Renewable Energy: Feed-in Tariffs

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what proportion of feed-in tariff payments for (a) solar and (b) wind installations have been paid on the measured input of electricity to the grid to date. [111584]

Gregory Barker: Ofgem holds data on payments made by FITs suppliers up to 31 December 2011. For the period from the beginning of the feed-in tariffs scheme (1 April 2010) until that date, the total payments made by FITs suppliers for electricity exported from FITs installations was £2,679,226.81. A significant proportion of this was for “deemed” exports for domestic installations without export meters. £613,291.37 was for exports to the grid from larger, metered installations.

Information on payments per technology is not available; though solar PV currently accounts for the substantial majority of FITs payments.

Wind Power

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans he has to build wind energy storage; and how such storage will be funded. [111671]

Charles Hendry: The building of new wind energy storage is a commercial decision for business. However, given the potential role for storage to support the balancing of the supply and demand of electricity, DECC has identified storage as one of the specific technology areas which should be supported with energy

13 Jun 2012 : Column 497W

innovation funding—from the over £200 million allocated for the Department to support low-carbon technologies over the four financial years from April 2011.

Culture, Media and Sport

Broadband: Devon

Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent progress has been made on the delivery of superfast broadband in Devon. [108151]

Mr Vaizey: The Devon and Somerset project has commenced its procurement process and held a market warming event with suppliers on 24 April 2012. In addition, following further analysis of Devon's needs, we have allocated Connecting Devon and Somerset an additional £171 million to address the issue of exchange only lines in Devon, taking the total allocation for Devon, Somerset, Plymouth, Torbay, North Somerset, and Bath and North East Somerset to £33.72 million. The funding is subject to funding from local sources being made available to match it.

Justice

Disclosure of Information

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on the updating of published data in line with the Government's transparency agenda in each month since September 2011. [110721]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: Central records on the staff time spent on collecting, collating, redacting and updating transparency data, across Ministry of Justice business groups, each month since September 2011 are not routinely kept. To provide a reasonable cost estimate would involve disproportionate cost. However, as part of the NAO's Implementing Transparency report the department estimated the cost of providing corporate data as set out in the Prime Minister's open letter of May 2010 on Open Data and Transparency to be £83,806 for 2011-12.

Driving Offences: Insurance

Karl McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost was of court proceedings arising from the trial of people accused of being uninsured drivers in the years (a) 1997, (b) 2002 and (c) 2011; and if he will estimate the time taken by such proceedings in each year. [110791]

Mr Djanogly: The Ministry of Justice has no records relating to the costs of operating magistrates courts prior to the creation of Her Majesty's Courts Service on 1 April 2005. The timings associated with the court records maintained by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) do not provide a reliable basis for the estimation of the time taken by particular types of proceedings. As a result it is not possible to provide estimates of court costs or time for 1997 or 2002.

13 Jun 2012 : Column 498W

HMCTS has derived average court timings from survey data as an element of its activity based costing. Based on these data the estimated direct court and bench costs, excluding non-cash expenditure such as depreciation, of court proceedings relating to people accused of being uninsured drivers in 2011 was £6.9 million. The estimated time taken by such proceedings was 21,600 hours.

Freedom of Information

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he plans to bring forward proposals to extend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to companies working for government departments. [110352]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: Already under the Government’s transparency agenda a wide range of contracts between public bodies and private contractors are made public. For example, central Government contracts over £10,000 and local government contracts over £500 are now proactively published.

The Government’s “Open Data Consultation” sought views on the types of organisations to which an Open Data policy would apply. A summary of the responses has been published at

www.data.gov.uk

The Freedom of Information Act itself is subject to post-legislative scrutiny by the Justice Select Committee to see how it is working in practice.

The Government will consider the recommendations of the Committee along with the evidence of the Open Data consultation, before bringing forward any proposals for future policy on freedom of information.

Human Trafficking: Victim Support

Elizabeth Truss: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) nationality and (b) gender was of each suspected victim of trafficking referred to the Trafficking Victim Support scheme operated by the Salvation Army in April 2012; in which region each of the suspected victims was found; and which agency referred each case to the scheme. [111108]

Mr Blunt: In April 2012 there were 41 referrals to the Government-funded support service for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales administered by the Salvation Army. Details are provided in the following table.

April 2012
NationalityGenderRegionReferring agency

Albanian

Female

South East

Social services

Albanian

Female

South East

NGO

Albanian

Female

Wales

NGO

Chinese

Female

West Midlands

NGO

Chinese

Female

South East

NGO

Chinese

Female

Yorkshire

UKBA

Chinese

Male

North West

UKBA

Congolese

Female

South East

Social services

Czech

Male

Yorkshire

Local authority

Czech

Female

South East

Police

13 Jun 2012 : Column 499W

Egyptian

Female

South East

Police

Hungarian

Male

Yorkshire

Police

Hungarian

Female

Yorkshire

Police

Hungarian

Male

Yorkshire

Police

Hungarian

Male

Yorkshire

Police

Indian

Male

North West

UKBA

Latvian

Male

North East

NGO

Lithuanian

Male

South East

NGO

Lithuanian

Female

South East

Self-referral

Lithuanian

Male

South East

Self-referral

Lithuanian

Female

West Midlands

Probation service

Nigerian

Female

South East

Police

Nigerian

Female

South East

NGO

Nigerian

Female

North East

Police

Nigerian

Female

South East

NGO

Nigerian

Female

Yorkshire

UKBA

Nigerian

Female

North West

UKBA

Not known

Male

South East

Social services

Not known

Female

Not known

Self-referral

Portuguese

Female

South East

Police

Portuguese

Female

South East

Police

Romanian

Female

West Midlands

NGO

Romanian

Male

South East

Police

Sierra Leone

Female

South East

NGO

Slovakian

Male

South East

Probation service

Slovakian

Female

South East

NGO

Somali

Male

East Midlands

UKBA

Ugandan

Female

South East

NGO

UK

Male

East

Police

UK

Female

North East

NGO

Vietnamese

Female

South East

UKBA

Education

Child Protection

Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what discussions he has had in his Department on the Working Together statutory guidance; [109906]

