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Written Ministerial Statements

Monday 15 April 2013

Business, Innovation and Skills

Insolvency Proceedings (EU Regulation)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Jo Swinson): The UK has opted in to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No. 1346/2000 on insolvency proceedings (“the existing regulation”).

The proposal meets the criteria set out in the coalition agreement with regard to EU justice and home affairs measures. In particular, the Government consider that it is in the UK’s interest to opt in to the proposal because it will be of general benefit to creditors and businesses in the UK and EU.

The decision to opt in was unanimously supported by stakeholders who responded to a call for evidence during February 2013. I intend to publish the responses received later today.

I believe the proposed amendments to the insolvency regulation will benefit UK businesses affected by insolvency in the EU. The proposals support business rescue by expanding the scope of the regulation to restructuring and pre-insolvency proceedings. Bankruptcy tourism will be tackled through new rules on determining jurisdiction and increased transparency for creditors. In addition, the proposals include new rules on publication of insolvency information via free online registers across the EU, in line with our digital by default strategy.

The Government will now participate fully in negotiations on the draft text of the amended regulation.

National Minimum Wage

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Vince Cable): The Low Pay Commission’s 2013 report and recommendations to the Government are being published today, alongside the Government’s response.

The Low Pay Commission’s 2013 report

The main recommendations put forward by the Low Pay Commission concern the rates of the national minimum wage. The commission has recommended that the adult hourly rate of the national minimum wage should increase from £6.19 to £6.31. The commission has recommended increasing the development rate, which covers workers aged 18 to 20, from £4.98 to £5.03 and increasing the rate for 16 to 17-year-olds from £3.68 to £3.72. It recommends that the apprentice rate should remain at £2.65. It recommended that these changes take place in October 2013.

The commission has also recommended that the accommodation offset increases from the current £4.82 to £4.91 in October 2013.

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The Government accept the recommendations on the adult and youth rates, and on the accommodation offset, but have concluded that the apprentice rate should be increased by 3p to £2.68 from 1 October 2013.

Government’s response to individual recommendations in the Low Pay Commission’s 2013 report

National Minimum Wage Rates

We recommend that the adult rate of the national minimum wage be increased by 1.9%, or 12p, to £6.31 an hour, from 1 October 2013.

We recommend an increase of 1.0% in the youth development rate to £5.03 an hour and in the 16 to 17-year-old rate to £3.72 an hour from 1 October 2013.

We recommend that the accommodation offset be increased by 1.9%, to £4.91 a day, from 1 October 2013.

Accept

We recommend that the apprentice rate should remain at £2.65 an hour from 1 October 2013.

Reject

The Government share the commission’s concern about non-compliance with the apprentice minimum wage and we are clear that employers must pay their staff at least the minimum wage. However, we believe that it is important to maintain the relative position of the apprentice rate compared to benefits and the youth rates to preserve the attractiveness of apprenticeships for young people. The Government have concluded therefore that a 1% increase in the apprentice rate would be appropriate. This is in line with the recommended increases in the youth rates; evidence in the commission’s report shows that the majority of apprentices paid on and just above the apprentice rate are young people. It is also the planned level of public sector pay and benefit increases. We consider that the modest level of this increase would not have significant adverse effects on employment or training for apprentices. In conjunction with this, we are putting in place a package of measures to improve compliance, including focused communications and targeted enforcement by HM Revenue & Customs.

Accommodation Offset

We recommend that the accommodation offset should remain the only permitted benefit-in-kind that can count towards payment of the national minimum wage and there should be only one rate. It should apply irrespective of whether the worker has a choice over taking the accommodation.

Accept

Salaried-hours Workers

We recommend that the regulations for salaried-hours workers continue to be required in all their essentials. In order to make it as simple and easy as possible to achieve national minimum wage compliance the Government should adapt their guidance to include examples and an online means of determining what payment is required.

Accept

Compliance

We recommend that the Government should combine a communications campaign and a targeted enforcement initiative to ensure that the apprentice rate is known to employers and apprentices, and that infringers are caught, punished, and wherever appropriate, named.

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Accept

The Government believe that this recommendation should be viewed alongside the apprentice rate recommendation. The Government accept this recommendation and in fact goes further than is proposed. There will be a multi- faceted push on non-compliance in this area.

We recommend that contracts issued by public bodies which commission the provision of social care should contain a clause requiring at least the national minimum wage to be paid, just as they may require compliance with other aspects of the law, such as health and safety legislation. The Government should take responsibility for bringing this about.

Note

The Government fully agree with the commission’s aim of reducing non-compliance in this sector. However, we believe there are more effective ways to achieve this. The Department of Health and the Department for Communities and Local Government are working together to develop tougher measures to deter non-compliance as well as support to improve compliance.

The Low Pay Commission’s report has been presented to Parliament today (Command Paper number 8565).

Council for Science and Technology (Triennial Review)

The Minister for Universities and Science (Mr David Willetts): The coalition Government made a commitment to review public bodies, with the aim of increasing accountability for actions carried out on behalf of the state. The triennial review of the Council for Science and Technology is one of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) reviews of non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) scheduled to commence during the third year of the programme (2013-14). The review will commence in April 2013. This is not a review of the policy relating to science and technology, to which the Government remain committed.

The review will be conducted as set out in Cabinet Office guidance, in two stages.

The first stage will:

Identify and examine the key functions of the Council for Science and Technology and assess the requirement for these to continue;

If continuing, then assess delivery options and where the conclusion is that a particular function is still needed, examine how this function might best be delivered, including a cost and benefits analysis where appropriate;

If one of these options is continuing delivery through the Council for Science and Technology then make an assessment against the Government’s “three tests”: technical function; political impartiality; need for independence from Ministers.

If the outcome of stage 1 is that delivery should continue through the Council for Science and Technology then the second stage of the project will be to ensure that it is operating in line with the recognised principles of good corporate governance, using the Cabinet Office “comply or explain” standard approach.

When completed the report of the review will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Treasury

Cyprus

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Greg Clark): I previously committed to keeping the House up to date on the events in Cyprus as the situation developed, in particular the structure of the final bailout package, and the implications for the UK.

