22 Nov 2013 : Column 1031W

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 22 November 2013

Energy and Climate Change

Biofuels

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with bioliquids producers on including bioliquids in the strike price mechanism under his Department's electricity market reform programme; and whether his Department has undertaken any work assessing the merits of including bioliquids in that mechanism. [176253]

Gregory Barker [holding answer 21 November 2013]:Details of meetings between Ministers and external organisations are published quarterly on the departmental website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-energy-climate-change/series/ministers-meeting-with-external-organisations

The Department assessed the merits of offering a strike price for bioliquids when preparing the policy proposals set out within the draft Delivery Plan consultation published on 17 July. Our assessment of those merits was set out within that consultation.

The Government response to that consultation will be published shortly.

Climate Change Convention

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the composition is of the UK delegation to the 19th Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which Ministers are expected to attend; and if he will post on his Department's website all documents submitted by the UK to the conference. [175764]

Gregory Barker: The UK delegation to the 19th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) includes officials from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and other Government Departments. The full list of participants in the conference will be published on the UNFCCC website when the COP has concluded, and this will include details of the UK delegation.

The UK will be represented at ministerial level by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, my right hon. Friend the Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), and myself. The UK devolved Administrations will have representation from the Minister for Natural Resources and Food in the Welsh Government, Alun Davies, and the Minister for the Environment in the Scottish Government, Paul Wheelhouse.

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As the EU and its member states negotiate as a bloc in the UNFCCC, the UK does not submit documents separately to the conference. All publicly available documents submitted by the EU and its member states can be found on the UNFCCC website.

Energy

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department takes to monitor the level of (a) individual and (b) collective switching of energy companies by customers in each (i) geographic area and (ii) socio-economic group. [176005]

Michael Fallon: On a quarterly basis, DECC receive data from Ofgem on the number of switches at an aggregate level for both electricity and gas. These data are published by DECC in Table 2.7.1 of Quarterly Energy Prices:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/quarterly-domestic-energy-switching-statistics

We do not monitor the level of individual switching by geographic area or socio-economic group.

We do not monitor the number of customers switching as a result of collective switching schemes on a regular basis. However, we have published evaluation of schemes supported by the Cheaper Energy Together fund, which breaks down the number of switches by scheme and estimates the number of switches according to different indicators of vulnerability. This information can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/helping-customers-switch-collective-switching-and-beyond

Energy Company Obligation

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what representations his Department has received on extending the deadline for the energy company obligation. [175863]

Gregory Barker: The Department has received a wide variety of views, including from energy suppliers and the insulation industry, on the options for the future of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), including an extension of the current scheme.

We will consult in due course on the range of options for the design of the next stage of ECO after March 2015.

Energy: Dorset

Mr Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to make it easier for customers to switch their energy suppliers in Dorset; and if he will make a statement. [175952]

Michael Fallon: The Government are providing legislative backing to Ofgem's retail market review measures which will simplify and standardise tariff structures and require suppliers to provide consumers with clearer and better quality information so that it will be easier for all consumers to compare tariffs. We are also bringing

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forward legislation which will require suppliers to include QR codes which link to a customer's data to make the process even easier.

The Government are providing extra help and advice to vulnerable consumers through the Big Energy Saving Network to help them engage with the energy market and to give them the confidence to take decisions that will reduce their bills.

The Government have also been instrumental in providing support to collective switching schemes. Earlier this year the Government kick-started a number of innovative projects through the £5 million Cheaper Energy Together competition. Money was awarded to 31 successful projects that all focused on engaging vulnerable consumers.

The Government are also discussing with the industry how we can cut the time it takes for switching to be completed and have expressed an ambition of 24-hour switching.

Energy: Prices

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 6 November 2013, Official Report, column 286, what the average annual increase was in pounds for (a) gas and (b) electricity in each year since 1996. [175860]

Michael Fallon: The average annual increase for gas and electricity bills since 1996 is shown as follows.

£
   Change from previous year
 GB average annual gas billUK average annual electricity billGasElectricity

1996

330

297

1997

328

285

-2

-12

1998

315

268

-13

-17

1999

305

264

-10

-4

2000

295

257

-10

-7

2001

293

250

-2

-7

2002

310

249

17

-1

2003

320

250

10

1

2004

333

257

13

7

2005

386

285

53

28

2006

474

338

88

53

2007

536

378

62

40

2007

516

366

2008

604

425

88

59

2009

680

430

76

5

2010

658

418

-22

-12

2011

719

453

61

35

2012

800

479

81

26

These data are taken from Tables 2.2.1 and 2.3.1 of DECC's publication Quarterly Energy Prices (QEP), assuming an annual consumption of 3,300 kWh for electricity and 18,000 kWh for gas. These bills represent a weighted average of payment methods. Prior to 2007 a weighted average bill is not available therefore the gas and electricity bills by standard credit payment method have been used for 1996 to 2007. Annual bill estimates for 2013 will be published in December's edition of QEP on 19 December 2013.

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Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what has been the average price of (a) gas and (b) electricity bills in each month since 2010. [176758]

Michael Fallon: Monthly price indices for both electricity and gas are published by the Office for National Statistics. The latest data can be found under ‘Consumer Price Inflation, October 2013,' available from the following web link:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/cpi/consumer-price-indices/october-2013/index.html

Data on average gas and electricity bills are published by DECC on an annual basis. The average annual domestic gas and electricity bills and associated prices in each of the last three years are shown as follows.

 GasElectricity
 Average annual bill (£)Price (p/kWh)Average annual bill (£)Price (p/kWh)

2010

658

3.7

418

12.7

2011

719

4.0

453

13.7

2012

800

4.4

479

14.5

Data in this table are taken from Tables 2.2.1 and 2.3.1 of DECC's publication Quarterly Energy Prices (QEP), assuming an annual consumption of 3,300 kWh for electricity and 18,000 kWh for gas. The annual price data shown are derived from these bill estimates. Provisional annual bill estimates for 2013 will be published in December's edition of QEP on 19 December 2013.

European Commission

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many visits the Permanent Secretary and the four next most senior civil servants in his Department made to the European Commission in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [173781]

Gregory Barker: The former Permanent Secretary visited Brussels on one occasion. The new Permanent Secretary is planning to visit Brussels soon.

There were three visits by Directors-General in 2012 and two in 2013. The Chief Scientific Advisor has not visited in 2013. Specific diary information is not available for previous years although he has made a number of visits to the European Commission.

