Schools: Snow and Ice

Iain Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the average net cost per day of closing a (a) primary school and (b) secondary school as a result of inclement weather. [139869]

Mr Laws: The Department does not collect the required data to assess the cost of a school closing due to inclement weather. We cannot, therefore, provide the figures requested.

While it is difficult to give a precise cost as the running costs of schools vary significantly across the country, we are aware of the potential costs that may arise in such a situation. The highest cost is likely to result from teaching and support staff being paid while unable to work. There would also be lost revenue for school transport and school meals, where the usual expenditure may occur for these services but they have not taken place or been used by pupils due to the inclement weather.

Special Educational Needs

Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many pupils (a) applied and (b) were granted special access arrangements for (i) GCSE exams and (ii) A levels in each year since 1997. [139758]

Elizabeth Truss: Information on applications for, and access arrangements granted, for GCSE and A level exam candidates is not held by the Department but is collated by the qualifications and examinations regulator, Ofqual.

I have asked Glenys Stacey, Ofqual's Chief Regulator, to write to my hon. Friend with such information relevant to the question as Ofqual holds. A copy of her reply will be placed in the House Libraries.

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Energy and Climate Change

Conditions of Employment

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many people are employed on zero-hour contracts in his Department. [140254]

Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change does not employ any people on zero-hour contracts.

Directors

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what declarations of interest must be made by his Department's non-executive directors; with what frequency any such declarations are required to be made; and if he will make that information publicly available. [140076]

Gregory Barker: Non-executives must declare to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government’s permanent secretary any personal or business interest which may (or may be perceived by a reasonable member of the public) to influence their judgment in performing their functions and obligations. These interests include (without limitation), personal direct and indirect pecuniary interests and any such interests of close family members and/or of people living in the same household as the non-executive or their close family members.

The Department collects this information on a biannual basis from non-executives alongside other board members. A copy of the Department's register of non-executive directors' interests is available on request.

Electricity

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what estimate he has made of the costs to the Exchequer of introducing fuel switching within existing generation capacity’ [140321]

(2) what assessment he has made of the potential effect on emissions of the introduction of fuel switching within existing generation capacity. [140324]

Mr Hayes: The analysis included in the latest impact assessment for the Energy Bill, published on 14 January 2013), includes impacts on load factors of changing fuel and carbon prices and also includes new build, retirements and conversions:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/66037/7468-contracts-for-difference-energy-bill-2012.pdf

There are different implications from fuel switching within existing generation under these various scenarios, based on the required reductions in emissions intensity.

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the potential number of additional jobs that could result from the introduction of electricity market reform. [140322]

Mr Hayes: It is estimated that the implementation of electricity market reform could support as many as 250,000 jobs across the UK energy sector. This figure

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reflects estimates of how many jobs could be supported by low-carbon electricity by 2020 (including supply chains) but does not include wider job impacts across the economy.

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the likelihood that electricity market reform will deliver a generation mix profile with 35% renewables in 2020. [140337]

Mr Hayes: Our latest impact assessment of electricity market reform, published on 14 January 2013(1), sets out generation mix scenarios for a range of different decarbonisation targets in 2030 (100gCO2/kWh, 50gCO2/kWh and 200gCO2/kWh).

Dispatch modelling is sensitive to a number of assumptions (e.g. around inputs, methodology), which influence the capacity and generation mix realised under different scenarios. Such outcomes therefore represents specific states of the world and are not intended to be a prediction or forecast about what the future is expected to be.

Nevertheless, for all of the above scenarios, renewables generation accounts for 35% of total generation in 2020.

(1) Available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/66037/7468-contracts-for-difference-energy-bill-2012.pdf

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the likelihood that electricity market reform will deliver a decarbonisation trajectory consistent with an emissions intensity of between 40 and 60 carbon dioxide/kWh in 2030. [140338]

Mr Hayes: The latest impact assessment for the Energy Bill, published on 14 January 2013 includes cost-benefit analysis of electricity market reform based on meeting1 a carbon emissions intensity of 50gCO2/kWh in 2030:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/66037/7468-contracts-for-difference-energy-bill-2012.pdf

The net present value under this scenario is £5.5 billion.

The analysis set out in the impact assessment shows that the design of electricity market reforms (and specifically the feed-in-tariff contracts for difference) will lower the cost of financing the large investments needed in electricity infrastructure, irrespective of the level of decarbonisation in the sector to 2030.

Energy

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 18 January 2013, Official Report, column 956W, on energy, what information on the transmission and distribution must be submitted to his Department in support of an application for an energy generation project. [140180]

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Gregory Barker: Information in support of applications for consent under the Planning Act 2008 for energy generation projects over 50MW in England and Wales should be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate rather than to DECC. Section 4.9 "Grid Connection" of the Overarching National Policy Statement for Energy (EN-1):

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/47854/1938-overarching-nps-for-energy-en1.pdf

This sets out information requirements in respect of the connection of proposed generating stations to the transmission or distribution network.

Energy Companies Obligation

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the contribution by the Secretary of State of 16 January 2013, Official Report, column 984, on energy efficiency and fuel poverty, what the evidential basis is for the statement that the Energy Company Obligation will be (a) more effective and (b) more transparent than the Warm Front scheme. [139491]

Gregory Barker: The Energy Company Obligation is expected to lead to more cost-effective delivery of measures to low income, vulnerable households.

Under Warm Front in 2010-11, around 80,000 households received major heating and/or insulation measures from a budget of £366 million. By contrast, the ECO Affordable Warmth obligation is expected to deliver heating and insulation measures to around 130,000 households each year of the scheme for an annual cost of around £350 million. Coupled with the ECO Carbon Saving Communities obligation, worth around £190 million per annum, a total of 230,000 low income households will be assisted each scheme year.

Under ECO we will have much greater powers than before to require energy companies to report on the costs of delivery and how these are passed through to bills to ensure greater transparency.

Fuels: Rural Areas

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to ensure that people in rural communities have access to affordable petrol and diesel. [140418]

Mr Hayes: Access to road fuels is particularly important in rural communities given the dependency of businesses and individuals on their vehicles to get around. DECC published a report from Deloitte LLP in December 2012 which makes clear that, despite the closure of many filling stations over recent decades, on a postcode basis 98% of drivers live within 10 minutes of a filling station and the average driving time of the remaining 2% is just two or three minutes more than this.

In their report on the retail market published on 30 January 2013 the Office of Fair Trading has looked at whether the prices at the pump fairly reflects the prices retailers pay and concluded that they do. The Government will continue to monitor price movements closely.

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We have taken a number of measures to reduce the effects on motorists of high global oil prices, including cancelling the planned 3p fuel duty rise planned for 1 January and deferring the 2013-14 increase from April 2013 to September 2013. These and other changes to the fuel duty escalator mean that average pump prices are currently 10p per litre lower than they would have been and will remain at least 10ppl lower over the life of this Parliament.

Gas Fired Power Stations

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential for combined cycle gas turbine plants (CCGT) with combined heat and power to replace CCGT as base load capacity before 2020. [140323]

Mr Hayes: Combined heat and power (CHP) capacity projections suggest there is technical potential for up to 16 GW of fossil fuel fired CHP in the UK by 2020. However, only a proportion of this is economically viable. Projections suggest a growth in fossil fuel CHP capacity from 7.4 GW currently to 8.9 GW by 2020. Projected growth in CHP capacity is sensitive to investment hurdle rates and to the “spark spread” (the difference between the cost of gas and electricity prices). Our evidence suggests that CHP projects face higher hurdle rates than power-only projects. If CHP hurdle rates were the same as those for power-only projects, the maximum capacity that might be brought forward according to our modelling is 12.3 GW. This compares with current total CCGT capacity (including existing CCGT CHP) of 32 GW.