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As I previously outlined, the Republic of Cyprus requested a programme of financial assistance from its fellow members of the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund. On 25 March 2013, the Eurogroup reached an agreement on Cyprus, which included the resolution of Cyprus Popular (Laiki) Bank and the restructuring of Bank of Cyprus, imposing losses on senior unsecured creditors and some uninsured deposits, including in the case of Bank of Cyprus the exchange of some deposits over €100,000 for equity stakes in the bank.

Britain is not part of the eurozone and was not party to the negotiations. There is no contribution from the United Kingdom through the European financial stabilisation mechanism (EFSM) or bilaterally.

The Eurogroup agreement welcomes a contribution by the IMF to the programme, but no formal proposal has yet been put forward to the IMF’s executive board. The UK will assess and vote on any programme put to the IMF’s executive board on the basis of its own merits, as it has always done. UK support for the IMF does not add to our debt or deficit, and no one who has provided money to the IMF has ever lost that money.

The financial envelope agreed by the Eurogroup is €10 billion, which will cover bonds coming to maturity, deficit financing and the recapitalisation of the other domestic banks. The Greek branches of Hellenic, Bank of Cyprus and Laiki were sold to Greek banks as part of the deal. There will be no contribution from the programme to the recapitalisation of Bank of Cyprus. This will instead be funded by using existing debt holders and some uninsured deposits. Cyprus Popular (Laiki) Bank has been put into resolution and split into a “good” bank, which has been transferred to Bank of Cyprus, and a “bad” bank which will be wound down.

Cyprus is an important and longstanding ally of the UK and a member of the Commonwealth. Therefore, while not part of the eurozone negotiations, HM Government immediately offered to make available technical assistance to the Government of Cyprus during what was a very difficult period for them, which they accepted. This included a team of UK officials going to Cyprus to provide this assistance first hand. The Government of Cyprus have since conveyed their appreciation for this assistance which they found to be very helpful. Officials have since returned to the UK.

In addition, my officials also worked with the Cypriot authorities to develop a solution for deposits held in the UK branch of Cyprus Popular Bank. There was very close and effective co-operation between the Treasury, the Bank of England and its new regulatory arm the Prudential Regulation Authority, and the Financial Conduct Authority. This reflects the working of the new regulatory system that came into legal existence during the management of the crisis in Cyprus.

On 1 April, Cyprus Popular Bank reached an agreement with Bank of Cyprus UK to transfer all customer deposits in their UK branch to the UK subsidiary of Bank of Cyprus. This included some 15,000 accounts with approximately £270 million of deposits. The transfer was accompanied by matching cash assets.

The transfer agreement between Bank of Cyprus UK and Cyprus Popular Bank was given effect by a transfer decree made under Cypriot law. It was subsequently approved by the Prudential Regulation Authority and

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the Financial Conduct Authority under our new regulatory system. HM Treasury officials assisted in discussions with the Cypriot authorities and also provided some assistance in the legal processes around the transfer.

Unlike Bank of Cyprus UK, which is a UK supervised subsidiary, Cyprus Popular Bank UK operated here as a branch of its Cypriot parent company. Under EU law, primary responsibility for the supervision and resolution of Cyprus Popular Bank UK therefore rested with the Cypriot authorities. Had the transfer not been agreed, the deposits in the UK branch of Cyprus Popular Bank would have been included in the Cypriot bank restructuring with all of the uncertainty that this would have brought with it. That will not now be the case.

The deposits are now with Bank of Cyprus UK, which will continue to operate as a UK subsidiary, regulated and supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. All eligible deposits, including those transferred from Cyprus Popular Bank, will now benefit from the coverage of the UK’s financial services compensation scheme up to £85,000.

This has all been achieved without any material recourse to public funds.

More widely, state benefit payments to accounts in Cyprus, which were previously on hold while the banks in Cyprus remained closed, have resumed following their reopening.

As was previously stated, those who have been sent to Cyprus to serve our military or our Government, and their families, will be protected in full from losses on their personal deposits. Ministers from the Ministry of Defence will keep the House updated on this issue.

The Government continue to monitor the situation in Cyprus closely.

Cabinet Office

Transparency and Open Data

The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General (Mr Francis Maude): Today I am publishing a statement of progress made by Departments against their open data strategies and performance against the public data principles for the period quarter 3 2012-13, October to December 2012.

This is the second statement of its kind and it aims to provide an ongoing narrative of departmental progress in the open data agenda and bring to light issues that are facing Departments in releasing and enabling the release of open data. The report aims to highlight, through the release of datasets and work being carried out on the domestic and international fronts, that the Government are continuously expanding their ability both to release and update the most accessible open and reusable data, and their capacity and capability to produce datasets that will realise the most economic and social benefits.

The full report is available on www.data.gov.uk and has been placed in the Library of the House.

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Communities and Local Government

Departmental Work

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Mr Eric Pickles): I would like to update hon. Members on the main items of business undertaken by my Department since the House of Commons rose on 26 March.

Abolishing regional planning

Planning and house building works best when it is locally led and people have more control in shaping and deciding on development in the places they live. The last Administration’s top-down approach of imposing regional strategies, based on artificial government regions, coincided with the lowest peacetime levels of house building since the 1920s.

The coalition Government announced their decision to revoke the final three regional strategies for the west midlands, north-west and south-west through a written statement on 27 March, Official Report, House of Lords, column 109. This means we have now delivered the coalition agreement to abolish these unpopular and counter-productive regional strategies giving every community more control over local planning.

We are determined to help put communities back into the driving seat of local development and local plans agreed by communities and councils are now at the heart of determining where homes should go. Already, 500 communities across the country are backing neighbourhood plans for their area, showing that people welcome development when they are given the opportunity to be involved and shape it in the best way for the local area.

Tackling unauthorised development

We are determined to ensure fair play in the planning system and to tackle intentional unauthorised development. On 29 March, my Department confirmed that restrictions will be lifted on the use of temporary stop notices, enabling councils to act immediately and safeguard their local area from caravans being placed on unauthorised sites. The associated secondary legislation has been laid before the House.

