17 May 2012 : Column 229W

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 17 May 2012

Wales

Government Contracts: Political Affiliation

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what (a) grants and (b) contracts her Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who were previously employed in any capacity by (i) the Conservative party or its elected representatives and (ii) the Liberal Democrat party or its elected representatives since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised; [107128]

(2) what (a) grants and (b) contracts her Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who previously held an elected position as a member of the (i) Conservative party and (ii) Liberal Democrat party since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised; [107129]

(3) which individuals have been paid by her Department for consultancy or other services who were previously employed in any capacity by the (a) Conservative party or its elected representatives and (b) Liberal Democrat party or its elected representatives since May 2010; what the (i) cost and (ii) nature was of the services provided; and whether they were publicly advertised; [107130]

(4) which individuals have been paid by her Department for consultancy or other services who previously held an elected position as a member of the (a) Conservative party and (b) Liberal Democrat party since May 2010; what the (i) cost and (ii) nature was of the services provided; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107131]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office does not generally undertake direct procurement or tendering projects. It utilises framework contracts between suppliers and other Government bodies.

As part of this Government's Transparency agenda, since 2010 all contracts over the value of £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what the (a) job title and (b) pay band is of each official, excluding special advisers, recruited by her Department since May 2010 who was previously employed in any capacity by the (i) Conservative party or its elected representatives and (ii) Liberal Democrat party or its elected representatives; and whether their position was advertised publicly; [107277]

(2) what the (a) job title and (b) pay band is of each official, excluding special advisers, recruited by her Department since May 2010 who previously held an elected position as a member of the (i) Conservative party and (ii) Liberal Democrat party; and whether their position was advertised publicly. [107278]

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Mr David Jones: To collect any such information would involve disproportionate costs.

Consultants

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much her Department spent on external consultants, including management consultants, in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. [107503]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office spent £6,870.85 on consultants in 2010-11, in respect of work that was commissioned in the previous financial year. No payments have been made to consultants in 2011-12.

Risk Assessment

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what strategic or transitional risk registers in each area of policy are held by her Department; and if she will make a statement. [107468]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office does not hold risk registers for specific areas of policy.

Trade Unions

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how many trade union representatives in her Department had (a) part-time and (b) full-time paid facility time arrangements in 2011-12; [107285]

(2) how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in her Department in 2011-12; and at what cost to the public purse; [107286]

(3) how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representatives in her Department for trade union (a) duties and (b) activities in 2011-12. [107287]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office had no trade union representatives working within the department in 2011-12. However, Wales Office staff have access to trade union representatives via the Ministry of Justice.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if she will place in the Library copies of the facility time agreements between trade unions and her Department. [107288]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office does not directly employ staff. The Wales Office adheres to the Ministry of Justice facility time agreements.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many trade union representatives in her Department have faced disciplinary action for abusing paid facility time or public resources in each of the last five years. [107289]

Mr David Jones: None.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many meetings have taken place between her Department and trade union representatives utilising paid facility time in each of the last five years to discuss (a) collective bargaining, (b) redundancies, (c) negotiations

17 May 2012 : Column 231W

relating to employment, pay and conditions and

(d)

other trade union and industrial relations duties; and what the dates and times were of each meeting. [107290]

Mr David Jones: None. The Wales Office does not directly employ staff.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on how many occasions trade union representatives from her Department have utilised paid facility time to represent an employee at a meeting or other industrial relations matter in each of the last five years. [107291]

Mr David Jones: None.

Northern Ireland

Government Contracts: Political Affiliation

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) grants and (b) contracts his Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who were previously employed in any capacity by (i) the Conservative Party or its elected representatives and (ii) the Liberal Democrat Party or its elected representatives since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107161]

Mr Paterson: Information regarding the political affiliations of contractors or consultants is not held by my Department, nor is such information held in relation to grant applications.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) grants and (b) contracts his Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who previously held an elected position as a member of the (i) Conservative Party and (ii) Liberal Democrat Party since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107162]

Mr Paterson: Information regarding the political affiliations of contractors or consultants is not held by my Department, nor is such information held in relation to grant applications.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which individuals have been paid by his Department for consultancy or other services who were previously employed in any capacity by the (a) Conservative Party or its elected representatives and (b) Liberal Democrat Party or its elected representatives since May 2010; what the (i) cost and (ii) nature was of the services provided; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107163]

Mr Paterson: Information regarding the political affiliations of contractors or consultants is not held by my Department.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which individuals have been paid by his Department for consultancy or other services who

17 May 2012 : Column 232W

previously held an elected position as a member of the

(a)

Conservative Party and

(b)

Liberal Democrat Party since May 2010; what the (i) cost and (ii) nature was of the services provided; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107164]

Mr Paterson: Information regarding the political affiliations of contractors or consultants is not held by my Department.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) job title and (b) pay band is of each official, excluding special advisers, recruited by his Department since May 2010 who was previously employed in any capacity by the (i) Conservative Party or its elected representatives and (ii) Liberal Democrat Party or its elected representatives; and whether their position was advertised publicly. [107260]

Mr Paterson: The Northern Ireland Office follows the Ministry of Justice recruitment procedures and the principle of fair and open competition. We are not aware of any member of staff working for the Department, other than the Special Adviser, who was previously employed by either the Conservative or Liberal Democrat parties.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) job title and (b) pay band is of each official, excluding special advisers, recruited by his Department since May 2010 who previously held an elected position as a member of the (i) Conservative Party and (ii) Liberal Democrat Party; and whether their position was advertised publicly. [107261]

Mr Paterson: The Northern Ireland Office follows the Ministry of Justice recruitment procedures and the principle of fair and open competition. We are not aware of any member of staff working for the Department, other than the Special Adviser, who was previously employed by either the Conservative or Liberal Democrat parties.

Consultants

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent on external consultants, including management consultants, in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [107500]

Mr Paterson: During 2010-11 and 2011-12, the total amounts spent by my Department on external consultants, including management consultants, was £347,000 and £75,000 respectively.

Dealing with the Past

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent progress he has made on talks regarding the decade of commemoration in Northern Ireland. [106573]

Mr Swire: Both the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson), and I continue to have regular discussions with colleagues in the Northern Ireland

17 May 2012 : Column 233W

Executive and the Irish Government. Most recently on 27 April the Secretary of State and the Tánaiste further discussed plans for the decade of Commemorations. I have also attended a number of commemoration events with my Irish counterparts. NIO officials are also in regular contact with Irish and NI Executive officials about forthcoming events. All these discussions underpin the need to promote tolerance and mutual understanding to ensure that these anniversaries are commemorated with tolerance, dignity and respect for all.