Insulation

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on what date Carbon Emissions Reduction Target funding for cavity wall insulation ended; whether funding will be provided for people who made bookings under the scheme before the cut-off date to honour those bookings; and if he will make a statement. [140168]

Gregory Barker [holding answer 29 January 2013]:The Carbon Emissions Reductions Target (CERT) is an obligation on the major energy suppliers to deliver energy efficiency improvements to households. Arrangements for bookings with households, and any funding provided, are a matter for the energy companies concerned and their delivery partners.

As provided for in the legislation, CERT formally ended on 31 December 2012, and the new ECO (energy company obligation) started on 1 January 2013 (with provision for activity from October 2012 to count towards the obligation). I have urged companies to be sensitive to the experience of householders in the way that they manage the transition period.

Recruitment

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent on advertising job vacancies since May 2010. [139972]

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Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change has spent £172,000 since May 2010.

Warm Front Scheme

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many visits Ministers in his Department have conducted to publicise the Warm Front scheme in each of the last three years. [139454]

Gregory Barker: Ministers constantly look to publicise all of the Department’s schemes and policies, including through visits, events and media activity.

International Development

North Africa

7. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the humanitarian situation in north Africa; and if she will make a statement. [140138]

Lynne Featherstone: There is no humanitarian emergency in North Africa as such. We are, however, concerned about the 14,000 Syrian refugees in Egypt and the 47,000 internally displaced people in Libya. We are also monitoring the movement of people from Mali into north African countries.

Turks and Caicos Islands

8. Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she expects the Turks and Caicos Islands Government to attain a sustainable budget surplus. [140139]

Mr Duncan: In 2010, the annual deficit in the Turks and Caicos Islands was £40 million and rising. To address this unacceptable state of affairs, DFID appointed a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the island’s finances, and we now expect a sustainable surplus to be attained from this year onwards.

12. Michael Ellis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she expects the Turks and Caicos Islands Government to attain a sustainable budget surplus. [140143]

Mr Duncan: In 2010, the annual deficit in the Turks and Caicos Islands was £40 million and rising. To address this unacceptable state of affairs, DFID appointed a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the island’s finances, and we now expect a sustainable surplus to be attained from this year onwards.

West and North Africa

10. Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the effect of international borders on non-national groups in west and north Africa. [140141]

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Lynne Featherstone: Some of the international borders in this region are very porous, particularly in the Sahel, with noticeable population flows across them by the nomadic Tuareg and others. This emphasises the need for a regional approach by the international community to west and north Africa.

Global Hunger

11. Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the opportunities for tackling global hunger at the forthcoming G8 summit and throughout 2013. [140142]

14. Mr McKenzie: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the opportunities for tackling global hunger at the forthcoming G8 summit and throughout 2013. [140145]

Lynne Featherstone: By 2015 the UK has pledged to reach 20 million pregnant women and children with nutrition programmes. The UK will continue to tackle global hunger in 2013 through a food and nutrition event a few days before the G8 summit. The Secretary of State for International Development, the right hon. Member for Putney (Justine Greening), will also take forward the New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition, through her role as co-chair of the Leadership Council.

Syria

13. Mr Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what humanitarian support her Department has provided in response to the crisis in Syria. [140144]

Mr Duncan: The UK is playing a leading role in the humanitarian response. The Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), is currently at the UN high level conference for Syria in Kuwait where she has announced a further £50 million for the UN’s Syria appeals, bringing the UK’s total support to £139.5 million.

15. Dr Phillip Lee: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the humanitarian situation in Syria. [140146]

Mr Duncan: The humanitarian situation in Syria is shocking, with 4 million people in need of assistance. The UK is calling on all parties to the conflict to allow sustained, safe and unrestricted access for neutral and impartial humanitarian agencies across Syria to help to those who need it most.

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent reports she has received on the humanitarian situation of Syrian refugees in (a) Lebanon, (b) Jordan, (c) Iraq and (d) Turkey. [140199]

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Mr Duncan: The humanitarian situation for refugees is extremely concerning. As of 29 January, there were over 700,000 Syrian refugees in the region, including over 220,000 in Jordan, over 160,000 in Turkey, over 225,000 in Lebanon and over 77,000 in Iraq. Thousands more refugees cross the border each day, and reports tell us they are arriving in an increasingly poor state, often with little more than the clothes they are wearing.

Last week the Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), visited Jordan and saw for herself the hardship that refugees are facing. She also attended UN donor conference in Kuwait and announced that the UK is providing strong support, and doubling funding to the humanitarian response. Our funding now stands at £139.5 million. This support will provide vital support such as food, shelter and medical care for hundreds of thousands of people across the region. Much more funding is needed, however, if we are to meet the urgent needs of the Syrian people. The Kuwait conference is key to tackling the shortfall in funding, and the international community must step up.

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to raise awareness among Syrian refugees of the importance of birth registration to ensure that their children to do not become stateless. [140200]

Mr Duncan: The UK is funding the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide support for Syrian refugees, which includes birth registration for Syrians born in refugee communities. UNHCR in Lebanon, for example, is currently working in conjunction with the Government of Lebanon to ensure that refugees know how to register the birth of their child. In Jordan, UNHCR works in conjunction with Parent and Child Health clinics to register babies born in refugee camps.

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of (a) the number of Syrian refugees awaiting registration in (i) Lebanon, (ii) Jordan, (iii) Iraq and (iv) Turkey and (b) the UK's outreach activities to provide registration in those areas. [140201]

Mr Duncan: As of 29 January, there were over 700,000 Syrian refugees in the region, including over 220,000 in Jordan of which a little over 50,000 refugees are awaiting registration. In Lebanon there are over 225,000 refugees of which just under 70,000 are awaiting registration. In Turkey there are 160,000 registered refugees, and tens of thousands more are thought to be living unregistered outside the camps, although no there are no official numbers. In Iraq, there are 77,000 refugees, all of whom are registered on arrival to the country.

The UK is funding the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to support them with the registration process in Jordan and Lebanon. In the past month, UNHCR has been working towards accelerating the registration process and waiting time in Lebanon has been reduced to three to four weeks. In Turkey, UNHCR is working with the Government of Turkey to identify refugees outside of the camps. The UK will continue to monitor the situation to ensure that refugees are receiving the support they need.

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Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions her Department has had on providing safe humanitarian access to all parts of Syria. [140202]

Mr Duncan: The UK is calling on all parties to the violence in Syria to allow access for humanitarian workers and safe passage for people to receive aid. Today the Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), is attending the UN pledging conference in Kuwait where she will repeat these calls for access. The UK has provided humanitarian agencies with armoured vehicles to protect humanitarian workers in their delivery of aid. We are also supporting Baroness Amos in her negotiations with the Government of Syria and the opposition forces to allow humanitarian access to all those in need.

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to help internally displaced people cope with cold weather conditions in Syria. [140206]

Mr Duncan: The UK is a leading donor in the humanitarian response for Syria. Following the Secretary of State's announcement at the UN high level pledging conference in Kuwait, we are now providing £139.5 million in humanitarian aid. With the £21 million announced on 26 January 2013 during the Secretary of State's visit to Jordan, this means the UK has now more than doubled its funding for Syria in under a week to respond to rapidly escalating needs. This is going to support those affected by the crisis across the region, including displaced persons in Syria. In Syria, our funding has already provided shelter and relief supplies such as blankets and warm clothing for over 30,000 people in opposition held and contested areas to help them cope with the cold winter months. The UK is also providing food for over 120,000 people per month.

