Bangladesh

Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if her Department will take steps to provide funding for un-adopted schools in Bangladesh; and if she will make a statement. [123941]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) already provides support through two non-governmental partners—BRAC (previously known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) and the Under Privileged Children's Education Programme—to un-adopted schools not funded by the GoB.

These partners target the poorest children that are not in school from remote areas, urban slums, and those with special needs who have limited access to mainstream Government schools. By 2015 we expect 1.3 million children to enrol and complete pre-primary education and 650,000 children to enrol and complete primary education.

Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 6 November 2012, Official Report, column 604W, on Bangladesh, what performance indicators her Department used to measure the success of the project. [128598]

Mr Duncan: The high-level indicators for the project are:

(1) The Economic Relation Division being responsible for managing aid flows which demonstrate improved aid co-ordination and aid-management systems and skills.

(2) Introduction and full utilisation of a web-based aid-information management system (AIMS) which captures aid-flow information and allows Bangladesh to report accurately and conduct analysis.

(3) The Local Consultative Group mechanism for aid management, which is a joint Government and development partner forum, is strengthened to function more effectively and direct aid allocation for greater impact. Sector sub-groups have results-oriented work plans.

(4) Better development results through improved processes and accountability in the allocation and use of foreign aid and domestic resources.

(5) Aid co-ordination and management capacities of the key Government of Bangladesh Ministries are strengthened, applying principles of effective aid management routinely.

Burma

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to ensure greater co-ordination of the work of relief agencies in Burma. [129078]

Mr Duncan: DFID ensures that the funds are well co-ordinated with the work of other agencies by encouraging the United Nations (UN) to strengthen its co-ordination of relief work and by working to ensure the Burmese Government co-ordinates their response with the UN and others. DFID also takes steps to allow full co-ordinated humanitarian access to conflict-affected areas.

26 Nov 2012 : Column 82W

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what technical assistance her Department is providing for reconciliation inside Rakhine state, Burma. [129079]

Mr Duncan: DFID has focused on meeting urgent humanitarian needs in Rakhine and is not currently providing technical assistance for reconciliation inside Rakhine state. In addition to core funding of multilateral working in the area, DFID has allocated £2 million of bilateral funds for humanitarian relief for victims of violence in Rakhine state. This includes the provision of improved drinking water and sanitation facilities and treatment for malnutrition. UK Ministers have made several public statements to express our deep concern about the violence. We welcomed the formation of an independent Investigative Commission to probe the violence but made clear that for the Commission to be credible it needed to involve a consultative process with all the affected communities.

Colombia

Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 12 November 2012, Official Report, column 18W, on Colombia, whether her Department has any plans to allocate aid to Colombia in the next three years. [129099]

Mr Duncan: DFID has no bilateral aid programme in Colombia and therefore does not plan to allocate aid to Colombia in the next three years. However, other Government Departments including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department of Energy and Climate Change provide funding that is classified as official development assistance.

Consultants

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she plans to publish the findings of her review into the use of private consultants by her Department. [124421]

Justine Greening: I will announce shortly any actions that are being taken as a result of the review.

Developing Countries: Diarrhoea

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to ensure a more comprehensive approach to diarrhoea prevention, control and treatment; and if she will make a statement. [129064]

Mr Duncan: Diarrhoea is major cause of death and ill-health throughout the developing world and is the leading cause of death in children in Africa and the second leading cause globally.

Diarrhoea is primarily caused by poor water, sanitation and hygiene and the World Health Organisation estimates that improving these services could avoid 2.4 million deaths annually. The Department for International Development makes significant investment in water, sanitation and hygiene programmes. These interventions are the most effective—and value for money—investments that can be made to prevent diarrhoea from occurring.

26 Nov 2012 : Column 83W

As part of investments in health systems, the Department also supports the health sector in developing countries to control and treat diarrhoea. Where large outbreaks occur, the Department provides funding for the treatment of diarrhoea, including through the use of oral rehydration therapy and provision of antibiotics where these are required.

We are conscious that more needs to be done to develop effective diarrhoea prevention and control. To this end the Department funds three key research programmes:

In collaboration with PATH, we fund the Enteric Diarrhoeal Diseases programme which is developing new vaccines, against a number of different bacteria and viruses that cause diarrhoea;

Again with PATH, we fund the One World Health programme which is developing new drugs to treat diarrhoea; and,

The Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity programme which is carrying out research to understand how we can improve sanitation and hygiene and prevent diarrhoea.

Developing Countries: Food

Jenny Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to the Prime Minister's hunger summit, what steps she is taking to eradicate world hunger. [129084]

Justine Greening: Between 2011 and 2015, the coalition Government have committed to reach 20 million children and pregnant women in developing countries through our nutrition-related programmes, and ensure another 4 million people have enough food to eat throughout the year.

At this year's G8 summit, the Prime Minister gave strong support to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition—a new 10-year initiative to lift 50 million people out of poverty and increase food security. The Prime Minister also co-hosted a high-level event on hunger in August this year with the Government of Brazil, at which the UK agreed support to agricultural research that could help feed 45 million people. The Prime Minister has recently confirmed that the UK will continue to lead the battle against hunger with an event on food and nutrition in 2013, a few days before the 2013 G8 summit in Lough Erne.

Developing Countries: Polio

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding the UK will provide to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in each of the next five years. [129914]

Mr Duncan: The UK Government are strongly committed to polio eradication. The UK Government have disbursed £40 million to the GPEI in the current 2012-13 financial year. As this marks the final year of the current pledge we are now considering our support for future years from 2013.

Developing Countries: Sanitation

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to support World Toilet Day in 2012; and if she will make a statement. [129065]

26 Nov 2012 : Column 84W

Mr Duncan: DFID marked World Toilet Day in several ways:

By contributing a blog piece entitled “Girls, Women and Sanitation—Dignity matters”, as part of WaterAid's "Thunderclap" World Toilet day blog event.