Individuals who have gone to the effort of buying land are quite capable of applying for planning permission, and it is only right that planning permission should be secured before development is undertaken. It is not fair that some people try and sidestep the planning system, which is why we have already given local councils stronger powers to deal with retrospective or vexatious applications. But we are going further and, subject to parliamentary ratification, are giving councils greater freedom to take swift and effective enforcement action against unauthorised caravans backed up with the potential for heavy fines.

Helping aspiring self-builders

On 28 March, my Department announced a comprehensive range of measures designed to help people aspiring to build their own homes to get their projects off the ground. Currently, only those planning to use the new powers under the community right to build have access to a dedicated fund, to build up their development proposals and submit a community right to build order. To ensure anyone has access to this

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financial support regardless of the route they take for planning permission, we are expanding the scheme to enable all community groups, including self-builders, the ability to access £14 million of available support funding to help them initiate their local projects, even if they do not plan to use the community right to build.

This is in addition to the £30 million custom build fund, over half of which has already been earmarked to support 15 different projects across England. My Department has also confirmed that locality will work with the National Self Build Association, the UK Cohousing Network, the National Community Land Trust Network, Self-help Housing and the Confederation of Co-operative Housing to encourage more local projects.

On 15 April, we published a consultation paper on further reforms to the last Administration’s community infrastructure levy. The changes will make the levy fairer, faster, more certain and more transparent. The consultation includes a proposal for a new exemption for self-build homes. This will cover new homes built or commissioned by individuals, families or groups of individuals for their own use and that will be owner occupied. This delivers on the commitment given by the Minister for Housing in May 2013 and will make an enormous difference to people looking to build their own home.

Safeguarding community assets

Localism is about giving power back to communities, as they know best what their local needs are. Communities, and voluntary and charity groups are now taking action to use the new rights we have created through the new community right to bid in the Localism Act to help save local shops, pubs, libraries, and parks, influence how planning decisions are made and how local public services run. I was delighted to see that the residents of Nunhead had successfully used the community right to bid to save their local pub the Ivy House from closure.

We want to see more communities using the community rights to save their treasured assets and I would like to draw hon. Members’ attention to my Department’s support for the Campaign for Real Ale’s community pubs month which launched on 1 April and is calling on people to list their local pub as an asset of community value.

Boosting coastal communities

Following huge success last year, on 3 April my Department opened applications for a second round of coastal communities funding. The funds available have been increased by over £4.1 million to £27.8 million so more communities can win awards to boost their economic development. The fund for the projects is raised from the Crown Estate’s marine assets and reinvested in coastal areas.

In 2012, 26 projects in England from Scarborough to Swanage, and from Torbay to Tyneside, received funding to develop their areas, helping to create and safeguard 5,000 jobs, 1,400 training places, 400 volunteering opportunities and support 250 new business start-ups. The money was also used for a variety of projects including rejuvenating heritage areas and leisure facilities as well as helping businesses embrace digital technology and promote innovation. The projects also attracted additional funding from public and private co-sponsors of over £16 million.

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Clamping down on criminal landlords and housing fraud

We want to ensure fair play in taxpayer-funded social housing and to crack down on rogue landlords who cash in on renting out homes to illegal immigrants. On 27 March, my Department gave a £790,000 funding boost to four London boroughs to further support ongoing efforts to tackle criminal landlords who trap vulnerable tenants in so-called “beds in sheds”.

So-called “beds in sheds” are often rented to immigrants, including some with no right to be in the UK, at extortionate rates. Over the past year locally-led efforts, backed with Government cash, have led to councils working more closely with the police and Home Office immigration law enforcement to flush out these rogue landlords, and to get a better sense of the scale of the problem.

On 3 April, 2013 my Department announced £9.5 million for 62 councils to help them to combat social housing fraud and ensure homes go to those who truly need them. Social housing fraud can cost the taxpayer £900 million a year and we are giving councils more powers to take action. Due to come into force this summer, the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 will mean perpetrators could face a fine and a custodial sentence of up to two years, while councils will be able to recover the proceeds of sub-letting social homes.

Helping the disabled live independent lives

On 28 March, my Department confirmed £180 million of disabled facilities grant for 2013-14 to help councils fund the adaptations disabled people need to live independently in their own home. The grant can be used for adaptations that provide better freedom of movement into and around the home or to provide essential facilities helping people stay in their homes if their circumstances change, providing the support that disabled or vulnerable people need to live independently and comfortably, whether they are homeowners, social tenants or living in rented accommodation.

Tackling the digital divide

People who live in council and housing association homes currently make up over a quarter of people who do not use the internet. On 4 April, my Department alongside the Department for Work and Pensions announced £400,000 of funding for innovative programmes to provide low-cost internet access and improve tenants’ motivation to go online. Successful bidding landlords will have to match Government funding with their own money, pound for pound, therefore doubling the total pot to £800,000.

Providing a safety net for the homelessness

This country has one of the strongest safety nets against homelessness in the world, backed with £470 million Government funding. It is vital this continues to protect the most vulnerable in society. On 9 April, my Department launched a £1.7 million gold standard scheme helping councils across the country learn from each other to deliver the best possible service, and ensuring that those facing the threat of losing their home get the support they need.

The peer-led scheme will provide a host of free training and support to enable councils to reach gold standard status, a benchmark of their achievements and work to support people and guard against homelessness. The

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first 10 councils to receive gold standard status will then offer advice and a critical eye to other councils looking to achieve the same.

Supporting fiscal decentralisation

At the beginning of April, the new system of local government finance began. The local funding settlement used to be the end game, but this year it is just the starting point. Councils can earn more of their keep through rate retention by bringing businesses and jobs in to their area. This could deliver an estimated extra £10 billion to the wider economy by 2020. The new homes bonus and the localisation of council tax benefit also provide strong incentives for councils to promote local economic growth and to support local firms and local jobs.

Freezing council tax

This Government are determined to back people who work hard by supporting residents through much needed cost of living assistance. Official statistics published on 27 March confirmed that the average band D council tax level for 2013-14 has changed by a mere 0.8%, which is equivalent to a real terms’ cut of 2.3%. Our three-year council tax freeze deal has been worth a 9.7% real terms reduction to taxpayers’ cost of living. This is in stark contrast to under the last Administration when council tax bills more than doubled.

