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Work and Pensions

Employment Schemes: Young People

Mr Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have received youth contract wage subsidies since the launch of that scheme. [119733]

Mr Hoban: The youth contract, including wage incentives, went live on April 2012. From this point any young person attached to the Work programme could be placed into work with a wage incentive being offered to the employer. In most cases wage incentives are paid after a young person has been in work continuously for 26 weeks.

Following the collection and quality assurance of this data, I expect the first set of Official Statistics on the wage incentive to be available from early 2013. The Department is working to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we publish statistics that meet high quality standards at the earliest opportunity.

Housing Benefit

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with housing charities on the proposal to withdraw housing benefit for people under the age of 25. [118600]

Steve Webb: While all aspects of welfare expenditure remain under review, there are currently no plans to remove entitlement to housing benefit from people under 25 years of age.

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the need for assistance to tenants (a) who are foster carers and (b) with disabilities affected by the reduction in housing benefit as a result of over-occupation; and if he will make a statement. [118764]

Steve Webb: We have made an additional £30 million available for the discretionary housing payment budget from 2013-14 aimed specifically at two groups: foster carers; and disabled people who live in significantly adapted accommodation. There is a strong argument not to expect someone living in a property which has been specially adapted for their needs, often at quite considerable cost, to move into a different one. We are also keen to protect the position of foster carers so that they are not discouraged from taking up or continuing their caring role. Based on information from a variety of sources we estimate that this additional funding could assist around 40,000 claimants affected by the under occupation measure.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefits

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much in (a) housing benefit and (b) council tax benefit was disbursed to foreign nationals in 2011. [119761]

Steve Webb: The information requested is not available.

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Housing Benefit: Young People

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people under the age of 25 years were in receipt of housing benefit in (a) England and Wales, (b) the east midlands, (c) Nottinghamshire and (d) Ashfield constituency in each of the last three years. [118992]

Steve Webb: The number of people aged under 25 who were in receipt of housing benefit in England, Wales, east midlands and Nottinghamshire in each of the last three years is given in the following table.

Information is not readily available for housing benefit claimants aged under 25 at parliamentary constituency level, and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost. A one-off exercise was carried out on the January 2011 data to provide a breakdown by parliamentary constituency of all housing benefit claimants. The results are published on the DWP website at:

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=hbctb

Housing benefit claimants aged under 25
 May 2012May 2011May 2010

England

326,560

324,870

328,460

Wales

22,160

21,710

21,270

East Midlands region

28,430

27,510

27,310

Nottinghamshire county

4,410

4,180

4,140

Notes: 1. The data refer to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple. 2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 3. Recipients are as at second Thursday of the month. 4. Age groups are based on the age on the count date (second Thursday in the month), of either: (a) the recipient if they are single, or (b) the elder of the recipient or partner if claiming as a couple 5. SHBE is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. It replaces quarterly aggregate clerical returns. The data are available monthly from November 2008 and May 2012 are the most recent available. Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE)

International Labour Conference

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representation the UK sent to the International Labour Conference in June 2012. [119570]

Mr Hoban: The Department for Work and Pensions sent three officials to attend the International Labour Conference in June 2012, with support from FCO officials based at the UK Mission in Geneva.

In addition there were four representatives each from both the CBI and TUC, in accordance with the tripartite structure of the International Labour Conference.

Jobcentre Plus

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of the Jobcentre Plus outcome targets for each of the last four years. [119805]

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Mr Hoban: Jobcentre Plus outcome targets for each of the last four years are recorded in the Jobcentre Plus business plans, which are placed in the Library each year.

For 2008-09 ISBN 978—1—84763—319—4 Ref: JPBP0809

For 2009-10 ISBN 978—1—84947—019—3 Ref: JPBP0910

For 2010-11 ISBN 978—1—84947—326—2 Ref: JPBP1011

For 2011-12 ISBN 978—1—84947—528—0 Ref: JPDP1112

Legionnaires Disease: Edinburgh

Mr Darling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects the Health and Safety Executive in Scotland to publish the results of their investigation into the outbreak of Legionnaires disease in Edinburgh in May 2012. [119571]

Mr Hoban: The investigation into the deaths from Legionnaires disease in Edinburgh is being jointly investigated by Lothian and Borders police and the Health and Safety Executive under the direction of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). The results cannot be published until the criminal investigation has been concluded and the matter has been reported to COPFS.

State Retirement Pensions

Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consideration he has given to ensuring that all state pensions are paid from the date of the qualifying birthday rather than from a day within the week of the qualifying birthday. [118614]

Steve Webb: State pension is payable in whole weeks and not individual days, so payments start from the first full benefit week that follows the date a person reaches state pension age. If a person's birthday happens to fall on the same day of the week as the first day of their benefit week, there is no gap between that birthday and the first day for which payment is due. For most other people, there will be.

There are administrative costs associated with making part-week payments and it is important that we continue to deliver the Department's service as cost-effectively as possible. If we made part-week payments at the commencement of a claim then logically we should seek to recover any days' overpayment at the end and this would add to the Department's administrative costs.

The Government have no plans to change this arrangement at the present time.

Universal Credit

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made an assessment of the potential effects of introducing universal credit on the network of women's refuges; and if he will make a statement. [118829]

Steve Webb: The Government are committed to tackling domestic violence and to providing better support for victims. It is our intention that universal credit will not cause a reduction in support levels for victims of domestic violence.

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The housing benefit rules that currently apply for those living in refuges and other supported housing are complex to administer and understand. We do not intend to reduce the overall level of support that the sector currently receives from housing benefit but we do intend to simplify and streamline the current arrangements.

We have conducted a consultation on proposals to redesign and simplify these arrangements and we received a substantial number of often comprehensive replies. We are continuing to develop plans for new funding arrangements under universal credit and we expect to announce further information in due course.

Work Capability Assessment

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of (a) work capability assessment and (b) initial employment and support allowance entitlement decisions made that were right first time in each of the last four years. [119804]

Mr Hoban: Atos Healthcare carries out work capability assessments (WCAs). Once completed, WCAs are forwarded to DWP where a decision maker reaches a decision on the claim—taking account of all of the evidence, including the WCA.

In new ESA claims made between October 2008 and May 2011, DWP has made 1,048,000 decisions following receipt of a WCA from Atos.

636,500 (61%) of these claimants were found “fit for work” following their initial work capability assessment. 258,100 appeals had been heard against those decisions by May 2012. This represents around 41 % of those who were found “fit for work”.

The tribunal upheld the DWP decision in 160,700 of those cases. So DWP decisions were overturned in 97,500 cases, around 9% of all decisions made.