(2) whether he plans to revise the Working Together statutory guidance; [109907]

(3) what discussions have taken place in his Department on revising the 2010 statutory guidance on Working together to safeguard children; [111040]

(4) what plans he has for revising the 2010 statutory guidance on Working together to safeguard children. [111041]

Tim Loughton: The Government accepted Professor Eileen Munro's recommendation, made in her final report into the review of Child Protection ‘A child-centred system’, that a major, revision of the statutory guidance ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ is needed.

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Professor Munro argues that ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ has become too long to be practically useful and that it hinders the use of professional judgment. She believes the current guidance has led to a culture of compliance and dependency which has stifled individual professional judgment and local innovation.

We launched a consultation on 12 June:

‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’: statutory guidance on what is expected of organisations, individually and jointly, to safeguard and promote the welfare of children;

‘Managing individual cases: the Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families’: statutory guidance on undertaking assessments of children in need; and

‘Statutory Guidance on Learning and Improvement’: statutory guidance on arrangements for Serious Case Reviews, reviews of child deaths and other learning processes led by Local Safeguarding Children Boards:

The Government are determined to take a new approach to statutory guidance that changes behaviour and helps create a culture in which professional judgment and local innovation are allowed to flourish.

In order to develop the guidance on which we are now consulting a multi-disciplinary Professional Advisory Group was convened and has informed the Department's work on revisions to the statutory guidance.

The three new documents provide essential clarity on requirements while allowing scope for professional judgment and innovation. I believe they will drive the behaviours that will help protect more children. The closing date for the consultation is 4 September.

School Examinations

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of recent trends in the standard of examinations in schools. [110035]

Mr Gibb: Ofqual is responsible for ensuring that qualifications and assessments are of a high quality and an appropriate standard. It must also safeguard and maintain examination standards over time. Glenys Stacey, Ofqual's Chief Regulator, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply has been placed in the House Libraries.

Letter from Glenys Stacey, dated 11 June 2012:

I am writing in response to your parliamentary question about what assessment the Secretary of State has made of recent trends in the standard of examinations in schools. We have been asked to respond on his behalf.

As part of our work to maintain standards, we carry out regular reviews to look at the standards of qualifications in different years. We aim to judge whether standards have been maintained over time and to compare standards between awarding organisations.

We use the findings from these reviews to inform our wider work, particularly when we are developing regulations for future qualifications.

Standards reviews look at different specifications within a qualification, the question papers and any other assessments, as well as student work, and we collate and analyse the views of a number of subject specialists. We focus on the relative demand of the qualifications. We judge demand in terms of the following:

specification factors, including assessment objectives, content and structure;

assessment factors, including what content is assessed and how, the weighting of each component and how the assessments are marked; and

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student performance factors, including how students at particular grades responded to the assessments.

We collect materials on a regular basis from the five awarding organisations (AQA, CCEA, Edexcel, OCR and WJEC) where they offer the qualifications being reviewed. Not all awarding organisations offer all subjects. Where an awarding organisation offers more than one specification in a subject, we collect materials for the largest entry specification. The materials we look at include the specification, question papers and mark schemes, reports of examiners, student work and statistical evidence. We use subject experts to carry out the reviews. These subject experts are independent but we also include representatives from the awarding organisations and subject associations/learned societies.

We have recently completed work on seven standards reviews. We compared the standards of qualifications across years in the following subjects. In some cases the two qualifications were based on the same specification; in other cases there was a specification change in the meantime.

1. GCSE biology 2003 and 2008

2. GCSE chemistry 2003 and 2008

3. GCSE mathematics 2004 and 2008

4. A level biology 2003 and 2008

5. A level chemistry 2003 and 2008

6. A level critical thinking 2010

7. A level geography 2001 and 2010

In the GCSEs we reviewed (biology, chemistry and mathematics) we found that changes to the structure of the assessments, rather than changes to the content, reduced the demand of some qualifications. These qualifications have since been replaced with revised specifications. In the case of the sciences, where the new specifications have been used since September 2011, these new qualifications were designed to be more demanding.

In the A level subjects we reviewed, in general we found that changes to the way the content was assessed had an impact on demand, in many cases reducing it. In two of the reviews (biology and chemistry) the specifications were the same for both years. We found that the demand in 2008 was lower than in 2003, usually because the structure of the assessments had changed. Often there were more short answer, structured questions. As a result, students did not have as many opportunities to show their higher order skills in 2008. These specifications have since been replaced.

In geography there were changes to the specifications between 2001 and 2010. Changes to the content meant that some specifications had less scientific content in 2010. We found that the removal of coursework in 2010 reduced the overall demand of the qualification and may have meant students were less well prepared for higher education.

We also reviewed critical thinking qualifications for a single year (2010). The qualifications are offered by only two awarding organisations. We found some variation in the content of the two specifications but overall we found that the qualifications were comparable.

GCSEs will be revised following the National Curriculum Review in England and A levels will also be revised in the near future. We will use the findings from these reviews to inform the development of regulations for those new qualifications.

