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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Deputy Prime Minister

Olympic Games 2012

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which events at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were attended by each Minister in his Office using tickets or passes for which they did not pay personally; and what the cost was of attending each such event for members of the public who used comparable seats or had comparable access. [135659]

The Deputy Prime Minister: The Government pledged to publish these details following the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will do so shortly.


Redundancy

Mr Weir: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) how many Civil Service posts have been made redundant by his Department in each year since 1999; and what has been the cost of redundancies in each such year; [135462]

(2) how many posts have been declared redundant by each of his Department's executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1999; and what has been the cost of those redundancies in each such year. [135463]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr Maude), on 8 January 2013, Official Report, column 194W.

Transport

Employment Agencies

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total spending on recruitment agencies by his Department was in each month from July to December 2012. [135237]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport uses the Government Procurement Services, Buying Solutions contract to obtain temporary staff from recruitment agencies. The Department's monthly expenditure on all types of temporary staff is published monthly at:

http://data.gov.uk/dataset/dft-workforce-management-information

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many purchases of properties accepted onto the HS2 Exceptional Hardship Scheme have been completed. [135886]

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Mr Simon Burns: This information is published regularly on:

http://www.hs2.org.uk/property

As of 1 January 2013 the number stood at 65.

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many valuations of properties accepted onto the HS2 Exceptional Hardship Scheme are (a) in dispute and (b) have been disputed. [135887]

Mr Simon Burns: This information is not regularly collated and so is not readily available. HS2 and Department for Transport officials are now working to collate all cases where applicants have disputed the offer price. As soon as this has been done I will write to my hon. Friend and place a copy of the letter in the Libraries of the House.

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many offers to buy a property accepted onto the HS2 Exceptional Hardship Scheme have been turned down. [135888]

Mr Simon Burns: To date there have been two cases where home-owners have turned down an offer to buy a property accepted under the HS2 Exceptional Hardship Scheme. In one case the Government had specified the purchase price, in the other the offer to buy was declined before valuations were undertaken.

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many properties have been accepted onto the Exceptional Hardship Scheme since the scheme began. [135890]

Mr Simon Burns: This information is published regularly on:

http://www.hs2.org.uk/property

As of 1 January 2013 the number stood at 100.

M6

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the current status is of the proposed M6 link road into Heysham; and when he expects work on that road to begin and to be completed; [136232]

(2) if he will introduce an access only provision to the new slip road to be built in the reconfiguration of Junction 34 on the M6 through to Halton. [136272]

Mr Simon Burns: The design and operation of the revised M6 junction 34, including the proposed Halton Link Road, was examined as part of Lancashire county council's application for development consent for the Heysham to M6 Link scheme. The Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire Dales (Mr McLoughlin), received the examining authority's report on this scheme last month and we are considering carefully his conclusions and recommendation. Under the Planning Act 2008 we are under a duty to decide the application by 19 March 2013. Subject to the successful completion of all remaining statutory procedures and procurement, Lancashire county council estimate the construction will start in July 2013 and that the scheme will open in December 2015.

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Olympic Games 2012

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which events at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were attended by each Minister in his Department using tickets or passes for which they did not pay personally; and what the cost was of attending each such event for members of the public who used comparable seats or had comparable access. [135648]

Norman Baker: The Government pledged to publish these details following the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will do so shortly.

Procurement

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many procurement officers are currently employed by his Department; [135742]

(2) how many civil servants in his Department regularly deal with procurement services; [135743]

(3) how many procurement officers in his Department have relevant procurement qualifications. [135744]

Norman Baker: As at 30th November 2012 there are 45 procurement officers employed by the central Department for Transport. Of these, 19 have a full procurement qualification and 8 have a partial procurement qualification.

The Department undertakes a wide range of both large and small scale procurement and has many additional staff who are permitted to undertake procurement within Departmental guidance.

Redundancy Pay

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total amount of redundancy pay paid to civil servants in his Department was in each month from July to December 2012. [135235]

Norman Baker: The total redundancy payments made in each month from July to December 2012 for the Department for Transport, including its executive agencies (Driving Standards Agency, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, Vehicle Certification Agency, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Highways Agency and Government Car and Despatch Agency) are:

MonthCost of redundancy payments (£)

July

71,573

August

539,082

September

400,515

October

545,448

November

172,552

December

321,054

Temporary Employment

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what amount his Department spent on interim staff as defined by the National Audit Office in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [135183]

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Norman Baker: In 2010-2011 the Department and its then seven executive agencies spent £16,605,053 on contingent labour, agency (clerical and admin) staff, interim managers and specialist contractors. In 201-2012 the Department and its then seven executive agencies spent £10,717,859.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many temporary staff have been recruited in his Department in each month from July to December 2012. [135236]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport has recruited a total of 98 temporary staff in the period July to December 2012. The Department averaged 17,550 permanent staff in this period, so these temporary recruits represent under 0.6% of the Department's permanent workforce.

The monthly breakdown of recruitment is:

July 2012: 30

August 2012: 22

September 2012: 12

October 2012: 14

November 2012:13

December2012: 7

Home Department

Children: Sexual Abuse

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 11 July 2012, Official Report, column 223W, on the Council of Europe convention on the protection of hildren against sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, what progress her Department has made in its discussions with other Government Departments on the ratification and implementation of that Convention. [135745]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Child sexual exploitation is an appalling crime. It is a form of child sexual abuse and tackling it remains an absolute priority for the Government.

The UK signed the Council of Europe's convention on the protection of children from sexual exploitation and abuse in May 2008. Ratification is not a straightforward process, but officials across a number of Government Departments have been considering the steps that would be required to ratify and implement the convention. Those discussions are continuing.

Communications Data Bill (Draft)

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs of 18 December 2012, Official Report, column 727W, on Communications Data Bill (Draft), how many representations she has received on the Draft Communications Data Bill; from which UK and international businesses she has received such representations; and if she will make a statement. [135721]

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James Brokenshire: The Draft Communications Data Bill was published on 14 June 2012 and has been undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny by a Joint Committee of both Houses, and the Intelligence and Security Committee since that point. The Committees reported on 11 December 2012.

