18 Jan 2013 : Column 941W

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Written Answers to Questions

Friday 18 January 2013

Health

Child Protection

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he considers child protection to be a key public health outcome; what provisions are in place to ensure that (a) health and wellbeing boards and (b) GPs and clinical commissioning groups are encouraged to promote child protection; and which composite organisations of the NHS have a statutory responsibility in regard to child protection. [138272]

Dr Poulter: All children should be enabled to thrive and achieve. This is reflected in the Public Health Outcomes Framework, which includes a number of indicators of relevance to safeguarding and protecting children. The Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum highlighted the importance of safeguarding children. We shall be responding to the forum's recommendations shortly.

The Government's mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board includes a clear expectation that the national health service, working together with schools and children's social services, will support and safeguard vulnerable children, through a more joined-up approach to addressing their needs. The mandate sets the board an objective of continuing to improve safeguarding practice in the NHS.

Health and wellbeing boards, working at a local level, will have a duty to have regard to the mandate in undertaking Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies, which will enable commissioners to plan and commission integrated services that meet the needs of their local community, in particular for the most vulnerable groups.

Under the Children Act 2004, NHS bodies have a statutory duty to make arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and they are statutory members of Local Safeguarding Children Boards. In April, these statutory duties will transfer under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 from primary care trusts and strategic health authorities to clinical commissioning groups and the NHS Commissioning Board. The statutory responsibilities of NHS providers for safeguarding children will not change.

Domestic Violence

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he considers domestic violence to be a key public health outcome; and what provisions are in place to ensure that (a) health and wellbeing boards and (b) GPs and clinical commissioning groups are encouraged to tackle domestic violence. [138273]

Dr Poulter: Domestic violence is recognised as a key public health issue, and the Public Health Outcomes Framework will therefore include a measure of domestic

18 Jan 2013 : Column 942W

violence, which is currently being developed. As part of the health reforms, any specialist domestic violence services that were commissioned by primary care trusts will become the responsibility of the local authority.

The NHS Operating Framework for 2012-13 emphasises the key role of health and wellbeing boards in joining up commissioning and services across the national health service, social care, public health and other initiatives related to the health and wellbeing of local people. Health and wellbeing boards will serve as an important means of tackling violence against women and girls, and will include representation from local health agencies, including clinical commissioning groups.

We have already worked with the National Learning Network for health and wellbeing boards and the NHS Confederation to publish a resource to support and encourage health and wellbeing boards and criminal justice agencies to work together locally. We are also working with the Home Office and other partners including local public health and community safety partnerships, to support local understanding and joint working on violence, including domestic violence.

The Department has undertaken significant work to promote awareness, and to encourage health care professionals in the identification and understanding of domestic violence, given their key role in providing opportunities for victims to disclose in a safe environment. This includes routine enquiry by midwives who ask all pregnant women whether they are at risk of, or suffering from domestic violence.

Given the impact which domestic violence has on children, this will also continue to be a key safeguarding issue for which all parts of the system will have some responsibility. Statutory guidance, ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, sets out how organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people, in accordance with the Children Acts 1989 and 2004.

The Department has been working with the NHS Commissioning Board and other partners to develop an accountability and assurance framework for safeguarding in the future NHS. Interim advice in September 2012 expanded on the safeguarding requirements for clinical commissioning groups to demonstrate in order to be authorised. An update will be published shortly, alongside revised statutory guidance.

Drugs: Misuse

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on advertising the risks associated with Class (a) A, (b) B and (c) C drugs in each of the last five years. [137448]

Dr Poulter: The FRANK drug information campaign was launched in May 2003, providing young people and their families with advice and information about all drugs. The campaign is managed jointly by the Department of Health, the Home Office and the Department for Education.

The Home Office funds advertising to raise awareness of the FRANK service. The Department of Health funds and manages the FRANK service which comprises the helpline, email, SMS and website.

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Department of Health's contributions to FRANK's advertising campaigns:

 £ million

2008-09

2.4

2009-10

1.2

2010-11

0

2011-12

0

2012-13

0

Notes: 1. Figures rounded to the nearest £100,000 2. Paid for advertising costs includes all traditional and digital media but excludes agency fees and production costs.

Fast Food

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with which Public Health Responsibility Deal partners he will discuss the recent report by the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood on fast food. [138177]

Dr Poulter: The purpose of the Public Health Responsibility Deal is to develop action by business to help address major behavioural risk factors such as poor diet. The evaluation of science and safety, including the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood on fast food, is not part of the Responsibility Deal's remit.

Health Services

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department intends to publish the Fair Playing Field report written by KPMG in 2009 on commissioning NHS services. [138009]

Dr Poulter: The 2009 report produced by KPMG was commissioned on behalf of the previous Government and the decision was taken not to publish it. The Department has subsequently disclosed copies of the report upon request in line with its duties under the Freedom of Information Act. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library.

Health: Children

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 January 2013, Official Report, column 396W, on health: children, (1) if he will publish a list of all the funding research projects in children's well-being that his Department is or will be funding; [137806]

(2) if he will publish statistics on life satisfaction among children by (a) region and (b) local authority in descending order for each category. [137807]

Dr Poulter: The Department currently contributes funding to a number of research projects addressing aspects of children's well-being.

Since May 2010, the Department has committed £49.3 million through the National Institute for Health Research to provide the support and facilities that the NHS needs for first class research and to fund research to advance clinical, public health and genetic approaches in clinical practice for children and younger people.

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From 1 April 2011, the Department invested £9.6 million through the Policy Research programme in two policy research units aimed at delivering the best evidence in maternal health and care and the health of children, young people and their families.

The Department is funding a wide range of research projects, which focus on or consider children's well-being as part of their work, listed as follows:

Health Behaviours of School-Aged Children

http://www.hbscengland.com/

Understanding Society

http://www.understandingsociety.org.uk/

Millennium Cohort Study

http://www.cls.ioe.ac.uk/page.aspx?&sitesectionid=851&sitesectiontitle= Welcome+to+the+Millennium+Cohort+Study

Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Survey Among Young People in England

http://www.ic.nhs.uk/article/2021/Website-Search?productid=7911&q=smoking+drinking+and +drug+use+survey&sort=Relevance&size=10&page=l&area=both#top

Department of Health Policy Research Programme:

Behavioural and Emotional Dimensions in Children

Evaluating the Family Nurse Partnership Programme in England: a Randomised Controlled Trial

BEDiC: Behavioural and Emotional Dimensions in Children (Formerly: Early Personality Traits and Later Personality Disorder)

Prospective evaluation of follow-up and outcomes following adolescent sexual assault

Bridging the knowledge and practice gap between domestic violence and child safeguarding: developing policy and training for general practice.

Policy Research Unit in Health of Children, Young People and Families

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cpru

The health of children in different family structures: a cohort analysis to inform policy

Scoping and piloting the potential for inter-country comparisons to inform policy development and evaluation for children's health

What has been the impact of NICE guidelines on recognition of child maltreatment seen in hospital?