The statistics quoted above were taken out of the publication Employment and Support Allowance: Outcomes of Work Capability Assessments, Great Britain—new claims. This publication can be found at the following link:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/index.php?page=esa_wca

Please note that on 12 September the Department plans to publish statistics on Atos recommendations and post appeal work capability assessment outcomes. These will be available at the following link:

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=adhoc_analysis

Work Programme

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will publish a table showing the number of subcontractors that have received referrals from prime contractors under the Work programme; and how many people have been referred to date. [119564]

Mr Hoban: The Department does not collect information on the number of subcontractors receiving referrals from Work programme primes and has no plans to publish a breakdown of referrals by subcontractor.

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Official statistics on Work programme referrals and attachments up to the end of April 2012 were published on the Department's website on 8 August:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=wp

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the reasons for regional variations between the proportion of Work programme referrals made from the early access payment group. [119758]

Mr Hoban: No formal assessment for regional variations in the number of referrals to different payment groups has been made to date.

The Work programme JSA early access group provides optional entry from three months of pre-Work programme activity (for vulnerable groups including disabled people, ex-offenders, carers and ex-HM armed forces personnel, among others) and mandatory entry from three months (including for those claimants who had previously claimed JSA for 22 out of the last 24 months and have undertaken three months pre-Work programme activity).

Given the number of reasons for referrals to this group, it would not be unexpected for there to be some variation in the number of referrals between regions.

Energy and Climate Change

Combined Heat and Power

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential effect of removing levy exemption certificates on (a) investment in industrial combined heat and power (CHP) and (b) reductions in emissions associated with using industrial CHP over the next 10 years. [118771]

Gregory Barker: The Department has not made a specific assessment of the impact of withdrawal of levy exemption certificates on investment in new industrial Combined Heat and Power (CHP) capacity or carbon dioxide emissions. The impacts of the changes announced in Budget 2011, and confirmed in Budget 2012, are summarised in the Tax Information and Impact Note published alongside Budget 2012. This can be found on the HMRC website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2012/tiin-0700.pdf

The Department produces projections of CHP capacity growth for inclusion in our annual updated energy projections, which will be published in October. The latest CHP projections account for withdrawal of levy exemption certificates, as well as our latest energy price projections and improved assumptions on the proportion of power exported by CHP schemes. These projections predict continued growth in CHP capacity from the current level of 6.1GW electrical capacity to 11GW by 2020.

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what role industrial combined heat and power plays in his Department's plans for future emissions reductions; and what assessment he has made of how that role might be affected by the abolition of levy exemption certificates; [118772]

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(2) whether his Department has any plans to replace levy exemption certificates with an alternative means of support for industrial combined heat and power technology; and if he will make a statement. [118773]

Gregory Barker: Renewable CHP in all sectors benefits from effective support under current renewables obligation arrangements. The forthcoming consultation on the renewable heat incentive will consider the case for specific support for heat from new renewable CHP schemes.

The Department believes natural gas fired CHP also has an important role to play, as an industrial energy efficiency measure and a cost-effective carbon reduction measure in industries that continue to rely on gas. Our analysis identifies that high required rates of return and short required payback periods can be barriers to development of new natural gas industrial CHP capacity.

Levy exemption certificates were not a value for money way of addressing these barriers. The Department is looking at alternative ways of addressing the barriers to investment.

Electricity

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking on demand reduction for electricity. [119129]

Gregory Barker: The Government have a number of policies aimed at reducing electricity demand including Green Deal, the smart meter programme and product standards. The Electricity Demand Reduction project is assessing whether there is any need for additional measures. The project's initial assessment suggests significant further potential for efficiency may exist, and my Department will consult later this year on potential policy approaches that can best unlock further electricity efficiency.

Energy: Business

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2012, Official Report, columns 429-30, on consumer protection, what steps his Department has taken to help small businesses with their energy bills. [118637]

Gregory Barker: Ofgem is the regulator for gas and electricity supplies, including supply to the non-domestic sector. In November 2011, Ofgem published a consultation on a package of measures to ensure businesses are better protected, including extending the protections currently available to micro business to small business, and will publish updated proposals before winter. They are also committed to reviewing the automatic rollover and termination rules that apply to businesses.

Ofgem has also been working with industry and consumer groups to assess the financial impact of backbilling on small businesses. This has led to the introduction of a new set of voluntary standards for the treatment of micro-businesses and Ofgem is continuing to monitor this issue.

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Energy: Conservation

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2012, Official Report, columns 434-36, on energy efficiency, what the role and objectives are of the office of energy efficiency deployment; and if he will make a statement. [118625]

Gregory Barker: The Energy Efficiency Deployment Office (EEDO) has been set up to advance energy efficiency across the UK economy. EEDO was launched by the Secretary of State on 8 February 2012 and will come forward with a national energy efficiency strategy by the end of the year.

Energy: Meters

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will assess the merits of using the universal credit system to help prepaid meter customers move onto credit meters. [119288]

Gregory Barker: Universal credit will be paid monthly and we will support claimants with monthly budgeting. This may enable them to use direct debits for household bills: paying by direct debit can help households to save on their energy bills. Government and Ofgem are working with energy suppliers to ensure households receive good information about the best tariff and how to get it and Ofgem monitors the differences energy suppliers charge for different payment methods, to ensure pre-payment meter customers are charged a fair price.

Energy: Prices

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to protect vulnerable customers from rising energy bills. [119627]

Gregory Barker: The coalition Government are committed to supporting low income and vulnerable consumers to heat their homes at an affordable cost.

We continue to fund the Warm Front scheme, providing low income vulnerable households, living in energy inefficient properties, with a range of energy efficient heating and insulation measures. Since the start of the scheme in June 2000 the scheme has assisted 2.3 million households across England.

The Community Energy Saving Programme is targeted at the 15% lowest income areas in Scotland and Wales and lowest 10% in England. It is designed to deliver comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits on a street by street basis with expected permanent fuel bill savings of up to £300 a year per household.

Under the Super Priority Group of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target some 600,000 low income households across Great Britain are expected to receive heating and insulation measures, either for free or at a subsidised price.

We recently published the consultation response regarding the new Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which will be our flagship policy for improving the energy efficiency of the nation's housing

6 Sep 2012 : Column 410W

stock. ECO will run alongside the Green Deal and will have twin objectives to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. ECO requires energy suppliers to help households access more expensive insulation measures such as solid wall and hard to treat cavity wall insulation through the Green Deal and to provide measures to low income and vulnerable households to help reduce the costs of staying warm and healthy. Through ECO around £540 million will be spent annually by suppliers to assist low income households and low income areas.

