Recruitment

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of staff recruited to his Department since 5 May 2010 are (a) men and (b) women. [178160]

Mr Vara: Information on the proportion of staff recruited into the Ministry of Justice, (consisting of MOJ Headquarters, HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), National Offender Management Service (NOMS), Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and Legal Aid Agency (LAA)) since 5 May 2010 is set out in the following table.

Number of staff recruited into MOJ since 5 May 2010
 MaleFemale 
 NumberPercentageNumberPercentageTotal

5 May 2010 to 31 March 2011

1,822

50.3

1,798

49.7

3,620

1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012

954

45.4

1,148

54.6

2,102

1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013

908

44.6

1,126

55.4

2,034

1 April 2013 to 1 October 2013

1,365

44.6

1,693

55.4

3,058

Victim Support Schemes

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much funding for victims support would be received by each Police and Crime Commissioner if funding were to be allocated on a basis of population; and how much funding per victim this represents based on the number of reported crimes in each area in the last year for which figures are available. [181130]

Damian Green: Police and crime commissioners have been notified of indicative budgets for the commissioning of support services for victims' of crime including Restorative Justice services, totalling £30,250,000 for 2014-15 and £60,800,000 for 2015-16. These figures represent more money than ever before being spent on support for victims of crime in England and Wales. The allocations for each Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) area are shown in the following table.

While it is possible to calculate funding per police recorded crime in each area, it is not appropriate to calculate a ‘spend/funding per victim’ figure for each area as we do not know from these data the true number of victims at area level or their distribution between areas.

Police recorded crime data can be influenced by area-level variations in both police recording practices and in reporting behaviour of victims.

Different crimes and different victims will likely require varying levels of support. It is crucial that services respond to individual need. Additionally, crimes recorded by the police are recorded against the location where the incident took place. This is not necessarily where the victim lives and where they will likely seek the support of victims’ services. One of the reasons we are moving to a local commissioning model is to allow police and crime commissioners to provide a service which is tailored to their local community’s needs.

Total allocation
£
Police force areas12014-152015-16

Avon and Somerset

863,000

1,736,000

Bedfordshire

334,000

671,000

Cambridgeshire

435,000

875,000

Cheshire

551,000

1,108,000

Cleveland

298,000

600,000

Cumbria

266,000

536,000

Derbyshire

547,000

1,100,000

Devon and Cornwall

899,000

1,808,000

Dorset

401,000

806,000

Durham

331,000

665,000

Dyfed-Powys

276,000

554,000

Essex

930,000

1,871,000

Gloucestershire

322,000

647,000

Greater Manchester

1,445,000

2,904,000

Gwent

309,000

621,000

Hampshire

1,024,000

2,058,000

Hertfordshire

603,000

1,213,000

Humberside

492,000

990,000

Kent

934,000

1,879,000

Lancashire

783,000

1,575,000

Leicestershire

548,000

1,102,000

Lincolnshire

384,000

772,000

Merseyside

740,000

1,489,000

MOPAC/City

4,442,000

8,929,000

Norfolk

462,000

930,000

North Wales

369,000

742,000

North Yorkshire

429,000

862,000

Northamptonshire

374,000

752,000

Northumbria

761,000

1,530,000

Nottinghamshire

587,000

1,181,000

South Wales

689,000

1,385,000

South Yorkshire

723,000

1,453,000

Staffordshire

589,000

1,184,000

Suffolk

391,000

787,000

Surrey

611,000

1,229,000

Sussex

867,000

1,743,000

Thames Valley

1,227,000

2,467,000

Warwickshire

293,000

588,000

West Mercia

657,000

1,321,000

West Midlands

1,477,000

2,969,000

West Yorkshire

1,198,000

2,408,000

Wiltshire

368,000

740,000

Totals

30,250,000

60,800,000

1 These figures are indicative and rounded down to the nearest thousand.

14 Jan 2014 : Column 487W

Witnesses: Protection

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the adequacy of legal protections afforded to witnesses in criminal cases; and if he will make a statement. [181683]

Damian Green: The Government considers the role of witnesses in the criminal justice system to be of paramount importance, and is taking a number of steps to improve the quality of their experience.

There is already a range of special measures available to help vulnerable and intimidated victims and witnesses give their best evidence in criminal cases. These include giving evidence by remote live link; being screened from the defendant in court; video-recorded evidence-in-chief; removal of wigs and gowns; clearing the public gallery in certain cases; aids to communication and the use of an intermediary.

The Government has also:

begun piloting the use of pre-recorded pre-trial cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses on 30 December 2013;

issued a revised Witness Charter, which sets out the standards of care witnesses can expect to receive from criminal justice service providers on 11 December 2013; and

launched the first UK Protected Persons Service on 1 October 2013 to ensure greater coordination and efficiency of services, national standards, improved consistency and accountability and above all, better protection for victims, witnesses and other vulnerable people whose lives could be at risk.

Furthermore, there is provision in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, currently before the other House, which will ensure that any person whose safety is at risk from the possible or actual criminal conduct of another will receive the most appropriate form of protection, if this is assessed necessary to protect their life. This will mean that the police are not restricted to protecting only those people named on a list.

Treasury

Bank Services

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to enable holders of basic bank accounts to switch providers. [182204]

Sajid Javid: The Government is committed to improving access to financial services for individuals.

A new current account switching service was launched in September last year. The service allows customers to switch their current account safely, simply, and within seven working days.

Banks

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent progress he has made on banking reform; and if he will make a statement. [182143]

Sajid Javid [holding answer 13 January 2014]: The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill was enacted on 18 December 2013. This ground breaking reform is the biggest to the UK banking sector in a generation.

The Act is a key part of the Government's plan to create a banking system that supports the economy, consumers and small businesses.

14 Jan 2014 : Column 488W

It implements the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Banking, setup by the Government in 2010 to consider structural reform of the banking sector. It delivers the ring-fencing of banks' retail operations from their wholesale and investment operations,, the power to 'bail in' creditors of a failing bank, and insured depositor preference in the creditor hierarchy.

The Government has also created a new architecture for financial regulation through the Financial Services Act 2012. The Financial Policy Committee in the Bank of England is responsible for protecting and enhancing financial stability, while the Prudential Regulation Authority is responsible for effective regulation of individual firms. The Financial Conduct Authority is responsible for protecting consumers, promoting competition, and enhancing integrity in markets.

