Treasury

Arch Cru

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of the investors affected by the failure of Arch Cru he estimates will be compensated by the Financial Services Authority's proposed compensation package. [108272]

Mr Hoban: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) recently launched a consultation on establishing a consumer redress scheme which has the potential to deliver more than £100 million compensation to investors who were mis-sold the CF Arch Cru funds. The FSA estimate that the proposed scheme could deliver redress to between 15,000 and 20,000 consumers. The exact amount of redress will depend on the responses of the firms that made a personal recommendation to consumers and prevailing market conditions.

Construction Industry Scheme

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies in the construction sector were under the rules of the construction industry scheme for wrongly stating the employment status of a member of their workforce in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12; and how many workers were given the wrong status by each such company. [108508]

Mr Gauke: The information requested is not available.

Crown Estate

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer who the members are of the Remuneration Committee of the Crown Estate; how many times and on what dates it has met since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. [107719]

Miss Chloe Smith: Details of the membership of the Crown Estate's remuneration committee are available in the Crown Estate's annual report, which is online at:

http://ar2011.thecrownestate.ry.com/governance/remuneration-report.aspx

Since May 2010, the committee met on the following dates:

2010: 15 June

2011: 25 January, 22 February, 31 March, 10 May, 8 June, and 18 October

2012: 30 January, 31 March, 29 April, and 14 May.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer in which funds the pensions of (a) civil servants and (b) staff of the Crown Estate are invested; and if he will make a statement. [107995]

21 May 2012 : Column 423W

Danny Alexander [holding answer 17 May 2012]: The Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) is an unfunded scheme. This means that pension contributions are paid by employers and employees but these are not used to build up a fund in order to provide the means to meet the liability when it falls due, but rather used to pay current pensions.

The assets of The Crown Estate pension scheme are held separately from those of The Crown Estate, in a fund administered independently by a trustee body, which has investments in gilts and equities. In addition employees are offered a choice of investing part of their pension in one or more of the following: UK equities, UK and overseas equities, overseas equities, ethical equities, property, corporate bonds, fixed interest bonds, Government gilts and a cash fund.

Employee Benefit Trusts

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the cost to the Treasury of using employer-supported employee benefits to increase the take-up of the green home improvement programme through salary sacrifice. [108699]

Mr Gauke: Estimates are not available for the cost of introducing tax relief on employer-provided green home improvements.

Exhaust Emissions: Motor Vehicles

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent research his Department has undertaken on feebate schemes to provide a refund to new car buyers for purchasing low-emission cars funded by taxes on high-emission cars. [107735]

Miss Chloe Smith: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 19 April 2012, Official Report, column 531W. The Chancellor of the Exchequer keeps all taxes under review along Budget timelines.

Income Tax

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of adults (a) over and (b) under the age of 65 pay income tax; and how many in each group pay tax at the higher rate or above. [108131]

Mr Gauke: The information requested is shown in the following table for 2012-13.

Thousand
 Taxpayers(1) 
AgeAllHigher rate or aboveUK population estimate(2)

16-64

24,600

3,710

40,600

65 +

5,030

391

10,900

(1) These projections are based on the 2009-10 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI) data projected in line with the Office for Budget Responsibility's March 2012 Economic and fiscal outlook. (2) Office for National Statistics, 2010 mid year based population projections, adjusted to financial year estimates.

21 May 2012 : Column 424W

ONS population estimates are mid year point in time whereas taxpayer estimates represent numbers of individuals with tax liabilities arising during the financial year.

Infrastructure UK

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff are employed by Infrastructure UK; and what salaries these staff are paid. [107992]

Danny Alexander [holding answer 17 May 2012]: The total number of staff employed in Infrastructure UK on 31 April 2012 was 45 full time equivalent, including 6.8 loans and secondees. The salary data of officials working in the Treasury, within IUK, has been published as part of the transparency exercise in September 2011. Links to the data are as follows.

Senior Civil Service Positions

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/HMT-Treasury--staff-and-salary-data-template---September-2011-for-input_final-v14-senior-data.csv

Below Senior Civil Service Positions

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/HMT-Treasury--staff-and-salary-data-template---September-2011-for-input_final-v14-junior-data.csv

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much funding he allocated for the operation of Infrastructure UK in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12. [107993]

Danny Alexander [holding answer 17 May 2012]: Infrastructure UK (IUK) was first established in December 2009 and confirmed in July 2010 following the general election. It has a remit to lead work within Treasury to enable greater private sector investment in infrastructure, and focus on the improvement of the Government's long-term planning, prioritisation and delivery of infrastructure.

The total operating costs for Infrastructure UK were £7.8 million in 2010-11 and £6.0 million in 2011-12.

The creation of IUK (and subsequent winding down of Partnerships UK) has delivered annual savings for the taxpayer of £3 million per annum.

Midland Main Line

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the economic effects of the upgrade and electrification of the Midland Main Line. [108441]

Danny Alexander: Treasury Ministers and officials have discussions with all Departments and a wide variety of external organisations as part of the process of policy development.

The Treasury publishes a list of ministerial meetings with external organisations, available at:

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

Mobile Phones

Tim Farron: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the likely revenue to the Exchequer from the auction of the 4G

21 May 2012 : Column 425W

mobile broadband spectrum under minimum coverage requirements of

(a)

98 per cent,

(b)

98.5 per cent,

(c)

99 per cent,

(d)

99.5 per cent and

(e)

100 per cent. [108373]

Danny Alexander: The Treasury has made no such assessments.

Mountain Rescue

Tim Farron: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward proposals to pay emergency service provider Mountain Rescue £4 million from the Consolidated Fund equivalent to the fine paid by Network Rail as a result of the 2007 Grayrigg accident. [108652]

Danny Alexander: The Government values the work of the mountain rescue and air ambulance services. There are no plans to direct any of the fines paid by Network Rail as a result of the 2007 Grayrigg accident to the mountain rescue services. Like all fines and levies, fines imposed on Network Rail flow to the Consolidated Fund and go towards funding the public services as a whole, including contributions to mountain rescue services and clinical staff in the air ambulance services.

PAYE

Mr Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many outstanding PAYE open cases there were on the most recent date for which figures are available; and how many of these are from tax years (a) 2006-07, (b) 2007-08, (c) 2008-09, (d) 2009-10 and (e) 2010-11. [107966]

Mr Gauke: From 18 May 2012, for 2006-07, HMRC has 1.16 million PAYE "open cases" and 1.54 million for 2007-08. HMRC is on target to clear these cases by end December 2012.

In respect of 2008-09 and 2009-10 and 2010-11, there are around 6 million open cases which HMRC plans to clear by the end of 2012-13.

Mr Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will assess the merits of increasing the use of automated matching for unreconciled open cases in the PAYE system; and if he will make a statement. [107969]

Mr Gauke: HMRC uses automated matching for PAYE information as its preferred method of processing and will continue to consider extending its use if new opportunities arise.

Pensioners: Social Security Benefits

Michael Dugher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many pensioners in (a) Barnsley East constituency, (b) Barnsley metropolitan borough and (c) South Yorkshire will be affected by the freeze on age-related allowances. [107934]

Mr Gauke: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the right hon. Member for Tooting (Sadiq Khan) on 30 April 2012, Official Report, column 1201W, which provides available estimates by country and region.