In addition to energy efficiency measures, in 2011-12 the Warm Home Discount scheme provided energy supplier funded discounts to around 700,000 of the poorest pensioners across Great Britain with a core group discount of £120 off electricity bills. Nearly 600,000 of these customers received the discount without having to claim, as a result of data matching between Government and energy suppliers. This is a significant benefit for a group which may struggle to claim. Other low income vulnerable households may also be assisted through the scheme. Overall we expect 2 million low income vulnerable households a year to be assisted through the Warm Home Discount scheme.

Government provide pensioner households with winter fuel payments to help with additional heating costs during the winter. Cold weather payments are also made to low income and vulnerable households where there is an average temperature of 0° C or below for seven consecutive days. These payments have been permanently increased to £25 per week and in winter 2011-12 over 5 million cold weather payments were paid in Great Britain worth an estimated £129 million.

In addition, Big Energy Saving Week, brokered by Government and led by Citizens Advice, aims to connect consumers, particularly the vulnerable, with sources of help with their energy bills. Big Energy Saving Week is week beginning 22 October 2012.

Fuel Poverty: Glasgow

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to reduce levels of fuel poverty in Glasgow North West constituency. [118762]

Gregory Barker: The coalition Government are committed to tackling fuel poverty and supporting low income and vulnerable consumers to heat their homes at an affordable cost. Fuel poverty is a devolved issue for the Scottish Government, but the following polices span Great Britain.

In winter 2011-12, the Warm Home Discount Scheme provided energy supplier funded discounts to around 700,000 of the poorest pensioners across Great Britain with a Core Group discount of £120 off electricity bills. Nearly 600,000 of these customers received the discount without having to claim, as a result of data matching between Government and energy suppliers. This is a significant benefit for a group which may struggle to claim. Other low income vulnerable households may also be assisted through the scheme. Overall we expect 2 million low income vulnerable households a year to be assisted through the Warm Home Discount scheme.

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We recently published the consultation response regarding the new Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which will be our flagship policy for improving the energy efficiency of the nation's housing stock. ECO will run alongside the Green Deal and will have twin objectives to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty. ECO requires energy suppliers to help households access more expensive insulation measures such as solid wall and hard to treat cavity wall insulation through the Green Deal and to provide measures to low income and vulnerable households to help reduce the costs of staying warm and healthy. Through ECO around £540 million will be spent annually by suppliers to assist low income households and low income areas.

The Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) is targeted at the 15% lowest income areas in Scotland and Wales (10% in England). It is designed to deliver comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits and a street by street basis with expected permanent fuel bill savings of up to £300 a year per household. 36 CESP schemes in Glasgow had been submitted to Ofgem for approval by June 2012.

Under the Super Priority Group of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target some 600,000 low income households across Great Britain are expected to receive heating and insulation measures, either for free or at a subsidised price.

In addition, Government provide pensioner households with winter fuel payments to help with additional heating costs during the winter. Cold weather payments are also made to low income and vulnerable households where there is an average temperature of 0° C or below for seven consecutive days. These payments have been permanently increased to £25 per week and in winter 2011-12 over 5 million cold weather payments were paid in Great Britain worth an estimated £129 million.

Hydroelectric Power

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what measures he is considering to speed up the time taken from inception to commissioning of hydro-electricity schemes. [119975]

Gregory Barker: There are several steps that a hydropower scheme needs to go through before it is built, including a feasibility study, environmental report, planning consent, environmental licences, grid connection and raising finance. Further advice can be found in the publication “Hydropower: a Guide for you and your community” which is downloadable at:

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/water/32022.aspx

The Government are working to ensure the administrative burden of meeting essential environmental standards is kept to a minimum. The Environment Agency has streamlined administrative arrangements for the application and determination processes for those applying for the necessary permissions. The Environment Agency is also working with stakeholders to revise its good practice guidelines for hydropower. We will continue to seek to maintain the right balance between encouraging growth in this sector and ensuring that sufficient environmental protection standards remain in place.

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Licensing

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what permits and licences his Department and its public bodies issue to businesses. [118819]

Gregory Barker: The Department and its public bodies issue the following permits and licenses to businesses:

Nuclear regulation

For nuclear regulation, permits and licences may be issued for:

design of low dispersible radioactive material;

designs of Type B(U), Type B(M), Type C packages;

designs for packages to contain uranium hexafluoride;

designs for packages to contain fissile material;

certain types of shipments;

shipments under special arrangement;

modifications or amendments to existing approvals.

authorisations may also be issued permitting carriage of radioactive material contrary to the prohibitions or requirements arising elsewhere in the regulations.

Nuclear development

The Environment Agency issues the following permits to businesses under legislation that is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change:

environmental permits under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 for radioactive substances activities, i.e. (i) for non nuclear sites, for keeping and using radioactive materials, and for their storage or disposal, and (ii) for nuclear sites, for the discharge and disposal of radioactive wastes;

authorisations under the Transfrontier Shipment of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuels Regulations 2008, for international shipments of radioactive wastes and spent nuclear fuel.

Energy technology list

DECC currently funds the Carbon Trust to administer the energy technology list (ETL) on our behalf. This includes issuing the ETL certification mark to manufacturers) whose products have met the set criteria and can qualify for enhanced capital allowances (ECA). The ETL certification mark is used by manufacturers to certify that their products are energy efficient.

Oil and gas offshore environment and decommissioning

greenhouse gas emissions permits under the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2005 (as amended);

atmospheric emissions permits under the Offshore Combustion Installations (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Regulations 2001 (as amended);

chemical use and discharge permits under the Offshore Chemical Regulations 2002 (as amended);

oil discharge permits under the Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution Prevention and Control) Regulations 2005 (as amended);

marine licences under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009;

other environmental approvals, consents etc are also issued under the Offshore Petroleum Production and Pipelines (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1999 (as amended); the Offshore Petroleum Activities (Conservation of Habitats) Regulations 2001 (as amended); the Merchant Shipping (Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation Convention) Regulations 1998; the Offshore Installations (Emergency Pollution Control) Regulations 2002 and Part 4A of the Energy Act 2008 (as amended);

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written approvals for decommissioning programmes under section 32(1) of the Petroleum Act 1998 are issued to operators of offshore oil and gas installations and pipelines.

Oil and gas licensing exploration and development

under the Petroleum Act 1998. DECC issues petroleum exploration and development licences. Consents for drilling, development, production, flaring and venting are issued under these licences.

Coal Authority

the Coal Authority issues licenses and leases for coal mining operations in Britain. It also issues permits to organisations seeking to enter the authority's coal estate to undertake site investigation work and other access agreements for coal methane extraction.