Acute paediatric and local authority child protection services: effective liaison in cases of suspected child maltreatment

Qualitative work to explore how practitioners and patients within CAMHS and within diabetes care use PROMS

A feasibility study of use of feedback to practitioners of routinely collected outcome data to inform and improve practice

Conduct disorder, parenting practices and long term susceptibility to intervention

High risk youth who engage in multiple health risk behaviour: identifying opportunities for prevention

Evaluating the use of a population measure of child development in the Healthy Child Programme two year review

A literature review on DNA's in children's health care

A study to explore the relationship between area level health spending and child health outcomes.

Policy Research Unit in Maternal Health and Care

https://www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/prumhc

The role of fathers in the development of the healthy child

Cost benefit thresholds for interventions, for obesity in pregnancy and postnatally, and the impact on child health

Improving the evidence base to support breastfeeding

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What makes children resilient? A life course perspective on the processes that lead to favourable outcomes in health, education and social functioning.

Health Promotion and Public Health Reviews Facility

http://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/default.aspx?tabid=73

Children's views about obesity, body size, shape and weight

Including diverse groups of children and young people in health promotion and public health research: a review of methodology and practice

Health promotion, inequalities and young people's health: a systematic review of research

Inequalities and the mental health of young people: a systematic review of secondary school-based cognitive behavioural interventions

Social and environmental interventions to reduce childhood obesity: a systematic map of reviews

Large-scale and locally based schemes to promote healthy weight among obese and overweight children in England

Becoming a Dad: the impact of fathers' involvement on the mental health of children, mothers and fathers: a systematic rapid evidence assessment of Millennium Cohort Study analyses

Are incentive schemes effective in changing young people's behaviour? A systematic review

Childhood obesity and educational attainment—A systematic review

Systematic Review of research addressing children's, young people's and parents' views of walking and cycling for transport

Young people and mental health: a systematic review of research on barriers and facilitators.

Public Health Research Consortium

http://phrc.lshtm.ac.uk

In what circumstances can parental employment improve child health?

Pilot RCT of family based interventions to prevent childhood obesity.

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

http://www.nihr.ac.uk/

NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research

http://www.ccf.nihr.ac.uk/PGfAR

The development of an integrated early detection and intervention model for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

Evidence based intervention for pre-school children with primary speech and language impairment

Do Specialist Cancer Services for Teenagers and Young Adults (TYA) Add Value?

Research for Patient Benefit

http://www.ccf.nihr.ac.uk/RfPB

Telephone consultation as a substitute for routine out-patient face-to-face consultation for children with inflammatory bowel disease: randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation.

However, the Department is not able to publish a list of projects that it will be funding in the future, as these projects have not been confirmed.

The Department of Health does not have statistics on life satisfaction among children at the regional or local level.

Infant Mortality: Newham

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the trends in infant mortality rates in Newham. [137790]

Dr Poulter: The infant mortality rate for Newham in 2010 was 5.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. This compares with a rate of 4.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in England

18 Jan 2013 : Column 946W

for the same period. The higher rates in Newham reflect the higher level of deprivation—Newham ranked third out of 326 local authorities on the Index of Multiple Deprivation in 2010.

While infant mortality rates have declined across England over the last 10 years and are now at an historic low level, inequalities remain. Rates in Newham are broadly following this trend, having fallen by 19% between 2000 and 2010, compared with a 25% drop in infant mortality rates across England over the same period.

Psychiatry

Paul Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements the NHS Commissioning Board is making to support the roll-out of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme for (a) children and (b) adults; and if he will make a statement. [137883]

Dr Poulter: From April 2013, responsibility for commissioning psychological therapies will transfer from primary care trusts to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) will commission the most specialised mental health services and primary care services. It will support CCGs and hold them to account for securing continuous improvements in outcomes for patients.

The NHS CB is fully committed to delivering the Government's ambition to improve access to psychological therapies, as set out in the mandate.

The Minister of State, the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb), met with Lord Layard, together with representatives of the NHS CB to discuss future arrangements for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) within the NHS CB. It is the NHS CB's intention to have a team working on both children and young people's and adult IAPT as part of its NHS Improvement Body. Planning for the transition of the Children and Young People's IAPT project is at an advanced stage. These discussions will now extend to include other development and service improvement aspects of the IAPT programme.

Transport

A1101: Welney

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the estimated cost is of improved flood defences at Welney to prevent the A1101 flooding; [138276]

(2) what the estimated cost is of building a new causeway on the A1101 at Welney; [138277]

(3) on how many days the A1101 at Welney has been closed (a) this year and (b) in each of the last 30 years; [138278]

(4) what the estimated cost to the local economy of the closure of the A1101 at Welney is (a) this year and (b) in each of the last 30 years. [138279]

Norman Baker: The A1101 is a local road and is the responsibility for the local highway authority, Norfolk County Council. The Department for Transport is aware that this road is subject to flooding after heavy rainfall which results in closures and diversions to local residents.

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In order to solve the flooding problem there are a number of options, including raising the highway or constructing a bridge. No estimate has been made by the Department for Transport of the costs to build a new causeway on the A1101 at Welney as this is a matter for Norfolk County Council, working closely with Welney Parish Council and others, including the Environment Agency.

The Department for Transport does not hold information in regard to how many days the road at Welney has been closed nor the estimated cost to the local economy due to any closure in (a) this year or (b) in each of the last 30 years.

Campaign for Better Transport

Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much public funding the Campaign for Better Transport received in each of the last five financial years. [137452]

Norman Baker: The Campaign for Better Transport (previously known as Transport 2000) received funding as follows:

 £

2008-09

135,751

2009-10

230,918

2010-11

0

2011-12

0

2012-13

0

Car Tax

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) gross revenue and (b) net revenue after costs was obtained by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority from the charge applied to motorists seeking to renew their tax disc with a credit card payment in the last 12 months. [138271]

Stephen Hammond: In the financial year 2011-12 the gross revenue collected was £8.6 million. The credit card charge was calculated to cover the specific costs of using credit cards, therefore the net revenue after costs is nil.

Driving: Licensing

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on the insurance industry's Access to Driver Data project; and if he will make a statement. [137584]

Stephen Hammond: Officials from the Department for Transport have been working very closely with the motor insurance industry on access to the driver database (IIADD) project for two years. Furthermore, I have met with representatives from the motor insurance industry on a wide range of insurance issues, including the IIADD project.

The Government are committed to reducing the number of uninsured drivers on our roads. Tackling fraud is key to making this happen and good progress is being made in allowing the insurance industry access to DVLA driver details on penalty points and disqualifications.