21 May 2012 : Column 426W

Reliable estimates are not available at the parliamentary constituency level due to greater uncertainties in making projections for small geographical areas.

Pensioners: Tax Allowances

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the number of pensioners in Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency who will be affected by the freeze on age-related allowances. [108352]

Mr Gauke: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the right hon. Member for Tooting (Sadiq Khan) on 30 April 2012, Official Report, column 1201W, which provides available estimates by country and region. Reliable estimates are not available at the parliamentary constituency level due to greater uncertainties in making projections for small geographical areas.

Procurement

Michael Dugher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of his Department's expenditure on procurement has gone to small and medium-sized enterprises since May 2010. [107809]

Miss Chloe Smith: HM Treasury’s spend with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been reported in the Cabinet Office report ‘Making Government business more accessible to SMEs—One Year On’, published on 9 March 2012. This report is available online at:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/making-government-business-more-accessible-smes-one-year

Michael Dugher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when his Department next plans to undertake a spend recovery audit to identify overpayments to suppliers caused by fraud or error. [107836]

Miss Chloe Smith: The Department is planning on undertaking a spend recovery audit during 2012-13 to identify overpayments to suppliers caused by fraud or error.

Railways: Radlett

Mrs Main: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answers of 26 April 2012, Official Report, columns 1064-5, on meetings, what representations his Department has received in the regular correspondence and representations it receives from external organisations on the Radlett rail freight site. [106942]

Danny Alexander: Treasury Ministers and officials receive regular correspondence and representations from external organisations whom they engage with as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

Treasury officials have received representations from external organisations on the Radlett rail freight site, consisting of basic details and the estimated economic benefits of the scheme.

21 May 2012 : Column 427W

Revenue and Customs

Mr Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has had recent discussions with officials in his Department on the development and implementation of a secure online two-way communication between taxpayers and (a) HM Revenue and Customs and (b) other tax-related organisations; and if he will make a statement. [107967]

Mr Gauke: HMRC has over 100 electronic contact services available to customers that offer a structured and secure means of communicating with HMRC through its website and we are always looking to provide more. HMRC will only introduce electronic contact solutions where it is certain about the authenticity of the person sending the e-mail and where there are strong controls around the data being sent.

Mr Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the HM Revenue and Customs secure online login system; and if he will make a statement. [107968]

Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) takes online security very seriously and has implemented measures such as rigorous authentication procedures and use of secure connections and encryption to ensure their online services are as secure as possible. HMRC also constantly monitor the services for potential security breaches and regularly undertake penetration testing of its online systems to identify and address any emerging vulnerabilities. Details of some of the ways HMRC manage customer online security can be found at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/safe-online.htm

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost per minute is of calls to the 0845 3000627 HM Revenue and Customs hotline number; and what information his Department holds on (a) average and (b) maximum call times in the latest period for which figures are available. [108353]

Mr Gauke: I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 19 October 2011, Official Report, column 967W, for the information you have requested on the cost of calls.

HMRC can advise that, (a) for April 2012 the average total call time was 15 minutes 35 seconds and (b) the maximum total call time for a single call was two hours 35 minutes seven seconds.

For “total call time” HMRC has included the time spent:

in the IVR automated messaging system;

waiting for a call to be answered by an adviser once a customer has selected an option from the call steering menu; and

speaking to an adviser.

HMRC uses a variety of measures to assess the accessibility of telephone services which include the percentage of call attempts handled by its contact centres. In 2011-12, HMRC has significantly improved the number of call attempts handled to 74% (compared to 48% in the previous year) and aims to build on that improvement.

21 May 2012 : Column 428W

Tonnage Tax

John McDonnell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 17 April 2012, Official Report, column 343W, on tonnage tax, when he expects an estimate of the 2010 reduction in tax liabilities for shipping companies in the tonnage tax scheme to be published; how many companies in the tonnage tax scheme have yet to submit a tax return for the financial year (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11; what information is required to make an estimate of the pre-2005 tax concessions under the tonnage tax; and if he will estimate the tax concession for shipping companies in the tonnage tax scheme in each year between 2000-01 and 2004-05. [R] [107829]

Miss Chloe Smith: Statistics are published by HMRC on the estimated reduction in tax liabilities accrued by the UK shipping industry through the tonnage tax regime for 2010-11 and 2011-12. These are available at the following link:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax_expenditures/table1-5.pdf

Complete tax returns data for these years are not yet available so these estimates are based on projecting forward data from tax returns for 2009.

HMRC is currently aware of two companies that have yet to submit a tax return for 2009-10 and 17 companies that have yet to submit a tax return for 2010-11.

The following table provides estimates of the difference between accruals of tax liabilities for the UK shipping industry through tonnage tax and what they would otherwise have been under standard UK corporation tax between 2000 and 2004.

Calendar yearReduction in tax liabilities (£ million)

2000

35

2001

40

2002

40

2003

50

2004

55

Estimates have been rounded to the nearest £5 million, and due to insufficient data being available before 2005 these estimates have been produced by scaling the 2005 estimate by the total UK fleet deadweight tonnage in each year from 2000 to 2004 compared to 2005. As such these results are indicative estimates only.

VAT

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the volume of sales was of (a) static holiday caravans and (b) cold food consumed on suppliers' premises in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11 and (iii) 2011-12; and what estimate he has made of the likely change in the volume sold arising from the VAT changes in Budget 2012 in (A) 2012-13 and (B) 2013-14; [108130]

(2) with reference to the HM Revenue and Customs document VAT: Taxing Holiday Caravans, what the regional composition is of the 50,000 people and 750 manufacturers, retailers and holiday parks selling static caravans who will be affected by the increase in VAT on static caravans announced in Budget 2012. [108241]

21 May 2012 : Column 429W

Mr Gauke: The impacts are set out in Annex B—Table of Impact for Individual Measures—of the HM Revenue and Customs consultation document ‘VAT: Addressing borderline anomalies’, published in Budget 2012:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2012/vat-con-4801.pdf

No further breakdown of these figures is available.

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the volume of sales was of hot food in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12; and what estimate he has made of the likely change in volume sold arising from the VAT changes in the 2012 Budget in (i) 2012-13 and (ii) 2013-14. [108509]

Mr Gauke: Annex B—Tables of Impact for Individual Measures—in HM Revenue and Customs consultation document ‘VAT. Addressing Borderline Anomalies’, published at Budget 201 2, sets out estimates for VAT which will be raised from the sale of hot take-away food and a summary of impacts.

Welfare Tax Credits

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many days a (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit claim should take to be processed by his Department; [108125]

(2) what the average length of time was for a (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit claim to be processed by his Department in (i) 2008, (ii) 2009, (iii) 2010 and (iv) 2011; and what the average time has been for each in 2012; [108126]

(3) how many (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit claims were processed by his Department in (i) 2008, (ii) 2009, (iii) 2010 and (iv) 2011; and how many have been processed in 2012. [108127]

Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) sets its tax credits processing targets annually. For 2011-12 they aimed to clear new tax credit claims in an average of 23 calendar days.

Average processing times for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 are shown in the following table. Information for the year 2008 is not available.

 Average number of days to process new tax credit claims(1)

2008-09

21

2009-10

20

2010-11

24

2011-12

25

(1) Rounded figures.

