Suicide

Pamela Nash: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many suicides were recorded in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) the UK in each year between 1987 and 1994. [152408]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, dated April 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many suicides were recorded in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) the UK in each year between 1987 and 1994. [152408]

23 Apr 2013 : Column 800W

Table 1 provides the number of deaths where the underlying cause was suicide in England, Wales, Scotland and the United Kingdom, for deaths registered between 1987 and 1994.

Figures presented in Table 1 are for deaths registered rather than deaths that occurred in each calendar year. In England and Wales all suicides are certified by a coroner following an inquest. The death cannot be registered until the inquest is completed, which can take many months or even years. ONS is not notified that a death has occurred until it is registered, unless the coroner adjourns an inquest while awaiting prosecution in a higher court. The latest statistical bulletin showed that the median registration delay for suicides was 158 days in England and Wales in 2011.

In Scotland a death must be registered within eight days. The Procurator Fiscal has a duty to investigate all sudden, suspicious, accidental, unexpected or unexplained deaths and any death occurring in circumstances that give rise to serious public concern, and a Fatal Accident Inquiry may follow. If the results of toxicological tests or a post mortem are not yet known, the cause of death can be given as “unascertained, pending investigations”, and the actual cause of death will be entered at a later date. Therefore National Records of Scotland (NRS) receive notification of suicides more quickly than ONS. In-2011 the average registration delay for suicides in Scotland was just seven days, although the death may not have been registered as a suicide initially.

Figures for suicides in the United Kingdom, England and Wales for deaths registered between 1981 and 2011 are published annually on the ONS website. The latest statistical bulletin also includes analysis of the impact of registration delays on UK suicide statistics:

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/all-releases.html?definition=tcm%3A77-29400

Figures for suicides in Scotland for deaths registered between 1974 and 2011 are available from the General Register Office for Scotland's website:

http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/vital-events/deaths/suicides/index.html

Figures for suicides in Northern Ireland for deaths registered between 1970 and 2011 are available from the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency website:

http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp31.htm

Table 1: Number of deaths where suicide was the underlying cause of death, England, Wales, Scotland and the United Kingdom, deaths registered between 1987 and 1994(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Suicides (Persons)
Registration yearEnglandWalesScotlandUnited Kingdom

1987

5,181

322

708

6,349

1988

5,568

321

774

6,867

1989

5,009

264

718

6,150

1990

5,191

297

749

6,437

1991

5,109

320

706

6,317

1992

5,088

347

793

6,378

1993

4,851

290

912

6,212

1994

4,713

320

834

6,045

(1) Suicide was defined using the International Classification of Diseases Ninth Revision (ICD-9J codes E950-E959 (Suicide and self-inflicted injury) and codes E980-E989 (injury undetermined whether accidentally or purposely inflicted). Deaths were included where one of these codes was the underlying cause of death. Figures for England and Wales exclude ICD-9 code E9S8.8 where the coroner's verdict was pending. (2) Figures are for persons aged 15 years and over. (3) Figures for England. Wales and Scotland exclude deaths of non-residents. Figures for the United Kingdom include deaths of non-residents. (4) Figures arc for deaths registered rather than deaths occurring between 1987 and 1994. (5) Further information on registration delays for suicides is available in the annual statistical bulletin on suicides in the UK: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health4/suicides-in-the-united-kingdom/index.html

23 Apr 2013 : Column 801W

Youth Services

Tim Loughton: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which youth projects have been funded by the Nesta Impact Investment Fund to date. [153035]

Mr Hurd: Nesta Impact Investments is a social investment fund that is independent from Government. More information about the fund and its investments can be found on Nesta's website:

http://www.nesta.org.uk/press_releases/assets/features/nesta_launches_25m_impact_investment_fund

Communities and Local Government

Business: Ethnic Groups

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many working hours officials in his Department spent in connection with its review of barriers faced by some black and ethnic minority entrepreneurs in accessing business finance; [152636]

(2) how much his Department has spent producing its draft review of barriers faced by some black and ethnic minority entrepreneurs in accessing business finance; [152637]

(3) what consideration he has given to his Department's draft review completed prior to 19 April 2012 of barriers faced by some black and ethnic minority entrepreneurs in accessing business finance; and if he will make a statement. [152638]

Mr Foster: The Deputy Prime Minister commissioned the Department for Communities and Local Government to lead a cross-Government review of the barriers being faced by ethnic minority businesses in accessing finance in November 2011.

DCLG have been working closely with other Government Departments, the banking sector and ethnic minority business groups to conclude the review. A report into the review will be published shortly.

Apart from staff resource, no public funds have been committed to this review. No record is kept of staff time.

Empty Property: Shops

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how groups such as the Lifford Business Association could bid for the High Street Fund if they did not receive any of the funding allocated through their local authority. [152057]

Mr Prisk: I refer the hon. Member to my answer today to PQs 151216, 151217 and 151218. In March 2012 DCLG issued the High Street Innovation Fund to the 100 designated local authorities and it is up to them how to distribute the money in their areas. In October 2012 Government also provided funding to councils to support the work of Town Team Partners. As part of that initiative, Birmingham city council were in receipt of £10,000 as the accountable body for Lifford Business Association, who were one of the 333 town teams who

23 Apr 2013 : Column 802W

registered to become a Town Team Partner. I advise the town team to speak to their council if they have not received this funding.

Homelessness: Ashfield

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people were homeless in Ashfield constituency in the latest period for which figures are available. [152325]

Mr Prisk: The following table shows both the (i) number of homelessness acceptances of households and (ii) the number of households in temporary accommodation for the local authorities of Ashfield and Broxtowe for the most recent period for which figures are available:

 Number of householdsaccepted(1 )as owed a main homelessness duty during the quarter October to December 2012Number of households in temporary accommodation(2), as at 31 December 2012

Ashfield

4

8

Broxtowe

2

3

(1) Households eligible under homelessness legislation, found to be unintentionally homeless and in a priority need category, and consequently owed a main homelessness duty. (2) Households who have been accepted as owed the main homelessness duty, those pending inquiries or review, and those who were found to be intentionally homeless but are being accommodated for a reasonable period by the LA. Source: DCLG P1E Homelessness returns (quarterly)

The Ashfield constituency comprises parts of the areas of Ashfield district council and Broxtowe borough council. Figures are therefore given in the table for both of these local authorities, although part of the area of Ashfield district council is in the Sherwood constituency, and part of the area of Broxtowe borough council is in the Broxtowe constituency.

We are investing £470 million over the spending review period to tackle homelessness. We have also invested an additional £1.7 million over two years (2012-13 to 2013-14 in a new scheme to support local authorities to deliver a ‘Gold Standard’ homelessness prevention service to stem future increases in statutory homelessness and rough sleeping.

Local Government Services: Armed Forces

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what additional funding he plans to provide for local authority services as a result of the return of British forces and their families from Germany. [147172]

Brandon Lewis: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced on 5 March 2013 the Regular Army Basing Plan and the return of troops from Germany, detailing the Government's intention to invest £1 billion in accommodation for returning members of the armed forces.