Risk Assessment

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what strategic or transitional risk registers in each area of policy are held by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [107472]

Mr Paterson: The Northern Ireland Office has robust risk management policies at strategic, policy and operation levels that comply with best practice and HM Treasury guidance. At a strategic level, my Department maintains a risk register that includes key risks from each area of policy.

Trade Unions

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many trade union representatives in (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public body had (i) part-time and (ii) full-time paid facility time arrangements in 2011-12. [107299]

Mr Paterson: The Northern Ireland Office has three members of staff who are part-time trade union representatives and who had facility time arrangements in 2011-12.

My Department has two non-departmental public bodies—the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. My hon. Friend may wish to write to the Commissions directly on these matters.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public body in 2011-12; and at what cost to the public purse. [107300]

Mr Paterson: Trade union representatives employed by the Northern Ireland Office used approximately four days of facility time during 2011-12. This represented a cost of approximately £282.

My Department has two non-departmental public bodies—the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. My hon. Friend may wish to write to the Commissions directly on these matters.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public body for trade union (i) duties and (ii) activities in 2011-12. [107301]

17 May 2012 : Column 234W

Mr Paterson: Trade union representatives employed by the Northern Ireland Office used approximately four days of facility time during 2011-12 to cover all their trade union duties.

My Department has two non-departmental public bodies—the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. My hon. Friend may wish to write to the Commissions directly on these matters.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will place in the Library copies of the facility time agreements between trade unions and (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public body. [107302]

Mr Paterson: Facility time agreements with trade union representatives in my Department are agreed on an individual basis and are monitored by line managers. It would not, therefore, be appropriate to place such agreements in the Library of the House.

My Department has two non-departmental public bodies—the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. My hon. Friend may wish to write to the Commissions directly on these matters.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many trade union representatives in (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public body have faced disciplinary action for abusing paid facility time or public resources in each of the last five years. [107303]

Mr Paterson: No trade union representatives in the Northern Ireland Office have faced disciplinary action for abusing paid facility time or public resources in the last five years.

My Department has two non-departmental public bodies—the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. My hon. Friend may wish to write to the Commissions directly on these matters.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many meetings have taken place between (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public body and trade union representatives utilising paid facility time in each of the last five years to discuss (i) collective bargaining, (ii) redundancies, (iii) negotiations relating to employment, pay and conditions and (iv) other trade union and industrial relations duties; and what the dates and times were of each meeting. [107304]

Mr Paterson: Information is only available for the last 12 months during which period no such meetings have taken place with trade union representatives from the Northern Ireland Office.

My Department has two non-departmental public bodies—the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. My hon. Friend may wish to write to these Commissions directly on these matters.

17 May 2012 : Column 235W

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions trade union representatives from (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public body have utilised paid facility time to represent an employee at a meeting or other industrial relations matter in each of the last five years. [107305]

Mr Paterson: Information is only available for the last 12 months during which period four members of staff were represented by trade union representatives from the Northern Ireland Office.

My Department has two non-departmental public bodies—the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. My hon. Friend may wish to write to the Commissions directly on these matters.

Scotland

Government Contracts: Political Affiliation

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what (a) grants and (b) contracts his Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who were previously employed in any capacity by (i) the Conservative party or its elected representatives and (ii) the Liberal Democrat party or its elected representatives since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised; [107165]

(2) what (a) grants and (b) contracts his Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who previously held an elected position as a member of the (i) Conservative party and (ii) Liberal Democrat party since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107166]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office does not award grants. It does not generally undertake direct procurement or tendering projects. It utilises framework contracts between suppliers and other Government bodies. All expenditure is incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) which individuals have been paid by his Department for consultancy or other services who were previously employed in any capacity by the (a) Conservative party or its elected representatives and (b) Liberal Democrat party or its elected representatives since May 2010; what the (i) cost and (ii) nature was of the services provided; and whether they were publicly advertised; [107167]

(2) which individuals have been paid by his Department for consultancy or other services who previously held an elected position as a member of the (a) Conservative party and (b) Liberal Democrat party since May 2010; what the (i) cost and (ii) nature was of the services provided; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107168]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office does not generally undertake direct procurement or tendering projects. It utilises framework contracts between suppliers and other Government bodies. All expenditure is incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money.

17 May 2012 : Column 236W

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what the (a) job title and (b) pay band is of each official, excluding special advisers, recruited by his Department since May 2010 who was previously employed in any capacity by the (i) Conservative party or its elected representatives and (ii) Liberal Democrat party or its elected representatives; and whether their position was advertised publicly; [107258]

(2) what the (a) job title and (b) pay band was of each official, excluding special advisers, recruited by his Department since May 2010 who previously held an elected position as a member of the (i) Conservative party and (ii) Liberal Democrat party; and whether their position was advertised publicly. [107259]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office does not employ and recruit staff directly.

Attorney-General

Consultants

Mr Thomas: To ask the Attorney-General how much the Law Officers' Departments spent on external consultants, including management consultants, in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [107486]

The Solicitor-General: : The information requested is contained in the following table.

Expenditure on external consultants by the Law Officers Departments
£
  2010-11 2011-12 (1)

Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSol)(2)

9,000

43,000

Serious Fraud Office

(3)1,583,000

856,000

Crown Prosecution Service(4)

684,314

12,000

(1) The data provided for 2010-11 may be subject to minor adjustment following the audit of departmental resource accounts for 2011-12. (2) The TSol data also covers the Attorney-General's Office and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate. (3) The SFO figure for 2010-11 includes £23,000 of consultancy costs for the National Fraud Authority (NFA). Ministerial responsibility for the NFA was transferred to the Home Office On April 2011. (4) The CPS data relates to expenditure on pure consultancy services as defined by the Office of Government Commerce's Consultancy Value Programme.

Risk Assessment

Mr Thomas: To ask the Attorney-General what strategic or transitional risk registers in each area of policy are held by the Law Officers' Departments; and if he will make a statement. [107466]

The Solicitor-General: The Law Officers' Departments do not hold strategic risk registers in areas of policy. Each of the Law Officers' Departments does, however, hold a strategic or corporate risk register related to its business, including operational and, where appropriate, policy delivery. The Crown Prosecution Service also currently holds a transitional risk register for the policy relating to Transforming Through Technology (T3).

