Climate Change: USA

Mr Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent representations his Department has made to the US Administration on the issue of climate change; by whom and to whom any such representations were made; and what the responses to the representations were. [128091]

Gregory Barker: The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), and I most recently met with the United States Special Envoy for Climate Change,

12 Nov 2012 : Column 35W

Todd Stern, at the Pre-COP Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change in Seoul last month. We discussed prospects for the UN climate change conference in Doha later this month and the issues most important to the UK and the US in this year's talks. This included the process to negotiate the new legally binding agreement, action to enhance effort to reduce CO2 emissions, work to consider country pledges, build the Measurement, Reporting and Verification regime, and the respective positions of other countries in the negotiations.

This followed my visit to New York in September to represent the UK at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, chaired by Mike Froman, Assistant to the President of the United States and Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs, where similar topics were discussed.

Energy

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his contribution of 24 October 2012, Official Report, column 946, on energy market reform, what plans he has to introduce a trading obligation in the proposed Energy Bill; and if he will make a statement. [127494]

Mr Hayes: Industry has already taken some steps to address the problem of low levels of power market liquidity and in the last year we have seen volumes traded through the day ahead exchanges increase ten-fold. However, forward market liquidity remains a concern.

Ofgem is leading reforms in this area and is expected to announce its next steps before the end of the year. Given the significance of liquidity in promoting competition and supporting independent market participants the Government will be seeking backstop powers in the Energy Bill to act should Ofgem be unable to secure the progress that is necessary.

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his contribution of 24 October 2012, Official Report, column 943, on energy market reform, for what reason it was not appropriate to publish proposals on reforming the energy retail market before Ofgem completes its retail market reform. [127496]

Gregory Barker: It is important to ensure that the detail of our proposals complements the detail of Ofgem's proposals, this required waiting for the final report from Ofgem.

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his contribution of 24 October 2012, Official Report, column 943, on energy market reform, which of the proposals made by Ofgem in its retail market review require legislation in order to be implemented. [127497]

Mr Hayes: Ofgem operates within an existing statutory framework set out in legislation which must be fully adhered to in order for changes to licences and market arrangements such as those proposed in the Retail Market Review to be implemented.

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If the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), wished to implement the proposals, additional legislation would be required.

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his contribution of 24 October 2012, Official Report, column 943, on energy market reform, which consultation he intends to take forward on the energy retail market; and if he will make a statement. [127498]

Gregory Barker: The Department will publish proposals for consultation this month for legislation to ensure people get the lowest tariffs.

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his contribution of 24 October 2012, Official Report, column 947, on energy market reform, what the evidential basis is for his statement that energy and renewable subsidies will add £95 to bills by 2020. [127500]

Mr Hayes: In November 2011, DECC published an assessment of the impact of energy and climate change polices on energy prices and bills(1). Tables F1 and F2 set out the impacts of each policy on household energy bills and show that, taken together, those policies supporting low-carbon technologies (Electricity Market Reform (EMR), renewables obligation (RO) and feed-in tariffs (FITs)) are estimated to add, on average, around £95 to household energy bills in 2020.

This does not include the impact of the reduction in wholesale price resulting from increased low-marginal cost generation.

(1) Available online at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/aes/impacts/impacts.aspx

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his contribution of 24 October 2012, Official Report, column 947, on energy market reform, what the evidential basis is for his statement that energy bills will fall by £220 by 2020 as a result of energy efficiency improvements. [127501]

Mr Hayes: In November 2011, DECC published an assessment of the impact of energy and climate change polices on average household energy bills(1). Energy efficiency policies affect household energy bills by reducing the amount of energy consumed and increasing the costs per unit of energy through supplier obligations.

Table 1 as follows sets out the net impacts of each policy on household electricity and gas bills. Taken together, those policies relating to energy efficiency (Green Deal, ECO, Smart Meters, Better Billing, CERT, CERT extension, EEC. CESP, and Products Policy) are estimated, on average, to reduce household energy bills by around £220 in 2020.

(1) Available online at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/aes/impacts/impacts.aspx

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Table 1: Estimated average impact of energy efficiency policies on household electricity and gas bills (including VAT)
£ (real 2010 prices)
 2020
Estimated impact of energy efficiency policiesElectricity billGas billEnergy bill

Of which:

   

Green Deal and ECO

9

33

42

Smart Meters

-20

-10

-30

CERT and EEC 1&2

-44

-19

-63

CERT Extension

-5

-20

-25

CESP

-1

0

-1

Better Billing

-2

-2

-4

Products Policy

-158

17

-141

Total

-221

-1

-222

Source: DECC 2011. Figures may not add due to rounding.

Energy Ombudsman

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) how many complaints to the Energy Ombudsman broken down by each participating company in (a) Southend, (b) Essex, (c) England and Wales (i) were upheld, (ii) were rejected, (iii) resulted in a financial award, (iv) resulted in an apology or explanation and (v) resulted in other practical action in (1) 2008, (2) 2009, (3) 2010, (4) 2011 and (5) 2012 to date; [128020]

(2) how many complaints to the Energy Ombudsman (a) were upheld, (b) were rejected, (c) resulted in a financial award, (d) resulted in an apology or explanation and (e) resulted in other action in (i) 2008, (ii) 2009, (iii) 2010, (iv) 2011 and (v) 2012 to date. [128024]

Mr Hayes: The Ombudsman Service publishes details on the energy complaints they have received in their Annual Energy Reports. They do not, however, publish details on complaints about individual energy companies, or from individual geographical areas.

In 2011-12, the Ombudsman resolved 6,608 complaints, of which 71% resulted in a financial award along with an apology and/or explanation, and 21% resulted in an apology and/or explanation. In 2010-11, the Ombudsman resolved 5,812 complaints, of which 69% resulted in a financial award with most also receiving an apology and/or explanation. In 2009-10 the Ombudsman resolved 6,419 complaints, of which 73% resulted in a financial award with most also receiving an apology and/or explanation. Data for 2008 was included in 2009, as the Ombudsman Service was established as an approved statutory redress scheme on 1 October 2008.