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Mr Marcus Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies his Department has undertaken to examine waiting times for driving licence applications since the installation of Cogent photographic equipment in post offices. [137873]

Stephen Hammond: No formal studies have been undertaken to examine waiting times for driving licence applications since the installation of Cogent photographic equipment in post offices. Daily monitoring shows that more than 99.5% of the applications processed at the Post Office using this equipment are issued within five days. This exceeds the published customer service target to issue 98% of driving licences within 10 days of receipt of the application.

First Great Western

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the Great Western franchise ends; whether he intends to extend the franchise; and if he will make a statement. [138217]

Mr Simon Burns: The Government recently confirmed that we would consider the findings of the independent review of rail franchising by Richard Brown, and that a further statement would be made by February about the three franchise competitions put on hold last October. This will include future plans for the Great Western franchise.

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the (a) additional regional services the HS2-HS1 link could facilitate and (b) potential economic benefit from such additional services if the capacity of that link were to be increased from that currently proposed. [137897]

Mr Simon Burns: There has been no assessment made to date of either (a) the additional regional services the HS2-HS1 link could facilitate or (b) potential economic benefit from such additional services if the capacity of that link were to be increased from that currently proposed. My officials are continuing to work with HS2 Ltd to identify the best approach for providing the link. The precise services which will operate on the link are a matter for the future in the light of demand at the time.

Railways: Essex

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he plans to announce whether there will be an extension to the Essex Thameside franchise. [137847]

Mr Simon Burns: The Government recently confirmed that we would consider the findings of the independent review of rail franchising by Richard Brown, and that a further statement would be made by February about the three franchise competitions put on hold last October. This will include future plans for the Essex Thameside franchise.

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Roads: Liverpool

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motorists have been (a) killed and (b) seriously injured in sleep-related road traffic accidents in Liverpool, Walton constituency since May 2010. [137857]

Stephen Hammond: The data on factors contributing to road accidents are not broken down below regional level since the number of casualties can often be small and therefore it may be possible to identify the individuals involved in an accident.

However, the numbers of motorists killed or seriously injured in reported personal injury road accidents where driver or rider “fatigue” was a contributory factor since May 2010 in the North West region are as follows:

May 2010 to December 2010: 0 killed and 20 seriously injured; and

January 2011 to December 2011: 8 killed and 41 seriously injured.

Data for 2012 will be available in June 2013.

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents there were in Liverpool, Walton constituency arising from (a) motorists and (b) cyclists ignoring red traffic lights in the last two years for which figures are available. [137859]

Stephen Hammond: The data on factors contributing to road accidents are not broken down below regional level since the number of accidents can often be small and therefore it may be possible to identify the individuals involved in an accident.

However, the number of personal injury road accidents in the North West region where “disobeyed automatic traffic signal” was a contributory factor for (a) motorists and (b) cyclists in the years 2010 and 2011 are as follows:

2010: 330 motor vehicles and 13 cyclists;

2011: 302 motor vehicles and 23 cyclists.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the concrete crack and seat technique of road-relaying is recognised by British Building Standards. [137550]

Norman Baker: The concrete crack and seat technique is not covered by a British Standard published by the British Standards Institution.

A specification for the crack and seat technique for concrete roads is included in the Highways Agency's Specification for Highway Works, used for constructing and maintaining the strategic road network in England. Many local highway authorities use or adapt the advice published by the Highways Agency for use on their roads.

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Secretary of State's letter of 18 December 2012, on Autumn Statement 2012 Local Transport Funding, Annex A, Additional Highways Maintenance Funding, which local authorities are receiving zero funding in the periods (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15. [137855]

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Norman Baker: The Government announced on 18 December 2012 how each local highway authority in England will benefit from an additional £215 million of funding for highways maintenance spread over the period 2013-14 and 2014-15. Sheffield City Council, Birmingham City Council, the Isle of Wight Council and Hounslow (as part of calculating London's share) will not receive this additional funding. This is because these authorities have highways maintenance Private Finance Initiative (PFI) arrangements in place and it was agreed as part of those arrangements that they would not receive Departmental highways maintenance capital block funding.

Transport: Schools

Pat Glass: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 21 February 2012, Official Report, column 746W, on transport: schools, what steps he has taken with the Secretary of State for Education with regard to the publication of the Efficiency and Practice Review of Home to School Transport. [138282]

Norman Baker: Department for Education (DfE) Ministers have kept Department for Transport Ministers informed of the progress of the Efficiency and Practice Review of Home to School Transport and I discussed the matter when I recently met with my Rt Hon Friend, the Minister of State for Education, the Rt Hon Member for Yeovil (David Laws). The DfE will publish the report of the review in due course.

Education

Aviation

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many air miles were accumulated by each Minister in his Department in 2012; how such air miles were used; and whether such air miles were donated to charity. [137087]

Elizabeth Truss: DFE Ministers have not accumulated any air miles in the course of official duties in 2012.

Children's Centres: Nottinghamshire

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many Sure Start children's centres in the Nottinghamshire local authority area have reduced (a) the number of hours they are open and (b) the number of days they are open since May 2010. [136944]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department does not collect information on the opening hours of Sure Start children's centres or the number of days they are open. Local authorities should ensure that the opening times and availability of services delivered through their children's centres meet the needs of families in their area.

Data Protection

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education on how many occasions each Minister in his Department carried classified documents on public transport in the last 12 months for which information is available. [137108]

18 Jan 2013 : Column 951W

Elizabeth Truss: The Department does not hold this information. To gather this information, we would incur disproportionate costs.

E-mail

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will place in the Library a copy of all correspondence between his Department and the Information Commissioner on the use of private e-mail accounts to discuss items of Government business in the last two years; and if he will make a statement. [136569]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 14 January 2013]:In December 2011 the Department received a report from the Information Commissioner on the findings of its good practice visit in October 2011, which included consideration of the use of personal e-mail and the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Information Commissioner published those findings on 15 December 2011.

The Information Commissioner and his staff regularly exchange correspondence with Departmental officials in the course of relevant Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act case work. The Department wrote to the Information Commissioner in September 2012 after withdrawing from an appeal relating to the use of private e-mail accounts. As that letter sets out the Department's position on this subject, I am placing a copy in the House Libraries.

GCSE

Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many and what proportion of students obtained six A*-C grades at GCSE level including English, mathematics, science, a foreign language, history or geography and either (a) music, (b) religious studies and (c) design and technology in each year since 1997. [136321]

Elizabeth Truss: The English Baccalaureate was introduced by the Department for Education (DFE) as an additional measure in the performance tables and first published in January 2011. The measure recognises where pupils have secured a C grade or better across a core of academic subjects: English, mathematics, history or geography, a language and two sciences (representing a total of six A*-C grades).

