Housing Benefit: Halifax

Mrs Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Halifax are in receipt of local housing allowance. [138142]

Steve Webb: The information requested for Halifax is available on a new visualisation tool, Stat-Xplore, at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=tabtool

Jobcentre Plus

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions he has had with (a) officials and (b) representatives of Jobcentre Plus on the criteria applicable to companies or individuals advertising job vacancies with Jobcentre Plus. [137163]

22 Jan 2013 : Column 160W

Mr Hoban: Monitoring tools have been built into the service which help to detect, deter and remedy inappropriate use of the site. There are no steps in place to vet employers as any individual or company could have a genuine requirement to post a job that they wish to fill. The service is designed to block known bogus/fraudulent employers from accessing the service. Also checks are made to identify inappropriate, fraudulent and bogus jobs in order to block them from being posted.

In addition to this, employers are obliged to sign up to detailed terms and conditions, agreeing that the jobs they advertise on the Universal Jobmatch service are available to jobseekers on an open and fair basis; and that all vacancies comply with employment-related legislation including the Equality Act 2010, Health and safety legislation and Working Time Regulations.

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of Jobcentre Plus online services. [137164]

Mr Hoban: DWP regularly undertakes a series of activities to review the effectiveness of Jobcentre Plus online services as part of its approach to continuous improvement. There are numerous existing routes within DWP for customers to comment on online services; for example DWP Customer Complaints resolution process, Technical and Business Information Help Desks and the JSA online application enables users to submit comments relating to their experience of the service. These comments are reviewed on a monthly basis and are used to inform the content of future releases.

DWP uses a range of analytical tools to monitor the performance and availability of its services, as well as capturing the customer's experience in using those services. DWP also conducts in-depth analysis on aspects of online services in order to gain a better understanding of customers and services, which informs improvements to online services.

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department has taken to ensure that companies and individuals advertising employment opportunities with Jobcentre Plus engage positively with candidates they reject. [137165]

Mr Hoban: Companies are able to provide feedback through the Universal Jobmatch service to jobseekers who have applied for their jobs. Jobseekers can also request feedback on their applications from employers.

Meetings

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many meetings he and officials of his Department had with Google in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; [138073]

(2) how many meetings he and officials of his Department had with Amazon in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; [138081]

(3) how many meetings he and officials of his Department had with Oracle in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; [138089]

22 Jan 2013 : Column 161W

(4) how many meetings he and officials of his Department had with Xerox in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; [138097]

(5) how many meetings he and officials of his Department had with Dell CSC in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; [138105]

(6) how many meetings he and officials of his Department had with Symantec in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [138113]

Mr Hoban: The Department publishes on a quarterly basis details of meetings between Ministers and external organisations; these can be found at the following link. Any missing information will be published in due course.

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/corporate-publications/ministers-meetings-overseas.shtml

Information relating to meetings with departmental officials can be provided only at disproportionate costs.

New Enterprise Allowance: Birmingham

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Birmingham, Hall Green constituency are in receipt of enterprise allowance. [138247]

Mr Hoban: We have published data on the number of new enterprise allowance (NEA) mentor starts and weekly allowance starts by local authority area. This can be found in the following table:

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/adhoc_analysis/2012/Table_1_NEA_starts_by_Local_Authority.xls

Due to small sample sizes, it is not possible to produce the numbers of mentor starts and weekly allowance starts at parliamentary constituency level.

Pay

George Galloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the potential effects on the cost of the welfare system of requiring employers to pay the living wage. [138548]

Mr Hoban: The information requested is not available.

Personal Independence Payment

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2013, Official Report, column 326W, on personal independence payment, what the evidential basis is for his statement that his Department does not believe that disability charities will have to manage additional workloads. [137536]

Esther McVey: The introduction of personal independence payment does not introduce a statutory burden on charities, business or civil society organisations. We are aware that claimants may seek advice from voluntary sector organisations and recognise the valuable support charities provide. That is why throughout the design and development of personal independence payment we have put claimants and disability organisations, including charities, at the heart of our reforms. As stated in my reply of 9 January 2013, Official Report, column 326W, we will continue to work with charities

22 Jan 2013 : Column 162W

supporting disabled people to help them prepare for the introduction of personal independence payment and beyond.

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department plans to conduct any further reviews of the personal independent payment system in respect of people with serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis; and if he will make a statement. [138510]

Esther McVey: In December 2012 the Department published its final proposals for the assessment for personal independence payment and draft regulations. We have no further plans to carry out consultation activity on the assessment criteria.

We recognise, however, the need to ensure that the assessment is operating fairly and as planned, and that it can be amended in light of operational experience. Therefore two independent reviews on the operation of personal independence payment assessment will be carried out within the first four years of its operation. We intend that the first will be completed by the end of 2014, to allow us to consider its findings and make any necessary changes before the majority of existing DLA recipients begin to be reassessed from October 2015. This will ensure that we can learn the lessons of our early experiences.

Poisons

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions have taken place with the EU on the use of rat poison and the prohibition of bromadiolone and difenacoum. [138235]

Mr Hoban: In December 2012, member states indicated that they were content with Commission Decisions on two applications from Germany to derogate from mutual recognition of biocidal products containing difenacoum, a powerful rodenticide. The derogations were to restrict difenacoum to professional users only in Germany. Similar discussions had taken place in April 2012 on applications from Germany, Denmark and Sweden to restrict difethialone (another powerful rodenticide) to professional users. These decisions do not impose any additional restrictions on the products being placed on the UK market.

There has been no recent discussion in the EU on the prohibition of bromadiolone. In September 2012 the Standing Committee on Biocidal Products considered the inclusion of powdered corn cob in Annex I of the Biocidal Products Directive 98/8/EC, for use in rodenticide biocidal products. The vote failed to produce an overall qualified majority necessary for powdered corn cob to be included in Annex I so the matter has been referred by the European Commission to the Council and the European Parliament for their views.

Remploy

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) with reference to the announcement by the Minister for disabled people on 6 December 2012 that 129 ex-Remploy staff have found alternative jobs, how many of those jobs are (a) paid jobs and (b) voluntary; [136900]

22 Jan 2013 : Column 163W

(2) what estimate he has made of the average length of contract of those jobs; [136901]

(3) what the sectoral breakdown is of those jobs; [136902]

(4) how many of those jobs are on (a) fixed-term contracts and (b) permanent contracts. [136903]

Esther McVey: The new jobs into which disabled ex-Remploy staff have been placed are with a variety of major retailers as well as small and medium-sized enterprises operating across the retail, manufacturing and logistic sectors. The employees are working a range of hours to suit their individual needs and availability. However, detailed information about salary levels or contracts is not available.

Helping former Remploy employees into work is a key priority for the Department. Currently 162 former Remploy employees are in employment, and I am confident that the numbers will continue to increase.

Social Security Benefits: Brent

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the household benefit cap will be implemented in the London Borough of Brent. [138712]

Mr Hoban: The benefit cap will apply from 15 April 2013 in Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey local

22 Jan 2013 : Column 164W

authority areas. It will be implemented in all other local authorities, including Brent, during summer 2013.