If you would like further information on this part of our work, please do get in touch with our Director of Standards, Dennis Opposs on 02476 716647 or at:

[email protected]

Attorney-General

Departmental Staff

Mr Thomas: To ask the Attorney-General what target he has set to reduce headcount across the Law Officers' Departments and executive agency in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [110279]

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The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) planned to reduce headcount by 540 in 2011-12; and has plans to reduce headcount by a further 250 in the current financial year. The CPS did not set a target for 2010-11.

Since 2010 the remaining Law Officers' Departments have been able to meet their efficiency targets without the need to set targets to reduce headcount. No targets have been set for 2012-13.

Public Expenditure

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Attorney-General if he will publish a statement of the Law Officers' Departments expenditure in each of the last 36 months; and what steps his Department takes to avoid an annual underspend. [108620]

The Solicitor-General: Tables containing the information requested have been placed in the Library of the House.

The Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSol) reviews its progress on delivering objectives, changes to priorities, and expenditure against budget on a monthly basis. In addition each quarter TSol forecasts and reviews its annual resource outturn. These reviews inform decisions on the reallocation and reprioritisation of resources throughout the year. The spending review settlements for the Attorney-General's Office and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate are both managed and reported on by TSol.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) aims to spend no less and no more than is needed to fulfil its statutory functions. To achieve this, the CPS maintains an effective system of financial control and closely monitors expenditure against its internal budgets and its overall Vote. The primary purpose of this system is not to avoid an under spend but to ensure that resources are used to the best effect and that public funds are spent wisely and in accordance with Managing Public Money.

The Serious Fraud Office continues to innovate so that it can deliver more for less and improve its service for the victims of economic crime. There is considerable challenge in forecasting and managing income and expenditure linked to processing major cases through the criminal justice system. Cases and finances are regularly monitored and reviewed in order to optimise value for money within existing funding levels.

Defence

Afghanistan

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many improvised explosive devices (a) were defused and (b) exploded in Afghanistan in each month since August 2011. [110012]

Nick Harvey: The information requested is not held centrally for the whole of Afghanistan. Data are more readily available for the Task Force Helmand area of operations in Helmand province, which includes the majority of UK forces deployed to Afghanistan.

The figures for improvised explosive device (IED) ‘finds’ in the following table refers to devices which have been found by, or reported to, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) units in the Task Force Helmand

13 Jun 2012 : Column 503W

area of operations. Similarly, the figures for ‘explosions’ refer to explosions that have subsequently been reported by ISAF units operating within the Task Force Helmand area of operations. These includes both ‘laid’ IEDs and suicide (both vehicle and person-borne) devices.

MonthIED findsIED explosions

2011

  

August

88

77

September

138

38

October

102

47

November

144

41

December

127

61

   

2012

  

January

123

57

February

125

40

March

126

44

April

138

39

For IED finds, information is not held on what action was subsequently taken, although the possible courses of action include controlled detonation of the IED.

These data are based on information derived from a number of sources and can only be an estimate. Not least this is because of the difficulties in ensuring a consistent interpretation of the basis for collating statistics in what is a complex, fast-moving, multinational operational environment.

Aircraft Carriers

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what contracts his Department has agreed relating exclusively to the conversion of the aircraft carrier to a Catapult Assisted Take Off Barrier Arrested Recovery configuration since May 2010; and what the value was of each contract; [110280]

(2) how much his Department has spent on feasibility studies on conversion of the aircraft carrier to a Catapult Assisted Take Off Barrier Arrested Recovery configuration since May 2010; [110281]

(3) how much was spent on the concept development phase looking at the installation of catapult and arrestor gear; [110777]

(4) what the total cost to his Department was of preparatory work on installing catapult and arrestor gear on a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier; [108867]

(5) what the cost was of renegotiating contracts associated with the installation of catapult and arrestor gear on one Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier. [109272]

Peter Luff [holding answers 22 and 24 May 2012 (4) and (5)]:As part of our conversion investigations we had entered into a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with the US for the supply of technical information, design and engineering data for Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment. We had also tasked the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA), under the auspices of the existing carrier build contract, to develop a revised ship design, updated build strategy and consider options for conversion.

13 Jun 2012 : Column 504W

Against this work, we have committed up to £39 million to the end of April 2012 with both the US Department of Defense (DoD) and UK Aircraft Carrier Alliance, and £1 million on an air-to-air refuelling study. There will be some additional costs as we close down this activity but I cannot release our estimate of these costs now as this would prejudice our negotiations.

We did not order any equipment as part of these investigations into the conversion of the operational aircraft carrier. The decision to revert to purchase of the STOVL F-35B variant of Joint Strike Fighter was made before it was necessary to commit to long lead items for the catapults and arrestor gear.

Data Protection

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many incidents of the loss of confidential data held by his Department have been reported in each of the last (a) two years and (b) 12 months. [110114]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) takes any attacks on, or misuse of, its information, networks and associated media storage devices very seriously and has robust procedures in place to militate against and investigate such occurrences. Furthermore, new processes, instructions and technological aids are continually being implemented to mitigate human errors and raise the awareness of every individual in the MOD with regards to cyber security. The following tables list, by year, the number of reported losses of confidential and personal data centrally reported within the MOD from 1 January 2010 to 29 May 2012. Figures will continue to be adjusted to incorporate subsequent recoveries of items, the reporting of additional losses and subsequent clarification of historic incidents. The following figures reflect the latest data held by the Joint Security Co-ordination Centre (JSyCC) as of 29 May 2012.