The following table estimates the effect of adding a sixth component (but a seventh A*-C grade requirement) which can be satisfied by music or religious studies or design and technology. Further information can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

National performance of pupils(1) attaining seven GCSE A* to C grades in English, mathematics, two sciences, a language, history or geography and music or religious studies or design and technology, Year: 1996/97, 2007/08 to 2011/12(2,3), Coverage: England
 Number of pupils in cohort(1)Number of pupils attaining these seven GCSE A*-C gradesPercentage of students attaining these seven GCSE A*-C grades

1996/97(4,5)

586,766

64,120

10.9

    

2007/08(5)

635,089

64,670

9.9

2008/09(5)

634,496

65,159

10.3

2009/10

639,263

65,425

10.2

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2010/11

627,093

72,252

11.5

2011/12

623,440

74,420

11.9

(1) Number of pupils on roll aged 15 at the start of the academic year (1996/97) or at the end of Key Stage 4 (2007/08 to 2011/12). (2) Includes attempts and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years. (3 )Figures for 2011/12 are provisional, all other figures are final. (4 )Due to the differences in the qualifications offered in 1996/97 and the change in the cohort of pupils measured from those aged 15 at the start of the academic year to those at the end of Key Stage 4 these figures are not exactly comparable with those published for the other years. Please note the caveats for the following components that make up the 1996/97 figures: a. English: does not include where only an English Literature GCSE has been entered b. Mathematics: does not include entries for Additional Maths GCSEs c. Science: The pupils had to achieve grade A*-C in either: i. two of biology, chemistry and physics (provided all three GCSEs were entered); or ii. Double Award science. d. Humanities: History, Geography or Ancient History. e. Languages: a modern foreign language; Latin, Greek or other classical languages. Further information on the English Baccalaureate is available from our website here: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/qualifications/englishbac/a0075975/the-english-baccalaureate (5 )Figures for 1996/97, 2007/08 and 2008/09 exclude iGCSEs as these were not included in the School Performance Tables at this time.

Government Procurement Card

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many (a) staff and (b) special advisers in his Department have use of a Government Procurement Card. [137262]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department for Education can confirm that 88 staff have use of a Government Procurement Card. No cards are held by special advisers.

National Curriculum Tests

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 12 November 2012, Official Report, column 51W, on national curriculum tests, how many and what proportion of the pupils who did not attempt (a) English, (b) mathematics and (c) either English or mathematics GCSE were (i) eligible for free school meals, (ii) in care, (iii) attending a pupil referral unit, (iv) in the criminal justice system, (v) boys and (vi) members of each ethnic group. [135454]

Elizabeth Truss: The following table provides information for pupils who did not have a statement of special educational needs who did not attempt GCSE English, mathematics and either English or mathematics at the end of key stage 4. As requested breakdowns have been provided for pupils who are:

eligible for free school meals;

in care;

boys;

members of each ethnic group.

Figures in the previous answer included state-funded mainstream schools only, and therefore excluded pupils on roll in pupil referral units. Statistics on the attainment

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of pupils in alternative provision (AP) including pupil referral units in 2011 were published in Tables P1 to P4 of the Statistical First Release (SFR) ‘GCSE and Equivalent Results in England, 2010/11 (Revised)’. This is available from our website at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s001056/index.shtml

Table P1 provides statistics on the percentage of pupils at the end of key stage 4 achieving level 1 (A*-C) skills in English and mathematics. Table P2 provides the number of entries and grades in specific subjects. We plan to publish similar statistics for 2012 in late January 2013.

Attainment data for pupils in the criminal justice system are not available. The Youth Justice Board (YJB)—sponsored by the Ministry of Justice—hold data on young people in the criminal justice system. Data are not available to the Department for Education to link to attainment statistics.

National information for pupils(1) with no statements of special educational needs(2) not attempting GCSE English or mathematics at the end of key stage 4. Year: 2010/11 (Final). Coverage: England (state-funded mainstream schools only)(3)
 Number of pupils at the end of key stage 4 with no statement of SENPercentage of pupils at the end of key stage 4 with no statement of SEN

Total number of pupils

545,610

Of which:

  

Did not attempt GCSE English

7,308

1.3

Of which:

  

Eligible for FSM

2,113

0.4

Looked after for at least six months between the ages of four and 15(4)

337

0.1

Boys

4,391

0.8

White

5,898

1.1

Mixed

244

0.0

Asian

479

0.1

Black

316

0.1

Chinese

41

0.0

Other

243

0.0

Unclassified ethnicity

87

0.0

   

Did not attempt GCSE mathematics

4,367

0.8

Of which:

  

Eligible for FSM

1,293

0.2

Looked after for at least six months between the ages of four and 15(4)

194

0.0

Boys

2,422

0.4

White

3,645

0.7

Mixed

164

0.0

Asian

221

0.0

Black

182

0.0

Chinese

7

0.0

Other

94

0.0

Unclassified ethnicity

54

0.0

   

Did not attempt either GCSE English or mathematics

3,409

0.6

Of which:

  

Eligible for FSM

992

0.2

Looked after for at least six months between the ages of four and 15(4)

166

0.0

Boys

1,991

0.4

White

2,849

0.5

Mixed

134

0.0

18 Jan 2013 : Column 954W

Asian

159

0.0

Black

140

0.0

Chinese

7

0.0

Other

79

0.0

Unclassified ethnicity

41

0.0

(1) Includes attempts and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years. (2) Pupils with no statement of SEN include: School Action, School Action+, no identified SEN and unclassified pupils. (3) As pupil referral units (PRUs) are not mainstream schools a breakdown of the numbers above for pupils in PRUs is not applicable. (4) Pupils in all settings who at some point in the year to 31 March 2011 were looked after and had been looked after continuously for at least six months (note that this does not necessarily need to all be during that year). Includes pupils aged four to 15 on 31 August 2010 as collected on the 2010-11 Looked after Children Return from Local Authorities (SSDA903). Source: 2011 Secondary School Performance Tables data (post-errata)

Press: Subscriptions

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 30 October 2012, Official Report, column 204W, on subscriptions, how much his Department has spent on subscriptions since May 2010. [137292]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department for Education subscribes to the full range of national newspapers, as well as a range of journals and magazines which cover education and children's issues. In 2011/12, the most recent financial year for which full figures are available, the Department spent £4,920 on newspapers, periodicals and trade publications. This figure has been consistent for each of the past three years.

Primary Education: Teachers

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 8 November 2012, Official Report, column 693W, on primary education: teachers, in which ward each such school is situated; and how many and what proportion of (a) boys and (b) girls living in each such ward attend each such school. [136146]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 10 January 2013]: The information requested has been placed in the House Libraries.

Procurement

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many procurement officers are currently employed by his Department. [135663]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department for Education currently employs 43 procurement officers. In May 2010 the Department employed an FTE of 132.72 in procurement roles. This is not directly comparable as the Department has been restructured.

Publications

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how often his Department produces a staff magazine. [137315]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department for Education does not produce a staff magazine.

