23 Oct 2012 : Column 753W

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Energy and Climate Change

Electricity Generation

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on how many occasions the level of fine imposed by Ofgem on an energy distribution company for its failure to deliver on output efficiency has been reduced on appeal in (a) 2008, (b) 2009, (c) 2010, (d) 2011 and (e) 2012 to date. [123792]

Mr Hayes: Enforcement of compliance with the relevant legislations, which apply to energy distribution companies, is a matter for the independent regulator Ofgem. None of its decisions to fine an energy distribution company for its failure to deliver or output efficiency have been reduced on appeal.

Energy: Prices

Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what policies and initiatives his Department introduced to (a) reduce the cost of consumer energy bills, (b) limit the volatility of consumer energy bills and (c) encourage new entrants into the domestic retail energy market between 3 July 2008 and 11 May 2010. [123816]

Gregory Barker: Between 3 July 2008 and 11 May 2010 my Department maintained and introduced a range of policies and initiatives to reduce the cost of energy bills, limit the volatility of consumer energy bills, and encourage new entrants into the domestic retail energy market: These include:

A voluntary agreement with the six largest energy suppliers to provide support worth £375 million to vulnerable consumers between April 2008 and March 2011. This agreement was monitored by Ofgem and it produced a series of reports on suppliers' spending to assist vulnerable consumers which are available via the following link:

http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Sustainability/SocAction/Suppliers/CSR/Pages/CSR.aspx

Provisions in the Energy Act 2010 to enable the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), to make schemes for the purposes of reducing fuel poverty by requiring energy suppliers to provide households with support, including in the form of energy bill reductions;

Publishing an assessment of the energy market that set out a range of options for reforming the electricity market:

http://www.europeanenergyreview.eu/data/docs/Viewpoints/budget2010energymarket[1].pdf

Exempted new entrants and small suppliers from participation in CERT and CESP.

Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what investigations were (a) ordered and (b) begun by his Department into the pricing policies of the Big Six energy companies between 3 July 2008 and 11 May 2010. [123821]

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Mr Hayes: In the first instance it would be for Ofgem as the independent regulator of the gas and electricity markets to decide whether an investigation into the pricing policies of large suppliers was necessary.

Under the Enterprise Act 2002, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), can make a Market Investigation Reference to the Competition Commission in two situations. The first is if he is unsatisfied with a decision by the regulator not to refer the matter. The second is where, after providing the regulator with information, he is not satisfied that a decision on whether or not to refer will be made within a reasonable time.

During this period no Market Investigation References were made to the Competition Commission.

Nuclear Reactors

Andrew Bingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he intends to publish his Department's response to Kirk Sorensen's comments in the National Nuclear Laboratory report on the use of molten salt and thorium reactors. [124001]

Mr Hayes: I understand that Kirk Sorensen provided review comments to the National Nuclear Laboratory on reports covering advanced nuclear reactor systems. As his commentary was provided for the National Nuclear Laboratory's consideration, and not for DECC's, the Department has not responded to them.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will estimate the number of families with children under five years old who do not receive the warm home discount. [124480]

Gregory Barker: Warm Home Discount Scheme Broader Group schemes offered by participating suppliers include an offer for groups such as low-income families and those with long-term illnesses and disabilities. All six participating suppliers (British Gas, EDF, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power and SSE) have eligibility criteria in their Broader Schemes targeted at low-income families with children aged under five.

Suppliers provided a total of 234,297 Broader Group discounts worth £120 each, equating to £28.1 million of support in 2011-12, and we expect at least 364,000 households to benefit from the Broader Group in 2012-13, receiving discounts of £130.

However, energy suppliers are not required to provide a breakdown of the eligibility criteria under which each household successfully received the discount. As a result we cannot calculate how many households received the discount as a result of being a low-income family with children aged under five or, therefore, those which did not.

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Attorney-General

Confiscation Orders

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Attorney-General how many confiscation orders have been granted to the Serious Fraud Office in the last five years; how much such orders were intended to recover; and how much they have recovered. [123860]

The Solicitor-General: From 1 April 2008 to 17 October 2012, the Serious Fraud Office obtained 67 confiscation orders with a combined value of £73,974,947. During the same period a combined sum of £13,371,993 has been collected in satisfaction of confiscation orders. It is not possible to correlate directly the sums ordered and collected, because as the orders may be subject to appeals or can often provide time to pay, which results in payments being made after a substantial delay or not yet falling due.

Corruption

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Attorney-General what assessment he has made of the Serious Fraud Office's performance in recent years in prosecuting cases of overseas corruption by British companies. [123861]

The Attorney-General: The SFO is committed to tackling the most complex and serious crimes involving fraud, bribery and corruption. Offences committed prior to the introduction of the Bribery Act 2010 require my consent to prosecution and I am kept informed of progress. The director provides regular briefings to me about his current cases. He has recently restated his policy in relation to the Bribery Act and this can be found at:

http://www.sfo.gov.uk/bribery--corruption/self-reporting-corruption.aspx

Fraud

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Attorney-General what recent steps he has taken to ensure that the Serious Fraud Office's investigations and prosecutions of serious and complex fraud are adequately resourced. [123859]

The Attorney-General: The Prime Minister has previously made clear that if the Serious Fraud Office needs more resources, it will be provided with them. We continue to keep this under review.

Electoral Commission Committee

Electoral Register

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what steps the Electoral Commission is taking to increase voter registration for the elections on 15 November 2012; and what steps the Commission is taking to ensure that students are registered to vote. [123109]

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Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission is running a public awareness campaign ahead of the elections on 15 November. The campaign will include an information booklet with details of the registration deadline and how to register to vote, which will be sent to every household in areas where the elections are taking place. This will be supported by TV, radio, press and online advertising.

The campaign will be aimed at the general public but will also target specific audiences by, for example, using Facebook to reach younger people and students.

The Commission has also provided guidance and set standards for awareness to be raised locally by those running the elections. An important element of this is raising awareness of the registration deadline and the Commission has provided a range of resources to electoral registration officers to help them do this, including template posters, press adverts and press releases.

Police and Crime Commissioners: Elections

Steve Baker: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what steps the Electoral Commission is taking to ensure that the electorate is better informed about the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in November. [124373]

Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission is running a public awareness campaign ahead of the elections on 15 November. The campaign includes an information booklet, which will be sent to every household in areas where the elections are taking place. This booklet includes details on the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner, the date of the election, how to fill in the ballot paper and information on how to register to vote and apply for a postal or proxy vote. This is being supported by TV, radio, press and online advertising.

The Commission has also provided guidance and set standards as to how awareness should be raised locally by those running the elections. It has also provided a range of resources to help raise awareness of the elections, including template posters, press adverts and press releases.

The Commission has already begun collecting information on how public awareness activity is being delivered by police area returning officers (PAROs) and will continue to monitor the performance of PAROs against the standards in the run-up to polling day.

Prime Minister

Jimmy Savile

Frank Dobson: To ask the Prime Minister (1) who nominated Jimmy Savile for a knighthood; [123299]

(2) whether Jimmy Savile was vetted before being nominated for a knighthood. [123300]

The Prime Minister: It has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment on individual honours cases.