Business: Capital Investment

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the (a) level and (b) value of business capital investment in the UK in each of the last three years; [182484]

(2) what the value of business capital investment in Northern Ireland was in each of the last three years. [182485]

Nicky Morgan: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publish data on UK business investment. The latest estimates published in December 2013 show that business investment was £122 billion in 2010, £120 billion in 2011 and £125 billion in 2012 in real terms. The equivalent figures in current prices were £121 billion (2010), £123 billion (2011) and £128 billion (2012).

The Office for Budget Responsibility expect business investment growth to strengthen in future years, consistent with the strengthening investment intentions seen in recent survey data, with growth of 5.1% in 2014, 8.6% in 2015 and rising to 8.9% in 2017.

The ONS do not publish a geographic breakdown of business investment data.

EU Budget

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the estimated total contribution the UK will make to the EU in each of the next five years. [182486]

Nicky Morgan: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) provides independent forecasts of the UK's contributions to the EU. The latest forecast, covering the period 2013-14 to 2018-19, is reported in its ‘Economic and fiscal outlook’ published on 9 December 2013, with detailed information in the ‘Supplementary Fiscal tables’.

National Insurance Contributions: Reserve Forces

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will exempt employers from national insurance contributions in respect of reservists they employ. [182082]

Mr Gauke: The Government already provides direct financial support to employers of reservists. Firstly, the military pays reservist employees while they are mobilised.

14 Jan 2014 : Column 489W

Secondly, employers can claim financial assistance to cover additional salary or one-off costs incurred due to the absence of the reservist. An example of this would be any overtime costs if other employees were used to cover the work of the reservist.

There are plans to go even further to support reservist employers. As set out in the Reserves White Paper of July 2013, the Government has committed to introduce legislation to allow the Secretary of State to make payments to SME employers of reservists. This is in recognition of the fact that the impact of absence is greater for these employers.

Tax and national insurance contributions policies are the responsibility of the Chancellor and any such decisions would be set out at future fiscal events.

Payment Systems Regulator

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the relationship will be between the Payment Systems Regulator and the Bank of England; and if he will make a statement. [181591]

Sajid Javid: The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 sets out that the payment systems regulator and the Bank of England, along with the FCA and PRA, will be under a duty to co-ordinate the exercise of their relevant functions. The regulators will draw up a memorandum of understanding describing their respective roles and how they intend to comply with the duty to co-ordinate.

The legislation sets out that the Bank of England will have a power, where certain conditions are satisfied, to give the payment systems regulator a direction not to exercise a power or not to exercise it in a specified-manner. The payment systems regulator will also be under a duty to consult the Bank of England, along with the FCA and PRA, on any proposal to impose a generally applicable requirement.

The legislation also specifies that the Bank of England will not be considered as a participant of any kind in a payment system for the purposes of regulation by the payment systems regulator. The payment systems regulator will be required to have regard to the importance of maintaining the stability of, and confidence in, the UK financial system and the importance of payment systems in relation to the performance of functions by the Bank of England in its capacity as a monetary authority.

This structure will deliver a focused regulator of payment systems, which is able to co-ordinate effectively with other key bodies in this area.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the relationship will be between the Payment Systems Regulator and the Competition and Markets Authority; and if he will make a statement. [181592]

Sajid Javid: The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 provides that some of the functions of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) under part 4 of the Enterprise Act 2002 will be functions exercised concurrently with the payment systems regulator, so far as those functions of the CMA relate to participation in payment systems.

14 Jan 2014 : Column 490W

The legislation also imposes a requirement on the CMA and the payment systems regulator to consult each other before exercising any of their concurrently exercisable competition functions, and prevents one exercising functions in relation to a matter if the other had already exercised those functions in relation to that matter. The CMA will be required to report on the exercise by the payment systems regulator of its concurrent competition powers.

Persons affected by certain decisions of the payment systems regulator will be able to appeal against the decision, and certain decisions will qualify as “CMA-appealable decisions”, to be appealed to the CMA.

This structure will deliver a focused regulator of payment systems, which is able to co-ordinate effectively with other key bodies in this area.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Payment Systems Regulator will examine the creation of a common-low-cost platform for challenger banks to access the payment system following its creation; and if he will make a statement. [181593]

Sajid Javid: The Government has legislated for a new competition-focused, utility-style regulator for payment systems in the UK.

The new payment systems regulator will examine the question of access to payment systems once it is up and running.

The payment systems regulator will be equipped with a range of powers over regulated payment systems. These include a power to require the operator of a regulated payment system to grant direct access to the system, and a power to require a payment service provider with direct access to regulated payment systems to grant indirect access to the system.

The payment systems regulator will also have a power (exercisable only on application) to vary the fees, charges, terms and conditions of an agreement for direct or indirect access to a regulated payment system.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what consideration he has given to rolling the Scheme companies into a single payment scheme following the establishment of the Payment Systems Regulator in 2015; and if he will make a statement; [181594]

(2) what assessment he has made of the role and purpose of the Scheme companies following the establishment of the Payment Systems Regulator in 2015; and if he will make a statement. [181595]

Sajid Javid: The Government has legislated for a new competition-focused, utility-style regulator for payment systems in the UK.

The Government has committed that the Payment Systems Regulator will examine the question of payment systems ownership as a priority once it is operational. The Regulator will be equipped with a range of powers, including a power (exercisable subject to Treasury consent) to require the disposal of an interest in the operator of a payment system, in whole or in part. The option of

14 Jan 2014 : Column 491W

rolling the scheme companies into a single payment scheme would be open to the regulator, if it decided that this was appropriate.

The Government has committed that the Payment Systems Regulator will report on the ownership of payment systems once it is established. This is likely to involve an assessment of the role and purpose of the scheme companies.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he has taken to ensure that work on (a) account number portability, (b) developing a low-cost platform to support access by challenger banks to the payment system and (c) using payments data to tackle financial crime and fraud is not delayed in the period before the establishment of the Payment Systems Regulator; and if he will make a statement. [181596]

Sajid Javid: The Government will continue to support ongoing work in these areas, including that being carried out by the Payments Council, in the period leading up to the establishment of the Payment Systems Regulator.