18 Jan 2013 : Column 955W

Schools: Textbooks

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent assessment his Department has made of the suitability of content of textbooks used in schools. [136651]

Elizabeth Truss: High-quality teaching and learning is crucial to improving pupil outcomes and this is greatly assisted by the availability and informed use of high-quality materials and resources, including textbooks. The Government are introducing a new National Curriculum in England from September 2014 which will focus on essential knowledge and will be as rigorous as the curricula used in the most successful jurisdictions around the world. Textbooks and other teaching materials will need to reflect the new National Curriculum content.

We know that educational publishers are preparing to meet the challenge of developing new materials for the National Curriculum, and we have been keeping them updated as the review of the National Curriculum has progressed. They will be looking to produce new materials as soon as possible, so that schools can draw on them as they prepare to teach the new National Curriculum from 2014.

Special Educational Needs

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will place in the Library a copy of any equality impact assessments produced by (a) his Department and (b) the Education Funding Agency to accompany changes in funding methodology for post-16 high needs provision. [135998]

Mr Laws [holding answer 9 January 2013]: An equalities impact assessment was prepared and published in March 2012, when we consulted on the high needs funding reforms alongside other aspects of school funding reform. This assessment was updated and the final version was published in June 2012 when the arrangements for 2013-14 were finalised. I am making arrangements for both documents to be placed in the House Libraries.

Teachers: Pensions

Mr Gyimah: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans his Department has to include teachers' pensions in converted academies in the relevant local authority's pension pool. [135762]

Mr Laws: The Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) is an unfunded occupational pension scheme, which is managed centrally by the Secretary of State. As an unfunded scheme, there is no actual fund; instead the Department maintains a single notional fund for all members and employers, which is used to set the contribution rate. The TPS is entirely separate from the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) and, as part of the reform of public sector pension schemes, these different funding methods will be maintained. There are therefore no plans to include teachers' pensions for converted academies in local authorities' pension pools, and the level of pension the teachers receive should be unaffected by the academy conversion.

18 Jan 2013 : Column 956W

Energy and Climate Change

Coal Fired Power Stations

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information he has on the projected net change in global megawattage of power generation by coal-fired generation between (a) 2005 and 2010 and (b) 2010 and 2020. [138175]

Mr Hayes: DECC does not hold or produce data on global power capacity or generation from particular sources. Statistics on the worldwide energy mix are produced by the International Energy Agency and are publicly available.

Energy

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what mechanisms there are within Government planning policy to enable (a) energy generation and (b) associated transmission and distribution projects to be considered in conjunction. [137811]

Gregory Barker: The Planning Act 2008 regime allows for applications for development consent for new generating stations above 50 megawatts (MW) and associated electricity connections to be contained in a single application, or in separate applications submitted in tandem which have been prepared in an integrated way or separately and at different times. The general principles for these arrangements are set out in the Overarching Energy National Policy Statement EN-1 paragraph 4.9.2. (URN 11D/ 711, July 2011).

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), may also consider pre-Planning Act applications for generating stations above 50 MW under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 and associated overhead lines made under section 37 of the 1989 Act at the same time.

Energy: Billing

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to simplify energy tariffs for all consumers. [137965]

Gregory Barker: We are committed to introducing legislation in the Energy Bill to help ensure consumers are on the best tariff for them; this will include measures relating to the simplification of tariffs. We set out our proposals for simplifying energy tariffs in the discussion document ‘Ensuring a better deal for energy consumers’:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/better_deal/better_deal.aspx

Our consultation on these proposals closed on 4 January and we are currently considering the responses.

Fuel Poverty

Mr David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the number of households in fuel poverty in (a) Haltemprice and Howden constituency, (b) East Yorkshire and (c) England. [138292]

18 Jan 2013 : Column 957W

Gregory Barker: In 2010, the latest year for which data are available, the number of households in fuel poverty was estimated to be:

(a) 6,100 in Haltemprice and Howden Constituency

(b) 45,100 in the East Riding of Yorkshire

(c) 3.5 million in England

Fuel poverty statistics for 2011 are due to be released in May 2013.

Wind Power: Carmarthenshire

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2013, Official Report, column 485W, on wind power: Carmarthenshire, which Minister will be making the final decision on the proposed Brechfa West wind farm in north Carmarthenshire. [138155]

Gregory Barker: The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), has delegated powers for determining planning consent applications for energy infrastructure to me. The decision on the application for development consent for the proposed Brechfa West wind farm would, therefore, fall within my portfolio. While I envisage taking the decision in this case, in the event that was not possible then the decision could be made by the Secretary of State himself or by another Minister within the Department.

Communities and Local Government

Bed and Breakfast Accommodation

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to enforce the requirement that local authorities do not keep families with children in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks. [138006]

Mr Prisk: Legislation remains in place that prohibits the use of bed and breakfast for families unless in an emergency, and then for no more than six weeks.

In the recent report of the Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness we called on local housing authorities to deliver on 10 challenges—these included a commitment not to use bed and breakfast accommodation for families.

I recently held a roundtable with London boroughs with high homelessness numbers, including families in bed and breakfast over six weeks and other forms of temporary accommodation, to discuss the issues involved and the action they are taking to resolve them.

Government Procurement Card

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) staff and (b) special advisers in his Department have use of a Government Procurement Card. [137263]

Brandon Lewis: My Department currently has 26 staff who have use of a Government Procurement Card. None are allocated to special advisers. By contrast, there were 210 card holders in May 2010.

18 Jan 2013 : Column 958W

Homelessness

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance he has issued to local authorities regarding the circumstances under which they can discharge their homelessness duties into the private rented sector outside (a) their local authority area and (b) their region. [138004]

Mr Prisk: Through the Localism Act 2011, we are giving local authorities the freedom to make better use of good-quality private sector accommodation that can provide suitable accommodation for households accepted as homeless.

The law requires that, as far as reasonably practicable, authorities should place homeless households within their own district.

The new Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) (England) Order 2012 came into force on 9 November 2012. The order, which applies to temporary accommodation and private rented accommodation used to end the homelessness duty, requires councils to consider the impact a change in location would have on households, including disruption to employment, education and caring responsibilities.

To ensure local authorities understand the new requirements we have also published supplementary guidance (to which local authorities must, by law, have regard) setting out the factors they must take into account when considering the location of accommodation.

Under the homelessness legislation, any accommodation used as temporary or settled accommodation (whether in the private or social sector) must be “suitable” for the applicant and his or her household. This includes affordability, size, condition, accessibility and location. The legislation requires them to take account of local connections to the area such as work and the need for children to continue in a local school if they are studying for GCSEs.

Housing

Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will make it his policy to exclude income to district councils from the New Homes Bonus from his measurement of a council's spending power. [137639]

Brandon Lewis [holding answer 17 January 2013]: The New Homes Bonus is central funding to local government. Councils can spend this grant funding however they wish.

As we announced at the provisional local government settlement on 19 December we are planning to include district councils' New Homes Bonus income in spending power calculations as this is an important source of revenue for councils. This reflects the growing importance of New Homes Bonus grant, which has increased from a total payment of £199 million in 2011-12 to a provisional total payment of £661 million in 2013-14 and is set to increase further over the next three financial years.