Social Security Benefits: Uprating

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of (a) working age and pensioner couples, (b) couples with children, (c) single persons with children, (d) couples without children and (e) single persons without children in (i) each region and nation of the UK, (ii) each local authority area and (iii) each parliamentary constituency who will be affected by the provisions of the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill; and what the average change in weekly income is for each such category of people as a result of the bill. [137350]

Steve Webb: The figures available are provided in the following table, relating to the provisions only in the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill and presented in a format consistent with that of the Up-rating Bill Impact Assessment. It is not possible to split households to this geographical level between working-age and pensioner couples due to small sample sizes. In addition, there is insufficient sample size to break the data down to a local authority or constituency level. Data for country and region within Great Britain have been presented, but data for Northern Ireland are not available.

 Total number of families not affected (million)Total number of families affected (million)Average change for those affected (£ per week)Average change for those affected (% of net income)

Couple with children

    

North East

0.0

0.2

-3

-1

North West and Merseyside

0.1

0.5

-3

-1

Yorks and Humberside

0.1

0.4

-3

-1

East Midlands

0.1

0.3

-3

-1

West Midlands

0.1

0.4

-4

-1

Eastern

0.1

0.4

-2

0

London

0.2

0.5

-3

-1

South East

0.2

0.6

-2

0

South West

0.1

0.4

-2

0

Wales

0.0

0.2

-3

-1

Scotland

0.1

0.3

-3

-1

     

Single with children

    

North East

0.0

0.1

-5

-2

North West and Merseyside

0.0

0.3

-5

-1

Yorks and Humberside

0.0

0.2

-5

-1

East Midlands

0.0

0.1

-5

-1

West Midlands

0.0

0.2

-5

-1

Eastern

0.0

0.2

-5

-1

London

0.0

0.3

-5

-1

South East

0.0

0.2

-5

-1

South West

0.0

0.2

-5

-1

Wales

0.0

0.1

-5

-1

Scotland

0.0

0.2

-5

-1

     

Couple without children

    

North East

0.2

0.0

-3

-1

North West and Merseyside

0.6

0.1

-3

-1

Yorks and Humberside

0.5

0.1

-3

-1

East Midlands

0.4

0.1

-3

-1

West Midlands

0.5

0.1

-3

-1

22 Jan 2013 : Column 165W

22 Jan 2013 : Column 166W

Eastern

0.6

0.0

-3

-1

London

0.7

0.1

-3

-1

South East

0.7

0.1

-3

-1

South West

0.5

0.1

-3

-1

Wales

0.2

0.0

-2

-1

Scotland

0.4

0.1

-3

-1

     

Single without children

    

North East

0.3

0.1

-2

-2

North West and Merseyside

0.9

0.3

-2

-2

Yorks and Humberside

0.7

0.2

-2

-2

East Midlands

0.6

0.1

-2

-1

West Midlands

0.7

0.2

-2

-2

Eastern

0.7

0.2

-2

-2

London

1.5

0.4

-2

-1

South East

1.2

0.2

-2

-1

South West

0.7

0.1

-2

-2

Wales

0.4

0.1

-2

-2

Scotland

0.8

0.2

-2

-2

     

All working-age couples (Great Britain)

6.1

5.1

-3

-1

All pensioner couples (Great Britain)

3.0

0.1

-2

0

Notes: 1. Numbers rounded to the nearest £1 or 1% or 100,000 as appropriate. 2. Figures may not sum due to rounding. Source: DWP Policy Simulation Model (based on FRS 2008-09), 2015-16 prices

State Retirement Pensions

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the Government White Paper on pension changes published on 14 January 2013, what the position of those who have, or subsequently decide to, postpone the take-up of the state pension having reached the age of 65 under the facility providing a five-year deferral would be; and how the new proposals in relation to the flat-rate state pension will apply to them. [138456]

Steve Webb: Whether an individual falls into the single-tier or the current state pension system is dependent on the date they reach state-pension age. People who reach state-pension age prior to the implementation of the single-tier pension and choose to defer will continue to do so under the current rules. People will not be able to delay taking their state pension in order to bring themselves within the scope of the new scheme.

Unemployed: Travel

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card scheme; how many bus companies are accepting this card on their services; what level of public subsidy each bus company receives in each instance; and what the projected levels of (a) claimant participation, (b) bus company participation and (c) funding are for the next three years of the scheme. [138488]

Mr Hoban: The Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card and its predecessor the New Deal Reduced Rail Card have been predominantly used for rail travel via an agreement with the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC).

Jobcentre Plus was approached by the Greener Journeys partnership to utilise the card as proof of eligibility for a free bus travel initiative, “Bus for Jobs”, throughout January 2013 only.

The participating bus operators are entirely covering the cost of the free travel in January from their own resources and Jobcentre Plus funds the cost of the cards and issuing them to unemployed claimants.

It is estimated that 100,000 Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount cards will be issued during the period of the initiative and full figures will not be known until the initiative has finished.

The cost to Jobcentre Plus in supporting this initiative is £12,000 for the travel card and application forms. Adviser time to issue the cards is absorbed into the normal intervention funding. It is not possible to disaggregate the specific cost for the “Bus for Jobs” initiative.

Participating bus companies can be found at:

http://www.busforus.co.uk/

The Department for Work and Pensions is not offering any financial subsidy to the bus operators for this initiative, but is aware subsidies will be paid through the Department for Transport Bus Service Operator Grant (BSOG) which is based on fuel consumed per mile and is not related to specific groups or number of passengers.

We are viewing this initiative as an initial pilot to identify the potential of continuing bus travel discounts, but the decision on future bus travel discounts would be entirely with the bus operators as it currently is with the Association of Train Operating Companies for the rail travel.

22 Jan 2013 : Column 167W

It is estimated that take-up for the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card will increase, without any future bus travel discounts, due to the extension of eligibility for the card down to 13 weeks unemployment from November 2012. Cost estimates will therefore be increased and are estimated to be around £ 35,000 per year based on issuing 200,000 cards annually.

Universal Credit

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of lone parents working part-time who will be eligible for universal credit in (a) the UK, (b) Scotland and (c) each parliamentary constituency in Scotland. [137567]

Mr Hoban: Assuming that part-time work is defined as less than 30 hours of work per week, it is estimated that (a) 700,000 lone parents in part-time employment will be in receipt of universal credit in the United Kingdom once universal credit has been fully implemented.

It is estimated that (b) 100,000 of these households will be in Scotland.

This does not account for increases in employment from improved work incentives in universal credit.

(c) The statistics are not available at parliamentary constituency level.

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of second earners who work part-time in households with children who will be eligible for universal credit in (a) the UK, (b) Scotland and (c) each parliamentary constituency in Scotland. [137568]

Mr Hoban: Assuming that part-time work is defined as less than 30 hours of work per week, it is estimated that (a) 400,000 second earners in part-time employment in households with children will be in receipt of universal credit in the United Kingdom once universal credit has been fully implemented.

This does not account for increases in employment from improved work incentives in universal credit.

Due to data limitation, statistics for (b) Scotland and (c) at parliamentary constituency level are not available.

Work Capability Assessment

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to “Employment and Support Allowance: Work Capability Assessment Statistical Release”, section 5.3, published January 2010, what progress he is making in developing data which will allow comparison of work capability assessment and incapacity benefit personal capability assessment results; and if he will make a statement. [137340]

Mr Hoban: On taking office this Government have focused their work on reviewing and refining the WCA to ensure that it is more effective, fairer for all claimants and, as a result, fairer for the taxpayer, rather than spending valuable analytical resource looking backwards to develop data by analysing a system that clearly was not working.