Information on the total number of tax credit claims processed is not available. Detailed information on tax credits is published in the national statistics available at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/menu.htm

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many officials in his Department worked on (a) child tax credit and (b) working tax credit claims in (i) 2008, (ii) 2009, (iii) 2010 and (iv) 2011; and how many have worked on each in 2012. [108128]

Mr Gauke: We cannot separate the number of staff administering working tax credit from those administering child tax credit as each member of staff deals with both.

21 May 2012 : Column 430W

Information on the number of staff within the Benefits and Credits Directorate who deal directly with tax credits for each year of your request is shown in the following table:

 B&C staff working directly with tax credits claims

1 April 2008

5,367

1 April 2009

5,466

31 March 2010

4,704

31 March 2011

4,507

31 March 2012

4,127

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Nature Conservation

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will bring forward proposals to transfer the status of the lion from Appendix II to Appendix I at the next Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Conference of the Parties meeting in March 2013; and whether she has discussed this issue with her EU counterparts to form a common EU position. [108228]

Richard Benyon: The UK is very concerned about the decline of lion numbers in the wild in many countries across Africa. As a consequence, we funded a conference in March, in Johannesburg, to consider the conservation needs and status of African lions. The conference, facilitated by the LionAid NGO and attended by seven lion range states, agreed that regional and pan-African lion conservation measures should be developed to halt population declines in this iconic species, but did not agree that a listing proposal was necessary.

The UK is committed to continuing to work with lion range states, as well as LionAid, to identify actions necessary to protect the lion. The UK has drawn our concerns to the attention of the EU and informed them of our support for the March conference. The question of an uplisting proposal has not, however, been discussed, pending the results of the March conference and other lion-related meetings.

Prime Minister

Iraq Committee of Inquiry

Mr Amess: To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to receive the report of the Iraq Inquiry. [107571]

The Prime Minister: The Inquiry has advised the Government that it will need until at least summer 2012 to produce a draft report.

NATO

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Prime Minister what his objectives are for the NATO summit to be held in Chicago; and if he will make a statement. [108656]

21 May 2012 : Column 431W

Mr Lidington: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

The UK is looking to the summit to agree the nature of NATO's long-term relationship with Afghanistan; secure agreement on post-2014 funding for the Afghan National Security Forces which represents a credible commitment from the international community; and mark progress on security transition.

The UK is also looking to the summit to address the challenge of developing and deploying capable military forces at a time when all Allies face economic pressure. And we aim to ensure NATO boosts its cooperation with partners around the globe, building on operational co-operation with a very wide range of countries in Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere.

Home Department

Police Remuneration and Conditions

24. Mr Spencer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of part 2 of the independent review of police officers' and staff remuneration and conditions. [108050]

Nick Herbert: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department has referred the report's recommendations to the Police Negotiating Board, the Police Advisory Board of England and Wales and the Police Staff Council as appropriate for consideration. It will be for these bodies to consider them and report back with their recommendations, which she will consider carefully.

Police Numbers

25. Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there has been a reduction in the number of police officers in public-facing roles since May 2010. [108051]

Nick Herbert: What matters most is the service that the police provide, not how many officers there are. Although overall officer numbers have reduced since 2010, HMIC have made clear that the proportion of the workforce in frontline roles is expected to increase, and forces are working hard to protect frontline services.

Arrest Warrants

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what obligation the (a) Serious Organised Crime Agency and (b) local police have to inform a person of the existence of a European arrest warrant for their arrest. [107732]

Damian Green: If a person is arrested in the UK pursuant to a European arrest warrant, the police must explain why they are arresting the person and the person must be given a copy of the warrant as soon as is practicable after their arrest. There is no obligation to notify the person of the existence of a warrant ahead of their arrest.

21 May 2012 : Column 432W

Association of British Insurers

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the date was of each meeting between officials in her Department and the Association of British Insurers between 6 August 2011 and 6 May 2012; and who attended each such meeting. [107664]

Damian Green: Home Office Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of international partners, as well as organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors, as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Government Contracts: Political Affiliation

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 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. [107134]

Damian Green: The Home Office 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.

Crime Prevention

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether officials in her Department discussed the use of the police preferred specification marque with the Association of Chief Police Officers Crime Prevention Initiative Ltd in the last 12 months. [107927]

Nick Herbert: Home Office Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of international partners, as well as organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors, as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Discrimination: Ethnic Groups

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration she has given to the report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research on the incidence of discrimination by caste and descent in the UK. [108382]

Lynne Featherstone: We have carefully considered the findings of the report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. The report identifies

21 May 2012 : Column 433W

evidence suggesting that discrimination and harassment on grounds of caste exists in the UK, but notes that it is impossible to determine categorically that caste discrimination and harassment within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 has occurred. That is why we have also been giving full and careful consideration to the correspondence and representations put forward by both those who want the Government to legislate and those who are opposed to such legislation being introduced, before reaching any final conclusion on this matter.

Driving: Eyesight

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drivers who failed to comply with the restrictions on their driving licences on eyesight standards have been reported by police in the last 10 years. [107655]

Nick Herbert: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment must be made by police when attending road traffic incidents of drivers' compliance with restrictions on their driving licences relating to eyesight. [107656]

Nick Herbert: Driving on-road with uncorrected vision is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988. It is an

21 May 2012 : Column 434W

operational matter for chief officers of police to decide what assessment must be made by police officers attending and investigating the cause of road traffic incidents.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects the UK Border Agency to have cleared its backlog of student visa expirations. [107574]

Damian Green: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department is confident that the UK Border Agency will have completed all action on this cohort of Tier 4 student notifications by the end of May.

Entry Clearances: Pakistan

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many appeals against refusal of entry clearance for (a) settlement and (b) family visits made by applicants in Pakistan were (i) allowed, (ii) dismissed and (iii) withdrawn in (A) 2010, (B) 2011 and (C) 2012 to date. [107723]

Damian Green: The information requested is shown in the following table.

  Appeals
CategoryYear(i) Allowed(ii) Dismissed(iii) Withdrawn

(a) Settlement

(A) 2010

117

114

30

 

(B) 2011

414

268

23

     

(b) Family visit

(A) 2010

327

1,283

26

 

(B) 2011

486

330

3

Notes: 1. The data provided are based on management information and are provisional and subject to change. 2. We are unable to release statistics relating to the year 2012 as these are yet to be published. They will become available shortly.

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the longest time was between the promulgation of a determination by the First-Tier Tribunal allowing an entry clearance (a) settlement appeal and (b) appeal for a family visitor and the issuing of entry clearance to the appellant by the British high commission in Pakistan for entry clearances issued in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012 to date. [107755]

Damian Green: The date of promulgation of a determination is not recorded centrally by the UK Border Agency's Visa Sections. To collect this information would require the examination of individual records which would incur disproportionate costs.

Entry Clearances: South Asia

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visitors' visa applications from residents of South Asian countries working as farmers were (a) accepted and (b) refused in each of the last five years; and what the total value was of application fees received in respect of applications that were (i) accepted and (ii) refused in each year. [108347]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency does not routinely record applicants' occupations on its system for visit visa applications. To provide an accurate answer would require the examination of individual records which would incur disproportionate costs.