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Home Department

Asylum: Greece

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her assessment is of the extent of progress by the Greek Government in implementing its National Action Plan for Managed Migration and Asylum Reform; and when she expects to be able to resume Dublin's regulation returns of asylum seekers from the UK to Greece. [124533]

Mr Harper: The Government continue to work with European partners, including the European Asylum Support Office, to monitor and support the implementation of the Greek National Action Plan for Managed Migration and Asylum Reform. Some encouraging progress has been made, including establishing the legal framework for a new Asylum Service, Appeals Authority and Initial Reception Service. However, there is still much to be done and the UK continues to press the Greek Government to complete the reforms needed to meet their European and international obligations as quickly as possible.

The return of asylum seekers under the Dublin Regulation (EC) No. 343/2003 will not resume until it can be demonstrated that the Greek asylum system meets the requirements set by the European Court of Human Rights in MSS v. Belgium and Greece (21 January 2011) and the Court of Justice of the European Union in NS and others (21 December 2011).

Atos

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2012, Official Report, column 862W, on Atos, whether she has made an estimate of the level of profit Atos will make from each contract; and what the likely level of profit is for each. [123837]

Mr Harper: The Home Office cannot disclose the estimated profit from its contract with Atos as the release of this information would prejudice commercial interests.

Burglary: Greater Manchester

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of burglaries in (a) Tameside and (b) Stockport local authority areas in the latest period for which figures are available. [124556]

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

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated October 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for estimates on the number of burglaries in (a) Tameside and (b) Stockport local authority areas in the latest period for which figures are available. (124556)

While the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) is the preferred measure of burglary as it includes crimes not reported to the police, and is unaffected by changes in police recoding

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practices, CSEW data are not available at the focal authority level. Burglary figures for local authority areas are available based on the number of crimes recorded by the police. The latest period for which data on police recorded burglaries by local authority are available is 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012. Police recorded crime data is supplied by the 43 territorial police forces of England and Wales, plus the British Transport Police.

In Tameside local authority there were 1,303 burglaries in a dwelling and 1,023 burglaries in a building other than a dwelling, making a total of 2,326 burglaries recorded during this time period.

In Stockport local authority there were 1,310 burglaries in a dwelling and 1,716 burglaries in a building other than a dwelling, making a total of 3,026 burglaries recorded during this time period.

Counter-terrorism

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) officers and (b) other staff in the Metropolitan police were working directly on implementing the National Counter-Terrorism Strategy on 30 September (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012; and if she will make a statement. [123255]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 18 October 2012]: The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime does not publish the number of officers or staff working directly on counter-terrorism, for reasons of national security.

Crime

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 11 September 2011, Official Report, column 126W, on crime, if she will make an assessment of the implication for her policies of research conducted by Professor Nick Bayliss into fantasising in the criminal justice system; and if she will make a statement. [123777]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Home Office constantly monitors a range of academic research on crime, criminal justice and wider social issues, to ensure that new Home Office policy takes account of any significant developments in the evidence base. There are no current plans to look specifically at the work of Professor Bayliss.

Crimes of Violence

Jenny Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many incidents of actual bodily harm were reported in each of the last five years; [124086]

(2) how many incidents of grievous bodily harm were reported in each of the last five years. [124090]

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

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated October 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for levels of particular offences over the last five years. (124086 & 124090)

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The table shows the number of incidents recorded by the police in England and Wales for each of the offence types in question, from 2007/08 to 2011/12. These data are published each quarter, with the latest figures available from Table A4 within ‘Crime Statistics: Appendix tables - Crime in England and Wales, year ending June 2012'. The table includes the latest period for completeness, and gives the codes of the individual offences that make up each group, as used in Table A4.

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The data provided in the table cover England and Wales only. Crime figures for Scotland are published at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice

and data for Northern Ireland are published at:

http://www.psni.police.uk/index/updates/updates_statistics/update_crime_statistics.htm

Police recorded crime for selected offences, 2007-08 to 2011-12, England and Wales
Offence2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-1212 months to June 2012

GBH(1)

40,206

39,501

34,789

32,355

23,691

ABH(2)

378,176

359,483

331,448

303,909

223,867

Rape(3,4)

12,673

13,096

15,074

15,892

16,043

15,669

Robbery(5)

84,773

80,130

75,105

76,189

74,689

71,444

Theft from a Vehicle(6)

432,412

396,976

339,170

313,467

300,378

293,666

(1) Current GBH classifications were introduced from 1 April 2008 and replaced an earlier classification. This group of offences includes offences 5A, 8F, 8H. It therefore includes endangering life and racially or religiously aggravated inflicting GBH as well as GBH with intent, though GBH with intent is the major part of this category. (2) This group covers offences 8G and 8J. Current ABH classifications were introduced from 1 April 2008 and replaced an earlier classification. This group of offences includes racially or religiously aggravated inflicting ABH. (3) This group covers offences 19A-19H, covering rapes of males and females of all ages. (4) Prior to 2009-10, a small number of offences continued to be recorded relating to offences repealed by the Sexual Offences Act 2003. While these may have been legitimately recorded for offences committed prior to May 2004 it is also possible that some may have been recorded in these old categories in error, so any changes based on small numbers should be interpreted with caution. (5) This group includes offences 34A and 34B, covering robberies of business and personal property. (6) This offence has a code of 45.

Deportation

Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what average number of escorts is needed per flight to return a foreign national criminal or failed asylum seeker; and what the maximum number needed is. [123169]

Mr Harper: The UK Border Agency assesses the need for escorts on a case by case basis. The majority of individuals removed from the UK will not require escorts due to their level of compliance with the removal process. Where escorts are required the number of escorts will be assessed according to the individual circumstances of the case.

The data requested on the average number of escorts are not available from published statistics and are not recorded on the UK Border Agency's Case Information Database. Examination of individual records would be required at disproportionate cost.

Deportation: Offenders

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign national offenders from the EU have been subject to a deportation order in each of the last five years. [123464]

Mr Harper: The number of foreign national offenders (FNOs) from the European Economic Area (EEA) who have been removed in each of the last five years is:

In 2007: 504

In 2008: 647

In 2009: 774

In 2010: 908

In 2011: 1,148

The UK Border Agency is unable to provide the information requested because the number of FNOs from the EEA who are subject to a deportation order is not routinely recorded on an annual basis.

This is internal management information and is subject to change.

Emergencies: Hazardous Substances

Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on the total deployable mobile decontamination capacity available for homeland security in the event of a domestic chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident from (a) the armed forces, (b) the police, (c) the NHS Hazardous Area Response teams and (d) any other source or organisation; and what the total deployable capacity is of each. [123819]

James Brokenshire: For reasons of national security we are unable to provide specific details of total deployable decontamination capability across the UK.

The Department of Health is responsible for decontamination processes in the event of a domestic Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) incident and is supported by the fire and rescue services, which provide mass decontamination assets. The police are not responsible for decontamination and therefore do not have a deployable capability, but facilitate crowd management and security at the scene.

Defence can provide a mobile CBRN decontamination capability to the civil powers under standing military aid to the civil authority (MACA) arrangements, however, the emergency services are the recognised primary responders in the event of a CBRN incident in the UK.