Throughout this process, the Home Office has received representations from the Committees as well as a wide range of interested parties, including parliamentarians, the communications industry, law enforcement, civil liberties organisations and members of the public.

We have an ongoing relationship with both UK and overseas-based communications service providers. There has been a number of recent meetings at both ministerial and official level. As per the practice of previous Governments, we do not comment on our relationships with individual providers for reasons of national security and commercial sensitivity.

Community Policing

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the neighbourhood policing fund budget was in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13. [135708]

Damian Green: The Neighbourhood Policing Fund budget (NPF) in:

(a) 2010-11 was £341,000,000

(b) 2011-12 was £340,000,000

(c) 2012-13 was £338,000,000

Drugs: Misuse

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will estimate the number of drug dealers operating in England and Wales; and if she will make a statement. [136042]

Mr Jeremy Browne: This information is not collected centrally.

Entry Clearances

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will estimate income to be received in 2013 as a result of visa applications by Belarusian and Ukrainian children. [133093]

Mr Harper: We are unable to predict the estimated income to be received in 2013 as a result of visa applications by Belarusian and Ukrainian children. Estimates of forecasted numbers of applications for 2013 are not available.

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The available information published relates to entry clearance visas granted given in the following total:

Total number of applications for entry clearance visas issued to Belarusian and Ukrainian children in all categories in 2012: 846

Information on entry clearance visas by nationality is published as part of the quarterly Immigration Statistics, available from the Library of the House and at the Department's website:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/migration/migration-statistics1/

Missing Persons

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the evaluation of the Association of Chief Police Officers' pilots of the revised definitions of missing and absent will be published; and whether it will include an assessment of the risks related to children categorised as absent. [134378]

Mr Jeremy Browne [holding answer 18 December 2012]: The evaluation of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) pilot is currently being finalised and will be published shortly.

The aim of the pilots is to better protect children and vulnerable adults through a more proportionate and risk-based approach to the management of missing incidents, by better targeting of the initial police response. The evaluation examines whether the pilots have achieved these aims and includes an assessment of whether the approach has had any adverse impact on a police force ability to manage risk in the absence category, which includes both children and adults.

Police

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers and (b) police community support officers have been employed (i) by Northumbria Police Authority, (ii) in South Tyneside, (iii) in the North East and (iv) in the UK in each of the last five years. [135701]

Damian Green: The number of police officers and police community support officers employed by Northumbria police, South Tyneside, North East and England and Wales, as at 31 March 2008 to 2012 (full-time equivalent), can be seen in the following table. Figures for Scotland and Northern Ireland are a matter for the Devolved Administrations.

Figures at basic command unit level ceased to be collected centrally by the Home Office from 2011-12.

Number of police officers and police community support officers employed by Northumbria Police, South Tyneside, North East and England and Wales as at 31 March 2008 to 2012(1, 2, 3)
 Police officersPolice community support officers
 2008200920102011201220082009201020112012

Northumbria Police

3,983

4,111

4,187

4,102

3,921

254

259

438

433

424

South Tyneside

341

357

326

319

24

27

37

45

North East

7,307

7,455

7,419

7,189

6,813

585

628

806

785

765

England and Wales

141,859

143,770

143,734

139,110

134,101

15,805

16,507

16,918

15,820

14,393

1. This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. 2. Figures at basic command unit level (South Tyneside) ceased to be collected from 2011-12. 3. The number of police officers and police community support officers within the North East is made up of Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria police forces.

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Police: Electronic Equipment

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will publish the guidelines issued to police forces in England and Wales for the use of long-range acoustic devices. [135932]

Damian Green: Long-range acoustic devices are not currently approved for use by police in England and Wales.

Police: Freedom of Expression

Mr Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the implications for her policy on freedom of speech for employees of police services who are opposed to same sex marriage of the case between Mr Adrian Smith and Trafford Housing Trust. [135051]

Damian Green: I have not made any assessment of the effect of this case, which was about the contractual relationship between an employee and his employer, involving the use of social media.

Communities and Local Government

Early Intervention Grant

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the Local Government Finance Settlement 2013-14, how much each local authority will receive in lieu of the Early Intervention Grant in (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15; and what the comparable allocation was in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11, (iii) 2011-12 and (iv) 2012-13. [135839]

Brandon Lewis: Details of the full provisional Local Government Finance settlement for 2013-14 are currently out for consultation and are available at:

www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/1314/settle.htm

The table at the following link gives details of Early Intervention Grant in the Start Up Funding Assessment in 2013-14:

www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/1314/1314SUFAbreak.xls

The Early Intervention Grant was introduced in 2011-12 and details of allocations of Early Intervention Grant for 2011 -12 and 2012-13 can be found at:

www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/1112/specgrant1112/index.htm

www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/1112/specgrant1213/index.htm

Equality

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department spent on equality impact assessments since May 2010; and under what cost headings such funds were spent. [135441]

Brandon Lewis: Such a retrospective estimate could only be calculated at disproportionate cost.

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Notwithstanding that, the Government Equalities Office has now given clear guidance to Whitehall departments that equality impact assessments are not a legal requirement; they are resource intensive and take staff away from planning and delivering important public services

I recently wrote to local authorities on the same theme. The letter can be found online at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/reducing-statutory-burdens-equality-impact-assessments

Families: Disadvantaged

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who has been appointed to the post of troubled families co-ordinator in each local authority area. [135320]

Brandon Lewis: Some 143 troubled families co-ordinators have been appointed to date and eight more are expected to be recruited in the near future. A list of the 143 local authorities has been deposited in the Library of the House.

Fire Service College

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the sale of the Fire Service College, whether he has made an estimate of any additional costs which will be borne by fire and rescue authorities as a result of the sale; and whether the commitments made by Capita that the college will continue in use as a national training college for fire and rescue authorities as well as continuing to offer wider national resilience and emergency services exercises are time-limited. [135478]

Brandon Lewis: We do not expect there to be any additional costs to be borne by fire and rescue authorities as a result of the sale of the Fire Service College. The commitments made by Capita that the college will continue in use as a national training college for fire and rescue authorities as well as continuing to offer wider national resilience and emergency services exercises are not time-limited.

