Procurement

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of payments made by his Department to small and medium-sized enterprises have been paid late since May 2010. [107779]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: In line with the Prompt Payment Code the Ministry of Justice aims to pay all valid and authorised invoices within five working days. Details of overall payment performance are published monthly on the Ministry of Justice website that shows yearly average performance of 86.3% for 2011-12.

The details are not broken down by supplier type therefore we are unable to separate small medium-sized enterprises from the overall figures. The link to our payment performance is as follows:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/about/procurement-and-commercial/payment-performance

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of his Department's expenditure on procurement has gone to small and medium-sized enterprises since May 2010. [107804]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: The proportion of Ministry of Justice (MOJ) spend with small and medium enterprises since May 2010 is as shown in the following table:

As at April to March each year Proportion represented as a percentage (%)

2010-11

16

2011-12

34

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when his Department began including contracts to legal aid providers in its figures for procurement expenditure with small and medium-sized enterprises. [107822]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: Legal aid providers have been included in the Ministry of Justice figures for procurement expenditure with small and medium-sized enterprises since April 2011.

The Ministry of Justice is still in the process of reviewing and classifying legal aid providers.

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when his Department next expects to undertake a spend recovery audit to identify overpayments to suppliers caused by fraud or error. [107922]

23 May 2012 : Column 756W

Mr Kenneth Clarke: The Cabinet Office is in the process of developing a starter information pack for every Department and arm’s length body on how to implement a spend-recovery audit. The information pack will be available from the Cabinet Office in May 2012.

Once the information pack has been received, Ministry of Justice Internal Audit and Assurance will plan for a spend-recovery audit in their annual audit programme.

Public Sector

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many new public sector mutuals were created or spun-off by his Department in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [108916]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: No new public sector mutuals were created or spun-off by the Ministry of Justice in either 2010-11 or 2011-12.

However, the Ministry of Justice is actively exploring opportunities to encourage public service mutuals across its services. In our recent consultation, “Punishment and reform: effective probation services”, we set out our intention to support new models for delivering probation services, such as joint ventures, social enterprises and public service mutuals, and are consulting on how we can best support staff in this process.

Restraint Techniques: Safety

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the safety of prison officers over the age of 60 whose duties include the restraint of prisoners. [109018]

Mr Blunt: The National Offender Management Service has a wide range of measure in place to assess the safety of all prison officers, all of whose duties will include the restraint of prisoners.

The measures include violence reduction strategies designed to reduce the likelihood of restraint being necessary. These include:

Reception assessment and ongoing information sharing re prisoners history and behaviour

National and local security strategies

Security reporting and intelligence analysis

Individual and cell searching procedures

Serious incident reporting and analysis

Predictive risk assessment tools for offending behaviour

Violence reduction strategies and groups

Zero Tolerance anti-violence campaign

Locking procedures

Cell and prison building and fabric layout and design

Promotion of de-escalation and talk-down strategies

Training and guidance on communication with prisoners

To manage the residual risk, all Prison Officers receive extensive training in the use of Control and Restraint techniques both in their initial training (32 hours with a four hour assessment) and then in an annual “refresher” training session lasting one day.

A fitness testing program for officers is also in place and has been a contractual requirement for all staff who have been appointed as prison officers since April 2001.

23 May 2012 : Column 757W

Occupational health advice on individual cases can also be sought where necessary.

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department has taken to ensure that prison officers over the age of 60 will not be involved in (a) the physical restraint of prisoners and (b) other activities which may cause them injury. [109019]

Mr Blunt: The National Offender Management Service does not differentiate between Prison Officers based on their age. It has a wide range of measures in place to reduce the likelihood of all prison officers being involved in (a) the physical restraint of prisoners and (b) other activities that may cause them harm. These measures are in place to protect all prison officers and are not related to the age of the prison officer.

The measures to reduce the likelihood of prison officers being involved in the physical restraint of prisoners include a number of violence reduction strategies. These include:

Reception assessment and ongoing information sharing re prisoners history and behaviour

National and local security strategies

Security reporting and intelligence analysis

Individual and cell searching procedures

Serious incident reporting and analysis

Predictive risk assessment tools for offending behaviour

Violence reduction strategies and groups

Zero Tolerance anti-violence campaign

Locking procedures

Cell and prison building and fabric layout and design

Promotion of de-escalation and talk-down strategies

Training and guidance on communication with prisoners

NOMS has an Occupational Health and Safety Policy which requires managers to undertake assessments of all the risks in their establishments. These risk assessments will identify any other activities in the work place that may cause harm. They will assess the risks of these activities, identify the staff affected, and the appropriate control measures required to reduce the risks. This does include those staff who are judged to be no longer physically capable of carrying out their duties.

These risks and the effectiveness of the control measures will be monitored by managers and the risk assessment and control measures revised as necessary.

Russia

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) whom he met on his visit to Russia in May 2012; [109091]

(2) whether he discussed (a) the rule of law, (b) human rights, (c) legal nihilism and (d) corruption in Russia in May 2012; with whom each such discussion took place; and if he will make a statement; [109092]

(3) whether he discussed the cases of (a) Sergei Magnitsky, (b) Vasily Alexanyan and (c) Mikhail Khodorkovsky on his visit to Russia in May 2012; with whom each such discussion took place; and if he will make a statement; [109093]

(4) whether he was accompanied by any other hon. Member on his visit to Russia in May 2012. [109094]

23 May 2012 : Column 758W

Mr Kenneth Clarke: I met a number of Russian legal experts to discuss human rights and the rule of law. These included the Vice Rector of Faculty of Law of St Petersburg State University; the Chair of the Freedom of Information Foundation; the Vice Rector and Director of the Rule of Law Institute at the European University of St Petersburg; a Managing Partner at Baker and Mackenzie St Petersburg; and the Senior Legal Monitor for Russia at the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre.

