Essex Police Authority

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions (a) she, (b) Ministers in her Department and (c) her departmental officials have had with Essex Police Authority; who represented Essex Police Authority; what was discussed; and if she will make a statement. [112175]

Nick Herbert: Ministers and officials meet police authorities and their representatives as appropriate to discuss a wide range of developing issues in policing.

EU Justice and Home Affairs

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost of the European Judicial Network to the UK; and what assessment she has made of its effectiveness. [112791]

James Brokenshire: The European Judicial Network (EJN) for criminal matters was created by Joint Action 98/428/JHA as a network of judicial contact points between EU member states. This Joint Action was repealed and replaced by Council Decision 2008/976/JHA, and this measure is the current basis for the EJN.

The UK must decide, no later than 31 May 2014, whether to accept full European Court of Justice jurisdiction over those EU police and criminal justice measures adopted before 1 December 2009 which have not been amended or replaced. Council Decision 2008/976/JHA therefore falls within the scope of that decision and will be reviewed accordingly.

Extradition: USA

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she had with her US counterpart on the UK-US extradition treaty and the release of (a) Gary McKinnon, (b) Richard O'Dwyer and (c) Christopher Tappin. [112219]

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

19 Jun 2012 : Column 871W

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were extradited from the US to the UK (a) in 2011 and (b) in 2012 to date; and how many of these people were US nationals. [112243]

Damian Green [holding answer 18 June 2012]: In 2011, five people were extradited from the US to the UK (excluding Scotland), of which two were US nationals. So far in 2012, one person has been extradited from the US to the UK (excluding Scotland). This person was not a US national. Scotland deals with its own US cases.

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were extradited from the UK to the US (a) in 2011 and (b) in 2012 to date; and how many of these people were UK nationals. [112244]

Damian Green [holding answer 18 June 2012]: In 2011, eight people were extradited from the UK (excluding Scotland) to the US. Three of these were UK nationals, of which two were dual nationals. So far in 2012, nine people have been extradited to the US from the UK (excluding Scotland), of which seven are UK nationals. Scotland deals with its own US cases.

Human Trafficking

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what training is provided to enable police and UK Border Agency staff to recognise victims of human trafficking. [111756]

Damian Green [holding answer 14 June 2012]: An e-learning human trafficking training package has been developed for UK Border Agency and Border Force staff. This is mandatory for all frontline officers and helps staff identify those who might have been trafficked and understand the steps that should be taken to safeguard possible victims.

Police training is a matter for individual forces. Assistance is available from the UK Human Trafficking Centre, which provides tactical advice via a 24/7 helpline and can deliver bespoke training material on request.

Immigrants: Tuberculosis

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she plans to take to promote the accessibility and affordability of tuberculosis screening and treatment in poorly-resourced high-incidence countries. [111618]

Damian Green: The UK Government provides Official Development Assistance to developing countries to tackle tuberculosis through bilateral and multilateral channels as part of the national Governments' overall health policy. This includes support to help increase access to and use effective diagnosis and treatment of TB, including TB-HIV and drug resistant TB; to invest in research and product development into more effective diagnosis, treatment and vaccines; to support countries to strengthen health systems to deliver quality TB programmes; and to work with our partners to tackle the risk factors for TB, including poverty and malnutrition.

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Beyond this, the UK Government has no plans to provide additional support to pre-migration tuberculosis screening and treatment in high-incidence countries. However, the UK Government, through the UK Border Agency, will continue to work in conjunction with international partners to share screening facilities that are subject to established quality assurance processes. In most high incidence countries there is existing widespread coverage and choice of facilities, especially within large conurbations. Where screening provision is relatively limited the UK Government will seek to extend the availability of accredited providers. The process for accreditation and review will, where possible, be aligned with that of our partners to ensure consistency and minimise screening costs for the applicant.

Immigration

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many legacy cases have been (a) processed and (b) were outstanding in each month since their transfer to the Case Assurance and Audit Unit. [112325]

Damian Green: The information requested is not held on a month by month basis. However, as reported to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 3 May 2012 the Case Assurance and Audit Unit has resolved 12,600 asylum legacy cases since their transfer from Case Resolution Directorate.

As reported, at the end of March 2012, there were 80,000 cases in the asylum controlled archive and 21,000 live cases.

Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were refused entry to the UK at the UK border on (a) 10 May 2011 and (b) 10 May 2012. [112536]

Damian Green: The Home Office does not publish data on how many people were refused entry to the UK on particular dates.

For Quarter 2 (April to June 2011) there were 4,237 refusals. The statistics for Quarter 2 of 2012 are planned to be published in August 2012, and will be available on the Home Office website:

www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Previous quarterly statistics can also be found here.

Immigration Controls

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what analysis her Department carried out of the demographic groups that will be most affected by an increase in the minimum income requirement for immigration sponsors. [111813]

Damian Green: The Government published a detailed Policy Equality Statement on 13 June, which assesses the impacts of the new financial requirement. This is available in the Library of the House.

Independent Police Complaints Commission

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when each serving commissioner of the Independent Police Complaints Commission was

19 Jun 2012 : Column 873W

appointed; by whom the appointment was made; what process was followed for each appointment; and what qualifications each commissioner has. [112179]

Nick Herbert: Commissioner appointments for the Independent Police Complaints Commission are made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), in compliance with the guidance provided by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. A rigorous selection process was followed in each case and the candidates selected were considered suitable for appointment.

The following table provides the date of appointment for each serving commissioner.

Commissioners namesDate of appointment

Chair Dame Anne Owers

April 2012

Deputy Chair Deborah Glass

April 2004 (Deputy Chair October 2008)

Commissioner Sarah Green

March 2011

Commissioner Ruth Evans (non executive)

June 2009

Commissioner (non executive) Jonathan Tross

May 2009

Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne

May 2009

Commissioner Naseem Malik

October 2003

Commissioner Tom Davies

October 2003

Commissioner Rebecca Marsh

September 2003

Commissioner Amerdeep Somal

September 2003

Commissioner Mike Franklin

September 2003

Commissioner Nicholas Long

September 2003

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information her Department holds on the time taken on average by police authorities to respond to recommendations of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in each of the last three years; what recent discussions she has had with (a) the IPCC and (b) police authorities on this issue; and if she will make a statement. [112182]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office does not hold information about the response of police authorities to Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) recommendations. The Home Office is in discussions with the IPCC on this issue in response to part 2 of the IPCC's report on police corruption, published on 24 May 2012 and available through the Vote Office, or via the IPCC website:

www.IPCC.gov.uk

Public Policy Research: Members

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department has commissioned or funded research into the opinions of hon. Members on issues of public policy since the 2010 general election. [112304]

Damian Green [holding answer 18 June 2012]: The Home Office and its agencies have not commissioned or funded research into the opinions of MPs on issues of public policy since 2010.

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National Policing Improvement Agency

Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who will assume the training functions of the National Police Improvement Agency after it has been wound up; how these functions will be funded; and if she will make a statement. [111796]

Nick Herbert: In written ministerial statements on 15 December 2011, Official Report, columns 125-27WS, and 26 March 2012, Official Report, columns 94-95WS, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), set out plans to transfer the National Police Improvement Agency training functions and associated budgets to the Police Professional Body by the time the agency is phased out in December. We will update Parliament shortly about our progress to create the new body.

Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which successor bodies to the National Police Improvement Agency will take responsibility for (a) the management of IT contracts, (b) national police databases and (c) police procurement; and if she will make a statement. [111797]

Nick Herbert: The Home Office has responsibility for ensuring the continued management of IT contracts, national police databases and police procurement.

Parliament will be updated shortly about our progress to create the new bodies.

Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the National Police Improvement Agency has received in income for the training provided for the personnel of (a) overseas police forces and (b) other Government departments in each of the last three years; and if she will make a statement. [111798]

Nick Herbert: The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has received the following income from the delivery of training to customers from overseas police forces as follows:

Financial yearOverseas income £ million

2008-09

3.75

2009-10

3.39

2010-11

4.60

2011-12

3.35

The figures above only account for the International Academy Bramshill.

The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) has received income from the delivery of training to customers in other UK Government Departments and agencies as follows:

 £ million

2010-11

1.9

2011-12

1.4

The NPIA does not hold data concerning income received from other Government Departments for 2009-10 in a format which allows the information requested to be extracted without incurring disproportionate cost.

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Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether staff transferring to the new Police Professional Body from the National Police Improvement Agency maintain their civil service status; and if she will make a statement. [111799]

Nick Herbert: The National Police Improvement Agency staff transferring to the Police Professional Body, along with colleagues moving to the Police ICT Company and the Home Office, will be moving under the Transfer of Undertakings/Protection of Employment Regulations (TUPE). This affords protection of all existing terms and conditions unless changes are agreed with appropriate staff representatives.

Organised Crime: EU Action

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the UK has fully implemented EU Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA; and what assessment her Department has made of its effectiveness against organised crime. [111070]

Nick Herbert [holding answer 14 June 2012]: The UK has a high standard of domestic legislation on tackling serious and organised crime and fulfils the standards set out in this instrument. The UK must decide, no later than 31 May 2014, whether to accept full European Court of Justice jurisdiction over those EU police and criminal justice measures adopted before 1 December 2009 which have not been amended or replaced. EU Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA falls within the scope of that decision and will be reviewed accordingly.

Police: Meetings

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what meetings and discussions on the setting up of a professional body for policing were attended by (a) Ministers and (b) officials in her Department in (i) March, (ii) April and (iii) May 2012; and if she will make a statement. [111268]

Nick Herbert: Home Office Ministers have regular meetings with officials and others as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

We will update Parliament shortly about our progress on the creation of the police professional body and the new police ICT company.

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether drug tests on police officers include tests for legal highs. [112403]

Nick Herbert: Police officers are currently tested for the following substances:

Amphetamines (including ecstasy);

Cannabis;

Cocaine;

Opiates (e.g. morphine and heroin);

Benzodiazepines.

Where testing is carried out because the chief officer has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of intelligence, that an officer has used a controlled drug, the testing may cover one other controlled drug or drug group in addition to the controlled drugs listed above, provided

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that the officer is informed prior to testing of the drug(s) or drug group(s) for which he or she is to be tested.

Police: Allowances

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to reform the auditing of claims by police officers for expenses incurred during the course of their duties. [111344]

Nick Herbert: Arrangements for auditing claims by police officers for expenses incurred during the course of their duties are the responsibility of the chief constable and police authority of each individual force area.

Police: Diamond Jubilee 2012

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the additional costs of policing the Diamond Jubilee celebration. [112071]

Nick Herbert: These figures are not held centrally. Police authorities/the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime will hold the information relating to their own force, but they are not required to disclose this information to the Home Office.

Police: Essex

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department holds any information on the number of chief constables of Essex police who took early retirement and the reason in each case since December 1999. [112027]

Nick Herbert: There have been no chief constables of Essex police who took early retirement since December 1999.

Police: Gwent

Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average number of visits per day was for each police station in Gwent between 1 and 14 May 2011. [112318]

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

Police: Lincolnshire

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has had discussions with Tom Winsor on the involvement of G4S in delivering police services in Lincolnshire. [111895]

Nick Herbert: No.

Police: Standards

Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what options she is considering for the constitutional status of the proposed new Police Professional Body on an (a) interim and (b) permanent basis ; and if she will make a statement. [111800]

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Nick Herbert: We will update Parliament shortly about the work to create the interim Police Professional Body.

Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what interim arrangements she plans to put in place to ensure that the functions to be carried out by the new Police Professional Body and the NewCo will be exercised prior to the setting up of those bodies; and if she will make a statement. [111801]

Nick Herbert: On 15 December 2011 and 26 March 2012 the Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), set out our proposals for the future of the National Policing Improvement Agency services.

I will update Parliament shortly about our progress to create the Police Professional Body and the new Police ICT company.

Procurement

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total (a) number and (b) value of contracts issued by (i) her Department and (ii) bodies for which she is responsible which were awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises was in the latest period for which figures are available. [111165]

Damian Green: The Home Office's spend with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been reported in the Cabinet Office report, ‘Making Government business more accessible to SMEs—One Year On'. A copy will be placed in the Library of the House, or is available at:

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

Recruitment

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 21 May 2012, Official Report, column 489W, on recruitment, to what extent her Department and its non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies used name-blank CVs or the blind sift function on the Civil Service Resourcing e-recruitment system to recruit staff in the last year. [110970]

Damian Green: The Home Office and the UK Border Agency (UKBA) did not initially adopt the full online Civil Service Jobs (CS Jobs) system, which enables online applications to be made but with the personal details of candidates removed. From September 2011, they did however use CS Jobs to advertise vacancies. Since February 2012 the Home Office and UKBA have been managing applications online, including the option for blind sifting, on a trial basis.

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has used an online recruitment system for the financial year 2011-12. All applications received online have all personal information removed up to and including the initial sift process.

The IPS and Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) have used the full CS Jobs system since September 2011. All sifting in CRB and IPS has been conducted on a blind sift basis.

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All non-departmental public bodies of the Home Office also use the CS Jobs system to advertise vacancies but do not use the functionality to manage vacancies online.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Notification Requirements) (England and Wales) Regulations

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to bring into force the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Notification Requirements) (England and Wales) Regulations 2012. [112401]

Lynne Featherstone: It is anticipated that these regulations will come into force in summer 2012, subject to parliamentary business.

Trade Union Officials

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many days were used by trade union representatives in her Department for facility time in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and what estimate she has made of the total cost to the public purse of the associated salary costs. [112148]

Damian Green [holding answer 14 June 2012]: The number of days used by trade union representatives for facility time within the Department is not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Therefore no estimate has been made of the total cost of days used by trade union representatives for facility time in 2010-11 or 2011-12.

Training

Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what training was given to cover staff in her Department prior to their undertaking cover roles on 10 May 2012. [112534]

Damian Green: All contingency staff receive sufficient training for the roles that they undertake.

UK Border Agency

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria staff of the UK Border Agency had to meet to obtain performance-related bonuses in 2010-11. [111047]

Damian Green [holding answer 13 June 2012]: End-of-year performance payments, linked to the annual appraisal process, are awarded to staff below the senior civil service (SCS) who have significantly exceeded their individual work objectives throughout the year. These are made to up to 35% of top performers following line management recommendation and, for the higher grades, assessment by a moderation panel. For the reporting year 2012-13 this percentage will be reduced to 25%.

In-year performance payments are used to reward staff below the SCS for outstanding achievement on a particular piece of work or project or in particularly difficult or demanding circumstances.

For members of the SCS, the Home Office Remuneration Committee, chaired by the Permanent Secretary, decides, taking into account a range of factors, including job weight, complexity and level of challenge.

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Yvonne Fletcher

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the first officers from the Metropolitan Police will fly to Libya to continue investigations into the case of WPC Yvonne Fletcher. [110941]

Nick Herbert: Officers from the Metropolitan police travelled to Libya on 11 June 2012 in connection with investigations into the case of WPC Yvonne Fletcher.

Culture, Media and Sport

Battle of Waterloo: Anniversaries

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what plans he has to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in 2015. [112857]

Mr Vaizey: Discussions have been taking place within Government to determine how best to formally commemorate, in 2015, the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, although these are at a very early stage. Some planning is already being carried out by Waterloo 200, an umbrella organisation which is overseeing the anniversary, and more information can be found on its website at the following link:

http://www.waterloo200.org/

In addition, initiatives are being organised by a number of national and regional military museums to mark the occasion, including the National Army Museum and relevant regimental museums, which come under the remit of the Ministry of Defence. There is also likely to be some commemorative activity at associated heritage sites such as Apsley House, the home of the Duke of Wellington, and Walmer Castle.