By holding a seminar in DFID's Palace Street headquarters, featuring both internal and external speakers, on "the role of sanitation and hygiene in improving child survival and development";

An all-day exhibition in DFID Palace Street Atrium will include a display stand with various posters on sanitation and hygiene.

Foreign Workers

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what arrangements are in place to monitor working conditions and living standards of employees who work in firms established in UK-supported export processing zones. [129507]

Mr Duncan: DFID is helping to deliver good social and environmental standards in economic processing zones (EPZs). For example, in Bangladesh DFID is working with the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support a network of 60 labour counsellors who have helped to increase compliance with labour laws in the country's eight EPZs, from 30%-40% to 92% of companies. In 2012, 99% of grievances were resolved. These labour counsellors have also helped to set up Worker Welfare Associations in EPZ factories. More than half of companies operating in the EPZs now have Worker Welfare Associations. The minimum wage inside the EPZs is 33% higher than outside, and the labour counsellors are reporting a 95% compliance with the payment of this minimum wage.

Through the IFC, DFID has also supported the drafting of a new Economic Zones Act which was passed in 2010. The Act enshrines in law all of the gains for labour in the current EPZs, and seeks to expand worker rights.

Firms who locate their business in special economic zones are expected to comply with local labour laws.

Nurseries

Owen Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many child-care places her Department provides on its estate; what the cost is of providing such places; how many such places her Department provided in 2010; what the cost was of providing such places in 2010; what plans she has for changes in the provision of such child-care places; and what the number of places will be once any such changes have been implemented. [121272]

Mr Duncan: DFID does not offer any child-care places on site. However, in line with other Government Departments, we make use of the Westminster Holiday Playscheme which enables DFID employees who are parents and/or permanent carers (adoptive, step-parents, legal guardians and anyone who has parental right) to book their children into a central London venue from 08:30 to 17:30 during the major school holidays in spring, summer and winter. The scheme is run by Tines and a Committee of Management—comprised of representatives from several Government Departments—administers the contract, under the management of the Metropolitan Police Service.

26 Nov 2012 : Column 85W

The total cost of a place is currently £33.00 per child per day. DFID subsidises the cost of the play scheme by 50% on the cost of each child place.

Overseas Aid

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress her Department has made on implementation of the commitment to double the number of people her Department will reach with water, sanitation and hygiene by 2015; what steps she is taking to make information on such progress readily available; and when she plans to make such information available. [129063]

Mr Duncan: Our current or planned programmes that will contribute to meeting this target include:

1. Programmes managed by our offices in countries in Africa and Asia. We currently have water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in 15 countries and these are the principal routes through which we will deliver our results.

2. Existing partnerships with a range of organisations such as the Water and Sanitation Program, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor and WaterAid.

In addition, the Department is exploring further options including new partnerships with the UN, civil society and the private sector. Once specific programmes are approved, they will be made publically available via the DFID website, alongside annual reviews of progress.

Specific results of DFID's ongoing WASH programmes are detailed in the “DFID Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12”. Although it is still very early in the process, details of results from the implementation of more recent commitments will be detailed in the next Annual Report, due in June 2013.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether her Department has received any representations on the use of UK aid to support private sector investment in developing countries to the detriment of local public support networks. [129505]

Mr Duncan: There is an ongoing postcard/e-mail campaign organised by World Development Movement. Beyond this, we have received no representations.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will consider investigating whether UK aid is being used to encourage private sector investment in regions where such aid may not be in the best interests of such regions. [129506]

Justine Greening: The Department for International Development (DFID) recognises that the private sector is the engine of economic growth and the best way to deliver development in the long term. DFID has systems in place to ensure UK aid programmes—including those that support pro-poor private sector development—are designed, monitored and evaluated to deliver maximum development results for the regions in which they are delivered.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the extent to which UK aid is distributed in developing countries through private companies; and if she will make a statement. [129508]

26 Nov 2012 : Column 86W

Mr Duncan: DFID publishes full information on expenditure across its bilateral and multilateral programmes annually through its “Statistics on International Development” publication:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/Aid-Statistics/Statistics-on-International-Development-2011/

In 2012 the total programme expenditure for the Department was £7.7 billion, of which only £483 million was committed through contracts with the private sector for supplier services. This represents only around 6% of the total programme budget.

Sahel

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the humanitarian situation in the Sahel region. [126001]

Lynne Featherstone: The annual rainy season has brought much needed relief to the 20 million men, women and children who were at risk of going hungry in 2012 across the Sahel. Recent rainfall has been abundant and widespread, resulting in a good start to the growing season. While a significant proportion of people are still feeling the effects of the food and nutrition crisis, the majority of communities across the Sahel are now receiving the support they need.

The UK Government remain particularly concerned about the humanitarian situation in Northern Mali, where over 300,000 people have been displaced as a result of conflict. The UK is currently delivering urgent humanitarian aid to over 50,000 people in Mali and will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that needs are being met as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Britain was one of the first donors to respond to the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel this year, providing £25.4 million to support 1.6 million people at risk of hunger across Mali, Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Gambia.

The UK Government will continue to monitor the situation given the chronic state of food insecurity in the region.

Deputy Prime Minister

Bill of Rights Commission

Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister with reference to the answer of 23 April 2012, Official Report, column 622W, on Bill of Rights, what meetings he has had with the chairman and members of the Commission on a Bill of Rights since the date of that answer; who was present at any such meeting; whether the business of the Commission was discussed at any such meeting; and whether a record of what was said at any such meeting was made. [129569]

The Deputy Prime Minister: Since my answer of 23 April 2012, Official Report, column 622W, I have had no further meetings on a Bill of Rights with the chairman and members of the Commission.

26 Nov 2012 : Column 87W

Lobbying

Mr Sanders: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he expects to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce a statutory register of lobbyists. [129595]

Miss Chloe Smith: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave on 17 October 2012, Official Report, column 331W, to the hon. Member for Bristol East (Kerry McCarthy).

Lord Lieutenants

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what the job description is of the secretaries to the lords lieutenant of Durham; [129924]

(2) what the selection procedure is for the appointment of secretaries to lord lieutenants. [129932]

Miss Chloe Smith: The selection procedure and job description of lord lieutenants' secretaries is the responsibility of lord lieutenants and their local authorities to determine.