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many complaints about electricity companies were referred to the Energy Ombudsman in each of the last three years; how many were (a) accepted and (b) rejected by the Ombudsman; what the 10 most common complaints were; and if he will make a statement. [128021]

Mr Hayes: The Ombudsman Service publishes details on the energy complaints they have received in their Annual Energy Reports. They do not, however, publish data on complaints about electricity companies only. The Ombudsman Service Annual Report for 2011-12 is available at:

12 Nov 2012 : Column 38W

http://www.ombudsman-services.org/downloads/OS%202012%20AR%203-7-12%20for%20web.pdf

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many complaints about (a) E.On UK plc and (b) UK Power Networks were referred to the Energy Ombudsman in each of the last three years; how many were (i) accepted and (ii) rejected by the Ombudsman; what the 10 most common complaints were; and if he will make a statement. [128022]

Mr Hayes: The Ombudsman Service publishes details on the energy complaints they have received in their Annual Energy Reports. They do not, however, publish data on complaints about individual energy companies. The Ombudsman Service Annual Report for 2011-12 is available at:

http://www.ombudsman-services.org/downloads/OS%202012%20AR%203-7-12%20for%20web.pdf

Energy: Carbon Emissions

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Chippenham, of 1 November 2012, Official Report, column 372, on carbon intensity target, what his Department's policy is on the decarbonisation of the power sector by 2030. [127699]

Mr Hayes: The Government is committed to meeting our statutory carbon budgets, as set out in the 2008 Climate Change Act. Analysis published in the December 2011 Carbon Plan suggests that the most cost effective paths to deliver the 2050 target require the electricity sector to be largely decarbonised during the 2030s. The department is currently undertaking further work on the decarbonisation of the power sector. In particular careful consideration is being given to all the recommendations received on the Energy Bill related to the level of grid decarbonisation. Any form of decarbonisation target would need to take account of the need for flexibility in order to minimise costs to the economy. It would also need to take into account how a target specific to the power sector would interact with other objectives (eg our legally binding carbon targets). We will be providing greater clarity on the direction of travel over the coming months.

Energy: Complaints

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many complaints (a) by each type of complaint and (b) from each county his Department has received concerning each gas and electricity company in each of the last three years; what response was made; if he will place in the Library a copy of any standard response given; and if he will make a statement. [127487]

Gregory Barker: DECC Ministers and officials receive a number of representations about gas and electricity companies. However, individual consumer complaints are dealt with by the energy company itself by following its formal complaint process. If the company fails to offer a satisfactory resolution, domestic and micro business customers can then pursue the matter with the energy ombudsman service. Larger business customers can address complaints by using the legal system.

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Energy: Conservation

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for South Suffolk, of 1 November 2012, Official Report, columns 358-9, on energy efficiency, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals on energy efficiency measures. [127697]

Gregory Barker: As set out in July 2012, DECC has committed to consult this year on policy proposals aimed at encouraging more efficient use of electricity. A consultation on Electricity Demand Reduction will be published shortly.

Energy: Consumers

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with energy companies on the identification and treatment of vulnerable customers. [127844]

Gregory Barker: We are currently working with energy suppliers, the Energy Saving Advice Service (ESAS) and the Department of Work and Pensions to develop a referral mechanism that will operate under the Energy Company Affordable Warmth Obligation. This will help with the identification of eligible customers and support the provision of an agreed minimum package of assistance. We are also promoting the use of data made available under the Warm Home Discount scheme to help identify low income and vulnerable households and provide them with energy efficiency measures.

Moreover, all the Department's Ministers, as well as officials, regularly meet with energy suppliers to discuss fuel poverty issues.

Energy: Housing

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many properties in each local authority area have benefited from energy efficiency measures through the (a) Carbon Emissions Reduction Target and (b) Community Energy Saving Programme in each year of the scheme. [127994]

Gregory Barker: It is estimated that through Government schemes since April 2008 (the start of CERT) there have been 4.5 million lofts insulated, 2.2 million cavity walls insulated and 78,000 solid walls insulated.

The Department does not hold information on the delivery of measures at a local authority level.

However, energy suppliers report measures installed through the CERT and CESP schemes on a voluntary basis to the Energy Saving Trust for inclusion in their Homes Energy Efficiency Database (HEED).

A number of standard reports (including those at local authority level) are available to download from HEED and can be viewed at:

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Organisations/Local-delivery/Free-resources-for-local-authorities/Homes-Energy-Efficiency-Database/CERT-reports-from-HEED

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Energy: Prices

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the way in which energy companies target financial benefits on vulnerable customers. [127486]

Gregory Barker: The Department has been working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions and the six major energy suppliers regarding suppliers' obligations to identify and provide support, including financial benefits to low income and vulnerable customers, through the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

The core group of the Warm Home Discount scheme provides support to eligible pension credit recipients. Through secure data matching of limited personal data between DWP and participating electricity suppliers, eligible customers receive a discount on their electricity bill. Sharing data in this way means that these customers do not need to take any action to receive the discount, and energy suppliers do not need to make inquiries on individual cases.

Energy suppliers' compliance with the Warm Home Discount scheme is monitored and enforced by Ofgem. Ofgem has now published its annual report on Warm Home Discount available via:

http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Sustainability/Environment/WHDS/Documents1/WHD_AR_08_Oct_2012.pdf

This report demonstrates how Government and energy suppliers worked closely together to deliver a very successful first year of the Warm Home Discount scheme. This co-operation is continuing in year two of the scheme. In 2011-12, over 700,000 discounts of £120 were made to pension credit customers, of which around 600,000 were made automatically. We expect that in 2012-13, over a million pension credit customers will receive a discount of £130.

Energy suppliers are also required to provide discounts to a broader group of vulnerable customers. Each supplier has its own eligibility criteria which are subject to approval by Ofgem. Over 234,000 households were assisted under this part of the scheme in 2011-12. The Warm Home Discount Regulations 2011 require energy suppliers to put in place verification processes to establish whether their customers are in receipt of the relevant qualifying benefits. These processes are subject to approval by Ofgem. Five of the six participating suppliers are now working with DWP to carry out some elements of this verification process, via secure electronic data transfer, with the customer's consent.

Suppliers also provide a range of social and discounted tariffs and rebates to low income vulnerable households. In total, over 2 million households were assisted in the first year of the scheme.

Fuel Poverty

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether an obligation is placed on energy companies to speak to charities and public organisations in order to identify vulnerable customers who may benefit from fuel poverty alleviation schemes. [127845]

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Gregory Barker: DECC does not place obligations on energy companies to engage with community or voluntary organisations in this way. Our policies do, however, create incentives for suppliers work in partnership with voluntary organisations to identify low income and vulnerable consumers. For example, the regulations for the warm home discount scheme provide for close partnership working between energy companies and community and voluntary organisations to help supplier meet their obligations under the industry initiatives part of the scheme.

Fuel Poverty: Northern Ireland

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the level of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland. [128120]

Gregory Barker: The most recent estimate was that 302,300 households (44% of the total) in Northern Ireland were fuel poor in 2009.