My officials regularly review CBRN response capability with officials across Government to ensure that the UK's capability is in line with National Risk Assessment Planning Assumptions.

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English Defence League: Rotherham

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost was of policing the English Defence League march and rally in Rotherham on 13 October 2012. [124402]

Damian Green: We have not received an application from South Yorkshire Police Authority for assistance with the cost of policing the recent English Defence League march and rally in Rotherham. As such, we do not have this information.

Essex Police Authority

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was repaid by the former Chairman of Essex Police Authority, Councillor Robert Chambers, in misclaimed expenses in 2012; and if she will make a statement. [124180]

Damian Green: That is a matter for Essex Police Authority.

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if she will place in the Library a copy of the Metropolitan police report on the expenses claims of the former Chairman of Essex Police Authority; and if she will make a statement; [124181]

(2) if she will place in the Library a copy of the recent Metropolitan Police report on expenses paid to some members of Essex Police Authority; and if she will make a statement. [124200]

Damian Green: My hon. Friend should contact the Metropolitan police regarding this matter.

Extradition

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many British citizens were (a) extradited from and (b) deported to the UK from (i) the United States of America, (ii) Australia, (iii) Pakistan, (iv) India and (v) Jamaica in each year from 2004 to date. [122780]

Mr Harper [holding answer 17 October 2012]: Information regarding the nationality of those extradited to the UK has not in the past been routinely recorded.

The nationality of those extradited from the United States to the United Kingdom has been recorded since April 2007. Routine records of the nationality of those extradited from all other countries have been kept since 2011.

The following table provides the figures requested where these are known. Obtaining information from 2004 would incur disproportionate costs.

Please note that “n/k” indicates there were extraditions from the specific country in that year, but the nationality of the person(s) is not known. Zero indicates that there were no extraditions from the specific country in that year.

For the purposes of the question, the extradition data apply to England and Wales. Scotland deals with its own extradition cases—as did Northern Ireland until 1 April 2008.

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The Home Office does not hold information on the number of British citizens deported. The figures for these have been provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The FCO advises that it only holds limited information which goes back to 2008 and only includes details of cases that have been reported to FCO consular services, and so may be lower than actual numbers.

 Number of British citizens extradited to the UK from
 the USAAustraliaPakistanIndiaJamaica

2007 (from April)

(2)2

n/k

0

n/k

n/k

2008

4

n/k

0

0

0

2009

4

n/k

0

n/k

n/k

2010

2

n/k

0

0

0

2011

(3)2

2

0

0

0

2012(1)

3

(3)2

0

0

0

Totals

(4)17

(4)4

0

n/k

n/k

(1 )Figures for 2012 are up to 30 September 2012 for both deportations and extraditions. (2) Known. (3 )Including one dual national. (4) Where known.
 Number of British citizens deported to the UK from
 the USAAustraliaPakistanIndiaJamaica

2008

77

7

0

0

0

2009

152

0

0

0

0

2010

204

6

0

3

1

2011

187

5

0

0

4

2012(1)

149

6

0

0

2

Totals

769

24

0

3

7

(1) Figures for 2012 are up to 30 September 2012 for both deportations and extraditions.

Immigration: EU Nationals

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many nationals of other EU countries have been banned, including on a temporary basis, from entering the UK after being told to leave, or being removed from, the UK on the grounds that they no longer fulfil the criteria for the right to residence under Chapter III of European Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the EU and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of EU member states in each year since 2007. [124250]

Mr Harper: The UK Border Agency does not hold the information requested. EEA nationals who cease to have a right to reside under the terms of Directive 2004/38/EC may be administratively removed from the UK or refused entry. An administrative removal made on this basis does not preclude re-entry at a later date.

Licensing Act 2003

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to review the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 relating to noise conditions and guidance to councils. [122583]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Licensing Act 2003 enables licensing authorities to attach conditions to a premises licence or club premises certificate where appropriate for the promotion of the licensing objectives. One of the

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four licensing objectives is “the prevention of public nuisance” which would include noise nuisance. Specific guidance on noise in the context of public nuisance is contained in the guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003. There are no plans to revise this section of the guidance.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans she has to reply to the letter dated 5 September 2012 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton (Sir Gerald Kaufman) with regard to Ms J Smith. [123793]

Mr Harper: I wrote to the right hon. Gentleman on 18 October 2012.

Offences against Children

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding she will make available to investigate the relationship between viewing images of child abuse online and child abuse. [123899]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Investigating reports of offenders viewing indecent images online, linked to contact child abuse, is one of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection's (CEOP's) top priorities. In June this year CEOP published a thematic assessment on this issue, titled “A Picture of Abuse”.

CEOP's operational work is complemented by operations in police forces. For example, a CEOP-led operation, Operation Tharsley, in June this year involved over 40 police forces and led to 104 arrests and 96 safeguarding interventions in two days.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), which will become a command of the National Crime Agency (NCA), currently has a dedicated budget of £6.384 million per annum.

Amber Rudd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been arrested for under-age sex in the last five years. [124277]

Mr Jeremy Browne [holding answer 22 October 2012]: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Data on arrests are reported to the Home Office on the basis of aggregated-offence groupings, such as violence against the person and sexual offences. From these centrally reported groupings, it is not possible to separately identify arrests for specific offences.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of additional costs incurred by returning officers in Wales due to the time taken to lay the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Welsh Forms) Order 2012 before Parliament. [124461]

Damian Green: The Home Office has agreed to meet the costs of any reasonable contingency measures that returning officers take. We expect the cost of printing additional ballot papers or notices to cost no more than

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£350,000. As we have previously stated, we do not expect the election to cost more than £75 million and these additional costs can be met from within this figure.

Police and Crime Commissioners: Wales

Wayne David: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the printing of additional English-only ballot papers for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in Wales will cost. [122422]

Damian Green: The Home Office has agreed to meet the costs of any reasonable contingency measures that returning officers take. We expect the cost of printing additional ballot papers or notices to cost no more than £350,000. As we have previously stated, we do not expect the election to cost more than £75 million and these additional costs can be met from within this figure.

Police Community Support Officers

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision she has made for the funding of police community support officers in 2013; and if she will make a statement. [124120]

Damian Green [holding answer 22 October 2012]: The Neighbourhood Policing Fund (NPF), which currently contributes to funding police community support officers (PCSOs), has been ring-fenced until March 2013. The Government are committed to greater local accountability and to decision-making based on local needs. For this reason, from April 2013, the funding will be consolidated into the police main grant. It will then be for democratically elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), in conjunction with their chief constables, to take decisions on the funding and resourcing of neighbourhood policing and PCSOs.

Police Community Support Officers: Lancashire

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding her Department has allocated to Lancashire police for police community support officers; and if she will make a statement. [124119]

Damian Green [holding answer 22 October 2012]: Lancashire police was allocated £8,163,138 through the Home Office Neighbourhood Policing Fund in 2012-13, to fund police community support officers (PCSOs).

Police: Early Retirement

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers aged 60 years and under took early retirement in each of the last five years. [124214]

Damian Green: From the centrally available information it is not possible to determine the age of the police officer at the time of retirement. As well as normal retirement data, information is also collected on medical retirement that occurs early or after 30 years service. The number of police officers who have taken medical retirement (after less than 30 years service and after

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30 years service or more) and the number of normal retirements (full-time equivalent) for the past five years are given in the following table.

