Royal Mail

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has received any (a) oral and (b) written representations from the Scottish Government on his plans to sell shares in Royal Mail. [165572]

Michael Fallon: The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), has not received any representations from the Scottish Government regarding the sale of shares in Royal Mail.

UK Trade & Investment

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what guidance or support UK Trade & Investment offers to foreign businesses who express an interest in buying from UK companies; and what Government policy is on acting as a reference customer to foreign businesses for specific UK businesses which successfully sell goods or services to Government. [165822]

Michael Fallon: UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works diligently to ensure maximum benefit is derived by UK businesses through trading in international markets.

This work includes UKTI staff in 100 overseas markets working to identify and advertise business opportunities to UK businesses. Over 500 business opportunities from foreign businesses and foreign Government contracts are published on UKTI's website across all sectors each month. UK companies registered with UKTI's website and who show an interest in an opportunity will then be put in contact with local UKTI staff overseas who will provide details of interested UK companies to the foreign businesses or foreign government looking for suppliers.

This is just one of the ways in which UKTI seeks to identify opportunities for UK businesses, but there are others, for example:

UKTI's Technology Partnership Team (TPT) works to build relationships with national and multinational companies globally to identify real commercial trade opportunities within their value chains where high tech high growth UK SME's may be introduced.

16 July 2013 : Column 630W

The TPT works with Deal Architects (business development specialists) both in the UK and overseas to build these value chain relationships and currently has existing opportunities with Cisco, Samsung, Huawei, BT, Ten Cent, Panasonic, Lenovo and many more.

Separately, UKTI's events and missions programme will deliver a comprehensive series of activities this year in the UK and overseas. This will include inward missions, where UKTI, working with trade associations, helps bring overseas buyers to the UK to meet UK businesses operating successfully in a particular sector. Inward missions form an important element of the UKTI programme.

UKTI does not endorse UK businesses nor can it act as a reference or intelligent customer for foreign businesses. Knowledge of UK success or excellence in a particular field can always help UKTI and those it works with deliver better services to business. UKTI's role is to identify businesses that have the potential to fulfil contract requirements and to support them to win those contracts. The decision to pursue negotiations or partnerships is a purely commercial one made by these businesses.

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assistance his Department has provided to MBDA Systems in the development of a prototype Brimstone missile suitable for use on a US unmanned aerial vehicle platform. [165177]

Michael Fallon: The Department is not providing assistance to MBDA Missile Systems for the development of a prototype Brimstone missile.

Written Questions

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many answers by his Department to Parliamentary Questions involving tables of statistics fewer than four pages in length were (a) printed in full and (b) provided via a link to a website in the last year. [165461]

Jo Swinson: The information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Church Commissioners

Marriage: Ceremonies

Miss McIntosh: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, for what reason prayers are not permitted at civil weddings; and if he will make a statement. [163424]

Mrs Grant: I am replying to this parliamentary question as I have responsibility for the Marriage Act 1949.

It has been a fundamental principle since the introduction of civil marriage that civil marriage should be clearly separated from religious marriage. Section 45(2) of the Marriage Act 1949 states that

‘No religious service shall be used at any marriage solemnized in the office of a superintendent registrar'.

Section 46B of the Marriage Act 1949 also states that

‘No religious service shall be used at a marriage on approved premises in pursuance of section 26(1) (bb) of this Act’.

There are no plans to allow a religious element to civil marriage.

16 July 2013 : Column 631W

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Bureaucracy

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which regulations his Department has removed as part of the red tape challenge that affect the agriculture industry. [164426]

Mr Heath: Regulations affecting the agriculture industry will be reviewed under a new Red Tape Challenge theme covering agriculture which will be launched on 17 July. Wherever possible, the resulting proposals to remove or improve regulations will be delivered by this Parliament.

This will build on the work of the Farming Regulation Task Force. The task force focused mainly on the delivery of agricultural legislation whereas the Red Tape Challenge is an opportunity to review the underpinning regulations.

The Task Force Implementation Group, chaired by Richard Macdonald, published a ‘One Year On' assessment of progress in February 2013. They acknowledged the positive action taken by the Government to date but highlighted much of it is yet to be felt by farmers. The Red Tape Challenge will add momentum to the task force aim of reducing regulatory burdens on farmers.

I would encourage anyone with suggestions on reducing unnecessary red tape to comment on the website

www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk

or e-mail the Red Tape Challenge inbox

[email protected]

after the theme is launched.

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the red tape challenge on heath and safety in the agricultural sector. [164889]

Mr Hoban: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Red Tape Challenge has not proposed changes to specific agricultural health and safety regulations. However, all the comments were considered by Professor Lofstedt in his independent review of health and safety (‘Reclaiming health and safety for all: an independent review of health and safety’).

As part of the review of Approved Codes of Practices (ACOPs) recommended by Professor Lofstedt, the Health and Safety Executive plans to withdraw the ‘Preventing accidents to children in agriculture’ ACOP but the Prevention of Accidents to Children in Agriculture Regulations 1998 will remain in place.

All the work being taken forward to deliver the Lofstedt recommendations is intended to simplify the body of health and safety regulation and guidance without reducing the necessary protections in the workplace.

Agriculture: Chemicals

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to require companies in the agri-chemical industry to place the results of risk assessment trials in the public domain. [159009]

16 July 2013 : Column 632W

Mr Heath: A significant amount of information about these studies, including summaries of the results, is already published, in particular on the website of the European Food Safety Authority.

Access to redacted versions of the studies themselves is possible either through reading them at the offices of the pesticides regulator, the Chemicals Regulation Directorate of the Health and Safety Executive, or through access to information legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act. The question of whether to require these studies to be placed in the public domain routinely is being examined in the context of the recommendations of the Environmental Audit Committee, contained in its report “Pollinators and Pesticides”.

Agriculture: Finance

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if he will publish details of expenditure on the Forestry Commission identified in his Department's annual report and accounts 2011-12 in each of the last three years; and what the projected spend for each of the next three years by (a) scheme and (b) individual project is; [165233]

(2) if he will publish details of expenditure under the Rural Payments Agency other programme identified in his Department's annual report and accounts 2011-12 in each of the last three years; and what the projected spend for each of the next three years by (a) scheme and (b) individual project is; [165234]

(3) if he will publish details of expenditure under the Rural Payments Agency running costs programme identified in his Department's annual report and accounts 2011-12 in each of the last three years; and what the projected spend for each of the next three years by (a) scheme and (b) individual project is; [165235]

Mr Heath [holding answer 15 July 2013]: These questions relate to departmental strategic objectives that were established as part of the 2007 comprehensive spending review. DEFRA has not reported this breakdown since 2010-11. Therefore, this is the only year for which data is provided.

A table detailing the breakdown of the priorities by programme has been placed in the House Library.

Agriculture: Subsidies

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many recipients of (a) single farm payment and (b) any other CAP payment received (i) more than 1 million euro, (ii) more than 500,000 euro but less than 1 million euro, (iii) more than 300,000 euro but less than 500,000 euro, (iv) more than 200,000 euro but less than 300,000 euro, (v) more than 100,000 euro but less than 200,000 euro, (vi) more than 50,000 euro but less than 100,000 euro, (vii) more than 25,000 euro but less than 50,000 euro and (viii) less than 25,000 euro for each payment type and from each of Pillar I and II in each of the last 10 years. [164258]

16 July 2013 : Column 633W

Mr Heath: The following table displays details of all Pillar I and Pillar II payments for 16 October 2010 to 15 October 2011 and 16 October 2011 to 15 October 2012.