17 May 2012 : Column 237W

Trade Unions

Priti Patel: To ask the Attorney-General (1) how many trade union representatives in the Law Officers' Departments had (a) part-time and (b) full-time paid facility time arrangements in 2011-12; [107425]

(2) how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in the Law Officers' Departments in 2011-12; and at what cost to the public purse; [107426]

(3) how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in the Law Officers' Departments for trade union (a) duties and (b) activities in 2011-12. [107427]

The Solicitor-General: The numbers of trade union representatives on paid facility time arrangements in the Law Officers' Departments during 2011-12 are detailed in the following table:

Department Part-time Full-time

Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

7

0

Attorney General's Office

0

0

Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSol)

8

0

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI)

3

0

The SFO records indicate that 54 facility days were recorded by trade union representatives for 2011-12 at a cost of £8,100.

HMCPSI does not maintain any central records about days utilised by trade union representatives or the associated costs but estimate that each representative, would spend no more than five days on union related activities in each year.

In 2011-12 TSol allocated 292 days to the union representatives from the PCS union at a cost of £49,747 and 150 days to union representatives from the FDA union at a cost of £53,810. In both cases no central record is held of the number of days actually utilised. In addition, one hour's facility time was allowed for each member to attend the respective unions Annual General Meeting; no central record is held of the numbers who attended these meetings.

Data relating to staff numbers, facility time and costs for trade union representatives in the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for the year 2011-12 are currently being collected and are expected to be available by the end of June. I will provide this information to my hon. Friend as soon as possible.

No central record is kept by the Law Officers' Departments on the breakdown between trade union duties and activities, and such information could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Priti Patel: To ask the Attorney-General if he will place in the Library copies of the facility time agreements between trade unions and the Law Officers' Departments. [107428]

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The Solicitor-General: Copies of the facilities agreements arranged with trade unions by the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Fraud office and The Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSol) have been placed in the Library of the House. HMCPSI do not have any agreements with trade unions regarding facility time arrangements.

The Attorney-General's Office follows the arrangements agreed by Tsol.

Priti Patel: To ask the Attorney-General how many trade union representatives in the Law Officers' Departments have faced disciplinary action for abusing paid facility time or public resources in each of the last five years. [107429]

The Solicitor-General: None.

Priti Patel: To ask the Attorney-General how many meetings have taken place between the Law Officers' Departments and trade union representatives utilising paid facility time in each of the last five years to discuss (a) collective bargaining, (b) redundancies, (c) negotiations relating to employment, pay and conditions and (d) other trade union and industrial relations duties; and what the dates and times were of each meeting. [107430]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) holds a number of meetings each year with trade union representatives to discuss a wide variety of issues. These meetings take place at departmental and local level, and as such the CPS does not retain a central record of all meetings held.

The Serious Fraud Office does not record the exact number of meetings between officials and union representatives held during this period or the topics discussed, but can confirm that SFO officials have been meeting with trade union representatives on a monthly basis since 2009.

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) has a Whitley Council which meets quarterly and is attended by union representatives. Other HMCPSI negotiations with unions are normally undertaken by the Treasury Solicitors Department (TSol) with input from HMCPSI.

TSol has a partnership agreement with the FDA and Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), formally signed in 2003 and reviewed in 2007. This agreement is facilitated by formal partnership meetings between the unions and senior business managers when issues, including the partnership agreement, are discussed and resolved. These meetings cover collective bargaining, redundancies and other trade union and industrial relations duties. In addition, since 2009, TSol has held an informal partnership meeting each month to discuss items for the agenda for the formal meeting and to decide if a formal meeting is required. Separate meetings are held to negotiate pay and conditions.

The dates and times of meetings held are as follows:

  Formal partnership meetings Informal partnership meetings Pay meetings

2007

11 January: 11:00

 

24 May: 10:00

 

13 February: 11:00

 

7 June: 10:00

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17 May 2012 : Column 240W

 

13 March: 11:00

 

12 June: 14:00

 

16 April: 11:00

 

28 June: 14:00

 

21 May: 11:00

 

19 July: 14:00

 

14 June: 11:00

 

24 July: 14:00

 

23 July: 11:00

 

22 October: 11:00

 

9 August: 11:00

 

12 November: 15:00

 

6 September: 11:00

 

10 December: 10:00

 

11 October: 13:00

   
 

112 November: 11:00

   
 

20 December: 9:00

   
       

2008

13 March: 11:00

 

8 January: 14:00

 

1 May: 11:00

 

21 January: 10:30

 

12 June: 13:00

 

15 February: 11:00

 

3 July: 11:00

 

18 March: 14:00

 

7 August: 11:00

 

27 June: 11:00

 

9 October: 11:00

 

10 July: 14:00

 

11 November: 10:30

 

16 July: 10:00

     

25 July: 10:00

     

29 July: 10:00

     

5 August: 10:00

     

21 August: 9:30

       

2009

12 February: 11:00

2 April: 13:30

22 April: 14:00

 

12 March: 11:00

1 May: 10:30

8 May: 10:30

 

16 April: 11:00

2 June: 11:00

17 June: 11:00

 

15 May: 15:00

3 July: 11:00

29 June: 11:00

 

11 June: 13:30

3 August: 11:00

14 August: 10:00

 

17 July: 10:30

3 September: 11:00

9 September: 14:00

 

17 September: 11:00

30 October: 11:00

 
 

15 October: 11:00

27 November: 11:00

 
 

13 November: 11:00

   
 

11 December: 11:00

   
       

2010

20 January: 10:30

13 January: 11:00

1 March: 14.00

 

19 February: 14:15

4 March: 13:00

26 April: 11:00

 

18 March: 15:00

13 April: 10:30

4 May: 11:00

 

19 April: 15:00

14 May: 15:00

13 May: 15:00

 

8 June:10:00

16 August: 15:00

25 May: 14:00

 

21 July: 14:00

20 September: 15:00

30 June: 11:30

 

29 September: 12:00

18 October: 16:00

22 July: 11:00

 

27 October: 14:00

15 November: 15:00

 
 

24 November: 14:00

14 December: 10:30

 
       

2011

19 January: 14:00

6 January: 15:00

6 May: 10:00

 

16 February: 14:00

2 February: 14:00

24 June: 10:00

 

16 March: 14:00

2 March: 14:00

 
 

19 April: 14:00

6 April: 14:00

 
 

17 May: 14:00

4 May: 14:00

 
 

15 June:14:00

7 June:15:30

 
 

18 October: 14:00

6 July: 14:00

 
   

3 August: 14:00

 
   

7 September: 14:00

 
   

5 October: 14:00

 

17 May 2012 : Column 241W

17 May 2012 : Column 242W

   

2 November: 14:00

 
   

5 December: 12:00

 

In addition other meetings are held ad hoc as required to cover particular issues which arise (e.g. flexible working, TSol strategy etc). No central record is held of the dates and times of these meetings.