Electricity generating stations

consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 for onshore electricity generating stations with a capacity greater than 50 megawatts; and deemed planning permission under section 90(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for that station(1);

consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989(2) for offshore electricity generating stations with a capacity greater than one megawatt;

the making of an order under the Transport and Works Act 1992;

consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989(3) or the making of an order under the Transport and Works Act 1992 for offshore electricity generating stations with a capacity greater than one megawatt;

issue of notices under section 95 of the Energy Act 2004 declaring safety zones around offshore renewable energy installations;

approval under the Energy Act 2004 of decommissioning plans for offshore renewable energy installations;

declarations under section 99 of the Energy Act 2004 extinguishing the public rights of navigation where these pass through the places where renewable energy installations are situated;

approval of Development Consent Orders under the Planning Act 2008.

permission under section 14 of the Energy Act 1976 to use gas and/or hydrocarbons as the fuel in generating stations with a capacity greater than 10 megawatts.

Overhead electric lines

consent under section 37 of the Electricity Act 1989 for overhead electric lines(4);

Onshore pipelines

pipeline construction authorisation under the Pipelines Act 1962 for pipelines longer than 16.093 km(5);

consents pursuant to Gas Transporter Pipe-line Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999 for the construction of gas pipelines by registered gas transporter(6).

Onshore gas storage facilities

gas storage authorisation order under the Gas Act 1965(7).

Hazardous substances

deemed hazardous consent under section 12 of the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990.

Compulsory purchase orders and compulsory wayleaves

compulsory purchase order under the Acquisition of Land Act 1981.

compulsory wayleave for overhead electric lines under schedule 4 of the Electricity Act 1989.

Miscellaneous

joint decisions with appropriate Minister where any proposal which impacts on a gas or electricity “statutory undertaker” has to be determined, for example a planning application for a new sub-station has been refused by the planning authority and the statutory undertaker has appealed.

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Note:

The Secretary of State will take the final decision on all energy applications submitted to the National Infrastructure Directorate after consideration of its report to him.

Ofgem

While not one of our public bodies, we contract the following functions from Ofgem:

wind licensing;

under gas and electricity legislation, Ofgem is responsible for granting licences covering the following activities:

electricity generation, transmission, distribution and supply;

gas transportation, shipping or supply;

operating an electricity or gas interconnector.

(1) Since 1 March 2010 such applications are now submitted to the National Infrastructure Directorate (NID) of the Planning Inspectorate under the Planning Act 2008.

(2) Since 1 April 2010 applications are submitted to the Marine Management Organisation.

(3) Since 1 April 2010 applications are submitted to the Marine Management Organisation.

(4) Since 1 March 2010 applications for overhead electric lines with a nominal voltage of 132kV and above are submitted to NID.

(5) Since 1 March 2010 applications are submitted to NID.

(6) Since 1 March 2010 applications for such pipelines which are in England are submitted to NID.

(7) Since 1 March 2010 applications for such facilities with a storage capacity of at least 43 million standard cubic metres of gas are submitted to NID.

Micro-generation

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the current initial cost for a micro-producer to connect to the National Grid. [118984]

Gregory Barker: No charge applies for the connection of a domestic-scale generator (less than 16 amps per phase). Larger micro-generation projects connecting to the grid will pay an up-front charge commensurate with the cost of making that connection. These charges will vary by location depending on such factors as the distance to the nearest part of the network and the capacity of the existing network in the vicinity. Due to the project-specific nature of grid connection charges for micro-generation projects, DECC has not developed a set of specific assumptions, although grid connection costs were included in the technology cost estimates developed by Parsons Brinckerhoff for parts 2A and 2B of the Feed-In Tariffs Comprehensive Review.

Renewable Energy: Feed-in Tariffs

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his statement of 24 May 2012, Official Report, columns 1303-7, on the feed-in tariffs scheme, what progress he has made on the inclusion of solar power in the updated renewable energy roadmap; and if he will make a statement. [120074]

Gregory Barker: Solar PV will be included in the updated renewable energy roadmap.

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Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his statement of 24 May 2012, Official Report, columns 1303-7, on the feed-in tariffs scheme, if he will make it his policy to include geo-thermal power in the updated renewable energy roadmap. [120077]

Gregory Barker: Geo-thermal power will be included in the updated renewable energy roadmap.

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his statement of 24 May 2012, Official Report, columns 1303-7, on the feed-in tariffs scheme, if he will make it his policy to include hydro power in the updated renewable energy roadmap. [120078]

Gregory Barker: Hydro power will be included in the updated renewable energy roadmap.

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his statement of 24 May 2012, Official Report, columns 1303-7, on the feed-in tariffs scheme, when he expects the renewable energy roadmap to be updated. [120079]

Gregory Barker: We plan to publish the next update of the renewables roadmap during the autumn.

Solar Power

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the total amount of electricity generated by domestic solar installations up to 1 January 2012; and what this figure represents as a proportion of total domestic electricity consumption for England. [118840]

Gregory Barker: The latest data available are for financial year 2010-11 and are for the UK as a whole. Total generation from sub 4kW PV systems—the vast majority from domestic installations—in 2010-11 was 14.4GWh. The overall UK domestic electricity consumption for 2010-11 was 116.8TWh, so the proportion contributed by domestic-scale PV is approximately 0.01%.

It takes some months for Ofgem to reconcile data from the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) database with the annual generation data from the electricity suppliers. Data for 2011-12 will be made available in December this year. In future, we intend to collect more detailed generation data, and we are consulting the electricity supply companies on this via the FITS Licensees consultation.

As a proxy for generation data, it is useful to compare the sub 4kW PV capacity on Ofgem's Central FIT Register at end March 2011—64.7MW—with what it was at end of March 2012—676.6MW, i.e. a more than 10-fold increase in installed capacity.

Warm Front Scheme

Dr Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much funding his Department allocated to the Warm Front scheme in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; what the actual level of expenditure was in (i) 2010-11 and (ii)

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2011-12; what steps he is taking to ensure allocated funding is spent in 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [118604]

Gregory Barker: The total budget for the Warm Front scheme in 2010-11 and 2011-12 was as £366 million and £145 million(1) respectively. The total budget of £366 million was spent in 2010-11. Total expenditure for 2011-12 was £108.6 million(2).

Warm Front remains open to applications with a budget of £100 million in 2012-13 to provide insulation and heating measures to qualifying households.

Government are committed to doing all they can to drive up demand for the scheme and continues to work closely with local authorities, charities and the energy companies to encourage pensioners and those on low incomes apply for the help to which they are entitled.