From this April, council tax payers can also now request to pay their 2013 bills over 12 months rather than 10, helping people balance their monthly budgets, and meaning taxpayers’ money says in their bank accounts for longer.

The Greater London Authority reduced its council tax precept across London by some 1.2% in 2013-14, entitling it to a council tax freeze grant. The authority’s precept has fallen from £310 a year on band D bills in 2008-09 to £303 in 2013-14. This is a significant cut in real terms.

In its calculation of unadjusted relevant basic amount of council tax, there was a technical administrative error by the Greater London Authority. The circumstances are unique to the Greater London Authority and arise from the City of London having its own police force and not contributing to the cost of the Metropolitan police force. For a relatively small number of residents in the City of London, the increase in the unadjusted amount was not offset by a substantial reduction in the costs of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. The position in respect of council taxpayments across Greater London remains as set out in council budgets, precepts and the bills dispatched to residents.

A technical direction has been issued today under section 52ZR of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 to resolve this issue this year. This does not affect the overall level of council tax set by the Greater London Authority, nor does it affect the validity of council tax bills or the collection of council tax by billing authorities in London. In issuing this direction, we also intend to amend the Greater London Authority Act to ensure that any such future recalculations would comply with the 1992 Act. Nevertheless the Greater London Authority’s unadjusted council tax position for 2013-14 will be taken into account when proposing council tax excessiveness principles for 2014-15.

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Abolishing taxpayer-funded pensions for councillors

In the written statement of 19 December 2012, Official Report, column 105WS, we announced proposals to abolish taxpayer-funded pensions for councillors. We stated that Ministers in this Government take a fundamentally different view to the last Administration. We do not believe that taxpayer-funded pensions are justified. Councillors are volunteers undertaking public service; they are not and should not be employees of the council dependent on the municipal payroll.

On 10 April, as required by statute, we published a formal consultation paper. A range of options are outlined for comment. The Government’s preferred option is the abolition of such taxpayers-funded pensions. Having reflected on feedback since the original announcement, this preferred option would include the abolition for councillors, elected mayors and the London Mayor and Assembly. This would avoid a “two-tier” system in local authorities.

Stopping propaganda on the rates

In March 2011, reflecting a coalition agreement pledge, we introduced an updated local government publicity code, to tackle the growing practice of “town hall pravdas” and similar dubious propaganda at public expense.

It has become clear that some councils are disregarding this code, intentionally seeking to undermine local newspapers and publishing political propaganda at taxpayers’ expense. On 8 April, my Department published a consultation on proposals to legislate strengthening these council publicity rules. Localism and robust local democracy requires a strong, vibrant and independent local press which are essential in holding local councils to account. It also needs a level playing field to prevent an incumbent council abusing taxpayers’ money to suppress legitimate scrutiny.

Saving taxpayers’ money from shared services

On 4 April, we announced that we will be moving into shared central London headquarters at 2 Marsham street alongside the Home Office. Marsham street was previously the home of my Department’s predecessor, the Department of the Environment.

The current costs of running Eland House are £20 million per annum and the move will save my Department £8 million a year. We believe in making sure taxpayers get value for money. By sharing services and streamlining our property portfolio this move will allow us to continue the best practice that we have recommended to local government.

Flying the flag

As part of my ongoing programme of championing flag flying, during the recess my Department flew the NATO flag to mark the anniversary of the North Atlantic treaty. Last year, we amended national planning rules to make it easier to fly flags, including local and military flags. Previously, the NATO flag could not be easily flown without paying for a planning permit from the local council.

Following the sad announcement of the death of Baroness Thatcher, it was particularly apt that both the United Kingdom’s Union flag and the NATO flag flew side by side at half mast. NATO has kept the peace in western Europe since World War II and protected us from oppressive totalitarianism. As championed by

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Margaret Thatcher, transatlantic co-operation and NATO’s nuclear shield continue to defend the liberties and freedoms that we take for granted today.

Copies of the associated documents and press releases have been placed in the Library of the House.

Defence

Review Board for Government Contracts

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Philip Dunne): My predecessor, the hon. Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff), announced updated Government profit formula (GPF) allowances to the House on 25 April 2012, Official Report, column 38WS, in line with recommendations made by the independent Review Board for Government Contracts. These rates are used by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) when pricing new single source contracts and amendments. The MOD has continued to consult industry on recommendations made in October 2011 by Lord Currie of Marylebone following his independent review of single source pricing and, pending the outcome, the review board has been asked to maintain the existing arrangements.

The work on new single source pricing regulations (SSPRs) and the replacement of the review board with a more empowered public body, the Single Source Regulations Office (SSRO) is proceeding well and we currently plan that these will be fully implemented in 2014-15. In the meantime the MOD will be seeking to negotiate new SSPR terms into selected high-value single source contracts during 2013-14.

One aspect of the existing regime that Lord Currie recommended should be retained is the methodology behind the Government profit formula as far as the calculation of the baseline profit rate and capital servicing allowances are concerned. Accordingly, the review board has recently completed its 2013 general review and has recommended revised GPF allowances. The Government have accepted the board’s recommendations and the updated allowances have been agreed with industry, to be implemented on new single source work from 1 April 2013. A copy of the review board’s 2013 general review report is being placed in the Library of the House, along with a copy of its 2012 annual report detailing the running costs of the review board.

Energy and Climate Change

Closure of Daw Mill Colliery

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Michael Fallon): I want to update the House on developments. On 11 March 2013, Official Report, column 2WS, John Hayes, former Minister for Energy and Climate Change made a statement regarding UK Coal Operations Limited’s (UKCOL) announcement on the closure of their deep mine at Daw Mill in Warwickshire following the serious fire which broke out on 22 February 2013.

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Since the fire we have held meetings with the company, the union representatives of the work force and other key stakeholders as well as Members of Parliament. Officials have continued to be in daily contact with the company and have co-ordinated the cross-Government response including the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), BIS West Midlands, Shareholder Executive, Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Coal Authority, Insolvency Service redundancy payments service, HM Treasury and Jobcentre Plus.

The fire below ground at Daw Mill appears to have subsided as a result of the mitigation measures agreed by UKCOL and HSE, but large areas of the mine remain polluted by toxic and flammable gases. UKCOL continues to review closure options in consultation with the Coal Authority and HSE. HSE also continue to assure me there is no danger to the general public.