Broadband

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to (a) raise awareness of the Connecting Europe broadband facility and (b) support British organisations bidding for funding. [112658]

Mr Vaizey: The proposed Connecting Europe facility, and the associated draft regulation setting out objectives and guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks (ETENs), is subject to ongoing EU negotiations, including negotiations on the Multi-annual Financial Framework for the period 2014 to 2020, the proposed timeframe for the facility. As such there are as yet no procedures for bidding for funds.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport which companies are on the Broadband UK framework list; and if he will make a statement. [112787]

Mr Vaizey: The framework contract has not yet been signed, but I can confirm that two companies remain in the process—BT and Fujitsu.

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Direct Selling

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what arrangements govern the practice of households receiving random cold calls from call centres based overseas; and if he will make a statement. [112713]

Mr Vaizey: Unsolicited marketing calls from overseas foreign companies fall outside the jurisdiction of the UK. There are various steps that consumers can take to reduce such calls. Most telecom service providers offer a range of services, usually for a small charge, which includes calling line identification display, automatic call rejection and choose to refuse. A range of other devices are commercially available that can also help to block calls of this nature.

However, callers from within the UK, or those based overseas calling on behalf of UK companies, are legally required not to call a number that is registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), which is free service and is provided under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). UK consumers are also protected if they have previously notified the caller that they do not wish to receive such calls. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) enforces the TPS and considers complaints about breaches. The ICO can issue a fine of up to £500,000 for the most serious breaches of the PECR. The Department is exploring possible improvements to the TPS so that registered consumers can remain effectively protected.

Euro 2012

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to ensure the security of English football supporters at Euro 2012. [111281]

Mr Jeremy Browne: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Security is the responsibility of the Governments of Poland and Ukraine as the hosts of Euro 2012, working with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). We have maintained a dialogue with the two host Governments through our embassies, our respective police services and expert-level contacts to share information and best practice on security at major events, including bespoke training on policing football matches.

In addition, we have put in place arrangements to provide British nationals with consular services during the tournament, drawing on lessons learned from previous European championships and World cups. We have reinforced our consular teams in both countries, including through a mobile team of consular specialists who will be present in cities whenever England play. We have also worked closely with our partners in the Football Association, the Football Supporters Federation, the England Band and other Government Departments to ensure that England fans have access to the best possible information on personal safety.

Under the authority of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), a delegation of UK police officers has been deployed to both Ukraine and Poland during the tournament to support and advise the host police in

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venue cities on how best to police England supporters; these officers also provide a reassuring presence for the supporters.

Heritage Lottery Fund: Northern Ireland

Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport which social investment finance intermediary has been chosen to facilitate access to the Heritage Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland. [112466]

John Penrose: The information requested is not held by this Department. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund to respond directly to the right hon. Member for Belfast North.

Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Sovereignty: Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what correspondence (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with the Scottish Government on the consequences of Scotland leaving the UK; and if he will place in the Library a copy of any such correspondence; [112633]

(2) what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with Scottish Government Ministers or officials on the potential consequences of Scotland leaving the UK. [112643]

Mr Vaizey: Neither the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), nor any Ministers or officials in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, have had any discussions with Scottish Government Ministers or officials on this matter.

No correspondence has been recorded regarding the consequences of Scotland leaving the UK.

The Government's position is clear: Scotland is stronger as part of the UK and the UK is stronger with Scotland in it.

The Government is not making plans for independence as we are confident that people in Scotland will continue to support the United Kingdom in any referendum.

Telecommunications: Hearing Impairment

Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport with reference to the answer of 16 April 2012, Official Report, column 8W, on the eAccessibility Forum video relay sub-group, if he will now publish the list of members and the date of the group's first meeting. [112562]

Mr Vaizey: The first meeting of the eAccessibility Forum relay services working group is due to be held on 5 July 2012. The current membership comprises: BT, Intellect, PhoneAbility, Positive Signs, Sign Solutions, Significant, Soreiison, Telecommunications Advisory Group, Mobile Broadband Group, UK Competitive Telecommunications Association, UK Council on Deafness, Sign on Screen, Customer Contact Association, Cabinet Office, DWP ODI and Ofcom.

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Video Games

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps his Department plans to take to monitor breaches of the new classification system for video games. [111276]

Mr Vaizey: This Department will be monitoring closely all aspects of the implementation of the new legislation. Additionally, the Video Standards Council (VSC) will be making an annual report which we will lay before Parliament.

The VSC will be the designated authority responsible for classifying video games aimed at those aged 12 or over against a set of published guidelines.

Women and Equalities

Marriage: Homosexuality

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what legal advice she has received on the implications for religious organisations of the legal status of same-sex marriage under European Human Rights legislation. [112162]

Lynne Featherstone: The Government consultation on enabling same-sex couples to have a civil marriage ceremony closed on 14 June 2012.

Legal advice is by law subject to legal professional privilege. For this reason the Government do not normally comment on what legal advice they have has received on any matter.

No religious organisation will be forced to host ceremonies for same-sex couples as a result of these proposals.

Communities and Local Government

BBC: Disclosure of Information

Paul Uppal: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 27 March 2012, Official Report, column 1063W, on statistics, (1) if he will request a formal pre-release investigation into the tweeting by a BBC journalist on 2 December 2012 of the section 16 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 notification letter issued by the UK Statistics Authority prior to it being issued on 6 December 2012; [112284]

(2) whether any staff of the UK Statistics Authority communicated to the BBC the intention to make a notification under section 16 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 prior to the formal notification on 6 December 2012. [112285]

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

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

Letter from Andrew Dilnot, dated 18 June 2012:

As Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, I am replying to your questions asking (i) for a formal pre-release investigation into the tweeting by a BBC journalist on 2 December 2012 of the section 16 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 notification

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letter issued by the UK Statistics Authority prior to it being issued on 6 December 2012 [112284] and (ii) whether any staff of the UK Statistics Authority communicated to the BBC the intention to make a notification under section 16 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 prior to the formal notification on 6 December 2012. [112285]

In respect of (i) the “Pre-Release to Official Statistics Order 2008” sets out the rules governing access to official statistics in their final form before they are released and published. It applies only to official statistics in their final form, and therefore this is not relevant in the context of this matter.

In respect of (ii), when considering such matters the Authority's staff will provide officials in the relevant department(s) with information on the Authority's intentions. Officials at the Department for Communities and Local Government were therefore informed in respect of the Authority's intentions.

The Authority's staff will respond similarly to enquiries from interested parties, and following a subsequent enquiry to the Authority representatives of the BBC were advised of the Authority's intention to write to Ministers under section 16 of the 2007 Act.

On 28 March 2012 the Minister for Housing and Local Government replied to the Authority's letter of notification, indicating that he was minded to submit such a request for assessment later this year. The Minister's reply was laid before Parliament under the provisions of section 16 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, and a copy has been placed on the Authority's website.

http://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/reports---correspondence/correspondence/index.html

Betting Shops

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations he has received on the use class of betting shops. [111298]

Robert Neill [holding answer 14 June 2012]: The recent representations on betting shops that we have received have included ones from a number of hon. Members, the Mayor of London and the Local Government Association. The Department has also met with the Association of Bookmakers as part of round-table evidence gathering discussions with regard to the wider review of how change of use is managed in the planning system.

