Burma

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government is assisting the Government of Burma with technical and other assistance on repealing and replacing that country's 1982 citizenship law. [120450]

Mr Swire: The Burmese Government have not initiated any action in regards to repealing or replacing its 1982 citizenship law.

As I set out in the Westminster Hall Debate of 11 September 2012, Official Report, 20-24WH, on the treatment of Rohingya communities in Burma, the United Kingdom has long been one of the most active and vocal members of the international community in raising the issues affecting the Rohingya with the Burmese authorities and has consistently called for discrimination against the Rohingya to end and for their rights to be recognised.

We continue to raise these concerns in international institutions such as the UN Human Rights Council,

13 Sep 2012 : Column 335W

where in March of this year we strongly supported a resolution which made clear to the Burmese Government the urgent need to resolve the issue of nationality for the Rohingya community.

We continue to urge the Burmese Government to respond to the international community's calls to address the issues affecting the Rohingya, including a permanent and inclusive solution to the issue of their citizenship.

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received that ethnic Rohingya are being forced out of the town of Sittwe in Burma. [120451]

Mr Swire: We continue to receive reports from a range of sources that suggest that people from both Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine communities, though mainly Rohingya, were removed from Sittwe into temporary shelters in recent months.

An official from our embassy in Rangoon visited Sittwe and Rakhine State as part of a government-organised tour for the diplomatic corps on 31 July/1 August and saw some of the aftermath of the violence in Sittwe. We understand that violence has mostly subsided though tensions remain high and that the response to the humanitarian situation is ongoing.

We continue to monitor the situation in Rakhine State closely and press Burmese authorities to put in place a long-term solution to the problem which does not leave communities permanently displaced.

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of how many people have been internally displaced by conflict and human rights abuses in Burma since Thein Sein became President of that country. [120452]

Mr Swire: The two most notable outbreaks of violence in Burma since President Thein Sein was inaugurated in April 2011 are the conflict in Kachin State which erupted in June of that year and the recent outbreak of inter-communal violence in Rakhine State. Human Rights Watch estimate that 75,000 people were displaced as a result of conflict in Kachin State and the UN estimates that 90,000 have been displaced in Rakhine State. Given the restricted access to the areas affected, and that displaced persons have often fled into bordering countries for safety, it is difficult to verify these numbers with certainty.

We continue to call for unrestricted humanitarian access to all areas affected by conflict in Burma. The UK, through the Department for International Development's bilateral programme, is committed to assisting 155,000 people affected by conflict by 2014.

EU Justice and Home Affairs

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on Protocol 36 of the Treaties of the European Union regarding the UK's ability to opt out in the field of Justice and Home Affairs; and if he will make a statement. [120762]

13 Sep 2012 : Column 336W

Mr Lidington: The Government are currently considering this issue and we will be listening carefully to the views of interested parties before taking a final decision. We have taken note of the interests of the European and Departmental Select Committees. We are committed to a vote in Parliament and we will consult with the Committees on the arrangements for that vote.

European Union

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the requirement for a referendum under the European Union Act 2011 would apply should the UK opt in to measures covered by Protocol 36 of the Treaties of the European Union. [120760]

Mr Lidington: The UK's decision on whether to continue to be bound by those measures covered by Article 10 of Protocol 36 does not involve the transfer of new powers to Brussels because it flows from the existing treaties and does not require any amendment to those treaties. This decision would not therefore trigger a referendum under the 2011 Act. However, the Government has committed to a debate and vote in both Houses on its decision.

India

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of India's response to the UN's Universal Periodic Review; what assessment he has made of the level of respect for human rights in India; and if he will make a statement. [120733]

Mr Swire: We welcome the steps India has taken since the last Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and are encouraged by their engagement with the UN process as well as consultations with civil society leading up to the review in May. We look forward to the Indian Government's response to all the recommendations made during its UPR, including those from the UK, in due course.

The rights of India's citizens are enshrined in the country's constitution. As the world's largest democracy we recognise the efforts of the Indian Government to address human rights issues, and continue to encourage India to address the challenges that remain.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of progress in India since the last EU human rights dialogue; and what his priorities are for the next dialogue with India. [120734]

Mr Swire: Last year's EU/India human rights dialogue enabled the discussion of a range of human rights issues, including the death penalty, the rights of minorities and efforts to tackle human trafficking.

We welcome India's continued de facto moratorium on the death penalty, and call for this to be maintained. We also support the Indian authorities' actions to bring the perpetrators of communal violence to justice, and continue to encourage them to provide assistance to the victims. The recent ethnic violence between communities in Assam, and subsequent displacement of hundreds of

13 Sep 2012 : Column 337W

thousands of people, highlights some of the challenges that remain. We also recognise India's recent efforts on combating people trafficking, including ratification of the United Nations convention against transnational organised crime (and its convention on people trafficking), and the establishment of integrated anti-trafficking units across India.

We are, however, disappointed that India has not made progress in adopting three key pieces of human rights legislation which are currently with Parliament: the Prevention of Torture Bill (and the subsequent ratification of the UN convention on torture), the Communal Violence Bill, and the Women's Reservation Bill.

Our priorities for the next dialogue with India include follow up to the UN's Universal Periodic Review of India, prevention of torture, minority rights, and the death penalty.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to authorities in India on the treatment of the Sikh community in that country. [120735]

Mr Swire: While we have not discussed specifically the treatment of the Sikh community with the Indian authorities, the UK is active in encouraging equal treatment of all religious communities in our representations to the Indian Government through our high commission in New Delhi and the annual EU/India human rights dialogue. Our high commissioner in New Delhi also regularly visits Punjab and meets with political leaders from the Sikh community.