The Government have recently taken steps to broaden the eligibility criteria for the scheme to align the income-based qualifying benefits with those to be utilised for the forthcoming Affordable Warmth group of the Energy Company Obligation. The qualifying SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) threshold for the property will also be increased from 55 to 63. These changes will come into force on 12 September 2012 from which time applications will be assessed against the revised criteria allowing an even greater number of households to benefit.

(1) The total budget of £145 million consists of £110 million allocated to Warm Front and associated activities secured through the spending review 2010. In addition DECC allocated £25 million to support the completion of outstanding work from 2010-11 with a further £10 million allocated to Warm Front in 2011-12 from the Department of Health.

(2) The original budget for Warm Front and associated fuel poverty expenditure for 2011-12 was £110 million. During 2011-12 total expenditure was almost £108 million with a further £0.6 million committed but not yet paid. Therefore, of the original Warm Front budget £1.4 million was unspent. The budget was increased by £35 million during the year. We also received agreed rebates from Carillion Energy Services of nearly £14 million. These rebates were used to offset expenditure in 2011-12 bringing total reported expenditure for the year to £94.4 million. Against the total budget of £145 million for 2011-12, £50.6 million was unspent.

Wind Power

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of wind turbines which will come into operation in each (a) year until 2020 and (b) month during the next two years. [119231]

Gregory Barker [holding answer 5 September 2012]:No assessment has been made of the number of wind turbines that will come into operation each month during the next two years and each year until 2020.

However, within the renewable energy roadmap

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

published July 2011, the central scenario shows generating capacity of up to 13 GW of onshore wind and up to 18 GW of offshore wind by 2020.

6 Sep 2012 : Column 417W

Details of wind farms, both onshore and offshore, that are currently within the planning system can be found within the Renewables Energy Planning database (REPD) monthly extract

https://restats.decc.gov.uk/app/reporting/decc/monthlyextract

Estimates based on this information are likely to fluctuate because not all projects in the planning system may receive consent, not all projects consented may follow through to construction and as new projects are introduced. The following table shows the breakdown of wind turbine numbers and capacity for May 2012.

   Planning applications—number of turbines
Wind technologySourceNumber of operational turbinesSubmittedAwaiting constructionUnder construction

Wind offshore

REPD

568

1,072

323

863

Wind onshore

REPD

3,311

2,809

1,819

925

 

RESTATS

318

n/a

n/a

n/a

Total

 

4,197

3,881

2,142

1,788

Wind Power: Seas and Oceans

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2012, Official Report, columns 436-7, on renewable energy, how his agreement with the offshore wind industry will work to ensure that 50% of the supply chain involves UK companies; and if he will make a statement. [118639]

Gregory Barker: The Government welcome the recent announcement by the Offshore Wind Developers Forum (OWDF), which stated its vision for “the UK to be the centre of offshore wind technology and deployment, with a competitive supply chain in the UK, providing over 50% of the content of offshore wind farm projects”.

The Government will work with developers to understand how this will be achieved including to develop a methodology for reporting the level of UK content in future offshore projects to measure how developers are delivering against the vision.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

British Overseas Territories

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to strengthen relations between the UK and its Overseas Territories; and if he will make a statement. [119739]

Mark Simmonds: We published, in June, a White Paper—‘The Overseas Territories: Security, Success and Sustainability’, 28 June 2012, Official Report, column 24WS—setting out a broad and ambitious vision for the Territories in the 21st century. We want the Territories to be vibrant and flourishing communities, proudly retaining aspects of their British identity and generating wider opportunities for their people.

6 Sep 2012 : Column 418W

Our strategy for the Territories is based oh three practical policy goals:

to strengthen the engagement and interaction between the UK and the Territories;

to work with Territories to strengthen good governance arrangements, public financial management and economic planning where this is necessary; and

to improve the quality and range of support available to the Territories.

We announced specific plans to :

support the exchange of expertise between UK and Territory public servants through a Jubilee Programme supporting training and work placements;

support the Territories to engage productively with the wider world, particularly the EU and the Commonwealth;

From this year we will upgrade the annual ministerial meeting with Territory leaders to give it a mandate to lead work to review and implement the commitments in the White Paper.

Correspondence

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the average time taken was by his Department to reply to correspondence from hon. Members and Peers in the last 12 months; and for what proportion of letters the time taken to send a response was longer than (a) one month, (b) six weeks, (c) two months, (d) three months and (e) six months in that period. [118683]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) aims to respond to correspondence received from hon. Members and Peers in 20 working days, as specified by guidance issued by the Cabinet Office available at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sites/default/files/resources/guide-handling-gov-correspondence.pdf

Our correspondence database is designed to record our ability to meet this deadline and between August 2011 and July 2012 the FCO answered 91.5% of 9,957 MP and Peer letters within this timeframe.

Because our system is designed to measure our effectiveness on the Cabinet Office guideline, to give a further breakdown on other specified dates would incur a disproportionate cost.

The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members' and Peers' correspondence. The report for 2011 was published on 15 March 2012, Official Report, columns 31-33WS.

Cultural Relations

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to promote the UK to London-based international media. [119653]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is in daily contact with London-based foreign journalists on behalf of our department and others across Whitehall. They are invited to ministerial and official briefings on a range of policy areas, which can include the promotion of the UK as a place to visit, do business and study. They are also invited to interview Ministers as and when appropriate. Recent

6 Sep 2012 : Column 419W

interviews have included those on the Olympics and Paralympics, which have promoted the UK's ability to deliver large scale projects, the rights of disabled people and the UK as a great place to invest.

Euro 2012

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the number of British nationals who were arrested in (a) Poland and (b) Ukraine during the 2012 European Football Championship. [119025]

Mr Lidington: We are not aware of any arrests of British nationals in Poland and Ukraine during the 2012 UEFA European Football Championships.

European Union

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress his Department has made on the review of the balance of competences of the EU. [119531]

Mr Lidington: As set out in the Command Paper published on 12 July, the Government's review of the balance of competences will be a rolling programme of work across Whitehall. More detail on the publication of reports will be announced this autumn.

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects his Department's review of the balance of EU competencies to be published. [119707]

Mr Lidington: As set out in the Command Paper published on 12 July, the Government's review of the balance of competences will be a rolling programme of work across Whitehall. More detail on the publication of reports will be announced this autumn.

Iran

Jonathan Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what recent reports he has received on access to education by Baha'i students in Iran; and if he will make a statement; [118632]

(2) what recent reports he has received of raids and arrests on businesses run by Baha'i in Iran; and if he will make a statement. [118634]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is aware of an apparent increase in harassment of Baha'is, particularly in Semnan, Iran, including the closure of businesses run by Baha'is and restricted access to education by Baha'i students. We continue to monitor Baha'i persecution in Iran and to condemn publicly the appalling treatment of this minority group. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, made a statement on 24 August condemning the harassment of Baha'is and other minority groups in Iran. We continue to call for Iran to respect the rights and freedoms of the Baha'i community and other minority groups and immediately to cease persecution of them.