While aid is reaching displaced persons in Syria, it is not enough. Much more funding is needed to ensure that Syrian people receive the support that they need. The UK lobbied the international community widely ahead of the Kuwait conference to ensure that other countries also stepped up. Greater security and access for humanitarian agencies is also needed. The UK is calling on all parties to the conflict to allow sustained, safe and unrestricted access for neutral and impartial humanitarian agencies across Syria to help to those who need it most.

Burundi

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the success of her Department's work during the recent repatriation of Burundian refugees from Tanzania to Burundi. [140228]

Lynne Featherstone: We are still awaiting official reporting from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), but our provisional assessment is that the repatriation of 34,052 Burundian former refugees from Mtabila camp in north western Tanzania was a successful operation, completed ahead of the Tanzanian Government's deadline of the end of December 2012.

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The UK Government, through the Department for International Development (DFID), provided financial support of £2.8 million to fund the repatriation. We also facilitated expert help to the Tanzanian immigration authorities from the UK Borders Authority, to ensure the process was managed in an orderly manner. Officials from DFID and the British high commission in Tanzania were engaged with the process, making a number of visits to the camps. In Burundi the initial resettlement is going to plan, with the former refugees receiving necessary support for their immediate needs, but their long-term reintegration is likely to remain a challenge.


Conditions of Employment

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many people are employed on zero-hour contracts in her Department. [140681]

Mr Duncan: DFID does not have people employed on zero-hour contracts.

Developing Countries: Females

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of UK overseas aid in promoting women's rights. [140016]

Lynne Featherstone: Promoting and protecting the rights of girls and women is a top priority for the Department for International Development (DFID) and is right at the heart of our work.

DFID's 'One Year On' report (2012) has assessed how we are delivering gender equality and improving the lives of girls and women. For example in 2011-12:

DFID's programmes enabled 1 million more women to have access to modern methods of family planning; and

740,000 additional women had access to financial services.

In addition to its bilateral programmes, DFID supports a number of non-governmental organisations which promote rights of women and girls. For example, we support Care International's Bangladesh Rural Sales Programme which brings employment to women from among the country's extreme rural poor. The programme now employs over 2,600 women who were unemployed and aims to employ 12,000 women by 2014.

Developing Countries: Mental Health Services

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her policy is on mental health issues in developing countries. [139987]

Lynne Featherstone: The prevalence of non-communicable diseases, including mental health conditions, is increasing in all countries.

The UK health focus in developing countries is to improve the provision of basic health services for the poor by supporting health systems strengthening, health worker capacity and access to essential medicines. Increasing coverage, equity, access and quality will strengthen health services to address all health problems including mental health conditions.

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Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much her Department has invested in global mental health initiatives or programmes in each year since 2010. [140005]

Lynne Featherstone: Details of the Department of International Development (DFID) aid expenditure in developing countries, including health sector spend, are published in Statistics on International Development (SID), which is available in the House Library or online at:.

www.dfid.gov.uk

However, the UK does not track inputs, allocations and expenditure specifically on mental health. Tracking is based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) codes, which are used for reporting official development assistance.

As part of our support for health research the UK is supporting PRIME (‘PRogramme for Improving Mental Health CarE’) a research programme led by the University of Cape Town (£6 million from 2011 to 2017) which will bring together a consortium of researchers to work across a number of countries on the feasibility, acceptability and impact of mental health care packages for priority mental disorders.

Developing Countries: Nature Conservation

Neil Parish: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much UK development aid supports projects concerned with conservation of wildlife as a natural resource. [139871]

Lynne Featherstone: The Department for International Development (DFID) works to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable growth in some of the poorest countries in the world. A healthy natural resource base is considered vital to promoting growth and protecting the livelihoods of the poorest. As such sustainable use of natural resources is fully considered throughout all DFID programmes from design to evaluation.

DFID supports a number of programmes to promote the sustainable use of wildlife as a natural resource for livelihoods of vulnerable people in biodiverse regions, both directly with developing countries and through partners such as the Global Environment Facility, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) managed DARWIN Initiative and the World Wildlife Fund. Our programmes on forestry, financed through the International Climate Fund, involve efforts to enhance community access to natural resources including wildlife which support better livelihoods. For example, in Nepal DFID is helping to empower local communities to manage their forests and promote sustainable livelihoods in a region where endangered species such as tigers and Red Pandas can still be found.

DFID reporting to the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in this area looks to more general environmental and biodiversity work and does not capture wildlife specific programme spend.

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Developing Countries: Sanitation

Sir Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress her Department has made on meeting its commitment to provide over 60 million people with water, sanitation and hygiene promotion by 2015; and which countries will receive this provision. [139877]

Lynne Featherstone: Results of the Department for International Development's (DFID's) ongoing Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes are detailed in the DFID Annual Report and Accounts 2011-12. Results from the implementation of more recent commitments will be detailed in the next Annual Report, due in June 2013.

We aim to meet our commitments through programmes delivered in countries in Africa and Asia. This will be delivered through programmes managed by our Country Offices and from central teams. Details of our current WASH programmes are available on the DFID website.

Recruitment

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much her Department has spent on advertising job vacancies since May 2010. [139977]

Mr Duncan: DFID has spent £331,432 on external advertising from May 2010 to January 2013.

Northern Ireland

Corporation Tax

Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made with the devolving of corporation tax powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly. [139857]

Mike Penning: The Joint Ministerial Working Group on Rebalancing the Northern Ireland Economy has concluded its work and reported to the Prime Minister. The Government will outline next steps in due course.

Directors

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what declarations of interest must be made by her Department's non-executive directors; with what frequency any such declarations are required to be made; and if she will make that information publicly available. [140082]

Mike Penning: Non-executive directors of the Northern Ireland Office must declare, to the director general, any personal or business interest which may, or could be perceived to, influence their judgment in performing their functions and obligations. These interests include (without limitation), personal direct and indirect pecuniary interests and any such interests of close family members and/or of people living in the same household as the non-executive or their close family members. As noted in the Departmental Annual Report and Accounts, which were laid in Parliament on 13 September 2012, this information is available for inspection upon request.

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Publications

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 17 January 2013, Official Report, column 914W, on publications, if she will place a copy of her Department's staff magazine in the Library. [139859]

Mike Penning: I am advised that it is not possible to place a copy of my Department's electronic in-house magazine in the Library due to data protection legislation.

Recruitment

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much her Department has spent on advertising job vacancies since May 2010. [139979]

Mike Penning: My Department spent £1,500 since May 2010 on the advertising of civil service job vacancies.