Priti Patel: To ask the Attorney-General on how many occasions trade union representatives from the Law Officers' Departments have utilised paid facility time to represent an employee at a meeting or other industrial relations matter in each of the last five years. [107431]

The Solicitor-General: None of the Law Officers Departments keep a central record of the number of occasions where trade union representatives have represented employees at meetings or in other industrial relations matters as part of their paid facility time. Such information could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

Justice

Criminal Cases Review Commission

Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will initiate a review of the role of the Criminal Cases Review Commission; and whether its remit has recently been changed. [107999]

Mr Blunt: All non-departmental public bodies are now subject to Triennial review. The Commission will be the subject of a Triennial review in the autumn. Its remit has not recently changed.

Crown Prosecution Service

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) with reference to the First Special Report from the Justice Committee, Joint Enterprise: Government's Response to the Committee's Eleventh Report of Session 2010-12, HC 1663, whether the Crown Prosecution Service has completed its consultation with his Department on the best way forward for collating statistics around cases involving joint enterprise; [108023]

(2) with reference to the written evidence of the Director of Public Prosecutions to the Justice Select Committee on Joint Enterprise, when he expects the Crown Prosecution Service to publish new guidelines for prosecutors handling joint enterprise cases. [108024]

Mr Djanogly: Officials from the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney-General's Office are in discussion with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on the practicalities of collating data on joint enterprise cases. Work on guidance for prosecutors on handling these cases is also ongoing. We will provide Parliament with a further update in due course.

Mesothelioma: Compensation

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the format will be of the review of the effect that sectors 43 and 45 of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 would have on mesothelioma cases; [107646]

(2) what factors will be taken into account in the review of the likely effect of sections 43 and 45 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 on mesothelioma cases; [108200]

(3) when he expects to (a) commence and (b) publish the report on the review of the effect of sections 43 and 45 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 on mesothelioma cases. [108201]

Mr Djanogly: The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 received Royal Assent on 1 May 2012. The Government has already announced that the provisions in part 2 relating to civil litigation funding and costs will come into force in April 2013. However, the provisions in relation to sections 44 and 46 (recoverable success fees and insurance premiums) will not come into effect in relation to mesothelioma claims until a review has been undertaken and published in accordance with section 48. The review is not due to begin for some time, and the Government will consider in due course how best to conduct it.

Pay

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many of his Department's officials located in Wales are (a) paid according to local market rates and (b) not paid according to local market rates but would be affected by proposals for local-facing pay. [107528]

Mr Djanogly: The Ministry of Justice is currently in the second year of the public sector pay freeze having entered the freeze in 2011. Plans to move to more market facing pay structures, which are being considered as part of wider reaching proposals for pay reform within the Ministry and its executive agencies, are therefore still a work in progress with the first stages of implementation scheduled for summer 2013 once the Department exits the pay freeze. The full impact for existing staff will be assessed in due course as a key stage of finalising pay structures for 2013 and beyond.

Powers of Attorney

Mr Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many applications for local powers of attorney were dealt with by the Office of the Public Guardian within (a) 30 days, (b) 60 days, (c) 90 days and (d) more than 90 days in the latest period for which figures are available. [106899]

17 May 2012 : Column 243W

Mr Djanogly: The answer given is based on registration times for lasting powers of attorney (LPA). The latest period for which full figures are available is the last financial year from April 2011 to January 2012.

The OPG's IT systems do not specifically report on the periods requested, the closest to the requested timescales for which the system generates information is for registrations within 35 working days, within 60 working days and over 61 working days.

17 May 2012 : Column 244W

In total during this period the OPG dealt with 148,059 LPA's of which 196 were cleared within 35 working days, 79,250 were cleared within 60 working days and 65,405 were cleared in over 61 working days. A further 3,685 LPA's remain to be despatched of which 1,840 remain pending due to issues that still require resolution by the registering party.

These data have also been provided split by quarterly periods and is provided in the following table:

Latest LPA processing times available April 2011 to January 2012
  Total Percentage

Quarter1 :

   

1 April 2011 to 30 June 2011

   

Total being dealt with

44,167

Imperfect, Fee Issue

810

Net Received

43,366

     

Cleared in 35 days and below

35

0.16

Cleared in 60 days and below

21,540

49.67

61 working days and over

21,755

50.16

Not yet dispatched

858

     

Quarter 2:

   

1 July 2011 to 30 September 2011

   

Total being dealt with

49,463

Imperfect, Fee Issue

1,047

Net Received

48,416

     

Cleared in 35 days and below

73

0.15

Cleared in 60 days and below

14,578

30.10

61 working days and over

33,356

68.89

Not yet dispatched

1,504

     

Quarter 3:

   

1 October 2011 to 31 December 2011

   

Total being dealt with

43,963

Imperfect, Fee Issue

2,484

Net Received

41,479

     

Cleared in 35 days and below

61

0.14

Cleared in 60 days and below

31,767

76.58

61 working days and over

8,710

20.99

Not yet dispatched

3,384

     

Quarter 4:

   

1 January 2012 to 31 January 2012

   

Total being dealt with

16,638

Imperfect, Fee Issue

1,840

Net Received

14,798

     

Cleared in 35 days and below

27

0.18

Cleared in 60 days and below

11,365

76.80

61 working days and over

1,584

10.70

Not yet dispatched

3,685

Notes: 1. Total being dealt with: shows the total amount of LPA's received in quarter plus those carried over from previous quarter. 2. Imperfect, Fee issue: shows the number of LPA's carried over from previous quarter that are not yet registered to being imperfect or a fee issue. Note that this is a rolling figure. Therefore Q4 shows the latest figure. 3. Net Received: shows the total LPA's received in quarter. 4. Not yet dispatched: is a rolling figure, therefore Q4 shows the latest figure.