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the sale of the Fire Service College, how much is due to be raised as a result of the sale; and whether the proceeds of the sale will be retained and used fully within his Department. [135479]

Brandon Lewis: The final consideration will be settled on sale completion and decisions on the use of the sale proceeds will be taken at that time.

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the annual budget of and expenditure on the Fire Service College was in each of the last 10 years. [135480]

Brandon Lewis: The following figures are taken from the Fire Service College's Annual Accounts.

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£000
 Total incomeTotal operating costs

2011-12

16,879

19,319

2010-11

18,471

22,463

2009-10

21,727

23,757

2008-09

21.579

23,794

2007-08

22,614

23,539

2006-07

22,595

23,351

2005-06

22,380

23,536

2004-05

23,611

23,985

2003-04

19,114

20,833

2002-03

17,578

18,681

Fire Services: Job Satisfaction

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to improve morale amongst firefighters. [136025]

Brandon Lewis: Wholetime firefighting jobs are popular and remain in high demand. In London in 2011, there were 8,764 applications for around 150 wholetime firefighter posts. In addition, between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012 in England, only 119 wholetime firefighters out of 28,245 (0.42%) resigned to take employment outside of fire and rescue service. The maintenance of morale amongst firefighters is the responsibility of their employers, the individual fire and rescue authority.

Fraud

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) number and (b) cost of instances of fraud in his Department was in each month since May 2010. [135398]

Brandon Lewis: There have only been two cases of fraud, both in July 2010 to a total value of £5,105. Monies were fully recovered and therefore there was no loss to the Department.

Local Government: Freedom of Expression

Mr Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the implications for his policy on freedom of speech for local government staff who are opposed to same sex marriage of the case between Mr Adrian Smith and Trafford Housing Trust. [135050]

Brandon Lewis: I refer my hon. Friend to the letter from the then Minister for Housing, the right hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps), of 2 November 2011, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House, and which can be found online at:

http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2011-1728/DEP2011-1728.pdf

This outlines my Department's stance on the issue. In essence, we strongly support freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

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Local Government: Translation Services

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he plans to issue new guidance to local authorities on their expenditure on translation and interpretation services; and if he will make a statement. [135838]

Mr Foster: Our publication ‘50 ways to save: examples of sensible savings in local government’ makes it clear that there are savings for local taxpayers from stopping translating documents into foreign languages. Publishing documents in English helps promote the integration of local communities.

Olympic Games 2012

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which events at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were attended by each Minister in his Department using tickets or passes for which they did not pay personally; and what the cost was of attending each such event for members of the public who used comparable seats or had comparable access. [135656]

Brandon Lewis: The Government pledged to publish these details following the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will do so shortly.

Planning Permission

Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of areas identified as developing neighbourhood plans to cover in whole or in part cover one of the (a) 10 per cent, (b) five per cent and (c) one per cent most deprived wards in England. [135845]

Nick Boles: This information is not centrally collected.

Redundancy

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many posts have been declared redundant by each of his Department's executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1999; and what has been the cost of those redundancies in each such year. [135469]

Brandon Lewis: The number of posts declared redundant by the Department's executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies including redundancy costs in each year since 1999 is not held centrally by this Department and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Senior Civil Servants

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the pay of his Department's senior staff has been cut since May 2010. [135400]

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Brandon Lewis: There has been a freeze on pay for senior staff across the civil service since March 2010, and the Department's pay bill for senior staff has reduced significantly as the numbers of senior staff in the Department has reduced following completion of the Department's restructuring programme in October 2011.

For comparison purposes, the Department's number of senior staff at the following points was as follows:

 Number

March 2009

132

March 2010

113

March 2011

109

March 2012

90

We have also cut senior civil service bonuses and reformed the civil service pension scheme to require higher employee contributions.

In addition, Ministers have cut their salaries and then frozen them for the rest of this Parliament.

Staff

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department shares any senior members of its staff with other Government Departments. [135457]

Brandon Lewis: Yes. As part of the Department's continued commitment to value for money, it currently shares two senior staff with other Departments—the director for internal audit is shared with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; and the deputy director for property asset management is shared with the Department for Education.

Sir Bob Kerslake also combines his role as Permanent Secretary of the Department with that of Head of the Civil Service.

Urban Areas

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether all town teams eligible for town team partner funding applied for such funding; and whether those town teams constituted after the deadline for applications for such funding are able to access such funds. [134816]

Mr Prisk: Some 336 town teams out of a potential 393 registered, to become a town team partner and now have access to the support package we have provided, which includes £10,000 for each town team to help deliver their proposals. Only town teams who were unsuccessful in the Portas Pilot competition were eligible to apply to become town team partners.

Video Conferencing

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on how many occasions his Department has used video conferencing since May 2010; and what the (a) purpose and (b) cost was of each such occasion. [135440]

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Brandon Lewis: DCLG's new centrally managed video-conferencing service was fully implemented in September 2012.

The Department does not record the purpose of each meeting individually but calls were exclusively for business purposes including training. In the last quarter alone (September to December 2012), 251 video conferencing calls were made of which 84 were incoming for which there is no charge. Of the 167 outgoing calls made 165 were within DCLG's inclusive call tariff and the two remaining external calls totalled around two minutes in duration at a total cost of 12p.

We do not have detailed records of calls prior to September 2012.

Women and Equalities

Procurement

Jon Trickett: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities (1) how many procurement officers are currently employed by her Department; [135739]

(2) how many civil servants in her Department regularly deal with procurement services; [135740]

(3) how many procurement officers in her Department have relevant procurement qualifications. [135741]

Maria Miller: Since 4 September 2012 responsibility for the Government Equalities Office, formerly within the Home Office, moved to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Responses to these questions by DCMS will therefore include the information requested relating to the Government Equalities Office.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the economic benefit to each English region of (a) the UK film industry, (b) the UK music industry and (c) the UK design industry in each of the last five years. [135841]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has not made any estimate of the economic benefit to each English region of the film, music and design industries over the last five years and has no plans to do so. However, DCMS publishes the Creative Industries Economic Estimates on an annual basis which contain data on the overall economic impact of the creative industries by sector for the UK and on the number of creative enterprises and local units by region since 2009.