Gas and Electricity Markets Authority

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) when Ofgem's Consumer Challenge Group last met; [127769]

(2) what the scheduled date is of Ofgem's Consumer Challenge Group's next meeting; [127777]

(3) how much funding Ofgem's Consumer Challenge Group received in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; and what the sources of funding were in each year; [127778]

(4) what the terms of reference are of Ofgem's Consumer Challenge Group. [127779]

Gregory Barker: The information requested are matters for Ofgem. I have asked the Chief Executive of Ofgem to write to the hon. Member and we will place copies of his letters in the Libraries of the House.

Green Deal Scheme

Simon Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with stakeholders on the inclusion of requirements for Green Deal ancillary works in the Green Deal Code of Practice. [127655]

Gregory Barker: The Green Deal Code of Practice is currently being updated to reflect discussions with stakeholders and in order to refine some outstanding requirements. It will be tabled in Parliament shortly. A requirement relating to ancillary works is one we are looking to include in the updated version of the code.

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which cities have bid for part of the £12 million green deal pilot funding announced by his Department on 21 September 2012. [127995]

Gregory Barker: The Green Deal funding competition announced on 21 September was open to all members of the Core Cities group comprising the largest English

12 Nov 2012 : Column 42W

metropolitan areas outside London: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield.

To date, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield have submitted successful bids. The Department is currently in discussion with Liverpool regarding their plans to test key elements of the Green Deal.

National Grid

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of National Grid's commitment to introduce an audit clause in all aggregator framework agreements and aggregator contracts. [127364]

Mr Hayes: National Grid is responsible for keeping the system in balance, including the procurement of balancing services under the terms of its transmission licence. The Department has therefore not made an assessment of National Grid's commitment to introduce an audit clause in all aggregator framework agreements and aggregator contracts.

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of National Grid's commitment to audit all aggregator contracts within two years. [127365]

Mr Hayes: National Grid is responsible for keeping the system in balance, including the procurement of balancing services under the terms of its transmission licence. The Department has therefore not made an assessment of National Grid's commitment to audit all aggregator contracts within two years.

Power Failures

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what guidance his Department issues to energy companies about restoring power to households experiencing power supply failure; and if he will make a statement. [127552]

Mr Hayes: Ofgem regulates the owners of the electricity distribution networks through price controls, and places certain licence conditions on these companies.

At an individual customer level, statutory instrument 698 of 2010, known as “The Electricity (Standards of Performance) Regulations 2010”, sets out service levels that must be met by each distribution company, in 12 key areas. These include supply restoration, notification of customers, and the investigation of voltage quality issues. The standards have been set in order to guarantee a level of service that it is reasonable to expect companies to deliver in all cases.

If the distribution company fails to meet the level of service required, it must make a payment to the customer, subject to certain exemptions.

In addition, Ofgem has specifically designed an incentive scheme (known as the “Interruptions Incentive Scheme” (IIS)) to encourage companies to restore supplies to customers as quickly and safely as possible. The IIS is the main financial incentive to ensure that electricity

12 Nov 2012 : Column 43W

distribution network operators (DNOs) manage the number and duration of supply interruptions on their networks effectively.

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what requirements there are for energy companies which do not restore power supply to households experiencing power supply failure within an acceptable period; and if he will make a statement. [127553]

Mr Hayes: Ofgem regulates the owners of the electricity distribution networks through price controls and places certain licence conditions on these companies.

At an individual customer level, statutory instrument 698 of 2010, known as “The Electricity (Standards of Performance) Regulations 2010”, sets out service levels that must be met by each distribution company, in 12 key areas. These include supply restoration, notification of customers, and the investigation of voltage quality issues. The standards have been set in order to guarantee a level of service that it is reasonable to expect companies to deliver in all cases.

If the distribution company fails to meet the level of service required, it must make a payment to the customer, subject to certain exemptions. Payments under the guaranteed standards compensate for the inconvenience caused by loss of supply. They are not designed to compensate customers for subsequent financial loss. Ofgem monitors and enforces the guaranteed standards relating to quality of supply.

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many households in (a) Southend, (b) Southend West constituency, (c) Essex and (d) England and Wales suffering electricity supply failure were provided with an alternative source of power by UK Power Networks in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the average time taken to reconnect power supplies was. [127554]

Mr Hayes: DECC does not collect data on whether or not households are offered alternative sources of power by their electricity network operator in the event of supply failures, nor does it collect data on the time taken to restore supplies when disruptions occur.

All electricity network operators are set targets by the industry regulator, Ofgem, to reduce both the number and duration of power cuts. If they fail to meet these targets there is a financial penalty on their allowed income. In addition to this the network operators are required to meet guaranteed standards of performance; some of these standards relate to the number and duration of the power cuts. If a network operator fails to meet these standards a fixed level of compensation can be claimed by the consumer.

My hon. Friend will wish to note that UK Power Networks are the distribution network operators (DNO) for the Eastern, London and South Eastern licence areas and are not responsible for electricity supply failures that occur in other parts of England and Wales.

Details of the guaranteed standards and compensation are available on the Ofgem website at:

www.ofgem.gov.uk

12 Nov 2012 : Column 44W

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many complaints his Department has received about electricity supply failure in each year since 2010; what response was given in each case; if he will place in the Library a copy of any standard reply given; and if he will make a statement. [127555]

Mr Hayes: The Department has received 13 letters related to electricity supply failure since 2010. The responses did not follow a standard reply and copies will be placed in the Library with the personal information redacted.

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many households in Southend West constituency experienced electricity supply failure (a) in 2011 and (b) in 2012 to date; and what steps were taken to restore supply in each case. [127556]

Mr Hayes: DECC collects data for supply interruptions that are reportable under the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations (ESQCR) 2002. Electricity transmission and distribution companies have a statutory duty to report certain interruptions to supply under Regulation 32 of the ESQCR, as follows:

Interruptions of 20 MW or more for three minutes or longer.

Interruptions of 5 MW or more for one hour or longer.

Interruptions of 5,000 consumers or more for one hour or longer.

DECC has not received any reports of electricity supply interruptions affecting the Southend West constituency in 2011, or to date in 2012, that meet the reporting requirements of ESQCR.

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department holds on the number of households which experienced electricity supply failure for over 12 hours in the latest period for which figures are available; what the cause was in each case; and if he will make a statement. [127557]

Mr Hayes: DECC collects data for supply interruptions that are reportable under the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations (ESQCR) 2002. Electricity transmission and distribution companies have a statutory duty to report certain interruptions to supply under Regulation 32 of the ESQCR, as follows:

Interruptions of 20 MW or more for three minutes or longer.

Interruptions of 5 MW or more for one hour or longer.

