8 July 2013 : Column 1W

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 8 July 2013

Northern Ireland

Foreign Investment in UK

Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions she has held with the Northern Ireland Executive on the Investment Conference to be held in Northern Ireland in October 2013. [163759]

Mrs Villiers: I have discussed the forthcoming G8 Investment Conference with Northern Ireland Executive Ministers. I am delighted the Prime Minister will participate in it. My officials will maintain their close contact with Invest NI and No. 10 in the run-up to this significant event which will showcase Northern Ireland as an excellent location for investment and trade.

Historical Enquiries Team

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment she has made of the findings of the report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary on the Historical Enquiries Team; and if she will make a statement. [164100]

Mrs Villiers: I have noted the findings of the report and its recommendations. As the hon. Gentleman is fully aware responsibility for matters relating to the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) rests with the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), with the support of the Department of Justice under the devolved Administration in Northern Ireland.

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions she has had with the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland regarding the report by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary on the Historical Enquiries Team. [164101]

Mrs Villiers: I had a scheduled meeting with the Chief Constable on Wednesday 3 July to discuss a range of issues. We discussed the recently published HMIC report into the Historical Enquiries Team.

Immigration Controls

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will make it her policy to introduce border controls between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. [162600]

Mike Penning: The Government have no plans to reintroduce border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Free movement for those who are lawfully present within the Common Travel Area provides important economic and social benefits to the UK, especially Northern Ireland.

8 July 2013 : Column 2W

Northern Ireland Civic Forum

Conor Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress is being made on implementing the Civic Forum in Northern Ireland. [162830]

Mrs Villiers: Strand 1 of the 1998 Belfast agreement set out that a Civic Forum should be established to act as a consultative mechanism on social, economic and cultural issues. The work of the forum was suspended in 2002 alongside the operation of the other institutions of devolved government.

Responsibility for further steps on the forum lies with the First Minister and deputy First Minister: paragraph 34 of the 1998 agreement and section 6 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 set out that arrangements for administrative support for the forum, guidelines for the selection of representatives, and arrangements for obtaining from the forum its views are matters for them.

Northern Ireland Government

Conor Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which provisions of the (a) Good Friday agreement and (b) St Andrews agreement (i) have been fully implemented and (ii) are yet to be fully implemented. [162606]

Mrs Villiers: The Belfast agreement set out the arrangements governing the operation of democratic institutions in Northern Ireland, as well as British-Irish institutions and the North-South Ministerial Council. The St Andrews agreement made changes to the operation of those institutions, as agreed by political parties representing a majority of unionist and nationalist opinion in Northern Ireland.

The agreements are substantially implemented. There remain areas in which disagreements exist as to possible further implementation steps. We are committed to upholding the institutions created by the agreements and remain ready to work with the Northern Ireland political parties, the Assembly and Executive, the Irish Government and other relevant bodies to resolve outstanding issues.

Parades

Dr Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps she plans to take to ensure that determinations made by the Parades Commission are accepted by all parties and organisations in Northern Ireland and that decisions are supported by the rule of law. [164029]

Mrs Villiers: I have had a number of recent meetings with those involved in or affected by parading. These include political representatives, senior members of the Loyal Orders and local residents. At all of these meetings, I have emphasised that determinations made by the Parades Commission are legally binding.

The Parades Commission, which operates independently of the Government, is responsible for making determinations in accordance with the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998.

8 July 2013 : Column 3W

The PSNI is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of anyone who is found to be in breach of determinations made by the Commission.

Public Expenditure

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what her Department's budget has been in each year since 1998. [163609]

Mrs Villiers: The funding provided to the Northern Ireland Office is published on HM Treasury's website in the form of the Main Estimate. While the HMT site is currently being upgraded to gov.uk, the Main Estimates for each year from 1999-2000 to 2012-13 can be found in the archived data at:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130405170223/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/psr_estimates_mainindex.htm

Following the devolution of policing and justice functions on 12 April 2010, and subsequent reconfiguration of the Northern Ireland Office, there was a significant impact on the size, shape and structure of the Department, which reduced the budget significantly from 2010-11 onwards.

The current year's Main Estimate can be found on the gov.uk website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/197780/nio_mainsupplyestimates_201314.pdf

Staff

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff, of each grade, were employed by her Department in each year since 1998. [163608]

Mrs Villiers: Because of the devolution of policing and justice functions on 12 April 2010, and subsequent reconfiguration of the Northern Ireland Office, my Department does not hold figures for the periods prior to 2010; attempting to obtain this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Information for the period post-2010 is as follows:

Grade of officialsNumber of officials

2010-11(1)

 

SCS

5

Grade A

9

Grade B

3

Grade C

12

Grade D

15

Grade E

14

Grade F

13

  

2011-12(1)

 

SCS

4

Grade A

13

Grade B

7

Grade C

24

Grade D

20

Grade E

10

Grade F

7

  

8 July 2013 : Column 4W

2012-13(1)

 

SCS

5

Grade A

15

Grade B

11

Grade C

22

Grade D

24

Grade E

10

Grade F

6

  

2013-14(2)

 

SCS

5

Grade A

14

Grade B

12

Grade C

25

Grade D

23

Grade E

10

Grade F

5

(1) Based on staff employed at year end. (2) Based on year to date information as at 31 May 2013.

World Police and Fire Games 2013

Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions she has had with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment on the tourism implications of the World Police and Fire Games in Belfast in August 2013. [164066]

Mrs Villiers: I have had various informal conversations with Executive Ministers which have included reference to the World Police and Fire Games. I am looking forward to the arrival of the athletes who will be participating, along with around 7,000 of their family and friends who are expected to attend the games. This is the third biggest participant sporting event in the world. Of the 3,500 volunteers who will support the games, 318 volunteers will be coming from outside Northern Ireland including a member of my office.

We look forward to welcoming them all.

Based on previous host cities of the World Police and Fire Games it is estimated visitors will spend around £92 a day which will directly benefit the Northern Ireland economy during their stay which the organising committee is determined to make “the friendliest Games ever”.

Wales

Big Society Advisory Forum

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what advice the Wales Office Big Society Advisory Forum has given to his Department to date. [164095]

Stephen Crabb: A communiqué is published after every Big Society Forum.

Conferences

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) which organisations (a) he and (b) other Ministers of his Department met at conferences in Wales in (i) October, (ii) November and (iii) December 2012; [164102]

8 July 2013 : Column 5W

(2) which conferences (a) he and (b) other Ministers of his Department attended in Wales in (i) October, (ii) November and (iii) December 2012. [164103]

Stephen Crabb: Details of ministerial meetings with all external organisations are published as part of the Wales Office quarterly transparency returns. In addition, the Wales Office website is frequently updated with information about Ministers' engagements.