In its response to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards in July of last year, the Government committed to asking the new Payment Systems Regulator to urgently examine account portability and payment systems ownership once it is established.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what enforcement powers the Payment Systems Regulator will be able to use when it becomes operational in 2015; and if he will make a statement. [181597]

Sajid Javid: The Government has legislated for a new competition-focused, utility-style regulator for payment systems in the UK.

The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 sets out that the Payment Systems Regulator will have enforcement powers to publish details of compliance failure and impose financial penalties in respect of a compliance failure. It will also have a power to require owners of payment systems to dispose of their interests in them—subject to the satisfaction of certain pre-conditions and subject to HM Treasury approval. The Payment Systems Regulator will also have Competition Act 1998 enforcement powers.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider establishing a shadow Payment Systems Regulator during the period before the Payment Systems Regulator becomes fully operational in 2015; and if he will make a statement. [181598]

Sajid Javid: As set out in the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013, the Payment Systems Regulator will be established as a subsidiary of the Financial Conduct Authority. The Financial Conduct Authority will be responsible for appointing the Chair, Managing Director and other staff for the Payment Systems Regulator. The establishment of the PSR and the appointment of key staff are expected significantly before the Payment Systems Regulator becomes fully operational in 2015.

14 Jan 2014 : Column 492W

Royal Bank of Scotland

Mr Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will assess the effect of fining Royal Bank of Scotland for breaching sanctions against Iran on the Government's assessment of the efficacy of (a) UK criminal law pertaining to financial crime and (b) the Financial Conduct Authority's ability to regulate the financial sector. [182130]

Mr Gauke: The fine for the Royal Bank of Scotland was administered by the United States Government for a breach of US sanctions relating to historical US dollar payment processes and controls, and does not relate to UK criminal law.

Any assessment for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be a matter for them to address. The FCA will reply to the hon. Member directly by letter. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.

Taxation: Switzerland

Mr Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the reasons are for the recent change in forecasted revenue accruing to the Treasury from the UK-Swiss tax evasion agreement. [182099]

Mr Gauke: The UK-Swiss agreement is expected to raise £1.9 billion that would otherwise largely remain beyond the reach of UK authorities.

The Office for Budget Responsibility set out the rationale for its latest estimate in its Economic and Fiscal Outlook in December 2013. It is not unusual to revise estimates.

The agreement provides for an audit process and we will be ensuring that it has been robustly implemented. Anyone who has sought to avoid the agreement still owes the evaded tax. They face severe penalties, possible criminal prosecution, and the publication of their name-unless they come forward first to tell HMRC about their tax liabilities.

Mr Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility on the recovery of UK tax liabilities from assets held in Switzerland at the time of the signing of the UK-Swiss tax agreement. [182134]

Mr Gauke: In its Economic and Fiscal Outlook published in December 2013, the Office of Budget Responsibility broke down the anticipated yield from the UK-Swiss agreement into (i) amounts to be received directly from Switzerland and (ii) amounts received via the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility or HMRC. The latter amount was shown as £0.5 billion.

Welfare Tax Credits

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) duration of calls made on (i) higher rate and (ii) 0845 telephone numbers to HM Revenue and Customs for tax credit enquiries in each year since 2007. [182259]

14 Jan 2014 : Column 493W

Mr Gauke: HMRC does not operate higher rate numbers other than 0845 and now supplies an alternative 03 number on all customer helplines. The Department intends to phase out all 0845 numbers by April 2015.

From December 2011, tax credit helpline was the first to offer an alternative 03 number. Calls to 03 prefixed numbers are charged to customers at the same rate as calls to landlines (with 01 and 02 prefixes) and are generally cheaper than 0845 numbers.

In the 12 months ending 30 November 2013, the percentage of calls made to the tax credit helpline 0345 number was 83% and 17% to the 0845 number. The majority of customers are not charged higher rates for their call and some customers still choose to use the 0845 number as it is cheaper within their personal tariff plan.

Since 2012-13, the Department regularly publishes its performance information on a quarterly basis, including tax credit helplines at www.gov.uk:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-plan-indicators

Defence

Armed Forces

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the current appointments of all British forces personnel to foreign armed forces and governments by rank and task. [182081]

Dr Murrison: There are currently some 590 members of the British forces at all ranks appointed to tasks with foreign armed forces and Governments. I have placed a spreadsheet showing these personnel by country, task and rank in the Library of the House. These appointments reflect the close collaboration we enjoy with key allies and support Defence Engagement and upstream capacity building. The list does not include those who remain within the direct UK national chain of command.

Armed Forces: Deployment

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 2 September 2013, Official Report, column 50W, on armed forces: deployment, whether any UK officers are on exchange with the US at the Combined Air Operations Centre in Afghanistan. [182418]

Mr Francois: There is no Combined Air Operations Centre in Afghanistan. The co-ordination of ISAF air operations in Afghanistan is conducted by the Combined Air Operations Centre in Al Udeid, Qatar.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer my predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Leicestershire (Mr Robathan), gave him on 2 September 2013, Official Report, column 50W, which refers to the number of UK personnel on exchange with the US.

Army: Reorganisation

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (a) when he expects the Capability Directorate to report to him and (b) on what subjects. [182088]

14 Jan 2014 : Column 494W

Mr Dunne: As recommended in Lord Levene's report on Defence Reform, capability planning has been delegated to the Front Line Commands. The Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), receives regular and frequent briefings on all aspects of defence capability.

D-Day Landings: Anniversaries

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what plans he has to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings; and what funding his Department is making available to support such an event; [182325]

(2) what discussion he has had with (a) ministerial colleagues, (b) veterans' organisations and (c) other interested parties on appropriate ways to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. [182326]

Anna Soubry: The Ministry of Defence is working closely with a number of organisations, including the Normandy Veterans' Association, the Royal British Legion and French authorities on plans for this year's 70th anniversary of D-Day. Representatives of all three Services will be in Normandy in June to provide recognition and support for the many veterans who we expect to attend. The Big Lottery Fund has extended its 'Heroes Return' programme to provide financial support for veterans, widows and carers planning to participate in the commemorations. Further details will be announced in due course.