6 Sep 2012 : Column 420W

Jonathan Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he plans to take to increase international scrutiny of Iran's human rights record, and its treatment of religious communities such as the Baha'i and the Christian house churches; and if he will make a statement. [118633]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to raise awareness of Iran's human rights record publicly and with our international partners, including the situation of religious minorities. There is already a strong international consensus on the need for Iran to improve its record as demonstrated by the support for the annual resolution at the UN General Assembly. We will work further to build support for this year's resolution and the work of the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran. We will encourage their continued monitoring of the situation of the Baha'is in Iran which is of grave concern to the UK Government. The UK has been at the forefront of EU efforts to tackle impunity for human rights violations with the imposition of restrictive measures against those responsible. We will continue to review and add to these measures with our EU partners.

Israel

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of nuclear weapons in Israel. [119809]

Alistair Burt: We have regular discussions with the Government of Israel on a wide range of nuclear-related issues. Israel has not declared a nuclear weapons programme. We encourage Israel to sign up to the non-proliferation treaty and call on them to agree a Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Middle East

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had discussions with his counterpart in the Israeli Government on that Government's response to the requirement in UNSC Resolution 1860 that it should reopen crossing points to Gaza. [118769]

Alistair Burt: In close co-ordination with our EU partners, we continue to press the Israeli Government to ease access restrictions on Gaza. As I saw when I visited in July 2011 the Israeli restrictions on movements of goods and people do tremendous damage to the economy and living standards of ordinary people in Gaza. The current situation fosters radicalisation and empowers Hamas, while punishing the ordinary people of Gaza. An improved economy is not only essential for the people of Gaza, but firmly in Israel's security interests.

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information his Department holds on whether EU research funding has been granted to Israeli companies that operate in illegal settlements in each year since 2005. [118779]

6 Sep 2012 : Column 421W

Alistair Burt: We are strongly opposed to Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: they are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace. No UK public funds have gone in direct support of settlements. We understand that Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories received an EU contribution totalling 1.13 million Euros under the Fifth and Seventh Framework Programmes for Research, Development and Technological Development. We are following up with the European Commission to outline our concerns.

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of Israel about the applications made to the Israeli High Court of Justice by the organisation Kfar Adumim calling for the Israeli Civil Administration to demolish the Jahalin School in Khan Al Ahmar; and if he will make a statement. [118919]

Alistair Burt: This issue was raised most recently by our ambassador to Israel and our Consul-General in Jerusalem when they called on Israel's Co-ordinator of Government Activities in the Territories on 17 July.

We have been informed that on 13 September, a panel of three judges of the Israeli High Court of Justice will hear the petition in order to reach a verdict, whether to accept the petition to demolish the school or to deny the petition.

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the proposed demolition of homes in the Al-Bustan neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. [119381]

Alistair Burt: We have raised this issue with the Israeli Minister of Interior, the Israeli ambassador to the UK and the Municipality of Jerusalem.

We are urging Israel to desist from the demolitions and evictions, which we consider to be contrary to Israel's obligations under international humanitarian law, harmful to the peace process, as well as causing unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians.

Russia

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Russian authorities on the House of Commons resolution of 7 March 2012 on Sergei Magnitsky. [119489]

Mr Lidington: We have concerns about the Magnitsky case and continue to make those concerns clear to Russia at the highest levels, noting the strong parliamentary and media interest in the case.

In a meeting with the Russian ambassador on 3 September, I raised the continuing lack of progress in the investigation into Magnitsky's death and urged the Russian authorities to press forward with their investigation, and hold those responsible to account. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs raised the lack of progress in bringing those responsible to justice with Foreign Minister Lavrov

6 Sep 2012 : Column 422W

when he visited Moscow at the end of May. The Prime Minister raised our concerns about the human rights situation in Russia with President Putin when they met in Downing street in August.

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings and correspondence his Department has had with the Home Department in connection with the death of Sergei Magnitsky in 2012 to date. [119490]

Mr Lidington: Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials consulted Home Office officials this year as part of preparations for parliamentary debates which called for visa bans on those allegedly involved in Magnitsky's death. There has also been routine contact with the Home Office over correspondence and parliamentary questions relating to proposed visa bans over the Magnitsky case. During the Back-Bench debate on human rights and the death of Sergei Magnitsky on 7 March, the Government set out that foreign nationals from outside the European economic area (EEA) may only come to the UK if they satisfy the requirements of the immigration rules. Where there is independent, reliable and credible evidence that an individual has committed human rights abuses, the individual will not normally be permitted to enter the UK. The UK remains seriously concerned about the lack of progress in the investigation into Sergei Magnitsky's death, and has set out these concerns to the Russian authorities at the highest levels.

Syria

Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the situation in Syria; and if he will make a statement. [118766]

Alistair Burt: I refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to the House on 3 September 2011, Official Report, columns 59-68.

Turks and Caicos Islands

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on the proposed imposition of value added tax in the Turks and Caicos Islands; and if he will make a statement. [119735]

Mark Simmonds: During the visit of the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for North West Norfolk (Mr Bellingham), to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) in June this year, the implementation of VAT was raised with him. It was also a topic for discussion during the recent visit to London by the leader of the Progressive National Party, Dr Ewing. We received copies of letters sent to the TCI Government on this subject, together with correspondence from members of the public.

6 Sep 2012 : Column 423W

The British Government have consistently made it clear that the introduction of VAT is a decision for the TCI Government. We support their decision to introduce VAT on the basis of an assessment that it will provide a more stable, fairer and broader based system of revenue.

The VAT Bill was signed into law by the Acting Governor on 18 July 2012.

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements his Department made for monitoring the 9 November 2012 elections in the Turks and Caicos Islands. [119740]

Mark Simmonds: The Turks and Caicos Islands Government are inviting, with our financial support, observers for the forthcoming elections. They have agreed with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (UK) to organise an observer mission including UK and regional monitors.

UK Membership of EU

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received calling for a referendum on the UK's continuing membership of the EU. [119638]

Mr Lidington: I receive regular representations from MPs and members of the public on all matters relating to the UK's relationship with the EU, including a referendum on membership.