22 Jan 2013 : Column 168W

The Department regularly publishes official statistics on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and the WCA, which can be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/index.php?page=esa_wca

Further the Department also publishes official statistics on the reassessment of incapacity benefits claimants for ESA, which can be found at:

http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/index.php?page=esa_ibr

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 7 January 2013, Official Report, column 180W, whether he expects the final report of the Evidence Based Review to be published in (a) spring, (b) summer, (c) autumn or (d) winter 2013; and if he will make a statement. [138790]

Mr Hoban: We expect the final report of the Evidence Based Review to be published in summer 2013.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2013, Official Report, column 725W, on the work capability assessment, how many of the people with Parkinson's disease who were found fit for work at their first repeat assessment appealed against that finding; and how many such appeals were successful. [138796]

Mr Hoban: The information requested is not readily available. We estimate that the work required to produce this information would come at disproportionate cost to the Department.

Work Programme: Birmingham

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Birmingham, Hall Green constituency who have been referred to the Work programme have found (a) part-time employment and (b) full-time employment since the inception of the programme. [138193]

Mr Hoban: The information requested is not available.

Work Programme: Mental Illness

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of people who have been through the Work programme have been diagnosed with a mental illness. [138425]

Mr Hoban: Statistics on referrals and attachments to the Work programme by Primary Health Condition can be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=tabtool

These data show primary health conditions for employment and support allowance and incapacity benefit claimants only.

Guidance for users is available at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/tabtools/guidance.pdf

22 Jan 2013 : Column 169W

Attorney-General

Courts: Standards

Dr Offord: To ask the Attorney-General what arrangements he has put in place to monitor procedures within HM Courts to ensure they operate efficiently, effectively and in accordance with Practice Direction. [138592]

Mrs Grant: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service maintains a comprehensive control framework to provide assurance that it operates effectively and efficiently. The control framework includes mandatory processes, prescribed management checks and compliance reporting, with regular internal and external audit.

The Audit Committee, which is chaired by an independent non-Executive Director, reviews the effectiveness of the control framework and provides regular reports to the HMCTS Board. The Accounting Officer’s governance statement, which describes the control framework in more detail, is published in the HMCTS Annual Report and Accounts.

Crown Prosecution Service

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General (1) how many complaints were made against the CPS in 2012; and how many such complaints were upheld; [138627]

(2) how many complaints about the CPS were referred to the Law Officer's Departments in each of the last three years; and how many such complaints were upheld. [138628]

The Attorney-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recorded 3,180 complaints in 2011-12 of which 341 were upheld. To date in 2012-13 the CPS has recorded 2,550 complaints of which 254 have been upheld.

The Attorney-General's office recorded 73 received complaints concerning the CPS in 2010, 79 complaints in 2011 and 68 complaints in 2012. Each complaint is handled individually in discussion with the complainant and the CPS and no central record is kept on the outcome of these complaints. Such information could be obtained only by reviewing each case file, which would incur a disproportionate cost.

The remaining Law Officers' departments have no complaints regarding the CPS recorded in this period.

Departmental Responsibilities

Chris Ruane: To ask the Attorney-General what the Law Officers' departments' top three policy implementation (a) successes and (b) failures have been since May 2010. [138367]

The Attorney-General: The Attorney-General's office does not have discrete policy implementation responsibilities. However, the office and the wider Law Officers' departments continue to provide support to colleagues implementing policy across Government.

22 Jan 2013 : Column 170W

Serious Fraud Office

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General how many complaints were made against the SFO in 2012; and how many such complaints were upheld. [138624]

The Attorney-General: The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) recorded 11 complaints in 2012, two of which were partially upheld. This figure reflects all complaints addressed to the complaints officer at the SFO and processed through its internal complaints procedure. However, a recent review of processes identified that one additional complaint had not been recorded centrally during 2012.

The management board has recently agreed to establish a correspondence unit in the SFO which will ensure all complaints are recorded centrally and monitored in future.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Relations between Iran and Israel

14. Mr Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the potential consequences of the outcome of the Israeli elections on relations between Iran and Israel. [138344]

Mr Hague: We expect Iran’s nuclear programme to remain a major concern for the next Israeli Government. We continue to believe that the dual-track process of pressure on and engagement with Iran, led by the E3+3, offers the best hope of resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. We shall make our position clear to the new Israeli Government.

Foreign Conflicts: Parliamentary Voting

15. Mr Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on allowing Parliament to vote on the Government's position in respect of foreign conflicts. [138345]

Mr Hague: My view remains as set out in my statement to the House on 21 March 2011 that, wherever possible, Parliament should have the opportunity to debate, in advance, the commitment of UK forces to military action overseas. This has been the practice of this Government, as set out in the Cabinet Manual.

Burma: Human Rights

19. Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the human rights situation in Burma; and if he will make a statement. [138349]

Mr Swire: Government officials regularly monitor Burma’s human rights situation. During my visit to Burma in December, I called on the Burmese Government to find a long-term solution to tensions in Rakhine State, to end conflict in Kachin State, to review remaining political prisoner cases, and to sign up to international human rights treaties.

22 Jan 2013 : Column 171W

Global Food Prices

20. David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with foreign governments on global food prices. [138350]

Mark Simmonds: The Government are engaged in multilateral discussions aimed at addressing high and volatile global food prices, most notably at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the G20’s Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS).

Multiannual Financial Framework

21. Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on the next stage of negotiations on the multiannual financial framework. [138351]

Mr Lidington: We continue to work closely with other EU member states to try to achieve a settlement, which would be agreed on the basis of a significant further cut from the figures that the Commission currently proposes, and to maintain and protect the United Kingdom’s rebate.

Christians in the Middle East

22. Sir Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the situation of Christians in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere in the middle east. [138352]

Alistair Burt: We urge Governments across the region to uphold the rights of all religious minorities but recognise particular pressure in a number of long-established Christian communities. I am deeply concerned by the horror of the Syrian conflict: we want to see the human rights of all Syrians respected. In Egypt, we continue to encourage the authorities to revisit policies which discriminate on the basis of religion. We welcome the protection of Christians in their constitution for the first time.


Mali

23. Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on British support for French intervention in Mali; and if he will make a statement. [138353]

Mark Simmonds: We welcome the French military intervention which was made at the direct request of the Government of Mali. The UK is providing limited logistical support; two C-17 transport aircraft have been assigned, and a small detachment of technical personnel has deployed to Bamako airport to assist with the reception of UK aircraft. As the Prime Minister said on 21 January 2013, we propose to continue with the loan of the two C-17s and will be looking at other transport and surveillance assets that we can offer the French.

22 Jan 2013 : Column 172W


Eastern Congo

24. Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with Governments in the great lakes region on finding a solution to the conflict in eastern Congo. [138354]

Mark Simmonds: I visited the region in November and met with the Presidents and Foreign Ministers of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I underlined the importance of joint efforts to build a sustainable peace in the east of DRC and reiterated the UK’s commitment to providing support for these efforts.


Settlement Building: West Bank

25. Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps his Department has taken to persuade the Israeli Government to cease settlement expansion in the west bank. [138355]

Alistair Burt: I condemn recent Israeli decisions to expand settlements. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) and I regularly express our profound concern that Israel’s settlement policy is losing it the support of the international community. We will continue to press the next Israeli Government to cease settlement building.