There are frequent visits to the European Commission by Directors, Deputy Directors and other DECC officials.

Fuel Cells: Hydrogen

Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what steps he is taking to support the hydrogen fuel market; [175594]

(2) what steps the Government have taken to make hydrogen fuel a viable part of the transport fuel mix in the UK. [175701]

Gregory Barker: DECC, together with the Department for Transport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, is an active participant in the joint industry-Government UKH2Mobility project, which was launched

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in January 2012. Following the completion of the evaluation phase and publication of report in February 2013, the UKH2Mobility project has been working to develop a potential business plan for the roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the associated refuelling infrastructure in the UK from 2015.

Working with BIS, DECC and the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has invested in excess of £41 million into fuel cell and hydrogen technologies since 2009. In this financial year 2013-14 the TSB has plans to invest a further £4.5 million into ongoing activity supporting fuel cell manufacturing and the supply chain and £5 million into technologies specifically enabling the market for hydrogen. Fuel cells and hydrogen technologies are a part of the TSB's energy strategy and further investments into this area are anticipated during the current spending review period to continue to support UK companies developing products for this growing global market.

In addition hydrogen fuel cell electric cars are eligible under the existing Plug-in Car Grant Scheme administered by OLEV, which offers motorists a grant of 25% towards the cost of the vehicle, up to a maximum of £5,000.

Members: Correspondence

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he intends to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Sunderland Central dated 29 October 2013, relating to the 2030 decarbonisation target. [176109]

Gregory Barker: I have received the letter from the hon. Member dated 29 October 2013, relating to the 2030 decarbonisation target. I shall respond shortly.

Nuclear Power

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the number of people employed by the civil nuclear industry in each constituent part of the UK. [176466]

Michael Fallon: The Department does not collate figures for the number of people employed by the civil nuclear industry in each constituent part of the UK. The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA), however, does produce an annual jobs map based on a survey of NIA members, which does provide regional totals. These amount to 62,872 jobs throughout the nuclear industry in the UK in 2013 and also details the number of employees by parliamentary constituency—see following links:

http://www.niauk.org/nia-industry-maps

http://issuu.com/nuclear_industry_association/docs/jobsmap_uk13

It should be noted, however, that the NIA Capability Report published on 7December 2012 made reference to “40,000 working in the UK civil nuclear industry: 25,000 employed directly plus a further 15,000 in the supply chain with many additional indirect jobs supported by nuclear industry activity”. The reason for the difference in totals is that the jobs map includes all employees who have some role in nuclear.

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Renewable Energy: Heating

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to recommendation (c) on page 11 of the NAO Report, Infrastructure Investment, published in November 2013, whether his Department has considered the full price impact and affordability implications of widespread deployment of heat pumps. [176255]

Gregory Barker [holding answer 21 November 2013]: The Government are promoting the adoption of domestic heat pumps via the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Renewable Heat Premium Payments schemes. The costs of these schemes are met from general public expenditure, not from a consumer levy. The impact of these policies for the increased deployment of heat pumps is factored into the Government's overall assessment of the investment required in the electricity sector and the impacts this will have on future electricity prices and bills.

Warm Home Discount Scheme and Energy Company Obligation

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the costs of implementing the Energy Company Obligation and the Warm Homes Discount in (a) the UK, (b) Scotland, (c) England and (d) Wales. [175959]

Gregory Barker [holding answer 21 November 2013]: The Department published, on 21 October 2013, a document on ECO costs in Great Britain, based on information as to the actual delivered cost of measures provided by the ECO companies themselves. It is not possible to break down these figures by England, Scotland and Wales. This publication concluded that projected costs of the scheme are in line with the central scenario in the DECC impact assessment of around £1.3 billion per annum on average. This is also supported by evidence from the brokerage mechanism, under which around £300 million of future contracts for ECO compliance have been traded, at prices broadly in line with the impact assessment estimate.

The document can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/254145/energy_company_obligation_delivery_costs_30_october_2013.pdf

The annual spending targets for the Warm Home Discount are set out in the Warm Home Discount Regulations 2011. Actual spending by suppliers across Great Britain was £238 million in 2011-12 and £283 million in 2012-13. Suppliers do not report on regional spending or on their administrative costs of delivering the scheme.

Scotland

Atos Origin

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department has spent on contracts with Atos in each year since 2008. [176358]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office has not had any contracts with Atos since 2008.

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Energy

Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress he has made on improving the energy efficiency of his Department. [175976]

David Mundell: A wide range of measures have been taken in order to improve energy efficiency in the Scotland Office.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Government

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when she expects the outcome of the Haass talks on flags, parading and dealing with the past to be presented to Parliament. [176787]

Mr Robathan: Dr Haass has indicated that he believes the work of the All-Party Group he chairs can be finalised by Christmas. What is produced and when is a matter for the group. We will consider in the light of the outcome how best to allow the House to express its views.

Prime Minister

Iraq Committee of Inquiry

Mr Amess: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what recent discussions he has had with the US President about the publication by the Chilcot Inquiry of conversations between (a) Tony Blair and George W. Bush and (b) the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath and George W. Bush in the period (i) leading up to the conflict in Iraq and (ii) after the invasion of Iraq; what response was received from the President; and if he will make a statement; [176866]

(2) when he expects the report of the Chilcot Inquiry into the war in Iraq to be published; what discussions Sir John Chilcot has had with those expected to be criticised in his report; and if he will make a statement; [176867]

(3) if he will discuss with the administrators of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war a final date for publication; and if he will make a statement; [176868]

(4) if he will seek the agreement of the US President to the publication of classified documents by the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war; and if he will make a statement; [176869]

(5) how many documents provided by the Government to the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war have been declassified; how many he expects will be declassified within the next six months; and if he will make a statement; [176870]

(6) whether it remains his intention to publish the report of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war in full; and if he will make a statement; [176871]

(7) what discussions he has had since March 2013 with the (a) Chairman and (b) Secretary of the Chilcot Inquiry on the publication of its report; and if he will make a statement; [176872]

(8) what recent representations (a) he, (b) other Ministers and (c) officials of (i) No. 10 Downing street and (ii) the Cabinet Office have made to (A) the

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Chairman and (B) secretariat of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war about possible delays in publication of its report due to responses from officials of the US government; what response was received to these representations; and if he will make a statement; [176873]

(9) when each member of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war was appointed and by whom; what process was followed in his or her appointment; where the post was advertised; how many persons applied for the post; how many were short-listed for interview; how each was appraised; what criteria were adopted for appointment; and if he will make a statement. [176874]

The Prime Minister: The former Prime Minister, the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown), appointed the members of the Iraq Inquiry Committee. Opposition leaders were consulted.