In a number of these cases, the documents were historical and therefore the original protective marking would have been eligible to be considered for downgrading. This may reduce any risk of such compromises. A number of these incidents came to light as a consequence of thorough mustering of protectively marked information and revised MOD data management practices.

It is likely that a significant number of instances relate to records of the destruction of documents not being accurately maintained, rather than documents actually having gone missing.

Table 1 details reported incidents of the loss of confidential data in each of the last two years (2010 and 2011). Also included are incident numbers from 1 January 2012 to 29 May 2012:

Table 1: Loss of confidential data by year
 Total

2010

35

2011

25

2012

21

Table 2 details reported incidents of the loss of confidential data in each of the last 12 months:

13 Jun 2012 : Column 505W

Table 2: Loss of confidential data by month
MonthTotal

June 2011

2

July 2011

0

August 2011

5

September 2011

2

October 2011

2

November 2011

3

December 2011

0

January 2012

13

February 2012

3

March 2012

0

April 2012

3

May 2012

2

Notes: 1. These are only the incidents that were reported and may not represent the true number of losses during this time. 2. Of the 81 incidents listed in Table 1, 25 remain under investigation. These totals may also include some losses relating to accounting anomalies during force rotation and/or disposal activities.

Illegal Immigrants

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many staff his Department and its agencies have appointed who were later discovered to be illegal immigrants since 2010. [110013]

Mr Robathan: The immigration status of individuals is a matter for the UK Border Agency. I am aware of one incident involving a trainee suspected of being an illegal immigrant who has since been apprehended by the civil authorities.

Reserve Forces

Michael Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many service personnel from the Army Reserve are undergoing training; [111287]

(2) how many service personnel from the Army Reserve are available for immediate deployment. [111288]

Nick Harvey: The Army Reserve comprises members of the Territorial Army and the Regular Reserve.

Members of the Territorial Army undergo training throughout their career depending on the Army's operational commitments. Once a member of the Territorial Army is mobilised for deployment they will receive the appropriate additional training for their deployed role.

The Regular Reserve (personnel who have recently left the Army and held on the reserve list) receive training for specific roles as and when they are called upon.

There are 85 members of the Territorial Army held at immediate readiness (defined as between 12 and 24 hours notice) for UK operations.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Atos

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the total monetary value is of each contract between his Department and Atos. [111184]

13 Jun 2012 : Column 506W

Norman Lamb: Central records indicate that the Department has made no payments to Atos in the current financial year.

Bank Cards: Fees and Charges

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) with reference to the announcement by the Financial Secretary on 23 December 2011 on legislation to tackle excessive card surcharges, when he expects to publish the consultation on implementing Article 19 of the Consumer Rights Directive; [110163]

(2) with reference to the announcement by the Financial Secretary on 23 December 2011 on legislation to tackle excessive card surcharges, whether he plans to bring forward proposals to ban excessive debit and credit card charges by 31 December 2012. [110164]

Norman Lamb: The EU Consumer Rights Directive will require member states to prohibit traders from charging consumers fees that exceed the costs borne by the trader for the use of a given means of payment. This will ban excessive payment surcharges in areas within scope of the Directive. The Government supported the inclusion of this provision in the Directive. The deadline for the Directive to take effect in national law is 13 June 2014.

The Government shares consumers’ concerns about the high level of payment surcharges imposed by some businesses. On 23 December 2011 we announced our intention to consult on implementing the payment surcharges provision of the Consumer Rights Directive ahead of the June 2014 deadline. We intend to issue a full 12 week consultation in the summer to seek views on the timing of implementation and other details on how the provision should be applied. Responses to the consultation will inform our decision on timing and our guidance to businesses.

Business: West Midlands

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assistance his Department provided to small and medium-sized enterprises located in (a) Birmingham and (b) the West Midlands during the last 18 months. [110706]

Mr Prisk: We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business, and for the next decade to be the most entrepreneurial and dynamic in Britain's history. That is why, in January, the Prime Minister launched “Business in You”, a major year-long campaign, to inspire people to realise their business ambitions and to highlight the range of support available for start-ups and growing businesses.

We have introduced a range of measures to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK:

Ensuring SMES can access the support and advice they need to start and grow

We have transformed the way that we enable people to access the information, guidance and advice they need to start and grow a business. We have put in place a range of services including:

13 Jun 2012 : Column 507W

An improved

www.businesslink.gov.uk

website including: a new Growth and Improvement Service and “My New Business”, a comprehensive start-up service.

A Business Link Helpline which will support those who are unable to access the internet.

A mentoring portal

www.mentorsme.co.uk

providing an easy route to find experienced business mentors.

A new three year GrowthAccelerator programme, providing high quality coaching support for up to 26,000 SMEs with high growth potential.

Ensuring businesses can access the finance they need

Ensuring the flow of credit to viable SMEs is essential for supporting growth and is a core priority for this Government. Government has:

Launched the National Loan Guarantee Scheme: up to £20 billion of guarantees for bank funding will be available over two years allowing banks to offer lower cost lending to SMEs.

Increased the funds available to invest through the Business Finance Partnership (BFP) to £1.2 billion. Government has invited the first round of proposals to help businesses access non-bank finance through the BFP, and will allocate £100 million of the BFP to invest through non-traditional lending channels.

Announced the continuation of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme until 2014/15, providing, subject to demand, over £2 billion in total over the next four years.

Announced continuation of the Government's Enterprise Capital Funds programme, increasing our commitment by £200 million over the next four years, providing for more than £300 million of venture capital investment to address the equity gap for early stage innovative SMEs.

Launched a new Start-Up Loan Scheme aimed at 18 to 24-year-olds setting up a new business.