I also met human rights experts and John Smith Fellows to discuss a range of human rights issues. Organisations included Citizens Watch; ‘Memorial' (anti-discrimination organisation);, ‘Coming Out' (LGBT rights organisation); ‘Side by Side' (the St Petersburg International LGBT Film Festival); St Petersburg's Human Rights Ombudsman; Human Rights Watch's Russia office; the Centre for Development of Democracy and Human Rights; and the John Smith Trust Representative in Russia.

I met a number of Justice Ministers, including the Russian Justice Minister, Alexander Konovalov, to discuss justice co-operation, rule of law, the protection of human rights (including the cases of Sergei Magnilsky and Mikhail Khodorkovsky) and legal sector reform. I also met Eric Holder, the US Attorney-General, to discuss justice and security issues.

I took part in a roundtable with a mixed audience of researchers, business people, judiciary and local government officials where I spoke about the Bribery Act 2010 and anti-corruption measures. Other participants included Professor Vadim Volkov, Director of the Institute for Rule of Law, St Petersburg European University; Igor Strelov. Chair of the North West Russia Commercial Court; and the hon. Mr Justice David Steel.

I met Anton Ivanov, President of the Russian Supreme Commercial Court, to discuss legal sector regulation and its impact on attracting foreign business and the benefits of continuing judicial exchanges through the Slynn Foundation. I also met Valery Zorkin, Chairman of the Russian Constitutional Court to discuss the judicial reform agenda in Russia; Russia's relationship with the European Court of Human Rights; and human rights more generally.

I was accompanied on this visit by my Parliamentary Private Secretary the hon. Member for Wyre and Preston North (Mr Wallace).

Unpaid Fines

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the rate was of non-payment of criminal fines in each region in each of the last three years. [109033]

Mr Djanogly: Over the last few years there as been an increase in fine collections. Last year (2011) we collected £277 million in fines compared to £251 million in 2009—a 10% increase. Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) performance indicators include the payment rate for financial penalties, which is calculated as the value of financial penalties collected in year as a percentage of the value of financial impositions made in the same year less the value of any judicial or administrative cancellations. The monies collected may relate to financial penalties imposed in that or earlier years. As a result it is not possible to show a non-payment rate.

23 May 2012 : Column 759W

Table 1, as follows, shows the payment rate for each HMCTS region in the 2011, 2010 and 2009 calendar years.

Table 1: HMCTS payment rate for financial penalties by region in the calendar years 2011, 2010 and 2009
Percentage
Region 2011 2010 2009

England and Wales

102

93

83

London

80

69

74

Midlands

125

109

86

North East

105

107

83

North West

101

84

89

South East

109

99

84

South West

101

89

81

Wales

105

106

80

Each year a number of fines are administratively cancelled in accordance with strict cancellation criteria including reasons such as the offender having died or permanently emigrated, the amount outstanding being less than £10, the offender was a limited company that has been wound up or the offender cannot be traced and the fine is over 12 months old.

Table 2, as follows, shows the payment rate when excluding fines which have been administratively cancelled from the calculation.

Table 2: HMCTS payment rate for financial penalties by region in the calendar years 2011, 2010 and 2009 excluding administrative cancellations
Percentage
Region 2011 2010 2009

England and Wales

84

80

71

London

60

53

54

Midlands

94

92

75

North East

94

95

75

North West

90

78

80

South East

85

89

72

South West

94

82

74

Wales

95

91

74

HMCTS has achieved this improved payment rate by focusing on early compliance with financial impositions by using a number of methods such as the use of telephone and text message reminders to defaulters, intelligence tracing tools, increased use of enforcement sanctions like deduction from benefit orders and attachment of earnings and targeted payment blitzes on specific groups of defaulters. There are a number of other initiatives being developed to further improve the collection of financial penalties.

The Ministry of Justice now publishes in Court Statistics Quarterly, an experimental statistic which shows the time taken to collect financial penalties through accounting centres in the magistrates courts. This new information has been collected since April 2011 sourced from accounting information held on the Libra Management Information System (MIS). It includes the total amount imposed in each quarter and the amount and percentage of that which is paid within one, three and six months of imposition.

Financial penalties include amounts for fines, costs, prosecution costs, legal aid, victim surcharge, compensation and unpaid fixed penalties and penalty notices for

23 May 2012 : Column 760W

disorder that are registered as fines for enforcement. Accounts still open include fines that are being collected by instalments, those with deductions from benefit and those which have been given time to pay.