17 May 2012 : Column 245W


Prisoners: Pay

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to pages five and six of the report of HM Chief Inspector of Prisons on HMP Standford Hill on the Isle of Sheppey, what steps he plans to take in respect of concerns raised about levies deducted under the Prisoners' Earnings Act 1996 and their effect on prisoners travelling to work. [108025]

Mr Blunt: The Prisoners' Earnings Act (PEA) 1996 was brought into force on 26 September 2011. It enables prison governors to impose a levy of up to and including 40% on the wages of low-risk prisoners who work outside of prison on temporary licence, in order to prepare for their eventual release. In accordance with the statutory provisions the money goes to Victim Support to enable them to provide direct, practical, paid for services for victims.

The Chief Inspector of Prisons recommended (in his report of his inspection of Standford Hill in December last year) that governors should have greater discretion to authorise the deduction of legitimate travel expenses from the net weekly earnings figure used for calculating the levy due under the PEA.

Under the PEA governors have always had discretion to take into account individual prisoners circumstances when setting the levy in individual cases and a revised Prison Service Instruction was issued at the end of December 2011 (after the inspection of Standford Hill) which provides farther clarification on the implementation of the Act. This recommends that governors consider applications for exemptions or reductions reflecting travel costs where these are substantial in proportion to earnings. Decisions in individual cases will remain a matter for Governors.

Telephone Services

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many call centres provide services for his Department and the bodies for which he is responsible; and how many such call centres are based abroad. [107011]

Mr Djanogly: Nine call centres provide services for the Ministry of Justice; none of these are based abroad.

Victim Costs

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the cost impact for victims of each type of offence committed. [106535]

Nick Herbert: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Department.

The Home Office's Online Report 30/05 contains estimates of victim costs associated with a range of offence types for 2003. These can be found in Table 2.1 placed in the House Library.

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk

17 May 2012 : Column 246W

Prime Minister

Rebekah Brooks

Mr Winnick: To ask the Prime Minister whether he was aware at the time that on 13 December 2010 Rebekah Brooks had discussed with the Chancellor of the Exchequer News Corporation's bid for BSkyB. [107880]

The Prime Minister: I had no role in the BSkyB takeover nor did I seek to influence the decision.

Communities and Local Government

Housing: Self-Build

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will provide a breakdown of the average £150,000 cost of a self-build home by (a) land and (b) building cost. [107893]

Grant Shapps: According to the National Self Build Association the majority of self-builders spend between £100,000 and £150,000 building their own home. For example, Fairgrove Homes are currently selling plots in Nottinghamshire to self builders for £40,000 and will build a good sized three bed home for a further £90,000. At Ashley Vale in Bristol the community built their homes for less than £150,000 each, including land and all building costs.

It is not however possible to provide a breakdown of the average cost of a self-build home, including land, given the wide variation in cost across the country and the range of build routes which a self builder can follow to build their home.

Further details of indicative building costs across the country, with and without land costs, are set out on the self build portal

www.selfbuildportal.org.uk

which is run by the self-build industry and offers a range of advice to aspiring self-builders.

Planning Policy

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the annexes and companion guides to planning policies revoked by the National Planning Policy Framework are also revoked. [106629]

Greg Clark: The National Planning Policy Framework includes a list of the 44 policy documents which it replaces, and which have now been revoked. Annexes to the policy documents listed have also been revoked.

This Government inherited in addition some 6,000 pages of underpinning planning guidance, and is now embarking on a new exercise to consider what underpinning guidance continues to be needed, involving practitioners and other interested parties.

As recommended by the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, current underpinning guidance remains in place pending the outcome of this exercise, and where relevant can still be used. This includes companion guides, and also Annex E to the

17 May 2012 : Column 247W

previously revoked Planning Policy Guidance note 7 which was retained as a freestanding guidance document (on permitted development rights for agriculture and forestry) when Planning Policy Statement 7 was introduced in 2004.

Social Rented Housing

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if he will estimate the proportion of social housing in London that is occupied by foreign nationals; [106693]

(2) if he will make compulsory the inclusion of a question on nationality for all applications for social housing; [106707]

(3) what steps he is taking to ensure the official records of new lets of social housing record accurately the nationality of new tenants. [106708]

Grant Shapps [holding answer 14 May 2012]:The information is as follows:

Allocation of social housing

Foreign nationals are eligible for an allocation of social housing if:

in the case of European economic area nationals, they have a relevant right to reside, for example, if they are working, self-sufficient, or have a permanent right of residence in the UK (after five years lawful residence in the UK),

in the case of other foreign nationals, they have been granted leave to enter or remain in the UK with recourse to public funds (for example, people granted refugee status or humanitarian protection).

Where foreign nationals are eligible, they would have their housing needs considered on the same basis as other applicants in accordance with the local authority's allocation scheme.

Estimates of allocations to foreign nationals

Based on data from the English Housing Survey data for 2009-10, it is estimated that around 20% of ‘household reference persons’ (the modern definition for ‘head’ of household) in the social rented sector in London did not identify themselves as British or Irish in the survey; there is uncertainty around the precise figure due to sampling effects. Figures for 2008-09 present a similar picture.

Coalition Government reforms

Such estimates provide a strong argument for the coalition Government's reforms to give councils greater powers and flexibilities over the allocation of social housing, so greater weight can be given both to those with local connections and to current and former members of the armed forces.

Through the Localism Act we have given back to councils the freedom to manage their own waiting lists. They will be able to decide who should qualify for social housing in their area, and to develop solutions which make best use of limited social housing stock.

Current and former members of our armed forces are one group who have previously lost out in the social housing system, because moving from base to base and living abroad leaves them without strong local connections. We are proposing to amend the law such that former personnel with urgent housing needs are always given high priority on waiting lists, and that personnel who move from base to base do not lose their qualification

17 May 2012 : Column 248W

rights. We are also proposing statutory guidance to councils which sets out how their allocation schemes can give priority to current or ex-service personnel, including through the use of local preference criteria and local lettings policies.

Recording of social housing allocations

The Continuous Recording of Lettings and Sales (CORE) collects data on new social lettings and tenants rather than applicants, including information on the nationality of the household reference person. The Department is continuing to work with social housing providers to improve the quality of the CORE data, especially local authorities.