Information on other organisations present at events attended by Ministers is not available.

Electronic Government: Welsh Language

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what analysis his Department has made of which services are available through the medium of Welsh on www.gov.uk/Cymraeg; and what discussions he has with ministerial colleagues on those services on that website not currently provided in Welsh. [164094]

Mr David Jones: The Wales Office works closely with the Government Digital Service in the Cabinet Office on the Welsh language content of the gov.uk website. The development of the site is ongoing and content is continually assessed against evidence of the needs of its English and Welsh-language users. The site has supported the Welsh language from its launch, and contains links to commonly used Welsh-language Government transactions and services.

Employment

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people have taken up jobs as a result of the Jobs Summit held in Newport in February 2013. [164108]

Mr David Jones: The aim of the Jobs Summit was to raise awareness of and to promote the initiatives that are available to support jobseekers in Wales. Due to this Government's actions there are 32,000 more people in employment in Wales than this time last year.

Youth Work

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much funding his Department allocated for youth work in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [164088]

Stephen Crabb: None.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Ash Dieback Disease: Northern Ireland

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland on preventing the escalation of ash dieback. [162601]

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Mr Heath: Since the discovery of the outbreak of ash dieback in October 2012, representatives from the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland have been involved in developing the Government's response. Parts of that response are specific to England only, but we are working with the devolved Administrations to ensure a co-ordinated approach across the UK.

Bees

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the percentage loss in bee colonies in the UK during (a) the last five years and (b) the last 12 months; to what factors he attributes that loss; and if he will make a statement. [163320]

Mr Heath [holding answer 4 July 2013]:Colony loss is not a new phenomenon and is often associated with severe weather.

From 2001 to 2007-08 an increase in colony losses was observed largely due to the parasitic Varroa mite, which has become endemic in the UK since it arrived in 1992. The peak of 30% losses in 2007-08 was also due to a poor summer in 2007, leading to weakened colonies going into the winter.

The National Bee Unit (NBU) also reported that diseases and other pests were contributory factors. Subsequent survey data, collected by the National Bee Unit, reported reduced losses for honey bees—20% overwinter losses in 2008-09, 16% in 2009-10, 21% in 2010-11 and 16% 2011-12, thought to be mainly due to summers and winters which were not so unfavourable for bees.

However, the poor summer of 2012 and the prolonged cold spring this year have again resulted in significant losses of honey bee colonies across the UK. The British Beekeepers Association has reported 2012-13 colony losses of 33.8% using data collected from its membership.

The National Bee Unit bee inspectors are carrying out their annual survey across England and Wales and will provide additional data on losses and other measures of the health of the honey bees later this summer.

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the number of honey-bee hives in the UK which is the critical minimum below which UK food production and sustainability will be seriously damaged. [163321]

Mr Heath [holding answer 4 July 2013]:Staple crops that provide the vast majority of our food are wind or self-pollinated. However, pollinators play a key role in the production of many commercial crops like orchard fruits, soft fruits and vegetables.

Honey bees are one of a very broad range of wild and managed insect species that are responsible for the pollination of these crops. The relationship between the diversity or abundance of pollinators and the service they provide in pollinating our crops is currently poorly understood.

8 July 2013 : Column 7W

We need to quantify the relative contribution of different pollinators to crop types across different land-use types and regions if we are to know whether we have sufficient diversity and abundance of these insects to ensure the security of supply for these crops.

The Insect Pollinators Initiative, co-funded by DEFRA, is one of a number of Government-funded research programmes that are seeking to improve our understanding of the contributions made by pollinating insects to our food supply. Final reports from this initiative are expected in 2014-15.

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether (a) the British Beekeepers Association and (b) the Bee Farmers Association will be invited to participate in the Government's review of the decline in bee colony numbers; whether the review will be completed in time for action to be taken to improve bee habitat by spring 2014; and whether legislation is likely to be required to tackle the causes of the decline. [163322]

Mr Heath: In his speech at the Bee Summit hosted by Friends of the Earth on 28 June, Lord de Mauley called on all interested parties to work together in developing a more ambitious and integrated approach to tackling the threats faced by pollinators.

He announced a series of workshops, starting in September 2013, which will offer an opportunity to national experts from Government and non-government organisations for a frank and open debate on the most recent scientific progress made on pollination and the policies that affect pollinators.

This will be one of a number of opportunities for the British Beekeepers Association and Bee Farmers Association to play a part and we look forward to their contribution. DEFRA is aiming to begin implementing action from spring 2014 onwards. The review will consider the full range of policy options available, including legislation where appropriate.

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will ensure that new elements of the National Pollinator Strategy are implemented before the spring of 2014. [163696]

Mr Heath: On 28 June, Lord de Mauley announced the Government's intention to produce a National Pollinator Strategy. We aim to produce this for consultation in November 2013, with a target of implementing priority actions from spring 2014.

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to set out a clear timetable for action to reverse bee decline in the UK. [163697]

Mr Heath: As announced by Lord de Mauley, at the Bee Summit hosted by Friends of the Earth on 28 June, we plan to publish a National Pollinator Strategy in November in preparation for a public consultation. This is a long-term targeted plan to ensure that bees and pollinators survive and thrive throughout the UK.

8 July 2013 : Column 8W

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measurable targets he plans to set for reversing the decline of bees and other pollinators as part of the National Pollinator Strategy. [163698]

Mr Heath: DEFRA has already established measures of performance and intended outcomes across the policy areas that impact on pollinators. For example, in “Biodiversity 2020—A Strategy for England's Wildlife and Ecosystem Services”, these guide actions to halt overall biodiversity loss, support healthy, well-functioning ecosystems and establish coherent ecological networks, with more and better places for nature, for the benefit of wildlife and people. Performance measures are included on the extent and condition of habitats and ecosystems, on the overall improvement in the status of our wildlife and the prevention of further human-induced extinctions of known threatened species.

Programme outcomes and measures of performance will be set similarly for any new priority actions identified during the production of the new strategy.

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how he plans to involve (a) the Department for Communities and Local Government and (b) other Government departments in the National Pollinator Strategy. [163699]

Mr Heath: DEFRA and our delivery partners, the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Forestry Commission, are already working closely with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to develop new, concise, planning practice guidance. This is in line with the Government's proposals for implementing the recommendations of Lord Taylor's External Review of Planning Practice Guidance. It includes guidance on green spaces and biodiversity in support of planning policies to protect and enhance natural habitats. DEFRA is also working with DCLG through the Green Infrastructure Partnership, helping local decision makers to create better places for people and wildlife, including pollinators.

As part of the development of the pollinator strategy, we intend to hold a series of stakeholder workshops and meetings in the autumn. This will include meetings with officials from DCLG and other Government Departments where appropriate.