18 Jan 2013 : Column 959W

House of Commons Commission

Poultry

Mark Pritchard: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, if he will ensure that all poultry products used by the House are sourced from free range providers by April 2013. [137551]

John Thurso: The House of Commons Catering Service sources all of its poultry from producers that demonstrate high levels of animal welfare under the accredited farm assurance "Red Tractor" scheme. Providing free range poultry would necessitate a large increase in prices and therefore there are currently no plans to source free-range poultry for venues across the Estate.

Home Department

Offenders: Passports

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) in what proportion of cases the police confiscate the passport of a suspect or criminal; and under what circumstances passports are confiscated; [138013]

(2) how many people with previous convictions on bail have had their passports returned to them following confiscation by the police in the latest period for which figures are available; [138014]

(3) how many criminals or suspects whose passports are held by the police have absconded from the country in the latest period for which figures are available. [138015]

Damian Green: When granting bail before and after charge, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 empowers the police to impose one or more conditions if it appears to be necessary, including to ensure that a person answers their bail and does not abscond. When there is a risk that a person may leave the UK and not return, the police may therefore require the person to surrender their passport as a condition of their release on bail.

The police may also seize a passport if it is believed necessary for use as evidence in a criminal investigation.

The information requested in relation to cases where passports have been surrendered is not collected centrally and therefore is not held by the Department.

Justice

Prisons: Drugs

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent estimate he has made of the number and proportion of prisoners using (a) cannabis, (b) psilocybe mushrooms, (c) phencyclidine, (d) opium, (e) morphine diacetate, (f) MDMA, (g) morphine, (h) methamphetamine, (i) methadone, (j) lysergic acid diethylamide, (k) hydrocodone and (l) cocaine. [137445]

Jeremy Wright: The extent of drug use among prisoners is measured via the random mandatory drug testing programme.

18 Jan 2013 : Column 960W

Where prisoners fail tests following the use of (d) opium, (e) morphine diacetate or (g) morphine, their sample will be recorded positive for “opiates”. Where they fail tests following the use of (f) MDMA or (h) methamphetamine, their sample will be recorded positive for “amphetamines”.

The mandatory drug testing programme does not include tests for (b) psilocybe mushrooms, (c) phencyclidine, (j) lysergic acid diethylamide and (k) hydrocodone. These substances are not tested for because there is little indication that they are misused in prisons.

The following table shows the number of positive random mandatory drug tests for cannabis, opiates, cocaine, methadone and amphetamines in prisons across England and Wales for the 2011-12 financial year. 60,448 tests were undertaken.

 Positives
 NumberPercentage

Cannabis

2,055

3.4

Opiates

870

1.4

Cocaine

67

0.1

Methadone

165

0.3

Amphetamines

20

0.0

It is not possible to determine from the centrally held data which specific opiates or amphetamines prisoners have used. This information is however provided to prisons when individual results are received from the testing laboratory.

The sum of the number of positives for each drug does not equate to the total number of positive samples, as some samples may have been positive for more than one drug. The number of positive samples for each drug does not equate to the number of prisoners that tested positive, as some prisoners may have tested positive more than once.

All figures have been drawn from live administrative data systems which may be amended at any time. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. The data are not subject to audit.

Culture, Media and Sport

Communications Data Bill (Draft)

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations were made about the Government's draft Communications Data Bill to the UK delegation or in public session at the recent World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai; and by which nations such representations were made. [137890]

Mr Vaizey: No such representations were made.

Gambling

Simon Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions her Department has had with the Responsible Gambling Trust on problem gambling and fixed-odds betting machines; and if she will make a statement. [137571]

18 Jan 2013 : Column 961W

Hugh Robertson: My Department has had a number of discussions with the Responsible Gambling Trust about problem gambling and gaming machines and we have welcomed its recent announcement of a major research project into gaming machines, including category B2 machines, which should provide a much better understanding of problem gambling behaviour. In addition, the Government has launched a consultation calling for current evidence on any link between problem gambling and B2 machines.

Regeneration: Morecambe

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding her Department has made available for the regeneration of Morecambe sea front; and if she will make a statement. [138285]

Mr Vaizey: The Heritage Lottery Fund, through its Townscape Heritage Initiative, has funded two projects in Morecambe that impact on the regeneration of the seafront, totalling £2,531,700, as set out in the following table. In total there have been 44 awards from the Heritage Lottery Fund across the constituency, totalling £5.75 million.

 ProjectHLF funding (£)

2000-01

Scheme involving the Promenade Gardens and Marine Road, including work on the iconic Midland Hotel

1,583,700

2008

“A View for Eric”—which aims to regenerate the Morecambe Conservation Area—currently in development

948,000

Defence

Afghanistan

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information his Department holds on the size of the (a) Afghan National Army, (b) Afghan National Police and (c) Afghan local police; and what part the UK plays in their recruitment and training. [136662]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 14 January 2013]: In October 2012 International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) reported that the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) had reached their surge targets of 187,000 and 157,000 respectively. These figures include all personnel who have been recruited, but not all have yet been inducted at the training centres. The most recent figures published by ISAF show that at 20 November 2012 the ANA stood at an inducted/fielded force of 174,645 and 148,499. By the end of February 2013 all recruited personnel are expected to have been inducted into their respective Service with all personnel fully trained, equipped and fielded by the end of 2013. Nationally, the Afghan Local Police (ALP) currently stand at approximately 18,500 at the end of December 2012, with approximately 600 of these at the UK mentored sites in central Helmand.

The NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) brings together national training efforts in Afghanistan under one single umbrella. The NTM-A is responsible

18 Jan 2013 : Column 962W

for generating and sustaining the Afghan National Security Forces and oversees their training and equipping. The UK is one of a number of nations who contribute personnel to the NTM-A.

In Task Force Helmand, specific responsibility for the development of the fielded ANSF is primarily provided by the UK Brigade Advisory Group (BAG) and the Police Mentoring and Advisory Group (PMAG). As transition continues, the level at which we mentor the ANA and ANP is lifting so that by the end of 2013 we no longer expect to routinely mentor the ANSF below Brigade level. In tandem, the Afghan Uniformed Police are also taking greater responsibility for the training and recruitment of the ALP. The UK's role in both has therefore decreased and we now have limited involvement with their recruitment and a reduced role in their training.

Armed Forces: Discounts

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to advertise the introduction of the Defence Discount Card. [137349]

Mr Francois: The Government website

www.gov.uk

and Ministry of Defence (MOD) intranet website carry details about the new Defence Privilege Card following its December launch and subsequent coverage in the national press. MOD internal announcements were cascaded to the armed forces and a range of articles in service and veteran publications about the Defence Privilege Card are being published or are scheduled to be published in the coming weeks.