Future Large Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the A400M aircraft's (a) radar signature, (b) ability to penetrate hostile airspace at low level and (c) ability to land on rough short airstrip compared to that of the in-service C130J Hercules. [182433]

Mr Dunne: The multinational trials programme being conducted on behalf of the A400M partner nations by Airbus Military (the A400M prime contractor) is continuing to produce valuable data about this new aircraft. As these trials are ongoing and continue to provide fresh information, the process of analysing the results is not yet complete.

To ensure that the A400M provides the expected capability any assessment will, of course, be made against the endorsed requirement rather than another aircraft type.

Human Rights

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on legal advice, representation and support in third party claims brought against the Department under the Human Rights Act 1998 since that Act entered into force. [176239]

Anna Soubry: I will write to the hon. Member with figures on associated spending for the most recent years. Figures are not held centrally in relation to expenditure since 1998.

14 Jan 2014 : Column 495W

Substantive answer from Anna Soubry to Matthew Offord:

I undertook to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Question on 27 November 2013 (Official Report, column 310W) about “how much the Ministry of Defence has spent on legal advice, representation and support in third party claims brought against the Department under the Human Rights Act 1998 since that Act entered into force”.

Having examined our records, we estimate that £3.7 million has been spent by the Department on legal advice, representation and support in defence of claims brought against it under the Human Rights Act since the Act entered into force. This figure does not include costs or compensation paid or awarded against the Department in such cases, or internal staff costs. It is very common for claims made under the Human Rights Acts to be linked with claims made under other causes of action, for example misfeasance in public office, personal injury or unlawful detention. In such cases we have assumed that all such costs are attributable to the Human Rights Act claim.

Military Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) when he expects the Military Airworthiness Authority to give the first RC 135 Airseeker its release to service; [182232]

(2) what additional cost to the public purse was incurred as a result of the first RC 135 Airseeker being ready for delivery before the RAF could accept it. [182233]

Mr Dunne: Release to Service (RTS) is not the responsibility of the Military Aviation Authority; overall responsibility for RTS rests with the Ministry of Defence. We are currently on track towards securing formal airworthiness approval, as required by UK military aircraft airworthiness regulations, for Airseeker to enter service later this year.

The first RC-135 aircraft was delivered ahead of schedule and has been accepted by the Ministry of Defence. Early delivery has not incurred any additional cost, and the RAF is currently deriving beneficial use ahead of receiving approval to fly.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what additional information was requested from (a) the USAF and (b) Boeing by QinetiQ in order to meet the Military Airworthiness Authority standards to release to service the first RC 135. [182234]

Mr Francois: In early 2012, Defence Equipment and Support and its technical support Subject Matter Experts in QinetiQ worked closely with the United States Air Force (USAF) to gain access to information from a number of US sources (including Boeing and the USAF) to support development of UK airworthiness documentation, notably the safety case and release to service. Further Boeing proprietary information, concerning aircraft performance in particular, has been requested by QinetiQ. The USAF has facilitated UK access to information from Boeing to meet this requirement.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the RC 135 Airseeker is equipped with single skin fuel lines. [182235]

Mr Dunne: The RC-135 does have single skin fuel lines but, in the case of the air-to-air refuelling and fuel dump systems, these have been modified by the United States Air Force (USAF) to incorporate shrouding and

14 Jan 2014 : Column 496W

venting of the couplings. The modified system is being thoroughly assessed as part of the development of the aircraft safety case.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to his Department was of military aviation collaboration projects (a) in the EU, (b) with non-EU countries, excluding the US and (c) with the US in the last two years. [182236]

Mr Dunne: Ministry of Defence expenditure on military aviation collaboration projects for each of the last two financial years (FY) is shown in the following table, rounded to the nearest million pounds. The expenditure includes airframes, engines and other systems intrinsic to the aircraft. It does not include airborne weapons fitted to aircraft.

£ million1
 Expenditure per financial year
Aviation collaboration projects2011-122012-13

EU

2,466

1,617

Non-EU (including US)

19

27

US

375

251

1 Rounded to nearest million pounds.

The UK is not engaged in any military aviation collaborative projects with only non-EU countries and excluding the USA. One project includes a collaboration of EU, non-EU countries and the US. This explains the cost in the 'Non-EU' category above.

Overseas Trade

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 16 December 2013, Official Report, column 455, on international supply chains, which maritime security combined task forces are supported by the Scan Eagle unmanned maritime asset. [182424]

Mr Dunne: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 December 2013, Official Report, column 198W. The Scan Eagle system is undergoing acceptance trials with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and we expect to deploy it operationally soon. It will be available for use on deployments by both single ships and where our vessels are part of larger task forces. However, as a matter of routine we would not give details of the exact timings and locations of its use, as to do so would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Public Expenditure

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what the £1.8 billion underspend from his Department's 2012-13 budget has been spent on; and if he will make a statement. [180513]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 17 December 2013]:The Ministry of Defence will detail what portion of the 2012-13 core cash resource underspend we will draw down in 2013-14 at the 2013-14 supplementary estimates, to be published in February 2014.

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Puma Helicopters

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the cost of the Life Extension programme for the Puma helicopter; and how much of that work takes place in Brasov. [182431]

Mr Dunne: The forecast cost of the Puma Life Extension Programme is £339 million. This includes the costs of development of the required modifications, trials activity necessary to certify the aircraft; the provision of initial support and conversion training for aircrew and maintainers, as well as the cost of modifying each aircraft. Some of the modification work is being undertaken in Romania (Brasov) and it is estimated that this work accounts for less than 10% of the project value.

Reserve Forces

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what overseas training is planned for reserve forces in 2014; and where that training will take place. [182083]

Mr Francois: As part of the new offer to Reservists, we have increased the number of overseas training opportunities. This information is held according to the training year (April to March) rather than by calendar year. For the training year 2014-15 overseas training exercises focussed on Reserved Forces are planned to take place as listed:

Maritime Reserve (Royal Navy Reserve and Royal Marine Reserve)

Cyprus—1

Gibraltar—1

Norway—1

United States of America—1

Army Reserve

Belize—3

Croatia—1

Cyprus—10

Denmark—3

Falkland Islands—3

Germany—3

Gibraltar—1

Italy—2

Kenya—6

Spain—2

United States of America—1

Royal Auxiliary Air Force

Cyprus—2

Denmark—1

Germany—1

Norway—2

United States of America—1

Additionally, other small groups or individual reservists may participate in overseas exercises alongside Regular forces, but information regarding such deployments is not held centrally.