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to ensure that the UK will lead the way internationally in developing strategies to reverse the decline of bees and other pollinators. [163700]

Mr Heath: The UK is already a world leader in many of the fields that will form part of the new strategy. For example, the National Bee Unit provides experts to support EU-Food and Veterinary Office missions; we are a member of the EU ad hoc bee expert advisory group; and we are a key participant in pan-European bee research projects such as COLOSS and Epilobee. The UK is also acknowledged as operating one of the best bee health surveillance programmes in Europe and is supporting the development of surveillance programmes in other member states. The new strategy will help us to build on this international reputation.

8 July 2013 : Column 9W

Domestic Waste: Recycling

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of household waste in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) England was recycled in each year for which figures are available. [163369]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA collects data on waste generation and management from local authorities, but does not hold information on specific areas within local authorities. Data for Barnsley Central constituency or South Yorkshire have therefore not been collected; information that is available is set out as follows.

Recycling percentages for the years 2000-01 to 2003-04 are based on the proportion of household waste that was collected for recycling.

Percentage (rounded)
 Yorkshire and Humber regionEngland

2000-01

7

11

2001-02

9

13

2002-03

11

15

2003-04

15

18

WasteDataFlow, the web-based system for municipal waste data reporting by UK local authorities to central Government, was introduced in 2004. It took some time for the new system to become established and local authority level data were produced from 2006-07. WasteDataFlow includes data on the proportion of household waste that is sent for recycling.

The following table provides data which are available for the Yorkshire and Humber region, Barnsley metropolitan council, and England for the years 2004-05 to 2011-12.

The data include materials sent for recycling, composting or reuse by local authorities as well as those collected from household sources by private and voluntary organisations. They also include residual waste from the household stream that was diverted for recycling by sorting or further treatment. They exclude material that was collected for recycling from household sources but rejected at collection or at the gate of a recycling reprocessor.

Percentage (rounded)
 Yorkshire and Humber regionEnglandBarnsley metropolitan borough council

2004-05

19

23

2005-06

22

27

2006-07

27

31

24

2007-08

31

35

32

2008-09

34

38

36

2009-10

37

40

43

2010-11

40

42

40

2011-12

42

43

46

Honey

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason UK production of honey is significantly lower than the EU average as a proportion of national consumption; and what steps he plans to take to increase that proportion. [163323]

8 July 2013 : Column 10W

Mr Heath [holding answer 4 July 2013]: Figures from Eurostat for 2009 indicate that the UK produced 6,000 tonnes of honey, a significant increase on 2008 when 4,000 tonnes were produced. UK honey consumption is estimated at 28,500 tonnes a year with a per capita consumption of 0.5kg. Therefore UK production meets only 21% of demand. This compares with an EU-25 rate of 60%. Climate is the key factor in determining honey production. Both the Bee Farmers Association (BFA) and British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) reported on the impact last summer's rain and cold had on honey production with the BBKA reporting that the annual honey crop per hive is down by 72% compared to 2011.

Pests, diseases and the husbandry skills of the beekeeper will also have significant impact on the productivity of the bee colony. DEFRA supports beekeepers and the services they provide (i.e. pollination and honey production) through free apiary inspection and diagnostic services for statutory diseases and pests and a free training and education programme to enable beekeepers to become more self-reliant in combating disease. Last year the National Bee Unit inspected over 36,000 colonies in nearly 8,400 apiaries, providing the opportunity for one-to-one training with the beekeepers. Under its Healthy Bees Plan, DEFRA has also co-funded education and training initiatives with beekeeping associations.

Recycling

Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate he has made of the number of fires at recycling plants since 2001. [163529]

Richard Benyon [holding answer 5 July 2013]: The following table gives details of Environment Agency statistics for fires at waste management sites between 2001 and 2012.

 Number of incidents

2001

246

2002

343

2003

398

2004

337

2005

346

2006

379

2007

290

2008

275

2009

337

2010

345

2011

425

2012

302

These figures include regulated and unregulated sites where the cause of pollution incidents was clearly identified as fire. There is potential for some duplication within these data as a single fire event may have led to multiple pollution incidents.

Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has estimated the average time material is stored at recycling plants before being recycled. [163530]

8 July 2013 : Column 11W

Richard Benyon [holding answer 5 July 2013]: It is not possible to estimate the average time material is stored at recycling plants before being recycled. The period of time for which waste materials are stored at these sites depends on a number of factors. These include the type of material, the capacity and type of storage available at the site, requirements imposed under any environmental permit conditions or the rules of any exemption from the need for a permit where applicable, and the market value of the specific material.

Attorney-General

Devolution

Margaret Curran: To ask the Attorney-General if he will place in the Library any concordats which the Law Officers Departments or the public bodies for which he is responsible have with the devolved Administrations. [163144]

The Solicitor-General: I have placed copies in the Library of the House of the agreement between the UK Government and the devolved Administrations on direct actions and preliminary references in the European Court of Justice and the concordat between the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive on the independence of the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland.

There are no other concordats in place between the Law Officers Departments and the devolved administrations.

Human Trafficking

Mr Bone: To ask the Attorney-General how many prosecutions there have been for human trafficking in relation to (a) nail bars and (b) cannabis factories in each of the last five years. [163773]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Case Management System cannot disaggregate the nature of the exploitation from its figures for offences of human trafficking. These data could be obtained only by manually examining all of the CPS's case files for human trafficking, which would incur a disproportionate cost.

Prisoners On Remand

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Attorney-General in what proportion of prosecutions where the Crown Prosecution Service has sought for the defendant to be remanded in prison, has such an application has been refused in (a) Kettering, (b) Northamptonshire and (c) England in the last three years. [163846]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of times an application to remand a defendant in prison has been refused. To provide this information would require a manual search of files, incurring a disproportionate cost.

8 July 2013 : Column 12W

Sentencing: Appeals

Philip Davies: To ask the Attorney-General how many and what proportion of appeals against unduly lenient sentences have been successful in the last three years. [163289]

The Solicitor-General: The information requested is as follows:

In 2010, out of 342 sentences referred to the Attorney-General's office, 256 fell within the scope of the unduly lenient sentence scheme and were considered by either the Attorney-General or myself. 77 (30%) of those were heard by the Court of Appeal. Of those 77, leave was granted in 74 (96%) and sentences were increased in 60 (78%).

In 2011, out of 377 sentences referred to the Attorney-General's office, 299 fell within the scheme and were considered by either the Attorney-General or myself. 117 (39%) of those were heard by the Court of Appeal. Of those 117, leave was granted in 108 (92%) and sentences were increased in 94 (80%).