Nigeria

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his most recent assessment is of the security situation in Nigeria. [120420]

Mark Simmonds: The security situation in Nigeria remains serious. There is a high threat from terrorism in Nigeria: in particular from a group commonly known as Boko Haram. Over the last 24 months they have launched a series of attacks against the Nigerian Government and security forces, Christian and Muslim communities including their places of worship, and the international community. These attacks have included assassinations, commando-style attacks and suicide bombings. Extremists associated with Boko Haram have also targeted westerners for kidnapping, which tragically led to the deaths of a British and Italian national(s) in northern Nigeria in March 2012.

Zimbabwe

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government have made to the Zimbabwean government on the public sector pensions of UK citizens entitled to a Zimbabwean civil service or military pension; and on what dates since May 2010 any such representations have been made. [120416]

13 Sep 2012 : Column 338W

Mark Simmonds: We have for many years and will continue to make representations, through our embassy in Harare, to the Government of Zimbabwe on the importance of fulfilling their legal responsibilities to former public servants who are entitled to a Zimbabwe Government Pension.

British embassy officials have met with the relevant Zimbabwean authorities approximately seven times since May 2010, most recently on 2 August 2012. We will continue to press the Zimbabwean authorities to ensure that this process is taken to its conclusion.

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had with countries of the African Union on the payment of civil service or military pensions to UK citizens by the Zimbabwean government. [120417]

Mark Simmonds: We have had no discussions with any African Union country except Zimbabwe on the payment of civil service or military pensions to UK citizens by the Zimbabwean Government.

We will continue to make representations to the Government of Zimbabwe to remind them of their legal responsibilities to former public servants who are entitled to a Zimbabwe Government Pension.

Health

Abortion

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on his Department's proposed consultation on abortion counselling; and when he plans to publish the consultation document. [120410]

Anna Soubry: The priority for sexual health is to publish the sexual health policy document this autumn. The document will cover issues relating to improving contraception and abortion services.

Accident and Emergency Departments

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS patients in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England waited longer than four hours for accident and emergency treatment in each of the last five years. [120703]

Anna Soubry: The Accident and Emergency Clinical Quality Indicator (CQI) for time to treatment was launched in April 2011, therefore 2011-12 is the only full year for which data is available.

The number of A&E attendances with a recorded time to treatment of 241 minutes (four hours one minute) or more in Coventry, West Midlands (excluding Coventry) and England for 2011-12 is presented in the following table:

13 Sep 2012 : Column 339W

13 Sep 2012 : Column 340W

A&E attendances with recorded time to treatment of 241 minutes or more, in Coventry, West Midlands and England 2011-12
 Coventry(1)West MidlandsEngland

Total A&E attendances with a time to treatment recorded

151,432

1,351,432

15,286,562

A&E attendances with a time to treatment of 241 minutes or more

1,062

20,711

328,644

Percentage of A&E attendances with a time to treatment of 241 minutes or more

0.7

1.5

2.1

(1) Excluding Coventry which is presented separately. Source: A&E Hospital Episode Statistics 2011-12 provisional year end (M13).

These figures are taken from provisional year end data, which will be finalised in January 2013.

These figures are for A&E attendances, rather than individual patients. In any year, a single patient could have had more than one A&E attendance.

These figures exclude A&E attendances where the time to treatment was left blank. There were 1.2 million blank records for England, 165,000 for the West Midlands and 15,500 for Coventry in 2011-12.

Alcoholic Drinks: Young People

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to tackle the problem of binge drinking by children and young teenagers. [118781]

Mr Timpson: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Education.

The Government believe that investing in high quality education and in early years provision will ensure that children and young people have high ambitions, stay engaged, behave well and reach high levels of educational attainment. These factors all have a positive impact on the risk factors for substance misuse.

The effects of alcohol are currently covered within personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education and as part of the statutory National Curriculum for Science (both currently under review). Within PSHE, pupils are also taught about the personal and social consequences of misuse for themselves and others.

In addition to this general support and provision for children and young people, the Department has contributed to the development of the Government's 2012 Alcohol Strategy. One of its aims is to achieve a sustained reduction in both the numbers of 11 to 15-year-olds drinking alcohol and the amounts consumed. The Strategy includes plans to work with the Advertising Standards Agency to improve further the protection of children from the impact of alcohol advertising and to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol.

Cancer

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what timetable he has set for development of one and five-year cancer survival rate indicators; [120574]

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure clinical commissioning groups can be held to account for improving cancer survival rates. [120598]

Anna Soubry: One and five year survival for breast, colorectal and lung cancers are already included in the first domain of the NHS Outcomes Framework.

These indicators were also considered for inclusion in the Commissioning Outcomes Framework (COF) when the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published a list of potential measures for public consultation in February 2012. However, following the consultation and a public meeting of NICE's independent advisory committee on 21-22 May, these indicators were not included in NICE'S final recommendations for the COF, published on 1 August. We understand that NICE was unable to include any cancer survival rate measures in its recommendations because it had not, at that stage, been possible to develop an appropriate methodology.

The Information Centre for health and social care is working with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to develop a methodology for composite one-year and five year survival rate indicators for all cancers for potential inclusion in the NHS Outcomes Framework and Commissioning Outcomes Framework (COF). These are complex measures that require linkage of ONS population statistics with cancer registry data and attribution to clinical commissioning groups, as well as testing the robustness of the measures. It is likely to take some months to complete this work.