Number of police officers who have taken medical retirements after less than 30 years service and after 30 years service or more and the number of normal retirements, 2007-08 to 2011-12(1,2)
 Medical retirements—after less than 30 years serviceMedical retirements—after 30 years service or moreNormal retirements

2007-08

288

19

3,689

2008-09

215

39

3,930

2009-10

270

21

3,895

2010-11

330

17

4,300

2011-12

494

18

4,696

(1) This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. (2) Figures are provisional and have not been verified by police forces.

Police: Essex

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent by Essex police on expenses in each of the last five years for which information is available; and if she will make a statement. [124179]

Damian Green: This information is not held centrally and is a matter for Essex police authority.

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent reports she has received on the morale of officers in Essex Police; and if she will make a statement. [124199]

Damian Green: Home Office Ministers regularly receive correspondence from Members of Parliament and members of the public in Essex, including police officers, which express the concerns of police officers. Members of the Government at all levels have had, and continue to have, meetings with the police service as part of the day-to-day business of Government. As a consequence, the Government are very aware of and do not underestimate the strength of feeling among police officers nationally and in Essex at the moment. The Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), myself and officials regularly meet with representatives of the Police Federation, Police Superintendents' Association and members of the Association of Chief Police Officers, which represent all police forces, including Essex Police, to discuss a wide range of issues.

We will continue to engage with police officers and staff to ensure that their opinions help to shape future policing policies at this time of significant change. We are also looking at ways in which we can ensure greater input from officers of all ranks on policing matters.

Police: Finance

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to review the floors and ceilings damping Police Service funding mechanism. [124003]

Damian Green: The Home Office recently conducted an informal consultation on future damping arrangements. I will carefully consider all responses to the consultation before taking a decision on damping levels over the last two years of this spending review period and beyond.

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Police: ICT

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress she has made in appointing 12 directors for the police IT company; and which directors have been appointed. [124384]

Damian Green: 12 Directors for the Police ICT Company Ltd have been appointed, and they are:

Helen Kilpatrick (Acting Permanent Secretary, Home Office)

Millie Banerjee (Chair of British Transport Police Authority)

Simon Duckworth (Deputy Chair of City of London Police Authority)

Cllr Paul Murphy (Chair of Greater Manchester Police Authority)

Cllr Diana Holl-Allen (Chair of West Midlands Police Authority)

David Riddle (Chair of Ministry of Defence Police Committee)

Stephen Greenhalgh (Deputy Mayor for Crime and Policing, Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime)

Stephen Webb (Director of Finance and Strategy, Crime and Policing Group, Home Office)

Simon Parr (Chief Constable, Cambridgeshire Police and Chair of Operational Requirements Board)

Ailsa Beaton (Director of Information, Metropolitan Police and Chair of ACPO Information Management Business Area)

Nick Gargan (on secondment to Her Majesty's Inspectorate Constabulary from Home Office)

Malcolm Cornberg (Director, SOCA)

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects the Police ICT Company Ltd to transfer to Police and Crime Commissioner ownership. [124385]

Damian Green: It is for Police and Crime Commissioners to determine the timing of the transfer of ownership of the Police ICT Company Ltd.

Vetting

Caroline Dinenage: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) target and (b) average time taken is to complete a Criminal Records Bureau check from when the completed form is received. [122788]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 17 October 2012]: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) aims to process 90% of all enhanced checks within 28 days of receipt of a fully completed application form and 95% of standard checks within 10 days. The CRB has exceeded its performance targets since December 2010.

During the financial year 2011-12 the CRB averaged an end-to-end turnaround time of 12 days for enhanced CRB checks and five days for standard CRB checks.

Transport

Bus Services: Bristol

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on Greater Bristol authorities using allocation funding meant for other non-bus rapid transit schemes if one of its bus rapid transit schemes failed. [124071]

Norman Baker: Funding approval was provided for three bus rapid transit schemes within the West of England Partnership Area as part of the development pool process last year. These are:

23 Oct 2012 : Column 767W

BRT Ashton Vale to Temple Meads;

BRT North Fringe to Hengrove;

South Bristol Link.

The funding for these three schemes, which is subject to satisfactory completion of any remaining statutory procedures, is to be provided to build these schemes only and cannot be vired without departmental agreement.

As part of the Bristol City Deal we agreed that we would allow the local authorities promoting these schemes programme and financial flexibility so that if one of the three projects is delivered with a cost saving they can reallocate the saving to one of the other two schemes to meet any cost increases.

East Coast Railway Line

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has received in premium payments from Directly Operated Rail from its operations on the East Coast Main Line since it took over such operations. [122812]

Norman Baker: The Department has received a total of £484.5 million to date in premium payments from East Coast Main Line Company Limited.

Electric Vehicles

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has (a) undertaken and (b) plans to undertake on the effects on deaf and blind persons of plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles when operating in electric mode; and if he will make a statement. [124188]

Norman Baker: This issue is being addressed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). To support discussions at both UNECE and with the European Commission, the Department for Transport undertook research into the possible risks posed by electric and hybrid electric vehicles to the safety of vulnerable road pedestrians and other road users. Although the research found no current evidence of a higher accident rate for these vehicles, a panel of visually impaired subjects did find that detecting the approach of a hybrid vehicle operating in electric mode at speeds below 20 km/h (12 mph) was harder, on average, than detecting the approach of conventional vehicles with whose sounds they were familiar. The full reports on that work may be found on the Department's website.

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with the motor industry about establishing a minimum level of noise for plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles when operating in electric mode; what responses he has received from the industry; and if he will make a statement. [124189]

Norman Baker: I am aware of the concern this issue causes to some people. Like many of my ministerial colleagues, I have meetings with the motor industry on a variety of issues. However, I have not yet had any specific meetings to discuss this issue with regard to plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles.

23 Oct 2012 : Column 768W

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will bring forward proposals to establish a minimum level of noise for plug-in electric and hybrid electric vehicles when operating in electric mode; and if he will make a statement. [124190]

Norman Baker: We have no plans at present to do so. This issue is being addressed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the European Commission have recently published a proposed regulation on vehicle noise, and that proposal includes a requirement that, if manufacturers choose to add noise to electric or hybrid vehicles, then the noise added should meet certain harmonised standards. This proposal is currently the subject of discussion and negotiation at a European level. A final text is likely to be published during 2013.

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what legislative options his Department is considering to expedite legislative proposals on HS2. [123032]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department for Transport is not currently considering any additional legislation to expedite the passage of the proposed HS2 Bill.

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the cost of High Speed 2 per mile; and what comparative assessment he has made of the cost per mile with high- speed rail projects abroad. [123868]

Mr Simon Burns: The cost per mile based on the Cost and Risk Model published in January 2012 would fall into the range of £88 million to £102 million per mile; this is comparable with HS1.

The estimated per mile rate for HS2 is currently higher than European comparators, and the potential causes of the variation have been identified. HS2 Ltd is continuing to drive efficiencies into the Phase 1 scheme through the current design development phase through detailed value engineering and challenge process. HS2 Ltd is working with IUK and through an Industry Efficiency Working Group looking at how to further reduce costs including learning lessons from comparable projects elsewhere round the world.