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Councils will retain all the yearly council tax revenue raised from new, existing and refurbished dwellings. Military housing also qualifies for the New Homes Bonus, so councils would receive this further funding stream on top for additional dwellings. Non-residential military buildings are liable for business rates, so councils would also benefit from any new hereditaments under the local retention of business rates.

Planning Permission: Barnsley

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many homeowner planning applications were (a) approved and (b) rejected in Barnsley Central constituency in 2012; and how many such applications were approved or rejected at (i) officer and (ii) plans sub-committee level. [153032]

Nick Boles: In the year to December 2012, there were 424 approved and 38 refused applications for householder development in the metropolitan borough of Barnsley.

No information is available on the number of such applications approved or rejected at officer or sub-committee level.

This approval rate of 92% illustrates the scope for reforms of the householder planning process, to take uncontroversial, small-scale applications for home improvements out of the full planning system.

Theft: Crime Prevention

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding his Department provides to parish councils for work with businesses on preventing acquisitive crime. [152242]

Brandon Lewis: My Department does not provide funding to town and parish councils.

Urban Areas: Regeneration

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what steps he has taken to ensure that the High Street Innovation Fund is used to support high streets and not absorbed into local authority budgets; [151216]

(2) what support his Department provides to local authorities on the best use of High Street Innovation funds; [151217]

(3) how much of the High Street Innovation Fund has been allocated; and how much of this fund is classified as underspend. [151218]

Mr Prisk: The Government are committed to help revive the nation's town centres and as part of their response to the Portas review have given £10 million to 100 local authorities in England to support their efforts to bring empty properties back into use and rejuvenate their high streets. The High Street Innovation Fund was allocated to local authorities with a high number of empty properties and to those affected by the riots. Local authorities were encouraged to use this fund to leverage further financial support and to use a wide range of tools to revitalise their high street, including

23 Apr 2013 : Column 804W

increasing business rate discounts, simplifying planning rules and working with landlords to support new occupiers.

No central data are collected on the use of the High Street Innovation Fund reflecting the fact that this Government is committed to reducing top-down reporting burdens on local government; we would encourage the spread of best practice, especially at the local government level.

Each of the recipients has also been offered support from the Association of Town and City Management as part of the Government's wider support for the high street and its response to the Portas review of the Future of the High Street.

Manchester city council has spent the fund engaging with businesses, landlords and individuals or organisations wishing to move onto the high street. They are currently focusing on delivering three exemplar projects, each of which is to be supported with £20,000.

Ashfield has used the fund on greater use of “meanwhile use” grants to enable local artists, community groups and charities to take up empty shops, and supporting their local markets and traders.

Wind Power: Planning Permission

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on conglomerates and other organisations paying monies to farmers or smallholders to apply for outline planning permission for windfarms on their land. [152812]

Nick Boles: A payment between a business, or other organisation, and a land owner is a commercial matter for them, and sits outside the planning system.

Deputy Prime Minister

Business: Ethnic Groups

Mr Umunna: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what meetings he has had with ministerial colleagues and officials between November 2011 and March 2013 concerning the Government's review of barriers faced by some black and ethnic minority entrepreneurs in accessing business finance. [152640]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I have had a number of meetings with ministerial colleagues and officials between November 2011 and March 2013 concerning a range of equalities issues.

Electoral Register

Mr Crausby: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what assessment he has made of the cost to local authorities of (a) implementing individual electoral registration and (b) the requirement for electoral registration officers to write to potentially eligible and unregistered persons inviting them to register; [152795]

(2) what additional resources will be given by his Department to local authorities for implementation of individual electoral registration. [152732]

23 Apr 2013 : Column 805W

Miss Chloe Smith: The Government are committed to meeting all additional costs arising from individual electoral registration and I have recently written to all local authority chief executives outlining their allocation for 2013-14 and the next steps towards issuing the more substantial 2014-15 allocations.

The estimated costs of implementing individual electoral registration, including the cost of inviting all eligible and unregistered persons to register, are outlined in the impact assessment accompanying the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/61328/IER-lmpact-Assessment-090512.pdf

Defence

Afghanistan

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost to his Department was of improving infrastructure in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2012; and how much such spending was claimed against the UK's overseas development assistance target. [151388]

Mr Robathan: In 2012 the Ministry of Defence spent £23.3 million on infrastructure in Afghanistan. This figure incorporates all building works carried out on the UK military bases in Helmand Province. As net additional costs of UK military operations in Afghanistan, these costs were resourced by the Treasury reserve.

In addition £203,000 was spent from the Commander's Stabilisation Fund on improving the infrastructure in local communities in Helmand Province. The Commander's Stabilisation Fund is funded by the Conflict Pool. We will consider whether these costs could be counted as overseas development assistance (ODA) as part of the Conflict Pool and departmental ODA return for 2012.

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was of Operation Oqab Tsuka; and how much such spending was claimable against the UK's overseas development assistance commitment. [151389]

Mr Robathan: Operation Oqab Tsuka was conducted under the previous administration using armed forces personnel and resources already in Afghanistan. As such the additional costs incurred in undertaking this specific operation as part of the wider Operation HERRICK are not held in the format requested. The costs of this operation were not counted as official development assistance activities.

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost was of training the Afghan police forces in 2012. [151391]

Mr Robathan: The total cost of training the Afghan National Police in 2012 is a matter for the Government of Afghanistan. The NATO Training Mission—Afghanistan (NTM-A), supports the Government of Afghanistan in generating and sustaining the Afghan National Security Forces, including the Afghan National

23 Apr 2013 : Column 806W

Police. It had a total budget of $11.2 billion last year. In 2012, the Law and Order Trust Fund, which supports the payment of Afghan National Police salaries, had a total commitment of around £600 million with the UK contributing £10.5 million.

The UK channels its direct support for the Afghan National Police through a number of different avenues, predominately multilateral missions. In 2012, the provision of senior and specialist advisors to the EU Police Training Mission to Afghanistan totalled 16 police officers in key positions. We also provided three senior civilian police advisors and 11 military personnel to the NTM-A's policing arm, alongside numerous police advisory teams whose numbers fluctuated throughout the year.

Today there are 64 military personnel working in Lashkar Gah Training Centre, formerly known as the Helmand Police Training Centre, and 105 UK personnel working in a police advisory function at ANP district/provincial command centres.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the suitability of the Glock 17 Gen 4 pistol for prevailing conditions in Helmand province. [151999]

Mr Robathan: The Glock 17 Gen 4 pistol has been selected as the new standard issue sidearm for the armed forces. During the procurement process the pistol was rigorously trialled in a range of extreme climates and environmental conditions to ensure its suitability for service anywhere in the world. Deliveries to Afghanistan will commence this summer.

Armed Forces: Absent Voting

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to review the arrangements for allowing serving personnel stationed away from home to vote in elections. [152197]

Mr Francois: The Government are committed to members of the armed forces being able to take their full part in the democratic process, in accordance with the armed forces covenant.

The Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 has provisions that will better support military personnel overseas to have their postal ballots included in the count. However we still encourage service personnel overseas to vote by proxy as a preference.