The Inquiry is independent of Government. The Inquiry Committee has had full access to all documents relevant to its work, including records of Cabinet level discussions and notes and records of discussions between Mr Blair, the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown), and President Bush. Disclosure of UK documents is a matter for HM Government and the Inquiry. Discussions on this are continuing.

Sir John Chilcot wrote to me on 4 November updating me on the Inquiry's progress. Copies of this letter and my reply of 5 November are available on the Inquiry's website.

House of Commons Commission

Members: ICT

Robert Flello: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross representing the House of Commons Commission, what discussions the Commission has had with the Department for Communities and Local Government on the implications of the recommendations in End User Devices Security Guidance published by CESG for the pilot and proposed roll-out of more flexible working by hon. Members involving the use of a wider range of IT equipment. [176755]

John Thurso: It is a long-standing practice that we do not reveal publicly the details of Parliament's security measures as this would be likely to increase the risks. However, both Houses and the Parliamentary ICT service take seriously the security of parliamentary information and communications technology, and a higher priority is being given to strengthening that security in the light of evolving threats. The technology strategy is to provide more flexible and effective services to help Members in their work, while ensuring that parliamentary information and systems are suitably and proportionately protected. To that end, expert advice is regularly sought from a variety of sources.

The director of parliamentary ICT would be happy to discuss any specific concerns with the hon. Member.

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Atos Origin

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department has spent on contracts with Atos in each year since 2008. [176359]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) did not have any contracts or spend with any Atos companies from 2010 to date. Unfortunately, there are no records held centrally to indicate whether the FCO had any contract or spend with Atos prior to 2010 and to obtain data prior to 2010 could only be done at a disproportionate cost.

Bahrain

Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that British citizens who face criminal prosecution in Bahrain (a) have their human rights fully respected, (b) receive a fair trial and (c) are not subjected to arbitrary travel bans. [176471]

Hugh Robertson: The Foreign Office provides consular assistance to British nationals overseas in a range of situations, including in Bahrain. However, the UK cannot interfere in the judicial process of another country, and must respect its systems just as we expect it to respect the UK's laws and legal process. Consular officials cannot provide legal advice, and therefore we offer British nationals a list of local lawyers who are best placed to do so should this be required. Under Bahrain law, the authorities may place a travel ban on an individual while their case is in court, although normal procedure is not to keep hold of the passport.

Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that the Government of Bahrain co-operates with the civil legal processes of the UK. [176472]

Hugh Robertson: There are no specific treaties between the UK and Bahrain on civil legal processes.

Egypt and Middle East

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the closure of tunnels between Egypt and Gaza on (a) electricity, (b) water and sanitation, (c) fuel and (d) food supplies in Gaza; and what representations he is making to his Egyptian and Israeli counterparts on the matter. [176475]

Hugh Robertson: I am concerned by the effect of the tunnel closures on the already difficult humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza. According to the UN and other independent sources, the ending of the smuggling of subsidised Egyptian fuel through the tunnels has led to a major electricity and fuel crisis. The electricity shortage has undermined an already precarious infrastructure, severely disrupting the provision of basic services, including health, water and sanitation. The

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tunnel closures have also impacted significantly on availability of construction materials and food, leading to higher prices and growing unemployment.

I made representations on the situation in Gaza to the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister and discussed it with the Palestinian President and Foreign Minister during my recent visit to the region. The British embassy in Cairo has also made representations on Gaza to the Egyptian authorities.

Gibraltar: Spain

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Spanish counterpart on delays caused by Spanish border police to travellers entering and leaving Gibraltar; and if he will make a statement. [176759]

Mr Lidington: The UK's serious concerns about the delays at the Gibraltar-Spain border have been made very clear to the Spanish Government, most recently during the summoning of the Spanish ambassador to the UK on 19 November. The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), and I have all raised this in the strongest terms with our Spanish counterparts. We continue to issue formal protests to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about all border delays. We welcome the European Commission's recent recommendations for Spain to improve the functioning of the border and expect the Spanish Government to implement its recommendations without delay. We remain confident that the additional Spanish checks are unlawful under EU law, as they are both politically motivated and disproportionate.

Hong Kong

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on allowing Hong Kong to rejoin the Commonwealth should it indicate a wish to do so. [175898]

Mr Swire: The UK welcomes applications to join the Commonwealth where countries can demonstrate the necessary requirements and dedication to the Commonwealth's core values, particularly in relation to human rights, good governance and rule of law. But it is not within the UK's gift. Decisions on membership are made by consensus of Heads of all Commonwealth members, based on applicant countries meeting the criteria. Commonwealth member states agreed in 2007 that only sovereign states should be considered for membership of the Commonwealth. Hong Kong, as a Special Administrative Region of China, is not a sovereign state and is therefore ineligible.

Indonesia

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what additional safeguards his Department is considering for UK nationals going to Indonesia in the near future following the recent cases of the H5N1 bird flu virus. [176788]

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Mr Swire: We are aware of the most recent case of a person dying in Indonesia earlier this month related to the H5N1 bird flu virus. We continue to highlight the risks of individuals contracting the H5N1 bird flu virus whilst in Indonesia and recommend appropriate steps within our Travel Advice for Indonesia to mitigate the risk of a British national being affected.

Kieron Bryan

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when British consular officials in Russia have visited Kieron Bryan since 17 October 2013; how long each such visit lasted; and when the next such visit is planned. [176853]

Mr Lidington: Consular officials visited Kieron Bryan on 29 October and 6 and 14 November. During each visit, which varied in length, they were able to discuss welfare issues with Mr Bryan and follow up on these with the relevant Russian authorities. Consular officials also attended the court hearing on 20 November at which Kieron Bryan was granted bail. Consular officials will remain in close contact with Mr Bryan, and Greenpeace, and consider future support as the terms of the bail conditions are clarified.

Middle East

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to the Israeli authorities in respect of the proposed Mount Scopus Slopes National Park. [176730]

Hugh Robertson: Our ambassador in Tel Aviv has raised concerns about the proposed Mount Scopus Slopes National Park repeatedly with the Israeli authorities, most recently on 13 November.