In particular, London lettings data is less complete, with 75% of London local authority general needs lettings containing nationality information in 2010-11 (around 19% were marked 'refused' and 6% were missing). As an initial step, I am writing to a number of local authorities on this issue. While mindful of the need to reduce unnecessary data reporting burdens on local authorities, I recognise there is a strong public interest in this particular information.

Trade Unions

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many meetings have taken place between (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies and trade union representatives utilising paid facility time in each of the last five years to discuss (i) collective bargaining, (ii) redundancies, (iii) negotiations relating to employment, pay and conditions and (iv) other trade union and industrial relations duties; and what the dates and times were of each meeting. [107339]

Robert Neill: Apart from the Valuation Tribunal Service and the Homes and Communities Agency, the Department for Communities and Local Government and its other non-departmental bodies do not hold this information centrally. The following tables show details for the Valuation Tribunal Service and the Homes and Communities Agency. The staff costs involved to obtain this information would be disproportionate to the information required.

Valuation Tribunal Service
  Number Date

Collective bargaining

19

22 February 2007

   

9 May 2007

   

11 July 2007

   

24 April 2008

   

3 July 2008

   

16 September 2008

   

24 April 2009

   

9 June 2009

   

9 October 2009

   

1 December 2009

   

4 February 2010

   

24 June 2010

   

20 July 2010

   

9 September 2010,

   

1 December 2010

   

28 January 2011

17 May 2012 : Column 249W

   

11 March 2011

   

16 June 2011

   

6 December 2011

     

Redundancies

9

22 February 2007

   

9 May 2007

   

11 July 2007

   

24 April 2008

   

3 July 2008

   

24 April 2009

   

20 July 2010

   

28 January 2011

   

11 March 2011

     

Negotiations relating to employment, pay and conditions

19

22 February 2007

   

9 May 2007

   

11 July 2007

   

24 April 2008

   

3 July 2008

   

16 September 2008

   

24 April 2009

   

9 June 2009

   

9 October 2009

   

1 December 2009,

   

4 February 2010

   

24 June 2010

   

20 July 2010

   

9 September 2010

   

1 December 2010

   

28 January 2011

   

11 March 2011

   

16 June 2011

   

6 December 2011

     

Other trade union and industrial relations matters/duties

1

9 August 2011

The Homes and Communities Agency

The Homes and Communities Agency was established in December 2008. In 2009 there were 14 Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committee meetings that took place. In 2010 there were 11 Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committee meetings took place. In 2011 there were 16 Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committee meetings. So far in 2012 there have been six Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committee meetings that have taken place. These figures are based on calendar years. Dates and times of these are as follows. The number of Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committees since the establishment of the Homes and Communities Agency reflects the change programmes that the agency has had to undertake and a large number of these have been to discuss restructuring exercises and to consult in relation to Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment).

17 May 2012 : Column 250W

Date Time

19 January 2009

12.00-14.00

20 February 2009

12.30-14.30

20 March 2009

11.00-13.00

1 April 2009

14.00-15.00

9 April 2009

11.00-13.00

21 April 2009

11.00-13.00

27 April 2009

11.00-13.00

22 May 2009

11.45-13.45

1 July 2009

11.00-13.00

21 July 2009

14.00-17.00

27 August 2009

11.30-13.30

21 September 2009

11.00-13.00

20 October 2009

14.00-17.00

17 December 2009

14.00-16.00

Date Time

18 January 2010

14.00-16.00

23 February 2010

12.30-14.00

23 March 2010

12.00-14.00

20 May 2010

12.00-14.00

8 June 2010

10.00-11.00

2 July 2010

12.30-14.30

22 July 2010

12.15-14.15

8 September 2010

15.00-17.00

22 September 2010

14.00-16.00

25 October 2010

15.00-17.00

18 November 2010

14.00-16.00

Date Time

19 January 2011

11.00-13.00

16 February 2011

11.00-14.00

10 March 2011

10.30-13.30

21 March 2011

12.30-14.30

30 March 2011

13.30-14.30

5 April 2011

11.00-14.00

13 April 2011

12.00-13.30

19 April 2011

11.30-14.30

11 May 2011

11.00-14.00

24 May 2011

13.30-17.00

22 June 2011

13.00-18.00

4 July 2011

12.30-14.30

5 September 2011

12.30-14.30

28 September 2011

15.30-17.00

3 November 2011

12.30-14.30

15 December 2011

13.00-14.15

Date Time

23 January 2012

12.00-14.00

31 January 2012

17.00-18.30

1 February 2012

12.00-13.15

21 February 2012

13.00-14.30

1 March 2012

16.00-17.30

22 March 2012

15.00-17.00

Home Department

Alcohol Education

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent on alcohol awareness and education in each of the last five years. [106687]

17 May 2012 : Column 251W

Damian Green: The following table shows Home Office advertising spend on alcohol awareness campaigns in each of the last five financial years.

  Spend (£)

2007-08

2,900,411

2008-09

3,185,032

2009-10

1,934,891

2010-11

0

2011-12

0

Total

8,020,334

Arrests: Children

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 26 April 2012, Official Report, column 965W, on arrests: children, how many girls aged 10 to 17 were arrested by each division of South Wales police in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. [106859]

Nick Herbert: Available information relates to females aged 10 to 17 arrested by South Wales police between 2007-08 and 2010-11, and is shown in the following table:

Females aged 10 to 17 arrested for notifiable offences: South Wales police force area, 2007-08 to 2010-11
  Number

2007-08

1,225

2008-09

1,020

2009-10

1,256

2010-11

896

Information for police divisions cannot be provided as arrests data submitted to the Home Office are at police force area level only.

Association of Chief Police Officers

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what auditing procedures her Department has put in place for funding it has allocated to the Association of Chief Police Officers. [106890]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office provides an annual grant in aid payment to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). Further funding for a number of specific projects and key initiatives is strictly allocated. As a registered company, ACPO's accounts are subject to audit, which also covers whether funds have been used for the purposes intended.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with the Association of Chief Police Officers on the future of the Association. [106891]

Nick Herbert: The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is not owned or controlled by the Home Office. It is therefore a matter for ACPO itself to determine its future. However, I continue to work constructively with ACPO officers on the important changes that the Government is making to deliver reforms in policing. This includes the creation of a new police professional body, which will be established by December 2012 to further develop professionalism and leadership in policing.