Armed Forces: Housing

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the occupied UK service family accommodation estate was below Standard 2 for condition in March 2013. [152423]

Mr Francois [holding answer 22 April 2013]: Of those Service Family Accommodation (SFA) properties assessed for their Standard for Condition (SfC), the following were at each SfC in March of this and previous three years:

23 Apr 2013 : Column 807W

 Properties at:
 S1fCS2fCS3fCS4fC

2013

22,868

23,931

673

79

2012

21,131

24,822

987

183

2011

21,848

24,023

1,171

207

2010

14,042

19,270

1,026

201

SFA properties at S3fC and S4fC are no longer allocated to service families and all remaining SFA at S3fC and S4fC are either in the process of being upgraded to S2fC as a minimum, or are awaiting disposal.

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of single living accommodation bed-spaces for trained personnel was Grade 1 standard in March 2013. [152424]

Mr Francois [holding answer 22 April 2013]: With the exception of 2011, a worldwide audit of the Grade for Condition and Scale (GfC&S) of Single Living Accommodation (SLA) has been undertaken in each of the last four years, the last being in March 2012. These showed that the following numbers of SLA bed-spaces were at each GfC&S:

 Bed-spaces at:
 G1fC&SG2fC&SG3fC&SG4fC&S

2012

38,695

16,609

24,789

46,903

2010

38,188

15,187

21,857

53,469

2009

35,556

16,669

21,141

56,595

Armed Forces: Postal Services

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has paid to Royal Mail for managing postal services for the armed forces in each of the last five years. [152251]

Mr Dunne: The British Forces Post Office (BFPO) provides a mail service to serving armed forces personnel and their families worldwide, including on exercises and operations. It operates as an extension of the UK's domestic mail system.

Payments made by BFPO to the Royal Mail Group for official mail services in support of the Ministry of Defence over the last five financial years are shown in the following table:

£ million
 2008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13

Parcelforce

0.39

0.32

0.37

0.45

0.46

Royal Mail

0.58

0.51

0.56

0.57

0.77

Total

0.97

0.83

0.93

1,02

1.23

      

EFFMSC(1)

1.58

2.78

2.88

2.88

(1) The Enduring Families Free Mail Service, introduced in 2009-10, enables families and friends to send packages from the UK weighing up to two kilograms free of charge, to armed forces personnel deployed on specified active operations, such as Afghanistan. The cost of EFFMS is met from HMT Special Reserve.

23 Apr 2013 : Column 808W

Armed Forces: Recruitment

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many recruits to the (a) Army, (b) infantry, (c) Royal Navy and (d) Royal Air Force were aged 16 at enlistment in each year since 2010-11. [152050]

Mr Francois: The number of recruits to the Naval Service, Army, Infantry and Royal Air Force who were aged 16 at enlistment in each year financial year (FY) from 2010-11 to 28 February 2013 are shown in the following table:

 Financial year
Service1 Apr 2010 to 31 Mar 20111 Apr 2011 to 31 Mar 20121 Apr 2012 to 28 Feb 2013

Naval Service

50

10

20

Army

1,290

1,370

620

of which:

   

Infantry

610

580

250

Royal Air Force

10

10

10

Note: Data have been rounded to the nearest 10. Numbers ending in ‘5’ have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.

Armed Forces: Sexual Offences

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2013, Official Report, column 596W, on armed forces: sexual offences, if he will consider amending sections 156 and 157 of the Armed Forces Act 2006 and the Armed Forces (Court Martial) Rules 2009 to include provision in relation to the gender composition of court martial juries in cases of (a) rape, (b) sexual assault and (c) sexual assault by penetration; and if he will make a statement. [152582]

Mr Francois: The Armed Forces Act 2006 permits women officers and warrant officers to sit as lay members of the court martial on the same basis as men. For a particular court martial, the individual members are chosen on an essentially random basis by the court administration officer for the court martial. Under rule 35 of the Armed Forces, Court Martial Rules, 2009, either party to proceedings, the defence or the prosecution, may object to any lay member of the court on any reasonable ground. These provisions broadly reflect those which apply to juries in the civilian Crown court and Ministry of Defence policy is to maintain that consistency. Accordingly, I do not currently propose to reconsider our provisions.

Armed Forces: Training

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to increase the provision of training for assisting officers; and if he will make a statement. [152391]

Mr Francois: There is no specific training for assisting officers. The duties and responsibilities of assisting officers are set out in detail at annexes F and G of

23 Apr 2013 : Column 809W

volume 1 of chapter 9 of the Manual of Service Law (JSP 830). A copy of this document is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessement he has made of the effectiveness of the Foxhound vehicle (a) in each climate and (b) on each terrain. [1512000]

Mr Robathan: The Foxhound vehicle has been subject to a number of tests and assessments using simulated environments, such as climatic chambers and test tracks in the UK, comparable with the climate and terrain in the UK, Europe and Afghanistan. Trials were also conducted on test tracks in Afghanistan. The Foxhound vehicle has since successfully deployed to Afghanistan and continues to be a reliable and effective platform in this theatre of operations.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Foxhound vehicles are in service in the Army. [1512001]

Mr Robathan: As at April 2013 196 Foxhound vehicles are in service in the Army.

Army: Qualifications

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what qualifications are available within two years to those who join the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force at 16; [151961]

(2) what (a) literacy and (b) numeracy training is required for those who join the (i) Army, (ii) Royal Navy and (iii) Royal Air Force aged 16 years within two years of joining; [151962]

(3) how many individuals serving in the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force who joined at 16 years do not currently have (i) Level 1 or (ii) Level 2 qualifications in numeracy and literacy; [151964]

(4) what proportion of those who joined the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force at 16 years old in the last three years did not have literacy and numeracy training to (i) Level 1, (ii) Level 2 and (iii) Level 3; [152220]

(5) what literacy and numeracy training is mandated in the first two years of service of those who join the (a) Army, (b) Navy and (c) RAF at 16 years old; [152221]

(6) how many 17-year-olds in the Armed Forces do not have any formal qualifications. [152222]

Mr Francois [holding answer 18 April 2013]: Within their first two years of service, personnel enlisted in the armed forces aged 16 will usually have completed phase 1 and phase 2 training and joined the trained strength. All recruits enlisted under 18 who do not hold full level 3 qualifications are enrolled on an apprenticeship scheme unless their trade training attracts higher level qualifications. The qualifications available range from intermediate-level apprenticeships to degrees, depending on the trade specialisation of the individual. In addition, serving members of the armed forces can complete elective learning that results in nationally recognised qualifications.

23 Apr 2013 : Column 810W

The services aim to improve the English and Maths functional skills abilities of all their recruits by at least one national level, and to a minimum of entry level 3 prior to the start of phase 2 training. There are no mandated requirements for the first two years of service. However, all personnel (including those enlisted aged 16) are expected to be qualified to at least level 1 in literacy and numeracy within three years of joining and at level 2 within eight years.

Data are not available on the total numbers of personnel in each service holding literacy and numeracy qualifications at levels 1 and 2, and those who enlist at age 16 are not tracked as a separate group.

The Ministry of Defence does not track 17-year-olds as a separate group and therefore information is not available on those who do not hold formal qualifications.

Army: Redundancy

Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 26 March 2013, Official Report, column 1010W, on Army: redundancy, whether figures given in that answer are in real terms. [152819]

Mr Francois: The Government Actuary's estimates are in real terms.