The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) will decide on the content of the COF and is expected to publish the list of measures for 2013-14 in the autumn. If not included in the 2013-14 framework, the board may choose a separate publication route for the data that does exist, to ensure the information is available transparently to the public.

Public health and the national health service will both have a role to play in delivering the improvements to survival rates. Within the NHS, some services will be commissioned by the NHS CB (primary care and specialised services) and some by clinical commissioning groups for their populations. The role of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will therefore be to ensure the commissioning of appropriate services to deliver against the areas for which they will be responsible. These will include, for example, commissioning of surgery for cancers that are not covered by the specialised commissioning arrangements and commissioning of follow-up care for most cancers. CCGs are also responsible for supporting the board in improving the quality of primary medical care. It is not possible to separate out what proportion of the 5,000 additional lives to be saved are the responsibility of the different organisations, but they are all responsible for working together to deliver the improvements.

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS patients in (a) Coventry, (b) the west midlands and (c) England waited longer than one month from an urgent referral for suspected cancer to the beginning of treatment in each of the last five years. [120704]

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Norman Lamb: A maximum waiting time of two months (62 days) between an urgent referral for suspected cancer from the patient's general practitioner (GP) and the start of first definitive treatment for cancer is included within the Operating Framework for the National Health Service in England for 2012-13 and the NHS is expected to meet an operational standard of 85%. While statistics on patients treated within one month of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer are published, there is no specific requirement in the Operating Framework for patients to begin first definitive treatment within one month of an urgent referral for suspected cancer from their GP.

Statistics on cancer waiting times between referral and treatment have been published since January 2005.

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However, from 1 January 2009 the definitions and methodology used to calculate these statistics are no longer directly comparable to those used previously. Historic data and an assessment of the impact of the change in methodology are available at:

www.transparency.dh.gov.uk/cancer-waiting-times/

The following tables set out the numbers of patients commencing first treatment for cancer within one month of referral and the performance against the two-month maximum waiting time requirement included within the Operating Framework. Statistics in this format were published for the first time from Q4 2008-09.

All statistics are provider based, and may include patients whose care was commissioned by the Welsh NHS.

University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
PeriodNumber of patients treated following an urgent GP referral for suspected cancerNumber of patients treated within one month of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancerNumber of patients treated within two months of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancerPercentage of patients treated within two-month (62-day) maximum waiting time

Q4 2008-09

209

63.5

182.5

87.3

     

Q1 2009-10

227.5

77.5

203

89.2

Q2 2009-10

213.5

73.5

187

87.6

Q3 2009-10

223.5

75.5

199.5

89.3

Q4 2009-10

209.5

71.5

188

89.7

     

Q1 2010-11

229

63

204

89.1

Q2 2010-11

242

52

208

86.0

Q3 2010-11

266

80

237.5

89.3

Q4 2010-11

221.5

71

196

88.5

     

Q1 2011-12

263.5

68

228

86.5

Q2 2011-12

258

74

224.5

87.0

Q3 2011-12

242.5

71

211

87.0

Q4 2011-12

255.5

85

225.5

88.3

     

Q1 2012-13

263.5

74

226

85.8

All NHS providers in the west midlands
PeriodNumber of patients treated following an urgent GP referral for suspected cancerNumber of patients treated within one month of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancerNumber of patients treated within two months of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancerPercentage of patients treated within two-month (62-day) maximum waiting time

Q4 2008-09

2,188

741.5

1,904

74.2

     

Q1 2009-10

2,565

813.5

2,189

85.3

Q2 2009-10

2,626.5

901.5

2,242

87.4

Q3 2009-10

2,576.5

928

2,235

86.7

Q4 2009-10

2,600.5

850.5

2,198

84.5

     

Q1 2010-11

2,862

909

2,446.5

85.5

Q2 2010-11

2,933.5

888

2,487.5

84.8

Q3 2010-11

2,918.5

877.5

2,510

86.0

Q4 2010-11

2,804

960.5

2,421.5

86.4

     

Q1 2011-12

3,012.5

967

2,564.5

85.1

Q2 2011-12

3,110

994

2,691.5

86.5

Q3 2011-12

3,158.5

1,068

2,756

87.3

Q4 2011-12

3,214.5

964.5

2,767

86.1

     

Q1 2012-13

3,118

939.5

2,722.5

87.3

Note: Data are for all NHS providers within the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority area

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13 Sep 2012 : Column 344W

All English NHS providers
PeriodNumber of patients treated following an urgent GP referral for suspected cancerNumber of patients treated within one month of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancerNumber of patients treated within two months of an urgent GP referral for suspected cancerPercentage of patients treated within two-month (62-day) maximum waiting time

Q4 2008-09

20,282

6,866

21,387

85.7

     

Q1 2009-10

23,516

7,440

20,218

86.0

Q2 2009-10

24,955

8,330

21,387

85.7

Q3 2009-10

24,686

8,390

21,388

86.6

Q4 2009-10

24,486

8,215

21,223

86.7

     

Q1 2010-11

25,590

8,225

22,392

87.5

Q2 2010-11

27,588

8,823

24,024

87.1

Q3 2010-11

26,023

8,382

22,694

87.2

Q4 2010-11

25,834

8,529

22,306

86.3

     

Q1 2011-12

27,575

8,671

23,890

86.6

Q2 2011-12

28,902

9,409

25,239

87.3

Q3 2011-12

28,467

9,256

25,027

87.9

Q4 2011-12

28,236

9,062

24,640

87.3

     

Q1 2012-13

28,791

8,792

25,180

87.5

Note: Statistics on waiting times and activity for the two month maximum waiting time between an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer and first definitive treatment are presented on an ‘accountable basis’. Within this, where the patient's pathway of care involves more than one NHS provider the activity statistics are shared equally between the provider where the patient is first seen in clinic following referral and the provider where the patient receives their first definitive treatment (if different). This results in some provider based statistics showing ‘half patients’.