Training

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many away days her Department has held since 2010; and what the cost was of each such event. [139961]

Mike Penning: Since April 2010, business areas within my Department have held two development days; one in 2011, and one in 2012. The costs for each of these events were under £100.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Democratic Republic of Congo

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the UN concerning plans and a timescale for the establishment of a comprehensive political framework for eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. [139828]

Mark Simmonds: I discussed the situation in Eastern DRC with Susan Malcorra, Chief of Staff to the UN Secretary General, during my visit to Kampala in November 2012, and also on 25 January in the margins of the AU summit in Addis Ababa. The UK fully supports the UN's efforts to encourage the early finalisation and agreement of a Peace and Security Framework for the Great Lakes Region. We will remain in close contact with UN interlocutors on this issue.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent action he has taken to urge those with influence over the M23 rebel group to help stop the violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. [139829]

Mark Simmonds: I raised my concerns about the ongoing crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 24 January with the Rwandan Foreign Minister and on 25 January with the DRC Foreign Minister. These discussions took place in the margins of the Africa Union summit in Addis Ababa. I urged the early

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finalisation and signature of a regional framework agreement which could provide the basis on which to build sustainable peace and prosperity in eastern DRC.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the peace talks being held between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the M23 rebel group over the situation in eastern DRC. [139832]

Mark Simmonds: The UK has been aware of the talks taking place in Kampala between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the M23 rebel group. Such talks can only be the first step in wider discussions that bring in all the Governments in the region. In this regard, the UK supports the early signing of a Peace and Security Framework for the Great Lakes Region. This is an important step in building sustainable peace and prosperity in eastern DRC. We encourage all stakeholders to address the underlying causes of conflict and remain convinced that an international oversight mechanism, as provided for in the current draft will bring about the sustained regional and international attention and engagement on eastern DRC needed to ensure long-term gains. The UPC is committed to playing its part.

Eric Joyce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo in respect of the renewed civil war in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. [140160]

Mark Simmonds: We make such representations regularly. At the African Union summit on 25 January I spoke in depth about the crisis in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with Raymond Tshibanda, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DRC. I also spoke with the President of the DRC, Joseph Kabila, in November last year in Kinshasa. On both occasions I urged them to seek out solutions which would create long-term peace and prosperity in the region and reiterated Britain's commitment to supporting such sustainable solutions.

Directors

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what declarations of interest must be made by his Department's non-executive directors; with what frequency any such declarations are required to be made; and if he will make that information publicly available. [140078]

Mr Lidington: The letter of appointment that our non-executive directors receive, requires that they declare to the Foreign Secretary and the permanent secretary any personal or business interests which may, or may be perceived (by a reasonable member of the public) to influence their judgment in performing their functions as non-executives. These interests include personal direct and indirect pecuniary interests and any such interests of their close family members. Non-executives are also required to inform the Foreign Secretary or permanent secretary in advance of any new appointments that may impinge on their performance of their functions and obligations as non-executives.

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) maintains a Register of Interests for FCO non-executives, which we require them to update annually. Details of any potential conflicts of interest, and how they have been managed, will be published in the FCO's annual report.

FCO Services

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff FCO Services has; and whether they are considered members of HM diplomatic service. [139881]

Mark Simmonds: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Services annual reports and accounts detail the number of staff employed by FCO Services, are laid before Parliament on an annual basis and can be found on the organisation's website at

www.fcoservices.gov.uk

FCO Services annual report and accounts 2012-13 will be laid before Parliament later this year. As of 31 December 2012 FCO Services employed 849 permanent staff.

FCO Services does not directly appoint employees to Her Majesty's diplomatic service (DS). However, when their employees are posted overseas they are awarded DS status and work under DS terms and conditions of employment.

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much income FCO Services has generated for the Exchequer in each of the last four years. [139882]

Mark Simmonds: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Services is a trading fund of the FCO, providing a range of bespoke, secure services worldwide to the FCO, other Government Departments and foreign governments and international organisations with which the UK has close links. As such it receives no direct funding from the Government, retaining its income to meet its expenditure, and therefore does not return income directly to the Exchequer.

FCO Services annual reports and accounts covering the last four years are laid before Parliament on an annual basis and can also be found on the organisation’s website at:

www.fcoservices.gov.uk

These detail FCO Services revenue generation and accounting over the period in question.

Homosexuality

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department will publish an updated Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Toolkit. [139827]

Mr Lidington: The Toolkit is circulated each year to all our embassies and high commissions. We currently have no plans to update the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Toolkit.

30 Jan 2013 : Column 828W

We continue to work to uphold the rights and freedoms of LGBT people in all circumstances. We believe that the international community must address all forms of discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and promote respect for diversity.

International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps he plans to take to facilitate the UK signing the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; and if he will make a statement; [136162]

(2) for what reason the UK has not signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; and if he will make a statement. [136163]

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

The UK Government fully support the need to protect all people from enforced disappearance and have made it clear in their formal response to the recommendations they received at their recent UN Universal Periodic Review that it is committed to making further progress on ratification by the time of our mid-term progress report under this mechanism which is due in 2014.

However, the convention imposes detailed and complex requirements on those states which choose to sign and ratify it and the Government are considering how the provisions of the treaty might be implemented in the UK.

The UK only signs a treaty once it is confident it can properly implement it and once any necessary changes to legislation have been made so that domestic law is compatible with the treaty.

Iran

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of financial sanctions against Iran. [140014]

Alistair Burt: Financial sanctions are restricting Iran's ability to trade and access its foreign currency reserves. They are therefore having a significant impact on the Iranian economy, and the regime's ability to fund its expenditure. Financial sanctions contribute significantly to the pressure on Iran to negotiate seriously with the E3+3 over its nuclear programme. They are accompanied by EU oil sanctions. Their effect has been exacerbated by the regime's economic mismanagement.

Israel

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what checks the Government have made on the use by the Israel defense forces of unmanned aerial vehicles containing components exported from the UK to Israel under approved export licences. [140440]

30 Jan 2013 : Column 829W

Alistair Burt: The UK maintains a rigorous and transparent arms export control system, whereby all applications are assessed on a case by case basis, against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. The criteria make clear our commitment to assess the risk of exports being used for internal repression or to provoke or prolong armed conflicts or aggravate existing tensions or conflict in the country of final destination. We apply these criteria rigorously, including with respect to Israel.

Accordingly, all licence assessments take into consideration, inter alia, the remit of the end user and the specification of the final platform. In cases where the proposed transfer is destined for a military end user we are particularly mindful to understand how equipment has been used during previous security operations and how it might be used in the future. Staff are continuously monitoring the situation on the ground in Israel to maximize our understanding of that situation—for example, most recently during Operation Cloud Pillar—so that this can inform our ongoing assessment of risk. We refuse licences for any arms exports to Israel which we assess would be inconsistent with the criteria or other relevant commitments.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 12 December 2012 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Ms Elizabeth Edwards. [140346]

Alistair Burt: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the right hon. Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), replied to the right hon. Member’s letter on 30 January 2013. I apologise for the delayed response, but Foreign and Commonwealth officials were seeking clarification on some of the issues raised.

Occupied Territories

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Glasgow Central of 22 January 2013, Official Report, columns 156-7, on occupied Palestinian territories, what he means by incentives and disincentives for (a) Israel and (b) Palestine with regards to future negotiations. [139864]

Alistair Burt: As the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), made clear, we look to the US to lead a major effort to renew the middle east peace process in 2013. European and Arab countries can contribute including through incentives and disincentives. This means making clear the positives for both sides, that could flow from resolution of the conflict as well as the serious downsides for both parties if the conflict remains unresolved.

Plants

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department has spent on indoor and outdoor plants and trees since his appointment. [139944]

30 Jan 2013 : Column 830W

Mr Lidington: I refer the hon. Member to the response the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Alistair Burt), gave on 28 March 2011, Official Report, column 104W.

Subsequently there has been no spend on additional indoor and outdoor plants and trees in the UK, but £3,189 on plants and plant stands for high profile international events at Lancaster House.