Announced a new £50 million Business Angel Co-Investment Fund to encourage Business Angel investment.

Welcomed the report of the industry review of non-bank lending chaired by Tim Breedon and will take forward its recommendations over the course of this year, including: considering how to simplify access to Government support for smaller businesses; encouraging prompt payment by larger firms; and supporting industry work to remove barriers to alternative sources of finance.

Announced a £2.4 billion fund Regional Growth Fund operating across England from 2011 to 2015. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment creating economic growth and sustainable employment.

Ensuring that regulation supports business growth

Introduced a 'one-in, one-out' rule whereby no new regulations which impose costs on businesses can be brought in without regulation of an equivalent value being removed.

Introduced a three-year moratorium on new domestic regulation affecting micro businesses and genuine start-ups.

The Red Tape Challenge is tackling the stock of regulation via a comprehensive thematic review which aims to identify regulations that could be removed, simplified or done in a different way. By the end of December 2011 we had scrapped or simplified over 600 regulations.

Reforming the way in which regulations are implemented, including a review of regulators to ensure enforcement arrangements are appropriate and proportionate. Government will also launch sector-based reviews of regulation to ensure it is enforced at the lowest possible cost to business.

To reduce barriers to businesses taking on new staff Government has announced significant deregulation of employment law.

Encouraging exporting SMEs

Government will spend £35 million to double, from 25,000 to 50,000, the number of SMEs that UKTI supports a year by 2015. Many components of the UKTI product are aimed at SMEs:

13 Jun 2012 : Column 508W

Passport to Export is a trade development programme offering new and inexperienced exporters help and support to build the capability to start exporting proactively and make their first visit to an export market. Launched in 2001, it has helped around 14,000 SMEs as of January 2012.

Gateway to Global Growth offers experienced SME exporters the opportunity to increase their exporting skills and awareness of what is on offer from UKTI and private sector suppliers. The aim is to help them enter more difficult markets or expand in existing ones.

Market Visit Support provides assistance to new to export and/or new to market SMEs visiting overseas markets, individually or in groups as part of their trade development process.

Budget 2012 set out an ambition to more than double annual UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020 through additional measures including expanding the overseas role of UK Export Finance to enable it to develop finance packages that could help UK exporters secure opportunities identified through UK Trade & Investment's High Value Opportunities programme; helping secure temporary private sector office space overseas for new UK exporters in high growth countries where such services are difficult to obtain; and continuing to increase UK Export Finance's regional presence in the UK to support SMEs seeking trade finance.

In addition to this national support, there is specific support for SMEs across Birmingham and the West Midlands, including:

The Birmingham Post Business Growth Fund, funded by the Regional Growth Fund, has been set up to provide support for SMEs in Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry. Funding of £10-£100,000 is available to firms which offer significant potential for long-term economic growth and the creation of additional private sector jobs.

The Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) supports investment in improved skills and training support, research and development and capital equipment. Stream 2 funding is available to automotive and aerospace suppliers in three Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas in the West Midlands (Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham and Solihull) as well as Liverpool city region. Stream 2 funding is managed by Birmingham city council.

The re-launched Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) provides a range of specialist assistance to manufacturing businesses across England, including linking SMEs with the Apprenticeship programme delivering a minimum of 1,250 engineering and manufacturing apprenticeships annually. As one of the UK's main manufacturing regions the West Midlands is expected to be a major beneficiary of the new MAS.

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) is focusing on how it can support the growth of SMEs. It has established a Business Hub where the local authority and a number of business organisations are co-located, effectively a one-stop shop for small businesses. The LEP is also a pathfinder on engaging mid-sized businesses and is preparing a programme of activity to support these businesses.

The Marches (Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin) LEP has received Regional Growth Fund support for a 'redundant buildings programme', which aims to renovate disused buildings for SME and start-up space.

Stoke and Staffordshire LEP has created a 'single point of contact' business helpline to channel business queries to the most appropriate organisation to deal with them, and promotes business to business mentoring through North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce.

Conditions of Employment

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to make it easier for businesses to (a) recruit new employees and (b) dismiss employees who are not able to meet the requirements of the job. [109269]

13 Jun 2012 : Column 509W

Norman Lamb: [holding answer 24 May 2012]: The information requested is as follows:

(a) As part of the Employment Law Review, we have introduced a number of reforms to give confidence to employers to take on staff. These include launching an online tool advising employers on ‘Taking on an Employee’:

http://www.improve.businesslink.gov.uk/resources/tools/taking-employee

extending the qualifying period for Unfair Dismissal from one to two years, and steps to streamline the Employment Tribunals system.

(b) We launched a Call for Evidence in March on dismissal processes including the option for Compensated No Fault Dismissal for micro-businesses and a review of the ACAS Code of Practice on Discipline and Grievance. This closed on 8 June.

The Government is currently taking forward the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to implement further reforms to employment-related laws. A recent summary can be found at:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/e/12-p136-employment-law-review-2012.pdf

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills for what reasons his Department limited its consultation on compensated no-fault dismissal to employees at micro businesses; on what date the decision was taken; and by which Department. [110603]

Norman Lamb: The reasons for calling for evidence on the concept of no fault dismissal only in relation to micro businesses are set out in the call for evidence document published on 15 March 2012. The document states that:

"The Government recognises that micro businesses are likely to find it more difficult to access expert human resource and legal advice. The effect of this is that they are likely to feel less confident in applying detailed disciplinary procedures and have a greater fear of employment tribunal claims."