Adem Uzun

Mrs Glindon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to his Turkish and French counterparts to secure the release of the politician Adem Uzun. [137996]

Mr Lidington: The British Government have not made separate representations to the Turkish or French Governments to secure the release of Adem Uzun. Mr Uzun was arrested under French law and is subject to the French judicial system. It is not for the British Government to intervene in the French judicial process.

We welcome recent progress by the Turkish Government in their negotiations with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) over a programme of disarmament. A key component of any solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey is the permanent cessation of terrorist acts and improving rights for the Kurdish population.

Africa

James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which African countries host a UK trade attaché. [137963]

Mr Swire: There are trade attaches in 15 African countries who work to promote British exports and attract inwards investment to the UK. These countries are: Algeria; Angola; Egypt; Ethiopia; Ghana; Kenya; Libya; Morocco; Mozambique; Nigeria; South Africa; Sudan; Tanzania; Tunisia and Uganda.

22 Jan 2013 : Column 173W

Over the last year the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has increased resources dedicated to prosperity work overseas, including in Africa. Officers are tasked with promoting the UK's commercial and economic interests, including support to British businesses in the following African countries: Cameroon; Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon; Guinea; Madagascar; Senegal and Sierra Leone.

Algeria

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the present state of political, cultural, trade and military relations with Algeria; and if he will make a statement. [137839]

Alistair Burt: The UK has strong relations with Algeria. Algeria has already embarked on a programme of political reform. As part of the first phase of this programme, the Algerian Government have passed laws covering media, civil society and participation of women in public life, and the conduct of elections. The UK, supports democratic reform in Algeria, in partnership with the Government and civil society, through our Arab Partnership programme.

As part of the UK-Algeria Annual Dialogue, UK Ministers discuss a wide range of issues with their Algerian counterparts. During my visit of June 2012, discussions focussed on the ongoing reform process in the country, opportunities for Maghreb states to develop their economies through regional cooperation, and an increase in English-language training. Regional security, including the situation in the Sahel, also forms a key part of this dialogue. This allows us to share our views and understanding of regional security issues and to work towards mutually beneficial goals. Algeria and the UK share a common position on non-payment of ransoms in the case of terrorist kidnaps.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), covered all these issues when he met Algerian Foreign Minister, Mourad Medelci on 21 November. I also discussed the Sahel with the visiting Algerian Minister for Immigration on 29 November.

Increasing trade and investment with Algeria is also an important part of our relationship. To reinforce this area of our relationship, the Prime Minister appointed Lord Risby, Envoy for Trade with Algeria, visited Algiers in December. In response, Algeria has appointed its current Minister for Energy as his counterpart. The Ministry of Defence regularly reviews its relationship with Algeria. This includes provision of English language for the military and building links through joint training and capacity building as appropriate. The British Council is also active in Algeria, teaching English and promoting links with British culture.

Our bilateral cooperation with Algeria has been developing steadily across the full range of foreign policy priorities.

Brazil

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the present state of political, cultural, trade and military relations with Brazil; and if he will make a statement. [138395]

22 Jan 2013 : Column 174W

Mr Swire: Political relations are strong between the UK and Brazil, underpinned by a series of annual Government-to-Government dialogues on trade, economics, energy, foreign policy, defence and the Olympics. There were an exceptional number of ministerial visits in both directions in 2012, including President Dilma Rousseff and the Prime Minister, which helped strengthen ties with Brazil and promoted a wide range of UK interests.

Cultural relations are growing, assisted by 'UKBrasil', a season of events held across Brazil between September 2012 and March 2013. This programme, will reach over a million people, promoting the Best of Britain in education, culture, business and sport. The Brazilian Government's Science Without Borders programme will see up to 10,000 science students studying in the UK over the next four years, bringing in £200 million to the UK economy, and taking their positive experiences back to Brazil.

Our trade relationship is also growing. In 2011, exports to Brazil were worth £3.7 billion to the UK economy, on target to achieve our long-term goal of doubling annual exports to £4 billion by 2015. London 2012 had a significant impact in Brazil, opening the door for many UK companies as Brazil prepares to host the Olympics and World Cup.

We are deepening our defence and security cooperation with Brazil. A Maritime Systems Memorandum of Understanding signed during the Prime Minister's visit will allow the UK to showcase expertise and share experiences as part of our wider plans to develop a stronger and more strategic defence partnership with Brazil.

Burma

Mr Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken in response to the Burma Army's escalation of attacks against the Kachin Independence Army. [137823]

Mr Swire: We continue to call for the immediate cessation of hostilities in Kachin State at every opportunity. As I said in my press statement on 3 January 2013, we remain deeply concerned by the ongoing conflict in Kachin State, and urge the military to heed their President's calls for an end to the conflict.

I also raised our concerns with the Burmese Government during my visit to Burma in December 2012. The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Alistair Burt), repeated these calls during a House of Commons debate on 14 January. The British ambassador to Burma last raised our concerns with senior members of the Burmese Government on 16 January. It is important that all sides return to the negotiating table and make renewed efforts to work towards lasting peace.

In response to the recent escalation of violence, the Department for International Development announced in December 2012 an additional £1.5 million of humanitarian support for people displaced by the conflict in Kachin State. UK humanitarian aid to people affected by the conflict in Kachin State now totals £3.5 million.

Mr Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage the Government of Burma to allow

22 Jan 2013 : Column 175W

unhindered access for international humanitarian assistance to displaced peoples in Kachin State and Northern Shan State. [137825]

Mr Swire: We continue to call for unhindered humanitarian access to Burma's conflict-affected areas at every opportunity. I raised our concerns about aid access to Kachin and Northern Shan States with the Burmese Government during my visit to Burma in December 2012. The British ambassador to Burma met with senior members of the Burmese Government on 16 January to raise our concerns again.

In response to the increased need, the Department for International Development announced in December 2012 an additional £1.5 million of humanitarian support for people displaced by the conflict in Kachin, including in hard-to-reach areas and neighbouring states, bringing our total humanitarian aid contribution to the conflict in Kachin to £3.5 million.

Mr Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to urge the Government of Burma to end their military offensive in Kachin State and engage in political dialogue and a peace process with the Kachin Independence Organisation. [137826]

Mr Swire: We continue to call for an immediate cessation to the conflict in Kachin State at every opportunity. In my statement of 3 January I called for an end to hostilities, for improved humanitarian access to the conflict areas, and for both sides to return to the negotiating table and make renewed efforts towards a lasting peace. The British ambassador to Burma raised our concerns with senior members of the Burmese Government on 16 January, and met with an influential Kachin civil society leader on 14 January. During my visit to Burma in December, I made clear to the Burmese authorities the need to make progress on resolving the conflict in Kachin State and to move towards a lasting peaceful political settlement.

We are actively supporting the reconciliation process. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has funded visits to Burma by negotiators from both Northern Ireland and from the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) region in order to share their experiences of peace processes and to give advice to all sides. The Department for International Development is now taking on and expanding the programme of support offered through UK negotiation and mediation experts.

Falkland Islands

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Argentinean counterparts regarding cruise tours which call at the Falkland Islands. [138242]

Mr Swire: The Government have engaged a number of times in recent months with the Argentine Government on this matter, the ambassador in London, and have also worked closely with the cruise industry. I am pleased to report that in recent weeks the difficulties being experienced by cruise ships in Argentine ports appear to have eased, and cruise ships have resumed their visits to the Falklands. We continue to monitor the situation

22 Jan 2013 : Column 176W

closely, and will not hesitate to take further action in the event that ships calling at the Falkland Islands suffer unacceptable delays or other problems in Argentine ports. We condemn unequivocally any efforts to damage tourism or other business activities on the Falklands. Regrettably such action damages the local Argentine economy as well as that of the Falkland Islands.

