the G20 to prioritise climate change adaptation and the reduction of disaster risk in development approaches for the successor to the L'Aquila initiative. [81420]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Mexican Government have yet to present a formal work plan for its presidency of the G20 next year, so it is not yet clear if climate change adaptation and the reduction of disaster risk will be considered. If these issues are taken up for specific consideration, I would support this. Following this year's humanitarian emergency response review, I have committed to make disaster resilience a core part of DFID's approach in all of our country programmes, integrate disaster resilience into our work on climate change and play a leadership role in promoting this agenda. We will work closely with Mexico as it takes over the presidency.

Developing Countries: Females

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he has taken to provide support for tackling violence against women and children in the context of humanitarian assistance. [81586]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: I have made tackling violence against women and girls one of the Department for International Development's four top priorities in our Gender Strategy. Up to 25 of our 28 country offices are either programming or planning to programme in this area. Specific to our humanitarian assistance we address the needs of women and children exposed to risk of violence through our influence over the international community and by ensuring that the UK's own protection programmes in crisis situations address their needs.

For example, through our core funding to International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), we enable their protection work to address the needs of women and children exposed to violence in humanitarian settings. Most recently, in the UK's own response to the crisis in Haiti we ensured that our implementing partners integrated the needs of women and children in their protection programmes, one practical example being providing adequate lighting in camps to make women and children feel safe.

22 Nov 2011 : Column 280W

Developing Countries: Food

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he has taken in support of the L'Aquila food security initiative. [81418]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The latest financial year for which we now have finalised UK Statistics on International Development is 2010-11. After two years of our three-year AFSI financial commitment period we have disbursed over 80% of our overall commitment of £1.1 billion through our bilateral programmes and through multilateral channels. We therefore expect to meet our spending commitment in full by the end of the period. We have also played a leading role among AFSI signatories in promoting the adoption of the aid effectiveness principles agreed as part of the AFSI declaration in our approach to work on food security.

Our support has been instrumental in helping eradicate animal diseases like Rinderpest and roll out crops like orange fleshed sweet potato which, among other benefits, improves the vitamin A status of children. In Ethiopia, UK support to the productive safety net is helping over seven million people escape long term dependency by providing cash for work opportunities which build community infrastructure such as classrooms and access roads. DFID is also attracting new money and partnerships to increase jobs and incomes generated through agricultural investment. In Nigeria DFID is working with the private sector to supply 170,000 households with affordable fertiliser, create 55,000 jobs and generate an additional £4.8 million income. DFID has also scaled up interventions to tackle under-nutrition in 20 million children. By 2012, we will be spending in excess of £12 million on nutrition research—doubling our investment since 2009. Similarly we have doubled our spending on direct interventions (e.g., vitamin A to prevent blindness) from around £40 million in 2009.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the L'Aquila food security initiative in (a) increasing food security and (b) reducing malnutrition. [81419]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: After two years of our three year AFSI financial commitment period (2009-12) we have disbursed over 80% of the £1.1 billion committed by the UK. We expect to meet our spending commitment in full by the end of 2012 through both our bilateral and multilateral channels. Examples of results that UK funding for food security related activities has helped to achieve include high yielding rice varieties specifically suited to dryland areas now grown by three million households across India; the development of vaccines for East Coast Fever and support for the eradication of Rinderpest—two important diseases of cattle in Africa—which will improve the livelihoods of millions. And in Ethiopia, DFID support is helping 1.2 million people escape long term dependency on food aid by promoting cash for work, which is giving the poorest an income to invest in their farms and send their children to school, and building vital community infrastructure such as water points.

On malnutrition, along with a number of partner Governments, the Gates Foundation and multilateral agencies, we are supporting the Scaling Up Nutrition

22 Nov 2011 : Column 281W

(SUN) initiative—the most promising mechanism for accelerating action to improve nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child's life and have already committed to double our reach through nutrition interventions from 10 million to 20 million children under five years of age.

The UK is working with other the AFSI signatories to develop robust evaluation process for reviewing the impact of both the AFSI financial commitments and the commitments made to the five aid effectiveness and partnership principles underpinning their efforts.

Developing Countries: Politics and Government

Mr Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to his Department's Building Stability Overseas strategy, when he expects the first early warning report to be released. [80932]

Mr Duncan: The Building Stability Overseas Strategy explains that the Early Warning Reports are underpinned by all-source analysis. This means they draw on a range of internal Government reporting and cannot therefore be published for national security reasons.

East Africa: Disease Control

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to prevent the spread of disease in refugee camps in East Africa during the rainy season. [81634]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The onset of rains in the drought stricken parts of the East and Horn of Africa has increased the risk of disease outbreaks among weakened populations, particularly in the large refugee camps of Kenya and Ethiopia. The greatest disease risks include cholera, measles and malaria.

In Somalia the UK has provided measles vaccinations to over 900,000 children to mitigate against the spread of measles to refugee camps—eventually over 1.3 million children will be vaccinated.

In Ethiopia, the UK has helped to provide clean water, healthcare and vaccinations for over 100,000 Somali refugees, as well as supporting the UN refugee agency to prevent the spread of disease and pre-position supplies and staff.