In 2012, out of 435 sentences referred to the Attorney-General's office, 344 fell within the scheme and were considered by either the Attorney-General or myself. 82 (24%) of those were heard by the Court of Appeal. Of those 82, leave was granted in 73 (89%) and sentences were increased in 62 (76%).

These statistics are available on the Attorney-General's website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/attorney-generals-office

(2012 and 2011), and also on National Archives’ website:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

(2010).

Philip Davies: To ask the Attorney-General how many requests for appeals against unduly lenient sentences have been rejected as out of time in the latest period for which figures are available. [163307]

The Solicitor-General: In 2013 to date, there have not been any out of time requests for appeals against unduly lenient sentences for offences which fall within the scope of the unduly lenient sentence scheme. There were, however, four out of time cases which were for offences that fell outside the scheme.

In 2012, there were a total of 12 out of time cases, all of which were for offences that fell within the scope of the scheme.

Philip Davies: To ask the Attorney-General how many appeals against unduly lenient sentences he has received in respect of each category of offence in each of the last three years. [163308]

The Solicitor-General: The information requested is contained in the following table. The statistics are by offender rather than by case. Several cases had multiple offenders. For example, a single drugs case in 2011 had 20 offenders.

8 July 2013 : Column 13W

Number of offenders
Offence category201220112010

Arson

1

2

2

Burglary

27

15

10

Driving deaths

12

7

10

Drugs

38

79

33

Firearms

5

6

7

Hate crime

1

1

0

Manslaughter

29

18

26

Murder

21

25

14

Robbery

51

34

29

s.18 OAPA

22

35

20

Sexual offences

110

51

75

Other

(1)43

(2)43

(3)46

Non-referable

75

61

69

(1) Including child cruelty, forced labour. (2) Including child cruelty, conspiracy to defraud. (3) Including perverting the course of justice, conspiracy to defraud and child cruelty.

Social Networking

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Attorney-General if he will list all Twitter accounts for which officials of the Law Officers Departments (a) have had and (b) currently have responsibility for (i) monitoring and (ii) updating. [163544]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) currently has responsibility for updating four official Twitter accounts. These are listed as follows:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

The CPS is not aware of any previous Twitter accounts that may have been shut down, nor does it formally monitor individual Twitter accounts,

The remaining Law Officers Departments do not currently have any active Twitter accounts or formally monitor individual Twitter accounts.

Defence

Armed Forces: Private Education

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 21 May 2013, Official Report, column 717W, on armed forces: private education, what amount can be claimed by individual personnel in continuity of education allowance; and what the average individual payment has been in each year since May 2010. [164106]

Mr Francois: The amount of continuity of education allowance (CEA) that may be claimed by individual service personnel depends on which variant of CEA they receive. The amount of CEA payable during academic year 2012-13 is shown in the following table.

CEA variantMaximum per term per child (£)

CEA (Board) (Senior)

6,147

CEA (Board) (Junior)

4,799

CEA (Day) (Senior)

3,694

CEA (Day) (Junior)

2,827

8 July 2013 : Column 14W

CEA Special Educational Needs Addition Specialist Provision

9,185

CEA Special Educational Needs Addition (Day)

5,896

CEA (Guardians)

(1)3.10

Day School Allowance (North Wales)

4,690

(1) Per day.

The average payment claimed by individual service personnel since financial year (FY) 2010-11 is shown in the following table.

Financial year£

2010-11

22,100

2011-12

22,700

2012-13

23,400

Service personnel may claim CEA for more than one child simultaneously.

Armed Forces: Suicide

Mr Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel were placed on the Suicide Vulnerability Risk Management register in (a) 2008, (b) 2009, (c) 2010, (d) 2011 and (e) 2012. [163239]

Mr Francois: The Ministry of Defence is committed to providing our service personnel with the best possible mental health care and welfare support. In each of the services, commanding officers are given clear guidance on the management of individuals who are potentially vulnerable or at risk for a variety of reasons, including the risk of suicide or deliberate self-harm.

The Suicide Vulnerability Risk Management (SVRM) policy is a preventive strategy used by the Army. SVRM allows the identification of individuals who may be at risk and signposts appropriate responses and management tools to be used by the chain of command. However, the SVRM register is a management tool which captures a total number of entries rather than numbers of individuals, meaning that any one individual may have more than one entry on the register. The register also captures all those who come under service law, and as such includes a small proportion of civilian dependents and entitled contractors. An exercise to extract the numbers of service personnel who have been placed on the SVRM register, as opposed to the total number of entries on the register, could be performed only at disproportionate cost.

Army: Recruitment

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people were employed at Rhyl recruiting clinic before its closure. [164158]

Mr Francois: Three full-time military personnel were employed at Rhyl recruiting clinic prior to its closure on 14 March 2013. The administration of Army recruiting being undertaken in partnership with Capita is now delivered centrally at the national recruiting centre, enabling more military staff to be released to front-line posts. Military personnel are still employed at Army contact centres in Bangor and Wrexham.

8 July 2013 : Column 15W

Clyde Submarine Base

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent research has been carried out by his Department into alternative base sites in the UK for the nuclear deterrent or submarines from HM Naval Base Clyde. [163649]

Mr Dunne: None.

Firing Ranges: Shoeburyness

Mr Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the maximum decibel noise measurements were from the Shoeburyness explosion site on the morning of 7 June 2013; [163501]

(2) what munitions were being tested at the Shoeburyness explosion site on the morning of 7 June 2013; and whether the noise exceeded the recommended maximum of noise pollution levels. [163502]

Mr Francois: The maximum noise level attributable to activity at the Ministry of Defence Shoeburyness Test and Evaluation range on the morning of 7 June 2013 was 114 decibels (dB). This activity was part of a process to qualify new propellant for the 4.5 inch naval gun. The noise did not exceed maximum levels permitted under the Control of Noise at Work Statutory Instrument and fell well below the establishment's contractually imposed noise operating limit of 125 dB.

Military Bases: Scotland

Mr Gordon Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library the letter from HM Industrial Pollution Directorate to Lord James Douglas Hamilton in 1990 detailing that debris from demolition work at the air station HMS Merlin was used for infilling purposes between 1944 and 1951. [163478]

Mr Francois: The Ministry of Defence has not been able to find any record of this letter.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which PFI contracts held by his Department are planned to be restructured as a consequence of the spending review 2013. [164098]

Dr Murrison: Ministry of Defence contracts are negotiated and amended as necessary during the course of normal business. I am withholding the information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests. The companies will be contacted as necessary.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which PFI contracts held by his Department have been restructured since May 2010. [164099]

Dr Murrison: Ministry of Defence contracts are negotiated and amended as necessary during the course of normal business. I am withholding this information as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

8 July 2013 : Column 16W

Radioactive waste: Fife

Mr Gordon Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library the paper written in September 1992 from his Department to the committee on medical aspects of radiation in the environment which named the Dalgety Bay area as a site of contamination. [163479]

Dr Murrison: The Ministry of Defence has not been able to find any record of this paper.