Our priority has to be the employees of Daw Mill colliery and the continuing viability of UKCOL’s business and its other employees. I understand from UKCOL that of the 570 employees at Daw Mill around 100 are being redeployed at their other sites and they continue to look at other redeployment opportunities. The remaining staff in redundancy consultation at Daw Mill have been supported by a fully co-ordinated locally-led response from Jobcentre Plus, BIS West Midlands, North Warwickshire borough council and other local partners. This includes the full deployment of the Jobcentre Plus rapid response service.

A key part of this response was an employee-focused event held in Arley on 22 March 2013, which nearly 200 members of the Daw Mill work force attended. This gave them access to a range of advice and information services on their entitlements and options as well as information about alternative employment opportunities. To follow up the event, employees will receive an information sheet providing details of support available at both local and national level. In addition an information sheet is being prepared for local businesses informing them of support available should they be impacted by the closure of Daw Mill. I would like to commend all the local partners for their joined-up approach in supporting the work force and local community, and particularly in organising the 22 March 2013 event which I know was welcomed by the mining unions and UKCOL. A similar event is being planned in Nottinghamshire in the coming weeks.

The continuing uncertainty in relation to redundancy payments due to 30 members of the Daw Mill work force who took voluntary redundancy at the end of 2012 has been of concern to many Members. I am now able to confirm that we have ensured that this cohort will receive their full statutory redundancy entitlement from the redundancy payments service.

Other Government-related support includes: the Coal Authority has agreed flexibility on certain payments by UKGOL related to their subsidence security obligations; BIS West Midlands has been able to help the company secure a rebate on their business rates from North Warwickshire borough council and other measures are being taken to facilitate a way forward for the company following the loss of revenue from Daw Mill. I should also acknowledge the support that the company has received from its customers, suppliers and insurers through this challenging period.

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Through this co-ordinated approach I am determined to continue to do what we can to help the company to continue to operate within the legal framework and state aid rules, to help its employees, and to minimise the impact on the north Warwickshire economy.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Horsemeat Fraud

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr David Heath): I would like to update the House on developments since the Secretary of State’s written ministerial statement on 26 March 2013, Official Report, column 90WS, on the latest results from the testing of beef products for the presence of horsemeat and on plans for reviewing lessons learned.

On 9 April, the Food Standards Agency published further test results from the first two phases of the UK-wide authenticity survey of beef products on sale at a range of retail and catering outlets. These samples were collected by local authorities and were tested for both horse and pig DNA by public analysts. Results for four of the remaining five samples which had been in dispute have been confirmed. Two samples were found to contain horse DNA at the 1% reporting limit. Neither product was found to contain the veterinary drug phenylbutazone (known as “bute”) or pig DNA. The two other disputed samples, which did not contain horse DNA, were confirmed as being below 1% pig DNA and neither product was labelled as halal or kosher. This leaves results from one disputed sample still to be reported from the further independent analysis.

Therefore, from these latest results, out of a total of 362 samples taken from the first two phases of the UK-wide local authority survey, 354 were clear of both horse and pig DNA at the 1% reporting limit. Four samples have been confirmed as testing positive for horse DNA over 1% and three samples contained pig DNA over the 1% reporting limit. All these products were withdrawn from sale following receipt of the first test results and named on the Food Standards Agency website.

These results are in addition to the results of 5,430 industry tests reported to the House on 4 March 2013, Official Report, column 54WS, which indicated that over 99% of processed beef products found no horse DNA at or above 1%. The findings of phases 1 and 2 of the local authority survey are consistent with those from the tests carried out by the food industry. The results confirm that adulteration of beef products with horse or pork meat has been limited to a relatively small number of products.

The food industry has agreed to continue to provide data on their ongoing tests for horse DNA in processed beef products, with identification of individual products testing positive above the 1% reporting limit. Future reports on industry testing in the UK will be published quarterly, and the Food Standards Agency will publish the next results in early June. It will continue to report individual products testing positive above the 1% reporting limit as soon as they are confirmed by the food industry.

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On 9 April Asda reported to the Food Standards Agency a positive test for the presence of very low levels of bute in its 340 gram tins of smart price corned beef. This product was tested by Asda as part of the industry testing programme and found to be positive for horse DNA above 1% and was withdrawn from Asda’s shelves on 8 March 2013. As with all products that tested positive for horse DNA over 1%, it was tested for bute, as required by the Food Standards Agency. Bute was present at a level of four parts per billion—4ppb. This level is close to the limits of laboratory detection so a very low level of bute has been found in this product. Since the horsemeat investigation began in January 2013, this is the only meat product that has tested positive for bute. Asda has recalled the product.

The chief medical officer has previously stated that horsemeat containing phenylbutazone at very low levels presents a very low risk to human health. In the UK horse carcasses must have a negative bute test before they are allowed to enter the food chain. The Food Standards Agency is currently investigating this specific issue and will take action as necessary. It also notified the European Commission on 10 April about this positive test result for bute via the rapid alert system for food and feed.

On 10 April, the Netherlands food and consumer product safety authority (NVWA) recalled 50,000 tonnes of meat sold as beef across Europe over a two-year period that may contain horsemeat. The Netherlands food and consumer product safety authority said 370 different companies around europe and 132 more in the Netherlands were affected by the recall because they bought meat from a Dutch trading company. The FSA have been informed by the Dutch authorities that a small number of UK businesses may have received products from the trading company that operates under the names of Willy Selten and Wiljo. As the NVWA was unable to say with certainty whether all of the customers had been identified, the authority took the unusual step of publishing Selten and Wiljo’s names. FSA are following up with these businesses as a matter of urgency.

At a European level, we are continuing to work closely with the Commission and other member states, sharing information via the rapid alert system for food and feed. The Commission have recently drawn up a five-point action plan including specific measures on the following: fighting food fraud, testing programme, horse passports, official controls and origin labelling. A copy of this plan has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. This five-point plan was discussed at an EU working group meeting of experts on 10 April which was a useful exchange of views in advance of further discussions at official level later this week. We have submitted UK data on our own testing programmes to the Commission. We expect the Commission to publish a summary of tests conducted by all member states on 16 April.