Drugs: Rehabilitation

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of care for (a) Class A, (b) Class B and (c) Class C drug users; and if he will make a statement. [120750]

Anna Soubry: Information on the health costs of class A drug use is given in the following table and is taken from the Home Office publication, ‘Measuring different aspects of problem drug use: methodological developments’, published in 2006, and available at:

www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/crime-research/hoor1606?view=Binary

Health costs£ million

In-patient care

198

In-patient mental health

88

A&E

81

Community mental health

61

Primary care—GP visits

32

Neonatal effects

3

Infectious diseases

25

We do not have equivalent estimates for the health costs of Class B and Class C drug use.

General Practitioners

Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether local commissioning bodies are required to comply with the local health requirements of their health and wellbeing boards. [120617]

Anna Soubry: Health and wellbeing boards provide the forum for local authorities, the national health service and communities to work together to develop a joint understanding of local needs through joint strategic needs assessments (JSNAs), a shared set of priorities and a strategy to address these in joint health and well-being strategies (JHWSs). The key local health and social care commissioners (clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local authorities) will be represented on each health and wellbeing board with the NHS Commissioning Board also expected to appoint a representative to participate in the preparation of JSNAs and JHWSs.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 introduces a new statutory obligation on these key health and social care commissioners to have regard to the relevant JSNA and JHWS in exercising their functions. This means that in making any decisions to which a JSNA or JHWS is relevant (for example a commissioning decision), the body must take account fully of the relevant provisions of the relevant JSNA and JHWS, and consider them properly and seriously, not dismissively.

CCGs, the NHS Commissioning Board and local authorities will be expected to develop their commissioning plans in line with any relevant JSNA or JHWS, and must be able to justify any parts of their plans which are not consistent.

13 Sep 2012 : Column 345W

A good JHWS will need to reflect those areas that matter most to local people and where the NHS and local government can make most impact through joint working. As such, each JHWS should be jointly owned by the key commissioners and local communities and it will be in the interests of all parties to ensure that it does form the basis of commissioning plans.

Health Services: Older People

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment his Department has made of differences in the use of intermediate care services across the NHS; and how many strategic health authority areas offer patients at the end of life access to intermediate care services; [120422]

(2) what steps he has taken to ensure that local areas (a) commission and (b) provide services in line with the latest intermediate care guidance; [120423]

(3) what assessment he has made of the effect on the number of people who are able to die at home of the provision of intermediate care services for people at the end of life. [120424]

Norman Lamb: Current guidance on intermediate care provides support and encouragement to service commissioners, providers and practitioners on developing and implementing intermediate care services to meet the health and social care needs of their local communities. It sets out the definitions, service models, and responsibilities for provision, charges and planning.

From 1 April 2013, health and wellbeing boards will be the forum for the national health service, local authorities and communities to exercise shared leadership in arriving at a joint understanding of local needs, and a shared strategy to address those needs. This will include health and social care commissioners making an assessment of the provision of intermediate care services to best meet local needs. This will include access to the provision of intermediate care services for people at the end of life.

Audit data from the National Audit of Intermediate Care, which was published on 12 September 2012, will provide the Department and others with independent information on the differences, variation and models of intermediate care services.

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve the care system for elderly people; and if he will make a statement. [120831]

Norman Lamb: The changes brought about as a result of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 will benefit older people, and other users of the health and care system. These changes will:

improve quality and choice of care for patients, and increase transparency for taxpayers;

give GPs and other clinicians the primary responsibility for commissioning health care;

create a coherent system, of regulation for providers, to drive quality and efficiency; and

limit Ministers' ability to micromanage, while ensuring they remain ultimately accountable.

The Social Care White Paper, ‘Caring for our Future: Reforming Care and Support’, was published in July 2012 following a public engagement in 2011. The need for people who receive care and support—the majority

13 Sep 2012 : Column 346W

of whom are older people—to be to be treated with dignity and respect was a key message from the engagement, and this has been reflected within the White Paper.

Kindness and compassion, dignity and respect must be central to care, whoever provides it and wherever it is provided. Many of the solutions lie with the local NHS, social care providers and other key partners. But Government has a part to play too. By sharing best practice, bringing people together, and putting in place the right system incentives, the Department can encourage providers to increase the quality of their services to older people.

A good example is the NHS Operating Framework for 2012-13, which establishes the issue of high quality, dignified and compassionate care as one of four key priorities for the NHS. In January 2012, the Department also announced a package of initiatives aimed at improving the standard of nursing care in this country. This includes the creation of an independently chaired Nursing and Care Quality Forum, the introduction of hourly ward rounds, and the freeing up of nurses so that they can spend more time with patients.