Reserve Forces

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason he did not write in advance to hon. Members whose constituencies are affected by closure of reserve sites, as is his Department's normal practice; and if he will give advance notification to hon. Members of any further changes to military units or civilian defence establishments in their constituency. [164119]

Mr Dunne: Letters for right hon. and hon. Members whose constituencies are affected by the closures to reserves sites announced in the House on 3 July 2013, Official Report, column 922, by the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), were issued on the same day, in accordance with normal departmental practice.

Any further changes to military units or civilian defence establishments will be communicated in accordance with this practice.

Reserve Forces: Halton

Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reservists there were in Halton constituency in 1 April 2013. [163496]

Mr Francois: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Reserve Forces: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which units of reservists and cadets currently use Duncombe barracks in York; how many personnel and cadets are currently attached to each unit; what arrangements have been made to accommodate each of the units at other sites; when each unit will move; and when he proposes that Duncombe barracks will close. [164115]

Mr Dunne: Duncombe barracks is currently home to 53 Military Intelligence Company, 5 Military Intelligence Battalion which has a current reservist strength of some 40 (rounded to nearest 10) personnel as of 1 May 2013. An Army Cadet Force detachment and a squadron of the Air Training Corps are also based in Duncombe barracks, but the Ministry of Defence does not keep a formal record of their numbers as they are a youth organisation and not a part of the armed forces.

It is planned that 53 Military Intelligence Company will move to Leeds by May 2014 as part of the Army Reserve restructuring process. It is too early to say what

8 July 2013 : Column 17W

the long term future is of Duncombe barracks but we have made clear that where cadets are co-located on sites for which there is no longer a defence requirement, we will pursue re-provision of facilities for the cadet unit to ensure that a local cadet presence is maintained.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department will have a use for Duncombe barracks in York after it ceases to be used by reservists and cadets; and, if not, whether he will release the land to a provider of social housing, possibly with earmarked nomination rights in respect of proportion of the housing for ex-service personnel. [164116]

Mr Dunne: The long term future of this site is yet to be determined. However re-provision for any cadet units and lodger units will be made.

This work will now be taken forward with the Army chain of command and the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for the future use of facilities at Strensall, York for training medical personnel for the Reserve forces; and if he will make a statement. [164117]

Mr Dunne: The Ministry of Defence has no current plans to change the way we use the excellent facilities at Strensall.

Headquarters 2nd Medical Brigade delivers multinational, joint and integrated Regular and Reserve Field Hospital collective training at its purpose built simulation centre, the Army Medical Services Training Centre (AMSTC) at Strensall, York.

The past decade has seen a primary focus on supporting the mission specific training pathways of field hospitals deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. The AMSTC are at the forefront of preparing UK medical units and multi-national partner personnel for the demands of their operational tours and will continue to create the conditions for the delivery of deployable hospital capability to support future operations.

Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the title Shropshire Yeomanry is to be maintained by the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry following completion of the Reserves in the Future Force 2020 process. [163989]

Dr Murrison: It is expected that the squadrons of the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry (RMLY) will continue to carry the RMLY cap-badge on completion of the restructuring process and will also retain all the antecedents they currently carry.

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will outline the personnel profile for the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry based at Dawley Bank, Telford (a) before and (b) upon completion

8 July 2013 : Column 18W

of the Reserves in the Future Force 2020 process. [163990]

Mr Robathan: The current establishment of the regimental headquarters of the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry and B (Shropshire Yeomanry) Squadron of the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry, both of which are currently based at Dawley Bank, Telford is 131 in total. This comprises:

PersonnelNumber

Territorial personnel

101

Regular Army personnel

8

Full Time Reserve Service/Non Regular permanent staff

12

Civilian personnel

10

Total

131

On completion of the restructuring process, the establishment will be reduced to 16 Army Reserve personnel, due to the relocation of the regimental headquarters to Edinburgh and the down-sizing of B Squadron, which will become a troop detachment.

Veterans: Halton

Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many veterans residing in Halton constituency are in receipt of (a) war pension scheme, (b) armed forces compensation scheme and (c) armed forces pension scheme payments. [163490]

Mr Francois: The number of veterans residing in the Halton constituency who are in receipt of war pension scheme, armed forces compensation scheme and armed forces pension scheme payments are 295, 15 and 285 respectively.

Individuals can be in receipt of payments under more than one of these schemes simultaneously. Therefore the numbers reported should not be added together to provide a grand total.

Home Department

Asylum

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time taken for a decision on asylum was for (a) under 18 male, (b) under 18 female, (c) over 18 male and (d) over 18 female applicants in each of the last 10 years. [162863]

Mr Harper [holding answer 2 July 2013]:Data prior to 1 October 2006 are not aggregated in national reporting systems and can only be provided through a disproportionately expensive manual case search to collate the figures. As consequence we have provided data from 1 October 2006 onwards and these figures are shown in the table:

Table 1: Average processing times for asylum decisions. 1 October 2006 to 31 March 2013
Days
  Financial year
SexAge2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13

Male

Under 18

172

219

195

139

113

164

134

8 July 2013 : Column 19W

8 July 2013 : Column 20W

Female

Under 18

192

207

222

151

115

166

119

Male

18 and over

145

214

198

104

57

67

46

Female

18 and over

118

188

175

91

57

74

51

Notes: 1. The figures quoted have been derived from management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change. This information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols. 2. Figures relate to main applicants only. 3. Figures relate to first asylum claim and initial decisions only. 4. Data relate to applications lodged between 1 October 2006 and 31 March 2013. 5. Processing time based on the average number of calendar days between the application raised date and first case outcome date. Data refer to completed applications only.

Billing

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average cost to her Department was of processing the payment of an invoice in the latest period for which figures are available; and what proportion of invoices settled in that period her Department paid (a) electronically and (b) by cheque. [162635]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office processes its invoices through the Ministry of Justice Shared Service Centre. The devolved nature of the process within the Home Office means that a full end to end cost is difficult to identify but the costs to the Department for the Shared Service Centre can be identified.

The average cost for the last 12 months was £3.93 per invoice (£4.62 in 2011 and £4.34 in 2012). This was the cost of the Shared Service Centre teams directly involved with processing the invoice and their share of the overheads. It does not include Home Office costs internally such as ordering, approving and confirming the receipts of goods and services.