Russia

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he and Ministers in his Department will next meet their Russian counterparts; and if he will ensure that the detention of British journalists in Russia will be raised at such meetings. [176850]

Mr Lidington: I met Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Titov on 21 November to discuss a broad range of issues. One of the issues discussed was the detention of those on board the Greenpeace vessel, the Arctic Sunrise. This included British journalist Kieron Bryan, the only British journalist in detention in Russia, who was granted bail on 20 November.

Training

Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many workshops, seminars, or training programmes have been organised by his Department in non-Nato member states since 2006. [175790]

Hugh Robertson: Strengthening the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) as an institution is a priority under our ‘Diplomatic Excellence’ programme.

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Learning and development activity is targeted to support the FCO's goal to be the best diplomatic service in the world. On the overall scope and cost of the FCO's global approach to learning and development I refer to the answer given by then Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the FCO, my right hon. Friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Alistair Burt), on 28 February 2013,

Official Report

, column 671W.

The FCO has nearly 270 diplomatic offices around the world of which the majority are in non NATO countries. As well as the centrally run activities, posts around the world and directorates in London regularly organise informal learning, workshops, seminars and training programmes in support of FCO priorities. Records of this devolved activity are not held centrally and the data can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Travel

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost of travel within the UK was for his Department in each year since 2010; and how much of this was spent on (a) hire cars, (b) helicopter hire, (c) hotel accommodation and (d) subsistence. [176849]

Hugh Robertson: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is committed to ensuring that travel is as cost effective as possible. Where possible and appropriate, we encourage secure video-conferencing around the FCO network in a further effort to reduce the number of flights needed. However, face to face meetings are a vital part of diplomatic work and this necessarily involves travel.

The specific information requested is not held centrally, so collating it will involve disproportionate cost. However, I am listing below the costs for combined air, rail and hotel bookings made through the FCO travel management company, Hogg Robinson Group plc.

 £

2011-12

1,013,389

2012-13

1,355,635

Since 2011, the FCO has used Hogg Robinson Group as our supplier for domestic travel. Prior to this, officers purchased tickets from their own funds or using their corporate credit cards and were reimbursed for actual costs. The increase in the figures is because more travel is booked centrally through Hogg Robinson and less individually through local travel agents in order to maximise value for money to the taxpayer.

Since January 2010 the FCO also moved to claims for ‘actual’ expenditure incurred as part of staff duties, replacing a fixed-based subsistence system. Actual expenses are either claimed back or processed on Government Procurement Cards. Much of these data are already published and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-procurement-card-data

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Communities and Local Government

House of Commons: ICT

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions he has had with the House of Commons Commission on the effect of the End User Devices Security Guidance: Enterprise Considerations released by CESG on the provision of mobile electronic devices to hon. Members. [176753]

Brandon Lewis: None, as my Department has no responsibility for the use of mobile electronic devices by hon. Members.

International Development

Democratic Republic of Congo

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to the recent report of the Africa Progress Panel, Equity in Extractives, on mining contracts in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), if she will hold discussions with the Government of DCR to ensure that anti-corruption measures are in place for any future mining contracts. [176786]

Mr Duncan: The UK is supporting efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) mining sector to both increase transparency and improve governance through the ProMines programme. We also support the Carter Centre in its efforts to empower local civil society to better hold to account both the Government of DRC and mining companies. The UK also supports the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to improve the management of the DRC's natural resources to promote economic development and tackle poverty.

Cabinet Office

Public Sector: ICT

Robert Flello: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the estimated additional cost to the public purse is of implementation of the recommendations in End User Devices Security Guidance: Enterprise Considerations, published by CESG, and consequent issuing of additional IT equipment and mobile telephones. [176754]

Mr Hurd: No estimate of additional costs has been made as the guidance is expected to be considered as part of public sector organisations' procurement of IT, alongside value for money considerations. The guidance is intended to assist the public sector in taking advantage of modern technology in a risk managed way.

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Defence

Afghanistan

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2013, Official Report, column 583W, on Afghanistan, whether the UK's train, advise and assist role in Afghanistan includes advice on the recording of the numbers, status and cause of death of civilian casualties. [174124]

Mr Francois: The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Coalition, of which the UK is a major contributor, continues to work with the Afghan National Security Forces to help them to build their own capacity to avoid or mitigate civilian casualties, using the ISAF Civilian Casualties Mitigation Team as a model.

Armed Forces: Dogs

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason his Department has recently issued a recall for improvised explosive device detection dogs to be returned to the Defence Animal Centre for rehoming; and if he will make a statement. [175895]

Anna Soubry: It is Directorate of Army Veterinary Remount Services policy that all classifications of military working dogs, including counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) dogs, that fall below the minimum operational standards, are returned to the Canine Training Squadron at the Defence Animal Centre where they are given a detailed health and employment evaluation by qualified and experienced dog trainers and veterinary officers.

For the majority, the evaluation is followed by a period of focused restorative training prior to being issued back to the Front Line Command or a new Defence user. For a small number this will not be an option and, in the case of dogs purchased to meet the C-IED Urgent Operational Requirement, an independent evaluation team will confirm that they are no longer able to remain within the service and re-homing is to be explored.

Armed Forces: Sexual Offences

Mr Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many serving members of the armed forces are currently on the sex offenders register. [173908]

Anna Soubry: There are currently 29 serving members of the armed forces on the sex offenders register. Of these, 28 are category 1, level 1 offenders (the least serious category and minimum management level) and one is a category 1, level 2 offender where there is active multi-agency management of the individual.

Defence: Procurement

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to ensure that any entity acquiring defence procurement contracts pay corporation tax in the UK. [176280]

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Mr Dunne: We would expect any entity acquiring or being awarded defence procurement contracts to pay corporation tax, where applicable, in line with current regulations.

Energy

Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress he has made on improving the energy efficiency of his Department. [176016]

Anna Soubry: Details of energy usage across the Department can be found in the Ministry of Defence Annual Report and Accounts 2012-13 (HC38), Sustainability Report which can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mod-annual-report-and-accounts-201213

Marines: Poole

Mr Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the economic benefits of Royal Marines Poole in Hamworthy for the local community. [176076]

Mr Francois: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has not undertaken an assessment of the economic benefit to the local community of the Royal Marines Poole.

The MOD does not routinely hold or assess such information unless a decision is being considered to relocate, close or expand the base. However, it is fair to say the local community will benefit economically from having a Defence establishment within it.