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the cost to the public purse of the secretaries to the lords lieutenant of Durham was by cost category in each of the last five years. [129931]

Miss Chloe Smith: The cost to the public purse for the clerk, assistant clerk and secretary to the lord lieutenant of Durham, Sir Paul Nicholson, in each of the past five years, is set out as follows:

£
 Salary and national insurance

2007-08

31,463

2008-09

32,622

2009-10

35,234

2010-11

35,569

2011-12

35,617

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the selection procedure is for the post of lord lieutenant of Durham. [129933]

Miss Chloe Smith: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave him on 25 October 2012, Official Report, column 1032W.

Cabinet Office

Average Earnings

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the average annual salary was for (a) men and (b) women in full-time employment in (i) Liverpool, Walton constituency, (ii) Merseyside and (iii) England in the latest period for which figures are available. [129688]

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

26 Nov 2012 : Column 88W

Letter from Glen Watson:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what the average annual salary was for full-time (a) men and (b) women in (i) Liverpool, Walton constituency, (ii) Merseyside and (iii) England in the latest period for which figures are available. (129688)

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom. Annual levels of earnings are estimated from ASHE, and are provided for employees on adult rates of pay, who have been in the same job for more than a year.

The following table shows the median gross annual earnings for (i) Liverpool, Walton constituency, (ii) Merseyside and (iii) England for full-time employees, full-time male employees and full-time female employees in April 2012.

Median gross annual earnings for full-time employees, full-time males and full-time females(1): (i) Liverpool, Walton constituency, (ii) Merseyside, (iii) England, for April 2012
£
 Liverpool, Walton Consistency(2)Merseyside(3)England

Full-time employees

*24,309

24,488

26,800

Full-time males

*26,225

26,217

29,102

Full-time females

**22,769

22,200

23,321

(1) Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence. (2 )Parliamentary constituency. (3) Local authority. Guide to quality:The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of a figure, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an average of 200 with a CV of 5%, we would expect the population average to be within the range 180 to 220. Key: * 0 ≤ CV<5%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered precise ** 5 ≤ CV <10%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered reasonably precise *** 10 ≤ CV <20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered acceptable X unreliable Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), Office for National Statistics.

Charities: Christianity

Mr Bone: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what his policy is on long-established Christian charities of all denominations being part of his Big Society initiative; [129972]

(2) what representations he has received on the use of the public benefit test on Christian organisations by the Charities Commission; and if he will make a statement; [129973]

(3) if he will give guidance to the Charity Commission that there should be a presumption that existing Christian charities should not have their charitable status removed; [129974]

(4) what his definition is of the public benefit obligation of Christian organisations as it applies in the Charities Act 2006. [129975]

Dr McCrea: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will review the operation of legislation on public benefit to ensure that previously accepted religious charities are not threatened with removal of their charitable status. [129858]

26 Nov 2012 : Column 89W

Mr Hurd: The Government recognise that religious charities of all faiths have an important role to play in building a bigger, stronger society.

The Charities Act 2006 made it clear that no particular purpose is to be presumed to be for the public benefit. The Act removed any presumption of public benefit for charities that advance religion as well as charities for the advancement of education or the relief of poverty. It also required the Charity Commission to issue guidance on the operation of the public benefit requirement, which it did in 2008, including publishing guidance on public benefit and religion.

I have received a number of representations on the Charity Commission's decision not to register a particular religious organisation as a charity, which has been appealed to the First-Tier Tribunal (Charity). The Charity Commission is statutorily independent of Government, and is not subject to ministerial direction or control. It is answerable to the Tribunals and courts for its legal decisions.

Childbirth

Nick de Bois: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many live births there were (1) in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland in the second quarter of 2011; [130173]

(2) in each region of England in each quarter since 2001. [130174]

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

26 Nov 2012 : Column 90W

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 questions on (a) how many live births there were in a) England, b) Scotland, c) Wales and d) Northern Ireland in the second quarter of 2011 and (b) how many live births there were in each region of England in each quarter since 2001. (130173&130174)

Figures for live births have been compiled from birth registration data. The latest year for which figures are available is 2011.

The table below shows the number of live births in the second quarter of 2011 in the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. Figures for England and Wales are based on the number of births occurring during the quarter, while figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland relate to the number of births registered during the quarter. The differences between reporting occurrences and registrations are relatively minor and figures are broadly comparable.

Number of live births in the second quarter of 2011
2011 June quarterNumber of live births (thousands)

England

170.8

Wales

8.8

Scotland

14.7

Northern Ireland(1, 2)

6.2

(1 )Births to non-resident mothers in Northern Ireland are excluded from the figures for Northern Ireland. (2 )Figures for Northern Ireland are provisional

Figures for more recent quarters are available on the ONS website at:

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/vital-statistics--population-and-health-reference-tables/index.html

The following table shows the number of live births to mothers usually resident in England, by quarter of occurrence for 2001-2011. Figures are broken down by region of usual residence of the mother.

Live births by quarter of occurrence and region of usual residence of mother, 2001-2011, England
  Region of usual residence of mother
Year and quarter of occurrenceEnglandNorth EastNorth WestYorkshire and the HumberEast MidlandsWest MidlandsEastLondonSouth EastSouth West