This figure covers the core headquarters and its agencies. Other Home Office NDPBs do not use the Shared Service Centre for their transactions. The proportion of invoices paid electronically during 2012-13 is 84% and the proportion paid by cheque for the same period is 16% (we reported 78.9% and 21.1% respectively in October 2012). These are the latest financial data available. Last year the figures were 97% for electronic payments and just 3% for cheques. However, since these figures were published the Department has increased the scope of its Shared Services provision and there is now a higher proportion of small value, one-off supplier payments that are being made (in line with the larger volume of SMEs engaged, who are without electronic payment systems).

Entry Clearances

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment she has made of the effect of the Visitor Visa Bond on the number of business trips to the UK from (a) Pakistan and (b) India which seek to secure bilateral trade and investment; [163286]

(2) what consideration her Department has given to the risk of reciprocation from countries chosen for the Visitor Visa Bond scheme; [163287]

(3) for what reasons her Department selected Bangladesh as a country with which to trial the Visitor Visa Bond scheme; [163298]

(4) for what reasons her Department selected Nigeria as a country with which to trial the Visitor Visa Bond scheme; [163299]

(5) for what reasons her Department selected Ghana as a country with which to trial the Visitor Visa Bond scheme; [163300]

(6) for what reasons her Department selected Sri Lanka as a country with which to trial the Visitor Visa Bond scheme; [163301]

(7) for what reasons her Department selected Pakistan as a country with which to trial the Visitor Visa Bond scheme; [163302]

(8) for what reasons her Department selected India as a country with which to trial the Visitor Visa Bond scheme; [163303]

(9) what estimate she has made of the potential effect of the proposed Visitor Visa Bond scheme on levels of net migration to the UK; and what the evidential basis is for that estimate. [163304]

Mr Harper: We plan to introduce a pilot scheme later this year to test the impact of requiring financial bonds from selected visit visa applicants as a means of deterring non-compliance by those who overstay their visa. The details of the scheme are still being finalised, including the locations for the pilot and nationalities in scope, and will be announced in due course.

Human Trafficking

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding she has made available to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for the purpose of tackling human trafficking, by amount of funding and name of recipient NGOs. [162854]

Mr Harper: In 2012-13, the following organisations received funding from the Home Office to undertake activities to help combat human trafficking:

 £

Eaves

43,762

Stop the Traffik

20,512

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

10,000

Refugee Council/The Children’s Society

44,266

8 July 2013 : Column 21W

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have received detailed training on combating human trafficking. [162855]

Mr Harper: Human trafficking training for all new police officers in England and Wales is mandatory. To date, 24,656 police officers have also completed an on-line training package for human trafficking. This is supplemented by locally developed and delivered training in individual police forces.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of (a) accommodation, (b) medical care, (c) psychological assistance, (d) material assistance, (e) legal aid and advice, (f) access to the labour market, (g) vocational training and education, (h) police services (crime prevention, repatriation, compensation), (i) compensation and (j) translation and interpretation services for victims of human trafficking. [162856]

Mr Harper: Since 1 July 2011, the Salvation Army has been contracted to oversee and co-ordinate the provision of support to adult victims of trafficking who have been referred through the National Referral Mechanism. As prime contractor, the Salvation Army delivers tailored support to victims, taking into account their individual needs. Where required, support includes access to the services set out in the question.

Trafficked children who come into the care of local authorities receive the full range of support.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will place a copy of her Data Collection Strategy for the purpose of combating human trafficking in the Library. [162857]

Mr Harper: A specific strategy on data collection is not available. The Government are working with a number of agencies and organisations to strengthen data collection, following the Inter-Departmental Ministerial Group's report which was published on 18 October 2012. Progress on strengthening data collection will be included in the second report of the group, expected later this year.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many dedicated state units to deal with human trafficking have been established in the last 10 years. [162858]

Mr Harper: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 3 June 2013, Official Report, columns 901-02W.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the relevance to the UK of 144 actions in the Irish Government's National Action Plan to prevent and tackle trafficking in human beings. [162859]

Mr Harper: The UK works closely with its international partners to combat trafficking in human beings. This includes work with authorities in Ireland to strengthen our response and to prevent people being trafficked into, out of and within the UK, including preventing abuse of the Common Travel Area.

8 July 2013 : Column 22W

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the maximum sentence available for human trafficking is; and how many times maximum sentences have been used in each of the last 30 years. [162860]

Mr Harper: On conviction on indictment for any offence of human trafficking and for slavery, servitude and forced labour, the maximum sentence is imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

The human trafficking offences came into force in 2004. Between 2004 and 2012 no individual received the maximum sentence.

Prosecutors may charge any additional offences which might be disclosed in the evidence, such as rape, false imprisonment or assault, to reflect the full criminality. On conviction, these offences may attract further sentences of imprisonment to run consecutively to a sentence of imprisonment for human trafficking. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is that for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

The maximum sentence in such cases has been 21 years imprisonment for a defendant convicted of trafficking for sexual exploitation, false imprisonment, rape and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individual care plans have been developed for people who are potential victims of human trafficking in each of the last 30 years. [162861]

Mr Harper: Data on the number of individual care plans developed to support potential trafficking victims are not held centrally. Adult victims, in England and Wales, who are referred to the Salvation Army for care and support, will have a care plan put in place to meet their specific needs. Responsibility for the care, protection and accommodation of all child trafficking victims rests with local authorities regardless of nationality or immigration status. A social worker must assess the needs of each child and draw up a care plan which sets out how the authority intends to respond to the full range of the child's needs.

Victim support in Scotland and Northern Ireland is devolved. I understand that similar provisions are in place there.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations she has received concerning extending the period for recovery and reflection governing victims of people trafficking; and what her policy is on extending a renewable temporary residence where a person wishes to assist with investigation or prosecution of such trafficking. [162862]

Mr Harper: The UK provides for a minimum recovery and reflection period of 45 days. This is 15 days longer than the minimum 30 days suggested in the European Convention on Action against Trafficking. Where a

8 July 2013 : Column 23W

case requires complex consideration and victims have particularly acute needs, case by case consideration is given to extending the recovery and reflection period.

Where a victim of trafficking is assisting the police with a criminal investigation or prosecution, a renewable 12 month leave grant will be considered at the request of the police. This period can be extended if an active investigation or trial takes longer than 12 months and the person's ongoing presence in the UK is necessary to support proceedings.

Illegal Immigrants: Employment

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of illegal workers in Medway. [159772]

Mr Harper: No official estimate of the number of illegal workers within the Medway area has been published.

In the period since January 2013, immigration enforcement officers from Kent and Sussex immigration compliance and enforcement (ICE) team have conducted seven intelligence-led enforcement visits to properties within the Medway area; this has resulted in 13 illegal workers being encountered, and 11 successful arrests.

Kent and Sussex ICE continues to concentrate its efforts on identifying and preventing illegal working in the two counties.