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proportion of employees in the UK (a) film, (b) music, (c) design, (d) arts, (e) tourism and (f) heritage industries are university graduates. [135843]

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Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) does not hold records of the proportion of employees that are university graduates in the industries requested. However, we are aware that independent organisations monitor and report on the skills levels within their sectors. For example, the Sector Skills Councils, and the Office for National Statistics record data on employment by industry and qualification via the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

Deloitte

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much her Department paid to Deloitte for consultancy services in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [135988]

Hugh Robertson: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has paid £52,474.54 to Deloitte for consultancy services in 2010 but has not paid them anything in either 2011 or 2012.

Mobile Phones

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent progress has been made with the Mobile Infrastructure Project; and if she will make a statement. [134725]

Mr Vaizey: The Mobile Infrastructure Project has now secured EU state aid clearance and the Department is continuing to work constructively with the mobile network operators to enable delivery of the project.

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will consider the merits of reviewing levels of use of micro cell technology to support mobile communications in public and private spaces. [134748]

Mr Vaizey: In general, the uses of particular technologies within mobile networks are commercial and technical considerations for the mobile operators to consider. However, the use of microcell technology to support mobile communications in public spaces has been limited to date. The imminent auction of the 2600 MHz band for 4G services may make microcell applications more practical for operators to implement in the future.

Femtocells, which allow mobile phone calls to be transferred over broadband, are typically deployed in private residences or business locations. As of June/July 2012 there were over 200,000 in use in the UK with take-up in rural areas over three times higher than take-up in urban areas. However, these devices can usually only serve a small number of individual devices (typically between four and eight), which have to be registered with the femtocell as you would for a private wi-fi hub.

I am also informed that the number of public wi-fi hotspots operated by the main providers—BT (excluding BT WiFi provided from BT residential or business hubs), Virgin, The Cloud (Sky) and O2 continue to grow. As of the middle of 2012 they operated over 16,000 public hotspots between them, with those within London being extensively used during the Olympics.

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Procurement

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many procurement officers are currently employed by her Department. [135736]

Hugh Robertson: The Department currently employs three procurement officers, two of whom are on loan from other Government Departments.

The procurement officers seek value for money for the Departments annual £26 million third party spend on procured goods and services. In addition they support the Department's major broadband projects and arm’s length bodies procurement activity.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many civil servants in her Department regularly deal with procurement services. [135737]

Hugh Robertson: Within the Department, three civil servants regularly deal with procurement services.

Radio Frequencies

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will consider encouraging licence holders to make spectrum available to operators who wish to make use of micro technology. [134483]

Mr Vaizey: On 22 November Ofcom published its consultation on TV white spaces. The consultation closes on 10 January and is available on the Ofcom website. The presentation included within the accompanying information to the consultation notes that Ofcom's response to the DCMS discussion paper on the Communications review indicated that there were clear benefits in using database-supported frequency management tools to make spectrum available in a more dynamic market. DCMS and Ofcom will continue to work together to explore mechanisms by which spectrum could be made available to the market in such a way as to meet those particular market needs.

Redundancy

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many civil service posts have been made redundant by her Department in each year since 1999; and what has been the cost of redundancies in each such year. [135466]

Hugh Robertson: The following table shows the number of posts that have been reduced as result of early departure exercises that the Department ran in the financial years 2010-11 to 2011-12.

Financial yearTotal costs (£)Number of posts made redundant

2011-12

1,906,281

26

2010-11

2,891,000

44

The Department did not run any early departure exercises from 1999 to 2010 to reduce the number of posts. The Department does not hold a central record

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of individuals who exited under voluntary redundancy terms before 2010, but no posts during this time were made redundant.

Redundancy Pay

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the total amount of redundancy pay paid to civil servants in her Department was in each month from July to December 2012. [135238]

Hugh Robertson: The following table shows the total amount of redundancy payments made to civil servants in the Department in each month between July and December 2012.

 Total costs (£)

July

496,981.15

August

53,138.50

September

0

October

0

November

0

December

226,425.52

Total

776,545.17

The Department launched a voluntary exit exercise in September 2010, January 2012 and in September 2012. The purpose of this exercise is to reduce our pay bill expenditure to achieve a 50% reduction in administration costs by 2013, thereby contributing towards reducing the Government deficit. We have calculated the pay bill savings to be £3 million.

Sickness Absence

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2012, Official Report, column 137W, on sick leave, if she will make an assessment of the contribution mindfulness-based practice can make to reducing workplace stress and staff absences in her Department. [136216]

Hugh Robertson: There are currently no plans to make an assessment of the contribution mindfulness-based practice can make to reducing work place stress and staff absences.

Temporary Employment

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many temporary staff have been recruited in her Department in each month from July to December 2012. [135239]

Hugh Robertson: All temporary recruitment during this period was in order to provide specialist skills needed by the Department for specific projects. The following table shows the total number of temporary staff recruited in each month between July and December 2012.

 Number of temporary staff recruited

July

2

August

3

September

7

9 Jan 2013 : Column 284W

October

5

November

3

December

2

Total

22

House of Commons Commission

Members

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of an hon. Member in 2011. [136217]

John Thurso: There is no established methodology for calculating the cost of an hon. Member in a year.

The House of Commons has two estimates. The administration estimate covers items such as the running of the Chamber and committees, the upkeep of the parliamentary estate, the Library, visitor services, education, security, catering, ICT, finance and human resources. The Members estimate covers items such as costs arising from the Members' pension scheme, funding for opposition parties, and IT equipment for Members. In 2011/12 the total expenditure across these two estimates was £240 million.

A significant proportion of this expenditure relates to the upkeep and conservation of the estate, including the Palace of Westminster (which is part of a World Heritage site), services to the public, and security.

It should be noted that these figures exclude hon. Members' salaries and expenses, which are a matter for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

The hon. Member may wish to contact the Director of Finance, who will be happy to discuss what other data could be provided that might assist him.