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage the Argentinean Government to stop attacks on companies who trade with the Falkland Islands. [138243]

Mr Swire: In response to an incident in November 2012 in which the offices of a shipping company were attacked in Buenos Aires, the Government made clear to the Argentine Government that they expects them to take all necessary measures to prevent this unacceptable disruption to companies in Argentina supporting trade or tourism in the Falkland Islands. We are not aware of any further attacks having taken place since then. We continue to offer support to all companies working in the Falkland Islands themselves, not least by reassuring those in the hydrocarbons sector that have been in receipt of threatening correspondence from the Argentine Government, and by working with the cruise industry to secure their free passage in and out of Argentine ports.

France

Mrs Glindon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the recent killing of three Kurdish activists in France; and what representations he has made to his French counterpart on the killings. [137966]

Mr Lidington: The Government have received reporting from our embassies in Ankara and Paris on the shootings of three Kurdish activists on 10th January 2013. The Government have so far made no representations to the French Government, since investigations into this incident are underway and the outcome is not yet known. We fully support the efforts of Prime Minister Erdogan to find a political solution to the Kurdish issue.

G8

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure that the G8 conference can take place in Enniskillen. [138241]

Mr Swire: Regular meetings take place at official level between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Northern Ireland Executive to discuss the preparations for the G8 summit in Enniskillen in June 2013.

India

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the present state of political, cultural, trade and military relations with India; and if he will make a statement. [138396]

22 Jan 2013 : Column 177W

Mr Swire: The UK and India have a close and wide- ranging relationship, with particular emphasis on trade and investment, science, innovation, climate change, education, defence and cultural ties. India invests more in the UK than in the rest of the EU combined and we continue to help British businesses develop their operations in India with a view to doubling bilateral trade from 2010 levels by 2015. Our Army, Navy and Airforce conduct joint exercises and hold regular dialogues with their Indian counterparts and we have held productive discussions on counter terrorism and cyber security. The cultural ties between the UK and India, a fellow member of the Commonwealth, underpins our relationship. The British Council has helped train over a million English teachers in India and our two Governments work to promote ties between our universities, museums and research institutions.

The Government will continue to devote significant effort and resources to this crucial bilateral relationship. Three Ministers have visited India already in the first weeks of 2013 and the Prime Minister will lead a delegation of businesses to India later this year.

Malaysia

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the present state of political, cultural, trade and military relations with Malaysia; and if he will make a statement. [138666]

Mr Swire: The United Kingdom's traditionally close relations with Malaysia have been strengthened following a sustained period of high-level political engagement, including reciprocal visits by the Prime Minister and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib. Close cultural links are underpinned by the large number of Malaysians studying both in the UK and in UK institutions in Malaysia. Our two Governments have agreed to work together to double bilateral trade by 2016 and increase investment, and British companies are keenly interested in the business opportunities Malaysia's strong economic growth provides. In the other direction, a Malaysian consortium is investing £8 billion to re-develop the Battersea Power Station site. Defence ties centre around our longstanding commitment to the Five Powers Defence Arrangements, with the UK deploying aircraft to participate in recent exercises alongside Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.

Morocco

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the present state of political, cultural, trade and military relations with Morocco; and if he will make a statement. [137837]

Alistair Burt: The UK has strong relations with Morocco. Morocco is engaged in a political reform process. A new constitution was approved in 2011 with an increased emphasis on human rights and democracy. The UK is supporting democratic reform in Morocco, in partnership with Governments and civil society, through our Arab Partnership programme.

UK Ministers discuss a wide range of issues with their counterparts in Morocco. During my visit in June

22 Jan 2013 : Column 178W

2012, discussions focused on the ongoing reform process, opportunities for Maghreb states to develop their economies through regional integration and an increase in English- language training. Increasing trade and investment with Morocco is also an important part of our relationship.

The British Council is active, teaching English and promoting links with British culture and the Ministry of Defence regularly reviews its relationship with all Maghreb states, building links through joint training and capacity building as appropriate.

Oman

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the present state of political, cultural, trade and military relations with Oman; and if he will make a statement. [138398]

Alistair Burt: The UK has strong relations across the board with Oman. His Majesty the Sultan of Oman visited the UK last summer and called on Her Majesty the Queen. He also met the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister visited Oman in December, and I will be visiting Oman in the coming weeks to chair the working group that meets regularly to strengthen relations between our two countries.

Overseas Trade

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps British embassies are taking to lobby foreign Governments to create fair markets, absent of corruption. [137984]

Mr Swire: The Government are committed to tackling corruption and creating a fair and open international trading system and a level playing field on which UK firms can compete. Our posts engage with their host Governments in a variety of ways on the many aspects of corruption—from institutional capacity-building, to lobbying, to securing support for UK positions in multilateral institutions such as the UN, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Council of Europe. Recent examples of our bilateral engagement include: strengthening institutional dialogues and exchange of information with China and Vietnam; capacity-building projects in India and South East Asia; and lobbying for greater transparency in Hungary. In addition, Britain's role as Chair of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group in 2012, current lead co-chair of the Open Government Partnership, and the focus on transparency in our presidency of the G8 show the importance we attach to this agenda.

Peru

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the present state of political, cultural, trade and military relations with Peru; and if he will make a statement. [138394]

Mr Swire: The UK has increased its presence in Peru over the past two years, which has been warmly welcomed by the Peruvian Government. The UK and Peru work closely together on a wide range of areas including

22 Jan 2013 : Column 179W

climate change and energy, economic development and trade, drugs and international crime, defence, and democracy and governance.

The embassy in Lima works closely with local organisations to promote British cultural events in Peru, and to support visiting academics and exhibitions.

We were concerned by the short-notice cancellation of HMS Montrose's proposed visit last year. Ministerial discussions, including at Foreign Secretary level, have moved the relationship past this setback and visits in the latter part of 2012 by senior defence officials discussed cooperation across a range of defence and security areas.

The UK is the second biggest foreign direct investor in Peru. We look forward to strengthening our economic ties through the upcoming EU-Andean Free Trade agreement, which will be another important tool to help our companies develop further business between the UK and Peru. We also look forward to welcoming the second In Peru trade and investment delegation to the UK later this year.

The UK sees drugs as a shared threat and a key area for collaborative work and we share Peru's determination to win the fight against drugs.

PKK

Mrs Glindon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will delist the PKK as a terrorist organisation. [137967]

Mr Lidington: The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK since 2000. The EU proscribed the PKK as a terrorist organisation in 2002. We remain steadfast in our support for Prime Minister Erdogan's commitment to counter terrorism and welcome continuing efforts to reach a peace settlement.