British Overseas Territories

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many civilian and military personnel from his Department are based in (a) Anguilla, (b) Bermuda, (c) British Antarctic Territory, (d) British Indian Ocean Territory, (e) British Virgin Islands, (f) Cayman Islands, (g) Falkland Islands, (h) Gibraltar, (i) Montserrat, (j) Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, (k) St Helena and St Helena Dependencies (Ascension and Tristan da Cunha), (l) South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, (m) Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia and (n) the Turks and Caicos Islands. [149250]

Mr Robathan: The military and civilian personnel based in the Overseas Territories in March 2013 are shown in the following table:

Overseas TerritoriesMilitary personnelCivilian personnel

British Indian Ocean Territory

41

0

Falkland Islands

1,050

47

Gibraltar

420

580

Ascension Island

28

0

British Forces Cyprus including Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia

2,750

1,650

The civilian personnel figure includes locally employed civilian personnel.

The military figures may vary from published statistics as personnel change location or are deployed on operations. Figures above 100 have been rounded down to the nearest 10.

There are no military and or Ministry of Defence civilian personnel serving in the following regions Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Antarctic Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands,

23 Apr 2013 : Column 811W

Montserrat, Pitcairn; Henderson; Ducie and Oeno Islands, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia South Sandwich Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands.

Defence: Procurement

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2013, Official Report, column 644W, on defence: procurement, if he will list those projects which are funded on an entirely (a) committed and (b) uncommitted basis. [150623]

Mr Robathan: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my hon. Friend the Member for Ludlow (Mr Dunne), on 19 March 2013, Official Report, column 644W.

The £159 billion, 10-year Equipment Plan published in January this year, contains funding for specific risks to project delivery totalling £8.4 billion over the decade. For the first time, it also contains £4.8 billion of contingency funding.

In addition, there is around £8 billion of headroom in the Equipment Plan which is not currently allocated to projects within the core programme.

Electronic Warfare

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to his Department was of measures to protect military assets from cyber attacks in each of the last five years. [152015]

Mr Robathan: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 13 March 2013, Official Report, column 223W, to the right hon. Member for Coventry North East (Mr Ainsworth).

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the UK's ability to defend against cyber attacks on military assets. [152016]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence reviews regularly the cyber threats to military assets drawing on a wide range of intelligence. We ensure that such threats are considered fully in the design and use of information systems and in contingency planning for operations. Information on these assessments, and the steps we take to secure our systems, is being withheld for the purpose of safeguarding national security.

France

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with their French counterparts on the effect of reductions in defence budgets on the UK-French bilateral relationship. [152384]

Mr Robathan: Defence Ministers regularly discuss Franco-British co-operation with our French counterparts and we have been kept in close touch with the development of the French strategic defence review, the Livre Blanc,

23 Apr 2013 : Column 812W

and its potential implications. In addition, our ambassador in France has been a member of the Livre Blanc Commission and has been able to contribute to the development of the review.

Haiti

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost of Operation PANLAKE was; and how much of this cost was claimable against the UK's overseas development assistance commitment. [151386]

Mr Robathan: The marginal cost recorded for the Defence disaster relief response to Haiti in 2010 under Operation PANLAKE was £620,000. These costs were subsequently recovered from the Department for International Development (DFID). As the lead Government Department for humanitarian operations, DFID reports Overseas Development Assistance-eligible activity rather than the Ministry of Defence.

Mali

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse has been of UK support for military intervention in Mali to date. [152145]

Mr Robathan: We are refining our estimate of the cost of this continuing operation. The costs for the financial year 2012-13 will be set out in the MOD's Annual Report and Accounts for that year, which we will publish in the summer.

Military Bases: Scotland

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 25 March 2013, Official Report column 937W, on RAF Leuchars, if he will place in the Library (a) the sustainability appraisal for the development of the estate at RAF Lossiemouth, (b) the sustainability appraisal for the delivery of an Adaptable Force Brigade Scotland, (c) the updated sustainability appraisal for the Base Optimisation Programme in Scotland and (d) the updated sustainable development action plan for the overarching Base Optimisation Programme. [152163]

Mr Robathan: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 17 April 2013, Official Report, column 413W.

RAF Fylingdales

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect on RAF Fylingdale's work of (a) onshore and (b) offshore wind turbines. [152231]

Mr Francois: No formal assessments on the effects of wind turbines, onshore and offshore, on RAF Fylingdales' radar have yet been carried out.

23 Apr 2013 : Column 813W

RAF Lossiemouth

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what recent estimate he has made of the cost of capital works to relocate RAF Leuchars' current parented units to RAF Lossiemouth; [152187]

(2) what recent estimate he has made of the total cost of Typhoon-related capital works at RAF Lossiemouth. [152189]

Mr Robathan: The estimated total cost of all Typhoon-related capital works at RAF Lossiemouth is some £85 million. This figure includes the work required to enable the move of two Typhoon squadrons from RAF Leuchars.

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what current estimate has been made of the cost of the move of (a) personnel, (b) stores and equipment and (c) communications and information systems from RAF Leuchars to RAF Lossiemouth in relation to the transfer of the Typhoon Force. [152188]

Mr Robathan: The current estimate of the move of personnel, stores and equipment and communications and information systems from RAF Leuchars to RAF Lossiemouth in relation to the transfer of the Typhoon Force is £13 million.

As we prepare for the implementation phase of the Army Basing plan, further detailed work will be carried out to refine the infrastructure requirement.

USA

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the recent statement by Rear Admiral Barry Bruner, Director of the Undersea Warfare Division of the US Navy, that that navy needs 12 operational ballistic missile submarines to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent. [152720]

Mr Robathan: This is a matter for the US Government.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what he plans to provide a substantive answer to Questions 149886 and 149887 tabled on 22 March 2013 for named day answer on 25 March 2013; and what the reason is for the time taken to answer those questions. [152485]

Mr Francois: I answered my hon. Friend today.


Treasury

Commodity Markets: Tax Yields

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the value is of tax revenue raised from commodity trading; and what steps he plans to take to increase any such revenue. [152177]

Sajid Javid: The information requested is not available.

23 Apr 2013 : Column 814W

Corporation Tax

Pamela Nash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many companies based in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) Scotland, (d) Wales and (e) Northern Ireland paid corporation tax at the (i) main, (ii) small profits and (iii) marginal rate in the latest period for which figures are available. [152749]

Mr Gauke: The answer is given in terms of the number of companies registered in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who had liabilities for corporation tax in the financial year 2010-11. This may be different from the location where the companies' activity takes place. This is the latest information available.