Victim Support Schemes

Paul Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what steps he has taken to ensure that the arrangements for commissioning victims' services by police and crime commissioners (a) costs no more than the current system and (b) does not result in a lower quality of service; [109278]

(2) if he will consider ring-fencing the funding available for victims' services following the transfer of commissioning arrangements to police and crime commissioners; [109279]

(3) what arrangements he plans to put in place to inspect victims' services following the transfer of commissioning arrangements to police and crime commissioners; [109280]

(4) what minimum standards he proposes will apply to services for victims of crime following the transfer of commissioning arrangements to police and crime commissioners; and what steps he plans to take where such minimum standards are not met. [109282]

Mr Blunt: Our consultation, ‘Getting it Right for Victims and Witnesses’ closed on 22 April. We are considering the responses to the consultation, which in relation to our commissioning proposals included views on quality, ring-fencing, minimum standards and administrative costs. We will publish the Government response soon.

Paul Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will bring forward proposals to place the Victims' Code on a statutory footing. [109281]

Mr Blunt: A key proposal in our consultation document ‘Getting it Right for Victims and Witnesses', published on 30 January, is that there should be a new, clearer, Victims' Code and we sought views on a set of principles on which we think a new code should be based. The consultation closed on 22 April and we plan to publish the Government's response to the consultation in the summer.

There is already a statutory basis for the Victims' Code. It is made under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004.

International Development

Rio+20 Conference

9. Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the draft outcomes document for the Rio+20 conference in June 2012. [108780]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The draft outcomes document includes positive statements on green growth and sustainable development, but it is unwieldy. The Department for International Development will continue to work hard

23 May 2012 : Column 761W

alongside the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in negotiations on the outcome document to be agreed at Rio+20.

Jordan Valley: Water Supplies

10. Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations he has made to the Israeli Government on water supply policies in the Jordan valley. [108782]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The fair and effective distribution of shared water resources across the middle east is of great concern to the UK and our embassy regularly raises these issues with the Israeli authorities. We continue to call on Israel to fulfil its obligations under international humanitarian law, including ensuring Palestinian access to water.

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

11. Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to support small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries. [108783]

Mr O'Brien: DFID is actively helping to increase employment and investment opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Over the next seven years DFID's support will help create more than one million jobs and mobilise loans to over 200,000 SMEs, at least a quarter of which will be headed by women.

Arab Partnership Fund

12. Nadhim Zahawi: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent progress has been made by the Arab Partnership Fund. [108784]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Arab Partnership Fund, under Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development control, continues to make significant progress.

Procurement Policy

13. Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's policy is on the procurement of goods and services from the UK for the purposes of foreign aid. [108785]

Mr O'Brien: The International Development Act 2002 requires aid to be untied, and EU Public Procurement directives mandate EU-wide competition. However, I am happy to confirm that in 2010-11, 92% of centrally let DFID contracts were let to UK registered companies after open competition.

Complaints

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many complaints about the work of his Department and each of its non-departmental public bodies were received in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [108954]

23 May 2012 : Column 762W

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Department for International Development does not maintain a central record of all complaints made about its work or that of its non-departmental public bodies. Providing the full information requested would incur disproportionate cost.

Figures on formal complaints are available for certain functions as follows:

Function 2010-11 2011-12

Public Enquiries

0

0

Overseas Pensions

4

1

Recruitment

0

0

Complaints on handling of requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 are published by the Ministry of Justice:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/statistics/foi/implementation

Ministerial Meetings

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on what dates (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) senior officials in his Department have met representatives of (i) the Institute for Public Policy Research, (ii) the Taxpayers' Alliance, (iii) the Institute of Economic Affairs, (iv) ResPublica, (v) the Centre for Social Justice and (vi) Policy Exchange; and if he will publish the minutes and agendas of these meetings. [108967]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: Details of ministerial meetings are available on the website of the Department for International Development (DFID)

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/Our-organisation/Ministers/#travel

and are published every quarter in the normal way.

Providing the full information requested regarding officials would incur disproportionate cost.

Sahel

Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department plans to send ministerial level representation to the African Union Conference on the food shortage in the Sahel. [108834]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: We understand from sources within the United Nations that the planned African Union Conference has been put on hold. Once a revised date has been scheduled and a draft agenda issued, we will be in a more appropriate position to consider whether the UK is represented by a Minister or by a suitably qualified official.

Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if his Department will take steps during the African Union Conference on the food shortage in the Sahel to agree measures to (a) mitigate fluctuating food prices in the region and (b) support the ECOWAS PREPARE project. [108835]

23 May 2012 : Column 763W

Mr Andrew Mitchell: We understand from sources within the United Nations that the planned African Union Conference has been put on hold. Once a revised date has been scheduled and a draft agenda issued, we will be in a more appropriate position to consider the extent of UK participation.

We are engaging and monitoring progress on the ECOWAS PREPARE proposal. Food price volatility poses a very significant risk to food security in the Sahel. We welcome the proposal's regional focus, but have some concerns about certain aspects of the design, for example why food transfer is the only option considered and the level of participation by the 11 target countries in the design process. More work is needed on the project before we can consider UK support.

Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make it his policy to support social protection as part of his Department's new resilience strategy for the Sahel region. [108836]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The UK has been a major supporter of social protection programmes in Africa and recognises that providing poor people with social safety nets helps reduce their vulnerability to food crises. In drought-prone countries where the Department for International Development (DFID) has bilateral development programmes, we have made major investments in social protection programmes such as the Productive Safety Net Programme in Ethiopia and the Hunger Safety Net Programme in Kenya.

In the Sahel we recognise that it is vital to expand social protection programmes to protect people from future food crises. Without bilateral programmes in the region, DFID cannot provide direct support to national social protection programmes; however our multilateral partners—notably the World Bank and the United Nations—do support social safety net programmes in the Sahel.