On 26 March 2012, the Prime Minister launched his Challenge on Dementia, which will increase diagnosis rates, raise awareness and understanding and double funding for research by 2015. The Challenge sets out renewed ambition to go further and faster, building on progress made through the National Dementia Strategy, to secure greater improvements in dementia care and research so that people with dementia, their carers and families get the services and support they need.

In addition to improving the quality of care delivered to older people, the Department is also supporting the wider system:

to keep older people well and out of hospital and care homes;

to help older people regain their independence after a period of support;

to provide older people with advice and choice around their end of life care; and

to give older people a greater say in their care.

Hospitals: Fires

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many fires have occurred in NHS hospitals in each of the last five years. [120943]

Dr Poulter: The information requested is shown in the following table.

Number of fires reported in the national health service by year
 Number

2006-07

2,083

2007-08

1,550

2008-09

1,402

2009-10

1,323

2010-11

1,046

Data for 2011-12 is currently being collected and will be published in October 2012.

The Department collects data on the number of fires annually, as specified by FIRECODE—HTM 05-01: Managing healthcare fire safety, from the national health service trusts through its estates returns information collection (ERIC). Provision of this data was compulsory for NHS trusts but voluntary for NHS foundation

13 Sep 2012 : Column 347W

trusts. The data collected has not been amended centrally and its accuracy always remains the responsibility of the contributing NHS organisations.

Hospitals: Liverpool

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average waiting time was for (a) heart and (b) eye operations in Liverpool, Walton constituency in each of the last 10 years. [120695]

13 Sep 2012 : Column 348W

Anna Soubry: The data is not available in the format requested.

Information showing the mean and median time waited, and eligible finished admission episodes for heart and eye operations, for national health service providers in the local area, is shown in the following tables.

Table 1: Mean and median time waited, and eligible finished admission episodes, for selected providers for heart operations 2001-02 to 2010-11
 Provider codeProvider nameMean time waited (days)Median time waited (days)Eligible finished admission episodes

2001-02

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

8.3

6

7

2002-03

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

11.2

1

13

2003-04

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

51.1

47

525

2004-05

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

36.5

30

877

2005-06

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

34.1

26

912

2006-07

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

29.0

21

964

2007-08

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

18.6

14

861

2008-09

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

13.9

12

681

2009-10

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

15.6

14

710

2010-11

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

17.8

14

639

      

2001-02

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

118.8

80

309

2002-03

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

122.0

98

287

2003-04

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

112.9

89

355

2004-05

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

90.5

67

^ 315

2005-06

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

73.9

48

236

2006-07

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

71.4

36

226

2007-08

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

60.1

40

190

2008-09

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

64.7

36

69

2009-10

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

63.6

27

135

2010-11

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

56.5

41

128

      

2001-02

RBQ

Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust

79.7

36

6,254

2002-03

RBQ

Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust

98.9

61

7,049

2003-04

RBQ

Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust

93.8

70

6,737

2004-05

RBQ

Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust

81.8

64

5,807

2005-06

RBQ

Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust

70.1

59

5,473

2006-07

RBO

Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust

52.4

41

4,647

2007-08

RBQ

Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust

47.0

38

5,003

2008-09

RBO

Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust

40.1

34

5,089

2009-10

RBQ

Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust

38.2

32

4,787

2010-11

RBO

Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust

41.2

34

4,760

      

13 Sep 2012 : Column 349W

13 Sep 2012 : Column 350W

2001-02

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

117.9

111

390

2002-03

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

85.8

78

466

2003-04

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

73.9

65

424

2004-05

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

89.6

67

409

2005-06

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

95.3

92

426

2006-07

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

84.8

73

583

2007-08

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

42.0

35

656

2008-09

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

32.4

29

548

2009-10

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

31.0

29

454

2010-11

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

43.3

40

484

Table 2: Mean and median time waited, and eligible finished admission episodes, for selected providers for eye operations 2001-02 to 2010-11
 Provider codeProvider nameMean time waited (days)Median time waited (days)Eligible finished admission episodes

2001-02

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

133.5

83

3,024

2002-03

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

101.9

68

2,806

2003-04

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

87.3

64

2,757

2004-05

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

53.5

43

2,496

2005-06

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

53.4

51

¦ 2,541

2006-07

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

50.2

49

2,850

2007-08

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

39.2

36

3,581

2008-09

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

34.5

35

3,312

2009-10

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

44.3

41

3,328

2010-11

REM

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

53.8

53

2,960

      

2001-02

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

64.7

48

423

2002-03

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

58.3

46

374

2003-04

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

75.6

63

423

2004-05

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

63.0

51

358

2005-06

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

57.6

46

329

2006-07

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

56.3

41

431

2007-08

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

46.3

38

456

2008-09

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

57.7

53

207

2009-10

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

63.4

55

.407

2010-11

RBS

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust

61.6

54

431

      