Corporation tax liabilities by tax rate for accounting periods ending in 2010-11
 Number of companies to the nearest hundred
 Small Profits RateMarginal RateMain Rate

England

753,500

36,400

36,000

Wales

24,700

1,100

600

Scotland

51,400

2,500

2,200

Northern Ireland

9,400

800

500

Not known

1,500

100

400

UK

840,500

40,800

39,700

Small Profits Rate = 21% and Main Rate = 28% Notes: 1. For the purpose of allocating a company to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, the postcode of the company's registered office has been used. This may not relate to where all of a company's activity takes place. It will also not reflect all companies that carry on activities in those countries. Figures in 'Not known' category relate to companies based in the UK but where it is not possible to link their address to a specific country using the postcode information held. 2. For the purpose of this analysis, HMRC define the terms as follows: a. CT liabilities are considered to be accrued in the financial year of the end date of the company's accounting period. b. Small Profits Rate: Since April 2010, the lower rate of corporation tax has been called the Small Profits Rate (SPR) rather than Small Companies' Rate (SCR). This makes clear that it is the size of the profits, rather than the size of the company, which determines the tax rate to be applied. c. Marginal Relief: This can be claimed by companies with taxable profits between the lower and upper limits, to enable a smooth transition between the small profits rate and the main rate of CT. d. Main Rate: The rate of corporation tax paid by companies with profits above the lower limit. Companies with profits between the lower and upper limit are taxed at main rate but can usually claim Marginal Relief. 3. Figures are based on companies only and exclude unincorporated businesses. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

Minimum Wage

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North of 26 March 2013, Official Report, column 1468, on minimum wage: evasion, on how many occasions in each of the last five years HM Revenue and Customs has required an employer to pay arrears following failure to pay the minimum wage; [152149]

(2) pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North of 26 March 2013, Official Report, column 1468, on minimum wage: evasion, on how many occasions in each of the last five years HM Revenue and Customs has referred the case of an employer suspected of evading the minimum wage to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision; [152150]

23 Apr 2013 : Column 815W

(3) pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Leyton and Wanstead of 26 March 2013, Official Report, column 1468, on minimum wage: evasion, on how many occasions in each of the last five years HM Revenue and Customs has inspected an employer for evasion of the minimum wage; [152159]

(4) pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Leyton and Wanstead of 26 March 2013, Official Report, column 1468, on minimum wage: evasion, on how many occasions in each of the last five years HM Revenue and Customs has imposed civil penalties on an employer for evasion of the minimum wage. [152161]

Mr Gauke: The number of non-compliant employers identified by HMRC for the period requested is in the following table.

Financial yearNon-compliant employers

2008-09

1,746

2009-10

1,256

2010-11

1,140

2011-12

968

2012-13

736

HMRC does not hold the information requested on the number of referrals made to the Crown Prosecution Service for minimum wage offences.

The number of inspections that HMRC has completed in the period requested is in the following table.

Financial yearCompleted inspections

2008-09

4,317

2009-10

3,643

2010-11

2,904

2011-12

2,534

2012-13

1,693

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the right hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Paul Burstow) on 15 April 2013, Official Report, column 178W, for details of penalties imposed on employers for the period requested. The number of penalties charged for the full 2012-13 financial year was 708.

Oil: Prices

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has assessed the potential effects of a $50 increase in the price of oil on the UK's GDP. [133100]

Sajid Javid: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is responsible for producing independent economic and fiscal forecasts. In September 2010, the OBR published a working paper, ‘Assessment of the Effect of Oil Price Fluctuations on the Public Finances’. This analysis by the OBR suggests that a 20% increase in the price of oil reduces actual output by approximately 0.2% compared to a baseline scenario. In their March 2012 Economic and fiscal outlook, the OBR estimated that an immediate $50 shock to the oil price would lead to GDP growth in 2012-13 falling from their central forecast of 1.0% to 0.3%.

23 Apr 2013 : Column 816W

Revenue and Customs

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what data HM Revenue and Customs (a) publishes and (b) collects but does not publish about incidences of fraud in the public sector. [152751]

Mr Gauke: HMRC publishes a wide range of information about fraud and non-compliance with the tax system. This includes the overall results of compliance activity and revenues gained as a result, general information about successful prosecutions once those have concluded in the courts, and a range of statistical information, including estimates of the tax gap, which includes estimates of the tax lost to fraud. HMRC also provides information in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, in response to letters from hon. Members and others, and in response to questions from hon. Members and noble Lords.

My hon. Friend can find useful data in the following publications:

The HMRC Annual report. Most recent iteration for 2011-12 can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/annual-report-and-resource-accounts-2011-12

The 2012-13 report will be published in due course.

Measuring Tax Gaps:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/tax-gaps.htm

Levelling the Playing Field: the most recent update of HMRC compliance performance:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2013/level-tax-playing-field.pdf

HMRC also publishes the names of deliberate defaulters—people who have received penalties either for:

Deliberate errors in their tax returns, or

Deliberately failing to comply with their tax obligations.

These data are available here:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/defaulters/

HMRC also collects a wide range of information which it does not publish. The Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 precludes disclosure of information held by HMRC for a function of HMRC, except in certain circumstances set out in the Act. This includes information about the affairs of individual customers, sensitive information held as part of, for example, a criminal investigation, and data underlying published data which are not appropriate to publish in their own right. Other laws which apply to HMRC also prevent publication in certain circumstances. Information held by HMRC is also, in some circumstances, exempt from publication by one or more provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much HM Revenue and Customs has spent on counter-fraud activities in each of the last five years. [152753]

Mr Gauke: The information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

23 Apr 2013 : Column 817W

Within HMRC, the majority of counter-fraud activity is carried out in Enforcement and Compliance. The Enforcement and Compliance initial allocations for each of the last five years were:

 £ million

2008-09

1,086

2009-10

1,043

2010-11

1,011

2011-12

1,022

2012-13

1,033

Other costs in other parts of HMRC are also attributable to ‘counter-fraud’ activity, but these only be disaggregated can at disproportionate cost.

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many full-time equivalent staff in HM Revenue and Customs have worked on counter-fraud activities in each of the last five years. [152754]

Mr Gauke: HMRC tackles a wide range of behaviour involving non-compliance with the tax system, including error,, tax avoidance, tax evasion, fraud and criminal attack. HMRC works on a risk basis, and HMRC compliance officers and investigators may work on cases involving several behaviours and risks at anytime.

Within HMRC compliance and investigation work is primarily carried out by staff in the Enforcement and Compliance line of business. All staff in Enforcement and Compliance support the fight against evasion and avoidance, either directly or indirectly. The number of staff employed (full-time equivalent) by Enforcement and Compliance over the last five years are:

 FTE

2008-09

32,243.85

2009-10

26,863.81

2010-11

25,475.26

2011-12

25,334.34

2012-13

26,601.02

Within Enforcement and Compliance, the Specialist Investigations and Criminal Investigation directorates deal with the most serious attacks against the tax system. The total number of staff within SI and CI for each of the last five years are:

 SICI

2008-09

1,506.05

2,052.8

2009-10

1,563.42

1,828.43

2010-11

1,521.09

1,862.27

2011-12

1,424.76

2,222.05

2012-13

1,632.47

2,264.42

A disaggregated breakdown of this data is only available at a disproportionate cost.

Revenue and Customs

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the amount lost from HM Revenue and Customs' budget as a result of fraud in each of the last five years. [152750]

23 Apr 2013 : Column 818W

Mr Gauke: Estimates are available for the revenue lost to tax fraud for the UK, and the level of fraud in tax credits. There are no equivalent figures for the amount lost due to fraud in child benefit.

Estimates of the revenue lost to tax fraud are available for 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2010-11, I refer the hon. Member to my reply on 7 February 2013, Official Report, column 436W, to the hon. Member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West (Tom Greatrex).