Interruptions of 5,000 consumers or more for one hour or longer.

DECC has received four reports of electricity supply interruptions lasting for over 12 hours across GB between April 2011 and October 2012 that meet the reporting requirements of ESQCR. Three of these incidents were due to equipment failure and one due to damage to overhead powerlines caused by a falling tree in high winds. Taken together, these four interruptions saw 67,504 consumers disrupted, though many would have been restored within a few hours, our records show that some consumers were without electricity for 12 hours or longer. Our records are unable to identify the exact number of consumers who were without electricity for over 12 hours.

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Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will estimate the total value of financial losses to households affected by electricity supply failure in each of the last two years for which information is available. [127983]

Mr Hayes: DECC does not hold information on the value of financial losses to households who are affected by electricity supply failures.

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many cases involving power supply loss the Energy Ombudsman dealt with in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [128023]

Mr Hayes: The Ombudsman Service publishes details on the energy complaints they have received in their Annual Energy Reports. They do not, however, publish data on complaints involving power supply loss. The Ombudsman Service Annual Report for 2011-12 is available at:

http://www.ombudsman-services.org/downloads/OS%202012%20AR%203-7-12%20for%20web.pdf

Visits Abroad

Mr Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when a Minister in his Department last visited (a) China, (b) the US, (c) Brazil, (d) Mexico and (e) South Africa; and when a Minister in his Department next intends to visit those countries. [128090]

Gregory Barker: I have visited the US twice in 2012, most recently to New York in September to represent the UK at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. This followed leading a low carbon business delegation to Houston, San Antonio and Atlanta in May 2012, while also visiting New York and Washington DC.

The previous Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Eastleigh (Chris Huhne), and I last visited South Africa for the UN climate change conference in Durban at the end of 2011. We also visited Mexico for the conference in Cancun a year earlier.

The previous Secretary of State last visited China in September 2011 for the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum.

There have been no DECC ministerial visits to Brazil under this Government.

The Department is yet to finalise its plans for 2013 travel, but there are no plans to visit these countries in the remainder of 2012. Lists of all previous ministerial visits are available on the DECC website at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/accesstoinform/registers/overseas/overseas.aspx

Wind Power: Finance

Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) how much was paid in constraint payments to wind farms in 2011; [127857]

12 Nov 2012 : Column 46W

(2) what the average price per megawatt hour was paid for wind farms not to generate electricity. [127859]

Mr Hayes: The Department does not hold the breakdown of constraint payments by type of technology. Constraint payments arise from actions taken by National Grid (in its role as System Operator) to resolve bottlenecks on the electricity transmission system. This is a competitive market, with the details of most such payments published at

www.elexon.co.uk

and

www.bmreports.com

Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many megawatt hours were constrained in 2011. [127858]

Mr Hayes: National Grid (in its role as System Operator) has to take actions to constrain electricity generation from a range of different generation technologies at particular times to resolve bottlenecks on the electricity transmission system. This is delivered through a competitive market. The details of these actions are published at:

http://www.nationalgrid.com/uk/Electricity/Balancing/Summary/

These actions led to a total of 3,325,554 megawatt hours being constrained off in calendar year 2011.

Education

Catering

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department has spent on refreshments since May 2010. [127108]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department's finance system does not hold the information at this level of detail. Obtaining this information would incur disproportionate costs.

Children: Day Care

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the number of parents in England who designate (a) themselves, (b) a non-paid friend or relative, (c) a childminder, (d) a personal nanny and (e) a nursery or daycare centre as their main provider of child care during working hours. [126563]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department’s Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents is the main source of national estimates on this topic. The survey does not include estimates for the main provider of child care during parents’ working hours. It may be helpful to see that it does include estimates for use of child care during a term time reference week by type of child care and family work status (see table 1). The survey also presents estimates for child care use by more detailed provider categories (e.g. childminder) but this information is not broken down by family work status (see table 2). These figures relate to 2010. The equivalent figures for 2011 will be published on the Department website early next year.

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Table 1: Parents of children aged 0-14 saying that they use child care during a term time reference week by type of child care and family work status, 2010
Percentage
Family work statusAny child careFormal child careInformal child care

Couple

   

Both working

76

60

33

One working

54

44

15

Neither working

39

31

9

    

Lone parent

   

Working

75

53

44

Not working

55

38

25

Note: The sum of ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ child care percentages can be different to the use of ‘any’ child care percentage because a proportion of parents report the use of both formal and informal child care.
Table 2: Parents of children aged 0-14 saying that they use child care during a term time reference week by specific type of child care provider, 2010
Type of child care and providerPercentage

Any child care

78

  

Formal providers

63

Nursery school

5

Nursery class attached to a primary or infants’ school

4

Reception class(1)

10

Special day school/ nursery/ unit for children with SEN

Day nursery

8

Playgroup or pre-school

6

Other nursery education provider

Breakfast club

4

After-school club

35

Childminder

5

Nanny or au pair

1

Babysitter who came to home

1

  

Informal providers

38

Ex-partner

5

Grandparent

24

Older sibling

4

Another relative

5

Friend or neighbour

7

  

Other(2)

 

Leisure/sport

5

Other child care provider

2

  

No child care used

22

(1) The data on the use of reception classes should be treated with caution, as there may be under and over-reporting of the use of this type of child care. The potential under-reporting concerns four-year-olds, whose parents may not have considered reception classes a type of child care, even if their four-year-olds were attending school (hence likely to be in reception). (2) The use of other types of child care counts towards any child care but not towards formal or informal provision. Notes: 1. The sum of ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ child care percentages can be different to the use of ‘any’ child care percentage because a proportion of parents report the use of both formal and informal child care. 2. Percentages of less than 1% are indicated by a “—” in the table.

Early Intervention Grant: Cumbria

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much was allocated to Cumbria through the early intervention grant in the last five financial years to date; and how much has been allocated for 2013-14. [125420]

12 Nov 2012 : Column 48W

Elizabeth Truss: The Early Intervention Grant (EIG) was established in April 2011, and EIG allocations are not available before this date.

Cumbria local authority was allocated £18,420,351 in 2011-12 and £20,067,275 in 2012-13. The Early Intervention Grant—along with a number of other central Government grants—will become part of the new local government funding scheme (the business rates retention scheme) in 2013-14. The EIG allocation for local authorities will be visible within the business rates retention scheme in 2013-14 and 2014-15. The 2013-14 allocations have not been finalised. An indicative allocation of £14,647,409 was published on the Department of Communities and Local Government's website to accompany their technical consultation on the Business Rates Retention. The 2013-14 allocation will be confirmed later in the year, following the Local Government Finance Settlement.