17 May 2012 : Column 252W

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department has issued to the Association of Chief Police Officers on the recruitment of external consultants and their remuneration. [106892]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office has not issued any guidance to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on the recruitment of external consultants and their remuneration. ACPO is not owned or controlled by the Home Office.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what processes her Department has put in place to monitor the activities of distinct but affiliated companies to the Association of Chief Police Officers. [106893]

Nick Herbert: The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is not owned or controlled by the Home Office. As such, the Home Office does not monitor the activities of ACPO's affiliated companies. You may wish to seek any further information directly from ACPO, which came under the Freedom of Information Act on 1 November 2011.

Asylum

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent on asylum seekers awaiting an immigration decision in (a) 1996-97, (b) 2009-10, (c) 2010-11 and (d) 2011-12. [106848]

Damian Green: Due to the passing of time and changes in financial recording systems, it is not possible to identify the expenditure on supporting asylum seekers in 1996-97 without incurring disproportionate costs.

The UK Border Agency has spent the following amounts on providing accommodation, transport and subsistence for all asylum-seekers:

  £ million

2009-10

372.9

2010-11

304.5

2011-12

(1)240.2

(1) This figure is provisional and unaudited.

Because of the way the information is recorded, it is not possible to identify separately the expenditure on asylum seekers awaiting immigration decisions without incurring disproportionate costs.

Government Contracts: Political Affiliation

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) grants and (b) contracts her Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who were previously employed in any capacity by (i) the Conservative party or its elected representatives and (ii) the Liberal Democrat party or its elected representatives since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107132]

17 May 2012 : Column 253W

Damian Green: The Home Office does not record the previous employment history of individuals who run companies or organisations which are awarded grants and contracts. To provide information regarding grants and contracts awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who were previously employed in any capacity by either the Conservative party or the Liberal Democrat party or their elected representatives since May 2010, would incur disproportionate cost.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) grants and (b) contracts her Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who previously held an elected position as a member of the (i) Conservative party and (ii) Liberal Democrat party since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107133]

Damian Green: The Home Office does not record the previous employment history of individuals who run companies or organisations which are awarded grants and contracts. To provide information regarding grants and contracts awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who previously held an elected position as a member of either the Conservative party or the Liberal Democrat party or their elected representatives since May 2010, would incur disproportionate cost.

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which individuals have been paid by her Department for consultancy or other services who previously held an elected position as a member of the (a) Conservative party and (b) Liberal Democrat party since May 2010; what the (i) cost and (ii) nature was of the services provided; and whether they were publicly advertised. [107135]

Damian Green: The Home Department does not record the previous employment history of individuals who have been paid by the Department for consultancy or other services.

To provide information about individuals who have been paid by the Department and who previously held an elected position as a member of either the Conservative party or the Liberal Democrat party since May 2010, would incur disproportionate cost.

Consultants

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent on external consultants, including management consultants, in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. [107498]

Damian Green: Consultancy expenditure incurred by the Home Department and its agencies for (a) 2010-11 was £60.8 million and (b) 2011-12 was £33.3 million. Expenditure on consultancy is incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

17 May 2012 : Column 254W

Crime Prevention

Jason McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she has taken since the ending of the community crime fighters programme to enhance community crime fighting. [106428]

James Brokenshire: The Government is keen to support and stimulate community-led approaches to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour; enabling them to take the lead and drive innovative solutions to locally identified priorities.

As part of the localism agenda the Home Office has moved away from direct involvement, and has sought to encourage a range of activities to enhance community crime fighting at a local level. We continue to work with a variety of voluntary sector organisations, supporting their work within communities to identify concerns and reduce crime.

The Community Action Against Crime Innovation Fund, worth £10 million over two years, was launched in September 2011. The fund is available to voluntary and community groups to find creative and locally designed solutions that help make their neighbourhoods safe. All 268 projects have now received funding and are working towards cutting crime in their areas.

The introduction of police and crime commissioners in November 2012 will also provide the public with the opportunity to hold the police to account and raise local concerns.

Databases: Telecommunications

Mr Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has made an assessment of the possible effect on competition in the internet service provider market of the Communications Capabilities Development Programme. [107073]

James Brokenshire: The draft Communications Bill and related documents, including an impact assessment, will be presented to Parliament in due course.

Drugs: Misuse

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions in each of the last five years the Europol National Unit or its representative in the Reitox network has provided information on the manufacture, trafficking and use of new psychoactive substances to Europol and the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction pursuant to Article 4 of EU Council Decision 2005/387/JHA. [107705]

James Brokenshire: The information requested is not collated centrally by the Europol National Unit (which is based in the Serious Organised Crime Agency).

Between 2007 and 2011, the Reitox network's Focal Point for the United Kingdom, which is based in the Department of Health, formally notified 37 New Psychoactive Substances to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). The EMCDDA's annual implementation report lists the New Psychoactive Substances notified that year, and the countries identifying them at:

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/searchresults? action=list&type=PUBLICATIONS&SERIES_PUB=a104

17 May 2012 : Column 255W

Entry Clearances

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what comprises the fit and proper test for the granting of an investment visa. [106760]

Damian Green [holding answer 14 May 2012]:The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for high-net-worth individuals who want to make a substantial financial investment in the UK. To be granted a visa an applicant must score 75 points for attributes as set out in the Immigration Rules.

There is no "fit and proper" test specific to Tier 1 applications. However applicants should not be subject for refusal under paragraph 320 of the Immigration Rules. Under paragraph 320(19) of the Immigration Rules, leave to enter will normally be refused where, from information available to the immigration officer, it seems right to refuse leave to enter on the ground that exclusion from the United Kingdom is conducive to the public good; if, for example, in the light of the character, conduct or associations of the person seeking leave to enter it is undesirable to give him leave to enter.

When considering this provision, an entry clearance officer will assess an application on its merits and make a decision based on the evidence submitted.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of visa applications have been delayed as a result of the UK Border Agency's prioritisation of student visa expirations. [107573]

Damian Green: I can confirm that from 27 February 2012, 59 staff have been deployed to clear notifications we had received from both students and sponsors under Tier 4 of the points based system. These staff would otherwise have been working on a range of activities, including casework. It is not possible to quantify the impact on application processing times of completing this work.