There are two separate sets of statistics covering fraud in tax credits available for 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11. The first is taken from HMRC’s tax credit Error and Fraud Analytical Programme (EFAP) which provides estimates of the value of finalised tax credits claimed fraudulently by individuals. Figures taken from EFAP are presented as a range as they are based on the findings from examining a sample of awards, which are grossed-up to give population estimates.

For 2008-09—£380 million to £550 million:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20120817183511/http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtcredits-error0809.pdf

For 2009-10—£270 million to £530 million:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20120817183511/http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtcredits-error0910.pdf

For 2010-11—£540 million to £800 million:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/fin-error-stats/cwtcredits-error.pdf

The second set of statistics gives the amount of tax credits written off in respect of organised fraud identified during the year. This will not be picked up in EFAP because the awards involved are terminated in-year and, hence, never finalised:

For 2008-09—£31.9 million:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/hmrc-accs-0809.pdf

For 2009-10—£21.5 million:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/hmrc-accs-0910.pdf

For 2010-11—£16.7 million:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/annual-report-accounts-1011.pdf

Revenue and Customs: Telephone Services

Richard Burden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answers of 18 March 2013, Official Report, column 420W, on the Child Benefit Office, and of 19 March 2013, Official Report, column 602W, on telephone services, what account was taken of the use by HM Revenue and Customs of 0800, 0808, 0844, 0845 or 0870 telephone numbers in giving the answer that none were used other than by the Debt Management Office. [151302]

Mr Gauke: The original answers provided information relating to the Child Benefit Office, HM Treasury and the agencies for which HM Treasury are responsible. The information requested in relation to HMRC is as follows;

HMRC have 150 0845 customer facing numbers. The majority of the 0845 numbers relate to helplines within HMRC Contact Centres. There are no 0800, 0808, 0844 or 0870 numbers. HMRC has started to introduce 03XX numbers to migrate the 08XX numbers to over the coming months.

23 Apr 2013 : Column 819W

Tax Allowances: Business

Jim Shannon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to provide further tax relief for small businesses for the purposes of reducing youth unemployment. [152142]

Mr Gauke: The Government have already taken steps to help small business and tackle youth unemployment.

Budget 2013 announced that from April 2014 every business and charity will be entitled to a £2,000 employment allowance to reduce their employer national insurance contribution bill each year. This will reduce the costs of employment and support small businesses either hiring their first employee or expanding their workforce.

The Government remain committed to supporting unemployed people into work through a combination of programmes including the Youth Contract and Work programme for the long term unemployed.

Venture Capital

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of how much (a) has been invested in small and medium-sized enterprises via venture capital trusts since their introduction and (b) he anticipates will be so invested in the future; [152596]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of jobs likely to be created in small and medium-sized enterprises as a result of venture capital trust funding over the next five years. [152595]

Mr Gauke: Between 1995-96 and 2011-12 £4.7 billion was raised by venture capital trusts. At least 70% of all funds raised by venture capital trusts are invested in small and medium-sized enterprises.

HM Revenue and Customs publishes National Statistics on the amounts of funds raised by venture capital trusts for each year between 1995-96 and 2011-12.

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/vct/table8-6.pdf

There are no data available on future trends of investment in small and medium-sized enterprises by venture capital trusts or on the number of jobs that have been created by venture capital trusts.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Beef: Russia

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he has taken to promote export of British beef to Russia since the lifting of the ban on British beef imports by that country. [152609]

Mr Heath: DEFRA collaborates closely with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to promote exports from the farming, food and drink sector. DEFRA, UKTI and industry jointly lead the action plan, "Driving Export Growth in the Farming, Food and Drink Sector", published in January 2012. This sets out how Government and industry will work together to open up and take advantage of key markets.

23 Apr 2013 : Column 820W

Both the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and I are actively promoting UK agricultural exports through a series of visits to key markets.

We worked hard to agree health conditions with the Russian authorities on the export of beef and lamb by the end of last year. Russian authorities impose stringent conditions on meat for export to the Russian market.

We continue to engage with the Russian authorities to ensure that those companies that wish to take of advantage of this market are listed by the Russian authorities as eligible to export to Russia.

Bovine Tuberculosis

Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on badger cull trials in the UK. [152923]

Mr Heath: The Government have committed, as part of a package of measures, to developing affordable options for a carefully-managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine TB in England.

Scientific evidence shows conclusively that badgers contribute significantly to bovine TB in cattle. This evidence comes from the randomised badger culling trial.

The pilots are being carried out to monitor the effectiveness, humaneness and safety of controlled shooting. The monitoring will be overseen by an independent panel of experts, who have advised on the appropriate methods for monitoring effectiveness and humaneness. They will evaluate the pilots before reporting back to Government. Ministers will then decide whether the policy should be rolled out more widely.

I remain committed to taking forward this evidence-based policy, as part of a wider programme for eradication of bovine TB in England. The Government and NFU continue to plan so that the pilots can go ahead in summer 2013.

Cattle measures will remain central to the Government's approach, which needs to be comprehensive and risk-based.

The Government's policy on Bovine TB and badger control in England can be found at the following link and I have placed a copy in the Library of the House.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69463/pb13691-bovinetb-policy-statement.pdf

Food Banks

Dr McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the increase of food banks across the UK. [152061]

Mr Heath: The Government recognise that rising food prices mean, for many, a greater proportion of household income is being spent on food. There are no official figures for the number of charities providing food aid, including through food banks, or the number of people using food banks in the UK. The provision of food aid ranges from small, local provision through to regional and national schemes. Food banks are a mostly community-led provision responding to local needs. We

23 Apr 2013 : Column 821W

are not proposing to record the number of food banks, or the potential number of people using them or other types of food aid. To do so would place unnecessary burdens on volunteers trying to help their communities.

DEFRA has commissioned research to review evidence on the landscape of food provision and access. The work comprises a short research project assessing evidence already publically available on the provision of food aid in the UK. The conclusions of this work will be available in the summer and published on the Government's website.

We continue to work nationally and internationally to promote open global markets and boost trade, which helps keep food prices at levels that all households in the UK find affordable.

Horsemeat

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answers of 28 January 2013, Official Report, column 594W, on horse meat: exports, what the (a) value and (b) weight of horse meat is that was (i) exported, (ii) slaughtered for export and (iii) slaughtered for domestic use in each of the last five months for which figures are available. [152816]

Mr Heath: DEFRA does not collect value or tonnage figures for horses slaughtered for export or for domestic use. The Food Standards Agency collects information on the number of animals slaughtered but not on weight or monetary value.

The monetary value and weight of UK exports of equine meat and offal is shown in the following table. The latest data available is for February 2013.

UK exports of Equine meat and offal
  £000Tonnes

2012

October

388

246

 

November

363

195

 

December

247

136

    

2013

January

203

117

 

February

88

48

Note: 2012 and 2013 data is subject to amendments. Source: HM Revenue and Customs

Horses: Slaughterhouses

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the response by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to Freedom of Information request AT1 250, at which abattoir each horse was slaughtered. [152223]

Mr Heath: The additional information sought on horses which have tested non-compliant for the presence of phenylbutazone in the last five years is set out in the table. These include horses tested under the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD's) statutory surveillance programme, operated in accordance with Council Directive 96/23/EC, and the four non-compliant horses found under the supplementary testing carried out by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the second half of 2012.