Educational Institutions: Staff

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what information his Department holds on the total number of employees of (a) schools and colleges and (b) organisations providing services under contract to schools and colleges paid less than (i) £7.20 per hour outside London and (ii) £8.30 per hour in London. [126342]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 2 November 2012]: The information requested is not available in the format requested for schools and is not collected by the Department with respect to colleges of further education.

Teachers in all maintained schools in England and Wales must be paid according to the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) which specifies the minimum starting salary for qualified and unqualified teachers. The minimum starting salary for an unqualified teacher working outside London is £15,817—which is the equivalent of £12.50 per hour. Qualified teachers are paid a higher rate. Their minimum starting salary (outside London) is £21,588 which is the equivalent of £17.06 per hour. Academies are not bound by the STPCD and are free to set their own pay and conditions if they so wish—although those that have transferred from the maintained sector under TUPE agreements are entitled to remain on STPCD rates.

Where teachers are employed through an organisation providing services under contract to schools then the agency worker regulations apply (which came into force on 1 October 2011). Private agencies are able to set their own rates of pay for the first 12 weeks of a teacher's assignment. However, if the assignment is longer than 12 weeks with the same employer the agency has to pay the same rates as if the teacher was employed directly by a school or local authority (i.e. following the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document).

Central Government does not have a role in making decisions on the pay and conditions of school support staff. These matters are decided by the employer of those staff. For support staff in community and voluntary schools, the employer is the local authority. For support staff employed in foundation and voluntary aided schools, the employer is the school's governing body and in academies the employer is the academy trust. The Department for Communities and Local Government has responsibility for staff employed by local authorities.

12 Nov 2012 : Column 49W

Statistics are routinely published on the pay received by full-time qualified teachers in England. The latest data, from the November 2011 School Workforce Census, show the average salary of the 355,400 full-time qualified teachers (including classroom and leadership group teachers) to be £37,900. Of these, 25% (87,400) are paid between £21,588 (the minimum) and £30,000.

Statistics on the pay of unqualified teachers and school support staff are not readily available. Providing these data would incur disproportionate cost and only represent a proportion of the work force in these roles.

GCSE

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many and what proportion of pupils who did not have a statement of special educational needs did not achieve an A* to C grade in (a) English, (b) mathematics and (c) either English or mathematics GCSE in the latest period for which figures are available; [125956]

(2) in which mainstream schools fewer than (a) 50 per cent., (b) 60 per cent. and (c) 70 per cent. of pupils with no statement of special educational needs achieved A* to C in GCSE (i) English, (ii) mathematics and (iii) either English or mathematics in the latest period for which figures are available; [125957]

(3) in which mainstream schools fewer than (a) 50 per cent., (b) 60 per cent. and (c) 70 per cent. of pupils with no statement of special educational needs achieved five A* to C grades, including English and mathematics but excluding equivalents at GCSE in each local authority in the latest period for which figures are available. [125958]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 31 October 2012]: The information requested for 2011 is given in (a) the following table, and (b) a list of schools with the requested indicators which has been placed in the House Libraries. Information has been given for state-funded mainstream schools only (including academies and free schools) as information on special educational needs (SEN) is not collected at pupil level for independent (not state-funded) schools. Information for 2012 is not yet available—it will be published in late January 2013.

National performance of pupils(1) with no statements of special educational needs(2 )attaining A* to C in English and/or mathematics at the end of Key Stage 4, Year: 2010/11 (Final), Coverage: England (state-funded mainstream schools only)
 Number of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 with no statement of SENPercentage of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 with no statement of SEN

Total number of pupils

545,610

Of which:

  

Did not achieve A* to C in English

156,085

28.6

Did not achieve A* to C in mathematics

178,977

32.8

Did not achieve A* to C in either English or mathematics

120,248

22.0

(1) Includes attempts and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years. (2) Pupils with no statement of SEN include: School Action, School Action+, no identified SEN and unclassified pupils. Source: 2011 Secondary School Performance Tables data (post-errata).

12 Nov 2012 : Column 50W

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education at which schools fewer than (a) 30 and (b) 50 per cent. of pupils who did not have a statement of special educational needs and were not eligible for free school meals, achieved five GCSEs at grade A* to C, including English and mathematics but excluding equivalents, in the most recent year for which figures are available, by local authority area. [126282]

Elizabeth Truss: The information requested for 2011 is given in a list of schools with the requested indicators which has been placed in the House Libraries. Information has been given for state-funded mainstream schools only (including academies and free schools) as information on special educational needs (SEN) or free school meals (FSM) eligibility is not collected at pupil level for independent (not state-funded) schools. Information for 2012 is not yet available—it will be published in late January 2013.

Health Education: Sex

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education with reference to the Government's action plan on violence against women and girls, what progress he has made in realising the Government's commitment to encourage the teaching of sexual consent as part of the school curriculum; and if he will make a statement. [127055]

Elizabeth Truss: Sexual consent is an important issue and my Department is committed to making the cross-government Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Action Plan as powerful and effective as possible.

We encourage all schools to address the topic of sexual consent in Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education. When teaching sex education and related issues, schools must have regard to the Secretary of State's Guidance on Sex and Relationship Education.

The document makes clear that schools should ensure young people develop positive values and a moral framework that will guide their decisions, judgments and behaviour. Specifically, all young people should understand how the law applies to sexual relationships.

Ministerial Policy Advisers

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the annualised cost of the special advisers and policy advisers in his Department in the (a) last and (b) current financial year. [127027]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 6 November 2012]: Salary information for the special advisers is available on the Cabinet Office website at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/special-adviser-data-releases

The Department publishes information on senior staff salaries on its website:

http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/departmentalinformation/transparency/expenditure/expen12/b0065313/disclosure-of-scs-posts-and-salary-information

Salary information for staff below senior civil service band 2 (director level) is not published.

12 Nov 2012 : Column 51W

Mobile Phones

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which companies supply (a) mobile telephones and (b) mobile data services to his Department. [125685]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department for Education has a contract with Vodafone Ltd for the provision of mobile voice and data telecommunications services, the provision of mobile devices is included within the scope of this contract.

National Curriculum Tests

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of pupils

12 Nov 2012 : Column 52W

who did not have a statement of special educational needs were not entered for

(a)

English,

(b)

mathematics and

(c)

either English or mathematics Key Stage 4 examinations in the most recent year for which figures are available. [126099]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 1 November 2012]:The information requested for 2011 is given in the following table. Information has been given for state-funded mainstream schools only (including academies and free schools) as information on special educational needs (SEN) is not collected at pupil level for independent (not state-funded) schools. Information for 2012 is not yet available—it will be published in late January 2013.