Military Bases: North Yorkshire

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he last visited Alanbrooke Barracks, Topcliffe. [175388]

Mr Philip Hammond: So far, during my tenure as Secretary of State for Defence, I have not visited Alanbrooke Barracks.

Military Decorations: World War II

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2013, Official Report, column 779W, on military decorations: World War II, how many applications have been received to date from next of kin; what progress his Department has made in processing applications from next of kin to date; what the average processing time is for applications; and if he will make a statement. [174906]

Anna Soubry: Some 11,000 applications for the Arctic Star Medal have been received from next of kin. It is anticipated that these should all be acknowledged by the end of 2013.

Having completed the dispatch of awards to living veterans, the focus has now moved to the assessment of widows' applications. It is anticipated that this will be completed by early 2014.

As the assessment of widows' applications is currently the priority, it is too early to quantify an average processing time for those received from next of kin.

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1046W

RAF Menwith Hill

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) UK contractors, (b) UK civilians, (c) MOD personnel, (d) Ministry of Defence Police, (e) RAF personnel and (f) GCHQ personnel work at NSA Menwith Hill. [174711]

Mr Francois: As of 31 October 2013 the following UK personnel were employed at RAF Menwith Hill:

 Number

UK Contractors

179

Ministry of Defence/UK Civilians

360

Royal Air Force

2

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not release the numbers of police officers at particular locations for security reasons.

The MOD does not comment on whether there are personnel working in intelligence at specific locations.

Rescue Services: International Co-operation

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions since 21 March 2012 a foreign-requested aircraft has provided search and rescue assistance over UK territorial waters; what role each aircraft played; and what the location of each incident was. [174206]

Mr Francois: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given on 27 March 2012, Official Report, column 1054W and 23 November 2010, Official Report, columns 225-26W, by my predecessor the hon. Member for North Devon (Sir Nick Harvey).

Between 21 March 2012 and 4 November 2013 there have been four occasions where a foreign aircraft was requested by the Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre to provide search and rescue assistance over UK territorial waters, one of which was a joint response with UK assets. Details are shown in the following table.

DateAircraftAircraft RoleLocation

9 May 2012

Irish Coastguard Helicopter

Search for person in water

Belfast Harbour

26 July 2012

Irish Coastguard Helicopter

Jet skier in difficulty (Assistance requested but recalled en-route)

Ballykelly Northern Ireland

21 February 2013

Belgian Navy Helicopter

Sinking yacht (Assistance requested but recalled en-route)

North of Margate

4 September 2013

French Coastguard Helicopter

Search for downed aircraft

West of Jersey

In the same period UK military assets responded to some 2,900 incidents. Further details can be found on the Defence Statistics website at the following link:

http://www.dasa.mod.uk/index.php/publications/activities

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1047W

Reserve Forces: Young People

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 5 November 2013, Official Report, column 140W, on reserve forces: young people, if he will consider a pilot for those in the youth justice system. [175578]

Anna Soubry: Although we do not recruit individuals directly from the custodial system, individuals who have been through the justice system may be eligible to apply to become members of the armed forces, whether regular or reserve. The recruitment of individuals with criminal records is subject to the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

Territorial Army

Mr Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average age is of all ranks in the (a) Territorial Army and (b) Territorial Army infantry. [175805]

Anna Soubry [holding answer 18 November 2013]:It is worth noting that we would expect the average age of Army Reservists to be lower once the increases have taken place with increased fitness requirements and increased deployability requirements.

The average age for all ranks in the Territorial Army (TA) and the Territorial Army Infantry on strength on 1 October 2013 are shown in the following table:

 Average age

All TA Group A

36

Group A Infantry

35

Notes/caveats: 1. The figures are for TA Group A, both untrained and trained. This excludes Officer cadets in University Officer Training Corps Units, Non Regular Permanent Staff and Expeditionary Forces Institute. 2. The Infantry figure excludes Staff Officers (Colonel and above). 3. Average age is the weighted mean age rounded down to the nearest integer. Source: Defence Statistics (Army)

Mr Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the average age is for (a) privates, (b) junior NCOs, (c) senior NCOs, (d) junior officers, (e) senior officers (i) in the Territorial Army and (ii) recruited into the Territorial Army since the commencement of Operation Fortify; [175806]

(2) what the average age is of all ranks recruited since the commencement of Operation Fortify in the (a) Territorial Army and (b) Territorial Army infantry. [175809]

Anna Soubry [holding answer 18 November 2013]:The average age of Army Reservists is expected to fall with higher fitness requirements and deployability requirements of the Army Reserve by 2018.

The average age by rank in the Territorial Army (TA) is shown in the following table:

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1048W

 PrivateJunior NCOSenior NCOJunior OfficerSenior Officer

On TA Group A strength 1 October 2013

29

38

46

42

51

Notes/caveats: 1. The figures are for TA Group A, both untrained and trained. This excludes officer cadets in University Officer Training Corps Units, Non Regular Permanent Staff, Sponsored Reserves and Expeditionary Forces Institute. 2. Junior NCOs includes Lance Corporals and Corporals. Senior NCOs includes Sergeants, Staff Sergeants and Warrant Officers, Junior Officers includes Officer Cadets, Subalterns, Captains and Majors. Senior Officers includes Officers with paid rank Lieutenant Colonel and above. 3. Average age is the weighted mean age rounded down to the nearest integer. 4. The recruiting element of Operation Fortify only began in mid-September. The length of time from candidate application to commencement of phase one training is approximately three months. It is therefore too early to provide the information requested for the specified period. Source: Defence Statistics (Army)

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Blaydon of 14 June 2013, Official Report, column 353W, on counter-terrorism and human rights, if he will place in the Library a copy of the legal and technical briefing on the use by the UK of remotely piloted aircraft as discussed with the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-terrorism and Human Rights. [R] [172874]

Mr Francois: Ben Emmerson QC, the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-terrorism and Human Rights, was briefed by Ministry of Defence officials during his recent inquiry. No briefing papers were provided to Mr Emmerson.

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 15 October 2013, Official Report, column 636W, on Gulf States, (1) whether RAF personnel stationed in support of the US in the Gulf have access to US intelligence and analysis used for the purposes of drone strikes; [R] [172964]

(2) whether RAF personnel stationed in support of the US in the Gulf includes drone pilots or sensor operators. [R] [172965]

Mr Francois: It is the long-standing position of Her Majesty's Government not to comment specifically on intelligence matters.