23 Apr 2013 : Column 822W

All of the non-compliant samples for 2013 have been found under the FSA's programme testing all horses presented for slaughter for human consumption for the presence of phenylbutazone.

Under the surveillance programme kidney is analysed as the target tissue which gives the best indication of the presence of phenylbutazone in horses.

Name of horseAbattoir where slaughtered

2008

 

Justin A Risky Moment

High Peak Exports Ltd

Toby

Stillmans Ltd

River Melody

Stillmans Ltd

  

2009

 

None

  

2010

 

Compton Place

Stillmans Ltd

Beaupre Prince

Stillmans Ltd

Kalamazoo

Stillmans Ltd

Llwyncelyn Rockafella

Stillmans Ltd

Unknown

Stillmans Ltd

  

2011

 

Unknown

Stillmans Ltd

  

2012

 

Zaftil

Stillmans Ltd

Unknown

Stillmans Ltd

Billy

High Peak Exports Ltd

Perkin Warbeck

Stillmans Ltd

Kilcoolen Francis

Stillmans Ltd

Unknown

Stillmans Ltd

Unknown

High Peak Exports Ltd

Unknown

Stillmans Ltd

Unknown

High Peak Exports Ltd

  

2013

 

Sally

Stillmans Ltd

Sonnie Horizon

Stillmans Ltd

Moses

Stillmans Ltd

Pavarotti

High Peak Exports Ltd

Jess

High Peak Exports Ltd

On the Money

Stillmans Ltd

Manikka

Stillmans Ltd

Sultan's Seal

Stillmans Ltd

Spotted Orchid

Stillmans Ltd

Black Jack

Stillmans Ltd

Cream

High Peak Exports Ltd

Osocool

High Peak Exports Ltd

Bertie

Stillmans Ltd

Llanarth Catkin

High Peak Exports Ltd

Tyrone Bally Bow

Stillmans Ltd

Sunny Ways

Stillmans Ltd

Victoria

Stillmans Ltd

Redwood Lodge Chances R

High Peak Exports Ltd

Unknown

Stillmans Ltd

Upton Crystal(1)

Stillmans Ltd

(1) The name of the horse was not available at the time of the ATI request.

23 Apr 2013 : Column 823W

Pesticides

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides; and what assessment he has made of the use of such pesticides on bee populations. [152320]

Richard Benyon: Pesticides are tightly regulated in the UK in accordance with EU pesticides legislation and neonicotinoid insecticide products authorised for use in the UK meet the current standards set by the regulatory system. Legal restrictions are in place to limit the exposure of bees to these products. A code of practice is in place for professional pesticide users, such as farmers, on how and when pesticides are used so as to minimise the impact on bees. All pesticide users must comply with all the conditions of a product's authorisation. These will include application rates and timings and where appropriate specific risk mitigation measures on product labels to protect bees.

While laboratory studies show that bees may be significantly affected by neonicotinoids, field data on honey bees indicates that the level of exposure in real life does not lead to these harmful effects. There has been an absence of field data on other bee species and DEFRA, therefore, commissioned field trials on bumble bees. The report of these field trials was published on the DEFRA website with our assessment of the key evidence and is now available online at GOV.UK.

Our assessment of the overall evidence concludes that it is not possible to rule out rare effects of neonicotinoids on bees in the field. However, the evidence indicates that effects on bees do not occur under normal circumstances. Consequently, it supports the view that the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoids, as they are currently used, is low.

The European Commission has proposed restrictions on the use of three neonicotinoids, following the peer review by the European Food Safety Authority. We have urged the Commission to complete the scientific assessment, taking account of our new research, and to assess the impacts of action so that the measures taken are proportionate to the risks identified.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress he has made on developing an action plan for the sustainable use of pesticides in the UK. [152585]

Mr Heath: DEFRA published the UK national action plan for the sustainable use of pesticides on 26 February 2013. It sets out current measures and future plans and identifies three priority issues. These are: protection of water; uptake of best practice among amenity and amateur users; and development and uptake of techniques for integrated pest management. The plan will be formally reviewed every five years in accordance with the requirements of the EU directive on the sustainable use of pesticides. It will also be updated to reflect developments in pesticides policy whenever appropriate thereby forming a living document.

Polar Bears

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the recent decision of the Convention on International

23 Apr 2013 : Column 824W

Trade: Endangered Species on the commercial trade in polar bears, what steps he is taking to ensure appropriate protection for polar bears. [151971]

Richard Benyon [holding answer 18 April 2013]: The UK played an active part in efforts to secure agreement among the five polar bear range states on an acceptable basis for the protection of polar bears under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). We were disappointed that agreement could not be reached on this at the 16(th) Conference of the Parties in Bangkok on 3-14 March. The UK will continue to encourage the polar bear range states and other CITES Parties to work together in the future in the best interests of conserving this important species.

Pollution Control

Angie Bray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers are available to local authorities to tackle high levels of pollution in residential areas. [152206]

Richard Benyon: Local authorities have a range of powers to tackle high pollution. The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 provide powers in relation to control of emissions from a wide range of industrial activities. The Clean Air Acts provide powers in relation to the control of smoke and other emission from commercial and residential sites. Noise and statutory nuisance are controlled by powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Noise Act 1996.

Attorney-General

Complaints

Jim Shannon: To ask the Attorney-General if he will take steps to introduce a complaints procedure for matters relating to the work of the Law Officers' Departments and the public bodies for which they are responsible that provides for an independent investigation for the purposes of promoting accountability to the general public. [152143]

The Attorney-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is in the process of appointing an Independent Assessor of Complaints who will provide independent scrutiny of non-legal complaints from victims and witnesses against the CPS. This appointment supports the CPS' commitment to increasing public assurance and confidence in the service that it provides.

The CPS and Serious Fraud Office (SFO) are answerable in the courts in respect of prosecutorial decisions.

In addition HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) undertakes regular independent inspection and assessment of the CPS prosecution services, with the aim of improving its effectiveness and efficiency. I have already announced to Parliament my intention to widen the remit of HMCPSI to cover the operations of the Serious Fraud Office.

The Treasury Solicitor's Departments (TSol) main role is to provide legal services to Government Departments and other publicly funded bodies in England and Wales

23 Apr 2013 : Column 825W

and is ultimately accountable to the courts for the quality of its work. The parliamentary and health service ombudsman also provides independent scrutiny of TSol’s handling of complaints.

Criminal Proceedings

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General on how many occasions a judge or magistrate has refused the admission of bad character or hearsay evidence as a result of late service of the application or the evidence in support in each of the last five years. [152157]

The Attorney-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of times a judge or magistrate has refused the admission of bad character or Hearsay evidence as a result of late service of the application or the evidence in support. To provide this information would require a manual search of files and incur a disproportionate cost.