National information for pupils(1) with no statements of special educational needs(2 )not attempting GCSE English or mathematics at the end of Key Stage 4. Year: 2010/11 (Final). Coverage: England (state-funded mainstream schools only)
 Number of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 with no statement of SENPercentage of pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 with no statement of SEN

Total number of pupils

545,610

Of which:

  

Did not attempt GCSE English

7,308

1.3

Did not attempt GCSE mathematics

4,367

0.8

Did not attempt either GCSE English or mathematics

3,409

0.6

(1) Includes attempts and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years. (2) Pupils with no statement of SEN include; School Action, School Action+, no identified SEN and unclassified pupils. Source: 2011 Secondary School Performance Tables data (post-errata)

Public Appointments

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many appointments made to the boards of public bodies overseen by his Department have been (a) male and (b) female since May 2010. [126157]

Elizabeth Truss: 20 men and 15 women have been appointed since May 2010.

Schools: ICT

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to integrate the use of new technologies into schools. [126951]

Elizabeth Truss: The Government encourages schools to take good advantage of opportunities presented by digital technologies to improve teaching and raise educational standards. The Department is reforming the national curriculum to give a stronger emphasis on computer science within the ICT curriculum. Teachers should use their professional judgment to decide how best to use new technologies to teach their pupils across the curriculum.

The Department for Education is investing a total of £3.75 million over the period 2011-13 in the VITAL programme to fund professional development opportunities and resources for teachers in the effective use of ICT and technology. We are also funding teaching schools to support other schools in the effective use of technology and help them develop and improve their practice.

Schools: Standards

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in each decile of deprivation did not meet the Government's floor targets in the most recent year for which figures are available. [126284]

Elizabeth Truss: The information requested is provided in the following tables:

Key stage 2: Number and percentage of schools(1) in each decile of deprivation(2) that are below the floor target(3), 2011
 Number of schools eligible for assessment against the floorNumber of schools not meeting the KS2 floor targetPercentage(4)

0% to 10% (most deprived)

1,433

268

19

10% to 20%

1,323

226

17

20% to 30%

1,301

200

15

30% to 40%

1,277

172

13

40% to 50%

1,338

134

10

50% to 60%

1,372

113

8

60% to 70%

1,338

84

6

70% to 80%

1,414

46

3

80% to 90%

1,381

44

3

12 Nov 2012 : Column 53W

12 Nov 2012 : Column 54W

90% to 100% (least deprived)

1,173

23

2

Total

13,350

1,310

10

(1) Mainstream maintained schools in the key stage 2 performance tables with greater than 10 pupils in the key stage 2 cohort and performance tables data for all three measures against which the floor standard is assessed (see footnote 3). (2) Based on Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI). Each super output area (similar sized groups of households across the country with a minimum population of 1,000) in England is given a score which ranks it between one and 32,482, one being the most deprived. IDACI band is based on the IDACI rank of school postcode. Pupils attending the school may not live in the same area. (3) In 2011 the floor standard was: at least 60% of pupils at the end of key stage 2 (KS2) achieving level 4 or above in English and maths; and national average or above for % of pupils at the end of KS2 making expected progress in English (national median = 87%); and national average or above for % of pupils at the end of KS2 making expected progress in maths (national median = 86%). Primary schools failing to reach all three thresholds were assessed as being below the floor standard. (4) Number of schools below the floor target in each area as a percentage of the number of schools assessed against the floor target in each area. Source: Performance Tables.
Key stage 4: Number and percentage of schools(1) in each decile of deprivation(2 )that are below the floor target(3), 2011
 Number of schools eligible for assessment against the floorNumber of schools not meeting the KS4 floor targetPercentage(4)

0% to 10% (most deprived)

243

27

11

10% to 20%

251

19

8

20% to 30%

301

14

5

30% to 40%

342

11

3

40% to 50%

325

9

3

50% to 60%

286

5

2

60% to 70%

328

7

2

70% to 80%

291

6

2

80% to 90%

287

7

2

90% to 100% (least deprived)

305

2

1

Total

2,959

107

4

(1) Mainstream maintained schools in the key stage 4 performance tables with greater than 10 pupils in the key stage 4 cohort and performance tables data for all three measures against which the floor standard is assessed (see footnote 3). (2) Based on Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI). Each super output area (similar sized groups of households across the country with a minimum population of 1,000) in England is given a score which ranks it between one and 32,482, one being the most deprived. IDACI band is based on the IDACI rank of school postcode. Pupils attending the school may not live in the same area. (3 )In 2011 the floor standard was: at least 35% of pupils at the end of key stage 4 achieving five or more GCSEs A*-C (or equivalents) including English and maths GCSE; and national average or above for % of pupils at the end of KS4 making expected progress in English (national median = 72% for 2010, 74% for 2011); and national average or above for % of pupils at the end of KS4 making expected progress in maths (national median = 65% for 2010, 66% for 2011). Secondary schools failing to reach all three thresholds were assessed as being below the floor standard. (4) Number of schools below the floor target in each area as a percentage of the number of schools assessed against the floor target in each area. Source: Performance Tables.

Sick Leave

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education on how many days on average staff of his Department in each pay grade were absent from work as a result of ill health in each of the last 12 months. [125684]

Elizabeth Truss: The requested figures are shown in the following table.

Department for Education sickness absence for the period October 2011 to September 2012
GradeAverage number of working days lost per member of staff

Executive Assistant (EA)

10.3

Executive Officer (EO)

6.9

Higher Executive Officer (HEO)

5.4

Senior Executive Officer (SEO)

4.5

Grade 7

3.0

Grade 6

2.0

Senior Civil Servants (SCS)

2.5

All staff

4.8

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education for how many and what proportion of days, on average, staff of his Department at each pay grade were absent from work as a result of ill health in each of the last five years. [127185]

Elizabeth Truss: Information for the Department for the last five years is set out in the following table:

Sickness absence report March 2008 to September 2012
  EAEOHEOSEOG7G6SCS

March 2008

Total number of days

6,117.2

5,178.9

4,445.6

2,552.2

1,272.2

239.9

215.3

 

Average working days lost

19.3

11.7

9.7

7.6

3.7

2.2

2.6

         

March 2009

Total number of days

4,674.8

5,627

4,717.2

3,296.4

2,035.8

375.9

321.1

12 Nov 2012 : Column 55W

12 Nov 2012 : Column 56W

 

Average working days lost

15.2

11.5

8.1

6.7

4.1

2.1

2.8

         

March 2010

Total number of days

3,497

449.2

4,878

3,414

1,569

498

168

 

Average working days lost

11.9

8.9

7.5

6.5

3

2.7

1.3

         

March 2011

Total number of days

2,928

3,762.2

3,726.8

2,633.3

1,350.5

422.5

223.5

 

Average working days lost

13.6

8

6.4

5.4

2.9

2.7

1.9

         

March 2012

Total number of days

2,240

3,161,3

2,985.1

2,276.3

1,672.9

313.5

360.2

 

Average working days lost

11.78

7.1

4.6

4.3

2.9

1.7

2.9

         

June 2012

Total number of days.