2001 March

137,790

6,389

18,423

13,347

10,910

14,731

14,808

25,249

21,933

12,000

2001 June

141,177

6,411

18,481

13,978

11,118

15,212

15,259

25,878

22,531

12,309

2001 September

145,140

6,721

19,370

14,286

11,564

15,719

15,448

27,064

22,484

12,484

2001 December

139,637

6,428

18,927

14,014

11,050

15,156

14,575

25,971

21,562

11,954

2002 March

135,920

6,338

17,821

13,162

10,874

14,700

14,591

25,555

21,146

11,733

2002 June

139,805

6,285

18,394

13,955

11,088

15,097

14,950

25,682

22,009

12,345

2002 September

147,114

6,912

19,373

14,453

11,692

15,759

15,562

27,537

22,942

12,884

2002 December

142,870

6,736

19,053

13,965

11,385

15,479

15,068

26,829

21,985

12,370

2003 March

139,944

6,328

18,359

13,803

11,037

15,302

14,928

26,445

21,476

12,266

2003 June

147,276

6,679

19,337

14,225

11,567

15,752

15,624

27,575

23,443

13,074

2003 September

154,461

7,055

20,418

15,231

12,524

16,610

16,489

28,692

24,053

13,389

2003 December

148,170

6,943

19,733

14,664

11,788

16,030

15,670

27,725

22,870

12,747

2004 March

147,349

6,796

19,486

14,500

11,819

15,975

15,841

27,357

22,831

12,744

2004 June

149,579

6,802

19,791

14,913

11,764

16,263

15,814

27,821

23,488

12,923

2004 September

156,934

7,184

21,129

15,461

12,417

17,062

16,685

29,737

23,791

13,468

2004 December

153,322

7,033

20,758

15,319

12,245

16,611

15,910

28,764

23,524

13,158

2005 March

146,383

6,919

19,577

14,534

11,521

15,877

15,426

27,454

22,348

12,727

2005 June

151,798

6,697

19,992

15,036

12,103

16,377

16,066

28,838

23,434

13,255

2005 September

161,425

7,444

21,610

15,879

13,151

17,311

17,313

30,373

24,637

13,707

2005 December

153,422

7,189

20,543

15,216

12,305

16,391

15,882

29,354

23,502

13,040

26 Nov 2012 : Column 91W

26 Nov 2012 : Column 92W

2006 March

151,358

7,058

20,172

15,127

11,964

16,136

15,793

28,642

23,500

12,966

2006 June

157,841

7,226

20,713

15,532

12,687

16,676

16,820

29,822

24,747

13,618

2006 September

166,011

7,606

22,083

16,504

13,316

17,820

17,381

31,177

25,731

14,393

2006 December

160,538

7,294

21,187

15,792

12,750

17,056

16,876

31,257

24,588

13,738

2007 March

155,873

7,008

20,205

15,201

12,298

16,829

16,515

30,084

24,236

13,497

2007 June

160,983

7,176

20,901

15,839

12,994

16,954

16,933

30,788

25,207

14,191

2007 September

172,221

7,824

22,988

16,670

13,817

18,539

18,460

32,606

26,404

14,913

2007 December

166,280

7,574

21,853

16,481

13,373

17,776

17,403

32,027

25,391

14,402

2008 March

164,954

7,479

21,599

16,403

13,324

17,560

17,420

31,315

25,439

14,415

2008 June

167,944

7,492

21,764

16,374

13,423

17,844

18,172

31,820

26,256

14,799

2008 September

173,189

7,673

22,771

17,155

14,103

18,455

18,397

32,742

26,695

15,198

2008 December

166,722

7,573

22,033

16,421

13,342

17,867

17,749

31,774

25,633

14,330

2009 March

160,486

7,017

21,043

16,064

12,938

17,226

16,858

30,960

24,646

13,734

2009 June

166,426

7,363

21,452

16,227

13,128

17,510

18,064

32,152

25,805

14,725

2009 September

172,241

7,727

22,619

16,972

14,090

17,934

18,161

32,900

26,874

14,964

2009 December

171,905

7,669

22,435

17,095

13,590

18,372

18,252

33,233

26,344

14,915

2010 March

165,853

7,410

21,651

16,276

13,295

17,404

17,498

32,170

25,579

14,570

2010 June

167,471

7,500

21,378

16,224

13,355

17,476

17,993

32,490

26,326

14,729

2010 September

176,451

7,992

23,037

17,367

14,428

18,336

18,542

34,107

27,268

15,374

2010 December

177,232

7,924

23,133

17,103

14,154

18,874

18,968

34,344

27,261

15,471

2011 March

166,337

7,365

21,469

15,962

13,225

17,795

17,710

32,038

26,062

14,711

2011 June

170,792

7,499

21,838

16,462

13,820

18,080

18,144

32,916

26,848

15,185

2011 September

176,820

7,831

22,629

17,166

14,304

18,671

18,810

34,423

27,396

15,590

2011 December

174,171

7,832

22,816

16,861

14,029

18,477

18,556

33,466

26,826

15,308

Note: Quarter refers to quarter ending in month stated. Source: Office for National Statistics

Childbirth: Dorset

Mr Chope: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many children were born at (a) the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and (b) Poole General Hospital in each of the last three years. [130035]

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 question on how many children were born at a) the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and b) Poole General Hospital in each of the last three years. (130035)

Figures for live births by hospital have been compiled from birth registration data. Information on place of birth is provided by the Registry Office, rather than by the hospitals themselves. Information for 2009, 2010 and 2011 is provided in the table:

Live births occurring in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole General Hospital, 2009 to 2011
 200920102011

Royal Bournemouth Hospital

468

429

492

Poole General Hospital

4,421

4,651

4,690

Source: Birth Registration Data, ONS

Departmental Records

Mr Watson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether his Department manually or electronically stores files and extracts from the PREM 15 series that have been retained by the Department. [129317]

Mr Maude [holding answer 22 November 2012]: Historical records retained by the Cabinet Office under Section 3(4) of the Public Records Act 1958, including those from the PREM 15 series (Prime Minister's Office: correspondence and papers, 1970-74), are paper records and must be retrieved manually.

Employment Agencies

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what his policy is on the use of offshore

26 Nov 2012 : Column 93W

employment companies in the supply of public sector workers in his Department and its associated public bodies. [128742]

Mr Maude: Any consideration to use such companies would be undertaken on a case-by-case basis.

Grants

Margaret Curran: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what grant-giving programmes are operated by (a) his Department and (b) the bodies for which he is responsible; and which such programmes award grants in Scotland. [129145]

Mr Maude: Details of all 2011-12 grant programmes can be found in note 9.1 to the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12 which is available online at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/cabinet-office-annual-reports-and-accounts

Details of prior years can be found in note 11 to the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts.