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many sponsor licences were granted by the UK Border Agency in each of the last 12 months. [107576]

Damian Green: The number of sponsor licence applications granted in each of the last 12 months is provided in the following table:

Sponsor licences granted Total

2011

 

May

401

June

380

July

410

August

474

September

453

October

419

November

447

December

355

17 May 2012 : Column 256W

2012

 

January

303

February

295

March

152

April

50

Total

4,139

Essex Police Authority

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent by Essex Police Authority on (a) office accommodation, (b) staff costs, (c) travel and subsistence and (d) staff bonuses in each of the last five years. [107583]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office does not hold this information; however, Essex police authority publishes its annual statement of accounts on its website.

European Convention on Human Rights

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to bring forward proposals to amend the Immigration Rules to prevent abuse of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. [106776]

Damian Green: The Government is considering responses to the public consultation on changes to the Family migration rules carried out last year, and expects to announce the results shortly. This will include changes relating to Article 8.

Human Trafficking

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when officials in her Department last discussed with (a) their Finnish counterparts and (b) the Finnish Ombudsman for Minorities the effects of the Independent National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings on the Finnish government's human trafficking policies. [106567]

Damian Green [holding answer 14 May 2012]: Discussions take place regularly at official level on a regular basis between the United Kingdom and other EU member states to exchange national experiences, develop best practice and co-ordinate efforts across Europe.

Human Trafficking: Children

Gordon Birtwistle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to prevent further incidences of child trafficking. [107663]

Damian Green: The Government published its Human Trafficking Strategy in July 2011, which sets out a targeted and more comprehensive approach to trafficking by improving identification and care of victims and combating those responsible for this terrible crime.

The Home Office has enhanced its ability to act early upstream and is working with partners to raise awareness abroad of the risks of child trafficking. A key theme of the strategy is smarter multi-agency working at the

17 May 2012 : Column 257W

border and the Department will look to work with partners to build on the success of child safeguarding multi-agency teams such as Operation Paladin and Newbridge.

Identity and Passport Service

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many posts have been (a) advertised and (b) filled in each of the Identity and Passport Service's main application centres since May 2011. [107776]

Damian Green: Since May 2011, the Identity and Passport Service has placed adverts for 482 vacancies in total; to date 144 of these posts have been filled. These vacancies are in the main, due to attrition and not the creation of new posts.

It is not possible to provide information on specific application centres without incurring disproportionate costs.

Immigration

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to Human rights and democracy: the 2011 Foreign and Commonwealth report, CM. 8339, what plans she has to change the immigration rules. [106528]

Damian Green [holding answer 14 May 2012]: There are no plans to amend the Immigration Rules following the publication of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office report on Human rights and democracy. The power to refuse entry to those who have committed human rights abuses is already contained in the Immigration Rules. Where there is credible, independent and reliable evidence against such an individual, then they will not normally be permitted to enter the United Kingdom.

Immigration Controls

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the passports presented to UK Border Agency staff at desks designated for UK and EU passport holders were from UK passport holders in the latest period for which figures are available. [107683]

Damian Green: There are no published national statistics relating to UK passports presented at the Primary Control point.

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many forged EU passports were detected by the UK Border Agency in the last year for which figures are available; and what proportion of these were passports issued by the Identity and Passport Service. [107685]

Damian Green: In 2011, 1,533 forged European travel documents, including national passports and identity cards, were identified at the border by the UK Border Agency. Of those, 701 were passports of which 163 were issued by UK agencies. 144 of these documents were UK passports, with the balance being Home Office travel documents.

17 May 2012 : Column 258W

These figures do not include the number of inadequately documented passengers denied boarding by commercial carriers' overseas, who work in conjunction with UK Border Agency immigration liaison officers and managers. Since 2004, the number of immigration liaison officer deployments to key travel hubs has more than doubled resulting in significant numbers of passengers being stopped with false documents before they travel to the UK.

Immigration Controls: Ports

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the application of immigration law to non-European Economic Area seafarers working on one-port voyages in (a) UK territorial waters and (b) the UK Continental Shelf. [108336]

Damian Green: Home Office Ministers have had no recent discussions of this issue with the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening).

Police

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what recent estimate she has made of the average life expectancy of (a) male and (b) female police officers; [107824]

(2) what recent estimate she has made of the average length of time between drawing a pension and death of (a) male and (b) female police officers. [107825]

Nick Herbert: No such estimates have been made. However, a valuation by the Government Actuary's Department and quoted in the Winsor Review assessed that the mortality experience for police officers is not greatly different to other public servants.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions she has had with the Association of Chief Police Officers on the future of the (a) Police National Information and Co-ordination Centre, (b) National Community Tension Team and (c) Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service. [107986]

Nick Herbert: I continue to work constructively with the Association of Chief Police Officers on the important changes that the Government is making to deliver reforms in policing, including discussions about the bodies necessary to support and reinforce those reforms.

Police: Conditions of Employment

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of Part 2 of the Independent Review of Police Officers' and Staff Remuneration and Conditions. [106780]

Nick Herbert: I have referred the report's recommendations to the Police Negotiating Board, the Police Advisory Board for England and Wales and the Police Staff Council as appropriate for consideration. It

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will be for these bodies to consider them in full and to report back to me with their recommendations, which I will consider very carefully.

Police: Southwark

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers, (b) police community support officers and (c) civilian staff were assigned to duties in the London Borough of Southwark in the last year to March 2012. [107713]

Nick Herbert: Police work force strength figures below force area level are not collected centrally.

Police Escorts: Wind Turbines

Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many police officers were deployed to escort vehicle movements associated with onshore wind turbine repairs and trial runs during the first two weeks of May 2012; [106904]

(2) what the cost to the public purse was of providing police escorts for vehicle movements associated with onshore wind turbine repairs and trial runs during the first two weeks of May 2012. [106905]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office does not collect this information.

Pregnant Women: Discrimination

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what data have been collected on the incidence of discrimination against pregnant women at work; and what assessment she has made of the effects of the economic downturn on the incidence of such discrimination. [106438]

Lynne Featherstone: Claims of workplace discrimination against pregnant women are included in the statistics of sex discrimination claims in the Ministry of Justice's quarterly and annual reports about the work of all tribunals run by HM Courts and Tribunals Service. It is not possible to disaggregate this information to determine how many of those claims specifically concern discrimination against pregnant women.

The Equality Act 2010, which came into effect in October 2010, makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a woman because she is pregnant. The government is committed to a full post-implementation review of the impact of this Act by 2015.

In October 2010, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published a booklet “Pregnancy and work: What you need to know as an employer” which summarises the rights of pregnant employees and their employers, and also their responsibilities towards each other.