Correspondence

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many letters to Ministers in his Department were (a) not answered, (b) not answered within six months and (c) not answered within three months in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; how many such letters were from hon. Members; and if he will make a statement. [109429]

Robert Neill: From 12 May 2010 to 31 December 2010, Ministers received some 23,300 letters. Excluding correspondence subsequently transferred to other Departments for a reply and correspondence passed to officials for a reply, some 13,100 letters were dealt with at ministerial level. One letter was not answered within six months and 74 were not answered within three months (this represents just 0.57% of such correspondence). Of these, the one letter not answered within six months and 42 of those not answered within three months were from hon. Members. There were no unanswered letters which required a reply.

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From 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011, Ministers received some 35,700 letters. Excluding correspondence subsequently transferred to other Departments for a reply and correspondence passed to officials for a reply, some 19,700 were dealt with at ministerial level. Nine were not answered within six months and 62 were not answered within three months (this represents just 0.36% of such correspondence). Of these, eight letters not answered within six months, and 41 not answered within three months, were from hon. Members. There were no unanswered letters which required a reply.

The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members correspondence. The report for 2011 was published on 15 March 2012, Official Report, columns 30-33WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House. The report shows that DCLG received 12,680 letters from hon. Members and peers and responded to 65% within 10 working days.

Council Housing

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of how many council tenants sub-let their council homes; and what statistical basis his Department uses to make such an estimate. [110467]

Grant Shapps: The Audit Commission estimated in 2009 there were at least 50,000 unlawfully occupied social homes in England; however, it has noted:

‘the need for more research to get a clearer picture of the prevalence and cost of housing tenancy fraud, particularly for the three-quarters of social housing outside London'

(Audit Commission, “Protecting the Public Purse 2010—Fighting fraud against local government and local taxpayers”, October 2010, p.17).

The National Fraud Authority has noted that discussions are under way to update these figures (National Fraud Authority, “Annual Fraud Indicator”, March 2012, p.34).

More recent analysis carried out by consultancy Experian Public Services suggests the figure could be more than 150,000 in practice (“Experian press release”, 12 September 2011).

Further research by housing fraud specialists, HJK Associates, has suggested that 160,000 social housing tenants in London alone may be subletting their properties (cited in The Sunday Telegraph, 22 January 2012).

We have recently consulted on proposals that would strengthen legislation around social housing fraud. A summary of responses will be published in due course.

Families: Colchester

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent estimate he has made of the number of troubled families living in Colchester constituency. [112295]

Robert Neill: We have made an indicative estimate of the number of troubled families at upper-tier local authority level, and in Essex, we have estimated that there are 2,220 such families. We have made no estimate of how many troubled families there are at a constituency level, so are unable to give a figure for Colchester itself.

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Families: Disadvantaged

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library a copy of the evidence he used to calculate the cost of intervening with troubled families at £10,000 per family. [112554]

Robert Neill: The figure is an estimate based on unit costs of different kinds of interventions likely to be employed by local agencies when working with troubled families.

All 152 upper-tier local authorities have now signed up to the Troubled Families programme. The programme's financial framework was made public on 28 March 2012, and includes this estimate of average costs. A copy of the framework has been placed in the Library of the House.

Families: Peterborough

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the indicative value of the cash sum is that will be provided to Peterborough City Council under the Troubled Families programme for (a) 2012-13 and (b) 2013-14; and if he will make a statement. [112157]

Robert Neill: Peterborough city council has agreed to work with 450 troubled families over the course of the programme, which runs from 2012-13 to 2014-15. The breakdown of funding it receives in each year of the programme will depend on the results that are achieved in turning round the lives of those families, and the proportion of the number of families Peterborough agrees to work with in each year. More information can be found in the Troubled Families programme financial framework, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.

In addition to this funding, Peterborough will receive £100,000 in each year of the programme to co-ordinate the Troubled Families programme locally.

Fire Services

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the fire and rescue resource review, what steps his Department is taking to provide additional funding for local authorities that have a lower ability to raise revenue through council tax. [111987]

Robert Neill: Following the local government resource review we intend to introduce business rate retention for all local authorities, including fire and rescue authorities, in 2013-14. We will ensure a stable starting point for all local authorities at the start of the rates retention scheme. The calculation of authorities' baseline funding level using formula grant figures, which take into account ability to raise council tax, will provide greater stability for authorities. The Government will publish a consultation document on the details of the scheme this summer.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department plans to include capital grants made available to fire and rescue services within their baseline budgets for (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15. [111989]

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Robert Neill: The Government have no plans to include capital grants in the baseline funding level for any local authority. Capital expenditure is incurred when local authorities—including fire authorities—spend money either to buy fixed assets or to add to the value of an existing fixed asset with a useful life that extends beyond the financial year in which the investment was made. Revenue expenditure is used to meet ongoing running costs which have to be met within the financial year in which they are incurred. The two types of expenditure must be treated differently to comply with standard accounting rules, and are funded separately by Government grants.

Housing: Finance

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what expenditure his Department has incurred on (a) NewBuy Guarantee, (b) Get Britain Building Fund, (c) FirstBuy and (d) New Homes Bonus to date. [110442]

Grant Shapps: The information is as follows:

(a) The NewBuy Guarantee scheme has incurred no expenditure to date; we would not expect it to, given the nature of the initiative, as outlined in the Financial Minute which was laid before the House on 19 March.

(b) The Homes and Communities Agency has incurred expenditure of £2.3 million to date on Get Britain Building; as I outlined in my answer to the hon. Member's question of 18 June, Official Report, 687W, the programme funding is expected to be used in the two years of 2012-13 and 2013-14. The prospectus for the investment fund was published on 22 December 2011, which sought expressions of interest from developers by 30 January 2012.

(c) The Homes and Communities Agency has incurred expenditure of £56.9 million on FirstBuy to the end of March 2012; housing statistics published on 12 June show there were 2,994 affordable homes completed under the scheme in 2011-12;

(d) My Department has provided £300.4 million to date in New Homes Bonus grants to local authorities. This includes rewarding councils for delivering nearly 137,000 more homes from October 2010 to October 2011 and bringing a further 22,000 back into use. The total to be distributed in 2011-12 and 2012-13 will be £631.2 million.

These figures include programme expenditure but exclude administrative expenditure and staff costs.

Housing: Older People

Sarah Newton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many units of specialist housing for older people have been built in the last 12 months. [110908]

Grant Shapps: A total of 3,065 affordable homes for older people were provided through the Homes and Communities Agency's Affordable Homes Programme and existing commitments in the 2011-12 financial year; 2,965 of these were newly built and 100 were acquired and rehabilitated existing units.

Figures are not held on the level of specialist housing for older people provided by the private sector outside of programmes administered by the Homes and Communities Agency.

Mayors: Referendums

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his most recent estimate is of the total cost to the public purse of the mayoral referendums held on 3 May 2012. [111366]

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Greg Clark: We have made no further estimate of the cost of the mayoral referendums following those set out in the Impact Assessment for the Localism Bill published in January 2011. The councils concerned are now establishing the costs of holding referendums, an exercise of genuine localism in which over a million people took part.

Mortgages: Government Assistance

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average interest rate offered on mortgages is under the Government's NewBuy scheme. [110445]

Grant Shapps: A wide range of NewBuy mortgages are available, with initial mortgage interests rates currently available from 4.79% upwards. My Department does not compile an average interest rate; the rates on offer are available in the public domain and subject to change.

Non-domestic Rates: Empty Property

Julian Sturdy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much money was raised from empty property rates in 2010-11. [112814]

Robert Neill: Figures on the amount of business rate revenue raised from empty properties are not held centrally. The amount of empty property rate relief granted was £1.1 billion in England in 2010-11.

Planning Permission

Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) core strategies and (b) local development frameworks under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 were adopted by April 2010. [112606]

Robert Neill: By the end of April 2010, 58 core strategies had been adopted under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Information about other types of plans produced for local development frameworks are available from individual council websites.