Job Creation: Private Sector

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of new jobs created in the private sector between August 2010 and August 2012 in Scotland were part-time positions. [130151]

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 Parliamentary Question.

Information regarding jobs created is not available. As an alternative, we are able to estimate the increase in private sector employment using the Annual Population Survey (APS). Between the APS periods July 2009-June 2010 and July 2011-June 2012, 80% of the increase was in part-time employment.

In the APS the distinction between public and private sector is based on respondents' views about the organisation for which they work. APS estimates are based on interviews that took place throughout the 12 months covered by the survey period.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of new jobs created in the private sector between August 2010 and August 2012 in Scotland were permanent positions. [130152]

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 Parliamentary Questions asking: What proportion of new jobs created in the private sector between August 2010 and August 2012 in Scotland were permanent positions. 130152

26 Nov 2012 : Column 94W

Information regarding jobs created is not available. As an alternative, we are able to estimate the increase in private sector employment using the Annual Population Survey (APS). Between the APS periods July 2009-June 2010 and July 2011-June 2012, 94% of the increase was in permanent employment.

In the APS the distinction between public and private sector is based on respondents' views about the organisation for which they work. APS estimates are based on interviews that took place throughout the 12 months covered by the survey period.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at:

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Jobseeker's Allowance: Havering

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what proportion of people on jobseeker's allowance in Havering are below the age of 25; [130393]

(2) how many people in Havering are currently in receipt of jobseeker's allowance; [130395]

(3) how many people in Havering are currently unemployed. [130396]

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 Parliamentary Questions asking:

1. What proportion of people on jobseeker's allowance in Havering are below the age of 25? (130393)

2. How many people in Havering are currently in receipt of jobseeker's allowance? (130395)

3. How many people in Havering are currently unemployed? (130396)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles the number of claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) from the Jobcentre Plus administrative system.

1. The proportion of the people claiming JSA in Havering, aged from 16 to 24 years in October 2012, was 29%.

2. The number of people resident in Havering, who were claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in October 2012 was 5449.

The Office for National Statistics produces estimates of total unemployment for unitary and local authorities, from a statistical model based on the Annual Population Survey (APS) lending strength from the Claimant Count, following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions.

3. For the period July 2011 to June 2012, the most recent period for which figures are available, there were 10,300 people unemployed in Havering.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at:

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Manufacturing Industries: Temporary Employment

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of people working in the manufacturing sector who are agency or temporary workers. [129434]

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

26 Nov 2012 : Column 95W

Letter from Glen Watson, dated November 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of people working in the manufacturing sector who are agency or temporary workers. (129434)

Estimates of people who are in employment are derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). For the period July-September 2012 it is estimated that 5 per cent of the total number of people in employment in the manufacturing industries in the UK were temporary employees.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

Military Medals Review

Jason McCartney: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what timescale has been set for the Sir John Holmes Medal Review into the National Defence Medal; [129404]

(2) how many phases of Sir John Holmes's Military Medal Review into the National Defence Medal he has commissioned; [129174]

(3) if he will make it his policy that there should be an appeals process in relation to the findings made by the Sir John Holmes Medal Review into the National Defence Medal. [129923]

Caroline Nokes: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when the first recommendations of the second stage of Sir John Holmes's Military Medal Review will be made; and if he will make a statement. [130183]

Mr Hurd: I refer my hon. Friends to the answers I gave on 13 November 2012, Official Report, column 214W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford West and Abingdon (Nicola Blackwood) and the hon. Member for Bolton West (Julie Hilling).

Sir John Holmes has made good progress on the further work he was invited to undertake on the Military Medals Review and this work is being completed in stages. There is not however a finite number of phases of work; Sir John will decide how best to proceed and manage the work.


Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Burma

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reason, under the Joint Action Plan between the UN and the Government of Burma, the UN is forbidden from entering areas controlled by non-state armed groups. [128996]

Mr Swire: There are restrictions on humanitarian access to ethnic areas, particularly in Kachin State. The Burmese Government state this is due in part because the security of UN staff cannot be guaranteed. There have been a few aid convoys allowed into areas controlled by ethnic groups over the last six months, but we recognise that the frequency and geographical scope of these convoys needs to improve. Our ambassador and officials from our embassy in Rangoon continue to

26 Nov 2012 : Column 96W

regularly raise the need for unrestricted access for humanitarian aid with senior members of the Burmese Government. I will again raise these concerns with Burma's political leaders on my forthcoming visit to the country.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on how many UK citizens are (a) in the eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo and (b) at risk as a result of the ongoing security problems in the region. [129867]

Mark Simmonds: We are aware of a small number of British nationals who have remained in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to eastern and north-eastern DRC due to the security situation and we advise any British nationals in North and South Kivu, Goma or Bukavu to leave. Our ability to provide consular assistance in the affected areas is extremely limited, however British consular staff have been assisting British nationals who wish to leave, and are in regular contact with the small number who have chosen to remain against our clear advice. The situation is fast moving and we advise British nationals to regularly check our travel advice.

Iran

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the number of Iranian dissidents executed since January 2012; if he will condemn such executions; and what steps he is taking to support peaceful, political opposition to the Iranian regime. [128963]

Alistair Burt: There have been over 300 executions in Iran since January, most of which were for drugs offences. Executions are often carried out in secret and based on vague charges. It is therefore difficult to establish what proportion could be considered dissidents. We frequently condemn Iran's excessive use of the death penalty, such as in a statement I made on 24 October. It is for the Iranian people to choose their own Government, but the UK strongly supports the right of Iranian citizens to freedom of expression.

Iraq

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any reliable evidence has been presented supporting the Government of Iraq's claim to ownership of the properties in Camp Ashraf under international law; and whether the Government support the Government of Iraq's claim or that of the residents of Camp Ashraf. [129287]

Alistair Burt: The UK, in common with other international partners, believes it is for the sovereign Government of Iraq and the leadership of Camp Ashraf to resolve the future of residents of the Camp, including the issue of property ownership, through meaningful and peaceful negotiation. The UK continues to press all

26 Nov 2012 : Column 97W

sides to reach a peaceful solution, and for the Government of Iraq to respect the human rights of the residents of Camp Ashraf.