Russia

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the present state of political, cultural, trade and military relations with Russia; and if he will make a statement. [138397]

Mr Lidington: As a fellow permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia is an important global partner to the UK. We have sought to develop the kind of relationship where we work together on areas of mutual interest while standing firm on issues where we disagree. Current engagement includes through our G8 and Russia's G20 presidencies, sharing best practice from London 2012 ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and seeking a deeper foreign policy dialogue over issues such as Syria, Iran and Afghanistan. Both Governments are also committed to developing the commercial relationship. Russia is now the UK's eleventh largest export market with exports to Russia increasing faster than to any other major market. Lord Green led a trade delegation of 26 UK businesses to Russia in November with the objective of further developing trade links. To promote greater people-to-people links, 2014 has been designated as the UK-Russia Year of Culture. In addition, we engage with the Russians on a

22 Jan 2013 : Column 180W

range of military issues, including our respective reform programmes. There are clearly well-known bilateral issues on which we do not agree, and we have deep concerns over human rights and the rule of law. We seek to make these concerns clear in our bilateral interactions at all levels, and seek to deliver and support projects which will improve the situation on the ground.

Saudi Arabia

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the present state of political, cultural, trade and military relations with Saudi Arabia; and if he will make a statement. [137838]

Alistair Burt: The UK has strong relations with Saudi Arabia. For a full description of the UK's policy towards Saudi Arabia I refer my right hon. Friend to the evidence submitted by the Government to the Foreign Affairs Committee Inquiry into the UK's relations with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which is available on the Committee's website:

www.parliament.uk/facom

Tibet

Stella Creasy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Tibet. [138556]

Mr Swire: We continue to have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Tibet, including the large number of self-immolations. Our diplomats visited Tibetan regions of China in December 2012 to assess the situation on the ground. I issued a statement on 17 December urging the Chinese authorities to make every effort to resume meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama's representatives as the best way to achieve a long-term solution to underlying tensions. My statement also called on the Tibetan people not to resort to extreme forms of protest such as self-immolations. We believe a long-term solution depends on respect for human rights and genuine autonomy for Tibetans within the framework of the Chinese constitution.

Travellers

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 19 November 2012, Official Report, column 276W, on Slovak Roma, if he will work with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to estimate the number of Roma families in England and identify potential funding streams from the European Union budget for support to and integration of Roma families entering the UK from the rest of the European Union. [137828]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is not in a position to make estimates about the number of Roma families resident in England. As the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the right hon. Member for Bath (Mr Foster), informed the right hon. Gentleman on 14 January 2012, Official Report, column 505W, there are regular discussions

22 Jan 2013 : Column 181W

between the FCO and the Department for Communities and Local Government to ensure that the UK plays an effective role in European level discussions on Roma integration. The EU budget and regulations governing EU funds in 2014-20 are currently being negotiated. Subject to the progress of these negotiations, the Government expect in 2013 to develop, and consult on, proposals for the delivery of these funds.

Tunisia

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the present state of political, cultural, trade and military relations with Tunisia; and if he will make a statement. [137840]

Alistair Burt: The United Kingdom has strong relations with Tunisia. Since the Revolution, Tunisia has continued to make considerable progress on reform, with political pluralism and freedom of expression firmly embedded. But challenges remain, particularly meeting the demands of a highly expectant population and internal security challenges. The Constituent Assembly has progressed with drafting a new constitution, which we hope will serve to protect the rights of all Tunisians for generations to come.

Through our Arab Partnership programme we have supported local and international NGOs to promote political participation, including women and youth, in partnership with the African Development Bank, and we are helping young entrepreneurs turn business ideas into reality. We are also supporting development of free and independent media, including helping to transform the National Television into a public service broadcaster. During my visit to Tunis in December I visited the National Television where I was able to see first-hand the benefits being delivered through our valuable support.

The Ministry of Defence regularly reviews its relationship with all Maghreb states, building links through joint training and capacity building as appropriate.

Turkey

Mrs Glindon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he plans to take to encourage peace talks between Turkey and Abdullah Ocalan. [137959]

Mr Lidington: The Government fully support the recent decision taken by the Turkish Government to open negotiations with the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan. A peace settlement which brings an end to the PKK's thirty-year long terrorist campaign will be welcomed by millions of Turkish citizens. We stand ready to advise the Turkish Government on the Good Friday Agreement negotiations should they ask us.

United Arab Emirates

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the present state of political, cultural, trade and military relations with the UAE; and if he will make a statement. [137836]

22 Jan 2013 : Column 182W

Alistair Burt: The UK has excellent relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), demonstrated by the visit of the Prime Minister on 5 November. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), the Chancellor of the Exchequer and I have visited over the last year. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, was in London for the Jubilee, and met the Prime Minister in June. The UK-UAE Taskforce was established in July 2010 with the aim of improving UK-Emirati relations across the board. His Excellency Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and I will chair the next UK-UAE Taskforce on 24 January in London.

Cabinet Office

Charities: Religion

Andrew Jones: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the policy of his Department is on the granting of charitable status to religious groups. [137781]

Mr Hurd: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 31 October 2012, Official Report, column 217W.

Government Departments: ICT

Mr Umunna: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the average cost to Government Departments is per desktop computer for each full-time employee. [134365]

Mr Hurd: As a result of past decisions and legacy contracts signed prior to May 2010 this Government spends more on IT than comparable countries or private sector benchmarks. This Government are working to address this, including by tracking, through the Quarterly Data Summaries, common areas of spend across Departments. All Departments now track expenditure on IT and report it to their boards. This Management Information, which includes spending data for the cost of running IT and desktop, will help drive efficiency across Government.

QDS returns for my Department are available here:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/business-plan-quarterly-data-summary

For Q1 2012-13, the average reported cost of desktop per user was £204.

Military Decorations

John Glen: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether a Cabinet Office-led working group has been set up to consider the awarding of a national defence medal. [136966]

Mr Hurd: I refer my hon. Friend to the answers I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Colne Valley (Jason McCartney) and my hon. Friend the Member for Romsey and Southampton North (Caroline Nokes) on 26 November 2012, Official Report, column 95W.

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Travel

Wayne David: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much has been spent on travel by the Deputy Prime Minister's Office in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13 to date. [134403]

The Deputy Prime Minister: Estimated costs on travel incurred by the Deputy Prime Minister's Office in 2011-12 are £99,400 and from April 2012 to November 2012 £29,000.

Education

Children: Health

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment his Department has made of the factors influencing the well-being of children; and what steps it is taking to promote such factors. [137760]

Mr Timpson: The factors influencing children's well-being are complex, and include social, psychological and biological factors, such as physical health and genetic pre-disposition. Poor well-being can be exacerbated by parental mental ill-health, bad childhood experiences or economic deprivation.

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The Department has sought to support children's well-being through a wide range of measures. The early years support children's social and emotional resilience, through an updated Early Years Foundation Stage, an integrated health check at 2½ years to identify problems early, and a free entitlement to child care and family support from Sure Start Children's Centres.

Schools are also responsible for how they support children in their care. We are building capacity in the voluntary sector so schools can access services they need with £3 million of funding over two years to the BOND consortium. We have also rolled out the successful Achievement for All programme, which has recently been extended until 2014. For 2011 to 2015 we have awarded the NSPCC a grant worth £11.2 million for investment in ChildLine and the NSPCC Helpline, alongside £11 million in grants to support families including through the Young Minds Parental Helpline.

Children: Social Services

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children have been removed from their parents by social services in each of the last 10 years. [138227]

Mr Timpson: Information on the number of children who have been taken into care in each of the last 10 years is provided in the following table.