United Arab Emirates

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has raised any concerns with the government of the United Arab Emirates on the treatment and care of UK citizens who are in custody in that country, either in prison or on remand, since May 2010. [118718]

Alistair Burt: When a British national raises concerns over their mistreatment in detention anywhere in the world, we will, with their permission, raise it with local authorities. We have done so in the United Arab Emirates.

Culture, Media and Sport

Boxing

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much she plans to allocate to boxing in 2013. [119101]

Hugh Robertson: In the period 2009-13 the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) is receiving £4.5 million from Sport England to support grassroots sport. Sport England is currently assessing the plans put forward by the ABAE to maintain and increase grassroots participation in boxing over the period 2013-17. Its funding decisions will be made at the end of the year.

6 Sep 2012 : Column 424W

The total UK Sport funding to support elite boxing in 2013 will depend on the investment the sport receives for the 2013-17 Rio 2016 cycle which will begin 1 April 2013. Boxing's funding for the London 2012 cycle, which totals £9,551,400, will continue until 31 March 2013. Final decisions on funding the Rio 2016 cycle will be made in December.

Broadband

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport with reference to her announcement on 20 August 2012 that it is the Government's ambition for the UK to have the fastest broadband of any major European country by 2015, which European countries does she consider to be major. [119387]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport considers countries such as France, Germany, Italy and Spain as being the major European nations which we compare ourselves with regarding broadband speed and other key performance indicators.

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number of households in urban areas that receive broadband speeds of less than 2 mbps as a consequence of being connected to telephone exchanges that are more than 5km away from their home. [119388]

Mr Vaizey: The Statistical Digest of Rural England 2012 estimated, using modelled distance data, that 5% of households in urban areas in England had no or slow broadband in 2010:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/2012/06/12/pb13782-stats-digest-rural-england ( page 71)

Ofcom published data for the percentage of premises receiving less than 2 Mbit/s for individual local authorities in summer 2011:

http://maps.ofcom.org.uk/broadband/

Local Broadcasting

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) what her future plans are for local television in Plymouth and Swansea; [119389]

(2) what assessment she has made of the reasons why no bids were made to her Department for new local television stations in Plymouth and Swansea. [119390]

Mr Vaizey: Ofcom may choose to re-advertise the licences for Plymouth and Swansea in a future round of licensing; this will depend on the overall demand by potential providers of local TV in those cities. Licences were advertised in locations where there had been expressions of interest and where there was good spectrum coverage and, ultimately, it is up to market participants to decide whether or not to bid. Ofcom will take a view on the timing and location of the next tranche, once the first licences have been awarded.

Olympic Games 2012: Overseas Visitors

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate she

6 Sep 2012 : Column 425W

has made of the number of foreign nationals who visited

(a)

London and

(b)

the UK to attend the Olympic and Paralympic Games. [119021]

Hugh Robertson: These statistics will be collated through the International Passenger Survey and published by the Office for National Statistics shortly. However, a regional breakdown will not be available for some time.

Olympic Games 2012: Tickets

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what London 2012 Olympics tickets were allocated to (a) Ministers, (b) politicians and (c) special advisers. [119102]

Hugh Robertson: In the autumn, the Government will publish a list of those dignitaries to whom, and events for which, it allocated tickets, the cost to Government of those tickets, and the number of staff who purchased tickets.

Public Libraries

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what data on libraries her Department gathers on a regular basis. [119496]

Mr Vaizey: I refer the hon. Member for Barnsley Central to the answer I gave him on 5 September 2012, Official Report, column 349W.

Sports

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment her Department has made of the uptake of less well-known sports following the London 2012 Olympics; and what (a) financial and (b) other assistance is being made available to groups and clubs to assist with this. [118797]

Hugh Robertson: Recognising the opportunity of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games to promote participation in sport, Sport England has, for the first time, invested in all Olympic and Paralympic sports to maintain and increase grassroots participation between 2009 and 2013. This Exchequer and national lottery investment is made through the sports' national governing bodies. Many of these organisations have reported a surge in interest since the London 2012 Olympic Games got under way. Official figures on sports participation levels will be available in December when the Active People Survey results for the period are published.

Other financial assistance is being offered to grassroots sports groups and clubs via Sport England's legacy programme Places, People, Play, including the inspired Facilities fund which is currently accepting bids from sports groups to improve local sports facilities, in additional to financial assistance, the Club Leaders programme is providing free training and support to those doing the day-to-day running of community sports groups, helping to create an economically sustainable and enterprising club network.

6 Sep 2012 : Column 426W

Sports: Disability

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what the proposed budget is for Paralympic Sport in each of the next four years. [119313]

Hugh Robertson: Final funding decisions will be made by UK Sport in December. UK Sport cannot speculate on the future funding of paralympic sports at this stage, but the total funding available will depend on the investment each sport receives for the 2013-17 Rio 2016 cycle. Planning for this cycle is already well under way and every sport is being given the opportunity to make its case.

Health

Abortion

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many repeat abortions there were on women aged (a) under 20, (b) 20 to 24, (c) 25 to 29, (d) 30 to 34 and (e) 35 years old and over resident in each primary care trust area in England in the last year for which figures are available. [118905]

Dr Poulter: The available information has been placed in the Library.

Ambulance Services

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ambulance stations were closed in (a) England and Wales, (b) the east midlands, (c) Nottinghamshire and (d) Ashfield constituency in each of the last three years. [118993]

Anna Soubry: This information is not centrally collected. The management of ambulance estates is a matter for individual ambulance trusts.

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ambulances were involved in road accidents in each of the last 10 years. [119017]

Anna Soubry: This information is not centrally collected. Individual ambulance trusts may keep records of accidents involving ambulances.

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ambulance drivers were prosecuted for dangerous driving while on duty in each of the last 10 years. [119018]

Anna Soubry: This information is not centrally collected. Individual ambulance trusts may keep records of any prosecutions of their staff for dangerous driving while on duty.

Apprentices

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many apprentices were employed by (a) his Department, (b) its principal contractors and (c) the NHS in each of the last five years. [118606]

Anna Soubry: The Department has employed three external apprentices over the past five years. They joined the Department in February 2010 and, on 3 January 2012, they became permanent members of staff, on completion of their apprenticeships.

6 Sep 2012 : Column 427W

Of the Department's current principal contractors, EMCOR (the Department's facilities management provider) had one apprentice during both 2010 and 2011 but has none at present. The Department's catering provider Quadrant had one apprentice during 2010 but also has none currently. Information on apprenticeships with other current and previous contractors is not available.