Immigration Controls

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the Migrant Advisory Committee's report on the family migration route, when she plans to announce her policy on changes to family migration. [107950]

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.

21 May 2012 : Column 435W

Immigration Controls: Foreign Workers

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to break the link between foreign nationals coming to work in the UK and subsequently gaining permanent residency. [108226]

Damian Green: On 29 February, we announced changes which will break the link between coming here to work and settling permanently and ensure that only those who make a significant economic contribution can stay. In future, most skilled workers will need to be paid a minimum salary of £35,000 to settle here.

Immigration Controls: Merseyside

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Border Agency staff were deployed in (a) docks and (b) airports in Merseyside in (i) May 2010 and (ii) May 2012. [108658]

Damian Green: Due to border security considerations the UK Border Agency does not report on staff numbers at individual ports. Staff numbers for the North region are shown in the following table.

Full-time equivalent staff at 31 March each year
 United Kingdom Border Agency (now including HMRC)at 31 May 2010Border Force at 30 April 2012

North region including Manchester, Merseyside, Edinburgh, Leeds, Glasgow, Belfast(1)

1,174

1,066

(1) Figures are not limited to operational staff at ports and will include administration and support staff.

Immigration: Married People

Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when her Department plans to publish revised minimum income thresholds for those seeking a visa for a foreign spouse. [106869]

Damian Green: The Government is considering the responses to the public consultation and will announce its conclusions as soon as possible.

Members: Correspondence

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the UK Border Agency plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Walsall North of 16 April 2012, Home Office ref U1016190 and CTS ref B9692/12. [108234]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency wrote to the hon. Member on 16 May 2012.

Organised Crime: EU Action

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment her Department has made of the likely benefits for the UK of EU Council

21 May 2012 : Column 436W

Decision 2006/560/JHA on the common use of liaison officers posted abroad by law enforcement agencies of the member states. [106529]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 14 May 2012]: The UK must decide, no later than 31 May 2014, whether to accept full European Court of Justice jurisdiction over those EU police and criminal justice measures adopted before 1 December 2009 which have not been amended or replaced. This measure falls within the scope of that decision and will be reviewed accordingly.

Police: Remuneration and Conditions

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of part two of the Winsor report on police remuneration and conditions. [107668]

Nick Herbert: The Home Secretary has 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 will be for these bodies to consider them in full and to report back to us with their recommendations, which we will consider very carefully.

Police: Firearms

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many firearms units there are in (a) Avon and Somerset Police Constabulary, (b) Gloucestershire Police Constabulary, (c) Devon and Cornwall Police Constabulary and (d) South Wales Police. [108329]

Nick Herbert: The requested information is not available centrally.

Procurement

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of payments made by her Department to small and medium-sized enterprises have been paid late since May 2010. [107777]

Damian Green: The Home Office aims to pay 80% of valid invoices within five days. Since May 2010, performance has exceeded target with 88% of payments being made within five days and 12% paid late.

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of her Department's expenditure on procurement has gone to small and medium-sized enterprises since May 2010. [107807]

Damian Green: Since May 2010, 7% of the Home Office's procurement expenditure has gone directly to small and medium-sized enterprises.

From April 2011, information has been collected on spend which flows through prime contractors to small and medium enterprises. In the period April 2011 to March 2012 the proportion of direct and indirect procurement spend going to small and medium-sized enterprises was 12%.

21 May 2012 : Column 437W

Sexual Offences: Drugs

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the recommendations of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on drug-facilitated sexual assault, when this offence will be added to the British Crime Survey. [108432]

Mr Hurd: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Cabinet Office.

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking when changes might be made to the British Crime Survey to reflect the recommendations of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on drug-facilitated sexual assault.

Responsibility for the content of the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW, formerly the British Crime Survey) transferred from the Home Office to the ONS on 1 April 2012. Changes to the content of the survey questionnaire are considered on an annual basis with the next round due to begin later this year for implementation in April 2013. The recommendation to include measures of drug-facilitated sexual assault will be given consideration at that time.

Defence

Armed Forces: Mental Health Services

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what funding his Department provides to Combat Stress; and whether it accepts referrals from former armed forces personnel who have problems with abuse of alcohol or drugs. [108248]

Mr Robathan: The amount paid to Combat Stress in financial year 2010-11 by the Ministry of Defence was some £2.6 million.

Any decision about the acceptance of veterans for treatment other than remedial treatment is a matter for Combat Stress.

Army: Foreign Nationals

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers from other Commonwealth countries are serving in each regular army unit in the British Army. [106753]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 14 May 2012]: This information is not available in the format requested. However, figures are available, as at 1 April 2012, for the number of trained regular Army personnel who are classed as Commonwealth or other non-British personnel by arm and service and these are shown in the following table.

Arm/serviceNumber of Commonwealth and other non-British personnel

Staff

5

Household Cavalry/Royal Armoured Corps

290

21 May 2012 : Column 438W

Royal Artillery

730

Royal Engineers

565

Royal Signals

210

Infantry

2,275

Army Air Corps

80

Royal Logistic Corps

2,070

Royal Army Medical Corps

205

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

460

Adjutant General's Corps

545

Royal Army Veterinary Corps

5

Royal Army Dental Corps

45

Intelligence Corps

5

Royal Army Physical Training Corps

5

Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps

90

Corps of Army Musicians

15

Total

7,600

The data exclude personnel in the Brigade of Gurkhas.

Carbon Emissions

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's total level of carbon emissions was between (a) 1 April 2010 and 1 April 2011 and (b) 2 April 2011 and 1 April 2012. [108573]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence's recorded total emissions in 2010-11 were 4.7 million tonnes CO2e. This is a reduction from 4.8 million tonnes in 2009-10. These totals include emissions from the Department's fuel consumption, which is in addition to the scope of the Greening Government Commitments. The Department's total reported emissions for 2011-12 will be available later this year.

Departmental Staff: Political Affiliation

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) 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; [107280]

(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 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. [107279]

Mr Robathan: To obtain the information requested would require a search of all human resources records and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Defence: Procurement

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many urgent operational requirements have been identified in each of the last three years; how many such requirements have not been fulfilled; and

21 May 2012 : Column 439W

how many such requirements were delivered

(a)

later than originally planned and

(b)

over budget.

[Official Report, 26 February 2013, Vol. 559, c. 1-2MC.]

[106879]

Peter Luff [holding answer 15 May 2012]: Urgent operational requirements (UORs) address urgent and unforeseen capability gaps in support of a current or imminent military operation by providing for the rapid purchase or modification of equipment. Where a requirement is specific to a particular operational theatre and can be delivered quickly, it will be funded from the Government Reserve rather than the Defence budget.

According to departmental records, the numbers of Urgent Statements of User Requirement which have been endorsed by the Permanent Joint Headquarters and subsequently entered the urgent operational requirement process are as follows for the past three years:

 FY 2009-10FY 2010-11FY 2011-12

Requirements entering UOR process

154

115

58

Subsequently cancelled

53

22

4

Business cases under development

3

19

40

Of the remaining endorsed requirements:

 FY 2009-10FY 2010-11FY 2011-12

Delivered on time or early

60

26

4

On track to deliver on time

8

25

8

Delivered, or now planned for delivery, later than originally approved equipment delivery date

30

23

2

Within approved cost

93

70

14

Exceeding approved cost

5

4

0

Note: The requirement for some UORs can change over time and the original approval dates and costs may subsequently be adjusted to allow these changes to be addressed. Therefore not all the instances of later delivery or cost growth represent shortcomings in project management or initial estimating.