Cabinet Office

Big Lottery Fund

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office on what dates he has met the Chair of the Big Lottery Fund since May 2010; what issues were discussed at each meeting; if he will publish the minutes and agenda of the meetings; and if he will make a statement. [108815]

Mr Hurd: I met Peter Ainsworth on 13 June 2011, 13 October 2011 and 16 January 2012 to discuss a range of issues relating to the Big Lottery Fund.

Bowel Cancer

Mark Menzies: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people in each strategic health authority area were diagnosed with bowel cancer in England in each quarter of the last 12 months. [109297]

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

23 May 2012 : Column 764W

Letter from Stephen Penneck dated May 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many people in each strategic health authority were diagnosed with bowel cancer in England in each quarter of the last 12 months. [109297]

The latest available figures for newly diagnosed cases of bowel cancer (incidence) are for the year 2010. Please note that these numbers may not be the same as the number of people diagnosed with cancer, because one person may be diagnosed with more than one cancer.

The table below provides the number of diagnoses (incidence) of bowel cancer for strategic health authorities in England, for each quarter of 2010.

The latest published figures on incidence of cancer in England are available on the National Statistics website:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/all-releases.html?definition=tcm%3A77-27451

Table 1: Number of newly diagnosed cases of malignant neoplasm of the bowel by strategic health authority and by quarter, England, 2010 (1, 2, 3)
Persons
SHA Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total

England

8,117

8,584

8,433

8,084

33,218

           

North East

428

440

521

451

1,840

North West

1,063

1,177

1,167

1,133

4,540

Yorkshire and the Humber

839

858

828

794

3,319

East Midlands

759

843

691

736

3,029

West Midlands

906

949

914

879

3,648

East of England

992

1,015

969

1,005

3,981

London

794

797

855

746

3,192

South East Coast

711

781

822

752

3,066

South Central

597

659

621

649

2,526

South West

1,028

1,065

1,045

939

4,077

(1) Figures are for cases diagnosed in 2010 and exclude non-residents. (2 )Cancer of the bowel was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes C18 to 20. (3 )Figures are based on boundaries as of February 2012. Source: Office for National Statistics

Business

Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of Government contracts were awarded to (a) micro, (b) small and (c) medium-sized businesses in (i) 2010 and (ii) 2011. [106814]

Mr Maude: This Government have an aspiration that 25% of its buying should go to SMEs by 2015.

A Progress Report on central Government business with SMEs was published on 9 March 2012 and is available on the Cabinet Office website at:

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

While data are not held on the exact proportion of contracts awarded to micro, small and medium-sized businesses. The proportion of direct Government spend with SMEs was 6.5% in 2009-10 and reached 13.7% by the end of the 2011-12 financial year.

23 May 2012 : Column 765W

Carbon Emissions

Luciana Berger: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what measures his Department introduced to reduce the carbon emissions of 10 Downing street in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; [108547]

(2) what the total level of carbon emissions was of 10 Downing street between (a) 1 April 2010 and 1 April 2011 and (b) 2 April 2011 and 1 April 2012. [108546]

Mr Maude: The Prime Minister's Office is an integral part of the Cabinet Office.

The Government are fully committed to the Greening Government Commitment (GCC). The Cabinet Office has already reduced carbon emissions by 25.7% as at the third quarter of 2011-12 when compared with the 2009-10 baseline. A number of measures have been taken to achieve this, including increased thermal insulation and the introduction of intelligent lighting systems.

As part of the GGC, the Cabinet Office publishes its performance on a quarterly basis. The performance for Q4 in 2011-12 will be published shortly at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/cabinet-office-greening-government-performance

Charities

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many charities deregistered in (a) 2010 and (b) 2011; and if he will make a statement. [109001]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Charity Commission, have asked the Commission's chief executive to reply.

Letter from Sam Younger, dated 18 May 2012:

I have been asked to reply to your Written Parliamentary Question on how many charities deregistered in (a) 2010 and (b) 2011; and if he will make a statement [109001].

The Charity Commission removes charities from the Register for a variety of reasons. It may be that a charity has ceased to exist or operate, or may have merged, incorporated or transferred its funds to another charity.

  Number of charities removed

2010

6,398

2011

7,394

This information is publicly available on our website:

http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/ShowCharity/RegisterOfCharities/AdvancedSearch.aspx

Complaints

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many complaints about the work of his Department and each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies were received in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [108941]

Mr Maude: This information is not held centrally.

23 May 2012 : Column 766W

Fuel Oil: Coventry

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what has been the estimated average household expenditure on heating fuel bills in Coventry in each of the last 10 years. [108703]

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated May 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what has been the estimated average household expenditure on heating fuel bills in Coventry in each of the last 10 years. (108703)

The Living Costs and Food Survey (LCF), which is a sample survey covering approximately 5,000 households in the UK, collects data on expenditure on gas, electricity and other fuels. Unfortunately, estimates of household expenditure at local authority level are not available due to small sample sizes.

Israel

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps he has taken to ensure that the Government do not procure goods, produce or services from illegal Israeli settlements. [108728]

Mr Maude: The UK opposes boycotts which we think are counter-productive.