2,274

4,249.4

4,049.7

4,126.4

2,387.8

487.4

301.9

 

Average working days lost

9

6.5

5

4.7

2.9

1.3

1.6

Note: Total number of days is determined by numbers in post.

Staff

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department spent on (a) recruitment agency fees, (b) outplacement agency fees for displaced or redundant staff and (c) staff training in each of the last 12 months. [125686]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department and its agencies has spent the following on staff training and recruitment agency fees:

£
 Recruitment agency feesStaff training

October 2011

7,487.50

161,541

November 2011

4,492.50

205,268

December 2011

2,995

145,256

January 2012

144,307

February 2012

205,614

March 2012

6,000

577,600

April 2012

7,392

May 2012

62,366

June 2012

9,579

July 2012

6,000

127,590

August 2012

57,769

September 2012

107,455

Total

(1)40,366

1,811,737

(1) The agency fee costs incurred for a campaign which was jointly funded by the Department for Health cannot be split from the overall cost which also includes the cost of advertising and psychometric testing. The total cost to the Department for that campaign was £13,391. This cost is included in the total above but not in the monthly costs.

There have been no cost in the last 12 months for outplacement agency fees.

Surveys

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he has conducted an engagement index survey for staff working in his Department in autumn 2012; and if he will publish the results of any such survey. [127025]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 6 November 2012]: The Department for Education is participating in the 2012 Cabinet Office People Survey, which will provide an engagement index score for the Department. The survey was open from 1 to 31 October 2012. The Department will receive the departmental level results of the survey from the Cabinet Office at 1 pm on Thursday 15 November. These results will be made available to all staff. In line with Cabinet Office guidelines, the results will also be published on the external departmental website by Tuesday 31 January 2013. In addition, the Cabinet Office will publish the results on their own website and:

www.data.gov.uk

on Wednesday 1 February 2013.

Truancy: Kent

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the truancy rate was for (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in (i) Gillingham and Rainham constituency and (ii) Medway in the latest period for which figures are available. [126562]

Elizabeth Truss: The closest measure we have to assess truancy rates is the unauthorised absence rate. This includes family holidays taken during term time but not agreed by the head teacher, late arrival at school, and any absence that is not authorised.

12 Nov 2012 : Column 57W

Information on unauthorised absence in the autumn term 2011 and spring term 2012 is shown in the following table.

This information is published in the ‘Pupil Absence in schools in England: Autumn Term 2011 and Spring Term 2012’ Statistical First Release at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s001090/index.shtml

The latest data for the full school year are published as Statistical First Release 04/2012 ‘Pupil Absence in Schools in England, Including Pupil Characteristics: 2010/11; at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s001060/index.shtml

The ‘Pupil Absence in Schools in England, Including Pupil Characteristics: 2011/12’ Statistical First Release will be published in March 2013.

State-funded primary and state-funded secondary schools(1,2,3) unauthorised absence rates(4) autumn term 2011 and spring term 2012, England, Medway local authority and Gillingham and Rainham parliamentary constituency
 EnglandMedway local authorityGillingham and Rainham constituency

State-funded primary schools

0.6

0.6

0.5

State-funded secondary schools

1.3

1.5

1.4

(1) Includes middle schools as deemed. (2) Includes primary academies, including free schools. (3) Includes city technology colleges and secondary academies, including free schools. (4) The number of sessions missed due to unauthorised absence expressed as a percentage of the total number of possible sessions. Source: School Census

Cabinet Office

Big Lottery Fund

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate he has made of the (a) income and (b) expenditure of the Big Lottery Fund in (i) 2013-14, (ii) 2014-15 and (iii) 2015-16; and if he will make a statement; [127903]

(2) what the (a) income and (b) expenditure of the Big Lottery Fund was in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; what it is expected to be in 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [127904]

Mr Hurd: The income and expenditure for the Big Lottery Fund for 2010-11 and 2011-12 is available in the Big Lottery Fund's annual reports:

www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/index/about-uk/corporatedocs.htm

Figures for 2012-13 will be published in due course.

Cabinet Committees

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) on how many occasions the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure, chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has met since 29 November 2011; [126234]

(2) how many times the Growth Committee, sub-committee of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has met since its inception; and what the membership of the sub-committee is. [126235]

12 Nov 2012 : Column 58W

Mr Hurd [holding answer 5 November 2012]: The written ministerial statement of 30 October 2012, Official Report, column 8WS, by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, my right hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Mr Maude), announced an updated Cabinet Committee list. Copies are available in the Library of the House.

In line with the practice of previous Governments, information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees is generally not disclosed.

Charities: Religion

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office for what reasons the presumption that religion is of public benefit is not a consideration of the Charity Commission when considering the charitable status of religious groups. [127772]

Mr Hurd: The Charities Act 2006 made it clear that no particular purpose is to be presumed to be for the public benefit.

Cobra

Jon Trickett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many times COBR met in the last three months; and what the reasons were for each such meeting. [128250]

Mr Hurd: The Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) have been activated on a number of occasions in the past three months, including co-ordinating the response to Ash Tree dieback. In line with the practice of previous administrations, specific information on the frequency and content of Cabinet Committee and other ministerial meetings is not routinely disclosed.

Government Departments: ICT

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office with reference to the answer of 19 April 2012, Official Report, column 555W, on departmental standards, what his Department's definition of open standard is; and what measures are in place to promote the use of open standards in information technology within Government. [128056]

Mr Hurd: The Government's definition of open standards for software interoperability, data and document formats is publicly available on the Cabinet Office website in our Open Standards Principles, published on 1 November:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/openstandards

A copy of the Open Standards Principles is available in the Library of the House.

Kidneys: Diseases

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many cases of infant mortality in east Lancashire have been due to polycystic kidney disease in the last five years. [127892]

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

12 Nov 2012 : Column 59W

Letter from Glen Watson, dated November 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many cases of infant mortality in East Lancashire have been due to polycystic kidney disease in the last five years. [127892].