The data for 2011 and 2012 are fully assured and made publicly available via the DEFRA CAP Beneficiaries website at:

http://cap-payments.defra.gov.uk/.

Data for previous years may be held in some of RPA's source systems but they are not in a readily available assured state, and not fit for publication.

CAP Beneficiaries payments
 20122011
 Pillar IPillar IIPillar IPillar II

<€1 million

12

23

11

18

<€5000,000 and <= €1 million

42

31

38

45

<€300,000 and <= €500,000

120

51

122

56

<€200,000 and <= €300,000

330

66

319

76

<€100,000 and <= €200,000

1,869

346

1,953

333

<€50,000 and <= €100,000

5,766

862

5,772

899

<€25,000 and <= €50,000

12,312

2,403

12,539

2,250

<€25,000

83,832

53,048

83,840

55,018

Ash Dieback Disease

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in how many UK sites Chalara fraxinea infection has been confirmed to date. [165672]

Mr Heath: The Forestry Commission regularly publishes numbers of confirmed infected sites in the UK on its website. The update for 15 July 2013 shows a total of 541 sites comprising 24 nursery sites, 330 recently planted sites and 187 sites in the wider environment.

Beef: Exports

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the attractiveness of British beef for export. [164973]

Mr Heath: I am personally convinced that British beef has considerable attractiveness as an export.

Others share my conviction, as DEFRA has been able to open the market for British beef in Hong Kong and southern and western Africa. We have achieved significant milestones in fostering the export trade to Russia in beef and also lamb. We are optimistic that the forthcoming EU-USA trade negotiations will open that market to British beef. Currently, a team of officials from Singapore is carrying out an inspection visit to the UK with a view to opening the market for British beef to Singapore.

The export of British beef has risen in value by 24% from 2010 to 2012.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to enhance the reputation of British beef abroad. [164974]

16 July 2013 : Column 634W

Mr Heath: British grass-fed beef is renowned as of the highest quality and in the last year I and other DEFRA Ministers have taken the opportunity to promote British beef exports at trade shows abroad. At a recent round table event in Scotland, new and established exporters were unanimous in their support of such ministerial visits as an effective means of promoting British beef.

Therefore DEFRA Ministers plan to visit trade shows in Japan and Russia in the coming year to promote British beef and will also take the opportunity of the visit to China later this year to enhance the confidence of the Chinese authorities in our food safety systems and in particular to raise the profile of our beef and lamb.

The export of British beef to third countries has risen by 24% in value in the last two years.

Bovine Tuberculosis

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 17 June 2013, Official Report, column 463W, on bovine tuberculosis, (1) under what other legislation investigations into TB-related fraudulent activity are undertaken; and how many prosecutions have resulted from investigations into TB-related fraudulent activity since 2007; [164755]

(2) what the geographical distribution is of the cases which have resulted in prosecutions for TB-related fraudulent activity. [164787]

Mr Heath: TB-related fraudulent activity could include Cattle Identification Regulations 2007 and the Disease Control Order 2003 being breached, as well as TB legislation. The investigating body of fraudulent activity may also conclude that it is in the public interest to undertake a prosecution under solely the Fraud Act 2006. Enforcement activity taken under DEFRA-owned legislation is recorded on the Animal Movement Enforcement System (AMES). There is no central database for recording prosecutions taken under other legislation. This information would be available only from each individual local authority.

TB-related fraudulent activity involving offences, and prosecutions, under the Cattle Identification Regulations 2007 for example, cannot be differentiated on AMES from other cattle identification prosecutions.

Bovine TB is a devolved issue. Data on the geographical spread of all prosecutions initiated and convictions achieved under the Tuberculosis (England) Order 2007 relate to England only. These data are for all TB prosecutions and may or may not include what might be considered fraudulent activity.

Number
 Prosecution initiatedConvictions achieved

South West

8

5

South East

4

0

North

9

4

Midlands

3

2

Bovine Tuberculosis: Meat

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when his

16 July 2013 : Column 635W

Department decided to sell for human consumption beef known to be infected by bovine TB; how much revenue has been earned from such sales to date; and for what reasons such meat is not labelled as having bovine TB. [163663]

Mr Heath: DEFRA (and previously MAFF), along with the other agriculture departments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, has for many years received revenue for the carcases of cattle slaughtered for bovine TB control purposes, in an attempt to offset for the taxpayer a fraction of the total cost of compensating farmers for their lost animals. In the last 10 years DEFRA has received a total of £38 million from the sale of TB reactor cattle, compared with £265 million spent on compensation to herd owners in England.

The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) considered the M.bovis risk to humans from meat in March 2010, confirming their 2001 risk assessment that the risk, if any, from the consumption of meat is very low. In addition, the European Food Safety Authority's June 2013 opinion on meat inspection declared the TB risk from meat to be negligible, which is defined as so rare it does not merit consideration. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) considers, therefore, that the risk to human health from bovine TB through consumption of meat is very low and current evidence does not indicate a food safety issue.

Meat from TB reactors, once passed by the FSA as fit and safe for human consumption, does not require any special labelling to distinguish it from other meat and to enter the human food chain.

Common Agricultural Policy

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2013, Official Report, columns 1040-1, on common agricultural policy, what his plans are for the allocation of the funds transferred from pillar one to pillar two within the rural development plan for England; what proportion of these funds will be directed to (a) agri-environment schemes and (b) other measures and purposes; and if he will make a statement. [165070]

Mr Heath: The next Rural Development Programme is a major opportunity to invest in the rural environment, farming competitiveness and growth. Rewarding farmers for the environmental goods they provide is a much better use of taxpayers' money than providing income support. Support for UK farming should also be focused on helping the sector become more efficient and productive than its global rivals. We therefore very much welcome the flexibility to transfer funding from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2. As part of ongoing discussions with interested parties on the new Rural Development Programme we will consult on the potential impact of a transfer.

I am looking at the range of possible uses of money and at getting better value for money across the next programme. As part of this I am looking at options for a new agri-environment scheme for the new programme. Together with long-term agri-environment commitments we have already made in the current programme, I

16 July 2013 : Column 636W

expect that this will be a significant part of the future Rural Development Programme.

Food

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of all food procured for his Department was sourced from (a) British producers, (b) small and medium-sized enterprises and (c) producers which met British buying standards in the latest period for which figures are available. [164765]

Richard Benyon: Eurest is contracted to provide catering services for core DEFRA’s two staff restaurants; the figures provided are based on Eurest's purchasing for this contract. These figures are the latest available and cover the period April to June 2013.

(a) The proportion of food procured from British producers was 65%. The remainder includes coffee, tea, rice, pasta and citrus fruits.

(b) The proportion of food procured from small and medium-sized enterprises was 44%; and

(c) All food procured met British buying standards.