Transport

A14

Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) which sections of the A14 scheme are being proposed for tolling; [163163]

(2) when he will announce which option has been chosen for the A14 scheme. [163164]

Stephen Hammond: The Highways Agency is planning a consultation this year on the A14 scheme proposals in line with a programme to submit a Development Consent Order application in the second half of 2014. This consultation will set out the tolling proposal and the scheme options and will inform the option that is taken through the Development Consent Order process. We will provide a firmer timetable for delivery in the autumn.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced on 27 June 2013 that we will be bringing forward the planned start by almost two years. This means that construction could begin in 2016, subject to completion of statutory processes.

Carbon Emissions

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the total annual contribution of the container port market to domestic levels of carbon emissions. [163417]

Norman Baker: None, as this information is not compiled separately for the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory.

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total carbon emissions from (a) road freight and (b) rail freight were in each year since 1993-94. [163420]

8 July 2013 : Column 24W

Norman Baker: The greenhouse gas emissions for road and freight for each calendar year since 1990 (the first year they are available) are given in the table below:

Greenhouse gas emissions for Road and Rail freight
Million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents
 Road freightRail freight

1990

27.3

0.5

1991

26.3

0.5

1992

26.8

0.6

1993

27.3

0.5

1994

28.7

0.5

1995

28.1

0.5

1996

29.2

0.5

1997

29.5

0.6

1998

28.9

0.6

1999

27.9

0.5

2000

27.0

0.5

2001

26.9

0.6

2002

27.6

0.5

2003

27.8

0.5

2004

28.2

0.6

2005

29.1

0.6

2006

29.6

0.6

2007

30.5

0.6

2008

27.9

0.6

2009

27.0

0.6

2010

28.8

0.6

2011

28.7

0.6

Source: National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on the annual contribution to carbon emissions from the road transport sector; and what steps he is taking to support an acceleration in modal shift of freight from road to rail as a means of reducing levels of carbon emissions. [163421]

Norman Baker: Ministers and officials in the Department for Transport regularly discuss a variety of matters with their opposite numbers at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, including the scope for emissions reductions from the transport sector.

The Government supports the transfer of freight from road to rail, where it is practical, economic and environmentally sustainable to do so. However, the choice of mode is ultimately a commercial matter for the logistics sector.

The Government supports the shift of freight from road to rail primarily through the Mode Shift Revenue Support scheme. This assists companies with the operating costs of transporting freight by rail, where this is more expensive than road and where there are environmental benefits. As a result of these grants, reductions in carbon emissions of approximately 120,000 tonnes were achieved in 2012-13 from traffic moving from road to rail.

Additionally, the Government has announced a major programme of investment in the rail industry that will promote the development of rail freight. In particular, it has announced electrification and gauge enhancement projects between Southampton, the East and West Midlands and Yorkshire; schemes at Ely, Leicester and Peterborough to create additional freight capacity on the strategic route between Felixstowe and Nuneaton; a further £230 million of funding ring-fenced for the development

8 July 2013 : Column 25W

of the Strategic Freight Network in Great Britain; and most recently, a £115 million project (co-funded with Transport for London) to electrify the line between Gospel Oak and Barking that will include the connections to the Port of Tilbury and the new port at London Gateway.

Conditions of Employment

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 3 June 2013, Official Report, column 970W, on conditions of employment, how many people in his Department were employed on zero-hours contracts in each of the last three years. [163948]

Norman Baker: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 20 June 2013, Official Report, column 765W, given to the hon. Member for Harrow West (Mr Gareth Thomas).

Cycling: Accidents

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cycling (a) fatalities and (b) serious injuries occurred among (i) adults and (ii) children in each of the last three years; and what proportion of such (A) adults and (B) children was wearing helmets. [163489]

Stephen Hammond: The information on the number of pedal cyclists injured by age group and severity for last three years is given in the following table:

Number of reported pedal cycle casualties in Great Britain 2010-12
Number of casualties
 201020112012
 KilledSeriously injuredKilledSeriously injuredKilledSeriously injured

Children (aged 0-15)

      

Male

5

326

4

333

12

262

Female

2

65

2

59

1

49

Total

7

391

6

392

13

311

       

Adults (aged 16+)

      

Male

80

1,806

81

2,167

97

2,351

Female

24

423

20

482

8

520

Total

104

2,229

101

2,649

105

2,871

       

Unknown age

      

Male

0

30

0

36

0

37

Female

0

10

0

8

0

3

Total

0

40

0

44

0

40

       

Total

      

Male

85

2,162

85

2,536

109

2,650

Female

26

498

22

549

9

572

Total

111

2,660

107

3,085

118

3,222

The Department started collecting information relating to whether cyclists were wearing a helmet at the time of an accident from 2012. Data are therefore available only for a limited number of police forces and for a small number of accidents at the current time. Until more data on helmet wearing are available for more accidents, these figures are not robust enough for publication.

8 July 2013 : Column 26W

Devolution

Margaret Curran: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library any concordats which his Department or the public bodies for which he is responsible have with the devolved Administrations. [163156]

Norman Baker: The Memorandum of Understanding and Supplementary Agreements, agreed in September 2012, set out principles which underlie the relationship between the UK Government and the devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These documents are available in the Library.

In addition the Department for Transport, including its agencies, has agreed bilateral concordats for handling of procedural, practical or policy matters with counterparts in the devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Copies of the documents will be placed in the Library.

These concordats have been in place many years and underpin regular contacts at senior and working level between the Department and the devolved Administrations that ensure that the relationships and working practices between us remain co-operative and sound.

We will check whether public bodies for which the Department for Transport is responsible have concordats with the devolved Administrations and these, or links to them, will be placed in the House Library in due course.

Finsbury Park Station

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with Network Rail or the Mayor of London on the refurbishment and installation of step-free access in Finsbury Park station; and if he will make a statement. [163279]

Norman Baker: There have been no ministerial discussions with Network Rail or the Mayor of London about step-free access at Finsbury Park.

However, officials continue to monitor delivery of the Network Rail project to provide step-free access to the mainline platforms, due for completion by March 2015, and the Transport for London (TfL) project to provide access to the Victoria and Piccadilly line platforms, due for completion in 2017.

Network Rail and TfL are working closely together to ensure that both of these complex projects are properly co-ordinated.

Gospel Oak-Barking Railway Line

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects works to commence on the electrification on the Barking to Gospel Oak line; what the extent and cost of this work will be; and if he will make a statement. [163280]

Mr Simon Burns: Network Rail is assessing how the Barking to Gospel Oak electrification project will be assimilated into its national programme of electrification works. The cost of the work is estimated to be £115 million.