Wales

Procurement

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many procurement officers are currently employed by his Department. [135733]

Stephen Crabb: None.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many procurement officers in his Department have relevant procurement qualifications. [135735]

Stephen Crabb: The Wales Office does not employ any procurement officers.

Redundancy

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many posts have been declared redundant by each of his Department's Executive agencies and non-

9 Jan 2013 : Column 285W

departmental public bodies in each year since 1999; and what the cost of those redundancies has been. [135504]

Stephen Crabb: The Wales Office, since its establishment in 1999, has not been responsible for any Executive agencies or non-departmental public bodies.

Sovereignty

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent representations he has received from political parties calling for a referendum on Welsh independence. [135192]

Mr David Jones: None.

Defence

Armed Forces: Housing Benefit

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the effect of the under-occupancy penalty on servicemen and their families. [136043]

Mr Francois: I have had no discussions with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), on the effect of the under-occupancy penalty on service personnel and their families.

Scotland

Income Tax Personal Allowance

8. Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the number of people in Scotland who will be affected by the planned change to the income tax personal allowance. [135629]

Michael Moore: From 1 April 2013, the personal allowance will rise by an additional £235 to £9,440. This further increase to the personal allowance will benefit 2.2 million people in Scotland, lifting an additional 21,000 people out of income tax entirely. This means a total of 183,000 people in Scotland will be taken out the income tax system.

Scottish Independence: Border Control

10. Guy Opperman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of Scottish independence on border control at the border between Scotland and Northumberland. [135631]

Michael Moore: The UK Government are not making plans for independence as we are confident that when the referendum is held, Scotland will choose to remain part of a strong, successful United Kingdom.

9 Jan 2013 : Column 286W

Tourism

15. Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with industry representatives on tourism in Scotland. [135636]

David Mundell: Scotland Office Ministers meet representatives from the tourism sector in Scotland on a regular basis. The UK Government are committed to the promotion of Scotland overseas.

Redundancy

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many posts have been declared redundant by each of his Department's Executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1999; and what the cost of those redundancies has been. [135492]

David Mundell: The only non-departmental public body that the Scotland Office is responsible for is the Boundary Commission for Scotland. The Scotland Office is not responsible for any Executive agencies. The Boundary Commission for Scotland does not employ staff directly. All staff that join the Boundary Commission do so on assignment, secondment or loan agreement from the Scottish Government and therefore the issue of redundancy is a matter for the Scottish Government.

Temporary Employment

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what amount his Department spent on interim staff as defined by the National Audit Office in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [135181]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office spend on interim staff was (a) £35,482 in 2010-11 and (b) £21,446 in 2011-12. The agency staff were engaged to fill vacancies in the Office and were not additional to the staff numbers reported in the annual reports and accounts of the Office.

Northern Ireland

Employment Agencies

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total spending on recruitment agencies by her Department was in each month from July to December 2012. [135243]

Mike Penning: During this period, my Department spent the following amounts on recruitment agencies:

2012£

July

4,229

August

3,005

September

6,072

October

6,495

November

15,042

Note: Figures for December are not yet available.

9 Jan 2013 : Column 287W

My Department also has a 12-month contract with nijobs, a Northern Ireland based recruitment agency which is used when we need to advertise for specialist posts in Northern Ireland. This contract costs £1,500 per annum.

Procurement

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many procurement officers are currently employed by her Department. [135730]

Mike Penning: My Department does not currently employ a procurement officer.

As required, the Department sources advice and guidance on procurement-related issues from the Government Procurement Service in Whitehall and/or the Central Procurement Directorate of the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many civil servants in her Department regularly deal with procurement services. [135731]

Mike Penning: Advice on procurement-related matters is provided to staff in my Department by our Estates and Office Services Team and is based on guidance from the Government Procurement Service in Whitehall and/or the Central Procurement Directorate of the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland. No member of staff is employed solely to deal with procurement services.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many procurement officers in her Department have relevant procurement qualifications. [135732]

Mike Penning: My Department does not employ procurement officers. When needed, professional advice on procurement-related matters is sourced from the Government Procurement Service in Whitehall and/or the Central Procurement Directorate of the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland.

Redundancy

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Civil Service posts have been made redundant by her Department in each year since 1999; and what the cost of redundancies has been in each such year. [135493]

Mike Penning: Comparable figures for my Department as it is now configured are not available for the years preceding the completion of devolution of policing and justice functions on 12 April 2010.

Since April 2010, my Department has not made any staff redundant.

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many posts have been declared redundant by each of her Department's executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1999; and what the cost of those redundancies has been. [135494]

9 Jan 2013 : Column 288W

Mike Penning: It has been long standing policy for my Department to refer hon. Members to non-departmental public bodies when seeking information on operational matters. This reflects the fact that such bodies are both independent and best placed to answer such questions. It also makes sense that when hon. Members seek information relating to a particular non-departmental public body independence from Government is important, they should engage with that body direct, rather than to seek to do so through Ministers. The Northern Ireland Office has responsibility for two Executive non-departmental public bodies and one Advisory non-departmental public body, contact details for which are provided in the following table:

ALBStatusContact details

Parades Commission NI

Executive NDPB

[email protected]

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Executive NDPB

[email protected]

Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland

Advisory NDPB

[email protected]

Redundancy Pay

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total amount of redundancy pay paid to civil servants in her Department was in each month from July to December 2012. [135241]

Mike Penning: My Department did not make any redundancy payments between July and December 2012.

Temporary Employment

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what amount her Department spent on interim staff as defined by the National Audit Office in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. [135180]

Mike Penning: My Department did not spend any money on interim staff during 2010-11 or 2011-12.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many temporary staff have been recruited in her Department in each month from July to December 2012. [135242]

Mike Penning: During the period in question, my Department recruited one temporary member of staff, in September 2012, for a specialist finance role.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

British Indian Ocean Territory

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the timetable is for negotiations on the extension of the use of British Indian Ocean Territory by the US for defence and other purposes in accordance with the agreement of 1966. [135903]

9 Jan 2013 : Column 289W

Mark Simmonds: The 1966 Exchange of Notes with the US provides that the islands of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), including Diego Garcia, shall be available to them until 2016 and continuing thereafter for a further period of 20 years unless terminated by either Government in the period 2014-16. There have been no substantive discussions to date with the US on the future of the US presence in BIOT post-2016 nor has a timetable been set for any such discussions.