The Government's decision to publish a call for evidence relating to micro businesses was taken in preparation for, and announced through, the outcome of the Employment-related law Red Tape Challenge and the autumn statement 2011.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many officials worked (a) in any capacity on and (b) in drafting the Beecroft Report; and which directorate they were from. [110724]

Norman Lamb: Three BIS officials from Labour Market Directorate provided de minimis support as a secretariat. This involved setting up meetings with policy officials across Government and responding to factual questions from Mr Beecroft.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has any plans in respect of proposals listed in sections which were included in the draft of the Beecroft Report but were removed in the final version. [110725]

Norman Lamb: The Department has already set out which of the recommendations in Mr Beecroft's report Government is considering or taking further and which we are not.

Further details can be found at:

13 Jun 2012 : Column 510W

http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/a/12-830-adrian-beecroft-report-issues-government-is-considering.pdf

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when the final draft of the Beecroft Report was composed; whether any amendments were made to the document after November 2011; and if he will specify what amendments were made on which date. [110726]

Norman Lamb: The timing of the drafting of Mr Beecroft's final report is a matter for him. The final report submitted by Mr Beecroft has been published and is available at

http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/r/12-825-report-on-employment-law-beecroft.pdf

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what investigations he has carried out into the release of the Beecroft report. [110728]

Norman Lamb: None.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which stakeholders were consulted by Adrian Beecroft and officials in his Department in drawing up the Beecroft report. [110729]

Norman Lamb: This is a question for Adrian Beecroft and not for Government. The report was produced independently by Mr Beecroft whom we expect to have spoken to a range of interested parties in preparing the report. The analysis and recommendations in the report are his own and do not represent the views of Government.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills who commissioned the Beecroft report; and on what date the report was commissioned. [110730]

Norman Lamb: The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), in his role as the then Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs, wrote to Mr Beecroft on 29 July 2011 to commission the report, on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the process was by which Adrian Beecroft was selected to carry out a review of employment law; and what criteria were used to determine his appointment. [110731]

Norman Lamb: Mr Beecroft was asked to provide his thoughts to Government on a private basis, alongside a range of contributions from other interested parties to the Red Tape Challenge and Employment Law Review.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will place in the Library a copy of all correspondence between officials at Number 10 Downing street and his Department relating to the Beecroft report. [110733]

13 Jun 2012 : Column 511W

Norman Lamb: As disclosure of such material would prejudice the exchange of views on policy issues, we have no intention to publish correspondence between officials on this subject.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether Adrian Beecroft approved alterations made to the final published version of his report on employment law labelled 24 October 2011. [110734]

Norman Lamb: Mr Beecroft was responsible for submitting the final version of his report.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much Adrian Beecroft was paid for his work on the employment law review. [110735]

Norman Lamb: Mr Beecroft received no payment or expenses for his work.

Electronic Cigarettes: Trading Standards

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has issued guidance to local trading standards officers on the sale and use of electronic cigarettes. [109637]

Mr Prisk: I have not issued guidance to local trading standards officers on the sale of electronic cigarettes.

Financial Services: Disadvantaged

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to support vulnerable people to obtain credit. [110989]

Norman Lamb: The Government are committed both to curbing unsustainable lending and to strengthening consumer protections, particularly for the most vulnerable in society. Our vision is to empower consumers to make better choices for themselves so that they are free to borrow if that is what they decide is in their best interest, as well as to have in place a safe and fair regulatory framework for credit. That is why Government interventions are focused at promoting responsible borrowing and responsible lending.

For example, on payday lending, we have been working with the four main trade associations to strengthen industry codes of practice to deliver real enhanced consumer protections and to provide greater transparency about how these loans work.

The Government have also commissioned research to gather robust evidence on the impact of introducing a cap on the total cost of credit that can be charged across a range of high cost credit products in the market. A report on this is expected this summer and will be important to informing future policy decisions.

Also key here is the Government's work to expand the credit union coverage to provide better access to alternative forms of borrowing for those who cannot obtain mainstream credit. As announced by my noble friend Lord Freud, Department for Work and Pensions have recently issued a significant report on the way forward for credit unions and detail of the next steps on this report will be made available in the near future.

13 Jun 2012 : Column 512W

Higher Education

Sarah Newton: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when his Department plans to publish its response to the Higher Education White Paper consultation. [110948]

Mr Willetts: The Government response to the consultation for the Higher Education White Paper, ‘Students at the Heart of the System’, and associated Technical Consultation, ‘A new fit-for-purpose Regulatory Framework for the Higher Education Sector’, was published on 11 June. A copy has been placed in the Libraries of the House and an electronic version is available on the Department's website at:

www.bis.gov.uk/policies/higher-education

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what information his Department holds on the subjects that have been most affected by course closures at higher education institutions in England in the last two years; [111118]

(2) what steps he is taking to minimise course closures at higher education institutions in England. [111119]

Mr Willetts: We do not collect information on course closures. Universities are autonomous bodies and make their own decisions about the courses they will provide to meet the changing needs of their students.

We have asked Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in the 2012 Grant Letter to continue to prioritise strategically important and vulnerable subjects (SIVS) when allocating teaching grant. HEFCE is currently undertaking work to monitor early signals of student demand and Higher Education Institution (HEI) provision of SIVS. HEFCE has in the past asked institutions to inform them if they plan to close courses in those subjects designated as SIVS.

Mature Students

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many mature students he expects to enter higher education from September 2012. [109184]

Mr Willetts: The Department does not forecast the number of mature students who will enter university. The number of mature entrants this September will depend on a range of factors, such as the grades achieved in this summer's exams. Entry to higher education has always been a competitive process and universities, as independent and autonomous bodies, are responsible for their own admissions decisions. For decades, there have been more applications than places and this is likely to be repeated this year.