Promotion of the Defence Discount Service and Privilege Card on a national and local level will continue throughout 2013 via our websites, in service and veteran publications, and in promotional visits to military establishments. The scheme also has its own website:

www.defencediscountservice.co.uk/

on which further details can be found.

Armed Forces: Education

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of new recruits to the Army at (a) soldier and (b) officer level previously attended state school. [138010]

Mr Robathan: The proportion of soldier recruits that had previously attended a state school is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Including the most recent intake of officer cadets to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, in January 2013, 53.5% of the UK educated intake over the last 12 months came from state schools. While the remainder will have come from independent schools, it is possible that some will have attended a state school at an earlier point in their education.

Armed Forces: Pay

Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the hourly rate of pay is for a rifleman earning £18,841.72 a year in the armed forces. [137481]

18 Jan 2013 : Column 963W

Mr Robathan: Members of the armed forces have a commitment to service worldwide and their remuneration package is structured accordingly. The level of pay for service personnel is set by the Government based on the recommendations of the Armed Forces' Pay Review Body (AFPRB). The 2012 AFPRB report states that average working hours for junior ranks, which for the Army are private to corporal across all services, were 45.5 hours per week during 2010-11, which equates to an hourly base pay rate of £7.28. On a comparable basis, a soldier earning around £18,842 a year would equate to an hourly base pay rate of £7.96.

It is inevitable that when soldiers are on operations they will work longer than average hours. However, where eligible, soldiers will receive the operational allowance and the longer separation allowance. The operational allowance is £5,281.64 for a six month tour.

The total remuneration package for service personnel—which includes free medical care, an excellent pension, subsidised accommodation to acknowledge the lack of choice over where a service person can choose to live, and a range of allowances, such as operational allowance and, where applicable, longer separation allowance, on top of basic salary—is generally a very good one.

Armed Forces: Sexual Offences

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 25 October 2012, Official Report, column 979W, on armed forces: sexual offences, how many claims for compensation by (a) serving armed forces personnel and (b) veterans as a result of (i) sexual assault and (ii) rape took place while they were serving in the armed forces his Department has received in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [127978]

Mr Francois: The number of compensation claims made under the headings of sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault in each of the last 10 years is as follows:

 Number

2002

1

2003

5

2004

3

2005

2

2006

2

2007

1

2008

1

2009

6

2010

1

2011

3

2012

1

The Department's contracted claims handlers do not record information on whether an individual is still serving or has already left the armed forces when they make a claim.

Army

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what regulations there are on facial hair for personnel in the Army. [135850]

18 Jan 2013 : Column 964W

Mr Francois: The regulation governing facial hair for personnel in the Army is laid down in Army General Administrative Instruction as follows:

“Hair is to be well cut and trimmed, except where authority has been granted otherwise on religious grounds. Style and colour (if not natural) is not to be of an exaggerated nature. Moustaches are to be trimmed and not below the line of the lower lip. Beards and whiskers may be worn only with authority, and this will usually be granted only on medical or religious grounds, or where tradition permits. The appearance of the beard and whiskers is to be neat and tidy. Sideburns are not to descend below the mid point of the ear and are to be trimmed horizontally.”

Depleted Uranium

Sir Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Life Extension Programme that the CHARM-3 propellant charge is subject to will involve test firing at (a) the Eskmeals VJ Battery Firing Butt in Cumbria and (b) the Dundrennan Range in Dumfries and Galloway. [137653]

Mr Dunne: A site for testing the propellant charge for the CHARM 3 Round has not yet been selected. A suitable trial site will be selected at the appropriate stage in the Life Extension Programme.

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the long-term public health and environmental effects of firing depleted uranium rounds during conflict and peacetime test firing. [137875]

Mr Robathan: Our own environmental monitoring and that carried out by the UN Environment Programme in areas where DU munitions have been used has confirmed the presence of DU at levels far too low to have any detectable health impact. The results of battlefield and range monitoring and the collection and analysis of urine samples from veterans and range workers support this view.

Early Warning Systems

John Glen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Crowsnest early warning system will come into service; and if it will be fully operational and in service before the first Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier enters service. [137082]

Mr Dunne: Crowsnest has not yet passed its main investment decision point, and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment on its specific in-service date.

The broad planning assumption, however, is that entry to service of Crowsnest is expected in time for the Initial Operational Capability for Carrier Strike, scheduled for 2020.

Mali

Mr Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel will be deployed to (a) France and (b) Mali in support of the two C-17s operating in support of French forces in Mali. [137696]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 17 January 2013]:The UK has provided two C-17s to provide logistical support to the French. There are currently approximately 100 UK

18 Jan 2013 : Column 965W

personnel deployed to France, including air and logistical support crew for the C-17s. In addition, there is currently a small team based in Bamako providing further logistical support.

Numbers will vary depending on the operational requirements at any time.

Merlin Helicopters

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many Merlin Mk3 helicopters are to be (a) fully marinised and (b) earmarked for partial modification; [137783]

(2) when he expects the (a) partially modified Merlin Mk3s and (b) fully marinised version of the Merlin Mk3 to be in service; [138163]

(3) what the estimated difference in cost is between a partially modified Merlin Mk3 and a fully marinised version. [138164]

18 Jan 2013 : Column 966W

Mr Dunne: The Merlin Life Sustainment Programme is currently in its Assessment Phase. This is considering options to enhance the Merlin Mk3/3A aircraft's ability to support amphibious operations, including the number of platforms to be upgraded and the nature of the upgrade.

Pay

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many employees of his Department receive a salary higher than that of the (a) Prime Minister, (b) Secretary of State for Defence and (c) Minister for the Armed Forces. [132657]

Mr Francois: The number of employees in my Department that receive a salary higher than the Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for the Armed Forces is as follows:

Salary bands based on the current salaries of the Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Defence and Minister for the Armed Forces
 FY 2009-10FY 2010-11FY 2011-12FY 2012-13
Salary bandNo. of employees in salary bandof which:No. of employees in salary bandof which:No. of employees in salary bandof which:No. of employees in salary bandof which+

£142,500+

40

20 military

30

20 military

30

20 military

30

20 military

         

£134,565 to £142,499

20

20 military; <5 civilian

10

10 military; <5 civilian

20

20 military; <5 civilian

10

10 military; <5 civilian

         

£98,740 to £134,564

920

880 military

1,100

1,060 military

1,090

1,070 military

1,040

1,020 military

Note: The figures in the table have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Pipelines: Scotland

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what Government Pipelines and Storage System facilities are in Scotland; and how many miles of this pipeline system are in Scotland. [138150]

Mr Dunne: There are two stretches of the Government Pipeline and Storage System (GPSS) in Scotland. One runs from Linkswood GPSS Depot to RAF Leuchars. The other runs from Inverness GPSS Depot to RAF Kinloss and RAF Lossiemouth.