Recruitment

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department has spent on advertising job vacancies since May 2010. [139974]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advertises job vacancies through a targeted range of media. This is in line with the Civil Service Commission's Recruitment Principles, which state that:

“the media chosen to advertise job opportunities must be suitable for attracting a diverse field of strong potential candidates”.

The FCO has spent £234,236.28 advertising job vacancies since May 2010.

All of these positions were approved for external recruitment as either business-critical or a front-line service, in accordance with the terms of the Government-wide recruitment freeze which has been in place since May 2010.

In the two years preceding (financial years 2008-09 and 2009-10), the total spend on advertising was £453,990.70.

These figures do not include advertising for the Fast Stream as their recruitment is organised centrally by the Cabinet Office.

Sudan

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the extent to which UK residents are being targeted to pay ransoms for the victims of kidnapping in the Eritrea/Sudan border areas; and if he will make a statement. [140381]

Mark Simmonds: We are unaware of any UK residents who have been targeted to pay ransoms to kidnappers in the Eritrea/Sudan border areas.

West Africa

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to support West African states in improving maritime security. [140015]

Alistair Burt: We are heavily involved in supporting a regional approach to strengthening maritime security in West Africa. We are supporting the Economic Community of West African States and the Economic Community of Central African States in developing an integrated maritime security strategy, including through funding officials to lead this work. We are providing bilateral support to help build maritime policing capacity, for example by providing assistance to the Cameroon coast

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guard; training facilities in Nigeria and Ghana; and equipment to support counter-narcotics activity in Sierra Leone.

Last summer, HMS Dauntless conducted a comprehensive tour of the region participating in a multilateral counter-narcotics naval exercise with Senegal, Cape Verde and the US; conducting training exercises with local navies; and engaging with naval and maritime security experts in Ghana, Angola and Nigeria. We will build on this with a further Royal Navy deployment in the spring.

We are also supporting the shipping industry-led initiative to establish a regional Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre with a range of partners from industry and governments. We also intend to use our presidency of the G8 to continue the co-ordination of our partners' activities to strengthen further the region's maritime security capability.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeship starts under the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers scheme there have been in each region in each month since the scheme’s launch. [140366]

Matthew Hancock: The Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE 16 to 24) provides grants of £1,500 to employers with up to 1,000 employees that take on a young apprentice aged 16 to 24.

Table 1 shows the provisional number of AGE 16 to 24 Pipeline Starts and Payments Made by region between February and October 2012 (the latest period for which figures are available). AGE 16 to 24 was launched in February 2012. Payments are drawn down once the new apprentice has been in post for 13 weeks, therefore some apprenticeship starts are not included in the Payments Made column because they had not yet triggered a payment. Such apprenticeships are recorded as Pipeline Starts.

Table 1: AGE 16 to 24 apprenticeship starts, by region, February to October 2012 (provisional)
RegionPayments MadePipeline StartsTotal

North East

590

480

1,080

North West

1,180

1,370

2,540

Yorkshire and the Humber

730

800

1,530

East Midlands

660

690

1,350

West Midlands

830

840

1,670

East of England

610

760

1,370

London

470

410

880

South East

830

1,170

2,000

South West

750

1,440

2,180

Other

90

170

270

Total

6,700

8,100

14,900

Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 except for totals which are rounded to the nearest 100. Figures may not sum due to rounding. 2. Geography is based upon the delivery location of the Apprenticeship. Geographic information is based on boundaries of regions as of May 2010. Source: Individualised Learner Record

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Apprentices: Barnsley

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeships were created in Barnsley Central constituency in each month from May 2010 to date. [140377]

Matthew Hancock: I refer the hon. Member to my previous answer to his question on 20 December 2012, Official Report, column 862W, in which I provided apprenticeship starts in Barnsley Central parliamentary constituency by age and quarter since May 2010.

We publish apprenticeship starts at the quarterly level, therefore data for each month are not presented.

Business: Billing

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will introduce the British Chambers of Commerce's Kitemark scheme in order to promote prompt payments in the private sector. [140405]

Michael Fallon: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 31 October 2012, Official Report, column 298W.

Business: Loans

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he plans to lower the interest rates charged on small businesses which use Government-backed loan schemes. [140401]

Michael Fallon: The Funding for Lending scheme run by the Bank of England, with the approval of the Government, has led to long-term wholesale funding costs for banks reducing by more than 1 percentage point. This is improving the availability and price of credit to small businesses.

BIS's main loan guarantee programme for small and medium-sized businesses is the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme. The aim of this scheme is not to reduce the cost of finance for small businesses, but to help businesses without a sufficient track record or collateral access bank finance. This scheme has facilitated over 20,000 loan offers to businesses who would not otherwise get bank credit.

Computer Software

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of people trained in software development. [140404]

Jo Swinson: Apprenticeships are central to our skills ambition. Starts on the IT, Software, Web and Telecoms professional apprenticeship have risen year on year since 2007/08. In 2010/11, 11,780 individuals commenced the apprenticeship, with a further 7,470 embarking on an IT user qualification. The framework can include key software capabilities, with the advanced apprenticeship specifically targeting software and web development.

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Through the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, BIS has supported a number of industry initiatives aiming to improve the pipeline of talent into IT and computing.

This includes funding to help establish key industry initiatives such as the Information Technology Management for Business degree (ITMB), the E-skills professional placement, development of fit for purpose apprentice frameworks, and the Computing for Girls initiative.

In addition significant funding has been made available to support projects such as Informed Choices which includes an ambition to develop a stimulating new IT curriculum for students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and to develop both higher education and vocational pathways.

Conditions of Employment

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people are employed on zero-hour contracts in his Department. [139708]

Jo Swinson: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills does not employ anyone on zero-hour contracts.

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will take steps to establish a fair employment commission to work with business groups and trade unions to promote good employment practice. [139878]

Jo Swinson: There are many models of good employment practice; these are promoted by a range of organisations from businesses themselves through their supply chains, Government agencies like ACAS, and representative organisations like unions and trade bodies.

The Government believes that the promotion of good employment practice is best led by those organisations that have expertise in running businesses, and working with businesses on a day to day basis. This is exemplified through our support for ‘Trading for Good’, a service that encourages small businesses to promote their responsible business practices; the ‘Engage for Success’ initiative where top companies are coming together to share best practice and promote employee engagement; and the work we are doing to support the growth of employee owned companies following the Nuttall review.

Directors

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what declarations of interest must be made by his Department's non-executive directors; with what frequency any such declarations are required to be made; and if he will make that information publicly available. [140071]

Jo Swinson: BIS's non-executive board members are required to declare any personal or business interest which may, or may be perceived (by a reasonable member of the public) to influence their judgment in performing their functions and obligations.

The Corporate Governance Code provides that the board should agree and document an appropriate system to record and manage conflicts and potential conflicts

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of interest of board members. These records are updated on an annual basis. As set out in the code, the board will publish, in its governance statement, how any identified conflicts, and potential conflicts, of interest of board members have been managed. Copies of the Register of Interests will be laid in the House of Commons Library alongside the annual report and accounts.

The Corporate Governance Code can be found here:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/psr_governance_corporate.htm

Electricity

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on the effect of electricity market reform on employment; [140327]

(2) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on ensuring that there is an adequate skills mix in the workforce to deliver new and long-term employment as a result of measures in the Energy Bill; [140328]

(3) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on ensuring that the infrastructure growth entailed by electricity market reform delivers maximum benefit to UK businesses and their supply chains. [140336]

Michael Fallon: The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), meets the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), regularly to discuss energy and climate change policies, including how electricity market reform can deliver employment and maximum benefit to UK businesses. This includes support for supply chain and skills development and is a key part of the Government's industrial strategy.