Newspaper Press: Wales

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has held with (a) Welsh Ministers and (b) other groups, organisations or individuals on the business model for the printed news media in Wales. [108187]

13 Jun 2012 : Column 513W

Norman Lamb: No Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have held recent discussions with Welsh Ministers to discuss the business model for the printed news media in Wales. I refer the hon. Member to the reply to his question by the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, the hon. Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey), on 17 May 2012, Official Report, column 265W.

Departmental Administration Costs

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much was spent on the administration of his Department in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. [109841]

Norman Lamb: The expenditure of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) for the years 2009-10 and 2010-11 is contained in the published Annual report and accounts (following link):

http://www.bis.gov.uk/about/performance-reports/annual-reports

HM Treasury published the February 2012 forecast outturn for all Government Departments in its 2012 Budget publication. For BIS this was a forecast spend of £16.3 billion, of which £40 million of funding for apprenticeships has since been transferred to 2012-13 as part of the Budget Exchange scheme.

The Department's 2011-12 year-end position is not yet finalised. The final position will be reflected in BIS's annual report and accounts due to be published in July 2012.

Overseas Students: Entry Clearances

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many places on higher education courses in (a) England and (b) Birmingham have been awarded to Tier 4 (General) student visa holders; and how many such students did not attend their courses. [110705]

Mr Willetts: Statistics on the number of Tier 4 student visa holders who do not subsequently take up their places on higher education courses are not available, though this is monitored via the inspection of individual sponsors by the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show that there were 243,105 students domiciled in countries outside of the UK, European economic area (EEA) and Switzerland prior to their course enrolled at English higher education institutions in the academic year 2010/11, including 11,245 enrolments at institutions located in the local authority of Birmingham. Figures for 2011/12 will be published in January 2013. HESA does not routinely collect information on the visas held by overseas students.

Post Offices

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of operational post office counters in the UK in (a) 20000, (b) 2005, (c) 2010 and (d) 2012. [109593]

Norman Lamb: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 11 June 2012, Official Report, column 302W.

13 Jun 2012 : Column 514W

Post Offices: Internet

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will encourage Royal Mail to evaluate the potential for Post Office branches to act as pick-up points for customers' purchases from on-line businesses, as an alternative to home delivery. [111006]

Norman Lamb: Royal Mail and the Post Office already work together, providing a service called ‘Local Collect’, which allows home shopping companies and consumers to use local branches as collection points for delivery or re-delivery when customers are not at home.

They will continue to work together on enhancing Local Collect and on other improvements to home delivery, for example by trialling delivery to a neighbour where this can offer a more convenient solution.

Publications

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many publications have been issued by his Department since May 2010. [109819]

Norman Lamb: Since May 2010 the Department has issued 1,467 publications:

54 are available in hard copy

1,157 are electronic web publications

256 have gone out of print or new editions have been published

A list of the titles has been placed in the Library of the House.

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many (a) circulars and (b) consultation documents were issued by his Department in each of the last two years. [110512]

Norman Lamb: All the consultation documents issued by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills are publically available at:

www.bis.gov.uk/consultations

It is disproportionate in terms of resource and cost to determine how many circulars were issued in the last two years.

Shipping: Pay

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the written answer of 30 April 2012, Official Report, column 1283W, on shipping, when he expects to publish his response to the conclusions of the legal working group on application of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 to seafarers working on non-UK registered vessels travelling between UK ports; and if he will take steps to ensure that the response is sent to all members of the legal working group. [R] [110737]

Norman Lamb: As the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), indicated in his response of 30 April 2012, I intend to make a statement on this subject in the near future. I can confirm that members

13 Jun 2012 : Column 515W

of the legal working group on seafarers and the national minimum wage, which was set up to consider this area, will be made aware of this statement.

Students: Childbirth Courses

Steve Brine: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect of reforms to student funding on the National Childbirth Trust's ability to deliver the Government's Preparing for Birth and Beyond programme. [111020]

Mr Willetts: The financial arrangements for higher education are changing from 2012/13 with less funding provided through block grants from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and more provided through student tuition fees, supported by a more generous system of publicly-funded student support to eligible students. These arrangements apply equally to the courses that the National Childbirth Trust offers to students in partnership with the University of Worcester.

Trade Union Officials

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to review powers of trade union leaders in the public sector. [110355]

Norman Lamb: The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 sets the legislative framework for trade unions and their activities. It makes no special provision for trade union leaders in the public sector and I have no current plans to review the legislation.

Communities and Local Government

Business: Ethnic Groups

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress his Department has made, in conjunction with the Ethnic Minority Advisory Group, in assessing and tackling the barriers people from black and minority ethnic communities face in accessing business finance; and if he will make a statement. [111232]

Andrew Stunell: We are conducting a review into the barriers faced by some black and ethnic minority entrepreneurs in accessing business finance and have consulted with a wide range of external partners, including the British Bankers Association and various ethnic minority business organisations, and will report on the review shortly.

Employment Tribunals Service

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many employment tribunals relating to his Department have been held since May 2010; and what the cost to his Department was of such tribunals. [110425]

Robert Neill: One employment tribunal relating to the Department for Communities and Local Government has been held during the period from 1 May 2010 until

13 Jun 2012 : Column 516W

29 May 2012. To place this in context, from 2008 to 2009, there was also one tribunal case.

The Department does not record details of the cost of individual employment tribunals and calculation for the case referred to above could only be made at a disproportionate cost.