At its open meeting on 17 April, the board of the Food Standards Agency will consider a recommendation that it commissions an external review of its response to incidents of the adulteration of processed beef products with horse and pig meat and DNA. Such a review would be expected to make recommendations to the June board meeting on the relevant capacity and capabilities of the FSA and any actions that should be taken to maintain or build them.

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With the Secretary of State for Health’s agreement, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will announce a strategic review of the incident and its implications for the food chain and regulatory framework on behalf of our Departments shortly. This will be wide ranging, to restore and maintain consumer confidence in the food chain and consider the responsibilities of food businesses, and practice throughout the wider food chain, including: audit, testing, food authenticity, food safety and health issues. It will advise us of vulnerabilities within the food chain and its regulatory framework that might be exploited for other fraudulent activity. The review will also consider any wider implications of the Food Standards Agency review’s findings.

I reiterate that food fraud is completely unacceptable. Consumers must have confidence in the food they buy and have every right to expect that food is correctly described. UK investigations on this issue continue with the City of London police acting as the co-ordinating police authority. It is also right that any weaknesses in our food system and the controls it is subject to are identified and dealt with. I will continue to keep the House informed.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report 2012

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr William Hague): I have today laid before the House a copy of the 2012 Foreign and Commonwealth Office report on human rights and democracy (CM 8593).

The report comprehensively assesses the global human rights situation in 2012 and provides information about some important developments in early 2013. It sets out what the Government are doing through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to promote human rights and democratic values around the world, in three principal areas: it documents how we are seeking to exert a positive influence in a range of countries where we have serious concerns about the human rights situation; it assesses progress on a number of thematic issues that cut across geographical boundaries; and it reports on areas where we believe we have seen positive developments over the last year.

We have made some changes to the format of the report itself this year, including the introduction of new chapters. As our topical theme for the 2012 report we have chosen “promoting and protecting human rights through the UN”. We believe that the UN’s Human Rights Council is coming of age and that its universal periodic review process has already developed into a valuable mechanism for holding countries accountable for their human rights record. The theme is also timely as the UK is standing for re-election to the Human Rights Council later this year. We have also introduced a new chapter on our human rights and democracy programme and added a section on the preventing sexual violence initiative which I launched last year.

For this year’s report, we decided to review the criteria we use for deciding which countries are of most human rights concern to the UK. We drew on feedback from the Foreign Affairs Committee and consulted with the Foreign Secretary’s advisory group on human rights in coming up with a revised list of criteria.

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The primary criterion for inclusion as a country of concern is the gravity of the human rights situation in the country, including both the severity of particular abuses and the range of human rights affected. The other criteria then considered are: whether a deterioration or improvement in the human rights situation in the country would have a wider impact in the region; whether the human rights situation in the country has an impact on wider UK interests; and the level of UK activity and engagement in that country.

FCO geographical directors, drawing on input from our embassies and high commissions and taking account of evidence from other expert sources such as the UN and civil society, assessed all the countries in their regions against this newly revised set of criteria. Ministers then made the final decision on the list of countries of concern to be included in the report. As a result of this analysis, we retained 27 of the 28 countries highlighted in 2011, dropping only Chad.

I also decided that we should retain case studies, which we introduced last year as a way to report on countries that do not meet the overall threshold for a country of concern, but whose human rights performance we judge to be on a changing trajectory. While many case studies focus on countries on a negative trajectory, in others we want to highlight a particular thematic issue. These countries remain subject to in-year monitoring and reporting.

These changes to our reporting system underline the Government’s determination to ensure that the report continues to remain relevant and timely. I hope that 2013 will conclude with our successful re-election to the Human Rights Council so the UK can continue to play a leading role in this important institution.

You can read the report at www.hrdreport.fco.gov.uk.

Non-lethal Equipment for Syrian Opposition

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr William Hague): I informed the House on 6 March 2013, Official Report, column 961, that I intended to provide additional non-lethal equipment to the Syrian opposition in order to help save lives. I have today laid a departmental minute containing details of that gift.

The gift includes:

five 4x4 vehicles with ballistic protection and 20 sets of body armour to the Syrian opposition National Coalition’s assistance co-ordination unit;

three 25-tonne trucks, one 20-tonne truck, four 12-tonne trucks, six 4x4 SUVs, five pick-ups, one recovery vehicle and four forklifts to ensure that the assistance co-ordination unit has the means to deliver assistance in the quantities necessary to have an impact on the suffering in Syria; and

three advanced civil resilience kits for regional hubs and 22 basic civil resilience kits for other local councils; 107 generators; 130 solar powered batteries; hundreds of radios, water purification kits and rubbish collection kits; as well as basic administrative equipment—laptops, VSATs and printers. This equipment will support local administrative councils, through the National Coalition, to extricate the injured from the rubble in the aftermath of a mortar attack and to provide clean water and refuse management equipment to prevent the spread of disease.

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Making the gift was a matter of special urgency because of the appalling and deteriorating situation on the ground and the urgent need to help the Syrian opposition deliver support to civilians. Owing to the Easter recess, this gift was notified to the Committee of Public Accounts to consider on Parliament’s behalf. I also wrote to the Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Defence Committee and Committee on Arms Export Controls to inform them of this process. As no objections were received, we have now proceeded with the arrangements to make these gifts.

North Korea

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr William Hague): I would like to update the House on recent developments on the Korean peninsula and the action the Government are taking in response.

I am concerned by North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and missile technology, and more recently by its frenetic and bellicose rhetoric. I am also concerned by the danger of miscalculation by the North Korean regime. The international response to this must be clear, united and calm.

UN Security Council Resolution 2094, adopted on 7 March in response to the nuclear test on 12 February, was agreed by consensus. This is a strong signal of the international community’s unity and resolve. The measures in this resolution provide the international community with the enhanced means to tackle North Korea’s illicit proliferation. In addition, the resolution makes clear that the UN Security Council would take “further significant measures” in the event of another North Korean launch or nuclear test.