IUK is the Infrastructure UK Treasury Group.

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much he expects to be spent on preparatory work for High Speed 2; and whether there are any Barnett consequentials arising from that expenditure. [123908]

Mr Simon Burns: For the period 2012-13 to 2014-15 the Department has allocated a budget of £527 million to High Speed 2 Ltd. This budget includes work on the hybrid Bill for the London to Birmingham phase, as well as preparatory work on the second section of the high speed rail network. When detailed budgeting and funding arrangements in relation to the HS2 project are decided in future spending reviews, any Barnett consequentials will be allocated in the normal way.

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Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the case for a twin-track link between High Speed 1 and High Speed 2 (HS2), providing long-term capacity for HS2 and enabling high-speed domestic services between the regions; and if he will make a statement. [124430]

Mr Simon Burns: The options for linking HS2 with HS1 are discussed in HS2 Ltd's report, “High Speed Rail London to the West Midlands and Beyond”, published in March 2010. Further work was carried out and is detailed in the documents, “Review of HS1 to HS2 Connection Final Report” and “High Speed Rail London to the West Midlands and Beyond Supplementary Report”, both published in December 2010. All three documents were placed in the Library of the House.

Motor Vehicles: Insurance

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the recommendations of the European Commission's Project Veronica study on black boxes for cars. [124532]

Stephen Hammond: The Veronica reports were wide- ranging and highlighted a number of issues that need careful consideration before formulating detailed policy. The Government have no plans to take forward the recommendations at present though we will continue to monitor developments in this area and to liaise with the European Commission and member states as needed.

Staff

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the rate of staff turnover was in each SCS grade in his Department in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [122304]

Norman Baker: The rate of turnover in each SCS grade in the Department for Transport for the last 4 years is shown in the table below:

 2008/092009/102010/112011/12

SCSI

16.74%

6.78%

26.43%

16.24%

SCS2

25.53%

4.44%

34.15%

11.76%

SCS3

18.18%

36.36%

50.00%

25.00%

The Department does not hold turnover information for 2007/08.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many SCS grade staff were employed in his Department in May (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [122305]

Norman Baker: The number of SCS grade staff employed by the Department for Transport in May (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012 is shown in the table below:

YearNumber of Staff

2010

202

2011

169

2012

165

23 Oct 2012 : Column 770W

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff of his Department were employed in the (a) rail division, (b) procurement division and (c) Finance Department of his Department in May (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012. [122306]

Mr Simon Burns: The numbers of full-time equivalent permanent staff involved in Rail, Procurement or Finance in the Department for Transport (Centre) are set out in the following table.

 May 2010May 2011May 2012

Rail

215.4

180.6

167.9

Procurement

46.4

36.4

34.3

Finance

(1)119.9

(1)113.6

103.0

(1) Figures at March 2010 and March 2011.

The figures for Procurement and Finance represent all the staff identified as working in those areas across Department for Transport (Centre). The Rail figures exclude Rail staff working on Procurement or Finance to to avoid double counting. Staff in the General Counsel's Office (Legal) working on rail-related issues are not included.

West Coast Railway Line: Fares

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the maximum increase in percentage points above inflation is for regulated rail fares that the new operator of the West Coast Main Line franchise will be able to charge in each year of the new franchise. [122839]

Mr Simon Burns: I refer the hon. Lady to the Department for Transport's announcement on 7 October, which confirmed that from January 2013 onwards the regulated fares cap for all franchised train operators, including all West Coast Mainline franchised train operators, will increase by RPI+1%.

West Coast Railway Line: Franchises

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the process of selection was by which his Department selected (a) Eversheds LLP, (b) WS Atkins and (c) PWC to carry out the work they undertook for his Department in respect of the intercity west coast franchise competition. [122309]

Mr Simon Burns: Eversheds LLP and WS Atkins were selected by the Department to provide legal and technical support for the intercity west coast competition through a competition using separate, competitively procured framework contracts. PWC was brought in to support the detailed preparation for the judicial review of the intercity west coast franchise competition. It were instructed by Eversheds, which was acting for the Department as legal advisers for the Judicial Review. PWC began fieldwork on 24 September and reported by 2 October.

Mr Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the level of public subsidy was for each year of the West Coast Mainline franchise when

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operated by Virgin Trains; what the level was of fare- box revenue in each year of that franchise when operated by Virgin Trains; and what the at-risk investment was from Virgin Trains for the duration of that franchise. [124097]

Mr Simon Burns: All of this information will be contained in Virgin Rail Group's statutory accounts, which can be obtained from Companies House at:

http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information his Department holds on whether any of the consultants used by his Department for the West Coast Mainline franchise competition limit their maximum liability on professional indemnity insurance. [124173]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department holds the original of each contract for the provision of advice in connection with the West Coast Mainline franchise competition. Each contains liability, indemnity and insurance provisions.

The contracts for technical and for legal advice were both competed using pre-competed frameworks. Both used Government Procurement Service standard terms and conditions.

The standard terms and conditions contain a range of provisions relating to liability, indemnity and insurance.

The Technical Adviser terms and conditions set the annual aggregate liability of either party for defaults at £10 million and require that the contractor maintain professional indemnity insurance of not less than £5 million for each individual claim.

The Legal Adviser standard terms and conditions do not set a cap on the liability for defaults. The standard terms and conditions contain provision requiring the contractor to maintain professional indemnity insurance with a minimum level of £100 million.

Communities and Local Government

Council Housing

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will commission a survey of local authorities to ascertain which councils have asked housing applicants to move to another local authority; and how many households were affected between January and August 2012. [122107]

Mr Prisk: We collect and publish official statutory homelessness statistics on a quarterly basis. A table has been placed in the Library of the House, showing the number of homeless households from each local authority in England placed in temporary accommodation in another local authority district as at (a) 31 March 2012, (b) 30 June 2012 (the latest available figures).

The law makes it clear that local authorities must secure accommodation within their own borough so far as reasonably practicable. The Government want to go further on this and have recently consulted on how best to strengthen requirements in relation to location and suitability when local authorities secure accommodation for the use of households owed duties under the homelessness legislation.

23 Oct 2012 : Column 772W

Statistical releases on Statutory Homelessness are available both in the Library of the House and via the DCLG website:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/homelessnessstatistics/publicationshomelessness/

Emergencies: Sportsgrounds

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on how many occasions inspections of preparedness for an emergency have taken place at football stadiums with a capacity of 35,000 or more in each of the last three years; how many such inspections he expects to take place in 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [123959]

Hugh Robertson: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

We do not hold records relating to inspections of preparedness for an emergency taking place at sports grounds. While the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for the Safety of Sports Grounds legislation, responsibility for certifying and regulating those sports grounds is primarily a matter for individual local authorities.

The Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds, written by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and published by the Department, includes guidance on the importance of regular and detailed inspections and tests, as a necessary and important function of safety management. The guide can be found at the following link:

http://safetyatsportsgrounds.org.uk/pdf/GuidetoSafetyatSportsGrounds.pdf

Fire services

Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that firefighters are provided with the most suitable fire protection equipment; [122913]


(2) what steps he is taking to monitor the suitability of fire protection equipment provided to firefighters. [122914]

Brandon Lewis: The suitability of local fire protection equipment is a matter for the relevant locally accountable fire and rescue authority to decide, based on the requirements of their integrated risk management plan.

The Government retain strategic responsibility for national resilience and have already committed significant financial resources to help fire and rescue authorities deliver specialist capability such as urban search and rescue equipment, high-volume pumps and mass decontamination equipment.

Housing Benefit

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has received information that local authorities have reduced rents for their housing stock as a means of avoiding the housing benefit cap; if his Department will commission research into this issue; and if it will take steps to enforce adherence by local authorities to the housing benefit cap. [118725]

23 Oct 2012 : Column 773W

Mr Prisk: The housing benefit cap was introduced to ensure that claimants were not able to live in properties beyond the means of those not on benefit. The housing benefit cap only affects claimants living in the private rented sector and therefore tenants of local authority- owned housing stock are not affected.

My Department, with the Department for Work and Pensions, is funding research into the impact of the local housing allowance changes on private rented sector tenants, landlords and local authorities. The housing benefit cap is one of the changes to the local housing allowance regime. An initial report was published on 14 June and can be found on the DWP website. There will be an interim report early next year and the final report later in 2013.

The most recent official statistics published by the Valuation Office Agency in August 2012 show that median private sector rents across England rose by 0.9% in the year to June 2012, compared with a rise in RPI inflation of 2.8% over the same period. Rents have thus fallen in real terms, although there are local variations.

Housing: Construction

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homes in England were self-built in each of the last five years. [123904]

Mr Prisk: The Department does not hold official statistics.

To assist the policy-making process and policy development on encouraging self-builders, the Department is currently examining how best to quantify and support the take-up of self-build.

Housing: Floods

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the written statement of 6 September 2012, Official Report, column 33WS, on housing and growth, whether the Environment Agency will be able to object on grounds of increased flood risk to domestic and commercial extensions allowed under his proposed changes to permitted development rights. [123120]

Nick Boles: A technical consultation paper on our proposals will be published shortly. The Environment Agency will be very welcome to contribute views to the consultation.

Land Auction Pilot Scheme

Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what funding he has allocated to support local authorities participating in the land auction pilot up to March 2014; [123773]

(2) which local authorities are participating in his land auction pilot. [123775]

Mr Prisk: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to her by my right hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps), on 16 July 2012, Official Report, column 487W. We continue to work

23 Oct 2012 : Column 774W

with the local authorities in Hastings, West Lancashire and Richmondshire, and each authority has been allocated £100,000 grant funding. We are now working with these local authorities to consider what further support they need over the pilot period, to March 2014.

Planning Permission

Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects his Department to publish its consultation on the temporary extension of permitted development rights. [123871]

Nick Boles: My Department will be publishing a consultation document setting out full details of our proposals shortly.

Sportsgrounds: Safety

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which football and other sporting stadia have been refused safety certificates temporarily at any time in the last five years. [122715]

Hugh Robertson: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

We do not hold records relating to the issue, amendment or cancellation of safety certificates. While the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for the Safety of Sports Ground legislation, any decision to issue a safety certificate or to limit the capacity of a sports ground would be a matter for the local authority.

Health

Warrington Hospital

15. Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the future of Warrington hospital; and if he will make a statement. [124149]

Dr Poulter: I am assured by the local national health service that Warrington hospital will continue to deliver high-quality care for patients.

Health and Social Care Act 2012

16. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of whether the Health and Social Care Act 2012 is being implemented as planned. [124150]

Mr Jeremy Hunt: The implementation of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 is on track, with organisational changes under way to ensure the new system is ready for April 2013.

The basis of the reform is to reshape the national health service so that it is more patient-centred, led by health professionals and focused on delivering world- class health outcomes.

23 Oct 2012 : Column 775W

Diabetes and Asthma

18. Mel Stride: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government are taking to help people cope with conditions such as diabetes and asthma. [124153]

Mr Jeremy Hunt: We are working on an outcomes strategy for long-term conditions, structured around six shared goals: early diagnosis, integrated care, promoting independence and taking steps to support those with long-term conditions to live as well as possible.

The Department has been working with a range of stakeholders and colleagues from across Whitehall to identify shared areas of interest that could have an impact on the outcomes for people living with long-term conditions, including those with diabetes and asthma.

Bariatric Surgery

19. Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the economic and health benefits of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence clinical guidance 43 on bariatric surgery for obesity. [124154]

Anna Soubry: We have not assessed the benefits of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance on the ‘prevention, identification, assessment and management of overweight and obesity in adults and children’, which contains guidance on the use of bariatric surgery.

However, recent evidence continues to show that bariatric surgery is both effective and cost-effective over the long term for those who are morbidly obese.

Regional Pay

20. Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the introduction of regional pay in the NHS on recruitment between and within English regions. [124155]

Dr Poulter: I have been made aware of the concerns of trade unions and constituents about a consortium of employers in the south-west of England. The consortium is considering how they might make better use of their local health budgets for the benefit of patients and staff. They have not, however, made any formal proposals.

Most employers, including the consortium, prefer to use national pay frameworks, provided they are fit for purpose.

Kent Health Commission

21. Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has made an assessment of the recent report of the Kent Health Commission; and if he will make a statement. [124157]

Anna Soubry: The Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), has not made an assessment of the recent report that my hon. Friend sent to him recently.

23 Oct 2012 : Column 776W

National Pay Arrangements

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on upholding national pay arrangements in the NHS. [124158]

Dr Poulter: National health service trusts and foundation trusts have the freedom to determine the terms and conditions of the staff they employ.

Agenda for Change was negotiated and brought in during 2004 under the then Secretary of State for Health, the right hon. Dr John Reid, in order to agree a national framework for pay in the NHS.

In general, most trusts support the agreed pay framework in Agenda for Change and are likely to continue to use national terms, provided they remain affordable and fit for purpose.

Abortion

James Wharton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS spent on carrying out abortions in each of the last four years. [124009]

Anna Soubry: Information on how much national health service commissioners spend on abortion is not collected centrally. However, it is possible to produce an estimate by using the activity figures provided to the chief medical officer and a weighted average of the national tariff for procedures that include abortion.

The following table shows the estimated spend by commissioners in England on abortions for each of the last four years for which data is available:

 Estimated spend (£ million)

2008

101

2009

124

2010

117

2011

119

Estimates have been provided for calendar years because activity data is supplied on this basis. The weighted average national tariff, however, relates to the respective financial year, so for example the 2008-09 tariff was used to produce the estimate for 2008.

It should be noted that this methodology is likely to overestimate total spend, as we are aware that contracts with independent-sector providers are generally at a lower price than the national tariff.

James Wharton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether local authorities will have responsibility for the provision of abortion services when they take on responsibility for public health provision. [124010]

Anna Soubry: Local authorities will not have responsibility for abortion services; these will be commissioned by Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Atos

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2012, Official Report, columns 785-6W, on Atos, whether he has made an estimate of the level of profit Atos will make from each contract; and what the likely level of profit is for each. [123836]

23 Oct 2012 : Column 777W

Dr Poulter: An estimate of the level of profit has been made for the two contracts and the Department has mechanisms in place in accordance with the agreed contractual terms to ensure that any profit made by Atos is at an appropriate level. We are unable to release information on the estimated likely level of profit as this includes commercially confidential information.