The Public Contracts Regulations 2006 set out the procedures to be followed by public authorities when they wish to procure goods, works and services. These include mechanisms by which a company may be excluded from a tender exercise, for example where a company has been convicted of a criminal offence in connection with their business or profession, or has committed an act of grave professional misconduct in the course of their business or profession.

Major Projects Authority

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many times the Major Projects Authority has met since May 2010; on what dates; if he will publish the minutes of each meeting; and if he will make a statement. [108821]

Mr Maude: The Major Projects Authority board has met seven times since May 2010. The dates were:

28 June 2011

28 July 2011

26 September 2011

1 November 2011

29 November 2011

27 March 2012

23 April 2012

We do not publish the note of the meetings.

Population

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he can give a percentage breakdown of the total population by economic status of family for each of the last 30 years. [108102]

23 May 2012 : Column 767W

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

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated May 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking us to make an estimate of the percentage breakdown of the total population by economic status of family for each of the last 30 years (108102).

The ONS regularly publishes information on the economic status of households but this data only goes back to 1996. The latest information which is for April to June of each year, up to 2011, can be found in the following table.

It shows that for 2011 there are 20.6 million households in the UK that contain at least one adult aged 16 to 64. Of these 53.5% are where all adults in the household are working, 27.7% are households containing a mixture of adults in work and out of work and 18.8% are households where no adult works.

Households (1) by combined economic activity status of household members
Not seasonally adjusted
    Mixed households (2)
April to June each year Working households Employed and unemployed Employed and inactive Employed unemployed and inactive All mixed households

Percentage

         

1996

51.7

4.0

21.9

1.5

27.4

1997

53.2

3.6

22.1

1.3

27.0

1998

53.8

3.2

22.3

1.1

26.6

1999

54.6

3.2

22.2

1.1

26.5

2000

55.7

2.9

21.9

1.0

25.8

2001

56.0

2.6

21.9

1.0

25.6

2002

56.0

2.8

21.8

1.0

25.7

2003

56.0

2.8

22.2

1.1

26.1

2004

56.2

2.8

22.3

1.0

26.1

2005

56.2

2.8

22.1

1.0

25.9

2006

56.0

3.3

22.1

1.2

26.6

2007

55.9

3.1

22.3

1.2

26.6

2008

56.0

3.2

22.2

1.2

26.6

2009

53.8

4.6

21.5

1.5

27.7

2010

53.0

4.4

21.7

1.6

27.8

2011

53.5

4.4

21.5

1.7

27.7

           

Change on year

0.5

0.0

-0.2

0.1

-0.1

           

Thousand

         

1996

9,672

745

4,103

279

5,128

1997

9,974

682

4,136

241

5,059

1998

10,177

612

4,211

204

5,027

1999

10,376

600

4,229

207

5,036

2000

10,682

554

4,208

190

4,953

2001

10,802

509

4,228

198

4,935

2002

10,914

553

4,257

191

5,001

2003

10,975

543

4,353

214

5,110

2004

11,001

545

4,366

201

5,112

2005

11,137

550

4,379

202

5,131

2006

11,141

664

4,395

237

5,296

2007

11,201

623

4,456

241

5,320

2008

11,312

643

4,495

237

5,375

2009

10,920

942

4,376

310

5,628

2010

10,812

907

4,437

336

5,680

2011

10,999

914

4,428

356

5,698

           

Change on year

187

7

-9

19

18

23 May 2012 : Column 768W

Not seasonally adjusted
  Workless households  
April to June each year All unemployed Unemployed and inactive All inactive All workless households All households

Percentage

         

1996

3.0

2.6

15.2

20.9

100.0

1997

2.6

2.2

15.0

19.8

100.0

1998

2.3

1.8

15.5

19.6

100.0

1999

2.2

1.8

15.0

19.0

100.0

2000

2.0

1.5

15.0

18.5

100.0

2001

1.8

1.4

15.3

18.5

100.0

2002

1.8

1.3

15.3

18.4

100.0

2003

1.6

1.3

15.0

17.9

100.0

2004

1.5

1.3

15.0

17.8

100.0

2005

1.5

1.1

15.2

17.9

100.0

2006

1.6

1.4

14.3

17.3

100.0

2007

1.7

1.4

14.4

17.5

100.0

2008

1.7

1.3

14.5

17.4

100.0

2009

2.4

1.9

14.2

18.5

100.0

2010

2.7

1.8

14.7

19.2

100.0

2011

2.8

1.8

14.2

18.8

100.0

           

Change on year

0.2

0.0

-0.5

-0.3

0.0

           

Thousand

         

1996

562

496

2,842

3,899

18,700

1997

479

420

2,807

3,705

18,737

1998

428

348

2,929

3,705

18,909

1999

416

337

2,853

3,606

19,019

2000

376

296

2,874

3,546

19,181

2001

338

279

2,946

3,563

19,299

2002

349

255

2,977

3,581

19,496

2003

314

255

2,928

3,497

19,582

2004

291

246

2,941

3,478

19,591

2005

299

221

3,018

3,539

19,807

2006

327

271

2,844

3,443

19,879

2007

330

278

2,893

3,502

20,023

2008

337

257

2,933

3,527

20,214

2009

493

382

2,891

3,767

20,315

2010

546

364

3,005

3,915

20,407

2011

583

372

2,923

3,877

20,574

           

Change on year

37

7

-82

-38

167

(1) Households including at least one person aged 16 to 64. (2) Mixed households contain both working and workless members. (3) While the LFS goes back further than 1996, statistics on work and worklessness only go back to this date. Source: Labour Force Survey household datasets

Public Expenditure

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will publish a statement of his Department's expenditure in each of the last 36 months; and what steps his Department takes to avoid an annual underspend. [108617]

Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office publishes a full set of accounts every year, audited by the National Audit Office. Copies of the accounts for 2009-10 and 2010-11 are available at the following links:

http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1011/hc02/0282/0282.asp

23 May 2012 : Column 769W

http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/hc1012/hc09/0999/0999.asp

The Cabinet Office accounts for 2011-12 are still being audited.