13 Sep 2012 : Column 351W

13 Sep 2012 : Column 352W

2001-02

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

130.1

72

5,684

2002-03

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

136.7

81

4,515

2003-04

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

128.2

101

4,889

2004-05

R06

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

75.1

65

4,523

2005-06

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

68.6

62

4,745

2006-07

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

68.0

68

5,316

2007-08

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

59.5

53

5,948

2008-09

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

51.4

50

5,683

2009-10

R06

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

43.7

42

5,395

2010-11

RQ6

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

47.7

40

4,874

Notes: 1. Data is not available at constituency level. 2. Time waited (days) statistics from Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are not the same as published Referral to Treatment (RTT) time waited statistics. HES provides counts and time waited for all patients between decision to admit and admission to hospital within a given period. Published RTT waiting statistics measure the time waited between referral and start of treatment. 3. A finished admission episode (FAE) is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. FAEs are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year. FAEs are considered eligible for the time waited measure when the admission is booked or elective, i.e. emergency admissions are excluded. 4. The first recorded procedure or intervention in each episode, usually the most resource intensive procedure or intervention performed during the episode. It is appropriate to use main procedure when looking at admission details, (e.g. time waited), but a more complete count of episodes with a particular procedure is obtained by looking at the main and the secondary procedures. Heart operations are identified as those records with a main operative procedure code starting with K. Eye operation are identified as those records with a main operative procedure code starting with C. 5. HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage (particularly in earlier years), improvements in coverage of independent sector activity (particularly from 2006-07) and changes in NHS practice. For example, changes in activity may be due to changes in the provision of care. Source: Health and Social Care Information Centre, Hospital Episode Statistics, activity in English national health service hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector

Hospitals: Swindon

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by what percentage hospital admissions in Swindon are forecast to change over the next 20 years. [120488]

Anna Soubry: The information requested is not held centrally. This is a matter for the national health service locally. My hon. Friend may wish to contact NHS Swindon who are still responsible for commissioning services for his constituents. NHS Swindon are working with the emerging clinical commissioning group about the planning assumptions being made about acute admissions in Swindon.

Hospitals: Waiting Lists

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many NHS patients in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England waited for more than a year for treatment in each of the last five years; [120702]

(2) what the average waiting time was for NHS treatment in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England in each of the last five years. [120849]

Anna Soubry: The information is shown in the following tables.

 Number of patients who waited over 52 weeks
 2008-092009-102010-112011-12
 AdmittedNon-admittedAdmitted.Non-admittedAdmittedNon-admittedAdmittedNon-admitted

Coventry PCT

261

742

13

53

6

12

9

3

West Midlands SHA

2,791

7,667

408

2,261

445

2,167

1,147

1,960

England

21,819

53,819

5,151

14,993

4,160

11,191

7,389

13,045

13 Sep 2012 : Column 353W

13 Sep 2012 : Column 354W

 Average (median) wait in weeks
 2008-092009-102010-112011-12
 AdmittedNon-admittedAdmittedNon-admittedAdmittedNon-admittedAdmittedNon-admitted

Coventry PCT

7.7

3.4

7.2

3.4

7.3

4.0

6.2

3.6

West Midlands SHA

8.1

4.0

8.0

4.0

8.2

4.1

8.5

4.0

England

8.1

4.2

8.1

4.3

8.4

4.2

8.3

4.0

Note: Information relates to the whole financial year in each case. Data for the full year 2007-08 is not available as admitted adjusted figures are only available from March 2008 and non-admitted figures from August 2007. Source: Departmental referral to treatment waiting times statistics (Unify2 data collection).

Mesothelioma: Merseyside

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in each hospital trust in Merseyside were diagnosed with mesothelioma in each of the last five years; what plans he has to provide funding for improved treatment of mesothelioma; and if he will make a statement. [120694]

Anna Soubry: Information cannot be provided in the format requested. In the following table, we have provided incidence of mesothelioma in each primary care trust (PCT) in the metropolitan county of Merseyside in each of the last five years for which data are available.

PCT20062007200820092010

Halton and St Helens

11

19

7

9

11

Knowsley

4

2

7

7

9

Liverpool

20

15

18

17

19

Sefton

13

8

12

12

14

Wirral

13

23

29

35

26

Notes: 1. Mesothelioma is coded as C45 in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD 10). 2. Figures are based on boundaries as of 2012 and exclude non-residents. 3. Newly diagnosed cases registered in each calendar year. Source: Office for National Statistics

We are committed to improving outcomes for all cancer patients, including those with mesothelioma. ‘Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer’, published on 12 January 2011, set out actions to tackle preventable cancer incidence; improve the quality and efficiency of cancer services; improve patients' experience of care; improve quality of life for cancer survivors; and deliver survival outcomes that are comparable with the best in Europe. To support delivery of the strategy, we are providing more than £750 million of funding over a period of four years until 2014-15.

Departmental Pay

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who the 10 highest paid staff are in his Department; and what the annual salary is of each such member of staff. [120427]

Dr Poulter: The details of the 10 highest paid staff employed by the Department as at the end of August 2012 and their annual salaries are presented in the following table.

NameRoleBasic salary in rangeTotal salary in range

David Nicholson

Chief Executive National Health Service

£210,000-£215,000

£210,000-£215,000

Sally Davies

Chief Medical Officer

£200,000-£205,000

£200,000-£205,000

Duncan Selbie

Chief Executive Designate Public Health England

£180,000-£185,000

£180,000-£185,000

David Salisbury

Director of Immunisation

£110,000-£115,000

£170,000-£175,000

Paul Johnstone

Regional Director of Public Health

£85,000-£90,000

£170,000-£175,000

Rashmi Shukla

Regional Director of Public Health

£90,000-£95,000

£160,000-£165,000

Una O'Brien

Permanent Secretary

£160,000-£165,000

£160,000-£165,000

David Harper

Seconded out to World Health Organization

£130,000-£135,000

£155,000-£160,000

Mahmood Adil

Quality Improvement Programme and Productivity Adviser for Clinical and Finance Engagement

£85,000-£90,000

£150,000-£155,000

Judith Jones

Deputy Director Public Health Intelligence, Leadership and Workforce Development

£90,000-£95,000

£140,000-£145,000

Notes: 1. Non-consolidated performance related pay is excluded from the table. 2. Employees seconded out to other organisations are included where the Department meets their full salary. 3. Individuals seconded into the Department are excluded as their salary information is not held centrally.