G8 Foreign Ministers also discussed the international response to North Korea at our meeting last week. This resulted in a clear joint statement that included condemnation in the strongest possible terms of North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear and ballistic programmes, and we urged North Korea to engage in credible and authentic multilateral talks on denuclearisation. Foreign Ministers all agreed that North Korea must address these and other issues and co-operate fully with all relevant UN mechanisms. We made clear our support to the UNSCR commitment to take further significant measures in the event of a further launch or nuclear test by North Korea.

The statement of the G8 Foreign Ministers also expressed concern over the systematic and widespread human rights violations in North Korea. This echoed the agreement in the UN Human Rights Council on 21 March to establish a Commission of Inquiry on human rights abuses in North Korea. The fact that this inquiry was agreed without a vote again demonstrates the strong international consensus that North Korea cannot and should not continue on its current course.

We are working to ensure all states fully implement the latest UN Security Council resolution and have been speaking to international partners about the importance of this. The UK is not a member of the six-party talks, but we will remain in close touch with the US, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan on their approach towards North Korea. I have also spoken to the South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byun-se, where

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I welcomed South Korea’s measured approach to the situation and confirmed that the UK will continue to support our allies in the region.

In this call I stressed the importance of not responding to North Korean rhetoric. Our assessment remains that there has been no immediate increased risk or danger to those living in or travelling to either North or South Korea. We judge there is no immediate need to either change the level of our travel advice or draw down embassy staff, although we are keeping this under constant review and making regular factual updates to our travel advice.

The UK played a leading role in work to agree a co-ordinated and unified response by EU member states to the 10 April deadline set by North Korea for embassies to notify them of what assistance they would require should they wish to be evacuated from North Korea. We made sure that the EU took this opportunity to remind North Korea of its international obligations on proliferation. From our discussions with other Governments we do not believe any foreign embassy in Pyongyang is currently planning to close.

Our message to North Korea is clear. It has a choice, between constructive engagement with the international community, or further international action and isolation. The choice it is taking now will lead it to be a broken country, isolated from the rest of the world.

Justice

Improving the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Consultation)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Mrs Helen Grant): On 29 March, the Government launched the “Improving the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime” consultation.

The Government want to do all they can to ensure the right services and support is in place to help victims through what is often a sensitive, worrying and emotional time. Last year we published our response to the “Getting it right for victims and witnesses” consultation in which we made a commitment to revise the current code of practice for victims of crime (“victims’ code”).

The victims’ code sets out the services to be provided in England and Wales by criminal justice agencies to enable victims to receive the support they need. The current code is written with criminal justice agencies in mind, rather than victims. The revised code is set out in a more user-friendly style structured around the criminal justice process. This enhances victims’ understanding of the process, with victims’ entitlements clearly set out at each stage.

Every victim will be entitled to a minimum level of service under the revised code. We have also outlined an enhanced service in the revised code for three categories of victim most in need: victims of the most serious crime, the most persistently targeted and vulnerable or intimidated victims. This approach will help victims to get the right support at the right time. It also provides greater flexibility to allow agencies to tailor services according to individual need.

There is a new section of entitlements dedicated to victims under the age of 18 which is easy for children, young people, parents and guardians to understand. The code will also for the first time include:

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The victim personal statement, which gives victims an opportunity to describe the wider effects of the crime upon them, and thus give them a louder voice in the criminal justice system;

A separate section for businesses who will be able to submit an “impact statement” to explain how a crime has affected them;

Information on restorative justice for victims of adult offenders.

A clear and transparent complaints process to provide quick and thorough responses to victims.

A copy of the draft victims’ code will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses. Further information on the consultation can be found on the Ministry of Justice website at: www.justice.gov.uk.

Review of Cautions

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Chris Grayling): The Secretary of State for Justice, together with the Home Secretary and the Attorney-General, launched on 3 April 2013 a review of simple cautions. This will examine the way in which simple cautions are currently used, and consider the need for any changes to policy or practice to ensure that there is transparency, accountability and public confidence in the use of simple cautions as a disposal.

The review will include (but not necessarily be restricted to) the examination of:

existing guidance and practice relating to the use of simple cautions;

the question of whether there are some offence types for which the use of simple cautions is generally inappropriate—and if so, what procedures should be adopted;

the multiple use of cautions;

the need for increased scrutiny of, and accountability for, the use of a caution in any given case, or the general approach adopted in a police force area to the use of cautions as a disposal; and

the impact on individuals of accepting a caution—taking into account the recent case of T v. Chief Constable of Greater Manchester and others.

While I do not intend to conduct a formal public consultation, officials will work widely and closely with the main criminal justice bodies, (police, prosecutors, the magistracy and judiciary), as well as the wider legal community and those voluntary and third sector organisations with an interest in the criminal justice system.

The review will report to criminal justice Ministers by the end of May 2013 and any Government proposals stemming from consideration of this will be brought forward in due course.

Legal Aid

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Chris Grayling): On 9 April I published the consultation paper “Transforming Legal Aid: Delivering a More Credible and Efficient System”, copies of which have been placed in the Library and are available in the Vote Office and Printed Paper Office.

We have already implemented a programme of reforms to legal aid comprising reductions in fees paid to criminal and civil legal aid service providers and changes to civil legal aid scope and eligibility. Those reforms should deliver savings of some £320 million per annum in 2014-15.

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However, against a backdrop of continuing pressure on public finances, we need to continue to bear down on the cost of legal aid to ensure we are getting the best deal for the taxpayer and that the system commands the confidence of the public. These new proposals aim to do so in ways that ensure limited public resources are targeted at those cases which justify it and those people who need it, drive greater efficiency in the provider market and for the Legal Aid Agency, and support our wider efforts to transform the justice system.

While the earlier reforms have done much to ensure that taxpayer funding is targeted at those who most need it, there remain some anomalies which we believe undermine the credibility of the scheme and of the wider justice system. We do not, for example, believe it is right for the taxpayer to fund the Crown Court defence of those who can afford to pay, for civil cases that lack merit, for weak judicial review cases, or for matters which are not of sufficient priority to justify public money and which can be resolved through non-legal channels. We are also clear that someone should have a strong connection with the UK in order to benefit from civil legal aid.