As part of my Department's transparency programme, detailed expenditure information, including all transactions over £25,000 and payments made by GPC card over £500, can be found at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/cabinet-office-spend-data

The Cabinet Office reviews its expenditure and forecasts on a regular basis, taking particular care not to over-spend against its agreed budget.

My Department does not spend simply to avoid an underspend. If, during the year the reviews of expenditure and forecast indicated an overall underspend, we would discuss the possibility of utilising the Budget Exchange mechanism with HM Treasury at the earliest opportunity.

Redundancy

Mr Redwood: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many of his Department's employees have been made redundant in the last two years. [108077]

Mr Maude: The last two years of published information on redundancies and other paid departures in the Cabinet Office are available in the Cabinet Office report and accounts for 2009-10 and 2010-11 on the Cabinet Office website at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/cabinet-office-annual-reports-and-accounts

Audited figures for the number of redundancies and other paid departures during 2011-12 are not yet available but will be published in the Cabinet Office report and accounts 2011-12.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department has taken to encourage companies which offer apprenticeships to hire the apprentice after they have completed their training. [108551]

Mr Willetts: Apprentices must be formally employed during their apprenticeship and a large number are employed on permanent contracts which continue once their training has completed.

After investing heavily in an apprentice, it makes business sense for the employer to keep employing the individual when their apprenticeship ends.

Evidence shows that apprenticeships deliver economic and social benefits to individuals in terms of higher wages and improved employment prospects; to businesses in the form of higher profits and increased competitiveness; and to the wider economy and society as a whole. We will continue to champion these benefits to encourage employers to invest in apprenticeships. The recent apprenticeship survey published on 15 May shows that 85% of apprentices who completed their apprenticeship

23 May 2012 : Column 770W

in the last 12 months were employed by an employer at the time of the survey, with a further 4% being self employed.

Apprentices: Bexley

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in the London borough of Bexley employ an apprentice. [108557]

Mr Hayes: Data is collected at the workplace rather than the business level, with some businesses having several workplaces. In Bexley local education authority there were 470 workplaces with at least one apprentice in-learning in the 2010/11 academic year.

Information on the number of apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly Statistical First Release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 29 March 2012:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

Further breakdowns are available in SFR supplementary tables:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_supplementary_tables/

Erasmus

Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which UK institutions have taken part in the European Commission's Erasmus Mundus External Co-operation Window. [108369]

Mr Willetts: Following the incorporation of the External Co-operation Window into the second phase of Erasmus Mundus (2009-13) as Action 2, Strand 1, the following UK Higher Institutions have been awarded funding to participate in the programme:

2011

The City University

University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

The university of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

The university of Glasgow

University of Glamorgan

The university of Westminster

University College London

The university of Leeds

Bournemouth University

The university of Kent

2010

University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

The City university

Swansea Metropolitan university

Oxford Brookes university

University College London

Staffordshire University

University of the West of England, Bristol

Prior to the second phase of Erasmus Mundus, the following UK Higher Education institutions participated in the External Cooperation Window:

2009

The university of Westminster

23 May 2012 : Column 771W

The university of Southampton

The university of Kent

University College London

The university of Bath

The university of Cambridge

2008

Cardiff University

The university of Westminster

The university of Brighton

The university of Southampton

The university of York

The university of Manchester

Staffordshire University

The university of Bradford

The university of Cambridge

2007

The university of Southampton

European Commission: Higher Education

Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of educational projects under the Tempus IV of the European Commission colleges that have been awarded to UK universities. [108364]

Mr Willetts: The deadline for the submission of applications for the fifth round of Tempus IV was 23 February 2012.

In all, 530 proposals were received by the Commission.

180 proposals involved a UK higher education institution (32 proposals are to be coordinated by a UK higher education institution).

These proposals are currently being evaluated by the Commission. The evaluation committee is due to conclude the assessment of proposals by 6 July 2012.

The results for previous rounds are as follows:

Round Total selected proposals Selected proposals involving a UK higher education institution

4

62

24

3

64

19

2

69

24

1

84

20

Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will take steps to increase the proportion of the European Commission's Tempus IV projects being signed with UK institutions. [108368]

Mr Willetts: As the UK's national contact point, the British Council is responsible for supporting UK higher education institutions wishing to participate, or currently participating in Tempus.

In 2012/13 the British Council will support UK higher education institutions (HEIs) as follows:

Provide information to the network of HEI's on Tempus and opportunities to apply for Tempus funding via online media including web content and e-flyers.

Organise events bringing together representatives of UK HEI's, experienced Tempus practitioners, members of the UK team

23 May 2012 : Column 772W

of Bologna Experts and representatives of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency. These events are designed to promote programmes funded by the European Commission including Tempus, and provide practical information to support those institutions considering applying. These events will include a Tempus information day which will be widely promoted to UK HEI's and will be held shortly after the invitation to submit applications is announced by the European Commission.