Food: Imports

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 24 June 2013, Official Report, column 72W, on food: exports, what (a) proportion and (b) value of UK food and drink exports came from (i) Singapore, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama collectively and (ii) India, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Gulf Co-operation Council, Canada and the US collectively in each of the last three years. [165733]

Mr Heath: The value and proportion of UK food, feed and drink exports to (i) Singapore, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama collectively is shown in the following table:

 2009201020112012(1)

Value of exports to (i) (£ billion)

0.28

0.36

0.49

0.50

Proportion of total UK exports (percentage)

2

2

3

3

The value and proportion of UK food, feed and drink exports to (ii) India, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Gulf Co-operation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), Canada and the US collectively is shown in the following table:

 2009201020112012(1)

Value of exports to (ii) (£ billion)

1.81

2.17

2.69

2.98

Proportion of total UK exports (percentage)

13

14

15

16

(1) Provisional. Note: 2012 data are provisional and are subject to amendment. Source: HM Revenue and Customs.

16 July 2013 : Column 637W

Internal Drainage Boards: Arun

Mr Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2013, Official Report, column 120W, on internal drainage boards, what the names are of the two internal drainage boards that overlap the Arun District; and who the members are of each board. [165536]

Richard Benyon [holding answer 15 July 2013]: There are no internal drainage boards for the Arun District.

The two internal drainage districts (IDDs) overlapping the Arun District are the South West Sussex IDD and the River Arun IDD, which are managed by the Environment Agency. The local authorities do not have direct representation in the management of these IDDs.

The current IDDs are overseen by the Environment Agency Board. The Environment Agency is currently working with local authorities, IDD ratepayers, Natural England, the Association of Drainage Authorities and other key stakeholders to identify and achieve a successful transition to more locally accountable arrangements in this area.

Livestock: Animal Welfare

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps he has taken to ensure the welfare of farm animals is monitored regularly. [164977]

Mr Heath: The Animal Health and. Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) carries out inspections of farmed premises to check the welfare of livestock and to see whether the UK legislation and the welfare codes are being followed. This includes spot checks and planned risk-based inspections.

If a referral, complaint or allegation about poor welfare conditions on-farm is reported to AHVLA, an immediate veterinary risk assessment is undertaken and, according to the level of risk that animals will be suffering, they will carry out an inspection on that farm and the livestock present within 24 hours.

AHVLA also works with local authorities and the RSPCA, where appropriate, to investigate potential breaches of animal welfare as quickly as possible.

Nature Conservation: British Overseas Territories

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which British Overseas Territories have ratified the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals to date. [165279]

Richard Benyon: The United Kingdom ratified the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals in July 1985 and this has been extended to most of the UK Overseas Territories.

The Territories that are included within UK ratification of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals are:

Bermuda;

British Indian Ocean Territory;

16 July 2013 : Column 638W

British Virgin Islands;

Cayman Islands;

Cyprus Sovereign base areas;

Falkland Islands;

Gibraltar;

Montserrat;

Pitcairn;

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands;

St. Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha;

and

Turks and Caicos Islands.

Squirrels

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to ensure that there is minimal incursion of grey squirrels in areas populated by red squirrels. [164980]

Richard Benyon: Our red squirrel conservation strategy is based on conservation where there remain viable populations in northern England and on the Isle of Wight and Poole Harbour islands in the south.

In the north of England, 17 carefully selected forest areas in both private and public ownership have been given red squirrel reserve status. In these reserves and surrounding buffer zones (collectively known as strongholds), grey squirrel control is carried out and the forests are managed to discourage grey squirrel colonisation.

This work is coordinated by Red Squirrels North England, a partnership project involving the Forestry Commission, Natural England, Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the Red Squirrel Survival Trust.

The majority of our financial support for red squirrels, which amounts to around £300,000 per year, comes through grant aid for grey squirrel control under the English Woodland Grant scheme. This scheme, which is administered by the Forestry Commission, is carefully targeted at the red squirrel strongholds. The remainder is for red squirrel conservation work carried out on the public forest estate.

On the Isle of Wight and Poole Harbour islands there are red but no grey squirrels. The strategy here is to prevent greys from crossing to the islands.

Water: Meters

Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether water companies are obliged to offer customers an assessed charge if the cost of installing a meter is prohibitive for either party. [164845]

Richard Benyon: The Water Industry Act 1999 ensures that any customer can request a water meter and this must be installed for free. The installation of a meter cannot, therefore, be cost prohibitive for a customer. Where it is not practical for a company to install a meter, or the cost of installation would be prohibitive for the company, Ofwat obliges companies to offer customers an assessed charge. This charge must bear as much relation as possible to the volume of water a customer would be likely to use.

16 July 2013 : Column 639W

The way that assessed charges are set varies from company to company. However, each company must treat all its customers on assessed charges in the same way.

The most common assessed charges are based on:

the number of bedrooms in a property;

the type of property;

the number of people who live in the property; or

a fixed charge based on the average metered bill in the water company's area.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Accountancy

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent on contracts with (a) Deloitte, (b) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (c) KPMG and (d) Ernst and Young in each year since 2008. [164951]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spend analysis from the financial years 2010-11 to 2012-13 is displayed in the table. Spend prior to 2010-11 can be retrieved only at disproportionate cost.

FCO spend
£
FYDeloittePWCKPMGErnst & Young

2010-11

(1)1,398.35

8,061.90

2,359,839.17

n/a

2011-12

n/a

5,264.74

2,783s998.76

n/a

2012-13

(2)5,023.00

1,364.46

176,458.50

7,934.79

n/a = no expenditure (1) Recorded as Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India PVT (2) Recorded as Deloitte & Touche

British Overseas Territories

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which Overseas Territories (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have visited in an official capacity since May 2010. [165277]

Mark Simmonds: Since May 2010, FCO Ministers have paid official visits to Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Ascension Island, the Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

In the same time period, FCO officials have paid official visits to all of the Overseas Territories.

Burma

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Burma on repealing all repressive laws in that country. [165743]

Mr Swire: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 15 July 2013, Official Report, column 467W, to the hon. Member for Bolton South East (Yasmin Qureshi).

16 July 2013 : Column 640W

China

Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on adoption of the UN Group of Environmental Experts report at the UN General Assembly. [165005]

Mr Lidington: The UN group of Government experts on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security (UNGGE), held its last meeting in New York from 3 to 7 June 2013. The group included officials both from the UK and China. The UNGGE's final report on norms of behaviour and confidence building measures is due to be presented to UNGA later this year. While the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) has not held direct discussions with his Chinese counterpart since the UNGGE met in June, we would welcome the Chinese Government's attendance at the next cyber conference, in Seoul in October, where we can continue to engage on this and other important cyber issues.

Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost to the public purse is of his Department's plans to upgrade the UK Government estate in China. [165007]

Mr Lidington: We have a number of projects to develop our estate in China. However, as these have yet to be tendered, cost estimates are not published in order to avoid compromising our commercial position. Projects include new premises in Shanghai and Guangzhou—the former a British centre, which will bring together with the consulate general, a number of UK interests such as the China-Britain Business Council and the British Council. We also have plans to invest in our visa operation in Beijing.

Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response has been made by representatives of the Government of China to the raising of British concerns about cyber-security and Chinese activity at recent meetings between officials of his Department and their Chinese counterparts. [165008]

Alistair Burt: Cyber security is an important global issue. It is essential therefore that all responsible states are clear on what is acceptable behaviour in cyberspace. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have been at the forefront of this debate, including through our membership of the UN Group of Governmental Experts, which includes China, to find consensus on norms of state behaviour which are underpinned by confidence building measures in cyberspace. The UN Group of Government Experts' most recent meeting agreed a report on norms of behaviour which is due to be presented to the UN General Assembly later this year. This is a positive step forward in addressing global cyber security concerns.

Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the briefing on China provided by his officials to the

16 July 2013 : Column 641W

Foreign Affairs Committee in July 2013, what recent representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on responsible state behaviour. [165010]

Mr Swire: We regularly have discussions with China that welcome and encourage an active, constructive and responsible role in international politics.

I understand that this question refers specifically to cyber security issues. It is essential that all responsible states are clear on what is acceptable behaviour in cyberspace. Cyber security remains a top priority for the UK Government and we regularly engage with international partners on cyber security, including China. Both the UK and China are members of the UN Group of Governmental Experts, which aims to find consensus on norms of state behaviour in cyberspace.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), hosted the London Cyber Conference in 2011 and attended the Budapest Cyber Conference in 2012. The Chinese Government were represented at both conferences. We would welcome the Chinese Government's attendance at the next Cyber Conference in Seoul in October, where we can continue to engage on important cyber issues.

Conflict Pool

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much funding his Department allocated to the Conflict Pool in each year from 2010-11 to date; how much he estimates will be allocated in (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15; and if he will make a statement. [164967]

Mark Simmonds: The Conflict Pool is funded from a Treasury settlement on conflict resources which is separate from and additional to departmental budgets. The settlement is jointly managed by the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence. The Peacekeeping Budget, which meets certain obligatory costs falling to the UK, mainly from UN peacekeeping, has first call on this settlement.

Allocations to the Pool from FY 2010-11 to FY 2012-13 were as follows:

 Allocation (£ million)

2010-11

178.5

2011-12

180

2012-13

209

2013-14

229

The indicative allocation available for 2014-15 is £224 million. I refer to the statement on Conflict Resources made by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), to the House on 13 June 2013, Official Report, column 14WS.

In response to unforeseen demands Departments sometimes commit further resources to the Pool from their core budgets. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not done so since FY 2009-10.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish details of the number of regional conflict advisers employed through the Regional Pool programme in

16 July 2013 : Column 642W

(a)

2010-11,

(b)

2011-12 and

(c)

2012-13; what estimate he has made of the likely number in (i) 2013-14 and (ii) 2014-15; and if he will make a statement. [164969]

Mark Simmonds: The number of regional conflict advisers (RCAs) funded by the Conflict Pool were as follows:

(a) FY 2010-11: five

(b) FY 2011-12: six

(c) FY 2012-13: 10

(i) The number of RCAs remains 10 for FY 2013-14.

(ii) While there are currently no plans to change the number in FY 2014-15 this will be subject to the next Conflict Pool resource allocation process in the autumn.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which civil society organisations were funded through the Conflict Pool programme in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [164970]

Mark Simmonds: The Pool works with a wide range of UK, international and host country civil society organisations to design and deliver projects in line with our conflict prevention objectives, in keeping with the Building Stability Overseas Strategy (BSOS). The BSOS recognises the crucial role that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have in building strong institutions, effective political processes and resilient societies.

In FY 2012-13 we estimate that the six Conflict Pool programmes funded projects implemented by more than 150 separate CSOs. Figures for FYs 2010-11 and 2011-12 are likely to be of a similar size. Management of Conflict Pool programmes is highly devolved to individual programmes and teams in host countries. Full details of all CSOs funded for project work in these years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The Conflict Pool rarely provides core funding to CSOs (as opposed to funding for specific projects). Core funding was provided to the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in FYs 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 and to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in FY 2012-13.

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total number of staff working through Conflict Pool funding was in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [164971]

Mark Simmonds: The Conflict Pool is managed jointly by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The principle remains that each Department contributes its own staff expertise to undertake work on the Pool. Being able to draw on this wide network of expertise, including DF1D advisors, Defence attachés and FCO political officers, is a key strength of the Conflict Pool. Our staff in more than 40 posts overseas, in the three Departments in London, in the Stabilisation Unit and in other Departments’ work on Pool activities. For most, this work constitutes a small proportion of their time. The Conflict Pool has a small central Secretariat staffed by the three Departments,

16 July 2013 : Column 643W

consisting of six members of staff who work wholly or mostly on the Pool. All these positions are funded by individual Departments.

The Conflict Pool funds a team of regional conflict advisers—10 in financial years 2012-13 and 2013-14. In addition, in order to meet the Building Stability Overseas Strategy commitment to ‘introduce a stronger results focus in the Conflict Pool, and improve programme management’ the Conflict Pool does directly fund a number of programme delivery roles, mostly in posts overseas. Most are locally engaged project officers. There is a high level of devolution in the management of Conflict Pool resources to UK teams in over 40 countries. Obtaining accurate figures for all these years could not be obtained without disproportionate cost. However, in FY 2012-13 the number of staff working directly on Conflict Pool implementation and funded by the Pool was 40 (including the regional conflict advisors).

Cybercrime

Mr Frank Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the UK is taking to progress international debate about cyber-security other than through participation in the UN Group of Government Experts. [165004]

Alistair Burt: Other than at the UN Group of Governmental Experts, the UK is a significant contributor to cyber security debates within the OSCE, the EU, NATO, and other UN bodies such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. This is in addition to bilateral discussions with allies with whom we share common concerns about cyber security, with other partners who can help shape the wider global debate, and with those countries with whom we have a developing relationship on cyber security issues. The UK is also developing a single National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) which will become the main channel for engaging other countries on technical cyber issues, and will provide a platform for further developing the international cyber security debate.

The UK took the lead in setting up the series of international conferences on cyber space which began in London in 2011, and was followed by the Budapest Conference last year. We are working with the Government of the Republic of Korea, who will host this year's conference. These events are unique in bringing together representatives from Governments, business, and civil society organisations to discuss practical ways in which we can improve partnerships to tackle issues of international security and cyber crime, while protecting and promoting the economic and social benefits of cyber space.

Egypt

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the current Egyptian administration regarding the very significant political changes which have taken place in Egypt. [165805]

Alistair Burt: In his statement of 3 July the Foreign Secretary said the UK did not support military interventions to settle disputes in democratic systems, and called on all sides to show restraint. He has been in close contact

16 July 2013 : Column 644W

with the acting Foreign Minister and called on all parties in Egypt to work together towards early and fair elections.

European Council

Sir Richard Shepherd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what subject areas are now decided by majority voting within the European Council; and to what subject areas a veto can be applied within the European Council. [165011]

Mr Lidington: The European Council, consisting of the Heads of State and Government of the member states of the European Union, its President, and the President of the Commission, has no formal legislative power. It is charged under the Lisbon treaty with defining the general political direction and priorities of the European Union. Since the treaty of Rome was signed in 1957 the number of subject areas voted on by qualified majority voting in the European Council has increased. The number remains small, however, and the decisions which can be taken by qualified majority voting are for the most part procedural or appointment decisions. For example, the appointment of the President of the European Council is made through a qualified majority vote in the European Council, as is the appointment of double-hatted High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. A right of veto in the European Council, however, is retained in policy areas such as defence and most areas of common foreign and security policy, also in the case of proposed treaty amendments, and procedural matters such as the number of European Commissioners or the composition of the European Parliament.