Transport

Biofuels

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on (a) the draft EU legislation on biofuels, (b) the cap on the contribution of food-based biofuels towards the 10% target of renewable energy in transport by 2020, (c) multiple counting for advanced biofuels and (d) emissions resulting from indirect land-use change. [176045]

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1049W

Stephen Hammond: Ministers meet regularly with EU counterparts to discuss a range of issues. The UK is currently actively engaged with representatives of the European Council from all member states. Negotiations on the proposed Directive are continuing and we continue to make the case for effective action on ILUC. We hope that an agreement can be reached as soon as possible.

The European Commission proposed a Directive in October 2012 to address the issue of the Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) impacts of biofuels. The European Parliament voted on its proposal in plenary in September 2013.

Driving Offences: Insurance

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of uninsured drivers in the UK. [176540]

Mr Goodwill: It is not possible to calculate the number of uninsured drivers. However, the number of uninsured vehicles in Great Britain has fallen to 1.2 million from 1.4 million in 2010 due to a combination of police enforcement activity and the continuous insurance enforcement scheme.

High Speed 2

Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the likely reduction in the journey time by train between Leeds and Manchester following completion of High Speed 2. [175465]

Mr Goodwill: Journey time between Leeds and Manchester is expected to reduce in 2018 with electrification of the Leeds-Manchester route. Current plans for High Speed 2 do not include a direct Leeds-Manchester line.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether the reference to the suggested weightings of his Department's policy aims in Appendix 1 of the commissioned HS2 Property Bond report by Deloitte LLP relates to the criteria which will inform the Government's decision on the compensation scheme for High Speed 2; [176467]

(2) whether his Department has provided Deloitte LLP with a statement that the five policy criteria that will inform the decision on compensation relating to High Speed 2 are to be regarded as of equal importance; [176468]

(3) whether representatives of his Department attended the workshop that Deloitte LLP arranged to review the various options against the five policy criteria report. [176469]

Mr Goodwill: Subsequent to receipt of the reference to relative weightings that the right hon. Lady refers to, the Department instructed Deloitte LLP to produce analysis based upon an equal weighting of policy criteria. Representatives did not attend the Deloitte LLP workshop on policy options and as the Deloitte report itself makes clear, the advice produced and published was generated independently of the Department and based

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1050W

upon an equal weighting of the policy criteria designed to inform the decision on further discretionary compensation for phase 1 of HS2.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many HS2 Exceptional Hardship Scheme (EHS) applications have been rejected on grounds that they failed to fulfil EHS criteria (a) one, (b) two, (c) three, (d) four and (e) five. [176470]

Mr Goodwill: As at 20 November 2013:

CriterionApplications rejected

Phase 1

 

One

29

Two

119

Three

196

Four

0

Five

286

  

Phase 2

 

One

1

Two

4

Three

13

Four

0

Five

11

Notes: 1. Applications that have been accepted overall, despite not meeting one or more of the criteria, have been excluded from the table. 2. The above totals reflect all rejected applications including all reapplications and those from applicants whose later reapplications were accepted.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to amend the safeguarding zone to include those properties which HS2 Ltd has identified as being at risk of compulsory purchase but which fall outside the current safeguarding zone boundaries. [176727]

Mr Goodwill: It is intended that safeguarding will be updated periodically to reflect ongoing design developments. We are planning for the next review of the boundaries to take place following deposit of the hybrid Bill.

Large Goods Vehicles

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 24 October 2013, Official Report, column 255W, on large goods vehicles, with regard to manoeuvres of longer semi-trailers on the urban road network, if he will clarify his assessment of this matter with regard to the impact of tail sweep on full lock with right angle on (a) kerbs, footways and street furniture placed at the advised distance from the kerb line of 0.45 metres, (b) pedestrians on narrow footways, (c) frontages of buildings fronting narrow footways, (d) vehicles parked kerbside on street and (e) cyclists during passing or turning manoeuvres; and if he will make a comparative assessment of his estimates in this matter and those of the Campaign for Better Transport. [176845]

Mr Goodwill: It is important to note that all longer semi-trailers must comply with the manoeuvrability requirements set out in national construction and use legislation and so are able to match the actual performance of existing semi-trailers and are suitable for use on the

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1051W

road. Indeed, some longer semi-trailers have an outswing of only 250 mm which is equivalent to or less than a 13.6 m standard sized semi-trailer or a standard length bus.

The full lock steering manoeuvre that was requested at the demonstration in June was outside the scope of the trial and the tail swing that occurred would not have been markedly different had it been performed on a standard sized 13.6 m trailer, a rigid HGV or a bus. It would be very rare for any articulated lorry to use a full steering lock on UK roads given that this can potentially cause serious damage to its air and/or electrical lines which could consequently cause the lorry's brakes and/or electrics to fail (and other problems to arise) not to mention the subsequent danger to other road users and surroundings.

Therefore because this type of manoeuvre is a rare one, it would vary between longer semi-trailers and is unusual for other large vehicles, we do not consider the Campaign for Better Transport's estimates to be valid across the trial and a type of assessment which we should also make for comparative purposes.

Motorways: Accidents

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many deaths have occurred on motorways in each year since 2010. [176539]

Mr Goodwill: The following table sets out the fatalities that have been recorded on the motorway network in England from 2010 to 2012, the latest date for which validated information is available:

 Fatalities

2010

110

2011

90

2012

78

Passenger Ships: Accidents

Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in the investigation into the sinking of the Wacker Quacker 1 vessel in Liverpool on 15 June 2013. [176205]

Stephen Hammond: An investigation is being carried out by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB). This has included conducting interviews with those involved, a practical reconstruction of the accident, and forensic analysis of sections of the hull. As a result of these tests an MAIB recommendation was made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) on 5 August 2013 relating to its requirements of operators of these types of amphibious vessels to demonstrate effective levels of buoyancy. The investigation is continuing with a report expected to be published early in 2014.

On 29 September, a second accident occurred involving a similar vessel on the Thames in London, the Cleopatra, which caught fire requiring the abandonment of the vessel by its crew and passengers. This accident is also being investigated by the MAIB, and the findings of this and the investigation into Wacker Quacker 1 will be published in a combined report.

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1052W

On 28 October the MAIB issued an interim Safety Bulletin containing a recommendation to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency that these types of vessels should not be permitted to operate in the UK until satisfactory levels of safety can be assured under all feasible operating conditions.