In the White Paper, “Reserves in the Future Force 2020: Valuable and Valued” (CM 8655) published in July 2013, we made a commitment routinely to inform employers of their employees' training commitment three months before the start of the training year in

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April; this is under way for the forthcoming training year, and will include notification of these overseas exercises.

Education

Al-Madinah School

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2014, Official Report, column 80W, on Al-Madinah school, for what reasons he deems it inappropriate to publish the qualifications held by each member of the teaching staff at the Al-Madinah free school at the beginning of the school term September 2013. [182578]

Mr Timpson: It would be inappropriate to publish any staffing details at this time.

The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), has decided it is in the best interests of pupils at Al-Madinah school to bring in new management. Barry Day of Greenwood Dale Foundation Trust is currently providing support to the school.

Foster Care

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his policy is on extending the provision of foster care up to the age of 21 for looked-after children in local authority care. [182571]

Mr Timpson: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 6 January 2014, Official Report, column 94W.

Free Schools

Andy Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2014, Official Report, columns 19-20, if he will publish a list of the free schools approved by Ministers which were amongst the 17 per cent of lowest-scoring against assessment criteria. [182517]

Mr Timpson: The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), has no plans to publish such a list. Approved applications will have been judged to be sufficiently strong overall to approve into the pre-opening stage.

Further Education

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the potential effect of his decision of 10 December 2013 to reduce funding for 18 year-olds in full-time education studying level 3 vocational programmes in further education colleges. [182274]

Matthew Hancock: We published an impact assessment on 13 January, which includes an analysis by institution type, level of study and type of programme. This can be found here:

http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/i/impact%20assessment.pdf

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for Education for what reasons his Department did not carry out an impact assessment before announcing a reduction in funding for 18 year olds in full-time education on 10 December 2013. [182289]

14 Jan 2014 : Column 499W

Matthew Hancock: An impact assessment was carried out before the 10 December 2013 announcement of the reduction in funding for 18-year-olds for the academic year 2014-15. This was published on 13 January and can be found at:

http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/i/impact%20assessment.pdf

Further Education: Finance

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education with reference to the contribution by the Minister for Skills and Enterprise on 6 January 2014, Official Report, column 19, when the impact assessment will be published. [182577]

Matthew Hancock: We published an impact assessment on 13 January, which can be found at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/executiveagencies/efa/funding/fundings/a00210682/funding-formula-review

Kings Science Academy

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if his Department will publish any correspondence from Kings Science Academy Bradford on the identity of its chair of governors since 1 October 2011. [182576]

Mr Timpson: It would not be appropriate to publish correspondence at this time as there is an ongoing police investigation.

I refer to the letter the Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), sent to the Education Select Committee on 13 January, which is available online at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/executiveagencies/efa/funding/fundings/a00210682/funding-formula-review

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2014, Official Report, column 98W, on Kings Science Academy, what his Department's policy is on the keeping of notes of telephone calls made by officials to report a suspected crime. [182587]

Mr Timpson: Under neither this Government nor the previous Government has the Department for Education kept notes of telephone calls made by officials reporting suspected crimes. In future all referrals to Action Fraud will be made using the online process and a copy will be retained.

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2014, Official Report, column 98W, on Kings Science Academy, if he will publish all emails sent by his Department referring to the telephone call to Action Fraud of 25 April 2013. [182588]

Mr Timpson: It would not be appropriate to publish any further correspondence at this time as there is an ongoing police investigation.

Officials at the Department for Education reported the case by telephone to Action Fraud's national call centre on 25 April. An additional telephone call was made to West Yorkshire Police's Economic Crime Unit,

14 Jan 2014 : Column 500W

who confirmed that this was the correct way to report fraud and that no further action was required.

Following the Department's referral to Action Fraud on 25 April, an update was requested and provided on 5 September 2013. Communication in September with Action Fraud was by email and copies of these emails have already been placed in the House Library.

Schools: Berkshire

Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will publish details of all funds allocated by his Department and associated agencies directly to schools located within (a) west Berkshire and (b) Reading borough in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13 and (iv) 2013-14 to date. [182164]

Mr Laws: The Department for Education and its associated agencies pay funds directly to academies and free schools. The funds allocated to these types of schools in both west Berkshire and Reading over the period in question are summarised in the following table.

Funding direct to schools
£
 2010-112011-122012-132013-14 (to date)

West Berkshire

n/a

21,792,079

32,756,238

29,896,713

Reading

12,959,026

33,730,566

40,275,205

42,737,986

Figures include all revenue grants; devolved formula capital and maintenance capital grants and pupil premium. The 2013-14 figures include payments up to and including December 2013.

Schools: Transport

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions has he had with local authority leaders on the effects of rising costs of school transportation. [182381]

Mr Laws: Officials have recently visited a sample of local authorities across the country to better understand their home to school transport policies.

I have also met with former Department for Transport Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Lewes (Norman Baker), to discuss the provision of school transport.

Sixth Form Colleges

Mr Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many sixth form college corporations have been dissolved in the last 10 years; and in each case for what reason the corporation was dissolved. [182624]

Mr Laws: 12 sixth form college corporations have been dissolved between January 2003 and December 2013. In the majority of cases, the corporation was dissolved as part of the legal process of merger with another further education corporation(s). The exception is St Mary's Roman Catholic College in Middlesbrough. In this instance, the corporation was dissolved and the provision made by the sixth form college was taken on by a neighbouring secondary school, Trinity College.

14 Jan 2014 : Column 501W

The reason for dissolution is rarely a single issue but is often a combination of factors such as: inadequate Ofsted assessment; falling student numbers; financial viability, and strategies of the local authority at the time

14 Jan 2014 : Column 502W

to rationalise sixth form provision. Detailed information relating to old dissolutions has not been retained. Where the rationale is known, it is included in the following table:

Sixth form collegeDate of changeMerged provisionReason

Bede Sixth Form College

April 2008

Stockton Riverside College

Merged to protect the future viability of provision in the locality. Bede was the smallest sixth form college at the time of merger.