Arrange for members of the UK team of Bologna Experts to visit HEI's to provide counselling sessions and present workshops on the opportunities available to institutions through European Commission funded programmes including Tempus.

Offer direct support and guidance to institutions throughout the year including those currently participating in the Tempus programme and those interested in submitting an application.

Higher Education: Risk Assessments

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to his answer of 16 May 2012, Official Report, column 137W, on risk assessment, what risk registers his Department holds in relation to universities; and if he will make a statement. [109089]

Mr Willetts: BIS provides support to universities for teaching and research. Each of the workstreams within this support system has in place a programme with the appropriate governance, project management and assurance structures and processes to identify, manage and escalate risks. BIS does not hold risk registers for individual universities.

Departmental Staff

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many full-time equivalent employees his Department employed in May 2010; and how many it employed at the latest period for which figures are available. [108159]

Norman Lamb: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) employed 3,492 full-time equivalent employees in May 2010. The latest available figures, as at March 2012, show BIS employs 2,930 full-time equivalent employees. The figures include UK Trade and Investment.

Manufacturing Industries

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the report, Manufacturing the Future, by BDO LLP; and whether he plans to implement the recommendations of the report relating to (a) the establishment of an industrial bank, (b) working with the Department for Education to ensure the education system develops the skills needed for manufacturing and engineering, (c) more patriotism in the awarding of Government contracts and (d) greater innovation by his Department in providing funding support for the manufacturing and engineering sector. [108392]

Mr Prisk: We are grateful to BDO LLP for their contribution to the debate on how we grow manufacturing in the UK. The Government fully recognise the importance of manufacturing, its vital contribution to the growth

23 May 2012 : Column 773W

of a more sustainable UK economy and its key role in rebalancing the economy, which is why it remains central to the Strategy for Growth. In respect of the specific areas highlighted by the hon. Member, the Government are acting as follows:

(a) Ensuring that businesses are able to access the credit they need to start and grow is a Government priority. Discussion about an industrial bank is not new. It is right that the Government actively consider all of the available options to support the economic recovery.

(b) BIS works closely with the Department for Education to ensure Government policies to attract students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects throughout their educational careers are coherent. BIS's partnership with the Department for Education (DFE) also looks to ensure that the education system delivers the skills needed by the manufacturing and engineering sectors. For example at a meeting on 8 May chaired by the Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, my hon. Friend the Member for South Holland and The Deepings (Mr Hayes), industry and awarding organisations agreed their involvement in the development of new qualifications which will reflect the quality and attractiveness of the Engineering Diploma and Principal Learning in Engineering, while recognising the learning time involved in delivering this.

(c) On procurement, the Government have a responsibility to purchase high quality goods and services which offer value for money for the UK taxpayer. But we also want to do this in a way that supports UK-based business in key growth areas. We believe the current framework is well suited to help us do that.

In November, we announced that we would take a new approach to procurement that takes greater consideration of its impact on UK-based businesses. We published a forward programme of work across a number of sectors, updated with an additional £70 billion in April, and we will continue to expand upon this. This will provide greater certainty to industry. But we will also use this information to develop sector strategies in partnership with industry, to strengthen supply chains in the UK.

We want the public sector to be a responsible customer and develop a collaborative long-term relationship with our supply chain. This can help businesses plan for and develop the long-term capabilities the UK needs.

Further information can be found at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/news/70-billion-potential-government-business-published-boost-uk-growth

(d) The best ways in which the Government can support the manufacturing and engineering sectors is at the heart of a range of ongoing discussions between Government and industry which inform all our activity. We have already hosted two manufacturing summits, and through joint industry/government councils and other forums, we are developing strategies in key sectors, including Automotive, Aerospace and Maritime.

In the Budget we were able to respond to some of the issues raised in these discussions with:

An ambition to increase exports from £488 billion in 2011 to £1 trillion by 2020 as part of the National Export Challenge;

Investment of £60 million to establish a UK centre for aerodynamics to open in 2012-13 to support innovation in aerospace technology and commercialise new ideas;

23 May 2012 : Column 774W

Funding of £100 million to support investment in major new university research facilities, bids in 2012-13 with co-investment from the private sector;

The final two Catapult Centres, in Transport Systems and Future Cities;

A cut in corporation tax of an additional 1% this year so that it falls to 22% by 2014, meaning the UK's main rate will the lowest in the G7 and the 4th lowest in the G20;

The Patent Box, which will be introduced from April 2013, will give a reduced rate of 10% corporation tax on profits from patents and certain other similar types of intellectual property.

It is vital that we rebuild manufacturing supply chains. We have already committed £7 million for supply chain activity to the Manufacturing Advisory Service,

www.mymas.org

which was relaunched in January. And following the second manufacturing summit in February we launched the £125 million Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, which will be used to improve the global competitiveness of UK advanced manufacturing supply chains by supporting innovative projects where the UK is well placed to take a global lead. The competition has two funding streams with deadlines for applications falling in June and September. More details can be found on the Technology Strategy Board website:

http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/advanced-manufacturing-supply-chain-initiative.ashx

At the manufacturing summit in February, we announced an additional £1 billion for a further round of the Regional Growth Fund—taking the fund total to £2.4 billion. Manufacturing is one of the biggest winners so far, and was allocated around £420 million in the first two rounds. More information can be found at:

www.bis.gov.uk/rgf

The closing date for applications is 13 June.