Children who were taken into care during the years ending 31 March(1,2,3,4)
Years ending 31 March 2003 to 2012
Coverage: England
Number
 2003200420052006200720082009201020112012

All children who were taken into care

7,970

7,560

7,750

7,710

7,720

7,440

8,180

9,580

9,560

10,100

(1) Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. (2) Children who were taken into care are children who started to be looked after under a care order, police protection, emergency protection order or child assessment order. (3) Historical data may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments and corrections sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials. (4) Only the first occasion on which a child was taken into care in the year has been counted. Source: SSDA 903

A child is defined as being taken into care if they started to be looked after under a care order, police protection, emergency protection order or child assessment order.

Education

Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will place a duty on local authorities to keep education, health and care provision under review. [137558]

Mr Timpson: The draft provisions which were published for pre-legislative scrutiny included a duty on local authorities to keep special educational provision and social care provision for children and young people with special educational needs under review. Health and Care provision should be kept under review through Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and the development of a Health and Wellbeing Strategy. There are already duties for these to be produced.

Under the proposed SEN reforms, there will also be a new duty on local authorities to promote the integration of education, health and social care provision. This mirrors duties placed on health bodies in the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Health bodies and the local authority will be expected to come together to regularly assess local need and agree how it should be provided for, including through joint commissioning.

Education: Qualifications

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many pupils in each (a) local authority, (b) ward and (c) lower layer super output area did not achieve any qualifications by the end of key stage 4 in the latest year for which figures are available; [135331]

(2) how many and what proportion of pupils (a) in each local authority, (b) in each school, (c) of each gender, (d) who were eligible for free school meals, (e) who were in care and (f) of each ethnicity did not

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achieve any qualifications at the end of key stage 4 in the most recent year for which figures are available. [135336]

Elizabeth Truss: The tables provide information for pupils who did not achieve any qualification at the end of key stage 4 in 2011. A local authority breakdown is provided and national breakdowns for pupils of each gender:

who were eligible for free school meals

who were in care

of each ethnicity

The secondary school performance tables provide a wide range of performance information about schools; this includes the percentage of pupils in each school achieving at least one qualification, this information for 2011 can be found on our website here:

http://www.education.gov.uk/cgi-bin/schools/performance/group.pl?qtype=NAT&superview=sec&view=aat&set=2&sort= &ord=&tab=54&no=999&pg=1

It is not possible to provide the information requested at ward or lower super output area without incurring

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disproportionate costs. This is due to the time it would take to produce statistics for the indicator requested and the amount of suppression required in order to protect pupils' identity when providing statistics for lower level geographies.

Provided in the following tables are details of statistics which the Department publishes which you may find helpful.

A range of local area education statistics are published on the Department's “In Your Area” website. Ward level data showing the percentage of pupils gaining any GCSE or equivalent passes can be found by following the following link:

http://www.education.gov.uk/inyourarea/results/nat_921_wards_3.shtml#03

A number of achievement indicators at key stage 4 are published at lower layer super output area level for the 2010/11 academic year on the Neighbourhood Statistics website at:

http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/datasetList.do?JSAllowed=true&Function=&%24ph=60&Current Pageld=60&step=1&CurrentTreelndex=-1&searchString=&datasetFamilyld=1983&Next.x=15&Next.y=12

National information for pupils(1) who did not achieve any qualification at the end of key stage 4
Year: 2010/11 (Final)
Coverage: England (state-funded mainstream schools only(2))
 Number of pupils who did not achieve any qualificationAs a percentage of all pupils at the end of key stage 4 in state-funded mainstream schools(3)

Total number of pupils

2,299

Males

1,333

0.5

Females

966

0.4

Of which:

  

Eligible for free school meals

762

1.0

Males

431

1.1

Females

331

0.9

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

106

2.9

Males

51

2.9

Females

55

3.0

Ethnicity:

  

White

1,971

0.4

Males

1,107

0.5

Females

864

0.4

   

Mixed

77

0.4

Males

51

0.6

Females

26

0.3

   

Asian

94

0.2

Males

72

0.3

Females

22

0.1

   

Black

69

0.3

Males

46

0.4

Females

23

0.2

   

Chinese

(5)

(5)

Males

(5)

(5)

Females

0

0.0

   

Other

44

0.7

Males

35

1.0

Females

9

0.3

   

22 Jan 2013 : Column 187W

22 Jan 2013 : Column 188W

Unclassified

42

0.7

Males

20

0.7

Females

22

0.8

(1) Includes attempts and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years. (2) State-funded mainstream schools include mainstream schools, CTCs, academies and free schools. (3) Pupils with the stated characteristic who did not achieve any qualification at the end of key stage 4 expressed as a percentage of all pupils at the end of key stage 4 in state-funded mainstream schools with that characteristic. (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). (5) Figures not shown in order to protect pupil confidentiality. Source: 2011 Secondary School Performance Tables data (post-errata)
GCSE and equivalent results of pupils(1) who did not achieve any passes at the end key stage 4 for each local authority and region
Year: 2010/11 (Final)
Coverage: England, state-funded mainstream schools only(2)
Region/local authorityLA/Region numberNumber of pupils at the end of key stage 4 in state-funded mainstream schoolsNumber of pupils at the end of key stage 4 in state-funded mainstream schools who did not achieve any qualificationAs a percentage of all pupils at the end of key stage 4 in state-funded mainstream schools(3)

England (State-funded mainstream(2))

E92000001

555,302

2,146

0.4

     

North East

E12000001

28,620

117

0.4

County Durham

E06000047

1,106

5

0.5

Darlington

E06000005

5,335

4

0.1

Gateshead

E08000020

2,162

4

0.2

Hartlepool

E06000001

1,272

5

0.4

Middlesbrough

E06000002

1,559

15

1.0

Newcastle upon Tyne

E08000021

2,495

17

0.7

North Tyneside

E08000022

2,126

6

0.3

Northumberland

E06000048

3,598

29

0.8

Redcar and Cleveland

E06000003

1,825

7

0.4

South Tyneside

E08000023

1,713

6

0.4

Stockton-on-Tees

E06000004

2,192

5

0.2

Sunderland

E08000024

3,237

14

0.4

     

North West

E12000002

78,302

328

0.4

Blackburn with Darwen

E06000008

1,789

6

0.3

Blackpool

E06000009

1,528

3

0.2

Bolton

E08000001

3,373

9

0.3

Bury

E08000002

2,181

6

0.3

Cheshire East

E06000049

3,812

8

0.2

Cheshire West and Chester

E06000050

3,793

21

0.6

Cumbria

E10000006

5,686

26

0.5

Halton

E06000006

1,429

3

0.2

Knowsley

E08000011

1,527

24

1.6

Lancashire

E10000017

12,648

51

0.4

Liverpool

E08000012

5,018

33

0.7

Manchester

E08000003

4,320

36

0.8

Oldham

E08000004

2,940

13

0.4

Rochdale

E08000005

2,404

10

0.4

Salford

E08000006

2,126

3

0.1

Sefton

E08000014

3,321

11

0.3

St Helens

E08000013

1,943

8

0.4

Stockport

E08000007

2,952

14

0.5

Tameside

E08000008

2,814

18

0.6

Trafford

E08000009

2,783

5

0.2

Warrington

E06000007

2,439

7

0.3

Wigan

E08000010

3,712

6

0.2

Wirral

E08000015

3,764

7

0.2

     