Railways: Construction

Lilian Greenwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will impose a moratorium on building on disused railway paths. [176085]

Stephen Hammond: Network Rail's land disposals are regulated and monitored by the independent Office of Rail Regulation through a condition in its network licence. The purpose of the licence condition is to protect land that may be required for the future development of the rail network, and to prevent the disposal of that land against the public interest.

The Government's National Planning Policy Framework states that local planning authorities should identify and protect, where there is robust evidence, sites and routes which could be critical in developing infrastructure to widen transport choice.

Road Traffic Control

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the level of (a) transparency and (b) public consultation in bids to the Local Pinch Point Fund by local transport authorities and local highway authorities. [176729]

Mr Goodwill: As part of the application process for submitting a Local Pinch Point Fund scheme bid, all promoting authorities are required to publish a version of the bid documentation on their website to ensure local transparency.

Public consultation, if required, for any Local Pinch Point Fund scheme is the responsibility of the promoting authority. However many of the bids submitted to the Department for assessment did highlight the engagement they have had or were due to have with their stakeholders on scheme proposals.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the full actual budget for local road maintenance was from 2010-11 to 2012-13 in cash terms; and what estimate he has made of the level of that budget in cash terms in each year to 2020-21. [176728]

Mr Goodwill: All highways maintenance funding allocated to local highway authorities from the Department for Transport for highways maintenance is in cash terms.

A breakdown of the capital funding allocated for local highways maintenance from 2010-11 to 2012-13 is set out in the following table:

Financial yearAmount (£ million)

2010-11 Highways Maintenance Capital Block Grant Funding1,2

920

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1053W

2011-12 Highways Maintenance Capital Block Grant Funding1

1006

2012-13 Highways Maintenance Capital Block Grant Funding1

779

1 This includes additional funding agreed within the financial year. 2 These were indicative funding allocations as authorities were allowed to borrow against the funding allocation they received through supported borrowing arrangements that were in place at the time.

The Department is also funding highways maintenance projects in Portsmouth, Birmingham, Sheffield, Isle of Wight and the London Borough of Hounslow through the Private Finance Initiative.

The funding for road repairs in London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are matters for the respective Administrations.

The 2013 spending round announcement on 26 June 2013 commits to providing just under £6 billion in cash terms to local highway authorities over the six-year period from 2015-16 to 2020-21—this equates to £976 million per year and highlights this Government's commitment to the country's most valuable public asset and to ensure that our local highways are fit for purpose.

Local authorities are also able to use revenue funding, allocated by the Department for Communities and Local Government through the Revenue Support Grant for maintaining their local highways.

Neither revenue or capital highways maintenance block funding is ring-fenced and it is for local highway authorities to decide upon their spending priorities across the whole range of services that they provide.

The Government believe there is scope to maximise returns from highways investment and deliver efficient and effective services. The Department for Transport is supporting the sector by sponsoring a £6 million Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme. Further information including the work that the Programme is delivering is available at the following web link:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/hmep/

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1054W

Justice

Animal Welfare Act 2006

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many prison sentences handed down for offences under (a) section 4 and (b) section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in (i) England and (ii) Wales in each year since 2007; and if he will make a statement; [175877]

(2) how many successful prosecutions there have been for offences under (a) section 4 and (b) section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in (i) England and (ii) Wales in each year since 2007; and if he will make a statement; [175878]

(3) how many of the prison sentences awarded to those convicted of offences under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in (a) England and (b) Wales for each year since 2007 were for (i) one month, (ii) two, (iii) three, (iv) four, (v) five and (vi) six months; and if he will make a statement. [175879]

Jeremy Wright: The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and offenders found guilty and sentenced at all courts, with breakdown of immediate custodial sentence lengths, for selected offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, in (i) England and (ii) Wales, from 2007 to 2012 (the latest available) can be viewed in the following table.

Court proceedings for the calendar year 2013 are planned for publication in May 2014.

The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and sentenced to custody at all courts under s.4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 have increased between 2008 to 2012 in England and Wales.

The proportion of offenders given custody for all offences listed in the following table has increased since 2010.

Defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and offenders found guilty and sentenced at all courts, with breakdown of immediate custodial sentence lengths, for selected offences under the Animal Welfare Act 20061, 2, in England and Wales, 2007 to 20123, 4, 5
England
 Proceeded againstFound guiltySentencedOf which: To immediate custody

Causing, permitting or failing to prevent unnecessary suffering1

    

2007

16

15

15

20086

774

589

589

45

2009

1,089

833

833

71

2010

1,000

795

796

46

2011

1,173

931

930

71

2012

1,295

1,024

1,024

99

     

Offences relating to animal fights2

    

2007

20086

5

5

5

2

2009

16

9

9

5

2010

3

2

2

1

2011

17

9

9

6

2012

21

13

13

5

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1055W

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1056W

 Breakdown of immediate custodial sentence length
 Up to and including 1 monthOver 1 month and up to and including 2 monthsOver 2 months and up to and including 3 monthsOver 3 months and up to and including 4 monthsOver 4 months and up to and including 5 monthsOver 5 months and up to and including 6 months

Causing, permitting or failing to prevent unnecessary suffering1

      

2007

20086

5

4

15

15

3

3

2009

10

9

19

13

15

5

2010

2

8

17

6

9

4

2011

3

15

22

11

14

6

2012

3

13

23

27

23

10

       

Offences relating to animal fights2

      

2007

20086

1

1

2009

2

1

1

1

2010

1

2011

1

3

1

1

2012

2

3

Wales
 Proceeded againstFound guiltySentencedOf which: To immediate custody

Causing, permitting or failing to prevent unnecessary suffering1

    

2007

8

7

7

20086

58

46

46

4

2009

86

69

70

5

2010

77

61

61

4

2011

104

79

79

10

2012

90

77

77

4

     

Offences relating to animal fights2

    

2007

20086

2009

2010

2011

2012

 Breakdown of immediate custodial sentence length
 Up to and including 1 monthOver 1 month and up to and including 2 monthsOver 2 months and up to and including 3 monthsOver 3 months and up to and including 4 monthsOver 4 months and up to and including 5 monthsOver 5 months and up to and including 6 months

Causing, permitting or failing to prevent unnecessary suffering1

      

2007

20086

1

2

1

2009

1

1

2

1

2010

1

1

2

2011

1

2

1

3

3

2012

2

2

       

Offences relating to animal fights2

      

2007

20086

2009

2010

2011

2012

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1057W

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1058W

'—' = Nil 1 Includes offences under ss.4 and 32(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. 2 Includes offences under ss.8 and 32(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. 3 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence 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. 4 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. 5 The number of offenders sentenced can differ from those found guilty as it may be the case that a defendant found guilty in a particular year, and committed for sentence at the Crown Court, may be sentenced in the following year. 6 Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice.