The primary focus of our proposals is in relation to crime, where we are still spending over £l billion a year. We are proposing to introduce a model of competitive tendering, initially in criminal legal aid work only and over a longer period in civil and family services. Our preferred approach is to introduce competition for the full range of litigation services (except very-high-costs cases (crime)) and magistrates court representation. For criminal advocacy, we propose to restructure the Crown Court advocacy fee scheme in ways that should help encourage efficient working and the prompt resolution of cases, consistent with our overall objectives for the criminal justice system, and to reduce the use of multiple counsel. We are also proposing to reduce fees paid in very-high-cost cases (crime), which are the small number of cases that attract a disproportionately high level of spend. The overall effect on advocates will be to rebalance the fee income so those at the top take the greatest reduction, while those earning the lowest fees may actually see a small increase. We also propose limited reform to civil legal aid and experts’ fees to ensure they are fair and consistent with those paid for similar work, represent better value for money and reflect efficiencies within the justice system.

We estimate that the proposals set out in this consultation would, if implemented, deliver savings of some £220 million per annum in 2018-19.

Transport

Cycle Safety Funding

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Norman Baker): On 4 April 2013 I announced the 78 schemes to be offered support under the cycle safety fund. The total value of the schemes is £40 million of which the DFT will contribute approximately £20 million.

The funding from the Department for Transport comes from £15 million of capital funding announced in June 2012 and £5 million announced in November

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2012. This forms part of the £107 million of additional cycling infrastructure investment announced by DFT in 2012. This is in addition to the £600 million being invested in the local sustainable transport fund. The majority of the 96 LSTF schemes include measures to make cycling easier and safer. Last year the Department also launched a Think! campaign to encourage cyclists and motorists to look out for each other on the road.

The money will be made available to improve the design and layout of roads at 78 locations across the country, with all schemes due for completion within the next 12 months. The schemes will target those routes and junctions where real improvements can be made to both cyclist safety and the perceptions of safety for cyclists, which can be a real barrier to travel choice.

The schemes are a mixture of improvements including the reallocation of road space, significant simplification of road layouts, changes in priority, changes in junction layouts, designs that lower vehicle speeds, changes to crossings and the provision of bypasses.

To help ensure that the best schemes are funded, the Department has been supported by a panel of experts co-ordinated by the transport charity Sustrans, including representatives of CTC, British Cycling, Cycle Nation, Campaign to Protect Rural England and Transport for London.

All schemes will commence once co-funders have confirmed they wish to accept the DFT grant offer.

A complete list of schemes offered funding has been made available on the DFT website.

Executive Agencies (Business Plans 2013-14)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Stephen Hammond): I am pleased to announce that all of the Department for Transport’s Executive agencies published their annual business plans on the 3 April. The Highways Agency (HA), the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the Vehicle Certification Agency (VGA), the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) business plans are now available electronically on agency websites and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The business plans set out the agencies’ budgets, key priorities, activities and performance measures for 2013-14. Service users and members of the public will be able to assess how the agencies have performed against the delivery of their business plans through their annual reports that will be published next year.

The Department also published on the same day the first performance specification for the strategic road network which sets out five outcomes and underlying key performance deliverables for this network for the period 2013-15. This meets a key recommendation made by Alan Cook in his review of the strategic road network and outlines the Government’s commitment to improve the future efficiency and reliability of Highways Agency roads. This is about establishing a more transparent and robust system for monitoring the performance of the Highways Agency leading to a more effective strategic road network for all road users. The Highways Agency’s latest business plan sets out the activities which will contribute towards the delivering of this performance specification.

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Wales

Parliamentary Written Questions Corrections

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Stephen Crabb): Since submitting my answer to the hon. Member for Newport East (Jessica Morden) on 25 March, Official Report, column 928W, it has become apparent that not all of the visits made by the Wales Office ministerial team were correctly attributed. I would like to apologise to the House and submit the following revised information.

The correct answer to parliamentary question 148808, 18 March, Official Report, column 406W is as follows:

Since our appointments, my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, Baroness Randerson, has undertaken 18 official engagements in Wales, and I have undertaken 14. In this instance “official engagements” have been interpreted as visits undertaken in Wales.

The correct answer to parliamentary question 148821, 19 March, Official Report, columns 668-669W is as follows:

Since our appointments the Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Member for Clwyd West (Mr Jones), the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my noble Friend Baroness Randerson, and I have, between us, visited the following parliamentary constituencies in Wales:

ConstituencyVisits

Aberavon

1

Aberconwy

3

Alyn and Deeside

5

Arfon

1

Cardiff Central(1)

15

Cardiff South and Penarth

3

Cardiff West

2

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

1

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire

1

Clwyd West

2

Islwyn

1

Monmouthshire

1

Newport East

2

Newport West

6

Preseli Pembrokeshire

1

Rhondda

1

Swansea West

1

Vale of Clwyd

1

Vale of Glamorgan

4

Wrexham

1

Ynys Mon

3

(1) This now excludes departmental meetings in Cardiff

The correct answer to parliamentary question 149913, 25 March, Official Report, column 928W is as follows:

The Wales Office ministerial team and I meet with numerous stakeholders across Wales, and in London; to enhance the economic prospects of Wales; to guard the constitutional settlement and to further the interests ofthe people of Wales. Details of all the organisations my ministerial colleagues and I meet are regularly published on the Wales Office website.

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Pursuant to my answers of 18 and 19 March 2013, Official Report, columns 406W and 668W respectively, the split in these visits, and the locations they were undertaken in, between the Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Member for Clwyd West (Mr Jones), the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, my noble Friend Baroness Randerson, and I are shown in the following table:

ConstituencySecretary of State for Wales (David Jones)Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Stephen Crabb)Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Baroness Randerson)

Aberavon

1

Aberconwy

3

Alyn and Deeside

5

Arfon

1

Cardiff Central (2)

4

2

9

Cardiff South and Penarth

2

1

Cardiff West

2

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

1

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Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire

1

Clwyd West

2

Islwyn

1

Monmouthshire

1

Newport East

1

1

Newport West

1

3

2

Preseli Pembrokeshire

1

Rhondda

1

Swansea West

1

Vale of Clwyd

1

Vale of Glamorgan

3

1

Wrexham

1

Ynys Mon

3

Note: This table shows the number of separate occasions these locations have been visited (2) This now excludes departmental meetings in Cardiff