8 July 2013 : Column 27W

M67

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the day-burning lighting columns located between the M60/M67/A57 Denton roundabout and junction 2 of the M67 in Denton to be repaired. [163183]

Stephen Hammond: Day-burning of lighting columns along a 600 metre section of the M67 motorway between Denton roundabout and junction 2 has recently been identified as an issue and an investigation into the cause is under way. I have asked the Highways Agency to write to the hon. Member with its findings.

The agency is also aware of lighting cabling faults along this section of the M67 motorway and has arranged for repairs to be undertaken by the end of September 2013.

Motorways: Litter

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he next expects the slip roads, carriageways, embankments, central reservations and hard shoulder of the M67 motorway through Denton to be litter picked; [163181]

(2) when he next expects the slip roads, carriageways, embankments, central reservations and hard shoulder of the M60 motorway through Denton and Audenshaw to be litter picked. [163182]

Stephen Hammond: Under the Code of Practice for Litter and Refuse, the locations along the M67 motorway through Denton and the M60 through Denton and Audenshaw are currently ranked at Grade B (predominantly free of litter and refuse apart from some small items). The M67 is inspected weekly, with the M60 inspected daily. If those inspections identify the need for litter picking to ensure compliance with the code of practice, then the necessary work will be programmed.

Oil: Pollution

Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with other Bonn convention signatories regarding safeguarding guillemots and other sea birds from oil spills; and if he will make a statement. [163540]

Stephen Hammond: It is important to distinguish between the Bonn convention which deals with the conservation of migratory species of wild animals, and the Bonn agreement which addresses co-operation in dealing with pollution of the north sea by oil and other harmful substances.

No discussions have taken place at ministerial level on the Bonn agreement. However Maritime and Coastguard Agency officials meet on a biannual basis with Bonn agreement signatories to discuss all issues concerning pollution in the marine environment.

Significant work on the planning and response to wildlife casualties in the marine environment has been carried out by the Bonn agreement signatories through OTSOPA (Working Group on Operational, Technical and Scientific Questions Concerning Counter Pollution Activities).

8 July 2013 : Column 28W

This framework effectively provides the basis for mutual learning of lessons in all elements of best practice across wildlife response in the maritime sector.

Polyisobutene

Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he and Ministers of his Department have had with their international counterparts concerning the carriage of polyisobutene; and if he will make a statement. [163539]

Stephen Hammond: There have been no discussions at ministerial level. However Maritime and Coastguard Agency officials have spoken with their international counterparts at both the International Maritime Organization and at a Bonn convention meeting, with respect to the carriage of polyisobutylene.

Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with the International Maritime Organisation about the reclassification of polyisobutene. [163541]

Stephen Hammond: Maritime and Coastguard Agency officials have had initial, informal discussions with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) secretariat on the classification of polyisobutylene (PIB), following the recent incidents on the south coast. Investigations are ongoing and once the reasons for the incidents are established, we will if appropriate formally approach the IMO to review the carriage requirements for polyisobutylene.

Roads: West Midlands

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the potential benefits of an improved road network for small businesses in (a) the West Midlands, (b) Coventry and (c) Coventry South constituency. [163284]

Norman Baker: While no specific assessment has been made of the potential benefits of an improved road network for small businesses in (a) the West Midlands, (b) Coventry and (c) Coventry South, the Department for Transport is investing in the West Midlands road network to support economic growth and which will see benefits to business, including those small and medium sized enterprises.

Highway schemes on the strategic and local road network which the Department is helping to fund include schemes to tackle pinch points, major improvement schemes and smaller schemes, as well as providing funding for highways maintenance.

Shipping

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration he has given to the recent conclusions of the European Commission’s Task Force on Maritime Employment and Competitiveness; and if he has discussed these conclusions with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. [163497]

8 July 2013 : Column 29W

Stephen Hammond: There are a number of conclusions and recommendations from the European Commission’s Task Force on Maritime Employment and Competitiveness and the UK is currently reviewing or working towards a number of these.

I have not discussed the conclusions with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable).

Shipping: Conditions of Employment

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that European Union directives on (a) collective redundancies and (b) transfer of undertakings are applied to seafarers. [163416]

Stephen Hammond: The UK does not apply any exemptions to seafarers in its transposition of either directive.

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure that European Union directives on (a) protection of employees in the event of employer insolvency, (b) the European Works Council and (c) informing and consulting employees are applied to seafarers. [163418]

Stephen Hammond: The Insolvency Guarantee Regulations transposes Directive 2008/94/EC and is applicable to all employees but does not cover share fishermen who being self employed are outside the scope.

The UK applies a partial exemption for seafarers in regard to the European Works Council Directive (EU Directive 2009/38/EC) in UK legislation. They currently do not have the right to stand or act as an employees' representative but they can apply to be represented by a European Works Council (EWC)

Directive 2002/14/EC on Information and Consultation of Employees is transposed into British law by the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 and into law in Northern Ireland through the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005.

Both have partial exemptions for seafarers but statutory consultation of workers does take place under health and safety legislation. Rather than workplace safety committees, the requirement is to elect representatives and have committees on individual ships.

The UK will be reviewing all current full and partial exemptions where applicable in regard to draft EU legislation to remove such exemptions.

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration he has given to the recent conclusions of the European Commission's Task Force on Maritime Employment and Competitiveness; and if he will make a statement. [163498]

Stephen Hammond: There are a number of conclusions and recommendations from the European Commission's Task Force on Maritime Employment and Competitiveness and the UK is currently working on these.

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Shipping: EU Law

Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials of his Department have had with representatives of the shipping industry regarding the application of European Union legislation to seafarers. [163419]

Stephen Hammond: I have regular meetings with the shipping industry where the application of European legislation will be on the agenda. Departmental officials meet regularly with the shipping industry where the application of European legislation to seafarers will be the specific issue or part of a wider agenda.

Transport: Finance

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the first transport project funded by the single local growth fund to be delivered. [163346]

Norman Baker: Decisions on which projects to support are being devolved to local enterprise partnerships, supported by Local Transport Bodies. It is likely, however, that some transport projects supported through the Single Local Growth Fund will be delivered during 2015/16—the first year of the fund's existence.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the £2 billion allocated to the single local growth fund will be used to administer the bidding process. [163350]

Norman Baker: None of the £2 billion funding allocated to the Single Local Growth Fund in 2015-16 is intended for the Government's costs of administering the bidding process. Local enterprise partnerships have been funded separately to develop their economic strategy which will form the basis of allocations from the Single Local Growth Fund.

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what role (a) local authorities and (b) transport authorities will play in deciding which bids to the single local growth fund are successful. [163351]

Norman Baker: Local authorities are members of local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and will play an important role in drawing up the LEP strategic economic plan that forms the basis for negotiating a growth deal with Government which includes allocation of single local growth funding.