Courts: Buildings

Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the difference between the market value of disused court buildings and the price for which they are sold. [175618]

Mr Vara: The market value is the guide price parameters set by the selling agents. When disposing of surplus property assets, the Ministry of Justice will always seek to achieve the best available overall value for money for the taxpayer in accordance with Government guidelines.

Foster Care

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many intensive fostering placements there have been in England and Wales to date; what financial resources have been allocated to the intensive fostering Programme in each year since its inception; and what the average cost of an intensive fostering placement per resident per week is. [175302]

Mr Vara: Intensive fostering is available as a high intensity requirement of the youth rehabilitation order, the main community sentence for young offenders aged under 18 years, as a specified alternative to custody. It provides highly intensive care for up to 12 months for the offender and a comprehensive programme of support for their family. There are four sites in Wessex, Staffordshire, London and Trafford that serve a wide catchment area.

£18,032,003 has been provided to the four sites since they began in April 2005 through direct grants from the YJB. The total grant provided each year since April 2005 for the intensive fostering programme is solely provided by the YJB and is set out in the following table.

The average cost of an intensive fostering placement varies across the four sites. A new cost calculator has been developed which is being piloted to aid budget planning. Using this, the Staffordshire site has calculated the average annual cost of a placement to be £94,333. However due to a number of reasons, including that placements can vary in length, it is not possible to calculate an average cost per week.

Between April 2005 and September 2013 175 young people started on intensive fostering programmes. Of these, 41 young people started in London, 52 in Staffordshire, 73 in Wessex and nine in Trafford.

 Grant level (£)

2013-14

2,133,704.00

2012-13

2,133,704.00

2011-12

2,133,704.00

2010-11

2,353,695.00

2009-10

2,376,827.00

2008-09

2,324,250.00

2007-08

1,412,000.00

2006-07

1,412,000.00

2005-06

1,424,631.00

2004-05

327,488.00

Total

18,032,003.00

HM Courts and Tribunals Service

Mr Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to ensure that HM Courts and Tribunals Service has accurate information regarding defendants' expenditure on rent or mortgage when assessing fines. [176071]

Mr Vara: All defendants summoned to court are required to provide a statement of assets and other financial circumstances. To assist, with the summons, they are provided with a form (MC100), which allows them to detail their income and major outgoings and includes a section on how much they pay in rent or mortgage payments. It is an offence for the defendant not to provide the court with a statement of assets and other financial circumstances following an official request.

The court uses this information when deciding whether to impose a fine, the level at which any such fine should be set, and its repayment terms.

The court is unable to obtain information on defendants’ rent and mortgage expenditure unless defendants provide this information.

Judiciary

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will introduce measures to prevent (a) current and (b) former members of the judiciary from holding shares in private companies which supply services to the criminal justice system; and if he will make a statement. [175839]

Mr Vara: The Government have no plans for introducing measures prohibiting either serving or retired members of the judiciary from holding shares in private companies in general, or those that supply services to the criminal justice system in particular.

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1059W

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which previous convictions are held by current serving (a) magistrates and (b) judges. [175844]

Mr Vara: There is no central record of such information. Policies and procedures are in place to ensure that no individual can be appointed to, or remain in, judicial office if his or her conviction for an offence is regarded as being incompatible with holding such office.

Magistrates Courts

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his policy is on magistrates court benches running a consultation programme before undertaking a merger. [175970]

Mr Vara: There is no Government policy on magistrates court benches running a consultation. A consultation exercise would be undertaken to inform a decision on bench mergers in accordance with the legislation governing bench mergers.

Magistrates Courts: Wales

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have discussed the proposed merger of Wrexham magistrates court bench and Mold magistrates court bench and the chair of Wrexham magistrates court bench. [176025]

Mr Vara: The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, my right hon. Friend the Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling), has not discussed bench mergers. In March 2013 a consultation on the review of local justice areas in north Wales was published. This consultation was withdrawn and no changes were implemented. Since then, bench chairs locally have been discussing with HMCTS officials a potential merger of the Mold (Flintshire) and Wrexham (Wrexham Maelor) bench, but this would require consultation before any such proposal could be formalised.

Repossession Orders: Poole

Mr Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many claims leading to orders for the repossession of property by (a) mortgage lenders and (b) landlords there have been in Poole constituency in each quarter since 2007. [176330]

Mr Vara: The available information required to answer this question is currently being collated. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as it is available. A copy will be placed in the House Library.

Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 will be commenced in full. [176142]

Mr Vara: I refer to the written ministerial statement made by the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Mrs Grant), on 25 April 2013, Official Report, column 71WS. The position remains that we

22 Nov 2013 : Column 1060W

intend to introduce legislation to amend the 2010 Act as soon as parliamentary time permits and to commence the 2010 Act as amended as soon as reasonably possible thereafter.

Young Offenders

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average number of young offenders dealt with by a young offender team was in each year since 2009-10. [176387]

Jeremy Wright: Youth offending teams (YOTs) are the statutory multi-agency bodies who deliver youth justice on the ground. There are 158 YOTs in England and Wales, which sit within, and are accountable to, local authorities. YOTs work with a range of different services from prevention to enforcement. Youth offending teams play a key role in diverting young people away from crime.

The table shows the average number of young people per YOT who received a disposal in each year between 2009-10 to 2011-12, in England and Wales. The Youth Justice Board does not collect data on the average number of young people who have been in contact with a YOT in each of the above years. Therefore the data relate only to those who have received a disposal and may not be representative of the full number of young people in contact with a YOT.

Figures are provided against the backdrop of numbers of first time entrants falling from 62,555 to 36,677 and numbers of young people (under 18) in custody falling from an average of 2,418 to 1,963 during the same period.

 Average number of young people who received a disposal in each year per YOT

2009-10

681

2010-11

547

2011-12

420

These data have been provided by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales and are provided for each financial year. Data are only available from 2009-10 to 2011-12. Data on the number of young people receiving disposals in 2012-13 will be published in the 2012-13 Youth Justice Statistics in January 2014.