In England and Wales, deaths occurring in infants aged under 28 days are registered using a special perinatal death certificate which enables reporting of all relevant diseases or conditions in both the infant and the mother. It is not possible to determine a single underlying cause of death from this certificate. Accordingly, Table 1 provides figures for all infant deaths where polycystic kidney disease was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate.

Table 1: Number of infant deaths in east Lancashire where polycystic kidney disease was mentioned on the death certificate, 2006-10(1, 2, 3)
 Number of infant deaths

2006

0

2007

1

2008

1

2009

0

2010

0

(1) Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases. Tenth Revision (ICD-10). Deaths were included where polycystic kidney disease ICD codes Q61.1-Q61.3 were mentioned on the death certificate, not necessarily as the underlying cause of death. (2) Figures are based on deaths occurring in each calendar year. (3) Infant deaths defined as deaths occurring under a year after live birth. Source: Office for National Statistics.

Members: Correspondence

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when he expects to answer the letter from the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion of 11 July 2012, on closure of the Joint Sustainability Forum. [127353]

Mr Hurd: The Cabinet Office responded to the hon. Member on 8 November 2012.

New Businesses: Hastings

Amber Rudd: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many small and medium-sized enterprises were set up in (a) Hastings local authority area and (b) Hastings and Rye constituency in each year since 2005-06. [128001]

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated November 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many small and medium sized enterprises were set up in (a) Hastings local authority area and (b) Hastings and Rye constituency in each year since 2005-06. [128001]

Annual statistics on the number of enterprise births are available from 2004 onwards in the ONS release on Business Demography at:

www.statistics.gov.uk

The following table contains the latest statistics available.

Count of enterprise births by employment size band in the Hastings local authority area and the Hastings and Rye constituency from 2005-10
 Hastings local authority areaHastings and Rye constituency
 Small 0-49Medium 50-249Small 0-49Medium 50-249

2005

295

0

365

0

2006

295

0

365

0

2007

285

0

385

0

12 Nov 2012 : Column 60W

2008

265

0

315

0

2009

285

0

335

0

2010

240

0

315

0

Note: The above figures have been rounded to the nearest 5 to avoid disclosure, for example, some years with one or two enterprise births would be rounded to zero.

Plymouth Brethren

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office for what reasons charitable status was removed from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church. [127773]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Charity Commission. I have asked the commission’s chief executive to reply.

Letter from Sam Younger, dated 7 November 2012:

I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question, for what reasons charitable status was removed from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church. [127773]

The trust in question applied for registration and was turned down. It has lodged an appeal against our decision and the outcome of the appeal is awaited.

Voluntary Work: Young People

Jon Trickett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the cost was of the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme per participant in each of the years the NCS has been running. [128258]

Mr Hurd: Evaluation of the 2011 pilots showed that the unit costs per commissioned place was £1,303 to the Government and £1,553 in total.

The 2012 pilots are still under way. The next independent evaluation report will include further information.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Convention On International Interests in Mobile Equipment

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 24 April 2012, Official Report, column 816W, on aviation: treaties, if he will publish the Government response to the call for evidence concerning the ratification of the Cape Town Convention. [127818]

Jo Swinson: The then Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr Prisk), confirmed at the Farnborough Airshow in July that the Government was committed to ratifying the Cape Town Convention. However, he explained that we needed to do more work with business, following the Call for Evidence, to clarify the costs and benefits involved. Most of this work has been done and the Government response will be published in early 2013.

12 Nov 2012 : Column 61W

Enterprise Act 2002

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on how many occasions the provisions of section 42 of the Enterprise Act 2002 have been invoked since the section entered into force; and on what date each such intervention was made. [127491]

Jo Swinson: Section 42 allows the Secretary of State to intervene in public interest mergers on the basis of national security, media plurality and financial stability of the UK. There have been four public interest intervention notices issued under section 42 since the legislation came into force. They occurred on:

 Public interest intervention notices

17 August 2005

Lockheed Martin's acquisition of Insys

26 February 2007

BSkyB's acquisition of 17.9% share holding in ITV

18 September 2008

Merger of HBOS and Lloyds TSB

2 August 2012

Merger of Guardian Media Group Radio and Global Radio

In addition, there have been five European intervention notices (issued under section 67) and one special intervention notice (issued under section 59).

12 Nov 2012 : Column 62W

Foreign Companies

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will introduce a public interest test for the acquisition of UK companies by foreign-owned firms based on the industrial strategic importance of the company. [127492]

Jo Swinson: In his independent report “No Stone Unturned: in pursuit of growth”, Lord Heseltine recommended that Government should

‘signal a greater readiness to use existing powers in the Enterprise Act 2002 to allow ministers to consider takeovers and mergers to ensure our long term industrial capabilities are given proper consideration’.

The Government is committed to open markets and will consider Lord Heseltine's proposals very carefully as part of its response to his report.

Insolvency: Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many company insolvencies there were in each sector in Scotland in each of the last five years. [128057]

Jo Swinson: Company insolvencies in Scotland by industry sector for 2010 and 2011 are provided in Table 1 as follows. Figures for earlier years are not available on a consistent basis, or for all types of corporate insolvency in Scotland.

Table 1: Liquidations and other corporate insolvencies by sector in Scotland for 2010 and 2011
 20102011
 Total liquidationsOther corporate insolvenciesTotal liquidationsOther corporate insolvencies

Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry

2

0

7

3

Fishing

1

2

1

0

Mining and Quarrying

4

1

9

2

Manufacturing

98

34

73

23

Electricity, Gas and Water Supply

1

1

2

0

Construction

217

53

265

54

Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles, Motor Cycles, and personal and household goods

93

11

122

17

Hotels and Restaurants

111

15

134

15

Transport, Storage and Communication

50

11

41

2

Financial Intermediation

10

1

8

6

Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities

349

154

449

145

Public Administration and Defence; Compulsory Social Security

0

0

0

0

Education

5

1

4

0

Health and Social Work

5

2

10

5

Other Community, Social and Personal Service Activities

43

6

46

11

Private Households Employing Staff and Undifferentiated Production Activities of Households for Own Use

0

0

0

0

Extra-Territorial Organisations and Bodies

0

0

0

0

All others

52

7

66

10

Total

1,041

299

1,237

293

New Businesses: Young People

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many loans have been made through the Start Up Loans scheme from the inception of that scheme. [125440]

Michael Fallon [holding answer 29 October 2012]:The start-up loans scheme has granted 43 loans to young entrepreneurs as of Thursday 25 October, with a further 46 applications being assessed.

Our projection remains that between 2,500-2,800 loans will have been agreed by end of the pilot stage of the programme in March 2013.