The Council of the European Union (“the Council”) is one of the two legislative bodies of the European Union, the other being the European Parliament. There are currently 10 different configurations of the Council, each dealing with a different policy area. In each composition, membership is made up of representatives of the Governments of the member states, usually a Minister, who is responsible for the area, with the chair being held by the member state holding the presidency, apart from the Foreign Affairs Council, which is chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Some of the subject areas decided by qualified majority voting within the Council are education, health, the environment, agriculture and fisheries, and equal opportunities. The Lisbon treaty, which entered into force on 1 December 2009, also extended qualified majority voting in the Council to a large number of policy areas including transport, energy, tourism, and sport, and also to certain procedural matters, including amendments to the statute of the Court of Justice of the EU. Policy areas decided by unanimity in the Council include, but are not limited to, Council decisions relating to the common security and defence policy, decisions on application for EU membership by a European state and taxation provisions.

G8: County Fermanagh

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2013, Official Report, column 142W, on G8: County Fermanagh, when his Department first gave consideration to the sourcing of such gifts for the

16 July 2013 : Column 645W

summit; how this process was undertaken; who made the final decision on what gifts were included; and when this decision was taken. [165300]

Mark Simmonds: The British Government worked in the months leading up to the G8 Summit to identify businesses and products that would showcase some of the best of UK design to a world audience. We worked with key partners including Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Craft Northern Ireland to identify products from Northern Irish designers and companies that would promote local talent. Due consideration was given to all offers of gifts and products submitted by individuals, but it was not possible to include all offers. The decision on which gifts to include was taken by the G8 Directorate.

Iran

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent consideration he has given to re-opening the UK's embassy in Tehran. [165806]

Alistair Burt: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), on 17 June 2013, Official Report, column 626, about the conditions under which we would consider re-opening the embassy.

Mali

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support his Department is providing to the Government of Mali to assist in fighting separatist rebels in that country. [165075]

Mark Simmonds: In January 2013, the Malian transitional authorities asked for military assistance in fighting terrorist groups who were advancing on Bamako, in alliance with separatist Tuareg groups. In response, France launched Operation Serval, to which the UK provided logistical and surveillance support. This support has now ended, and the Malian authorities have now regained control of all major population centres.

We continue to support wider international efforts to rebuild peace and stability in Mali. We are contributing 37 military personnel plus civilian human rights experts to the EU Training Mission for the Malian armed forces, and have seconded two staff officers to the UN Peacekeeping Operation, United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which deployed on 1 July. The UK has also given £12 million in aid to Mali in 2013, supporting over 400,000 Malians with provision of food, medicine and support to refugees. We continue to encourage progress towards more inclusive governance in Mali including through the work of the National Commission on Dialogue and Reconciliation.

Nigeria

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support his Department is providing to the Government of Nigeria to assist in tackling terrorist threats in that country. [165074]

16 July 2013 : Column 646W

Alistair Burt: We are concerned about the campaign of violence carried out by terrorist groups in Nigeria. We are supporting the Government of Nigeria through the provision of UK assistance and expertise including work to improve stability and security, and to strengthen their ability to counter terrorism and promote the rule of law, while protecting human rights. We are working closely with international partners to ensure our collective response is coordinated and effective. For operational and security reasons we do not provide details of the projects.

Northcote House

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department used the facilities at Northcote House, Sunningdale Park, Berkshire in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12 and (iii) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [164821]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not hold a central record of training received by individual staff, or in which location they received this training. The responsibility for learning and development has been delegated to individual director generals or diplomatic posts overseas. We are therefore unable to answer the question for officials without incurring disproportionate costs.

No Ministers have received training at Sunningdale.

Sierra Leone

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to assist the Government of Sierra Leone in tackling corruption. [165071]

Mark Simmonds: The UK has taken a number of steps to assist Sierra Leone in tackling corruption and our high commissioner in Freetown regularly raises the importance of transparency in contacts with the Government of Sierra Leone.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is providing support to Sierra Leone's key integrity institutions including Audit Services Sierra Leone, the Anti-Corruption Commission and a Public Financial Management Reform programme, with the aim of strengthening government systems. DFID is also assisting with the set up of the National Minerals Agency to increase transparency and spend of natural resources, and working with the police and judiciary to improve governance.

Through the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the UK Government are supporting initiatives such as the Parliamentary Partnership Programme. The programme is sharing best parliamentary practice and supporting the Government of Sierra Leone to modernise their governance structures.

Somalia

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the efficacy of European Union Training Mission Somalia. [165073]

16 July 2013 : Column 647W

Mark Simmonds: The European Union Training Mission (EUTM) Somalia underpins the strategic interests of the UK Government, including our support for effective Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) interventions and the security-related outcomes of the Somalia Conference in London on 7 May, specifically developing the Somali armed forces and the Somali security sector.

I am pleased with the progress the EUTM Somalia is making in a unique and very challenging environment. It has been running for two years, mainly in Uganda, providing high-quality training for Somali forces with about 3,000 Somali troops trained so far. The UK, as one of the main supporters of the EU CSDP missions, fully supports its objectives, including ensuring that the mission has sufficient resources to achieve its mandate. In addition to central funding, the UK currently provides two UK military secondees to the EUTM Somalia and this should increase to five positions soon (including two civilians).

The UK was among the EU member states advocating the extension of EUTM Somalia's mandate and for the mission to be relocated to Mogadishu. I am pleased therefore that the EUTM centre of operations is moving to Mogadishu. It will also increase the scale of its operations, emphasizing command and control, training Somali military trainers, and conducting specialist logistics and communications training. I look forward to further progress being made during this new phase of EUTM Somalia operations.

Written Questions

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many answers by his Department to Parliamentary Questions involving tables of statistics fewer than four pages in length were (a) printed in full and (b) provided via a link to a website in the last year. [165469]

Mr Lidington: When answering parliamentary questions (PQ), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office follows guidance provided in the “Guide to Parliamentary Work” produced by the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons and further advice provided by the Leader of the House of Commons, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley), and Mr Speaker.

It is not possible to check through all answers provided in the last year without incurring disproportionate cost. However, in line with guidance, described by the Leader of the House on 12 February 2013, Official Report, column 649W, we aim to provide all information in the body of the PQ answer where this is possible or in a document to be placed in the Library of the House. If the information is available on-line we will additionally provide a weblink.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what guidance his Department follows in determining whether statistics in answers to Parliamentary Questions are (a) provided in full, (b) provided via a link to a website and (c) deposited in the Library. [165488]

Mr Lidington: When answering parliamentary questions (PQ), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office follows guidance provided in the “Guide to Parliamentary Work”

16 July 2013 : Column 648W

produced by the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons and further advice provided by the Leader of the House of Commons, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley), and Mr Speaker.