In Kenya, the UK has helped to provide safe drinking water to approximately 300,000 Somali refugees. Over 65,000 Somali refugees are now benefitting from UK funded latrines in the camps. The UK is also helping to provide primary health care services to Somali refugees. In October, UK funded health centres undertook over 12,600 consultations.

East Africa: Droughts

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress his Department has made in assisting those in need in those parts of Somalia worst affected by conflict where famine was declared in July 2011. [81635]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: Britain has let the response to the crisis in Somalia, the UK has provided over £57 million since July to address the country's extraordinary humanitarian situation.

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To date the UK has provided food for 250,000 people, emergency nutrition treatment to some 11,000 severely acutely malnourished children and vaccinations against measles for over 900,000 children. UK support has also funded clean water, shelter, and other humanitarian support to those in need. These results have been achieved with a number of partners working in difficult conditions, where access to affected populations is not easy. Almost all UK humanitarian aid for Somalia is directed towards the famine affected areas in the South of the country.

The recent assessment by the UN's Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit has recorded a modest improvement in the situation, with three of the previous six famine regions no longer classified as being in famine. However, needs remain huge, and the UK will continue to play its part in the response, and lobby others to meet their fair share.

Libya: Elections

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he has received any requests from the Libyan National Transitional Council for UK support for capacity-building for the planned 2012 elections. [81590]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) leads for the international community on the provision of election support to the Libyan authorities and this has been one of its foremost priorities. UNSMIL has, at the request of the National Transitional Council (NTC), begun to provide expertise and support to the NTC in relation to electoral process, electoral law, the future electoral management body, voter registration and civic education.

The UK is working closely with the NTC and UNSMIL to identify where we might support Libyan-led processes. We are particularly keen to support participation by women and young people and are encouraging the NTC to take this into account in the political process. The UK has not received any specific requests for support for the 2012 elections, but we will continue to work with the NTC and UNSMIL on this issue.

Overseas Aid

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) letters and (b) emails he has received concerning aid provision in developing countries in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [77085]

Mr Duncan: Over the past 12 months the Public Enquiry Point has received the following items:

  Number

Items with 'aid' as subject

2,239

Items with 'aid provision' as subject

2,247

Items with 'aid to developing countries' as subject

2,247

Over the same time period we have received 1,335 letters regarding the provision of aid.

22 Nov 2011 : Column 283W

Somalia: Asylum

Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to work with the international community and the Government of Kenya to identify lasting solutions for the Somali refugee population which respect international legal principles. [81265]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: I discussed refugee issues with the Government of Kenya during my visit to Kenya in July, when I also visited the Dadaab refugee camp. I also saw the Kenyan Minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security, George Saitoti when he visited London on 21 November.

Resettlement and local integration are unlikely to provide durable solutions for the vast majority of Somali refugees. Opportunities should be taken to incentivise voluntary to Somalia return where it is safe to do so. But large scale return remains unlikely without greater stability in Somalia—a key objective of our development and political engagement there.

UK Government officials therefore continue to work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other donors to press the Kenyan Government to fulfil their obligations under international refugee law. My Department has allocated £6 million since July to UNHCR and other partners to support 130,000 refugees with relief assistance, including healthcare, nutrition, shelter and water and sanitation. I am currently considering what support we should provide in 2012.

Somaliland: Sovereignty

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) letters and (b) emails his Department received concerning the recognition of the independence of Somaliland in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [77084]

Mr Duncan: In the last 12 months, the Department for International Development has not received any ministerial correspondence concerning the recognition of independence of Somaliland.

Over the same time period we received 15 inquiries by e-mail to the Public Enquiry Point on this subject.

Justice

Birmingham Prison

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether additional costs were added to the public sector bid in respect of the recent tendering process for HM Prison Birmingham. [81847]

Mr Blunt: The public sector bid team were required to make a series of uplifts and adjustments to their bid for HMP Birmingham.

All bidders were made aware of the Principles of Competition for Phase 1 Prisons Competition (inclusive of HMP Birmingham) including the uplift on bid costs for the public sector at the start of the process.

The Principles of Competition requires a public sector bid to apply both percentages and fixed amounts to cover specified individual costs but it is important to note that some percentage mark-ups only apply to specific

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elements of the bid (for example pension mark-up applies only to pay roll costs). Overall totals/percentages therefore will differ between individual bids reflecting the overall cost of the bid itself.

Phase 1 Competition

The full list of uplifts applied the public sector bids for the Phase 1 which included Birmingham and Buckley Hall were as follows:

6.5%—Added to direct costs to reflect indirect costs/corporate overheads

3%—Added to payroll costs for pensions

2% or 1%—Added to total costs to reflect risk retention (depending on prison, ie 2% HMP Birmingham

£ cost—Actual cost of insurance quoted by a commercial insurer

£ cost—Actual cost of bidding assuming recover rate of 1.67 on £1.1 million

The insurance cost quoted for Birmingham was £406,794.

Based on these principles the overall mark-up for each of the public sector bids was less than 10%.