Departmental Travel Costs

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department spent on (a) travel and (b) accommodation for (i) Ministers and (ii) officials attending conferences in 2011. [110388]

Robert Neill: In respect of ministerial attendance at conferences in 2011, the costs of travel by rail were £921. £133 was spent on ministerial overnight accommodation. Where Ministers attended conferences in central London locations, it would entail disproportionate cost to provide a detailed breakdown of the costs of travel to those locations.

Costs of ministerial overseas travel are published separately and are published at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/corporate/transparencyingovernment/ministerialdata/

It would entail disproportionate cost to provide a breakdown of travel and accommodation costs for attendance by officials at conferences as this information is not held centrally in a readily accessible form.

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However, I would note that the Department has reduced the unit cost of rail travel and hotel accommodation, as part of the efficiency measures made by this Administration. For example, the Department spent £199,516 on first class rail travel in 2009-10, compared to £17,505 in 2011-12.

Education

Academies: Special Educational Needs

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what comparative assessment he has made of the proportion of children with statements of special educational needs (SEN) who have been refused a place at an Academy school and the proportion of children with statements of SEN who have been refused a place at other non fee-paying schools; [109551]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of children with statements of special educational needs who have been refused a place at an Academy school; [109552]

(3) what process exists for children with statements of special educational needs who have been denied a place at an Academy school to appeal against this decision. [110122]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 11 June 2012]: Local authorities are responsible for deciding whether to name an Academy or other school in a pupil's statement. Where there are disagreements between a local authority and an Academy about whether an Academy should be named these can be referred to the Department for resolution. Fewer than 20 such cases have been referred to the Department over the past year.

This Government has sought to address the situation that existed in 2010, whereby pupils with special educational needs did not enjoy the same rights if their parents wished them to attend an Academy as would have been the case if their parents wished them to attend a maintained school. Academies opened since the Academies Act 2010 have a clause in their Funding Agreement that means the process for appeals mirrors exactly that for maintained schools. If a local authority decides not to name an Academy in a statement, against the wishes of the parents/carers, the parents/carers of the child should, in almost all cases, be able to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability). There are a very small number of Academies with older style funding agreements that do not reflect the changes we introduced in 2010. We would always expect these Academies to act reasonably, and we are considering whether any further action is required to ensure that every child with SEN is treated fairly.

Curriculum

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of (a) the submission from A Curriculum for Cohesion and (b) other submissions to the consultation on the National Curriculum review of history. [111912]

Mr Gibb: We are, in our review of the National Curriculum in England, taking careful account of all of the submissions that we have received. We have recently confirmed that history is to continue as a compulsory

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subject at Key Stages 1 and 2, and will be making an announcement about its place in the secondary curriculum in due course. We will consult fully on draft Programmes of Study for history before they are finalised.

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he expects to publish the revised National Curriculum Framework; and if he will make a statement. [112430]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 18 June 2012]: On 11 June, the Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), wrote to Tim Oates, Chair of the National Curriculum review's Expert Panel, setting out his decisions on the panel's recommendations as they relate to the primary National Curriculum. Copies of the letter have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The Secretary of State also published draft Programmes of Study for primary English, mathematics and science on 11 June.

We are continuing to consider the panel's recommendations for the secondary National Curriculum, and the Secretary of State will make a further announcement in due course.

Financial Services: Education

Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will increase the personal finance elements of mathematics teaching in schools to emphasise how mathematics relates to real life decisions. [111475]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 18 June 2012]: On 11 June, the Government published a draft primary Programme of Study for mathematics as part of the review of the National Curriculum. The draft gives greater emphasis to the development of written methods, including long multiplication and division, and includes more challenging content including fractions, decimals and negative numbers. Pupils will be taught arithmetic using money and will solve problems that relate to real life decisions to provide a more secure foundation for finance education in secondary school. There will be a formal public consultation on the draft programmes towards the end of the year and the final programmes of study will be introduced in primary schools from September 2014. Finance education is currently taught as part of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education. We are looking at the quality of finance education as part of a review of PSHE to determine how we can improve the quality of all PSHE teaching.

An announcement in relation to the secondary curriculum will be made in due course.

Mathematics: Teachers

Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will increase the use of training days for primary school teachers to refresh their mathematics skills; and if he will make a statement. [111476]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 18 June 2012]: Good quality mathematics teaching in primary schools is fundamental to improving attainment. It ensures that children leave primary school proficient and prepared for more complex

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mathematics in secondary schools. While we encourage primary schools to develop the mathematical subject knowledge of their teachers, it is for the senior leadership within primary schools to decide how training and support for teachers is managed.

The Government is supporting this by providing £6 million over three years for the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) which co-ordinates and quality assures continuing professional development for mathematics teachers at primary and secondary level.

Science and Mathematics: GCE A-level

Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to sustain the number of students studying science and mathematics at A level. [112439]

Mr Gibb: The main step we are taking is to improve the quality of teaching. We are providing up to £135 million over the current spending review period to improve science and mathematics education. We have announced plans to recruit more specialist science and mathematics teachers by offering bursaries of up to £20,000 for the best graduates. This is supplemented by conversion courses to provide general science graduates and teachers with specialist knowledge to enable them to teach single science subjects. We are funding professional development for science and mathematics teachers through the network of science learning centres and the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics. Our Triple Science Support Programme supports schools to offer three separate science GCSEs, which in turn enables more young people to progress to take science A-levels. The Stimulating Physics Network encourages more young people to study physics at GCSE and beyond. In the last year we have increased our funding for the Further Mathematics Support Programme, which has helped schools to encourage take up of Further Mathematics A-level.

Science: GCSE

Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education with reference to the answer of 25 April 2012, Official Report, columns 927-28W, on GCSE: science, what steps his Department is taking to encourage more schools to provide a separate science subjects option for all pupils. [112617]

Mr Gibb: The Department for Education funds the Triple Science Support Programme. This is an extensive programme of practical support and guidance to all schools on how to offer GCSE triple science to pupils who would benefit. We are also doing more to attract the best graduates into teaching science and maths by offering bursaries of up to £20,000 and by providing specialist physics, chemistry and biology initial teacher training courses in preparation for the discrete teaching of those specialisms.

Young People: Management Skills

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will take steps to ensure students become familiar with the concept of management at an early age. [111919]

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Mr Gibb: The core principle of enterprise and business education for young people is to ensure that they are well equipped in facing the challenges of the world of work, employability and entrepreneurship, resulting in a positive outcome for pupils and employers. Increasing schools' autonomy and reducing unnecessary burdens on schools is central to our aim and, as part of the Growth Review, we have been talking to employers about how the education and skills system can best contribute to economic growth.

Enterprise and business education is part of the economic well-being strand of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education and schools incorporate and embed enterprise education across the wider curriculum.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is developing online resources for teachers that will enable them to set up school businesses and access support from local enterprise champions.

Energy and Climate Change

Consultants

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what payments his Department has made (a) directly and (b) indirectly to (i) Hayes McKenzie and (ii) Hoare Lea and Partners. [111675]

Gregory Barker: During 2011, payments have been made directly to Hayes McKenzie to the value of £42,000.

We do not have any record of payments having been made to Hoare Lea and Partners since DECC's creation in October 2008.

Electricity Generation: Fires

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many electrical substation fires there have been in each of the last five years; and what reason was given for each such fire. [112288]

Charles Hendry: DECC has data only for supply interruptions reportable under the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002. These are interruptions affecting 20 megawatts of demand for three minutes or longer, or interruptions affecting 5,000 consumers or five megawatts of demand for one hour or longer. According to our records the number of reports due to substation fires in each of the last five years were:

 Number of reportsReasons

2007-08

3

Transformer failure, switchgear failure, unknown

2008-09

4

Two transformer failure, switchgear failure, slow fault clearance

2009-10

3

All three were cable failures

2010-11

1

Switchgear failure

2011-12

2

Cable failure, switchgear failure.