New Businesses

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of new business mentors recruited in (a) Lancashire, (b) the North West and (c) England in the latest period for which figures are available. [109064]

Mr Prisk: Get Mentoring is a SFEDI-led (Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative) project, supported by grant funding (from both BIS and the Government Equalities Office), to recruit and train 15,000 volunteer business mentors from the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) community.

To date, over 11,000 volunteers have been recruited through this initiative, around 12% of whom are based in the north west. This estimate is only approximate and based on the location of the workshop they attended. We do not currently have the data to ascertain how many were recruited from Lancashire specifically.

North Africa and Middle East

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to encourage the use of renewable energy and recycling in the middle east and north Africa. [108224]

23 May 2012 : Column 775W

Mr Prisk: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department of Energy and Climate Change lead the Government's international efforts to promote sustainable economic growth around the world, including secure and affordable energy, resource efficiency and low carbon solutions.

UK Trade & Investment supports this work by promoting UK capability in the renewable and environment sectors. Current initiatives include a visit to the UK for the All-Energy Exhibition and Conference, the UK's largest renewable energy event, by UKTI commercial officers from north Africa and the middle east; a visit by UK companies to Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia focusing on solar and onshore wind generation; and we shall use the British Business Embassy at Lancaster House during the Olympics to showcase UK capabilities in renewable energy and recycling to a global audience, including senior public and private sector decision makers from the middle east and north Africa.

Patents: EU Action

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress he has made on the UK's bid to host the European Patent Court; and if he will make a statement. [109108]

Norman Lamb: The Government want to see a Europe-wide patent system that brings real benefits for innovative businesses, consumers and the economy. Negotiations on the whole package of European patent reform, including the unitary patent and unified patent court, are still ongoing. The location of the central division of the unified patent court is an important issue which is still being discussed. It is also important that we get the details of how the court will work right.

The Government have made a strong case for the UK to host the seat of the central division of the patent court. This was set out in the letter the Minister for intellectual property, my noble Friend Baroness Wilcox, sent to the Polish Government, who were then coordinating the negotiations, in December 2011.

The Danish Government, who are currently coordinating the negotiations, are trying to agree a deal on the patent court by June this year. We are an active and positive participant in those ongoing discussions and remain strongly committed to locating the central division of the unified patent court in the UK. We are also determined that the details of the proposals deliver the most effective arrangements for UK business and their representatives who will use the court.

Redundancy

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many of his Department's employees have been made redundant in the last two years. [108065]

Norman Lamb: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) ran a voluntary exit scheme in September-October 2010, under which 330 staff left the Department.

In February 2011 the Department launched a redundancy scheme which resulted in a further 259 staff leaving. 242 of these staff left on voluntary redundancy terms while the remaining 17 were made compulsory redundant.

23 May 2012 : Column 776W

The payments were all made in accordance with the Civil Service Compensation Scheme rules that are administered by the Cabinet Office.

Retail Trade: Newspaper Press

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will take steps to support small retailers and newsagents following the 2009 Office of Fair Trading decision not to refer the newspaper and magazine distribution sector to the Competition Commission. [108637]

Norman Lamb: The Office of Fair Trading is the UK's competition and consumer protection authority, with responsibilities covering the whole economy.

The Government are actively working to help all retailers. Retail is vitally important to local and national economies. This was why it was chosen to be one of the first sectors to undergo the growth review process, and was the first sector to undergo the Red Tape Challenge. These initiatives identified a number of barriers to successful retail performance and growth, which the Government are working to address.

Through the growth review the Government have committed to extending small business rate relief and announced that 160 regulations impacting on retailers or their customers will be scrapped or simplified. We are also conducting a review of employment law.

In March, the Government's formal response to the recommendations made by Mary Portas in her report, “An Independent Review into the Future of our High Streets”, was published by the Department for Communities and Local Government

The report contained 28 recommendations, raising a number of important issues affecting today's high streets and provided some useful and interesting ways in which Government, local authorities, business and the public can begin to address them.

The Department for Communities and Local Government took immediate action in implementing some of the recommendations, including on high street pilots.

BIS lead on three recommendations, de-regulation/Red Tape Challenge, Mentoring and Company Reporting.

Retailers are also able to benefit from the same range of support offered by BIS to help small and medium businesses to start and thrive through:

Improved access to finance.

A more positive business environment which supports growth and ease of starting a business, and where new businesses and economic opportunities are more evenly shared between regions and industries.

A major programme to reform the way that people running a business get the information, guidance and support they need to start and grow a business.

Building a more entrepreneurial culture, equipping people with the skills and ambition to start a business.

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what meetings he has had to discuss competition issues in the newspaper and magazine supply chain with representatives from (a) newspaper and magazine publishers, (b) newspaper wholesalers and (c) newspaper and magazine retailers representatives. [108638]

23 May 2012 : Column 777W

Norman Lamb: Issues relating to competition in the newspaper and magazine sector are a matter for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. As such I have not met representatives of the industry to discuss competition issues.

23 May 2012 : Column 778W

A quarterly-updated list of all BIS ministerial meetings with external organisations is also available at:

http://www.data.gov.uk/dataset/disclosure-ministerial-hospitality-received-department-for-business