BIS and DECC are working jointly with industry to develop sector strategies to support the nuclear, offshore wind and oil and gas industries. Assessing the impact of the reform proposals on employment and UK business is part of the standard policy-making process between BIS and DECC.

Environment Protection: Employment

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) South Yorkshire, (c) England and (d) the UK were employed in the global environment goods and services sector in 2011-12. [140376]

Michael Fallon: The latest data for 2010/11 are as follows:

(a) Data are not held at this level;

(b) Data are not published at this level; however, for Yorks and Humber estimated employment in the Low carbon and environmental goods and services sector (LCEGS) was around 68,000 employees in 2010/11;

(c) For England estimated total employment in the LCEGS sector was around 790,000 employees for 2010/11;

(d) For the UK estimated total employment in the LCEGS sector was around 940,000 employees for 2010/11.

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All figures have been rounded. Employment is a measure of the estimated numbers across all parts of the supply chain.

Graphene

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the number of graphene patents in the UK relative to competitor nations. [140369]

Jo Swinson: The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published a report in November 2011 which presents an overview of patenting in the field of graphene by UK resident inventors and applicants. It is available on the IPO website

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/informatic-graphene-uk.pdf

Figure 1 of the report has been reproduced as follows and shows the number of worldwide published patent applications by the country the applicant resides in.

Applicant countryNumber of published patent applications

USA

1,164

Japan

374

Korea

303

Germany

124

China

94

France

48

Switzerland

46

United Kingdom

46

Cyprus

19

Brazil

16

Australia

15

Finland

15

Belgium

13

Israel

13

Uruguay

13

Canada

12

Ireland

12

Netherlands

12

Italy

9

Russia

8

Singapore

8

Norway

7

Ukraine

4

Sweden

3

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (a) what statistics are held, (b) what research and studies have been commissioned and (c) what future projections have been made by his Department and its executive agencies on the number of graphene patents in the UK relative to competitor nations; and if he will place any such statistics, research and projections in the Library. [140370]

Jo Swinson: The information requested is as follows:

(a) and (b) The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published two reports in November 2011 which present an overview of patenting in the field of graphene. The first report provides a worldwide overview and the second report focuses on activity by UK resident applicants and inventors. Both reports are available on the IPO website:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/informatic-graphene.pdf

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and

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/informatic-graphene-uk.pdf

Copies will also be placed in the Library of the House.

(c) The IPO does not hold any future projections on the number of patents by UK applicants.

Money Lenders: Brigg

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent steps his Department has taken to reduce illegal money lending in Brigg and Goole constituency. [140363]

Jo Swinson: Until April 2012 the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) directly funded Trading Standards to take on complex cases which crossed individual local authority boundaries. This included setting up an Illegal Money Lending Team for England.

On 1 April 2012, the Government published its response to the consultation on Empowering and Protecting Consumers, which set out the decision to establish a National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) for England and Wales. During 2012/13, the NTSB has continued to fund the delivery of the Illegal Money Lending Team in England, which includes the same level of protection in Yorkshire and the Humber. The NTSB reports to BIS on progress on a quarterly basis, and BIS is represented on the NTSB.

Recruitment

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department has spent on advertising job vacancies since May 2010. [139966]

Jo Swinson: The code of accounts provides detail of expenditure against advertising and media, a generic description that is much wider than advertising job vacancies. It includes promotional advertising, notices, job advertising and many other forms of advertising.

The financial data provided by BIS do not go down to the level of granularity required to extract the information required as outlined in this question.

This information is not readily available within the Department and could be provided only at disproportionate costs.

Regional Growth Fund

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many individual awards from Round One of the Regional Growth Fund have not yet received a final agreed offer; and what the monetary value is of each of those awards. [140367]

Michael Fallon: Four individual awards out of 67 from Round 1 of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) have not yet received a final agreed offer letter as the companies have not been able to agree terms and conditions. Officials from the RGF Secretariat are agreeing a way forward with the companies to enable them to sign their final offer letters in line with Round 3 deadlines. The following table lists the monetary value of each of these awards.

30 Jan 2013 : Column 837W

Number£ million

1

4,010,000

2

12,900,000

3

2,000,000

4

17,850,000

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (a) how many and (b) which successful bids to the Regional Growth Fund have (i) received an agreed offer, (ii) received a final offer letter, (iii) drawn down funding and (iv) not yet reached these stages in each (A) region, (B) local authority and (C) funding round. [140368]

Michael Fallon: A table giving detail on all selected bidders from Rounds 1 and 2 of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) with which the Department has agreed final terms has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Where bidders have drawn down funding, this is indicated. RGF support is drawn down based on need and paid in arrears. Therefore many of the bidders who have not yet drawn down funding have nevertheless begun their project or programme, are delivering against the terms in their final offer, including job targets, and will draw the funding down at a future agreed date.

In addition to the selected bidders with whom the Department has agreed final terms in Rounds 1 and 2, there have been a number of withdrawals. As I stated in my written ministerial statement of 22 January 2013, Official Report, column 3WS, a list of all withdrawals (to date) will be published in due course. There are also a small number of selected bidders in Rounds 1 and 2 with whom we have yet to agree final terms and as I stated in my written ministerial statement of 17 January 2013, Official Report, columns 41-42WS, those terms will have to be agreed by 19 April 2013.

Due to commercial sensitivity we will only publish details of those bidders once they have completed those negotiations.

With regard to Round 3, I announced in my written ministerial statement of 22 January 2013, Official Report, column 3WS, that of the 130 selected bidders, 123 had agreed conditional terms and seven had withdrawn. The Department is in negotiations with those 123 bidders to agree final terms by 19 April 2013. Due to commercial sensitivity we will only publish details of those bidders once they have completed those negotiations. However I can confirm that having recently agreed conditional terms, none of the Round 3 bidders have drawn down funds as yet.

UK Trade and Investment

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many UK Trade and Investment employees were made redundant for underperformance in each year since 2006. [140246]

Jo Swinson: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is not an employer in its own right; for the majority of its human resource requirements it draws on civil service staff employed by one or other of its two parent Departments—the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

30 Jan 2013 : Column 838W

BIS and FCO do not make individuals redundant for underperformance. Since 2006, two individuals working in UKTI have been dismissed for poor performance. If individuals are underperforming, they are helped to improve their performance through their parent Department's performance improvement measures prior to any dismissal procedures.

We do not hold records for individuals employed locally at posts overseas who have been dismissed as they are employed by the Mission in the country where they are based.

UK Trade and Investment: India

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the cost of UK Trade and Investment delegations to India since 5 May 2010. [139988]

Michael Fallon: UK Trade and Investment's (UKTI) financial system records spend at a programme and team level. UKTI does not centrally hold records of historical costs against individual delegations. To provide this would require obtaining and analysing all local records since May 2010 and this can be done only at disproportionate cost.

Women and Equalities

Departmental Responsibilities

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what the Government Equalities Office's top three policy implementation (a) successes and (b) failures have been since May 2010. [138377]

Maria Miller: The policy implementation priorities of the Government Equalities Office can be found in the Department's structural reform plan, progress against which is reported on the Government's business plan website

http://transparency.number10.gov.uk/business-plan

A broader look at implementation progress can be found in the Government's mid-term review document

http://midtermreview.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/

published on 7 January 2013 and the Programme for Government Update

http://midtermreview.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/programme-for-government-update/

published on 9 January 2013.