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Electricity: Billing

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department made of the effect of renewables on households' electricity bills (a) in November 2011 and (b) in the most recent period for which figures are available. [111782]

Charles Hendry: The Renewables Obligation (RO) and small-scale Feed-in-Tariff scheme (FITs) place the obligation of supporting investment in renewable electricity generation on energy suppliers. It is expected that energy suppliers will pass the cost of these obligations on to their various energy customers (i.e. households and businesses) through their electricity bills.

Ofgem publishes annual reports for both the RO and FITs which include actual cost data. The latest year for which data are available is 2010-11. The estimated average amount added directly to a household electricity bill in 2010-11 is £18 for the RO and 20p for FITs.

These estimates are based on annual costs of the RO and FITs from Annual Reports published by Ofgem(1) multiplied by the share of total UK electricity sales in 2010-11 accounted for by households(2) divided by the number of UK households in 2010-11(3). The actual cost of the RO and FITs on each household's energy bill in a given year may differ depending on how energy suppliers pass on the costs of the policy to their customers.

(1) Calculated according to the DECC-HMT definition of RO support costs, i. e. RO support cost for year = Obligation level for year (in ROCs) x RO buyout price for year.

(2) Energy Trends table 5.5, available at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/energy_stats/source/electricity/electricity.aspx

(3) CLG projections.

To help ensure that policies achieve their objectives cost effectively and affordably the Government introduced a framework to control levy funded spending by DECC at Budget 2011. This framework, covering the RO, FITs and the Warm Home Discount, forms part of the Government's public spending framework which the Treasury has responsibility for.

The Government has also been reviewing the levels of support (‘RO bands') under the Renewables Obligation, with a focus on delivering renewable energy to help meet the 2020 renewables target in a cost-effective manner in order to minimise costs to consumers. In addition, the Government is introducing a tariff degression mechanism for solar PV under FITs, which will keep the long-term costs of FITs down.

Energy Supply

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effect of the implementation of provisions of the draft Energy Bill on the workload of (a) Ofgem and (b) the National Grid. [111350]

Charles Hendry: Ofgem will play an important role in the implementation of the reforms. As an independent regulator, it is for Ofgem to plan its workload and resourcing.

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The precise role of the system operator, National Grid, in delivering Electricity Market Reform will be defined as my Department designs the detail of the EMR mechanisms. It is difficult at this point in time to determine the impact on National Grid's workload.

The Department continues to work with both Ofgem and National Grid to ensure that staff, resources and infrastructure are in place for introduction of the reforms in 2014. A key objective is to ensure value for money for consumers.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to page 3, draft Energy Bill Annex A, entitled Institutional Framework: Government, the system operator and Ofgem, what estimate he has made of the likely administration cost to be incurred by the National Grid as a result of its role as a Contracts for Difference system operator. [111457]

Charles Hendry: The Department continues to work with both Ofgem and National Grid to ensure that staff, resources and infrastructure are in place for introduction of the reforms in 2014, a key objective of which is value for money for consumers.

The precise role of the system operator, National Grid, in delivering Electricity Market Reform will be defined as the Department designs the detail of the EMR mechanisms. There is therefore a degree of uncertainty attached to current cost estimates while, for instance, IT costs are still to be determined.

For this reason, and to ensure commercial confidentiality while agreement over costs is reached, we are not currently in a position to make such estimates public.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he plans to provide additional funding to Ofgem as a result of the additional functions proposed to be allocated to it under the provisions of the draft Energy Bill. [111480]

Charles Hendry: The draft Energy Bill does not confer any new functions on Ofgem. Any additional funding for Ofgem will come from licence revenues, not from Government.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) with reference to page 4, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, whether the system operator will be obliged to report annually to Government on delivery of the Contracts for Difference; [111728]

(2) with reference to page 4, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, if the Government will publish the annual report from the system operator on delivery of the Contracts for Difference. [111729]

Charles Hendry: The Government intends to publish an annual update to the delivery plan which will include information on delivery of Contracts for Difference. These updates will be informed by evidence and analysis from the system operator.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) with reference to page 4, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, whether the Government will be obliged to publish a delivery plan every five years; [111730]

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(2) with reference to page 8, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, whether the Government will be obliged to publish an annual update of its delivery plan; [111731]

(3) with reference to figure 3, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, whether the Government will be obliged to follow the three-step process for producing the delivery plan and annual updates. [111741]

Charles Hendry: Annex A to the draft Energy Bill outlines my intention to publishing delivery plans every five years, with annual updates, and the process for developing it. No statutory duties regarding the publication of delivery plans or annual updates are proposed in the draft Energy Bill. The draft Energy Bill is currently undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny by the Energy and Climate Change Committee and the Department will evaluate any recommendations made when the Committee reports.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) with reference to page 10, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, when the panel of technical experts will be established; [111732]

(2) with reference to page 10, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, whether the panel of technical experts will have a statutory basis; [111733]

(3) with reference to page 10, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, what the appointment process will be for the panel of technical experts; [111734]

(4) with reference to page 10, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, what role there will be for the devolved Administrations in the creation of the Panel of Technical Experts; [111735]

(5) with reference to page 10, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, what the terms of reference will be of the Panel of Technical Experts; [111736]

(6) with reference to page 10, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, whether the Government will publish the report of the Panel of Technical Experts; [111737]

(7) with reference to page 10, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, whether the Panel of Technical Experts will be obliged to report to the Government; [111738]

(8) with reference to page 10, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, how he defines regularly in relation to the Panel of Technical Experts reporting to the Government. [111740]

Charles Hendry: The Department continues to develop the detail of the scope, terms and recruitment of the Panel of Technical Experts, working with the devolved Administrations, other Government Departments and a range of stakeholders. I intend to publish more details later this year. No statutory duties regarding the role and relationship of the Panel of Technical Experts are proposed in the draft Energy Bill, which is currently undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny by the Energy and Climate Change Committee. The Department will evaluate any recommendations made when the Committee reports.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to page 4, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, when he plans to publish his Department's joint report with Ofgem on possible conflicts of interest with National Grid's existing roles in the electricity market and its new role under the proposals in the draft Bill. [111739]

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Charles Hendry: Jointly with Ofgem, my Department published on 22 May 2012 a response to an initial stakeholder consultation which can be found at:

www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/emr_coi/emr_coi.aspx

Officials within the Department continue to work with Ofgem to assess the scale and extent of any possible conflicts of interest associated with National Grid's other roles in the electricity market.

Further stakeholder engagement will be held before the end of the year before publishing a final report, expected in late 2012.

The draft Energy Bill currently undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny by the Energy and Climate Change Committee contains powers to act to mitigate any conflicts of interest. The conclusions of the joint DECC-Ofgem report will inform whether and how these powers will be used, if necessary.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to page 13, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, if he will publish the analysis from the system operator in autumn 2012. [111742]

Charles Hendry: The Government will publish the first delivery plan in 2013, which will be informed by evidence and analysis provided by the system operator. The Government will commission the analysis in autumn 2012 and the system operator will report to the Government in mid-2013. In order to ensure transparency, I intend to consult on the draft delivery plan as appropriate, for instance on the cost data and analysis underpinning the draft strike prices.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to page 13, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, whether the system operator has begun the process of gathering evidence. [111743]

Charles Hendry: The system operator is currently working to review its analytical capabilities in advance of initiating its work to gather evidence. The Government expects to commission the system operator's analysis in the autumn, although the system operator is expected to start gathering data (e.g. on technology costs) in advance of this.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) with reference to page 22, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, when he plans to announce the membership of the expert group on institutions; [111745]

(2) with reference to page 22, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, what the appointment process to the expert group on institutions will be; [111746]

(3) with reference to page 22, Annex A, of the draft Energy Bill, what the terms of reference of the expert group on institutions will be. [111747]

Charles Hendry: The institutions expert group is one of three expert groups the Department has formed in order to facilitate close engagement with a range of stakeholders on the detail of electricity market reform. Officials within the Department worked with industry

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and other interested parties to identify appropriate members for the groups. The terms of reference for the group, which includes the membership, have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Energy: Billing

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he plans to require energy suppliers to publish the unit costs of individual renewable types on energy bills. [111585]

Charles Hendry: We have no plans to publish the unit costs of individual renewable types on energy bills.