Not all requirements which enter the UOR process, progress to a business case and subsequent delivery stages. The reasons for the cancellations shown in the table may include the fact that, while a requirement may be extant, there is currently no equipment solution that can meet it. In such cases, attempts will be made to mitigate the risk through a non-equipment solution such as changing tactics, techniques or procedures. In other cases, the requirement may be cancelled by commanders in theatre because the evolving nature of operations means it is no longer needed. The ‘Business cases under development’ entry in the table represents those requirements where a solution is still being identified or the details finalised prior to approval.

Departmental Staff

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff (a) his Department and (b) its agencies employs in each parliamentary constituency. [108682]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not hold the information in the format requested. However, I am placing in the Library of the House a copy of the MOD's latest quarterly MOD Personnel Location Statistics

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report which shows the number of MOD civilians (including its agencies) employed in each local authority area in the United Kingdom.

Non-departmental Public Bodies

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many quangos his Department has (a) abolished and (b) established since May 2010; [108273]

(2) how many quangos his Department has (a) abolished and (b) established since May 2010. [108691]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence has abolished one public body, the Animals Welfare Advisory Committee, and established no new public bodies since May 2010.

Ordnance Board: Disclosure of Information

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 16 October 2001, Official Report, column 1141W, on the Ordnance Project Board, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Ordnance Board Report Board Project G/220A dated 23 February 1982; for what reasons no letter was placed in the Library by his Department on the review conducted to determine whether some or all of the information could be released into the public domain; and if he will make a statement. [107816]

Peter Luff: The information will take time to locate and review. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as it is available.

Procurement

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of payments made by his Department to small and medium-sized enterprises have been paid late since May 2010. [107780]

Peter Luff: We do not retain discrete records of any late payments made to small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is, however, a signatory to the Prompt Payment Code and is fully committed, along with the Department's trading partners, to pay all suppliers as quickly as possible. We aim to pay 80% of invoices within five working days and have, since 1 May 2010, paid over 90% of invoices within the five working day target and almost 100% of correctly submitted invoices within 11 calendar days.

It is also MOD policy to include in its prime contracts a contract condition which requires our contractors to pay their sub-contractors within 30 days of receipt of a valid invoice. In addition, for large construction projects, the MOD uses Project Bank Accounts to ensure prompt payment throughout the supply chain.

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of his Department's expenditure on procurement has gone to small and medium-sized enterprises since May 2010. [107806]

Peter Luff: The proportion of departmental procurement spend going direct to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is measured across each financial year (from

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1 April to 31 March) and I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 30 April 2012,

Official Report,

column 1146W.

The Department's spend with SMEs in 2011-12 (to end December 2011) has now been reported in the Cabinet Office report, “Making Government business more accessible to SMEs—One Year On”, which can be accessed at:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/making-government-business-more-accessible-smes-one-year

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department next expects to undertake a spend recovery audit to identify overpayments to suppliers caused by fraud or error. [107921]

Mr Robathan: Our central bill payment organisation in Defence Business Services follows rigorous processes and controls to ensure that overpayments to suppliers are identified and recovered quickly. No significant issues or system weaknesses were found during recent audits by both the National Audit Office and the Ministry of Defence (MOD)'s own audit organisation.

The National Audit Office is due to audit the MOD's central bill paying organisation again this autumn. We otherwise periodically review our bill payment processes and controls to ensure we continue to achieve the required high standards of performance and governance.

RAF Northolt

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Transport, (b) civil engineering companies and (c) airline companies about a potential high speed rail link between Heathrow Airport and RAF Northolt; and if he will make a statement. [107051]

Peter Luff: There have been no such discussions.

Risk Assessment

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what strategic or transitional risk registers in each area of policy are held by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [107485]

Nick Harvey: The information on what risk registers are held will take time to collate. I will write to the hon. Member when this has been completed.

Sick Leave

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many days of sick leave were taken by staff in his Department in each of the last three years. [106447]

Mr Robathan: The number of days (rounded) sick leave taken by staff in the Ministry of Defence over the last three years calculated in accordance with Cabinet Office methodology, was as follows:

1 April to 31 March each yearNumber

2009-10

591,740

2010-11

553,810

2011-12

512,350

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The Royal Fleet Auxiliary and locally engaged civilians are excluded from the totals.

The Meteorological Office ceased to be part of the Ministry of Defence on 30 September 2011; their figures are therefore excluded from the 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 data.

Telephone Services

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence 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. [107012]

Mr Robathan: Information on the number of call centres is not held and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, the Ministry of Defence has consolidated many call centre services into Civilian Human Resources (Defence Business Services), Forces Personnel (Joint Personnel Administration) and Information Services (Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) Single Point of Contact (SPOC)). These are all based in the UK.

Territorial Army

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army personnel have completed five or more years of consecutive service but have not qualified for a Diamond Jubilee Medal. [107189]

Mr Robathan: As the award of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal is ongoing, accurate data are not currently held on the joint personnel administration computer system, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many recruits signed up to the Territorial Army in each of the last five years for which figures are available; how many of such recruits became fully trained soldiers in each such year; and how many such recruits who (a) were and (b) were not members of the training corps left in each such year. [107191]

Mr Robathan: The following table shows the number of recruits, excluding those in the Officer Training Corps, who joined the Territorial Army in each of the last five financial years. Information on the number of those recruits who became fully trained soldiers, or for those who left the Territorial Army before completing this training, is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Total Territorial Army intake (excluding Officer Training Corps)
 Total

2007-08

6,970

2008-09

5,880

2009-10

5,380

2010-11

3,840

2011-12

4,240

The number of officer training cadets who joined the Officer Training Corps during the same period is provided in the following table. Cadets join the Officer Training

21 May 2012 : Column 443W

Corps while at university and can resign at any time. There is no obligation for them to join the armed forces when they leave university.

Information on the number of officer training cadets who have resigned from the Officer Training Corps is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Intake to Officer Training Corps
 Number

2007-08

2,240

2008-09

2,470

2009-10

1,990

2010-11

2,160

2011-12

2,880

Trade Unions

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many trade union representatives in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies had (i) part-time and (ii) full-time paid facility time arrangements in 2011-12. [107376]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence makes certain facilities available to civilian employees who are accredited representatives or members but not paid officials of trade unions recognised by the Department. The amount of time off and the purposes for which it is allowed is in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice Time off for TU duties and activities.

The Department in September 2011 had approved that 322 part-time representatives and 65 full-time could undertake facility time (FT). This figure does not include FT provided to the Ministry of Defence police, Royal Fleet Auxiliary or trading funds. It also does not include non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) who have their own agreements with the TU.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies in 2011-12; and at what cost to the public purse. [107377]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence makes certain facilities available to civilian employees who are accredited representatives or members but not paid officials of trade unions recognised by the Department. The amount of time off and the purposes for which it is allowed is in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice time off for trade union duties and activities.