Mali

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the decision by West African nations to send troops to Mali to deal with al-Qaeda-linked terrorists there. [129868]

Mark Simmonds: Britain continues to support the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) efforts to restore peace and stability in the context of an international military intervention force. We also support UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2071, adopted on 12 October, which reaffirmed the UN’s commitment to a unified Mali and called for greater co-ordination from the international community, including on security, development and humanitarian issues. The resolution requested the UN Secretary-General to provide military and security planning resources to ECOWAS and the African Union, and declared the UN's readiness to authorise an international military force to intervene in Mali if requested to do so by the Malian authorities. The Secretary-General is due to report on the implementation of the resolution on 26 November, after which we will consider, with international partners, what further action is needed. We continue to believe that any military planning must be conducted in parallel with political negotiations and humanitarian planning.

Middle East

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of whether there has been (a) Libyan, (b) Egyptian and (c) Iranian involvement in providing advanced weaponry to Hamas and other terrorist organisations in Gaza. [129745]

Alistair Burt: We are not aware that the Libyan or Egyptian Governments have provided advanced weaponry or other arms to Hamas and other terrorist organisations in Gaza.

We are aware of reports of arms-smuggling in and through the Sinai Peninsula and are monitoring the situation. We welcome Egypt's efforts to secure an agreement to end hostilities on 21 November.

The UK is aware that Iran does provide support, including weaponry, to militant groups such as Hamas. Such support is unacceptable and in direct contravention to the UN embargo on the export of weapons by Iran (UNSCR 1747). Iran's support to these groups directly undermines prospects for peace in the region and further undermines the Iranian Government's claim to the international community, and its own people, that it supports stability in the middle east.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to promote the enforcement of UN Security Council resolutions that state that Gaza is an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 and that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the Gaza Strip. [129766]

26 Nov 2012 : Column 98W

Alistair Burt: A lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be a solution that includes Gaza. We have raised our concerns with Israel that any actions taken in respect of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including Gaza, must be in accordance with its obligations under international law. Given the degree of control Israel retains over Gaza's borders, airspace and territorial waters, it retains obligations as an occupying power under International Humanitarian Law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the continued blockade of Gaza on the middle east peace process. [129767]

Alistair Burt: A lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be a solution that includes Gaza.

We have been clear that there is a need for Israel to further ease its restrictions on Gaza. These restrictions have been estimated as costing the Palestinian economy up to 85% of its Gross Domestic Product every year.

While we will never underestimate the security needs of Israel, with unemployment in Gaza at 26%, private sector business there at risk of collapse, and Hamas profiting from smuggled goods through the tunnels, there is an urgent need to reopen Gaza's access to its traditional markets in the West Bank and Israel. An improved economy is not only essential for the people of Gaza, but firmly in Israel's security interests.

We are clear that more needs to be done, including on easing restrictions on exports, construction material imports and the movement of people. The UK will continue to work alongside our EU partners with Israel to achieve the real changes on the ground that we are looking for.

The UK's goal is a negotiated two-state solution, resulting in a sovereign and viable Palestinian state living alongside a secure and universally recognised Israel. We will continue to be one of the principal supporters of Palestinian state-building efforts, assisting them to tackle poverty, build institutions and boost their economy.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the blockade of Gaza on creating a tunnel economy between Gaza and Egypt and facilitating the import of illegal weapons. [129768]

Alistair Burt: We have been clear that the Israeli restrictions on movement of goods and people do tremendous damage to the economy and living standards of ordinary people in Gaza and only serve to strengthen, not weaken, Hamas. Hamas is clearly profiting from smuggled goods through the tunnels, including the import of weapons.

An improved economy is not only essential for the people of Gaza, but firmly in Israel's security interests.

In close co-ordination with our European Union partners and the Office of the Quartet Representation, we have continued to press the Israeli Government at ministerial and official level to ease access restrictions.

26 Nov 2012 : Column 99W

We welcome some recent small steps in this direction, including the first exports of textile goods from Gaza to the UK in May this year.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of reports that the Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari had been giving consideration to a full ceasefire proposal at the time of his assassination. [129769]

Alistair Burt: We are aware of media reports that Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari was giving consideration to a full ceasefire proposal before his death.

The British Government does not have any direct contact with Hamas, so we are unable to verify these reports.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will offer support to Palestinians calling for peace and self-determination. [129770]

Alistair Burt: We are clear that there is an urgent need to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, to give the Palestinian people the state that they need and deserve, and the Israeli people the security and peace that have eluded them for so long.

The way to achieve this is a negotiated two-state solution resulting in a secure and universally recognised Israel living alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian state, based on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem the future capital of both states, and a fair, just and agreed settlement for refugees.

The priority now is for the United States, supported by the international community, to show strong leadership and make a huge effort to push the middle east peace process forward in the coming months and we have made this clear to the Obama Administration. This offers the best opportunity of progress towards our ultimate goal of a two-state solution, which the UK strongly supports.

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the number of rockets that have been fired from Gaza into Israel since 30 October 2012; what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Israel on such attacks; and if he will make a statement. [R] [129831]

Alistair Burt: We have received reports that 287 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel between 30 October and 14 November. According to Israeli Defence Forces figures, 1,443 rockets were fired during the period 14-21 November.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), spoke to his Israeli counterpart about the recent escalation of violence in and around Gaza on 17 and 21 November. I also spoke to Mr Lieberman during my visit to Israel on 21 November.

26 Nov 2012 : Column 100W

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on preventing civilian casualties in Gaza. [130015]

Alistair Burt: The British Government are gravely concerned by the recent violence in Gaza and southern Israel and deeply regret the loss of civilian life. We consistently called on those involved to avoid any action which risked civilian casualties and to abide by international humanitarian law.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), raised this issue during discussions with his Israeli counterpart Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on 17 and 21 November. I also spoke to Foreign Minister Lieberman during my visit to Israel on 21 November and again on 22 November.