Civil Disorder

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice of those found guilty of offences committed during the public disorder of summer 2011, how many have (a) appealed the decision and (b) subsequently been successful in their appeal. [81591]

Mr Blunt: Appeals made by defendants found guilty at all courts for offences relating to the public disorder from 6 to 9 August, as at 16 November 2011 (latest available figures), can be viewed in the following table:

Appeals made by defendants found guilty of offences relating to the public disorder between 6 and 9 August 2011—data as of 16 November 2011 (1,2,3)
  Appeal court  
  Crown court Court of Appeal Total

Appeals made

22

43

65

O f which:

     

Successful, sentence reduced

16

4

20

Abandoned/refused/dismissed

5

18

23

Awaiting hearing or judgment

1

21

22

(1) In order to allow timely reporting of statistics on defendants proceeded against at the magistrates courts for offences resulting from the 6 to 9 August period of public disorder a dataset has been compiled from manual returns from the courts. This table was compiled from data received by 16 November 2011. (2) The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice

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Civil Proceedings

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he has considered introducing a civil cases review commission. [81995]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: The Government have no plans to introduce a civil cases review commission. Unlike criminal cases civil cases are disputes between private parties. If a party is unhappy with the outcome of a cases it is for them to determine whether to take any further steps, including the whether to apply to the court for permission to appeal.

Crime: Victims

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the findings of the Victims' Views of Court and Sentencing report by the Commissioner for Victims' and Witnesses in England and Wales; and what steps he will be taking in response to the findings. [82115]

Mr Blunt: The Government are giving careful consideration to the findings of the Victims' Commissioner's report on victims' views of court and sentencing. We are determined to ensure that victims are supported in the best way possible, and that victims who need it receive reparation from offenders and have access to restorative justice. The Government are reviewing these issues, and will be publishing proposals for consultation in due course.

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Criminal Injuries Compensation: Sexual Offences

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice in how many (a) rape and (b) adult sexual assault applications compensation has been refused or reduced by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board due to (i) previous convictions or other bad character, (ii) the applicant having been found not to be a victim of crime, (iii) the applicant not fulfilling the requirement of reporting the matter to the police without delay, (iv) the applicant not supporting a prosecution and (v) any other reason in each of the last five years. [81421]

Mr Djanogly: CICA does not have figures showing how many people were refused compensation categorised by reference to specific crimes. The Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme (the scheme), which was approved by Parliament in 2008, provides for awards to be assessed primarily by reference to criminal injuries. Injury descriptions, from the scheme's 'tariff of injuries', are therefore used as the primary basis for calculating and recording payments actually made.

CICA can produce figures based on awards paid. The tariff contains several injury descriptions that could apply to people who have been sexually assaulted, a subset of those descriptions are the most likely to apply to victims of rape. The figures CICA is able to produce, which follow, are therefore based on claims where they paid awards to adult victims for these injury descriptions. Figures are not included for those who were found not to have been victims of a crime, since CICA would not pay an award in those circumstances.

Number of reduced awards for rape/other sexual assault
  Convictions or character Delay in reporting Not supporting a prosecution Other
Financial year Rape Other Rape Other Rape Other Rape Other

2006-07

42

11

3

l

4

2

81

2

2007-08

30

20

2

l

31

1

14

4

2008-09

44

20

l

3

2

0

21

0

2009-10

49

27

0

2

3

l

0

0

2010-11

71

34

3

0

2

l

0

0

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) rape and (b) adult sexual assault victims have applied for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in each of the last five years; and how many received full awards of the recommended amount. [81422]

Mr Djanogly: CICA does not have complete figures for how many people made applications under the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme (the scheme) categorised by reference to specific crimes. The scheme, which was approved by Parliament in 2008, provides for payments to be made by reference to criminal injuries. Injury descriptions, from the scheme's ‘tariff of injuries’, are therefore used as the primary basis for calculating awards so they are only reliably recorded once CICA has assessed someone as eligible to receive the compensation payable for that injury.

CICA can produce figures based on awards paid. The tariff contains several injury descriptions that could apply to people who have been sexually assaulted, a subset of those descriptions are the most likely to apply to victims of rape. The figures CICA is able to produce, which follow, are therefore based on claims where they paid awards to adult victims for these injury descriptions.

Number of full awards
Financial year Rape Other sexual assault

2006-07

377

490

2007-08

504

522

2008-09

773

573

2009-10

726

525

2010-11

854

527

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) rape and (b) adult sexual assault victims who were refused compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority were granted it by the First Tier Tribunal in each of the last five years. [81423]

Mr Djanogly: Awards under the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme are based on the injuries people sustain. Injury descriptions, from the Criminal Injuries

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Compensation scheme's ‘tariff of injuries', are used as the primary basis for paying compensation.

CICA can produce figures based on awards paid. The tariff contains several injury descriptions that could apply to people who have been sexually assaulted, a subset of those descriptions are the most likely to apply to victims of rape. The following table shows the number of awards the Tribunals Service have made for sexual offence injury descriptions in cases CICA initially refused in each of the last five financial years.

Number of appeals awards following CICA refusal
Financial year Rape Other sexual assault

2006-07

23

12

2007-08

22

15

2008-09

25

10

2009-10

23

8

2010-11

21

7