It is not possible to check through all answers provided in the last year without incurring disproportionate cost. However, in line with guidance, described by the Leader of the House on 12 February 2013, Official Report, column 649W, we aim to provide all information in the body of the PQ answer where this is possible or in a document to be placed in the Library of the House. If the information is available online we will additionally provide a weblink.

Defence

Accountancy

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on contracts with (a) Deloitte, (b) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (c) KPMG and (d) Ernst and Young in each year since 2008. [164946]

Mr Dunne: Expenditure on Ministry of Defence (MOD) contracts with Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), KPMG and Ernst & Young is shown in the following table:

Expenditure (£ million)
Financial yearDeloittePwCKPMGErnst & Young

2008-09

11.2

4.8

9.6

3.5

2009-10

9.1

3.8

5.3

7.5

2010-11

11.9

1.9

1.8

2.7

These figures include expenditure by MOD trading funds, but do not include payments which may have been made on behalf of other Government Departments, by the MOD executive non-departmental public bodies (which lie outside the MOD accounting boundary), locally by the Department, through third parties such as prime contractors or other Government Departments and in relation to collaborative projects where the payments are made through international procurement agencies or overseas governments. Payments made by Government Procurement Card are also not included.

Since January 2011, central Government Departments have been required to publish on Contracts Finder, information on the contracts they award:

www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/

In addition, Departments publish details of spend in excess of £25,000.

Afghanistan

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence under what circumstances and for what reasons UK service personnel based at Camp Bastion have been instructed not to use air conditioning systems; and if he will make a statement. [164472]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 11 July 2013]: As a result of a temporary disruption to some fuel supplies for ISAF bases across Afghanistan, a number of prudent measures were put in place at Camp Bastion to conserve

16 July 2013 : Column 649W

existing fuel stocks. One of these measures involved the short-term reduction in the use of non-essential air conditioning at the base; although air conditioning was permitted for at least a period of time each day.

Currently, some of the restrictions have been eased and we keep the situation under constant review.

Operations remain unaffected.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans that the general Purpose Digital Test and Diagnostic Facility will have a role to play in the upgrade programme and through life support of the Warrior upgrade. [165749]

Mr Robathan: The demonstration phase for the Warrior Capability Sustainment programme is in its early stages and has yet to confirm the role for existing test and diagnostic equipment.

Conflict Pool

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much funding his Department allocated to the Conflict Pool in each year from 2010-11 to date; how much he estimates will be allocated in (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15; and if he will make a statement. [164966]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence does not allocate any departmental funding to the Conflict Pool.

European Fighter Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the combat radius of the Typhoon aircraft configured for Quick Reaction Alert Mission is. [165096]

Mr Robathan: I am withholding the information requested as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the defence of the United Kingdom.

Grant Thornton

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on contracts with Grant Thornton in each year since 2008. [165688]

Mr Dunne: Since 2008, there has been nil contract expenditure with Grant Thornton by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and its trading funds.

This does not include payments which may have been made on behalf of other Government Departments, by the MOD Executive non-departmental public bodies (which lie outside the MOD accounting boundary), locally by the Department, through third parties such as prime contractors or other Government Departments, and in relation to collaborative projects where the payments are made through international procurement agencies or overseas governments. Payments made by Government Procurement Card are also not included.

Since January 2011, central Governments Departments have been required to publish on Contracts Finder, information on the contracts they award

www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/

In addition, Departments publish details of spend in excess of £25,000.

16 July 2013 : Column 650W

Libya

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the first Libyan armed forces personnel will begin basic infantry training at Bassingbourn Barracks. [165090]

Mr Robathan: Training will begin once planning has been finalised and the Libyan selection of recruits has occurred; we anticipate that this will be later in 2013.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what facilities Libyan armed forces personnel will visit in the UK as part of their training. [165092]

Mr Robathan: The programme being designed for the training of up to 2,000 Libyan armed forces personnel involves all military training being based at Bassingbourn Barracks, Cambridgeshire.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what vetting Libyan armed forces personnel will be subject to by (a) his Department and (b) the Libyan Government before they arrive in the UK for training. [165093]

Mr Robathan: Details of the training programme and vetting arrangements are still being developed in conjunction with the Libyan Government. The Ministry of Defence has been working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office to ensure that security and immigration controls will be maintained on those who arrive to undertake training. Her Majesty's Government has asked the Libyan authorities to screen fully all trainees for medical, physical and behavioural suitability. Trainees who do not pass the vetting or immigration assurance process will not be allowed to travel to the UK.

Marchwood Military Port

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many movements of MOD vessels from the MOD Sea Mounting Centre Marchwood there were in each of the last 12 months. [165666]

Mr Robathan: The numbers of departures from the Sea Mounting Centre Marchwood of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, and vessels chartered by the Ministry of Defence, are shown in the following table:

Departures
 Number

2012

 

July

5

August

3

September

4

October

6

November

2

December

6

  

2013

 

January

3

February

4

16 July 2013 : Column 651W

March

2

April

4

May

5

June

2

  

Total

46

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the sale of the MOD Sea Mounting Centre Marchwood to be completed. [165667]

Mr Dunne: As part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review of October 2010, the Ministry of Defence committed to sell the Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre during this spending review period; this remains the intention.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the sale of the MOD Sea Mounting Centre Marchwood; and if he will make a statement. [165668]

Mr Dunne: The site is being prepared for sale, in association with Ministry of Defence's financial and legal advisors. The intention remains to complete the transaction in the current spending review period.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has examined all options for the delivery of the MOD Sea Mounting Centre requirements, including the use of alternative sites that might free up port capacity at Marchwood in support of UK exports. [165665]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence will explore, through the sale process, options for maximising economic use of the Marchwood port while ensuring that the military requirements for sea mounting can continue to be met.

Military Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what sensors are onboard the Shadow R.1 aircraft. [165332]

Mr Dunne: I am withholding this information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Military Exercises

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assets and how many personnel took part in Exercise Eager Lion; and what the cost to the public purse was of this exercise. [165315]

Mr Robathan: Around 120 personnel from 42 Commando Royal Marines deployed to Jordan with their personal equipment in support of Exercise Eager Lion 13. The final costs of the exercise are not yet available.

16 July 2013 : Column 652W

Northcote House

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department used the facilities at Northcote House, Sunningdale Park, Berkshire in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12 and (iii) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [164807]

Mr Robathan: Following a review of learning and development across Government the National School of Government, which delivered training on the Sunningdale Park site, closed in March 2012. Data on which individuals may have used the site were not retained.

Project Gateway

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the bidding period for Project Gateway will end; when the contract for that project will be awarded; and what the annual cost to the public purse will be of that contract. [165325]

Mr Dunne: The bidding period for Project Gateway is planned to end in mid-November 2013, with contract award anticipated in mid-December 2013. Until contract negotiations have been completed, the annual cost of the contract will not be known.

Reorganisation

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 6 June 2013, Official Report, column 241W, on reorganisation, how the new Operating Model will provide transparent processes and improved communications. [161467]

Mr Philip Hammond: In parallel with successfully rolling out in April 2013 the new delegated organisational structures recommended by Lord Levene, we have been reviewing the operation of the Ministry of Defence's corporate control framework and the processes that it prescribes to ensure they are as transparent and easy to use as possible. So far this has included simplified basic security guidance, new business processes for managing defence infrastructure, revised financial planning and performance management arrangements to support the new delegated operating model, and a programme of incremental simplification and improvement of our civilian HR policy, rules and guidance in line with the goals of Civil Service Reform. There will be more to do in this area as the operating model matures, particularly in terms of further streamlining the Department's decision making process around a single authoritative management information system.