Blood Diseases

Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to tackle and prevent sepsis. [124151]

Dr Poulter: I refer the hon. Member to the answer of 10 September 2012, Official Report, columns 109-10W.

Care Homes

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 17 May 2012, Official Report, column 346W, on care homes, how many of the Care Quality Commission inspections were conducted (a) on site and (b) remotely. [123872]

Norman Lamb: Prior to 1 October 2010 adult social care services were inspected under the Care Standards Act 2000. The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (the 2008 Act) required providers of adult social care services to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) by 1 October 2010. From this date, adult social care providers are inspected under the 2008 Act.

The CQC has provided the following information:

LegislationYearNumber of inspections of care homes that included a site visitNumber of inspections of care homes that did not include a site visitTotal

Care Standards Act 2000 (to 30 September 2010)

2010-11

3,017

0

3,017

Health Social Care Act 2008 (from 1 October 2010)

2010-11

2,172

43

2,215

Health and Social Care Act 2008

2011-12

12,373

300

12,673

 

Total

17,562

343

17,905

Dementia

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to tackle dementia and Alzheimer's disease. [124147]

Mr Jeremy Hunt: Improving health and care for those with dementia—and their carers—is a key priority for me and for the Prime Minister. I want to see us among the best in Europe at ensuring timely diagnosis and provision of the best possible treatment and support. I want to see better diagnosis rates, better care in hospitals, care homes and the community, and a doubling in funding for research.

23 Oct 2012 : Column 778W

We have also committed to reducing the prescribing of antipsychotic drugs to people with dementia. Real progress has been made to date, but there is more to be done.

190 care homes and care home providers have already signed up to the Dementia Care and Support Compact, setting out their commitment to deliver high quality, relationship based care. This covers the providers of dementia care for over 200,000 people.

Drugs: Misuse

David T. C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many organisations representing drug users Ministers in his Department have met in the last year. [124275]

Dr Poulter: Details of ministerial meetings with external stakeholders are published quarterly in arrears on the Department's website at:

http://transparency.dh.gov.uk/category/transparency/ministerial-gifts-hospitality/

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the planned reorganisation of the East Midlands Ambulance Service; and if he will make a statement. [124490]

Anna Soubry: The commissioning and provision of national health service ambulance services is a matter for the local NHS. The East Midlands Ambulance Service published its “Being the Best” change programme on 17 July 2012, outlining plans designed to provide the right ambulance services for the long term.

Emergencies: Hazardous Substances

Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the deployable mobile decontamination capacity of the NHS available for homeland security in the event of a domestic chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident from (a) the NHS Hazardous Area Response teams and (b) any other NHS source or organisation. [123818]

Anna Soubry: The deployable mobile decontamination capabilities throughout England have undergone a process of assessment under project ARGON, sponsored by the Home Office, Office of Security and Counter Terrorism. This project assessed multi-agency regional chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear plans, which included the health input. Under this process, a number of table- top and full-scale exercises were carried out at a number of keys sites across the United Kingdom.

Epilepsy: Children

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent representations he has received on the future of funding for children's epilepsy surgery; [124248]

(2) what recent representations he received on the referral pathways for children's epilepsy surgery. [124252]

23 Oct 2012 : Column 779W

Norman Lamb: The Department is not aware of receiving any recent representations about either referral pathways or the future of funding for children's epilepsy surgery.

Subject to regulations being made and laid, specialist neuroscience services for children and young people, which includes all paediatric neurosurgery services, will be the responsibility of the NHS Commissioning Board from April 2013.

Health Services: Homelessness

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government plan to take to improve NHS services for homeless people. [124011]

Anna Soubry: We are taking steps to address the poor health outcomes experienced by the homeless and the difficulties that they, and other vulnerable groups, face in accessing some health services. For the first time, we have introduced legal duties on national health service commissioners to reduce inequalities in access to and outcomes from health services. In addition, we have developed an Inclusion Health programme, through which we are working with other Government Departments, the NHS and the third sector to tackle the poor health of people in vulnerable groups and to ensure everyone gets the care they need, regardless of their needs or circumstances. As part of this broad programme, we are looking at how to improve access to primary care services, and hospital discharge arrangements for the homeless.

Health Services: Overseas Visitors

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many NHS hospitals and NHS hospital trusts in England employ dedicated managers to ensure that visitors from overseas, not eligible for free treatment, pay what is due; [124529]

(2) what the total income received by NHS hospitals and NHS hospital trusts in England from the treatment of visitors from overseas was in the last year for which figures are available; [124530]

(3) what progress has been made in the Government's review of the rules and practices in relation to charging overseas visitors for NHS services; and when he intends to publish the conclusions and recommendations of that review. [124531]

Anna Soubry: The Department does not hold information on how many national health service hospital trusts in England employ dedicated managers to make and recover charges to overseas visitors. However, the Department does strongly recommend that NHS bodies have such a person to oversee the implementation of the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2011, as amended.

NHS trusts' accounts show that the total income received from overseas visitors liable for charges for 2011-12 was £19,515,000. The chairman of Monitor informs us that the similar figure for NHS foundation trusts was £13,000,000. Income received means the total amount that those bodies invoiced overseas visitors, not what they received from them in payment.

23 Oct 2012 : Column 780W

The initial phase of the review of charging overseas visitors for NHS care concluded earlier this year and is now being considered. The Department will respond in due course.

Health Services: Rehabilitation

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much each primary care trust allocated to local authorities to spend on (a) re-ablement, (b) bed-based intermediate services and (c) early supported hospital discharge schemes in the last year for which figures are available. [123912]

Norman Lamb: The Department collected information on the use of the funding allocated to support social care services in September 2011. Data at primary care trust (PCT) level have been placed in the Library.

The returns from PCTs showed that they planned to transfer £642 million of the £648 million made available in 2011-12.

Following the survey, we followed up with the two PCTs which, at the time of the survey, had not yet agreed the majority of their transfer and sought assurances that plans were in place to reach an agreed position. We can now confirm that agreements have been made for the remaining £6 million to be transferred to local authorities.

Health Services: Weather

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much winter pressures funding was allocated to each primary care trust in 2010-11. [123911]

Norman Lamb: A copy of the primary care trust level allocations for the £162 million winter pressures funding in 2010-11 has been placed in the Library.

Heart Diseases: Children

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many surgical centres for children's congenital heart services he plans to retain following the findings of the Safe and Sustainable Review of such services. [123948]

Anna Soubry: The Safe and Sustainable Review of children's congenital heart services is a national health service review and independent of Government.

On 4 July 2012, the joint committee of primary care trusts, the decision-making body for the review, decided that seven hospitals will continue to provide children's congenital heart surgery:

Freeman Hospital, Newcastle;

Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool;

Birmingham Children's Hospital;

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children;

Southampton General Hospital;

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London; and

Evelina Children's Hospital, London.