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will call on the Government of Israel to stop the demolition of houses in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. [130073]

Alistair Burt: We have repeatedly made clear to the Israelis our serious concern at the 40% increase last year, as recorded by the UN, in demolitions of Palestinian properties in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Our ambassador to Tel Aviv raised this issue with the Israeli Co-ordinator of Government Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 9 October. We view such demolitions and evictions as causing unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians; as harmful to the peace process; and, in all but the most limited circumstances, as contrary to international humanitarian law.

In addition we continue to support Palestinians facing demolition or eviction in the Occupied Palestinian Territories through support to the Norwegian Refugee Council legal aid programme which helps individuals to challenge these decisions in the Israeli Legal System.

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will call on the Government of Israel to stop settlement building. [130075]

Alistair Burt: We have repeatedly condemned Israel's announcements to accelerate settlement building in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem and called on Israel to reverse these. As well as being illegal under international law, settlements undermine the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and those working for a sustainable peace.

We look to the Government of Israel to take all necessary steps to prevent settlement construction and raise this issue on a regular basis with the Israeli authorities.

North Korea

Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on the need to amend its constitution to bring it into alignment with international human rights instruments; and what assistance his

26 Nov 2012 : Column 101W

Department plans to offer the DPRK on improving respect for and protection and promotion of human rights. [129876]

Mr Swire: The United Kingdom has repeatedly urged the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to implement their international human rights obligations and have offered assistance to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to support this. On 27 September 2012, officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office met a visiting delegation from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In this meeting, officials raised our concerns about human rights, outlined the UK's approach to reporting for its United Nations Periodic Review (UPR) and offered to provide the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with further advice to support its reporting for its own forthcoming UPR. On 20 November 2012, our ambassador to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea met the Europe Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he reiterated these human rights concerns. The ambassador also offered to share the United Kingdom's expertise of implementing international human rights instruments. We have not yet received a response from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to either of these offers.

Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on article 233 of the Criminal Code. [129877]

Mr Swire: On 20 November 2012, our ambassador to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea met with the Europe Director in the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During this meeting, he raised the UK's concerns about the continued reports of human rights abuses identified in the Special Rapporteur's most recent report to the United Nations. The report includes concerns about article 233 of the Criminal Code which imposes up to five years of labour for anyone illegally crossing DPRK borders.

On 2 November 2012, the UK also participated in a United Nations debate on the report issued by the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, where we made clear that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's criminalisation of people crossing its borders infringed on their right to freedom of movement.

Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will call on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to release all persons who have been detained under the guilt by association policy. [129878]

Mr Swire: The Government are clear that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's guilt by association policy breaches international human rights standards. On 20 November 2012, our ambassador to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea met the Europe Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During this meeting, he raised our concerns about reports of human rights abuses identified in the Special Rapporteur's most recent report to the United Nations, including the need for the

26 Nov 2012 : Column 102W

Democratic People's Republic of Korea to immediately release all persons who are held under the policy of guilt by association.

Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on findings and recommendations of his recent report to the UN General Assembly. [129879]

Mr Swire: I refer my hon. Friend to the answers given by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 22 October 2012, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA30-31, where he stated that United Kingdom officials in New York would meet the Special Rapporteur to discuss his report to the General Assembly. This meeting was unfortunately postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. We are looking for opportunities to reschedule it in advance of the Human Rights Council in March.

On 2 November, the UK participated in the debate on the Special Rapporteur's report, where we raised concerns about the food situation and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's prioritisation of the military through the “Songbun” policy. We also raised concerns about the criminalisation of people crossing national borders, repatriation of refugees from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to engage with international human rights mechanisms on prison camps.

Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will support the establishment of a UN commission of inquiry into crimes against humanity in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea through the UN Human Rights Council or General Assembly. [129880]

Mr Swire: A proposal to set up a commission of inquiry has not been put to the United Nations Human Rights Council or General Assembly. If it is brought to the United Nations, the Government will consider the merits of the proposal and how this could complement our other bilateral and multilateral work.

The United Kingdom continues to make clear to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's authorities our concerns about the human rights situation in the country.

Nuclear Weapons

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the UK will be represented at the meeting in Oslo in March 2013 on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons; and if he will make a statement. [129270]

Alistair Burt: We are aware of Norway's intention to host a conference in March 2013 on the humanitarian consequences of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. Norway has not yet issued invitations for the conference. The Government will respond to any invitation once it has been received.

26 Nov 2012 : Column 103W

Turks and Caicos Islands

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions the Government had with the Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) in advance of his decision to permit performing marine mammals to be held in captivity in the TCI. [129209]

Mark Simmonds: The British Government had no discussions with the Governor on this issue. This is a matter for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government.

Uganda

Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to his Ugandan counterpart on Uganda's policies on human rights and sexual orientation. [129726]

Mark Simmonds: The British Government are committed to ensuring that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people around the world are free to live their lives in a safe and just environment. We are therefore concerned about the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill being considered by the Ugandan Parliament. We have raised our concerns regularly. Most recently. I raised this issue with President Museveni during my visit to Uganda on 21 November.

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to seek international agreement to regulate the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. [129208]

Alistair Burt: The use of unmanned aerial vehicles is a matter for the states involved. We expect all concerned to act in accordance with international law.

Western Sahara

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on whether the Saharawi people have been consulted as to their wishes in respect of the export of phosphates from occupied Western Sahara. [129289]

Alistair Burt: We support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Western Sahara, Ambassador Christopher Ross, to encourage Morocco and the Polisario Front to address issues regarding the use of the territory's natural resources. In his most recent annual report on Western Sahara, published in April 2012, the UN Secretary-General notes that in November 2011 the two parties held a technical discussion about natural resources in Western Sahara.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Moroccan soldiers are stationed in the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara; and where they are stationed. [129441]

Alistair Burt: We do not hold this information.