Fire Service College

Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will make it his policy not to offer (a) grants, (b) non-revenue subsidy and (c) revenue subsidy to any successful bidder for the Fire Service College. [109756]

Robert Neill: I can confirm that no grants, non-revenue subsidy or revenue subsidy will be offered to any successful bidder for the Fire Service College.

Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many expressions of interest in the sale of the Fire Service College he has received to date; and how many such expressions of interest have subsequently been withdrawn. [109757]

Robert Neill: We received 12 initial expressions of interest in the sale of the Fire Service College. It would not be appropriate for me to comment further on the bid process while it is still under way.

Health Insurance

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff working in his Department are entitled to private health care as part of their remuneration package. [111112]

Robert Neill: No staff working in the Department for Communities and Local Government are entitled to private health care as part of their remuneration package.

Mutual Societies: Staff

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the number of full-time equivalent staff who will transfer from his Department, its non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies workforce to a mutual in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [110201]

Robert Neill: No staff transferred from the Department, its non-departmental public bodies or executive agencies in to a mutual organisation in 2011-12, and we do not expect any staff to transfer to such an organisation in 2012-13.

The Government has committed that every Department will put in place Rights to Provide for public sector workers to take over the running of services and DCLG is working towards this.

13 Jun 2012 : Column 517W

Publications

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) circulars and (b) consultation documents were issued by his Department in each of the last two years. [110503]

Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government distributes information in the form of circulars, official letters, statistical releases/reports and bulletins to various groups including Local Government, Planning Authorities and Fire and Rescue Authorities. The majority of these are available to view on the Department's website:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/corporate/publications/all/

The Department for Communities and Local Government published on its website 44 consultation documents in 2011 and 32 consultation documents in 2010.

13 Jun 2012 : Column 518W

To place these figures in context, 66 consultation documents were published in 2009.

Secondment

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff in his Department are on secondment from an external organisation; and if he will publish the (a) organisation, (b) time spent on secondment and (c) other relevant details in respect of each such member of staff. [110470]

Robert Neill: There are currently 25 staff on secondment to the main Department for Communities and Local Government. The following table provides details of their organisation and length of secondment and related details including the grade of their post and the Directorate within DCLG to where they are assigned.

Parent OrganisationStart of SecondmentEnd of SecondmentDirectorate in DCLGGrade

Grant Thornton LLP

18 November 2006

31 May 2012

Finance

Grade 6

London Fire Brigade

10 November 2008

30 September 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 6

Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service

3 August 2009

30 September 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 6

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

27 October 2008

31 October 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 6

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service

16 May 2011

15 November 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 7

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service

1 November 2007

31 December 2012

Firelink

Grade 7

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service

4 January 2011

3 January 2013

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

SEO

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service

4 January 2011

3 January 2013

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

SEO

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

4 January 2011

3 January 2013

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

SEO

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service

19 November 2011

18 September 2013

Crown Premises Inspection Group (Fire)

Grade 7

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

1 November 2011

31 October 2013

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

SEO

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service

1 November 2011

31 October 2013

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

SEO

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service

1 November 2011

31 October 2013

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

SEO

London Fire Brigade

7 November 2011

6 November 2013

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

SEO

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

1 December 2011

30 November 2013

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

SEO

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service

19 December 2011

18 December 2013

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 6

Princes Trust

25 January 2012

25 January 2013

Troubled Families Unit

Grade 7

Essex Fire and Rescue Service

2 April 2012

21 September 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 7

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

16 April 2012

21 September 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 7

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service

10 April 2012

28 September 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 7

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service

16 April 2012

17 September 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 7

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

11 June 2012

9 September 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 7

Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

1 July 2012

30 September 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 7

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service

1 June 2012

30 September 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 7

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

1 June 2012

30 September 2012

Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser

Grade 7

13 Jun 2012 : Column 519W

Social Rented Housing

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much is spent annually by social housing landlords on repairs; and how much of that total is on statutory or other repairs that cannot be devolved to tenants. [110459]

Grant Shapps: The information requested is as follows.

Local Authorities

During 2010-11 local authority landlords spent a total of £3.3 billion on maintenance and repairs, according to Housing Revenue Account subsidy data returns. This amounts to approximately £1,900 per dwelling on average.

Housing Associations

Over the same period, housing associations spent a total of £3.6 billion on maintenance and repairs—almost £1,600 per dwelling on average.

These figures cover all types of repairs and maintenance, not all of which would be suitable for inclusion in Tenant Cashback schemes. We expect landlords to discuss and agree with tenants how local schemes should work, taking account of local circumstances and the wishes and capabilities of tenants.

Social Rented Housing: Morecambe

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will allocate

13 Jun 2012 : Column 520W

additional funding for social housing regeneration in Morecambe. [109828]

Grant Shapps: Now that self financing of council housing has come into effect, Lancaster, as with all authorities who have council housing stock, can keep its rents and take complete control of how it manages and maintains its social housing in consultation with its tenants.

The Coastal Communities Fund is also a potential source of funds for innovative regeneration projects that promote economic growth and jobs in social housing and other areas within Morecambe.

The Department published “Regeneration to enable growth: A toolkit supporting community-led regeneration” in January 2012, which outlined the tools, powers and flexibilities available to local areas to drive community-led regeneration.

Lancaster city council will receive £1.9 million to tackle clusters of empty homes in their area, bringing 114 empty homes back into use and the Homes and Communities Agency's Affordable Homes Programme has agreed funding in the Mid Lancashire area of £19.5 million to deliver over 900 affordable homes for rent and affordable ownership properties for the period 2011-15. Morecambe, as part of the Lancaster city council area, is part of the Mid Lancashire area along with Chorley, Preston, South Ribble and West Lancashire.