The national health service is now one of the largest public sector employers of apprenticeships and one of the top three employers of apprentices in the country. It has the biggest range (80 plus) of apprenticeship frameworks of any national employer. Over the last few years, the rapid expansion in apprenticeships across the wider economy has been mirrored in the NHS. This increase has been delivered through the Department's investment of £25 million in 2009-210 and a further £10 million in 2010-11. The numbers of NHS apprenticeships commissions were:

2008-09: 1,300

2009-10: 8,167

2010-11: 9,547.

Although there is no allocated central funding for this policy, strategic health authorities had 10,313 apprentices in training in 2011-12.

Contained in these figures is the number of current NHS staff who have begun to undertake an apprenticeship programme as well as new start apprentices who are entering into employment within the NHS.

Breast Cancer

Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to ensure that older breast cancer patients (a) receive a personalised, written care plan, (b) have their individual physical, psychological, social and financial needs assessed regularly as part of their care and (c) are offered appropriate support and treatment to address their needs in relation to their body image. [118726]

Norman Lamb: Through the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (NCSI) we are working to ensure that all cancer survivors, including older breast cancer patients, get the care and support they need to lead as healthy a life as possible for as long as possible. The NCSI Assessment and Care Planning workstream has been looking at how best to ensure that survivors needs are identified and plans put in place to meet them from an early stage. Having a needs assessment during and at the end of treatment helps to identify issues and allows a personalised care plan to be developed in partnership with the cancer survivor.

The care plan is ‘owned by’ the cancer survivor and can cover a range of topics such as planned surveillance and follow-up care; the symptoms of possible reoccurrence and consequences of treatment; signposting to support groups and local services; lifestyle advice around diet and exercise; psychological support; and work and finance concerns.

Over the past two years, the NSCI and NHS Improvement have been piloting the Assessment and Care Planning process, as well as other survivorship models of care, across a number of sites in England. The evidence gathered will inform the NCSI's future recommendations for commissioning cancer services to support the care, advice and information heeds of people living with and beyond cancer.

6 Sep 2012 : Column 428W

Caesarean Sections

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much NHS funding was provided for caesarean operations in each of the last five years; and what the funding will be in each year until 2015. [119324]

Anna Soubry: Funding is currently allocated to primary care trusts (PCTs) on the basis of the relative needs of their populations. These revenue allocations are not broken down by service or policy area. It is for PCTs to commission services to meet the health care needs of their local populations, taking account of local and national priorities.

The allocation of resources to clinical commissioning groups from April 2013 are a matter for the NHS Commissioning Board.

Care Quality Commission

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many hours were spent by staff in the Care Quality Commission on staff forum duties in the last year for which figures are available; [119300]


(2) what the cost to the public purse was of the provision of a staff forum in the Care Quality Commission in the last year for which figures are available. [119301]

Anna Soubry: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has informed the Department that, from October 2011 to September 2012, 478.50 hours were spent by staff on staff forum duties. Within the same period, management time spent on staff forum duties amounted to 147.50 hours.

The staff cost of the forum from October 2011 to September 2012 is £9,827.15.

The management cost of the staff forum from October 2011 to September 2012 is £5,595.57.

Chiropody

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the potential benefits of including toenail clipping within chiropody services as part of preventative care and public health measures. [118828]

Norman Lamb: No assessment has been made centrally. It is for local health and care organisations to commission services to meet the needs of their communities including the provision of chiropody and other foot care services. Most toenail cutting can be safely delivered by family members or by the voluntary or private sector, with the necessity for chiropodist led services being limited to those with clearly defined clinical needs, for example diabetes.

Circumcision

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many male circumcisions were performed on the NHS in each of the last five years; what the ages were of these patients; and what the total cost to the public purse was in each such year. [119325]

6 Sep 2012 : Column 429W

Anna Soubry: Information on the cost of male circumcisions performed in the national health service is not available. Such information as is available is in the following table:

Count of finished consultant episodes(1) with a primary or secondary procedure(2) of Circumcision (N30.3) by age from 2006-07 to 2010-11
Age at start of episode2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-11

Less than 1 year

676

783

1,016

1,124

870

1

684

701

694

745

697

2

672

686

731

697

584

3

985

1,056

1,060

1,042

896

4

1,088

1,118

1,094

1,013

936

5

987

1,141

992

1,032

910

6

1,083

1,020

948

912

862

7

1,052

1,021

926

866

802

8

936

934

927

872

755

9

771

882

829

779

719

10

726

811

761

728

736

11

632

640

661

676

615

12

519

552

531

504

508

13

352

387

381

409

368

14

261

288

249

303

264

15

197

217

294

304

294

16

284

320

344

439

362

17

341

415

419

467

426

18

353

404

485

449

499

19

384

436

471

446

458

20

363

431

457

470

489

21

403

413

426

421

470

22

333

387

388

430

429

23

342

371

363

389

432

24

348

355

389

350

399

25

305

336

340

332

378

26

329

334

344

323

319

27

295

368

322

335

337

28

262

305

302

340

301

29

257

298

288

307

301

30

239

247

261

298

286

31

254

288

292

227

300

32

255

280

259

253

256

33

240

270

241

245

244

34

258

276

230

246

228

35

269

289

288

246

247

36

269

291

257

289

268

37

284

274

292

280

239

38

258

299

274

306

247

39

310

287

283

265

284

40

222

277

288

277

295

41

258

280

275

269

302

42

256

260

257

277

278

43

250

266

280

278

298

44

255

266

294

286

305

45

248

246

293

298

291

46

234

285

259

283

292

47

233

262

268

288

297

48

225

242

219

277

313

49

213

236

229

263

306

50

192

208

233

278

290

51

200

205

210

260

268

52

218

203

238

248

237

53

190

236

210

230

248

54

192

206

217

200

256

55

194

213

244

237

212

56

189

208

194

235

261

6 Sep 2012 : Column 430W

57

208

203

228

204

237

58

190

183

215

222

208

59

194

199

200

196

224

60

195

227

194

215

200

61

163

193

216

223

216

62

183

165

205

240

249

63

152

190

187

232

232

64

159

203

196

204

212

65

165

184

199

193

212

66

166

160

173

177

199

67

177

169

168

217

205

68

171

175

176

180

185

69

153

189

172

179

188

70 years and over

2,217

2,500

2,600

2,685

2,811

Unknown

23

25

106

100

159

Yearly total

27,141

29,275

29,552

30,110

29,501

(1) A finished consultant episode (FCE) is a continuous period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. FCEs are counted against the year in which they end. Figures do not represent the number of different patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the same stay in hospital or in different stays in the same year. (2) The number of episodes where the procedure (or intervention) was recorded in any of the 24 (12 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and four prior to 2002-03) procedure fields in a HES record. A record is only included once in each count, even if the procedure is recorded in more than one procedure field of the record. Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The Health and Social Care Information Centre