Fuel Poverty

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of people in the UK who are in fuel poverty. [112858]

Gregory Barker: Fuel poverty is measured at a household rather than individual level. In 2010, the latest year for which data are available, an estimated 4.75 million households in the UK were in fuel poverty. This represented approximately 19% of all UK households.

Gas and Electricity Markets Authority

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) how many full-time equivalent staff were employed by Ofgem in (a) 2009, (b) 2010 and (c) 2011; [111723]

(2) how many full-time equivalent staff are currently employed by Ofgem; [111724]

(3) what estimate he has made of the number of full-time equivalent staff expected to be employed by Ofgem in (a) 2013, (b) 2014, (c) 2015, (d) 2016, (e) 2017 and (f) 2020. [111725]

Charles Hendry: The information requested is a matter for Ofgem. I have asked the chief executive of Ofgem to write to the hon. Member and we will place a copy of his letter in the Libraries of the House.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) if he will publish correspondence between his Department and Ofgem on Ofgem's additional responsibilities as proposed in the draft Energy Bill; [111726]

(2) if he will publish correspondence between his Department and National Grid on National Grid's role as system operator as proposed in the draft Energy Bill. [111727]

Charles Hendry: The Government will continue to work closely with the system operator (National Grid) and Ofgem on the measures proposed in the draft Energy Bill. While we do not plan at this stage to publish correspondence between DECC, Ofgem and National Grid regarding these measures, we will publish further details on the implementation of the reforms towards the end of the year.

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Green Deal Scheme

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether consumers will be able to sign contracts for a Green Deal package before parts of the Green Deal framework regulations come into force on 28 January 2013. [112796]

Gregory Barker: From August this year accredited certification bodies can submit applications to register with the Green Deal Registration and Oversight Body, and will then be able to register assessors and installers as ‘Green Deal Approved’. Similarly, potential Green Deal providers will also be able to apply for approval. From October, Green Deal assessors will be able to complete assessments and providers will be able to issue quotes so customers will be ready to take the final step of signing a Green Deal plan at the end of January when the relevant parts of the framework regulations come into effect. In addition, Green Deal authorised installers will be able to complete work if paid for upfront or supported by the energy company obligation.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department has made of the likely market rate of interest on Green Deal finance that will be offered on Green Deal packages at launch in October 2012. [112878]

Gregory Barker: The Green Deal framework is designed to be driven by the market and therefore the interest rate is for the market to determine. The final Green Deal and energy company obligation (ECO) impact assessment, published on 11 June 2012, models three interest rates—6.5%, 7.5% and 9.5% for the domestic sector. The assumed rate in the impact assessment for the non-domestic sector is 8%.

Nuclear Power Stations: Safety

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the merits of the recommendation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that IAEA member states should introduce a 30 kilometre radius Urgent Protective Action Planning Zone around licensed nuclear installations. [111556]

Charles Hendry: HM Chief Inspector's Final Fukushima Report recommended that the Nuclear Emergency Planning Liaison Group (NEPLG) should instigate a review of the UK's national nuclear emergency arrangements. The review is examining the practicability and effectiveness of the arrangements for extending countermeasures beyond the existing UK Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) in the event of more serious accidents. The review is also considering the IAEA guidance on preparedness for a nuclear or radiological emergency, which includes consideration of the concepts of an Urgent Protective Action Planning Zone (UPZ) radius.

Nuclear Power: Emergencies

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information he has received from the Chief Nuclear Inspector on matters discussed

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and decisions taken at the International Workshop on Crisis Communication in the nuclear industry, organised by the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and held in Madrid on 9 and 10 May 2012. [111555]

Charles Hendry: HM Chief Nuclear Inspector attended this workshop in his capacity as Chair of the OECD/NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA). The workshop formed part of the OECD/NEA's efforts to draw lessons from the Fukushima accident. The workshop outcomes were made publicly available at:

http://www.oecd-nea.org/press/2012/2012-02.html

Public Sector: Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the (a) highest, (b) median, (c) median full-time equivalent and (d) lowest full-time equivalent salary paid by (i) his Department and (ii) its public bodies was in (A) 2010-11, (B) 2011-12 and (C) 2012-13. [112482]

Gregory Barker: Details are provided in the following tables:

Department of Energy and Climate Change
£
 Highest (actual)Median (actual)Median (FTE)Lowest (FTE)

31 March 2010(1)

168,300

36.018

38,745

14,068

31 March 2011(1)

168,300

36,018

38,595

17,184

31 January 2012(1)

168,300

39,729

46,975

17,534

(1) Based on April/May 2012
The Coal Authority
£
 Highest (actual)Median (actual)Median (FTE)Lowest (FTE)

2010-11

120,315

34,385

34,385

13,045

2011-12

120,315

34,192

34,192

14,750

2012-13

120,315

34,192

34,192

14,750

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
£
 Highest (actual)Median (actual)Highest (FTE)Median (FTE)

2010-11

365,000

53,500

54,931

18,641

2011-12

185,000

52,488

53,538

18,891

2012-13(1)

265,000

52,187

53,429

18,891

(1) Based on April/May 2012
The Civil Nuclear Constabulary
£
 Highest (actual)Median (actual)Median (FTE)Lowest (FTE)

2010-11

127,017

32,373

33,001

17,716

2011-12

127,017

32,373

32,500

16,058

2012-13

127,017

32,373

32,373

16,058

Committee on Climate Change
£
 Highest (actual)Median (actual)Median (FTE)Lowest (FTE)

2010-11

103,400

47,587

47,587

25,171

2011-12

103,400

46,975

46,975

24,987

2012-13

103,400

47,202

47,202

25,171

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Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many regulations his Department has repealed between 1 February 2012 and 31 May 2012; and if he will estimate the potential savings to those affected in each case. [112780]

Gregory Barker: The Department has not repealed any regulatory measures between 1 February 2012 and 31 May 2012.

However, DECC is committed to reducing regulatory burdens on business. Work undertaken on the ‘Red Tape Challenge’, for example, has identified a number of areas where regulations could be repealed in future. Further information will be published later this summer.

Renewable Energy

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the (a) costs and (b) issues associated with connecting each form of renewable energy to the National Grid. [111682]

Charles Hendry: The costs of renewable technologies were estimated by independent consultants for the renewable obligation banding review consultation in 2011. The report is published on the Department's website, and estimated both upfront and ongoing connection costs for each technology. Estimates of the upfront costs are published in the report and ongoing connection charges in Annex B of the consultation document. Both the ARUP report and consultation document are available at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/cons_ro_review/cons_ro_review.aspx

The ARUP report also assesses the constraints to deployment of each renewable technology, including grid constraints.

The UK Renewable Energy Roadmap, which my Department published on 12 July 2011, includes an assessment of the issues associated with connecting different types of renewable technology to the grid. The Roadmap sets out the various actions being taken to both reform the onshore grid and establish the framework for the offshore grid which are necessary to deploy the levels of renewable electricity we anticipate are needed to meet the interim and 2020 renewables targets. The Roadmap is available at the following link, and will be updated on an annual basis:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/meeting-energy-demand/renewable-energy/2167-uk-renewable-energy-roadmap.pdf

Sovereignty: Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what correspondence (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with the Scottish Government on the potential consequences of Scotland leaving the UK; and if he will place in the Library a copy of any such correspondence; [112630]

(2) what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with Scottish Government Ministers or officials on the potential consequences of Scotland leaving the UK. [112640]

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Gregory Barker: Officials and Ministers from the Department of Energy and Climate Change have had no correspondence with Scottish Government officials or Ministers on the consequences of Scotland leaving the UK.