Reserve Forces

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of progress on recruiting the required additional reservist capability; and if he will make a statement. [165754]

Mr Francois: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), on the 3 July 2013, Official Report, columns 923-47.

16 July 2013 : Column 653W

Surveillance

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many flights have been conducted under the open skies treaty since 2002; what aircraft were used in each case; and which countries were surveyed. [165334]

Mr Robathan: Since 2002, the UK has undertaken a total of 51 open skies missions. 38 were quota missions to the following countries: Ukraine (five); Georgia (seven) and Russia (26). 13 missions were training missions to the following nations: Bulgaria; Yugoslavia; Estonia; Slovenia (three); Sweden (three); USA; Latvia, Lithuania and the Benelux.

There has been a variety of aircraft used. The UK used its own aircraft, an Andover, until 2008. Since then the aircraft used include a Swedish Saab 340, a Romanian and a Ukrainian An30 and the US OS-135.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost of flights conducted under the open skies treaty has been in each of the last 13 years. [165340]

Mr Robathan: The total cost of flights conducted under the open skies treaty in each of the last 13 years cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost.

However, the planning figure used for this financial year is £50,000 per operational mission, and approximately £25,000 for training missions with an approximate annual cost of £175,000.

Unmanned Air Vehicles: Guided Weapons

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether his Department has commissioned testing into the feasibility of deploying Brimstone missiles from unmanned aerial vehicles; and if he will make a statement; [165176]

(2) what assistance his Department has provided to MBDA Systems in the development of a prototype Brimstone missile suitable for use on a US unmanned aerial vehicle platform. [165178]

Mr Dunne: The Ministry of Defence (MOD), with MBDA support, is currently planning to conduct trials into the feasibility of integrating Brimstone onto remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in the autumn of 2013. The MOD is not developing a prototype Brimstone missile for use on a US RPAS. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 15 May 2013, Official Report, column 222W, to the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson).

Women and Equalities

Rape: Victim Support Schemes

Steve McCabe: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2013, Official Report, columns 243-4W, on rape: victims support schemes, how the £1,085,000 funding of rape crisis centres was disbursed. [161570]

16 July 2013 : Column 654W

Mrs Grant: In 2010-11 the Government Equalities Office contributed £1,085,000 to the Combined Fund (Sexual Violence) total of £2,242,381. Funds were disbursed by the Ministry of Justice to the following organisations:

Victims Fund/Combined Fund(1) (Sexual Violence) 2010-11
 £

Sexual and Domestic Abuse and Rape Advice Centre (SARAC)

50,000

South Cumbria Rape and Abuse Service

37,025

Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (Cheshire and Merseyside)

41,269

Womankind, Bristol Women's Therapy Centre

43,198

SALT South West

16,295

Migrant Helpline

49,880

Twelves Company

50,000

New Pathways

50,000

Survivors UK

50,000

Cornwall Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre)

46,782

CIS'ters (Childhood Incest Survivors)

50,000

RASASC Croydon

43,427

Incest and Sexual Abuse Survivors (ISAS)

35,985

Survivors' Network

49,974

Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (Darlington and County Durham)

39,654

Tyneside Rape Crisis Centre

23,864

Eva Women's Aid

50,000

Rape Crisis (Wycombe, Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire)

49,950

Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (Cornwall)

50,000

Safeline

20,000

Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, RASASC Guildford

50,000

Northamptonshire Rape and incest Crisis Centre

50,000

Southampton Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service

49,991

One In Four (UK)

49,990

Grimsby and Scunthorpe Rape Crisis

42,210

POW Nottingham

50,000

Rape and Sexual Violence Project (RSVP)

50,000

Rotherham Women's Counselling service

50,000

Manchester Rape Crisis

11,940

Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre

35,847

Respond

50,000

Doncaster Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service

49,863

Sheffield Women's Counselling and Therapy Service

20,082

Safe and Sound Derby

47,543

Gloucester Rape Crisis Centre (GRCC)

33,980

Crisis Point

50,000

Women's Support Network and Jigsaw

30,766

Worcester Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre

50,000

Spires

49,911

Rugby RoSA

50,000

Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre

47,508

Rape Crisis England and Wales

50,000

The Survivors Trust

50,000

Bradford Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Survivors Service (BRC&SASS)

50,000

Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC)

50,000

Sexual Abuse and Incest Line (SAIL)

19,528

Kairos Women Working Together (Kairos WTT)

49,117

Rape and Sexual Abuse (RASA) Centre Merseyside (Sefton, Liverpool, Wirral, South Wirral)

50,000

One25

50,000

Karma Nirvana

37,500

Galop

39,302

Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service (Winchester)

30,000

Total

2,242,381

16 July 2013 : Column 655W

Work and Pensions

Accountancy

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department

16 July 2013 : Column 656W

spent on contracts with

(a)

Deloitte,

(b)

PricewaterhouseCoopers,

(c)

KPMG and

(d)

Ernst and Young in each year since 2008. [164965]

Mr Hoban: Spend with each supplier for all years from 2007-08 is as follows:

£
 Deloitte MCSPricewaterhouseCoopersKPMGErnst & Young

2007-08

20,158,618

8,086,718

226,255

50,476

2008-09

21,416,478

8,002,818

417,486

54,214

2009-10

16,484,394

10,098,152

862,372

305,564

2010-11

10,079,244

5,000,923

2,906,556

21,726

2011-12

1,426,089

217,486

1,163,261

583

2012-13

1,081,119

538,331

2,306,506

150,743

2013-14 to June

492,788

235,514

688,964

0

Notes: 1. It is not possible to match actual spend with individual contracts. 2. All figures exclusive of recoverable VAT.

Since January 2011, central Government Departments have been required to publish on Contracts Finder information on the contracts they award:

www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/

In addition, Departments publish details of spend in excess of £25,000.

Children: Disability

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of children in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland who are disabled. [165154]

Dr Poulter: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department of Health.

In January 2012, some 226,125 pupils (2.8%) across all schools in England had statements of special educational needs.

A table setting out information on the number of pupils attending primary, state-funded secondary, and special schools by type of need has been placed in the Library. This information can also be found in the publication “Special Educational Needs in England, January 2012” available on the Government website at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/special-educational-needs-in-england-january-2012

The Department for Work and Pensions Family Resources Survey for 2011/12 estimates that approximately 6% of children in the United Kingdom (0.8 million) are disabled.

Detailed information on the position in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a matter for those Administrations.

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children are registered on disabled children's registers held by local authorities. [165148]

Mr Timpson: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department of Education.

Local authorities are required to maintain a register of disabled children. The Government do not hold the information from these registers centrally.