Equal Pay

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what steps she is taking to ensure that employers in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) England implement equal pay for women. [140371]

Jo Swinson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 28 January 2013, Official Report, column 612W.

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Procurement

Julian Smith: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what proportion of procurement contracts offered by the Government Equalities Office has been advertised on the Contracts Finder website since that website's inception. [138868]

Mrs Grant: On 18 December 2012 the Government Equalities Office (GEO) became part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Prior to that date GEO was part of the Home Office and all GEO contracts that could have been advertised on Contracts Finder would be included in returns and answers relating to the Home Office.

Senior Civil Servants

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities how many and what proportion of officials of the three most senior grades in the Government Equalities Office have (a) resigned, (b) taken voluntary early retirement, (c) left the Government Equalities Office for alternative employment, (d) been dismissed, (e) taken long-term sick leave and (f) taken administrative leave since May 2010. [139218]

Mrs Grant: As of 4 September 2012 responsibility for the Government Equalities Office, formerly within the Home Office, moved to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The information requested is currently still held by the Home Office and will be provided by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (James Brokenshire) in PQ 139220.

Health

Care Homes: Fees and Charges

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the number of care trusts that are encouraging families of people receiving Continuing Healthcare Funding to provide top-up payments through private agreements with care homes; and if he will make a statement. [139759]

Norman Lamb: The National Framework for NHS Continuing Healthcare and NHS-funded Nursing Care provides that when an individual has been found eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, then the respective primary care trust is required to commission and fund an individualised package of care that will fully meet the person's assessed level of need. This does not therefore necessitate funding by the individual or their family.

Doctors: Standards

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department has recently reviewed the procedure of doctor's fitness to practise hearings in the light of criticism of the lack of right to appeal by the General Medical Council; whether it has taken any steps to amend that procedure; and whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals in relation to this matter. [140355]

30 Jan 2013 : Column 840W

Dr Poulter: The General Medical Council (GMC) has consulted on proposals to improve and modernise its fitness to practise adjudication processes, to enhance the independence of adjudication while continuing to protect patients and the public. The Department is working with the GMC to facilitate changes to its legislation to achieve these objectives.

As part of these proposals, the GMC is seeking an appeal right, similar to and sitting alongside, the Professional Standards Authority's (PSA) current right to appeal unduly lenient decisions of the GMC's fitness to practise panels under section 29 of the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002. We are aware that the recent Commons Health Committee Report (2012 accountability hearing with the GMC—published 3 December 2012) made a recommendation that the GMC should have such a right.

The PSA has raised some questions about how this proposal would work in practice and the Department is exploring these. The Department acknowledges that there may be differing views, and we consider that the most appropriate course of action would be to consult on the issue as part of a public consultation on draft legislation in due course. We are also seeking technical advice from the Ministry of Justice on the appropriateness of a concurrent appeal right.

We are working towards draft legislation for consultation, which would make a number of proposals for reform to the GMC's fitness to practise proceedings, and this proposal would be included within those measures.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of (a) the implications for doctor's fitness to practise hearings of recent court judgments including Cohen v GMC [2008] EWHC 581 (Admin) and (b) any changes to legislation required in light of these judgments; whether his Department has taken any action with regard to this matter in the last (i) three and (ii) six months; and whether it plans to take any future action. [140437]

Dr Poulter: The Department is aware of the Cohen decision, where the decision of a fitness to practise panel was overturned on appeal by the practitioner to the High Court on the ground that it was found to have approached the test for impairment of fitness to practise incorrectly. The Department has not made a formal assessment of this case. However, it and any other relevant case law, will be considered as part of current work on the General Medical Council's (GMC) fitness to practise processes.

The GMC has consulted on proposals to improve and modernise its fitness to practise adjudication processes, to enhance the independence of adjudication while continuing to protect patients and the public. The Department is currently working with the GMC towards draft legislation for consultation to facilitate changes to achieve these objectives.

Health Services: Dependants

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the costs to the NHS were of treatment of people residing in the UK as an adult dependent relative of a

30 Jan 2013 : Column 841W

permanent resident of the UK in

(a)

2009,

(b)

2010 and

(c)

2011. [139671]

Anna Soubry: The Department does not hold this information.

Health: Standards

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will direct Public Health England to prioritise the development of a Quality and Outcomes Framework indicator that would award points to GPs to advise, prescribe and recommend appropriate guidance and support from the wide range of sources available in the community; [140088]

(2) what steps he is taking to incentivise GPs to advise, prescribe and recommend appropriate guidance and support for overweight and obese patients. [140092]

Dr Poulter: From April 2013 Public Health England (PHE) will set priorities for developing new and amended public health indicators in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), in consultation with the devolved Administrations. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will continue to manage the process of reviewing and developing indicators for QOF, both clinical and public health, based on NICE or NICE accredited evidence as they have since April 2009.

We are committed to applying evidence of what works in tackling obesity and other challenges to the public's health and well-being. While the Secretary of State for Health will set strategic priorities for PHE and hold it to account, PHE will have operational autonomy in setting priorities for developing QOF public health indicators.

The QOF incentivises general practitioner (GP) practices to identify and keep a record each year of patients aged 16 and over with a body mass index greater than or equal to 30. This encourages GPs to identify patients who need lifestyle advice and provides information to public health professionals and commissioners on levels of need.

Heart Diseases

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 13 December 2012, Official Report, column 414W, on heart diseases, when in early 2013 the Patient Decision Aid on stroke prevention for atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter will be made available; and what will be included in that publication. [140218]

Anna Soubry: We expect the Patient Decision Aid on stroke prevention for atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter to be made available in March 2013. The publication will give patients sufficient information to understand the condition, the decisions on treatment options they are facing for stroke prevention and a consideration of the outcomes and trade-offs they will have to make to come to a decision.

Hyperactivity

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what safeguards exist to ensure that GPs adhere to clinical practice when diagnosing ADHD. [139792]

30 Jan 2013 : Column 842W

Norman Lamb: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance ‘Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Diagnosis and management of ADHD in children, young people and adults’, published in 2008 sets out recommendations of best practice based on the evidence available.

Health care professionals are expected to fully take into account the guidelines issued by NICE when exercising their clinical judgment.

The chief medical officer, Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer and NHS Medical Director wrote to health care professionals, including general practitioners and medical directors of national health service trusts in December 2011 about developments in child mental health, drawing particular attention to a review of the ADHD guidance. A copy has been placed in the Library.

The General Medical Council is the independent regulator for doctors in the United Kingdom. Its statutory purpose is to protect, promote and maintain the health and safety of the public by ensuring proper standards in the practice of medicine.

Hyperactivity: Children

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment his Department has made of the number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. [139755]

Norman Lamb: The Department has made no such assessment. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines, ‘Attention deficit hyperactive disorder: Diagnosis and management of ADHD in children, young people and adults’, published in 2008 state that around 1-2% cent of children and young people in the United Kingdom meet the criteria for severe ADHD and up to 9% may meet the broader criteria for mild or moderate ADHD.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey ‘Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain, 2004’ (ONS 2005) suggests that around 1.5% of children have Hyperkinetic Disorder, which is a term used by the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) to refer to the more severe form of ADHD.

Medicine: Research

Bob Blackman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to support the NHS Commissioning Board in its duty to promote research. [140010]

Dr Poulter: I refer my hon. Friend to the written answer I gave the hon. Member for Sheffield Central (Paul Blomfield) on 15 January 2013, Official Report, column 705W.