The pipeline length from Inverness via RAF Kinloss to RAF Lossiemouth is 40.6 miles and from Linkswood to RAF Leuchars is five miles.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the value of the Government Pipelines and Storage System in each constituent part of the UK. [138151]

Mr Dunne: The Government Pipeline and Storage System is located in England and Scotland. No estimation has been made of the sale value by country.

Spain

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs regarding Spanish fishing boats entering Gibraltarian waters. [137881]

Mr Robathan: Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers are in regular contact on such matters.

Syria

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with other G8 Defence Ministers on the security situation in Syria. [136779]

Mr Robathan: The UK's objective for Syria is clear: an end to the violence and a political transition to a more democratic Syria. To that end, the Ministry of Defence is supporting the diplomatic efforts led by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), has regular discussions with G8 counterparts, both bilaterally and in multilateral meetings, on a range of issues, including the security situation in Syria.

Work and Pensions

English Language: Education

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library the guidance issued by his Department to jobcentres for improving the take-up of English courses. [136048]

18 Jan 2013 : Column 967W

Mr Hoban: Jobcentre Plus advisers provide personalised support to claimants based on their individual circumstances. This includes encouraging people to take advantage of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses where appropriate. This encouragement would form a routine part of an adviser discussion about a range of suitable provision to improve job readiness. The Skills Guide provides details on how to refer to and encourage attendance at a range of skills courses, including ESOL.

Health and Safety Regulation Review

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken in response to Professor Ragnar Löfstedt's review of health and safety legislation. [138293]

Mr Hoban: The most recent Progress Report on the government's reform of the health and safety system in Great Britain, including the recommendations in Professor Löfstedt's review of health and safety legislation, was published on the DWP website in June 2012.

Professor Löfstedt is currently undertaking an independent one year on assessment of the implementation of his recommendations which I anticipate will be published at the end of January 2013.

Housing Benefit

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will amend regulations on benefit levels for under-occupancy to allow people of non-retirement age with chronic life-threatening conditions to be considered on the same terms as those of retirement age in respect of their continued occupation of rented property. [136322]

Steve Webb: We considered a number of exemptions during formulation of the under-occupation policy but concluded that specific exemptions for different groups can be an inefficient and a complex way of targeting resources. We believe that Discretionary Housing Payments offer a better solution as local decision makers are best placed to make decisions on individual circumstances.

As part of the under-occupation measure we are adding £30 million a year to the Discretionary Housing Payment fund from April, £25 million of which is aimed at supporting disabled claimants living in adapted properties.

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether local housing allowance will be uprated by 1 per cent in (a) April 2014 and (b) April 2015, or whether it will be uprated to the 30th percentile of local rents for the year to September of the previous year, if that is lower than 1 per cent; and if he will make a statement. [138173]

Steve Webb: In April 2014 and April 2015, any uprating increases to local housing allowance rates will be capped at 1%.

However, in line with the existing policy, rates will be set at the 30th percentile of local rents if this is lower than the previous rate increased by 1%.

18 Jan 2013 : Column 968W

Pensions

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people (a) within the UK, (b) within the Republic of Ireland and (c) overseas, (i) within the EU and (ii) outside the EU who will have access to the proposed flat-rate pension. [137854]

Steve Webb: Information on the number of individuals who will have access to the single-tier pension split by country is not available.

Private Rented Housing: Greater London

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of changes in the number of private rented properties available to households in London in receipt of local housing allowance. [138007]

Steve Webb: Our reforms to local housing allowance in April 2011 placed caps on the maximum amount that the state would support.

Following these changes we estimate that, in most areas outside of the most expensive parts of London, around 30% of accommodation is affordable within local housing allowance rates.

The Department has commissioned an independent review of the changes to local housing allowance. The next stage of the review is due to be published early this year.

Procurement

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 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. [135188]

Mr Hoban: The values provided are for new contracts awarded and for the entire length of the contract.

(a) The monetary value of contracts awarded by my Department to management consultancies in 2010-11 was £2.84 million and in 2011-12 was £7.68 million. Most of the increase can be attributed to one-off but planned new contract of approximately £4.5 million to support the Child Maintenance Commission's change programme.

(b) The monetary value of contracts awarded by DWP to IT companies in (i) 2010-11 was £0.16 million, and (ii) in 2011-12 was £428.4 million. The increase can be attributed to re-letting of major application development and desktop contracts.

Redundancy

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many posts have been declared redundant by each of his Department's Executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies by each such body in each year since 1999; and what the cost of those redundancies has been. [135486]

18 Jan 2013 : Column 969W

Mr Hoban: The following tables provide the information requested which includes compensation paid through the use of voluntary exit schemes, voluntary redundancy and compulsory redundancy, for every DWP Executive agency or non-departmental body that declared any post redundant from 1999 to 2012.

As the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) was created in 2010 I have not been able to provide any data prior to this.

18 Jan 2013 : Column 970W

The information requested from HSE is not available from 1999 to 2005.

In all cases, prior to a civil service role ending, employees are given the opportunity for redeployment before a paid exit is considered.

  January to December
  1999200020012002200320042005

National Employment Savings Trust (NEST)

Post

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

 

Cost (£)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

         

Health and Safety Executive

Post

(2)

(2)

(2)

(2)

(2)

(2)

(2)

 

Cost (£)

(2)

(2)

(2)

(2)

(2)

(2)

(2)

         

Independent Living Fund

Post

0

0

0

0

0

0

(3)

 

Cost (£)

9,847.50

         

Remploy

Post

101

321

247

224

120

64

95

 

Cost (£)

551,000

4,478,000

3,215,000

2,152,000

1,092,000

445,000

830,000

         

Pension Protection Fund

Post

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Cost (£)

         

The Pensions Regulator

Post

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Cost (£)

         

The Pensions Advisory Service

Post

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Cost (£)

  January to December
  2006200720082009201020112012

National Employment Savings Trust (NEST)

Post

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

0

0

12

 

Cost (£)

(1)

(1)

(1)

(1)

18,943.75

         

Health and Safety Executive

Post

(3)

(3)

12

62

(3)

209

26

 

Cost (£)

145,000

167,436

1,051,684

6,262,719

140,433

8,944,332

644,521.46

         

Independent Living Fund

Post

0

(3)

0

0

0

45

0

 

Cost (£)

5,075

616,338

         

Remploy

Post

83

37

1,951

76

51

720

1,411

 

Cost (£)

461,000

595,000

45,585,000

746,000

640,000

18,430,000

26,231,000

         

Pension Protection Fund

Post

0

0

0

0

5

0

(3)

 

Cost (£)

149,318

23,728

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18 Jan 2013 : Column 972W

The Pensions Regulator

Post

5

(3)

7

12

8

(3)

9

 

Cost (£)

397,000

397,000

183,125

1,032,093

91,505

171,800

185,719

         

The Pensions Advisory Service

Post

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

 

Cost (£)

235,192

(1) NEST did not exist in this period (2) Data not available (3) Indicates that there are less than five posts