Department of Energy and Climate Change Ministers have regular contact with Scottish Government Ministers across a range of issues. However, the consequences of Scotland leaving the UK have not been discussed.

The Government is not making plans for independence as we are confident that people in Scotland will continue to support the United Kingdom in any referendum.

The UK Government's position is clear: Scotland is stronger as part of the UK and the UK is stronger with Scotland in it.

The Government will be arguing the case for Scotland to remain within the UK and the Department of Energy and Climate Change will contribute to the debate.

Thermal Insulation

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to the final Green Deal and energy company obligation impact assessment, how many jobs he expects to be lost in the cavity and loft insulation market. [112849]

Gregory Barker: The Green Deal and ECO impact assessment estimates that there will be between 39,000 and 60,000 jobs supported in the country's insulation supply chain by 2015, up from around 27,000 supported by recent delivery rates. As jobs are often substitutable between measures, the number of jobs lost from the projected insulation market shift away from loft and easy to treat cavities, towards hard to treat cavities and solid walls, is uncertain. However, as easy to treat cavity wall insulation is less labour-intensive than hard to treat insulation, the numbers of jobs related to these measures are likely to increase overall beyond their current levels.

Wind Power

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential economic benefit of onshore wind. [111660]

Charles Hendry: As a mature, affordable, low carbon technology, using a limitless and indigenous fuel, onshore wind has an important role to play in providing the diverse and secure mix of energy we need to support our economy, and to help protect consumers from the price volatility arising from an overdependence on fossil fuels

Onshore wind brings substantial new economic benefits and job opportunities to the country as a whole and at a local level. A recent report for DECC and RenewableUK produced by BiGGAR Economics(1) shows that in 2011 onshore wind supported around 8,600 jobs and was worth £548 million to the UK economy. Of this, around 1,100 jobs and £84 million investment occur at the local authority level. If onshore wind is deployed at the central scale set out in Government's Renewable Energy Roadmap (i.e. 13 GW ), the economy could benefit to the tune of £0.78 billion by 2020, supporting around 11,600 direct and supply chain jobs (rising to around 15,500 total jobs if wider quantifiable impacts are taken into account).

19 Jun 2012 : Column 901W

In addition, information collated by DECC from published industry announcements suggests that for the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 there was over £1.6 billion investment in onshore wind, supporting around 1800 jobs.

(1) ‘Onshore wind—direct and wider economic impacts’ (May 2012) by BiGGAR Economics—see:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/wind/onshore/benefits_wind/benefts_wind.aspx

The findings of the report are based on 18 case studies of experience on the ground, and set out the gross impacts of commercial onshore wind development.

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department has made of the number of standard-sized wind turbines that need to be constructed in order to match the level of energy generated by a single standard sized nuclear power station. [111664]

Charles Hendry: The Department does not maintain a ‘standard size’ definition for either wind turbines or nuclear power stations.

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether his Department includes the effects of the (a) mining of ores used in the manufacture of electromagnets and (b) manufacture of concrete used for turbine bases in its environmental impact assessment for wind farms. [111676]

Charles Hendry: Potential environmental impacts are considered on a project by project basis as part of the planning process through the requirement for wind farm developers to undertake environmental impact assessments (EIAs).

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the level of non-compliance with ETSU-R-97 in respect of wind-induced noise and the use of microphone secondary windscreens for wind farm noise assessments. [111787]

Charles Hendry: No such assessment has been made by DECC. It is for planning authorities to assess compliance with ETSU-R-97 as appropriate.

The use of double/secondary microphone windscreens for wind farm noise measurements is considered current good practice by acousticians. Further technical advice on noise measurement equipment including windscreens will be included in the forthcoming guidance on the implementation of ETSU-R-97, which DECC has asked the Institute of Acoustics to develop. The draft guidance is expected to be issued for consultation in the summer.

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will consider establishing a public inquiry to investigate lobbying by the wind power industry and its effects on Government policy over the last 10 years. [111788]

Charles Hendry: DECC does not have any plans to establish a public inquiry to investigate lobbying by the wind power industry and its effects on Government policy over the last 10 years.

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Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many grid connection points there are in (a) the Borough of Kettering, (b) Northamptonshire and (c) the UK to which it would be feasible to link an onshore wind turbine. [112286]

Charles Hendry: The electricity grid owned by the National Grid and the distribution network operators consists of many hundreds of substations and interconnecting lines. There are generally no readily identifiable discrete points at which a connection for an onshore wind turbine—or other type of generation—may or may not be made. A potential developer wishing to make a connection to the grid at any particular location will have to make an application to the owner of the network at that point. The network owner will carry out technical studies taking into account, among other issues, the scale of the generation connection proposed, the existing connections to the network and the impact that the proposed connection will have on statutory requirements to maintain quality of supply to existing users. The network owner may offer a connection at that point, quoting a cost for any works and mitigation measures to protect other users, or suggest a different connection point.

Wind Power: Noise

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the use of the article method for corrections to wind farm noise evaluations. [111766]

Charles Hendry: I have taken the reference to ‘article method' to mean the methodologies on predicting and modelling noise propagation from wind turbines agreed by a number of consultants acting for wind farm developers, local authorities and third party groups and published in an article in the Institute of Acoustics Bulletin in 2009(1).

DECC is aware of the article and commissioned a review of it as part of the work carried out by Hayes McKenzie in its report on ‘Analysis of How Noise Impacts are Considered in the Determination of Wind Farm Planning Applications’(2). This found that the approaches set out in the IOA article, while useful, had no official status and should be subject to further review.

(1) Note:

http://www.ioa.org.uk/uploads/publication-documents/Acoustics%20Bulletin%20Mar-Apr%20009.pdf

(2) Note:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/meeting-energy-demand/wind/2033-how-noise-impacts-are-considered.pdf

DECC has asked the IOA to develop good practice guidance on wind turbine noise assessments which will address as appropriate the various Hayes McKenzie recommendations. A draft is expected to be issued for consultation in the summer.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Serbia

16. Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the election of President Nikolic on Serbia's relationship with the EU. [112356]

19 Jun 2012 : Column 903W

Mr Lidington: We welcome President Nikolic's commitment to pursuing membership of the EU. We will expect Serbia to meet the existing conditions for membership, including working to normalise relations with Kosovo and commitment to regional co-operation, particularly with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Sri Lanka

17. Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of militarisation in Sri Lanka's northern province. [112357]

Alistair Burt: We remain concerned about the role of the military in the north and east of Sri Lanka. We support the recommendation of Sri Lanka's Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) that the northern province should return to civilian administration and the presence of the military should progressively recede.

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what date Major General Prasanna De Silva took up his position at the Sri Lankan high commission. [111621]

Alistair Burt: According to our records, Major General Prasanna De Silva was appointed to the Sri Lankan high commission on 23 September 2010.

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with the Sri Lankan high commissioner on the activities of Major General Prasanna De Silva during the final stages of Sri Lanka's civil war. [111622]

Alistair Burt: Ministers have had no recent discussions with the Sri Lankan high commissioner about the activities of Major General Prasanna De Silva during the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka. Following allegations of war crimes earlier this year, there was a discussion between officials and the Sri Lankan high commissioner. Major General De Silva left the country at the end of his posting in May.

The British Government has consistently called for an independent, thorough and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by both sides in the military conflict.