Meningitis: Vaccination

Meg Hillier: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure the prompt introduction of the new meningitis B vaccine into the childhood immunisation schedule. [140499]

30 Jan 2013 : Column 843W

Anna Soubry: The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is currently evaluating possible meningococcal B vaccination strategies. The evaluation is anticipated to be completed later this year.

Any decisions about implementing a national childhood immunisation schedule will be announced in due course once the Department has received and considered JCVI's advice.

The Department is working with the NHS Commissioning Board and Public Health England to plan for the implementation of a potential meningococcal B immunisation programme, subject to the advice of JCVI.

Mental Illness

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the incidence of mental illness among (a) home owners, (b) social sector tenants and (c) private sector tenants. [140411]

Norman Lamb: No such estimate has been made.

Publications

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 17 January 2013, Official Report, column 881W, on publications, if he would place a copy of the staff magazine, Link in the Library. [139831]

Dr Poulter: As described in the response dated 17 January, the Department used to produce a printed magazine (Link), but this ceased nearly two years ago. We only hold one master copy on file, which has been placed in the Library. The new version of the magazine, DHLife, launched back in December, is electronic. It is hosted on our intranet and contains links to other pages on our intranet which would mean that while we could share the link, access would not be possible without a Department of Health account.

Radiotherapy

Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which Ministers from his Department have met representatives of (a) Varian Medical Systems, (b) Elekta and (c) Accuray between May 2010 and April 2012. [140220]

Norman Lamb: None.

Recruitment

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on advertising job vacancies since May 2010. [139975]

Dr Poulter: Since May 2010, £59,136 was spent on advertising civil service vacancies at all grades in the Department.

In the years 2011-12 and 2012-13, a combined total of £47,902 was spent on advertising civil service vacancies. This is compared to £511,261 in the years 2008-09 and 2009-10.

30 Jan 2013 : Column 844W

Ritalin

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the increase in prescriptions being issued for the Ritalin form of the drug methylphenidate in the last 10 years. [139760]

Norman Lamb: The following table shows the number of prescription items dispensed for the Ritalin brand of methylphenidate hydrochloride has declined in the latest available 10 year period. In the same period prescription items dispensed for all methylphenidate hydrochloride, as listed in British National Formulary section 4.4 ‘CNS stimulants and drugs used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder’, increased.

Number of methylphenidate hydrochloride prescription items written in the UK and dispensed in the community in England, 2002-11
Thousand
 Ritalin brand of Methylphenidate HydrochlorideAll Methylphenidate Hydrochloride listed in BNF 4.4, including Ritalin

2002

161.8

254.0

2003

124.5

314.5

2004

67.8

359.1

2005

30.7

389.2

2006

26.5

456.9

2007

25.5

535.3

2008

22.8

573.4

2009

20.2

610.2

2010

18.8

661.5

2011

18.6

714.8

Source: Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system. The Health and Social Care Information Centre, Prescribing and Primary Care Service

Justice

Community Orders

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he has any plans to increase the use of fines for offenders sentenced to community penalties. [139148]

Jeremy Wright: In October 2012, the Government introduced provisions in the Crime and Courts Bill to ensure that in future all community orders should include a punitive element. Such a punitive element could be a restriction of liberty (such as a curfew) or a fine. The decision to impose a fine or another punitive element will be left to the discretion of the courts.

G4S

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2013, Official Report, column 728W, on G4S, (1) if he will publish his Department's contract with G4S in respect of total facilities management; [140214]

(2) whether reductions in staff (a) numbers and (b) hours are (i) specified and (ii) permitted under his Department's contract with G4S in respect of total facilities management. [140215]

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Jeremy Wright: Those elements of the G4S contract in respect of Total Facilities Management which we are able to publish can be found at:

http://www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/?site=l000&lang=en

This excludes publication of the NEC standard terms and conditions of the contractual documentation as these are copyright.

The Ministry of Justice Total Facilities Management Contract with G4S went live on 1 February 2012. A key objective of the tender process was to reduce costs to MOJ, while improving efficiency through standardisation, throughout the life of the contract. Accordingly, the contract permits, but does not specify, reductions in staff numbers and hours where detriment to service standards and delivery to output specifications are not compromised.

Judicial Review

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to paragraph 35 of his Department's Consultation Paper CP25/2012 on Judicial Review: Proposals for Reform, what reasons there are for stating that the threat of judicial review has an unduly negative effect on decision makers. [139930]

Mrs Grant: Prior to the publication of the engagement exercise, initial work with Government Departments suggested that the threat of judicial review had an impact on the approach to decision making which they and other public bodies took to reduce the risk of a successful legal challenge.

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many applications for permission to apply for judicial review in asylum or immigration cases were (a) received, (b) granted and (c) refused in each of the last five years for which records are held; and how many of the granted applications were (i) allowed, (ii) dismissed and (iii) withdrawn; [140039]

(2) how many applications for permission to apply for judicial review in asylum and immigration cases in each of the last five years for which records are held relate to unresolved cases. [140065]

Mrs Grant: The following table shows the number of immigration and asylum judicial review cases, by year, that fall into each category requested in question 140039:

Judicial review civil—immigration and asylum
 20082009201020112012

(a) Received

4,592

6,629

8,120

8,807

9,911

(b) Granted

468

481

749

612

781

(c) Refused

3,367

2,991

4,434

4,635

5,873

(i) Allowed

47

52

62

54

44

(ii) Dismissed (after permission granted)

87

74

95

68

83

(iii) Withdrawn (at substantive hearing)

9

10

5

4

6

As at the end of December 2012, there were 4,830 live judicial review civil immigration and asylum cases in the Administrative Court. The following table shows the number of cases that are still live, by the year that they were issued:

30 Jan 2013 : Column 846W

Year of issueNumber of live cases

Pre 2008

16

2008

15

2009

25

2010

109

2011

417

2012

4,248

Total

4,830

Travel

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) destination, (b) purpose and (c) cost was of each first class (i) rail and (ii) aeroplane journey undertaken by (A) Ministers and (B) officials in his Department since May 2010. [134138]

Chris Grayling: Neither I nor my ministerial team travel first class.

The majority of bookings of rail and air travel are done through an outsourced agency. The Department's expenditure booked through the agency on first class rail and air travel from May 2010 to December 2012 (the latest period for which data are available) is given in the following table, along with the corresponding figures for April 2009 to March 2010:

Total expenditure
£000
Type of journeyMay 2010 to December 2012April 2009 to March 2010

Rail

1,270

4,397

Air

8

8

The new travel and subsistence policy introduced for 2010-11 contains robust restrictions on using first class travel. However, the policy does recognise that in certain cases, first class travel can be undertaken with senior management approval. The restrictions resulted in a 93% reduction in expenditure on first class travel in 2011-12, compared to 2009-10.

The majority of the remaining spend on first class relates to travel costs of the judiciary, which is allowed within their terms and conditions.

In order to further reduce expenditure across the Department's budgets and provide better value for money for the taxpayer. I have initiated a review of all of the Department's discretionary spend. Further to the existing controls I have also put in place an immediate ban on all 1st class and business travel for civil servants working for the Department, recognising occasional exceptions to this to support disabled staff in carrying out their duties, where it is reasonable to do so.

Information on ministerial overseas travel is published on a quarterly basis on our Department's website at

http://www.justice.gov.uk/information-access-rights/transparency-data