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General (1) on how many occasions the prosecution has offered no evidence in the (a) magistrates' court and (b) Crown court following the commencement of criminal proceedings in each of the last five years; [152158]

(2) what records the Crown Prosecution Service keeps of the number of occasions in which the prosecution offers no evidence in the magistrates' court and in the Crown court following the commencement of criminal proceedings. [152162]

The Attorney-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains a central record of the number of defendants prosecuted whose prosecution outcome is recorded as 'offer no evidence' in magistrates courts and in the Crown court.

The following tables represent the number of defendants prosecuted in magistrates courts and in the Crown court, whose prosecution concluded with an outcome of 'offer no evidence' in each of the last five years.

(a) Magistrates courts
 Offered no evidence 
 NumberPercentageTotal prosecutions

2008-09

25,769

2.8

928,708

2009-10

25,257

2.9

872,585

2010-11

26,107

3.1

841,180

2011-12

24,956

3.2

787,958

2012-13

23,885

3.4

707,995

(b) Crown court
 Offered no evidence 
 NumberPercentageTotal prosecutions

2008-09

9,734

9.4

103,890

2009-10

10,537

9.6

110,146

2010-11

12,469

10.6

117,654

2011-12

10,649

9.8

108,547

2012-13

9,212

9.4

98,463

23 Apr 2013 : Column 826W

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General what the total amount has been of wasting costs orders made against the Crown Prosecution Service in the criminal courts in each of the last five years. [152160]

The Attorney-General: There are a range of costs orders that can be made against the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). These include costs orders under section 19 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985, where an order may be made that one party pay the costs of the other party to criminal proceedings. Such an order may be made when the court is satisfied that the costs in question have been incurred by party A as a result of “an unnecessary or improper act of omission by or on behalf of” party B.

Costs can also be ordered under section 19A of the same Act where an order may be made against a legal representative that s/he pay “wasted costs”. Wasted costs are costs incurred as a result of improper, unreasonable or negligent act or omission on the part of any representative or the employee of any representative.

Furthermore, costs can be ordered under section 19B of the same Act against third parties to pay the costs incurred by any other party to the proceedings.

Finally, in civil proceedings, such as restraint proceedings when dealing with matters under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, inter-parties costs orders can be made which follow the event, namely that costs are awarded against the losing party.

The CPS maintains records of the overall value of costs payments made but does not distinguish between the various types of costs order listed above. To ascertain the types and value of individual costs awards made over the last five years would require a review of each case and this would incur disproportionate cost.

The total value of costs awards paid by CPS over each of the last five years is:

Total costs payments against the CPS
 £

2008-09

652,766

2009-10

907,061

2010-11

1,547,874

2011-12

384,682

2012-13 (provisional)

1,202,514

The value of total costs payments made in 2012-13 was £1.2 million which represents about 0.19% of overall CPS expenditure.

Prosecutions

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Attorney-General on how many occasions the Crown Prosecution Service has applied for an extension of time for service of papers beyond the statutory requirements as set out in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, the Service of Prosecution Evidence Regulations 2005 S.I. No 902 and the Criminal Procedure Rule 2011 in each of the last five years. [152156]

The Attorney-General: The CPS does not maintain a central record of the number of times an application, to extend the time available for the service of case papers beyond the statutory requirements, is made. To provide this information would require a manual search of files and incur a disproportionate cost.

23 Apr 2013 : Column 827W

Culture, Media and Sport

Youth Sport

Dr Phillip Lee: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps her Department is taking to encourage youth sport participation. [151758]

Hugh Robertson [holding answer 18 April 2013]: Over £1 billion is being invested into youth and community sport—helping to ensure a lasting legacy of the London 2012 games and providing all young people the chance to begin a lifetime’s habit of playing sport. This will be complemented by the recently announced £150 million School Sport Premium, which will see funds go directly into the hands of primary school head teachers for them to spend on improving the quality of PE and sport for all their pupils.

Health Education: Sex

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) if she will request that the British Board of Film Classification provides an age rating to material used in sex and relationship education in primary schools; [152430]

(2) what discussions her Department has had with the providers of sex and relationship education to primary schools about requiring the British Board of Film Classification to provide an age rating to such material; [152490]

(3) what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Education about requiring the British Board of Film Classification to provide an age rating to material used in sex and relationship education in primary schools. [152491]

Mr Vaizey [holding answer 22 April 2013]: Currently most educational DVDs do not require British Board of Film Classification age ratings under the Video Recordings Act. However, DCMS has been consulting on whether this exemption—which also applies to many music, sports and religious DVDs—should be changed so that more products are required to carry statutory age ratings in future. The Government response to the consultation will be published shortly.

The British Board of Film Classification, a number of organisations directly involved in the counselling and education of children and providers of sex education materials were among the wide range of stakeholders who contributed views and evidence during the consultation.

DCMS and DFE have worked very closely together throughout the consultation process and on the development of the Government response.

Press: Regulation

Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 10 April 2013, Official Report, column 1141W, on press: regulation, whether a contribution by guest bloggers to an hon. Member's blog would make that blog subject to the provisions of the new press regulation system. [152137]

23 Apr 2013 : Column 828W

Mr Vaizey: It is not the Government's intention that the current version of the 'relevant publisher' definition should catch individual bloggers who are acting in the course of a business and who occasionally invite a guest to blog in their place. If a blog is not acting in the course of business it is not caught in any case. However, in order to put this issue beyond doubt, the Government have tabled amendments to the Crime and Courts Bill on 18 April in order to exempt small scale blog sites where they may otherwise be caught by the definition of ‘relevant publisher’. This provides that if you are a multi-authored blog, and you are a microbusiness, defined as an organisation with less than 10 members of staff and that has an annual turnover of no more than £2 million, you are not defined as a ‘relevant publisher’. The Government amendments to the definition of a ‘relevant publisher’, as provided for in the Crime and Courts Bill, was debated in the House of Commons on 22 April.

Public Lending Right

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what savings will be achieved over the next 10 years by transferring the administration of public lending right to the British Library; and what proportion such savings represent of the (a) total and (b) administration cost of the scheme over that period; [152893]

(2) how many respondents there were to the public consultation on transferring public lending right functions to another public body; how many such respondents were (a) in favour and (b) against a transfer to the British Library; and if she will make a statement. [152894]

Mr Vaizey: The Government Response to the consultation on the proposed transfer of the public lending right (PLR) functions was published on 27 March 2013 and sets out a detailed summary of the consultation responses received and our response. The Government Response and impact assessment also set out the savings to be realised by the transfer, information about the current level of PLR grant in aid, and information about the administrative costs of the scheme under the present arrangements. The Government Response and impact assessment are published on the Department's website at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-proposals-to-transfer-plr-funding-and-functions

Staff

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many days of work were carried out by officials in (a) her Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies on average in each of the last five years; and what the total salary cost was of officials in each year. [151102]

Hugh Robertson: The number of days of work carried out by officials in DCMS, on average, in each of the last five years was 220.5 per annum.

The following table shows the total salary cost of officials in each of the last five financial years:

23 Apr 2013 : Column 829W

Financial yearTotal salary cost (£)

2008-09

24,741,400

2009-10

25,627,081

2010-11

25,035,372

2011-12

26,177,783

2012-13

22,267,166

We do not hold central records for our agency and non-departmental public bodies.