Conditions of Employment

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of staff in his Department requested (a) part-time, (b) job-share or (c) other flexible working arrangements in each of the last five years; and how many such requests were granted. [134991]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) supports flexible working for its employees where it meets business needs. We have extended the right to all our employees to have a request for flexible working considered, either on an ad hoc basis or for a regular change to their working pattern. The FCO does not retain specific data on the number of requests for flexible working made by staff. However we are currently developing means for these to be recorded within our HR Management System to record a wider range of flexible working patterns.

The number of staff working part-time or job sharing in the last five years is as follows:

 20082009201020112012

Number of Job Sharers (JS)

17

13

16

18

19

Number of Part Timers (PT)

115

121

126

115

122

      

Total number of JS and PT

132

134

142

133

141

Percentage of total staff

2.8

2.8

2.9

2.8

3.1

Note: These figures include all FCO civil servants based in the UK and overseas, but do not include staff from FCO Services, (an Executive Agency and Trading Fund of the FCO), the UK Border Agency or locally engaged staff employed overseas.

Equality

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of staff in his Department have received training in equality and diversity and the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 in each of the last three years. [134808]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office introduced an e-learning diversity training package for all staff (UK based and overseas locally engaged staff) in May 2006. All new entrants must complete the package and all staff are encouraged to repeat the training annually. The training was updated in 2011 to reflect changes to legislation and the requirements of the Equality Act. We are only able to provide data on how many staff have completed the training since January 2011. These records show that just under 2,000 members of staff

9 Jan 2013 : Column 290W

(approximately 15% of the workforce) have completed the training since January 2011. The principles of equality and diversity are also embedded within the annual appraisal processes which apply to all staff.

Redundancy

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many posts have been declared redundant by each of his Department's executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1999; and what the cost of those redundancies has been. [135506]

Alistair Burt: Since 1999, no staff have been made compulsorily redundant in the following executive agencies and arm’s length bodies (ALBs) of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:

FCO Services;

Wilton Park;

Great Britain China Centre.

The British Council has made 56 staff compulsorily redundant since 1999. The cost of redundancy payments made in 2010-11 and 2011-12 was £563,014 and £28,633 respectively. No costs are available prior to this date as the information was not recorded centrally. To collate the information now, from individual records, would incur disproportionate cost.

The Westminster Foundation for Democracy has made three staff compulsorily redundant since 1999: two staff in 2007-08 and the Chief Executive Officer in 2009. The total cost of redundancy payments was £215,761.

Health

Arthritis

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what his policy is on the use of biological therapies on adults diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and who have a disease activity score of above 3.2; [135446]

(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of the UK's eligibility criteria for access to biological therapies on the clinical outcomes achieved by patients with rheumatoid arthritis. [135540]

Norman Lamb: The Department has not issued guidance on the use of biological therapies for people with rheumatoid arthritis. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has published a clinical guideline on the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and technology appraisal guidance on the use of certain individual biological therapies. NICE recommends the use of certain biological therapies for the treatment of patients with severe disease (disease activity score greater than 5.1 confirmed on at least two occasions, one month apart) if the patient has not responded to treatment with two separate combinations of conventional disease-modifying drugs.

Where NICE has issued positive appraisal guidance on a medicine, the national health service in England is legally obliged to provide funding for such treatments.

9 Jan 2013 : Column 291W

Access to biological therapies in other countries of the United Kingdom is a matter for the devolved Administrations.

Blood Diseases

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to improve the recording of a (a) diagnosis of sepsis and (b) death from sepsis in NHS trusts; and if he will make a statement. [134836]

Dr Poulter: The World Health Organisation's (WHO) International Classification of Diseases, which is used by the national health service, currently does not distinguish between sepsis and septicaemia (bloodstream infections). However, we understand that the WHO is currently revising its classification and the Department will be reviewing definitions of sepsis for recording purposes in the NHS in the light of that.

Sepsis is the invasion and infection of a person with pathogenic micro-organisms that cause a severe response in the body. Sepsis can take many forms and, at its most serious, can result in death.

Frontline health care professionals are routinely trained to recognise the early signs of severe sepsis and how to treat it. The Department supports existing international guidance on the management of sepsis and used this to inform the ‘Start Smart Then Focus’ guidance published in November 2011. A copy has already been placed in the Library.

In addition, registered health care providers are expected to ensure ongoing education of staff on the principles and practice of the prevention and control of infection, as advocated in the ‘Code of Practice for the prevention and control of infection and related guidance’.

Cannabis

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 13 November 2012, Official Report, column 193W, on cannabis, what effect the (a) Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and (b) Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 have on the availability of the Bedrocan and Bediol forms of cannabis by prescription and on the NHS. [135430]

Norman Lamb: Cannabis and its preparations, including Bedrocan and Bediol, are Class B controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Cannabis is also listed in schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 and Bedrocan and Bediol are also subject to the same restrictions.

While clinicians can prescribe any product, including any unlicensed product, United Kingdom pharmacists are only able to possess, supply or dispense schedule 1 drugs under a Home Office licence.


Care Homes: Merseyside

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the rate was per 100,000 people of permanent admissions to residential and nursing care homes for over-65s in (a) Wirral South constituency, (b) Wirral and (c) Merseyside in each of the last five years; [135288]

9 Jan 2013 : Column 292W

(2) what the rate was per 100,000 people of permanent admissions to residential and nursing care homes for 18 to 65 year-olds in (a) Wirral South constituency, (b) Wirral and (c) Merseyside in each of the last five years. [135289]

Norman Lamb: We are informed by the NHS Information Centre for health and social care that it collects and publishes data on the number of adults—those aged 18 to 64 and 65 and over—who are permanently admitted to local authority-supported residential and nursing care. Information on the numbers of people who arrange and fund their own care is not collected.

The Information Centre does not collect data at constituency level or for Merseyside, as this does not exist as a single local authority.