26 Nov 2012 : Column 104W

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Moroccan Ambassador to the UK about political persecution in the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara. [129458]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign Secretary and I discuss Western Sahara, including human rights issues, when we meet our Moroccan counterparts. The Government strongly support the UN-led efforts to encourage agreement on a lasting and mutually-acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consult representatives of the Saharawi population on any proposed renewal of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement. [129517]

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consult the Polisario as to the wishes of the Saharawi people concerning any renewal of the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement that could include waters off Western Sahara. [129520]

Alistair Burt: The UK fully supports the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Western Sahara, Ambassador Christopher Ross, to encourage Morocco and the Polisario Front to address issues regarding the use of territory's natural resources. We continue to call on Morocco to produce evidence that the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement is conducted to the benefit of the people of Western Sahara. We have no current plans to consult on this issue.

Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on whether the Moroccan flags that were surrounding the offices of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) offices in Al Aaiun, Western Sahara have been removed. [129691]

Alistair Burt: When staff from the British embassy in Rabat last visited Laayoune, in October 2012, there were still Moroccan flags surrounding the MINURSO offices.

Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) has taken towards fulfilling its mandate to organise a referendum on self-determination in the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara. [129692]

Alistair Burt: The UN Secretary-General's last annual report on Western Sahara, published in April 2012, contains a detailed account of MINURSO's activities over the previous year. These include monitoring of the ceasefire, regular contacts with the two parties to the dispute, and work clearing landmines in Western Sahara. The next annual report is expected to be published in April 2013.

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Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Moroccan ambassador on reports of the lack of freedom of expression and freedom of association in the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara. [129816]

Alistair Burt: We have discussed these issues with the Moroccan authorities, both at senior level in Rabat and during the embassy's regular visits to Western Sahara itself.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many paid apprentices he expects to be employed in his Department in (a) each remaining month of the 2012-13 financial year and (b) 2013-14. [127207]

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Jo Swinson: The Department for Business Innovation and Skills will, between December 2012 and March 2013, have 38 apprentices. We anticipate launching a further scheme in the new year.

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeship starts there were in each sector for each sex in England in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2010-11. [129882]

Matthew Hancock: Table 1 shows the number of apprenticeship programme starts by sector subject area and gender. Final data are shown for the 2010-11 academic year and provisional data are shown for the 2011-12 academic year.

Provisional data for the 2011-12 academic year provide an early view of performance and will change as further data returns are received from further education colleges and providers. They should not be directly compared with final year data from previous years. Figures for 2011-12 will be finalised in January 2013.

Table 1: Apprenticeship programme starts by sector subject area and gender, 2010/11 to 2011/12 (provisional)
 2010/11 (final)2011/12 (provisional)
Sector subject areaFemaleMaleAllFemaleMaleAll

Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care

3,070

4,310

7,380

2,620

4,800

7,420

Arts, Media and Publishing

330

700

1,030

470

680

1,150

Business, Administration and Law

87,410

46,410

133,820

102,390

56,900

159,290

Construction, Planning and the Built Environment

440

27,650

28,090

400

22,570

22,960

Education and Training

3,580

490

4,070

5,660

1,080

6,740

Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies

2,990

45,970

48,970

5,120

51,880

57,000

Health, Public Services and Care

73,460

16,510

89,970

82,630

21,910

104,550

Information and Communication Technology

4,920

14,610

19,520

3,930

14,260

18,190

Languages, Literature and Culture

*

*

*

*

*

*

Leisure, Travel and Tourism

6,290

15,290

21,590

5,660

13,830

19,490

Preparation for Life and Work

*

*

*

*

*

*

Retail and Commercial Enterprise

63,500

39,280

102,770

57,050

48,330

105,380

Science and Mathematics

*

10

10

150

210

360

All

246,000

211,200

457,200

266,100

236,400

502,500

“*”indicates a figure of less than 5. Notes: 1. All figures are rounded to the nearest 10 except for the overall totals which are rounded to the nearest 100. 2. Provisional data for 2011/12 should not be directly compared with data for earlier years. Source: Individualised Learner Record

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) how many apprenticeships had a length of stay that was (a) 53, (b) 29, (c) 17 and (d) 13 weeks in the 2011-12 academic year; [129909]

(2) how many apprenticeships have a planned length of stay of less than 53 weeks in the 2012-13 academic year; [129910]

(3) how many individuals started more than one apprenticeship at the same programme level in the academic year 2011-12. [129911]

Matthew Hancock: Table 1 shows provisional apprenticeship achievements (adjusted) by duration for the 2011-12 academic year. Care should be taken when interpreting apprenticeship durations as they are dependent on the mix of apprenticeship levels and frameworks, and the prior attainment of learners (some will already have completed parts of the apprenticeship). The adjusted measure is intended to exclude those apprentices with some prior attainment.

Table 1: Apprenticeship achievements (adjusted) by duration, 2011/12 (provisional)
Number of weeksAchievements (adjusted)

13

360

17

1,010

29

3,190

26 Nov 2012 : Column 107W

53

5,490

Notes: 1. All figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Provisional data for 2011/12 should not be directly compared with data for earlier years. 3. The number of achievements at any point during the year are counted. Learners achieving more than one framework will appear more than once. 4. In order to be counted as a successful achievement, all elements of the framework must have been achieved. 5. 13 weeks includes those apprenticeships lasting more than 12 weeks but less than or equal to 13 weeks. Similarly for other durations. Source: Individualised Learner Record

Provisional data show that there were 2,500 learners who started more than one apprenticeship at the same programme level in the 2011-12 academic year.

Provisional data for the 2011-12 academic year provide an early view of performance and will change as further data returns are received from further education colleges and providers. They should not be directly compared with final year data from previous years. Figures for 2011-12 will be finalised in January 2013.

Data for 2012-13 are not yet available. The first figures for 2012-13 will be published in January 2013.

Information on the number of apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly Statistical First Release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 11 October 2012:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

Information on the number of apprenticeship achievements by duration is published on the Data Service website:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_other_statistics/