Procurement

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the name is of each company with which his Department has a contract; what the monetary value of each such contract is; and what is provided to his Department under the terms of the contract. [120770]

13 Sep 2012 : Column 355W

Dr Poulter: The information is not readily available and to examine the many thousands of commercial transactions held on the Department's central procurement systems and government procurement card transactions and extract the specific information requested for current contracts could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The Department uses the central Government procurement portal, Contracts Finder, to publish information and contract documentation for many new contracts with a value above £10,000.

Third Sector

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to implement the recommendations of the National Audit Office's report, Central Government's implementation of the national Compact. [120558]

Norman Lamb: We welcomed the National Audit Office review of implementation of the Compact in 2011 and the subsequent report published in January 2012. The Department has already taken the following actions to ensure the Compact is being implemented:

reviewed and monitored consultation lengths, to ensure consultations with the CSO sector are 12 weeks, where possible;

incorporated the Compact in its own cross-departmental guidance on matters like grant funding and procurement; and

monitored departmental Compact compliance, via the number of complaints received about the implementation of the Compact.

The Department does recognise the need to take forward those recommendations within the report that will help it further embed Compact principles into its activities. These actions are laid out in the Department's Business Plan.

Home Department

Anti-slavery Day

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to mark Anti-slavery Day on 18 October 2012. [120584]

Mr Harper: The Home Office is currently finalising a range of co-ordinated activities for members of the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group on human trafficking to mark Anti-slavery Day and to raise awareness.

Arrests: Football

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) arrested at and (b) ejected from football stadiums by the police in each year since 1990. [120468]

Damian Green [holding answer 11 September 2012]:Data on arrests in connection with football matches is collated and reported annually on the basis of club supported and type of offence. The location of each football-related arrest was not recorded centrally prior to the 2003-04 season. Data on ejections from football stadia is not recorded centrally.

Information in answer to part (a) is presented in the following table:

13 Sep 2012 : Column 356W

Football-related arrests inside stadia in England and Wales 2003-04 season to 2010-11 season
Football seasonNumber

2003-04

1,732

2004-05

1,491

2005-06

1,655

2006-07

1,642

2007-08

1,555

2008-09

1,495

2009-10

1,454

2010-11

1,548

Civil Disorder

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many payments have been made under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 to date; and how much in total has been paid out. [120505]

Damian Green: While decisions and payments on the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 claims are entirely a matter for police authorities, the Government has worked closely with affected authorities to ensure victims are fully compensated. As of early September, police authorities have now settled the majority of uninsured claims:

95% of all active valid uninsured individuals' claims originally received have now been dealt with by police authorities.

The Metropolitan Police Service also received a number of further claims for compensation after insurers had repudiated claims. Decisions have been made on 85% of these cases.

Drugs: Crime

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to which countries with capital punishment for drugs offences does the UK provide bilateral assistance on drug enforcement; and what steps she has taken to ensure that such assistance is not provided in cases which might result in the imposition of the death penalty. [120858]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Her Majesty's Government provide bilateral assistance on drug enforcement to a range of key international partners with a focus on reducing the drugs threat posed to the UK.

We cannot give a detailed response regarding the location of resources overseas, as the effectiveness of our work with international partners can be reduced by disclosing specific locations. However, the deployment of resources in relation to drugs is focused on locations that enable us to reduce the supply of drugs to the UK and is done so in a manner that promotes, rather than undermines, human rights and democracy.

We take human rights issues very seriously in our counter-narcotics work. In December 2011, the Government published the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) Guidance. The guidance provides a clear framework to help officials identify the human rights risks, propose appropriate measures to mitigate these risks and produce a final assessment. It also sets out when the decision to provide assistance should be taken by senior personnel or Ministers. This helps to ensure that our overseas assistance supports our values and is consistent with our domestic and international human rights obligations.

13 Sep 2012 : Column 357W

Drugs: Misuse

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether her Department has made an assessment of the effectiveness of the global war on drugs; [120435]

(2) whether her Department has made an assessment of the effectiveness of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in achieving its stated aims. [120436]

Mr Jeremy Browne [holding answer 11 September 2012]:The Home Department has not made any formal assessment of the impact of any global drug policies. This includes the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and what is referred to as the Global War on Drugs.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of whether the UK Border Agency has fulfilled its commitment to an holistic approach in assessing colleges under the highly trusted status procedures of the Tier 4 points-based immigration system; and if she will make a statement. [119877]

Mr Harper: The UK Border Agency has applied an holistic approach in the consideration of highly trusted sponsor licence applications on a case by case basis. The holistic approach is applied when there are exceptional circumstances in a specific case, such as when the numbers of Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) that a sponsor has issued are so low as to have a disproportionate effect on the numeric assessment.

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many educational institutions had their highly trusted status licence refused, suspended or downgraded prior to April 2011 on the basis of failure to report a visa refusal. [119878]

Mr Harper: It is not possible to provide figures on the number of institutions that have had their highly trusted sponsor (HTS) status refused, prior to April 2011 based on failure to report visa refusals.

The number of educational institutions that had their HTS status suspended or downgraded based on the failure to report a visa refusal is zero.