The following tables show data, provided by the Information Centre, on the rate per 100,000 population of local authority-supported permanent admissions to residential and nursing care of those aged 18 to 64 years and 65 and over for Wirral, Sefton, St. Helens, Liverpool and Knowsley local authorities since 2007-08. These authorities are collectively referenced as serving the Merseyside area.

Rate(1) per 100,000 population admitted to residential care
Local authorityYear(2)Age 18 to 64Age 65 and over

Wirral

2007-08

10

570

 

2008-09

10

460

 

2009-10

20

570

 

2010-11

15

500

 

2011-12

15

575

    

Liverpool

2007-08

10

520

 

2008-09

15

815

 

2009-10

15

665

 

2010-11

10

730

 

2011-12

15

660

    

Sefton

2007-08

15

510

 

2008-09

15

605

 

2009-10

15

570

 

2010-11

10

495

 

2011-12

10

610

    

St Helens

2007-08

5

280

 

2008-09

10

485

 

2009-10

5

390

 

2010-11

5

415

 

2011-12

10

560

    

Knowsley

2007-08

25

635

 

2008-09

15

560

 

2009-10

10

655

 

2010-11

10

620

 

2011-12

10

590

9 Jan 2013 : Column 293W

Rate(1) per 100,000 population admitted to nursing care
Local authorityYear(2)Age 18 to 64Age 65 and over

Wirral

2007-08

10

545

 

2008-09

5

350

 

2009-10

15

370

 

2010-11

10

295

 

2011-12

5

260

    

Liverpool

2007-08

5

180

 

2008-09

15

290

 

2009-10

10

235

 

2010-11

10

245

 

2011-12

5

200

    

Sefton

2007-08

5

295

 

2008-09

10

410

 

2009-10

5

285

 

2010-11

10

250

 

2011-12

10

295

    

St Helens

2007-08

5

640

 

2008-09

5

335

 

2009-10

0

420

 

2010-11

5

325

 

2011-12

10

495

    

Knowsley

2007-08

5

270

 

2008-09

10

310

 

2009-10

20

335

 

2010-11

10

300

 

2011-12

10

275

(1) The Information Centre has calculated numbers as a rate per 100,000 population against figures supplied by the Office for National Statistics mid-year population estimates. (2) Figures for 2011-12 are provisional; all other years are final. Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest five.

Equality

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of staff in his Department have received training in equality and diversity and the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 in each of the last three years. [134809]

Dr Poulter: The Department has operated a diversity training programme since 2002. This programme has been adapted to incorporate new legislation. The overview booklet given to all staff as part of induction covers equality and diversity, with links to further information on the Department's intranet. The Department's induction e-learning tool covers equality, diversity and human rights.

For the last three years, all new staff joining the Department have attended an induction training event which includes a session on equality and diversity and the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

Formal training and other learning opportunities are available to all departmental staff on the public sector equality duty (PSED) and about embedding equality in

9 Jan 2013 : Column 294W

policy development. The Department does not collect data on the overall proportion of staff who have attended training sessions or accessed learning materials.

Guidance on equality and diversity, including on the Equality Act 2010 and the PSED, is available to all staff, alongside the ongoing provision of advice and support from the Department's equality and inclusion team. Departmental staff also have access to civil service learning and other central Government courses on the Equality Act 2010.

Health Services: Lancashire

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the financial deficit was of each (a) primary care trust and (b) NHS hospital trust in Lancashire in each of the last three years. [135115]

Dr Poulter: All primary care trusts and national health service hospital trusts in Lancashire reported a surplus in their annual accounts from 2009-10 to 2011-12.

Financial accounts for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Calderstones Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust are not held centrally. These can be obtained directly from the trusts.

Hospitals: Merseyside

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many emergency readmissions within 30 days of discharge from hospital there were in (a) Wirral South constituency, (b) Wirral and (c) Merseyside in each of the last five years. [135290]

Anna Soubry: Information is not available in the precise form requested. Information on the number of emergency re-admissions within 28 days of discharge for the five most recent available years is given in the following table for Wirral primary care trust (identical to Wirral metropolitan county district) and Merseyside metropolitan county. Information on standardised rates of emergency re-admission (emergency re-admissions divided by the total number of hospital discharges, adjusted for variations in case mix) is available from the website of the Health and Social Care Information Centre at:

https://indicators.ic.nhs.uk/webview/

Number of emergency re-admissions to hospital within 28 days of discharge from hospital, persons, financial years 2006-07 to 2010-11
Area2010-112009-102008-092007-082006-07

Wirral Primary Care Trust

5,503

5,734

5,662

5,486

4,969

Merseyside Metropolitan County

24,299

24,274

24,304

25,235

22,100

9 Jan 2013 : Column 295W

Notes: 1. All ‘re-admissions’ includes all finished and unfinished continuous in-patient (CIP) spells that are emergency admissions within 0-27 days (inclusive) of the last, previous discharge from hospital, including those where the patient dies, but excluding the following: those with a main specialty upon re-admission coded under obstetric or mental health specialties; and those where the re-admitting spell has a diagnosis of cancer (other than benign or in situ) or chemotherapy for cancer coded anywhere in the spell. 2. No attempt has been made to assess whether the re-admission was linked to the discharge in terms of diagnosis. 3. Some emergency re-admissions may be potentially avoidable and a result of poor treatment in hospital, or poor or badly organised rehabilitation and support services when a person is transferred home following treatment. This analysis does not attempt to identify whether the emergency re-admissions were avoidable. 4. It should be noted that the data presented are a count of re-admissions and not of individual patients, as a patient may be re-admitted more than once in a financial year.

Medical Equipment

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of differences in the price paid for medical devices by foundation trust hospitals and health providers. [134833]

Dr Poulter: The Department does not routinely assess the differences in prices paid for medical devices by foundation trust hospitals and health providers. National health service trusts are responsible for running their own procurements and ensuring they are getting value for money from their procurement.

NHS Commissioning Board

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions since his appointment the medical director of the NHS Commissioning Board has worked on a Saturday or Sunday. [134818]

Anna Soubry: Since taking up his appointment as NHS medical director in November 2007, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh has worked whatever hours have been necessary to discharge the responsibilities of the role. This has routinely involved working in the evenings, at weekends and on public holidays.