The Department in September 2011 had approved 123 full-time equivalents to undertake facility time (FT) which equated to 27,060 days and a cost of £3.65 million. This figure does not include the FT provided to the Ministry of Defence Police, Royal Fleet Auxiliary or Trading Funds. It also does not include non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) who have their own agreements with the trade unions.

We do not record centrally how much of this approved FT was actually used.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many trade unions representatives in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental

21 May 2012 : Column 444W

bodies have faced disciplinary action for abusing paid facility time or public resources in each of the last five years. [107380]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence makes certain facilities available to civilian employees who are accredited representatives or members but not paid officials of trade unions recognised by the Department. The amount of time off and the purposes for which it is allowed is in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice Time off for TU duties and activities.

The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Veterans: Mental Health Services

Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many NHS trauma units are available in (a) England and (b) Wales to treat soldiers with (i) post-traumatic stress disorder and (ii) other mental health issues. [107703]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 17 May 2012]: The majority of armed forces personnel who require treatment for a mental health condition will receive it in military-owned community out-patient facilities rather than through the NHS. The Ministry of Defence also has a contract with a partnership of eight NHS trusts, led by South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust, to provide in-patient treatment for those who require it.

Of the other seven NHS Trusts involved in the partnership, five are in England (Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust; Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust; Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; and Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust) and two in Scotland (NHS Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Grampian). Members of the armed forces based in Wales who require in-patient treatment for a mental health condition will receive it in the most convenient of these NHS units (which will usually be South Staffordshire and Shropshire or Somerset Partnership), depending on where in Wales they are located.

Weapons: Radioactive Waste

Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many sites in the UK, in addition to Dalgety Bay, he estimates are subject to radium pollution as a result of the burying of radium-coated military hardware after the second world war; where those sites are; what plans he has to clean up each of those sites; under what timescale; and at what estimated cost. [107998]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 17 May 2012]: As specified in the Contaminated Land Regime, the identification of radioactive contaminated land falls to the regulatory authorities and not the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Where former MOD sites are identified as contaminated, the MOD remains committed to voluntarily assisting the relevant authorities, without prejudice, in fulfilling their statutory duties, for which they are funded.

21 May 2012 : Column 445W

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Bahrain

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what projects and initiatives he is funding in Bahrain through the (a) Arab Partnership Fund and (b) other sources in 2012-13; and which such projects and initiatives are to support the Bahraini Government in implementing the recommendations of the Bahraini Independent Commission of Inquiry. [107852]

Alistair Burt: The British embassy in Bahrain is developing a programme of reform support, including for the implementation of the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which will be funded by the Arab Partnership Participation Fund and the Conflict Pool. This support is likely to focus on two key areas central to the BICI recommendations: reconciliation, and promoting human rights and the rule of law. In 2011-12, the Arab Partnership Participation Fund supported bespoke human rights training in the UK for officials from the Bahraini Ministries of Justice and Social Development.

China

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has received any video, CCTV, film or mobile telephone images taken in the hotel room in Chongquing where Neil Heywood was killed. [107858]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The British Government is not in possession of any images taken in the hotel room in which Neil Heywood's body was found.

Government Contracts: Political Affiliation

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (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; [107120]

(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; [107121]

(3) 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; [107122]

21 May 2012 : Column 446W

(4) 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. [107123]

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

Departmental Staff: Political Affiliation

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what the (a) job title and (b) pay band was 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. [107281]

(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. [107282]

Mr Bellingham: To collect any such information would require a search of all human resources records which would involve disproportionate costs.

Consultants

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 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. [107496]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spent £19.2 million in financial year 2010-11 and £12.04 million in financial year 2011-12 on external consultants, including management consultants, a reduction of 37% in a year.

The FCO is committed to procuring consultants/ consultancy services in line with the Cabinet Office approvals process. Since July 2010 there has been a freeze on all new consultancy expenditure except where there is a strong business case to draw on specialised expertise that is not available internally. Such a business case requires Cabinet Office approval in addition to internal approval for new and existing consultancy spend over £20,000, and submitted for re-approval every three months from the date of contract commencement. Contracts are reviewed regularly and any request to prolong a consultancy agreement beyond nine months must be submitted to the Efficiency Reform Group (ERG) at the Cabinet Office.

21 May 2012 : Column 447W

Drugs: EU Action

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will assess the potential benefits to the UK resulting from EU Council Decision 2005/481/CFSP regarding the exchange of classified information with the Ukraine. [108493]

Mr Lidington: The UK supports Ukraine's long-term aspiration to join the EU at the point when it meets the criteria as set out in article 49 of the treaty on European Union. The implementation of this agreement further cements Ukraine's relationship with the European Union. The UK must decide, no later than 31 May 2014, whether to accept full European Court of Justice jurisdiction over those EU police and criminal justice measures adopted before 1 December 2009 which have not been amended or replaced. This measure falls within the scope of that decision and will be reviewed accordingly.

Eritrea

Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to support the appointment of a UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea. [106881]

Mr Bellingham: We are concerned by the human rights situation in Eritrea. This is why Eritrea is included as a “Country of Concern” in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s 2011 Human Rights and Democracy Report. The UK supported the statement delivered by Somalia at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council on the deteriorating human rights situation in Eritrea. The decision to appoint a UN Special Rapporteur is ultimately a matter for the UN Human Rights Council. We would support the proposal in principle, but understand that there are already five outstanding requests for visits by UN Special Rapporteurs to Eritrea.

Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has made an estimate of the number of refugees leaving Eritrea in the last year; and whether it has assessed (a) how these numbers compare to other countries with similar problems on a per capita basis, (b) the reasons why Eritreans are seeking to leave their country and (c) the effect of this outflow regionally and internationally, including the effect of regional traffickers seeking to exploit the situation. [106882]

Mr Bellingham: According to statistics received from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over the past year around 35,000 Eritreans have been registered in Ethiopia and Sudan as refugees. But it is worth noting that not all refugees leave by these routes or register at the camps. The figure is therefore likely to be higher. The number of refugees is likely to remain high in 2012 thereby increasing the burden put on Ethiopia and Sudan. Most of the refugees are young men and women fleeing compulsory national service. On 8 February 2012, senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and UK Border Agency officials met the

21 May 2012 : Column 448W

visiting high level Eritrean delegation to discuss initiatives to combat trafficking. We have also urged Eritrea to bring to justice any Eritreans involved in human trafficking.

Comparing refugee numbers on an international and per capita basis is a sensitive and complex task which would require a disproportionate amount of time and resources to deliver. The FCO currently refers to the UNHCR for the refugee situation around the world since they are better placed and resourced to make assessments.

Ethiopia

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has received any reports of human rights violations connected with the villagisation programme in Gambella, Ethiopia. [108399]

Mr Bellingham: We became aware of allegations associated with the villagisation (or commune) programme in Gambella in late 2010 and immediately took steps to investigate them. In February last year the UK led a multi-agency mission, independent from the Ethiopian Government, to Gambella. The mission found no evidence of systematic or widespread human rights abuses, though isolated human rights abuses may have been committed. We have provided the Ethiopian Government with guidelines on resettlement best practice and these have been placed in the House of Commons Library. We have repeatedly raised our concerns over how the programme is being implemented with the Ethiopian Government.