Human Trafficking

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans her Department has to make the National Referral Mechanism for Victims of Trafficking a responsibility of the National Crime Agency. [120711]

Mr Harper: The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a multiagency framework for identifying and protecting victims of human trafficking. The UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC), part of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), is responsible for administering data gathered through the NRM. We plan for SOCA's NRM responsibilities to transition to the National Crime Agency (NCA) along with other capabilities of SOCA at vesting. We are currently conducting detailed design work on the structures of the NCA, including where the NRM would be most effective within the Agency.

13 Sep 2012 : Column 358W

Human Trafficking: Children

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to ensure all local authorities set up a local multi-agency information sharing process to share information on patterns and cases of child trafficking in their area. [120756]

Mr Harper: Child trafficking is a form of child abuse. In addition to the existing statutory arrangements in place to enable information sharing among partners on child protection issues the Home Office is funding a local multi-agency safeguarding project to support local areas to develop their partnership and information sharing arrangements to safeguard and manage the risks to children and vulnerable people in their area.

London Metropolitan University

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many overseas students studying at London Metropolitan University have been contacted by the UK Border Agency concerning their status in the UK since 29 August 2012. [120484]

Mr Harper [holding answer 11 September 2012]: The UK Border Agency will not be contacting students who have current leave to remain until 1 October 2012 at the earliest. The Agency will then contact those students who have not submitted an application for further leave to remain or who have left the country to inquire about their status. The UK Border Agency has contacted, or attempted contact with the 26 students identified as having studied at London Metropolitan university that had no leave to remain in the United Kingdom.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officials of the UK Border Agency have been deployed to the task force for London Metropolitan university; and what their remit is. [120486]

Mr Harper [holding answer 11 September 2012]:The UK Border Agency has two members of staff working with the Government taskforce created to assist London Metropolitan university to find alternative education for legitimate overseas students.

Ministerial Ethnic Minority Steering Group

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Ministerial Ethnic Minority Steering Group is still constituted; on how many occasions it has met since May 2010; and how many such meetings were chaired by a Minister. [118838]

Damian Green: The last meeting of the Ministerial Ethnic Minority Steering Group was held in December 2009. The Secretary of State for the Home Department and Ministers hold regular discussions with representatives from police forces on a wide range of issues, including on matters of equality and diversity.

13 Sep 2012 : Column 359W

Police and Crime Commissioners

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to publish data providing comparable national statistical information on police and crime commissioner performance in different geographical areas in England and Wales; and if she will make a statement. [120729]

Damian Green: The Government will not be centrally monitoring police and crime commissioners’ (PCCs) performance. Police and crime commissioners will be held to account by their local communities, not by central Government.

Police.uk will provide people with local and comparable crime information which they can use to hold PCCs to account.

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to publish the Welsh Forms Order for police and crime commissioner elections. [120852]

Damian Green: We plan to lay the order on 15 October; the earliest date that both Houses of Parliament are sitting.

Police: Conditions of Employment

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 17 July 2012, Official Report, column 662W, on police: conditions of employment, what the involvement was of other members of Tom Winsor's firm with forces and on what dates that involvement began; and on what date and by what means Tom Winsor was informed of that involvement. [119033]

Damian Green: Decisions to engage external advisers to support specific procurement exercises or change programmes are a matter for chief officers, working with their police authorities, and, from November, police and crime commissioners. This includes the terms and conditions of any such contracts agreed between the force or authorities and its contractor.

As set out in the answer of 17 July, Tom Winsor worked independently of his firm to produce a comprehensive set of proposals which should be debated on their own merits. He made no recommendations relating to the use of the private sector in policing.

Police: Surveillance

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department has issued any guidance to chief constables on the circumstances in which authorisation should be given to an undercover police officer to (a) start and (b) continue a sexual relationship with someone who is the target of undercover surveillance; whether any such guidance includes making provision for appropriate supervisory arrangements to ensure that officers do not start or continue relationships without authorisation; and if she will make a statement. [121107]

Damian Green: No. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and its associated statutory code of practice make it clear that deployment of undercover

13 Sep 2012 : Column 360W

police officers as covert human intelligence sources is required to be necessary and proportionate and to be closely monitored and managed by the force concerned.

The personal conduct of any police officer is a matter for the force concerned.

Police: Uniforms

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has received representations on possible confusion between the uniforms worn by Newham law enforcement officers and those worn by police officers. [120861]

Damian Green: No such representations have been received. I understand that a number of Newham council officers have been accredited under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme, which enables the police to accredit individuals with limited powers to assist in responding to the needs of their community. Accreditation under the scheme within the Metropolitan police area is a matter for the Commissioner, who must also approve any uniform worn by accredited persons.

Guidance on the scheme is provided by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

House of Commons Commission

Postal Services

Nick de Bois: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, how much the House spent on Royal Mail unpaid postage fees in (a) 2009, (b) 2010 and (c) 2011; and what steps are being taken to reduce these costs. [120923]

John Thurso: Unpaid postage costs in the last three financial years have been as follows:

2009-10: £10,397.33

2010-11: £10,627.94

2011-12: £11,811.22

Following the 30% increase in the cost of most postage in April 2012 a variety of proposals were considered to reduce costs. These proposals included the House administration ceasing to meet the costs of surcharges incurred through non payment of postage on correspondence addressed to Members at Westminster. After consultation with the Administration Committee and the Finance and Services Committee the Commission decided to continue to meet these costs as not to do so would have a direct impact on the conduct of Members' parliamentary business and might disadvantage vulnerable constituents.