NHS: Freedom of Expression

Mr Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the implications for his policy on freedom of speech for NHS staff and others working on NHS premises of the case between Mr Adrian Smith and Trafford Housing Trust. [135045]

Dr Poulter: Each national health service organisation is an employer in its own right and is expected to have human resource policies and procedures that comply with current legislation including the Equality Act 2010, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European convention on human rights that cover the right to freedom of speech.

The NHS Constitution sets out that NHS organisations should have a clear policy on equality and diversity and a written procedure for handling disciplinary issues. Decisions taken by employers regarding an individual's alleged misconduct must always be viewed against the specific facts of the case.

9 Jan 2013 : Column 296W

Olympic Games 2012

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which events at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were attended by each Minister in his Department using tickets or passes for which they did not pay personally; and what the cost was of attending each such event for members of the public who used comparable seats or had comparable access. [135640]

Dr Poulter: The Government pledged to publish these details following the Olympic and Paralympic Games and will do so shortly.

Procurement

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the monetary value was of contracts awarded by his Department to (a) management consultancies and (b) IT companies in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [135171]

Dr Poulter: Part management consultancy spend and information technology (IT) companies spend for 2010-11 and 2011-12 for the Department of Health (this includes the Core Department and Connecting for Health) are both in the following tables:

Management consultancy services
Financial year£ million

2008-09

107.00

2009-10

115.00

2010-11

14.77

2011-12

15.05

This Government are determined to use management consultants if and only if they can add real value and where no other alternative exists, which ensures taxpayers' money is spent wisely.

IT companies
Financial year£ million

2008-09

75.12

2009-10

104.67

2010-11

112.47

2011-12

120.11

Departmental IT companies spend is taken from the combined Department's Business Management System (BMS) and also Connecting for Health financial reporting sources for all years 2008-09 to 2011-12 and is taken to mean total ICT spend as compared to services that are IT based. The reported amount is therefore defined by how it is categorised in the accounting systems.

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many procurement officers are currently employed by his Department; [135666]


(2) how many civil servants in his Department regularly deal with procurement services; [135667]

(3) how many procurement officers in his Department have relevant procurement qualifications. [135668]

Dr Poulter: In its response to the National Audit Office study on Government procurement in October 2012, the Department reported a total of 39 full-time

9 Jan 2013 : Column 297W

equivalent (FTE) posts in its centralised procurement function. Of these, 24 FTEs are procurement professionals —15 holding full graduate membership of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, with the other nine holding foundation level in progress towards graduate status.

The centralised procurement function provides the professional lead role and supports core spending activities across the Department, although staff outside the function will also engage in procurement services. It is therefore not possible to identify a definitive number of civil servants engaged in procurement services across the Department.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which contracts his Department has signed with private companies for the provision of services previously provided by the public sector under his departmental responsibility since May 2010; what the (a) length of the contract and (b) financial penalties for opting out early are in each case where possible within the cost constraints of this question; and if he will make a statement. [135703]

Dr Poulter: The Department contracts for a wide variety of services to support its delivery agenda. The Department's central procurement system does not have a separate category for business process outsourcing (private companies delivering services previously provided by the public sector), or any central means of consistently identifying outsourced services. To provide a comprehensive list would mean going back to each business area and Directorate in the Department and consulting on which of the contracts they have commissioned are to be considered to be business process outsourcing. This would incur disproportionate cost.

The Department publishes information on newly awarded contracts on Contracts Finder, the Government online facility for the publication of tendering opportunities and contract information. Contracts Finder may be found at:

http://contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/

Redundancy

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Civil Service posts have been made redundant by his Department in each year since 1999; and what the cost of redundancies has been in each such year. [135501]

Dr Poulter: We are not able to report how many civil service posts have been made redundant during the period specified. The following table shows the number of the Department's civil servants who have been made redundant from 1999 to date.

 Number of redundancies (both voluntary and compulsory)Cost (£)

1999-2000

20

2.3 million

2000-01

18

2 million

2001-02

22

3.2 million

2002-03

23

1.4 million

2003-04

110

7.6 million

9 Jan 2013 : Column 298W

2004-05

200

23.1 million

2005-06

33

6.5 million

2006-07

39

5.7 million

2007-08

76

7.9 million

2008-09

15

2.6 million

2009-10

18

2.2 million

2010-11

261

(1)20.3 million

2011-12

19

274,000

2012-13

27

1.7 million

(1) Date new compensation scheme came into effect and changes were made to exit payments.

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many posts have been declared redundant by each of his Department's executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1999; and what the cost of those redundancies has been. [135502]

Dr Poulter: The following table shows the total cost of “exit packages” as reported in the individual published annual report and accounts of executive non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies for financial years 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Prior to this exit package, information was not published by the individual bodies, or formally collected by the Department in the format requested. To supply it from 1999 would incur disproportionate costs.

Exit packages per accounts consolidation data
 2010-112011-12
 Total number of exit packagesTotal cost of exit packages £000Total number of exit packagesTotal cost of exit packages £000

Non-departmental public bodies:

    

Care Quality Commission

140

9,181

50

722

Health Protection Agency

33

749

38

839

Appointments Commission

9

430

*

26

Executive Agencies:

    

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

1

47

25

907

The data are taken directly from the audited consolidation schedules provided by the bodies concerned, from which the Departments annual report and accounts are prepared. The disclosure in the accounts shows the number and value of exit packages taken by staff leaving in the year.

Exit packages includes compulsory redundancies and other departures. The latter includes the cost of both early retirements (excluding those relating to ill-health) and voluntary redundancies. However, it is not possible to separately identify the value of either of these costs from the data collected. Therefore an overall figure for redundancies is not separately identifiable.

The expense associated with these departures may have been recognised in part or in full in a previous period.

9 Jan 2013 : Column 299W

Due to the small numbers of staff involved, and in order to comply with the Data Protection Act, the numbers of staff for the Appointments Commission are represented by “*” as per their published accounts.