Yorkshire and the Humber

E12000003

58,261

274

0.5

22 Jan 2013 : Column 189W

22 Jan 2013 : Column 190W

Barnsley

E08000016

2,583

8

0.3

Bradford

E08000032

5,629

51

0.9

Calderdale

E08000033

2,574

7

0.3

Doncaster

E08000017

3,482

12

0.3

East Riding of Yorkshire

E06000011

3,926

16

0.4

Kingston upon Hull City of

E06000010

2,557

4

0.2

Kirklees

E08000034

4,517

10

0.2

Leeds

E08000035

7,883

58

0.7

North East Lincolnshire

E06000012

1,851

18

1.0

North Lincolnshire

E06000013

2,012

8

0.4

North Yorkshire

E10000023

6,721

14

0.2

Rotherham

E08000018

3,438

6

0.2

Sheffield

E08000019

5,401

44

0.8

Wakefield

E08000036

3,926

15

0.4

York

E06000014

1,761

3

0.2

     

East Midlands

E12000004

49,820

188

0.4

Derby

E06000015

2,782

10

0.4

Derbyshire

E10000007

8,667

28

0.3

Leicester

E06000016

3,306

18

0.5

Leicestershire

E10000018

7,379

26

0.4

Lincolnshire

E10000019

8,239

9

0.1

Northamptonshire

E10000021

7,768

34

0.4

Nottingham

E06000018

2,525

28

1.1

Nottinghamshire

E10000024

8,700

35

0.4

Rutland

E06000017

454

0

0.0

     

West Midlands

E12000005

62,186

220

0.4

Birmingham

E08000025

11,871

35

0.3

Coventry

E08000026

3,378

6

0.2

Dudley

E08000027

3,733

14

0.4

Herefordshire County of

E06000019

1,855

5

0.3

Sandwell

E08000028

3,634

32

0.9

Shropshire

E06000051

3,184

6

0.2

Solihull

E08000029

2,981

10

0.3

Staffordshire

E10000028

9,217

28

0.3

Stoke-on-Trent

E06000021

2,549

18

0.7

Telford and Wrekin

E06000020

1,984

3

0.2

Walsall

E08000030

3,426

21

0.6

Warwickshire

E10000031

5,912

14

0.2

Wolverhampton

E08000031

2,515

15

0.6

Worcestershire

E10000034

5,947

13

0.2

     

East of England

E12000006

63,623

257

0.4

Bedford

E06000055

1,792

5

0.3

Cambridgeshire

E10000003

5,893

38

0.6

Central Bedfordshire

E06000056

2,802

10

0.4

Essex

E10000012

15,701

69

0.4

Hertfordshire

E10000015

12,635

35

0.3

Luton

E06000032

2,383

4

0.2

Norfolk

E10000020

8,770

42

0.5

Peterborough

E06000031

2,220

13

0.6

Southend-on-Sea

E06000033

2,033

9

0.4

Suffolk

E10000029

7,644

29

0.4

Thurrock

E06000034

1,750

3

0.2

     

London

E12000007

72,991

263

0.4

Inner London

E13000001

22,839

93

0.4

Camden

E09000007

1,467

10

0.7

22 Jan 2013 : Column 191W

22 Jan 2013 : Column 192W

City of London

E09000001

n/a

n/a

n/a

Hackney

E09000012

1,442

9

0.6

Hammersmith and Fulham

E09000013

1,035

(4)

(4)

Haringey

E09000014

2,079

15

0.7

Islington

E09000019

1,317

3

0.2

Kensington and Chelsea

E09000020

567

0

0.0

Lambeth

E09000022

1,562

(4)

(4)

Lewisham

E09000023

2,139

17

0.8

Newham

E09000025

3,297

18

0.5

Southwark

E09000028

2,283

10

0.4

Tower Hamlets

E09000030

2,534

(4)

(4)

Wandsworth

E09000032

1,760

4

0.2

Westminster

E09000033

1,357

(4)

(4)

     

Outer London

E13000002

50,152

170

0.3

Barking and Dagenham

E09000002

2,038

10

0.5

Barnet

E09000003

3,354

12

0.4

Bexley

E09000004

3,211

7

0.2

Brent

E09000005

2,798

12

0.4

Bromley

E09000006

3,383

4

0.1

Croydon

E09000008

3,649

14

0.4

Ealing

E09000009

2,762

6

0.2

Enfield

E09000010

3,524

17

0.5

Greenwich

E09000011

2,241

16

0.7

Harrow

E09000015

2,102

8

0.4

Havering

E09000016

3,045

6

0.2

Hillingdon

E09000017

2,943

22

0.7

Hounslow

E09000018

2,568

5

0.2

Kingston upon Thames

E09000021

1,489

(4)

(4)

Merton

E09000024

1,503

7

0.5

Redbridge

E09000026

3,216

10

0.3

Richmond upon Thames

E09000027

1,342

(4)

(4)

Sutton

E09000029

2,592

5

0.2

Waltham Forest

E09000031

2,392

5

0.2

     

South East

E12000008

86,814

319

0.4

Bracknell Forest

E06000036

1,080

0

0.0

Brighton and Hove

E06000043

2,260

13

0.6

Buckinghamshire

E10000002

5,410

10

0.2

East Sussex

E10000011

5,105

17

0.3

Hampshire

E10000014

13,598

42

0.3

Isle of Wight

E06000046

1,467

11

0.7

Kent

E10000016

15,827

78

0.5

Medway

E06000035

3,192

21

0.7

Milton Keynes

E06000042

2,653

(4)

(4)

Oxfordshire

E10000025

6,087

17

0.3

Portsmouth

E06000044

1,873

10

0.5

Reading

E06000038

970

(4)

(4)

Slough

E06000039

1,543

(4)

(4)

Southampton

E06000045

2,005

9

0.4

Surrey

E10000030

10,488

45

0.4

West Berkshire

E06000037

1,950

8

0.4

West Sussex

E10000032

8,130

26

0.3

Windsor and Maidenhead

E06000040

1,504

(4)

(4)

Wokingham

E06000041

1,672

0

0.0

     

South West

E12000009

54,685

180

0.3

Bath and North East Somerset

E06000022

2,091

7

0.3

Bournemouth

E06000028

1,664

6

0.4

22 Jan 2013 : Column 193W

22 Jan 2013 : Column 194W

Bristol City of

E06000023

2,925

12

0.4

Cornwall

E06000052

5,702

22

0.4

Devon

E10000008

7,409

13

0.2

Dorset

E10000009

4,169

14

0.3

Gloucestershire

E10000013

6,714

17

0.3

Isles of Scilly

E06000053

19

0

0.0

North Somerset

E06000024

2,274

13

0.6

Plymouth

E06000026

2,825

6

0.2

Poole

E06000029

1,583

11

0.7

Somerset

E10000027

5,424

19

0.4

South Gloucestershire

E06000025

3,215

10

0.3

Swindon

E06000030

2,142

(4)

(4)

Torbay

E06000027

1,454

(4)

(4)

Wiltshire

E06000054

5,075

26

0.5

(1) Includes attempts and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years. (2) State-funded mainstream schools include mainstream schools, CTCs, academies and free schools. (3) Pupils not achieving any passes at the end key stage 4 in the named region/LA expressed as a percentage of all pupils in the named region/LA at the end of key stage 4 in state-funded mainstream schools. (4 )Figures not shown in order to protect pupil confidentiality. Source: 2011 Secondary School Performance Tables data (post-errata).