Eccles Sixth Form College

January 2009

Salford City College

Eccles College, Pendleton College and Salford College were merged following a feasibility study on the current and anticipated curriculum and facilities needed to meet the needs of young people, adults and employers in Salford.

Farnham College

August 2007

Guildford College

Haywards Heath College

August 2005

Central Sussex College

Josiah Mason Sixth Form College

August 2006

Sutton Coldfield College

Ludlow College

August 2013

Herefordshire College of Technology

Forecast future insolvency and falling student numbers. Merger protected the future provision for residents of Ludlow.

North Area College

January 2006

Stockport College of Further Education

Park College, Eastbourne

November 2003

Sussex Downs College

Spelthorne College

August 2007

Brooklands College

St Mary's RC College, Middlesbrough

August 2011

Trinity School

Provision judged inadequate by Ofsted. Falling student numbers. Transfer of provision protected the choice of Catholic post-16 provision for Middlesbrough.

Tynemouth College

March 2005

Tyne Metropolitan College

Widnes and Runcorn Sixth Form College

August 2006

Halton Riverside College

Part of a local authority-led strategy to reduce school and college provision.

Special Educational Needs

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many special educational needs students attained five or more A* to C grades at GCSE or equivalent, including English and Mathematics in each of the last five years. [182301]

Mr Timpson: The information requested can be found in the published statistical first release (SFR), which is available online1. A five year time series for the SFR is available through drop down menus.

1https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gcse-and-equivalent-attainment-by-pupil-characteristics-in-england

World War I: Anniversaries

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans his Department has to support schools which wish to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. [182380]

Elizabeth Truss: We are joint-funding, with the Department for Communities and Local Government, the First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Project. This project provides the opportunity for a minimum of two pupils and one teacher from every state funded secondary school in England to visit battlefields and other notable sites and to take part in remembrance ceremonies on the Western Front. The project is currently being piloted and the tours will commence in spring 2014. Participating schools will share what they learn with their local communities.

International Development

Developing Countries: Politics and Government

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what work her Department's Governance and Fragile States Department undertakes to promote better governance in fragile and conflict-affected states. [182551]

Lynne Featherstone: Twenty-one out of DFID's twenty-eight focus countries are fragile and affected by conflict, most of which have weak institutions and governance. The UK will spend 30% of UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) in fragile and conflict affected states by 2014-15, of which improving governance will be a major component.

My department promotes better governance, open societies and inclusive economies in fragile and conflict affected states by supporting free and fair elections, representative parliaments, competitive politics, tackling corruption, improving public financial management, building a civil service, improving security and justice, reducing violence against women, addressing tax and rule of law issues and strengthening civil society.

Church Commissioners

Bishop of Bath and Wells

Tessa Munt: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what the reasons are for the Church Commissioners'

14 Jan 2014 : Column 503W

decision to purchase alternative accommodation for the Bishop of Bath and Wells. [182261]

Sir Tony Baldry: The Church Commissioners have always kept under review the suitability of its houses to meet the needs of a diocesan bishop and facilitate his mission. In the case of the Palace at Wells, the Commissioners concluded that more suitable arrangements could be made for the ministry and living conditions of the new Bishop if he were not to live in the Palace, which is operated by the Palace Trust as a visitor attraction. The Bishop and the Bishop of Taunton will continue to be based and work at the Palace.

The Commissioners are in the process of purchasing a residential property near Wells as an investment opportunity. This property could be used as a temporary home for the new Bishop while they work with him and the Diocese to identify a permanent property.

Churches: Rural Areas

Miss McIntosh: To ask the right hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what estimate the Church Commissioners have made of the proportion of the Church Estate which is in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. [182488]

Sir Tony Baldry: The rural portfolio of the Church Commissioner investments makes up just over one third of the value of the investment property owned by the Church Commissioners (36%). All of the land is let on appropriate leases.

These rural investments comprise:

Farmland (spread across England and just into Wales);

Forestry (mainly based in Scotland with smaller parcels of forestry in England);

Mineral workings (including a number of quarries based in England);

Residential and commercial property (which is made up of predominantly of farms or in the location of the farmland holdings in England).

The Church Commissioners manage this rural land portfolio along with their other investments to fund the work of the Church of England providing long term and sustainable support for the mission of the Church particularly in the Dioceses in the most deprived regions of the country. The Commissioners currently contribute 15 pence in every pound towards the cost of the Church of England, its mission and strategic aims.

Cabinet Office

Cybercrime

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent assessment he has made of the cyber threats posed to the UK. [182552]

Mr Maude: Cyber attacks have been assessed as a Tier One threat to the UK's national security. The latest annual report on the Strategic Defence and Security Review and the National Security Strategy, which was published on 19 December 2013, provides the current assessment for the UK on cyber threats.

14 Jan 2014 : Column 504W

Government Departments: Buildings

Paul Flynn: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the total expenditure was by Government Departments in 2013 on refurbishments of each Department's premises; and what sustainability criteria are applied to such refurbishment. [181662]

Mr Maude: The data requested is held by Departments.

Government Departments: Personnel Management

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the benchmark is for human resources costs per employee in central Government Departments. [182307]

Mr Maude [holding answer 13 January 2014]: At 30 September 2013, the year to date cost for HR across Government Departments was £623 per employee. The year to date cost comprises the first two quarters of 2013-14 and the final two of 2012-13, divided by the headcount as at 30 September 2013.

The total cost of HR was £259 million against the original 2009 baseline of £524 million, a total saving of £265 million. The cost of HR for central Government has thus fallen by 51% since before the last general election. The comparison is like for like and uses Cabinet Office common areas of spend definitions to specify HR staff and non-staff costs.

To achieve this overall cost reduction Departments were given a ‘graduated ambition’ setting different expectations based on their size, type and complexity. These ranged from £590 per employee for the largest Departments to £1,280 for the smallest.

Government Digital Service

Chris Bryant: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what assessment he has made of the implications of the withdrawal of the Government Digital Service team for the timing of the development of the digital solution for the universal credit IT system; [182584]

(2) on what date the remaining Government Digital Service team will be replaced by specialists in the Department for Work and Pensions; [182585]

(3) how many members of the Government Digital Service are currently working on the digital solution for the universal credit IT system; [182586]

(4) when he estimates that all Government Digital Service resources will be withdrawn from the universal credit digital solution project. [182616]

Mr Maude: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Leicester South (Jonathan Ashworth), on 9 January 2014, Official Report, column 325W.