Exports

Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings officials in his Department have had with businesses seeking to export to (a) India, (b) China and (c) Brazil in the last 12 months. [106679]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials in the UK and overseas meet UK businesses seeking to export to India, China and Brazil regularly. Export promotion activities are led by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to which both FCO and BIS contribute staff. One of the key functions of UKTI is to meet, and provide assistance to, UK companies seeking to expand into overseas markets. These interactions occur in a wide variety of circumstances, and it is therefore not possible to assess accurately the total number of meetings that have taken place in the last 12 months.

Foreign Investment in UK

Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings officials in his Department have had with businesses from (a) India, (b) China and (c) Brazil seeking to invest in the UK in the last 12 months. [106678]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials in the UK and overseas meet UK businesses seeking to invest in India, China and Brazil regularly. Investment promotion activities are led by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to which both FCO and BIS

21 May 2012 : Column 449W

contribute staff. One of the key functions of UKTI is to meet, and provide assistance to, UK companies seeking to expand into overseas markets. These interactions occur in a wide variety of circumstances, and it is therefore not possible to assess accurately the total number of meetings that have taken place in the last 12 months.

Israel

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Israeli Government on discriminatory water supply policies in the Jordan Valley. [107724]

Alistair Burt: I refer my right hon. Friend to my answer of 23 April 2012, Official Report, column 760W.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the International Committee of the Red Cross on the humanitarian needs of Palestinian prisoners in Israel. [107725]

Alistair Burt: We hold regular discussions with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the humanitarian needs of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, which remains an issue of significant concern to the UK Government. The British embassy in Tel Aviv and consulate general in Jerusalem keep in close contact with the ICRC Head of Delegation on these issues.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs issued a public statement on 16 May welcoming the agreement reached to end the mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners. We have commended all sides, including the Palestinian Authority, the prisoners' representatives, the Egyptian authorities and the Israeli Government for their roles in finding a solution that prevents loss of life. We particularly welcome Israel's agreement to limit the use of administrative detention and solitary confinement, and to reinstate family visits for detainees.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Israeli Government on the ending of restrictions on exports from Gaza. [107726]

Alistair Burt: We are clear that Israeli restrictions on movements of goods and people do serious damage to the economy and living standards of ordinary people in Gaza. The current situation fosters radicalisation and empowers Hamas. An improved economy is not only essential for the people of Gaza, but firmly in Israel's security interests. In close co-ordination with our EU partners and the Office of the Quartet Representative, we continue to press the Israeli Government at ministerial and official level to ease access restrictions.

I most recently raised this issue with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon on 18 January 2012. The British ambassador to Tel Aviv also raised the issue with Prime Minister Netanyahu's Chief Negotiator, Yitzhak Molcho, and the Israeli Co-ordinator of Government Activity in the Territories, General Dangot, in March.

21 May 2012 : Column 450W

The EU, with the full support of the UK, called on Israel to lift restrictions on Gaza in the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions issued on 14 May 2012:

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/130195.pdf

Lithuania

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Lithuanian Government on its decision to honour Juozas Brazaitis. [108247]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to actively engage with the Lithuanian Government on minority rights and post-holocaust issues. The FCO has raised this issue with the Lithuanian Government and will continue dialogue with them on these issues.

Middle East

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how eligible organisations in target countries are notified of the availability of project funding through the Arab Partnership fund; and with reference to the answer of 23 April 2012, Official Report, columns 752-53W, on the Arab Partnership fund, what outreach is undertaken in (a) Qatar, (b) Saudi Arabia and (c) the United Arab Emirates. [107957]

Alistair Burt: Information about funding available from the Arab Partnership Participation Fund is published in English and Arabic on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/global-issues/mena/uk-arab-partnership

In target countries including Egypt and Tunisia, calls for proposals have also been publicised on local embassies' websites.

To ensure that the FCO meets its Overseas Development Assistance targets, Arab Partnership funding for work in the six Gulf countries (Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates) is capped at £250,000 per year. In 2012-13, Bahrain is likely to be the Arab Partnership Participation Fund's main focus in the Gulf. Funding for work in Gulf countries is also available through other programmes such as the Gulf Initiative, Conflict Pool and the Prosperity Fund.

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Israeli authorities on recovering the costs or repairing damage caused to the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Gaza during operation Cast Lead. [108730]

Alistair Burt: The British Government has had extensive discussions with the Israeli authorities, in particular with the Ministry of Defence, over several years on behalf of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission about recovering costs, or repairing damage to the cemetery in Gaza following Israel's operation Cast Lead. Israel does not accept liability for the damage caused but recognises the significance of the cemetery from a

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historical point of view. Israel made an ex-gratia payment of £40,000 towards the cost of repairing the damage to the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.

Nigeria

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures are in place to support British companies wishing to do business in Nigeria; and what charges are made for this support. [108721]

Mr Bellingham: Commercial diplomacy is one of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's priorities. An important part of the role of our high commissioner to Nigeria, and his team, is to provide advice and support to UK companies which are active or looking to do business in Nigeria. In Nigeria, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is represented in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. UKTI offers UK exporters and investors a range of services, which include: identifying local agents and distributors, arranging visit programmes and trade missions, and organising product launches. These are part of UKTI's chargeable service, called Overseas Market Introduction Service, the charge for which is calculated on the time needed to deliver the service.

Non-departmental Public Bodies

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many quangos his Department has (a) abolished and (b) established since May 2010. [108693]

Mr Lidington: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 16 March 2011, Official Report, column 9-10WS.

North Africa

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what projects and initiatives (a) have been and (b) are being funded through (i) the Arab Partnership Fund and (ii) other sources to promote and protect women's rights and encourage their political participation in (A) Egypt, (B) Tunisia and (C) Libya. [107851]

Alistair Burt: In Egypt, the Arab Partnership Fund (APF) has recently approved a project with Electoral Reform International Services (ERIS) to promote the participation of women candidates in Egyptian local council elections and engagement of communities with their local councillors.

In Tunisia, the APF has supported a project led by ERIS to support a voter outreach programme targeting women voters in rural areas, and a project with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy to build the capacity of MPs, including training for women MPs.

In Libya, the APF is supporting ERIS to train women to become election observers for the upcoming elections and has also provided a contribution to the UN Electoral Assistance Programme which includes elements to ensure women's participation in elections. The tri-departmental Conflict Pool (FCO/DFID/MOD) is also supporting women's participation in the Libyan political process. It co-funded the first ever Women's Convention in Tripoli in November 2011, and has supported programmes led

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by the National Democratic Institute to mobilise women to participate in the electoral process and by Dan Church Aid to enable women to form networks and common platforms to advocate at a national and local level for greater social, economic and political inclusion. Both organisations are working to empower local women's organisations.

In all APF projects, the UK works with project partners to ensure that gender issues are taken into account, and participation is gender-balanced. A regional conflict adviser will shortly be appointed in North Africa, whose responsibilities will include working with women's organisations in support of UNSCR1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

North Africa and Middle East

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to encourage the use of renewable energy and recycling in the Middle East and North Africa. [108225]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is working actively to encourage countries in the Middle East and North Africa to adopt policies to achieve sustainable economic growth, including the promotion of secure and affordable energy, resource efficiency and low carbon solutions.