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Lung Diseases

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the absence of a strategic clinical network on the ability of the NHS Commissioning Board to deliver his Department's outcomes strategy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and asthma. [123867]

Anna Soubry: It will be for the NHS Commissioning Board to decide on its priorities, and how it will deliver on these, when it takes up its full statutory duties and responsibilities in April 2013.

Reducing mortality from respiratory disease for under-75s is an indicator in the NHS Outcomes Framework on which the NHS Commissioning Board will be accountable to the Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt). It is for the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups locally to determine how the national health service will make improvements in outcomes against this indicator, which may include providing support for implementation of the outcomes strategy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.

NHS: Vetting

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the level of completion of Criminal Records Bureau checks during the recruitment of NHS front-line staff; and if he will make a statement; [124017]

(2) whether his Department monitors the completion by NHS trusts and other NHS bodies of Criminal Records Bureau checks during the recruitment of staff; [124018]

(3) what guidance his Department has issued to NHS trusts about the completion of Criminal Records Bureau checks during the recruitment of staff. [124019]

Dr Poulter: The Department does not monitor the completion of Criminal Records Bureau checks within health and social care. However, national health service care providers registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are required to operate an effective recruitment procedure. This includes, the option of taking up criminal records checks and what action to take as a result of such a check.

During inspections the CQC monitors compliance with the registration requirements. If an NHS provider is deemed to be non-compliant, for example, because appropriate checks have not been carried out, the CQC will take enforcement action against an NHS care provider.

In addition, the Department has commissioned NHS Employers to provide detailed advice to the NHS about all aspects of safe recruitment, including criminal records checking.

NHS: Working Hours

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the effect on the NHS of the EU Working Time Directive and the European Court of Justice's ruling in SiMAP and Jaeger; and what recent progress he has made on reform of that directive. [124156]

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Dr Poulter: In response to concerns about the application of the directive in the United Kingdom, the Government's independent advisory body on medical education—Medical Education England—commissioned an independent review chaired by Professor Sir John Temple.

The review's findings noted that requirements of the directive differed from those of the Junior Doctors' Contract, that this limited training opportunities and, in light of this, recommended the Junior Doctors' Contract be reappraised to ensure it supports training within the directive.

In response to the Temple Report, the four UK Health Departments commissioned the NHS Employers organisation to work with all stakeholders and the devolved Administrations to produce a report, which summarises the views of all parties, and to make recommendations for reappraising the contract. All four Administrations have now received the report and are considering the recommendations very carefully, including any case for negotiating a new contract.

In Europe, social partners are currently negotiating the Working Time Directive. The EU social partner process is autonomous and operates independently of the Commission and Council. The Government have no formal role in any social partner negotiations.

The Government would welcome proposals that would preserve the right for all workers, including those in the NHS, to choose the hours that they work. For the NHS this means flexibility in the areas of on-call time and compensatory rest as well as the preservation of the individual opt out.

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the level of hospital staff cover for (a) doctors and (b) nurses over weekend shifts. [124460]

Dr Poulter: No estimates have been made by the Department. Information about work-force numbers in trusts is held locally.

Prosthetics

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress his Department has made in implementing the recommendations of the Murrison report on military amputees; and what consideration it has given to extending these arrangements to civilian amputees. [124100]

Dr Poulter: Good progress has been made with implementing the recommendations of “A better deal for military amputees”. The Veterans' Prosthetics Panel has to date handled 27 funding requests, totalling just under £300,000.

The provision of nationally commissioned specialised prosthetics services for veterans is also moving forward. The Department has recently agreed a service specification for these services with representatives of the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB). The process of commissioning these services will commence once this specification has been through the final approval process of the NHSCB later this month. The Department and NHSCB officials will continue to consult on implementation of “A better deal for military amputees” with veterans, the relevant charities and clinicians during 2012. This will include consultation on how best to ensure that there is a wider dividend to civilian amputees.

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Sleep Apnoea

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy that screening programmes for people at risk of type 2 diabetes should include screening for obstructive sleep apnoea. [123874]

Anna Soubry: The Government currently have no plans to screen for obstructive sleep apnoea.

The national health service does not currently screen for type 2 diabetes, although risk factors are identified as part of the NHS Health Check.

Streptococcus

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he has taken to publicise the UK National Screening Committee's public consultation on screening all pregnant women for group B streptococcus; and if he will make a statement; [124333]

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure consideration of all submissions made directly to the UK National Screening Committee during public consultations on screening for group B streptococcus; if he will ensure that the submissions and the response to them are made public; and if he will make a statement; [124334]

(3) what cost-benefit analyses his Department has conducted to compare the UK's current risk-based strategy for preventing group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies with screening approaches with other countries; if he will publish the results of any such analyses; and if he will make a statement; [124335]

(4) what recent consultation his Department has undertaken with other EU member states regarding the prevention of group B streptococcus infection in newborn babies. [124336]

Dr Poulter: The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) advises Ministers and the national health service in all four countries about all aspects of screening policy and supports implementation. Using research evidence, pilot programmes and economic evaluation, it assesses the evidence for programmes against a set of internationally recognised criteria.

In response to representations made to the Department on group B streptococcus (GBS) infection in newborn babies during the UK NSC's consultation period, the Department has taken opportunities, for example through correspondence, to publicise that the UK NSC's review of screening for GBS carriage in pregnancy is currently open in order to ensure the widest possible engagement from stakeholder organisations and individuals during the consultation period.

The UK NSC will consider all of the submissions made during the consultation at its 13 November 2012 meeting. All consultation replies will be available on the UK NSC's website apart from those where stakeholder organisations or individuals have requested that their response is not made public.

The Department has not undertaken a comparative assessment of the cost benefit of the UK's risk-based strategy for preventing GBS infection in newborn babies with screening approaches used in other western countries.

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However, a National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment study, “Kaambwa B, Bryan S, Gray 3, Milner P, Daniels J, Khan K, Roberts T. Cost-effectiveness of rapid tests and other existing strategies for screening and management of early-onset group B streptococcus during labour. BJOG. 2010;117:1616-1627”, suggested that assessments of screening's cost-effectiveness in relation to current practice were subject to a great deal of uncertainty and were dependent on changes to clinical practice. A copy has been placed in the Library.

The Department has not held any consultations with any European Union member states on the prevention of GBS infection in newborn babies.

Vulnerable Adults: Coastal Areas

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has undertaken an assessment of the movement of vulnerable people who are in the care of social services from inner cities to seaside towns. [123840]

Norman Lamb: Information about the movement of people in vulnerable situations who are in the care of social services from inner cities to seaside towns is not collected centrally.

It is a duty on local councils' social services departments to monitor, review and support the people they place out of area.

International Development

Atos

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2012, Official Report, column 774W, on Atos, whether she has made an estimate of the level of profit Atos will make from each contract; and what the likely level of profit is for each. [123833]

Mr Duncan: In line with the Government's Transparency Agenda, DFID publishes details of contracts awarded to suppliers at Contracts Finder, the Cabinet Office's online central repository for this type of information.

Information made available on Contracts Finder includes the name of the successful supplier, total contract value and details of the services to be awarded under the contract.

We do not award contracts on a cost-plus basis, but on the basis of value for money as generated through a competitive tender process.