There are currently 10 members of GDS supporting the universal credit digital solution. As with all exemplar projects, GDS will continue to support the DWP on an ongoing basis.

14 Jan 2014 : Column 505W

Mobile Phones

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate he has made of the proportion of application downloads to mobile telephones which are insecure; and what steps he is taking to reduce that number. [182262]

Mr Maude [holding answer 13 January 2014]: CESG, the UK's National Technical Authority for Information Assurance at GCHQ, has issued guidance to Government Departments and agencies on the secure use of mobile devices.

National Income

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the estimates of GDP calculated on the separate bases of production, income and expenditure were for each quarter in the years 2007-08 to 2012-13 before reconciliation to produce the single GDP figure for each quarter; and if he will make a statement. [182415]

14 Jan 2014 : Column 506W

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated January 2014:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what the estimates of GDP calculated on the separate bases of production, income and expenditure were for each quarter in the years 2007-08 to 2012-13 inclusive before reconciliation to produce the single GDP figure for each quarter (182415)

Current ONS publications only include unreconciled data for GDP for periods since 2011. For earlier years, only reconciled estimates of GDP are published which are consistent with the Input-Output Supply and Use tables for 1997-2011 published on 31 July 2013. For later periods, estimates from the three approaches to measuring GDP have slightly differing growth rates and levels.

Table 1 shows the latest GDP estimates consistent with the Quarterly National Accounts published on 20 December 2013. For quarters up to and including 2011, the reconciled figures are shown. For later quarters, the three unreconciled series are presented, together with the average of the three.

Table 1: GDP summary table1
Chained volume measures £ million
Gross domestic product at market prices2
 Seasonally adjustedAverage estimateExpenditure-based estimate3Income-based estimate3, 4Output-based estimate3

2007

Q1

382 040

 

Q2

386 977

 

Q3

391 767

 

Q4

392 205

2008

Q1

392 786

 

Q2

389 239

 

Q3

383 626

 

Q4

375 388

2009

Q1

366 124

 

Q2

364 573

 

Q3

364 557

 

Q4

366 107

2010

Q1

368 033

 

Q2

371 779

 

Q3

373 275

 

Q4

372 529

2011

Q1

374 264

 

Q2

374 628

 

Q3

376 862

 

Q4

376 462

2012

Q1

376 324

377 089

375 693

376 187

 

Q2

374 754

375 873

374 004

374 383

 

Q3

377 684

379 028

377 113

376 907

 

Q4

377 231

378 632

377 118

375 940

2013

Q1

379 113

380 486

379 522

377 329

 

Q2

382 090

383 417

382 866

379 987

 

Q3

384 996

386 320

385 774

382 895

1 Data are consistent with the Quarterly National Accounts Q3 2013 publication which was published on 20 December 2013. 2 Data for the three approaches up to and including 2011 were reconciled and published in Blue Book 2013. Annually, this reconciliation is carried out through the construction of Input-Output Supply and Use tables. For years in which no supply and use balance has been struck (2012 onwards) a statistical discrepancy exists between estimates of the total expenditure components of GDP and the total income components of GDP. 3 Data exclude the statistical discrepancy adjustment but include any balancing adjustment work carried out 4 Income data deflated by the implied GDP deflator at market prices, which is based on expenditure data. Source: Office for National Statistics

14 Jan 2014 : Column 507W

Public Sector: Fraud

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 19 December 2013, Official Report, column 786W, on public sector: fraud, when the pilots referred to will finish; how their success will be assessed; and whether there are separate pilots looking at data sharing within the public sector specifically. [182223]

Mr Maude [holding answer 13 January 2014]: The pilots are being run between government and the private sector to identify potential benefits from an operational service. These are expected to complete in January 2015. The information from these pilots will be used to support the production of a business case on the development and delivery of an operational Counter Fraud Checking Service.

There are various data sharing projects across government and the wider public sector that seek to access and share data in support of operational delivery, developing public services and improving efficiency.

Unemployment: Young People

Stephen Timms: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people aged 24 and under in (a) total and (b) each Government office region have been unemployed for over a year in each of the last 20 years. [182556]

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated January 2014:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people aged 24 and under in (a) total and (b) each Government office region have been unemployed for over a year in each of the last 20 years. 182556

The table provides estimates for the number of 16 to 24 year olds who have been unemployed for 12 months or more by region and country of the UK. Estimates for the period 2005 to 2013 have been produced from the July to June Annual Population Survey (APS) with the earlier periods based upon a 4 quarter average from the quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS). This is consistent with the preferred presentation of statistics of regional unemployment by age and duration as used in the Regional Labour Market Statistical Bulletins.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS and LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. These are indicated by the guide to quality in the table.

A copy of the table will be placed in the Library of the House.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Berkshire

Alok Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what funding was allocated by his Department and its associated agencies to (a) Reading Borough Council and (b) West Berkshire Council in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13 and (iv) 2013-14 to date. [182166]

Jenny Willott: The Department already publishes details of all payments and funding irrespective of value as part of the Department's commitment to transparency.

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Details can be found on the BIS website or on data.gov.uk using the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?departments%5B%5D=department-for-business-innovation-skills&publication_type=transparency-data

or

http://data.gov.uk/data/openspending-browse

For ease, I can say that no payments or funding has been made directly to West Berkshire council by the Department and only one payment of £1,214 was made to Reading borough council in the 2012/13 financial year in respect of a consultation roadshow for the 2014-20 EU funding programme. No other payment or funding has been made.

The Department's agencies will respond separately.

Letter from Tim Moss, dated 8 January 2014:

I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 7 January 2014, UIN 182166 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Companies House has never allocated any funds to (a) Reading Borough Council and (b) West Berkshire Council in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13 and (iv) 2013-14 to date.

Letter from John Alty, dated 9 January 2014:

I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 07th January 2014, to the Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), is an Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The IPO has not allocated any funds to either Reading Borough Council or West Berkshire Council in any of 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 or 2013-14 to date.