The Department engages bilaterally, through its embassies and network of energy and climate change attachés, to promote investment in renewable energy resources. Through the FCO Prosperity Fund, the Department also supports a number of lower-carbon projects in the Gulf, including the establishment of a regional Centre for Sustainable Development, the promotion of ambitious energy intensity improvement targets by 2020 in GCC countries, and a sustainable housing programme in Saudi Arabia.

Through its network, the FCO also contributes to promoting renewable energy through multilateral fora, including the International Renewable Energy Agency, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme and the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) meetings. The most recent CEM was hosted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in April and was attended by the Prime Minister.

Sudan: South Sudan

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether his Department has received an estimate of the number of Sudan armed forces personnel who remain in the Abyei area; [107826]

(2) what reports he has received of the withdrawal of South Sudan Police from the Abyei area; [107827]

(3) whether he plans to provide assistance for the establishment of a local Abyei Police Service; and what form any such assistance will take. [107828]

Mr Bellingham: In my statement of 11 May, I welcomed South Sudan's withdrawal of all its remaining security forces from Abyei, as confirmed by the Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA). I also called on Sudan to fulfil its own obligations to withdraw all remaining Sudanese armed forces without delay, in line with its own commitments

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and as called for by the African Union and UN Security Council. That has still not happened. We do not have direct verification of the numbers of Sudanese armed forces present in the Abyei area, but contacts with the UN suggest it is in the region of 350.

The UK has provided training to the Ethiopian police contingent in UNISFA, who will in turn be able to train the Abyei Police Service when it is established. That can only happen once the joint Abyei Area Administration, on which the two governments have yet to reach agreement, has been formed. I call on both governments to establish the Abyei Area Administration as soon as possible.

Telephone Services

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 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. [107013]

Mr Lidington: We do not keep centrally details of all call centres operated by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), its global network and the bodies for which it is responsible. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The following call centres based in the UK provide services on behalf of the FCO:

Call centre: Teleperformance

Service: (a) travel advice and (b) consular crisis calls (where volume and/or waiting times exceed the capacity of our Crisis Management Department's internal call centre facility)

Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland

Call centre: Careline

Service: advice on our Legalisation services

Location: Selkirk, Scotland.

Thailand

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Thailand on the imprisonment and death of Ampon Tangnoppakul. [108435]

Mr Jeremy Browne: In November 2011, following the sentencing of Ampon Tangnoppakul, the UK issued a statement jointly with our European Union partners to express concern about the court decision to convict and imprison Ampon for 20 years. The statement reiterated the importance attached by the EU to the rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights. The EU also urged the Thai authorities to ensure that the rule of law was applied in a non-discriminatory and proportional manner consistent with upholding basic human rights, including freedom of expression.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment his Department has made of access to health care for prisoners in Thailand. [108436]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Conditions in Thai prisons are generally poor. Prisons are old and often have run down infrastructure. However, basic medical treatment is available in all prisons in Thailand and prisoners may be transferred to a local hospital for more complex medical treatment.

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As part of our consular responsibilities, embassy staff in Thailand visit British detainees every eight weeks. These visits are carried out by trained consular staff, who check the welfare of detainees. Any issues of concern can be then brought to the attention of the prison authorities, including any medical or dental problems a detainee might have.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the treatment of people (a) arrested and (b) convicted under lèse majesté laws in Thailand. [108437]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The UK attaches great importance to human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right of every human being. We are closely following the development of freedom of expression in Thailand and are concerned by the significant increase of lèse-majesté cases in the country and the application of the laws and length of sentences in recent cases.

With our European Union partners, the UK expressed concern last year at the conviction and imprisonment for 20 years of Ampon Tangnoppakul for violating the lese-majeste laws.

Our embassy in Bangkok continues to monitor the ongoing trials of high profile lèse majesté and freedom of expression on the internet cases. We have urged the Thai Government to ensure that the rule of law is applied in a non-discriminatory and proportionate manner consistent with upholding basic human rights, and will continue to take appropriate opportunities to do so.

During my visit to Thailand in 2010, I raised the issue of conditions for detainees in Thailand, referring specifically to the importance of access to exercise, proper food and medical facilities.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the compliance of lèse majesté laws in Thailand with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and what representations he has made to the government of Thailand on freedom of expression and the lèse majesté laws. [108438]

Mr Jeremy Browne: We understand the particular reverence the people of Thailand have for the monarchy. The Government attaches importance to the respect of fundamental human rights in line with the universal declaration of human rights. Specifically on article 19 which covers freedom of opinion and expression, the UK thinks that it should be possible to discuss constitutional reform without fear of coming under the purvue of laws that were designed for non-political purposes. In October 2011 at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the human rights situation in Thailand was reviewed as part of the Universal Periodic Review process. The UK played an active role, including raising our concerns about freedom of expression and specifically recommending that the Thai Government seek to review its lèse majesté laws. The report of this session can be found online at the following link:

www.upr-info.org/IMG/pdf/a_hrc_wg.6_12_l.6_thailand.pdf

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Our ambassador in Bangkok has raised the issue of freedom of expression with the Thai authorities. I also raised the issue when I visited Thailand in September 2011. We will continue to take appropriate opportunities to do so.

Trade Unions

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many trade union representatives in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies had (i) part-time and (ii) full-time paid facility time arrangements in 2011-12. [107383]

Mr Bellingham: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) follows the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service Code of Practice “Time Off for Trades Union Duties and Activities”.

Elected trade union representatives are as follows:

(a) FCO—seven full-time officers

(b) FCO Services—one full-time officer and 0.5 part-time officer

(c) Wilton Park staff are nominally also represented by (a)

In addition to these, there are 37 members of staff who are volunteer branch committee members. They carry out this role in addition to their normal day job. The FCO's Facility Agreement allows up to 25 days paid facility time per year. Actual time taken is not recorded centrally.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies in 2011-12; and at what cost to the public purse. [107384]

Mr Bellingham: We refer the House to the answer to the hon. Member's PQ107383 today for the number of full-time and part-time trade union representatives and facility time allowed to volunteer branch committee members.

The Foreign Commonwealth Office does not hold the information related to costs centrally and it could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies for trade union (i) duties and (ii) activities in 2011-12 [107385]

Mr Bellingham: I refer the hon. Member of the House to the answer to her PQ 107384 today.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library copies of the facility time agreements between trade unions and (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies. [107386]

Mr Bellingham: A copy of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Facility Agreement with its Trade Union Side, which covers both FCO Services and Wilton Park, has been placed in the Library of the House.

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Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many trade union representatives in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies have faced disciplinary action for abusing paid facility time or public resources in each of the last five years. [107387]

Mr Bellingham: No trade union representatives within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), FCO Services or Wilton Park have faced disciplinary action for abusing paid facility time or public resources in the last five years.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings have taken place between (a) his Department and (b) 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. [107388]

Mr Bellingham: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), FCO Services and Wilton Park do not hold this information centrally and it could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

However, we hold meetings with representatives of our recognised trade unions on matters affecting staff on a regular basis. This includes the annual Whitley Council meeting and meetings on areas where consultation with trade unions is a statutory requirement such as redundancy, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment), Health and Safety and pensions.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions trade union representatives from (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies have utilised paid facility time to represent an employee at a meeting or other industrial relations matter in each of the last five years. [107389]

Mr Bellingham: This information is not held centrally and it could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.