The Department for Education does collect data on pupils who have been assessed as having a special educational need. Tables setting out the number of pupils attending primary, state-funded secondary, and special schools, broken down by type of special educational need, can be found in the publication “Special Educational Needs in England, January 2012”, available on the Government's website.(1)

(1) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/special-educational -needs-in-england-january-2012

Employment Schemes: Rhyl

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the Rhyl City Strategy's Fit for Work Service pilot. [165173]

Mr Hoban: An evaluation of the first year of the Fit for Work Service pilots was published in March 2012. It is available on GOV.UK at:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/139146/rrep792.pdf.pdf

We plan to publish a final evaluation report later this year.

Food Banks

Mrs Lewell-Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if his Department will take steps to record the number of people referred to food banks by Jobcentre Plus. [165106]

Mr Hoban: I refer to the reply given to the hon. Member for Hampstead and Kilburn (Glenda Jackson) on 6 June 2013, Official Report, column 1266W.

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many food bank food vouchers have been handed out by benefit advisers in each year since 2010; and if he will list the 20 job centres which have handed out the most food bank food vouchers; [165746]

(2) how many food bank vouchers have been handed out in each year since 2010, by jobcentre. [165763]

16 July 2013 : Column 657W

Mr Hoban: Jobcentre Plus signposts people to food banks but does not keep records on number of referrals.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the written answer of 9 July 2013, Official Report, column 205W, on food banks, for what reason job centres refer clients to food banks. [165807]

Mr Hoban: Statistics are not currently collected on the number of referrals to food banks or the reasons.

Grant Thornton

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on contracts with Grant Thornton in each year since 2008. [165702]

Mr Hoban: Spend for Grant Thornton for all years from 2007-08 is as follows:

 Expenditure (£)

2007-08

109,073

2008-09

86,622

2009-10

5,000

2010-11

6,475

2011-12

79,996

2012-13

11,794

2013-14 to June

4,246

Notes: 1. It is not possible to match actual spend with individual contracts. 2. All figures exclusive of recoverable VAT.

Since January 2011, central Government Departments have been required to publish on Contracts Finder information on the contracts they award:

www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/

In addition, Departments publish details of spend in excess of £25,000.

Jobcentre Plus: Northamptonshire

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether it is his policy to maintain a Jobcentre Plus in both Rushden and Wellingborough; and if he will make a statement. [165578]

Mr Hoban: DWP has a full-time Jobcentre presence in both Rushden and Wellingborough town centres. DWP has no current plans to remove its Jobcentre presence. The Department will continue to review its service delivery plans and its estates in the normal course of business; and make sure that they work with partners to explore every opportunity which might be presented to reduce estate costs whilst maintaining a high standard of service.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what impact assessment he has carried out on the proposal for a jobseeker's allowance seven-day waiting rule; whether any such impact assessment has studied the effect of the policy on (a) financial hardship for claimants and (b) the number of claimants taking up short term contracts of (i) under and (ii) over 12 weeks; by what means people who are

16 July 2013 : Column 658W

unemployed and have no other source of income are expected to meet their subsistence needs during the proposed seven-day waiting period; and if he will make a statement. [164909]

Mr Hoban: No such assessments have been made. The increase of waiting days to seven will have a single effect at the start of a person's entitlement when final wages will often be available.

People who leave benefit for less than 12 weeks will not be affected by the change. People in financial need before their first benefit payment may be eligible for an advance of benefit.

Northcote House

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department used the facilities at Northcote House, Sunningdale Park, Berkshire in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12 and (iii) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [164832]

Mr Hoban: The information required on numbers attending Sunningdale Park is not held by DWP.

Following a review of learning and development across Government, the National School of Government, which delivered training on the Sunningdale Park site, closed in March 2012. Data on which individuals may have used the site were not retained.

Remploy: Wythenshawe

Paul Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many disabled people formerly employed at Remploy in Wythenshawe have found alternative employment since the factory closed. [165756]

Esther McVey: Of the 19 former Remploy employees from the Wythenshawe factory, three have secured and remain in full-time employment. Of the rest, four are on sabbatical, one has retired, and 11 are claiming ESA/JSA (three of those 11 are on Work Choice undertaking training and other activities aimed at moving them closer to employment).

Social Security Benefits

Mrs Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in receipt of benefits in 2012 suffered from a chronic pain condition. [165355]

Mr Hoban: The DWP does not hold information regarding how many people in receipt of benefits in 2012 suffer specifically from a chronic pain condition. This is because for benefits that are not linked to health conditions, such as jobseeker’s allowance, we would not hold records pertaining to specific conditions that claimants may have in a manner that would allow us to accurately capture the statistics. We record the underlying health condition for employment and support allowance, (or those remaining on income benefit), those on personal independence payments, (or remaining on disability living allowance), or those on attendance allowance. However, chronic pain may be associated with a wide range of medical conditions and we do not record chronic pain as a discrete entry.

16 July 2013 : Column 659W

The term chronic pain is a general one that refers to persistent pain lasting anywhere from 3-6 months. Therefore chronic pain can be a result of a large number of diagnoses that cause pain. The medical condition of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants and employment and support allowance is recorded using a grouped version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD10), and the only codes that specifically indicate chronic pain are those for “Chronic intractable pain” and “Other chronic pain”, both of which come under the general heading of “Pain not elsewhere classified”.

Figures for “Pain not elsewhere classified” are provided in the following table for incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance and employment and support allowance. However, this is unlikely to be an accurate reflection of those individuals with chronic pain.

Number of claimants by medical diagnosis in Great Britain and abroad: November 2012
 All claimantsOther diagnosesPain, not elsewhere classified

Incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance

1,086,820

1,057,470

29,340

Employment and support allowance

1,447,980

1,409,930

38,040

Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Under the employment and support allowance (ESA) regime, claimants have to undergo the work capability assessment. From April 2011 incapacity benefit (IB) recipients also began to undertake this assessment. The medical condition recorded on the claim form does not itself confer entitlement to IB or ESA. So, for example, a decision on entitlement for a customer claiming ESA on the basis of alcoholism would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities related to physical and mental function, assessed by the personal/work capability assessment. Source: DWP Information, Governance and Security Directorate 100% WPLS.

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many benefits sanctions are currently in force; and how many such sanctions have been in force in each of the last five years. [165640]

Mr Hoban: Statistics on the number of benefit sanctions currently in force are not readily available and to provide them would incur disproportionate cost.

Statistics on the number of jobseekers allowance (JSA) sanction referrals by month and on whether the decision was adverse, up to 21 October 2012 (the last date of the old regulations), can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions/series/dwp-statistics-tabulation-tool

Guidance for users is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/203439/tab-tool-guidance.pdf

The statistics on JSA sanctions applied from 22 October 2012 will be published in due course. A proposed publication date will be announced in advance via

www.gov.uk

and

http://www.statsusernet.org.uk/Home/

in the “Welfare and Benefits” community.

Statistics on the number of income support lone parents (ISLP) sanctions and on whether the decision was adverse, up to 31 December 2012 can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/203517/islpr-may13.pdf

16 July 2013 : Column 660W

Statistics on the number of employment and support allowance (ESA) sanction referrals are not readily available and to provide them would incur disproportionate cost.

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time between a claim for (a) income support, (b) jobseeker's allowance, (c) employment and support allowance and (d) pension credit and a decision notice was of each nationality of claimant in each of the last 12 quarters for which records are available. [165737]

Mr Hoban: The information requested is not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.