Letter from John Hirst, dated 9 January 2014:

I am replying on behalf of the Met Office to your Parliamentary Questions tabled on 7 January 2014, UIN 182166 to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Met Office has allocated no funds to either Reading Borough Council or West Berkshire Council during the period in question.

Letter from Barbara Spicer, dated 9 January 2014:

The Skills Funding Agency (and the Learning and Skills Council prior to April 2010) has responsibility for funding post-19 further education and skills training.

Funding allocations for the 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 funding years to Reading Borough Council and West Berkshire Council are provided in the following tables. The funding allocations to Reading Borough Council are set out in table 1 and funding allocations to West Berkshire Council are set out in table 2.

The values provided are actual funding received to date from Skills Funding Agency. Adult Skills funding includes: Adult Skills Budget, Additional Learning Support, Discretionary Learning Support and Community Learning. Funding received for 24+ Advanced Learning Loans facility is the responsibility of the Skills Funding Agency and is paid by the Student Loans Company.

Table 1. Funding to Reading borough council
£
 Adult Skills24+ Advanced Leaning Loans

2010/11

1,637,617

0

2011/12

1,469,014

0

2012/13

1,513,397

0

2013/14

601,317

3,955

14 Jan 2014 : Column 509W

Table 2. Funding to West Berkshire council
£
 Adult Skills24+ Advanced Leaning Loans

2010/11

473,223

0

2011/12

473,571

0

2012/13

474,902

0

2013/14

209,615

0

Letter from Richard Judge, dated 9 January 2014:

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has asked me to reply to your question, if he will publish details of all funds allocated by his Department and its associated agencies to (a) Reading Borough Council and (b) West Berkshire Council in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13 and (iv) 2013-14 to date.

The Insolvency Service is an Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The Insolvency Service has not allocated any funds to either Reading Borough Council or West Berkshire Council in any of 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 or 2013-14 to date.

Letter from Ed Lester, dated 9 January 2014:

I write on behalf of Land Registry in response to Parliamentary Question 182166 tabled on 7 January 2014 which asked the following:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will publish details of all funds allocated by his Department and its associated agencies to (a) Reading Borough Council and (b) West Berkshire Council in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13 and (iv) 2013-14 to date.

I can confirm that Land Registry have not paid any funds to either Reading Borough Council or West Berkshire Council during the periods listed above.

I hope that you find this information useful.

Letter from Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB, dated 9 January 2014:

As Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey, I have been asked to respond to your Parliamentary Question asking the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, “if he will publish details of all funds allocated by his department and its associated agencies to (a) Reading Borough Council and (b) West Berkshire Council in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13 and (iv) 2013-14 to date”.

The answer is that Ordnance Survey makes no financial contributions to these councils.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

I hope this information is helpful.

Letter from David Parker, dated January 2014:

Thank you for your question addressed to the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to ask if he will publish details of all funds allocated by his Department and its associated agencies to (a) Reading Borough Council and (b) West Berkshire Council in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12, (iii) 2012-13 and (iv) 2013-14 to date.

The UK Space Agency was established on 1 April 2011 and is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It has not provided any funding to (a) Reading Borough Council and (b) West Berkshire Council in 2011-12, 2012-13 or 2013-14 to date.

Letter from Sarah Glasspool, dated 13 January 2014:

I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office (NMO), an executive agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 7 January 2014, asking the BIS Secretary of State for details of funds allocated by his Department and its associated agencies to a) Reading Borough Council and b) West Berkshire Council in i) 2010-11, ii) 2011-12, iii) 2012-13 and iv) 2013-14 to date.

No funds have been allocated by NMO to these councils during the time periods in question.

14 Jan 2014 : Column 510W

Companies: Registration

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many objections were received by the Registrar of Companies to companies being struck from the Register in each of the years ending 31 March from 2007 to 2013; and if he will make a statement. [182414]

Michael Fallon: The number of objections received by the Registrar of Companies to companies being struck from the register in each of the years ending 31 March from 2007 to 2013 inclusive is as follows:

Ending 31 March each yearNumber of objections

2007

7,283

2008

12,576

2009

76,300

2010

83,720

2011

116,868

2012

136,239

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many of the companies struck from the Register of Companies in each of the years ending 31 March from 2007 to 2013 were removed as a result of action initiated by the Registrar of Companies; and if he will make a statement. [182426]

Michael Fallon: The number of companies struck from the Register of Companies in each of the years ending 31 March from 2007 to 2013 as a result of action initiated by the Registrar of Companies is as follows:

Ending 31 March each yearNumber struck off

2007

89,153

2008

93,026

2009

92,578

2010

317,660

2011

181,172

2012

129,952

2013

131,481

Company Law

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect of the Kagalovsky and Wilcox v Balmore Invest and others [2013] EWHC 3876 (QB) case of September 2013 on the efficacy of the UK's laws pertaining to shell companies; and if he will make a statement. [182317]

Jenny Willott: The case is currently before the court. It would therefore not be appropriate for the Government to comment.

Electric Vehicles

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the publication, Driving success—a strategy for growth and sustainability in the UK automotive sector, published in July 2013, what progress UKH2 Mobility made in producing a business case for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles by the end of 2013; and if he will make a statement. [182074]

14 Jan 2014 : Column 511W

Michael Fallon: UKH2Mobility is a joint industry-Government project, in which three Government Departments (BIS, DECC and DFT through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles) have been participating. The project aims to evaluate the potential for hydrogen for passenger vehicle transport in the UK and to identify what it will take to position the UK as an early market for the commercial deployment of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles from 2015.

Following the completion of the evaluation phase and publication of the report in February 2013, UKH2Mobility has been working in Phase 2 to develop a potential business plan for the roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and the associated refuelling infrastructure in the UK. Key areas of work have included improving the understanding of the early customer proposition, developing options for securing the initial investment in hydrogen refuelling stations, and identifying mechanisms to ensure a pathway to production of green hydrogen.

The UKH2Mobility project has developed an outline business plan, as targeted by end 2013. This includes some potential options and choices for both Government and industry stakeholders and these wilt be considered by participants over the next few months.

In addition, the Government has launched a call for evidence on measures to support the uptake of ultra low emission vehicles in 2015-20, using the additional £500 million committed in this year's spending round. Any support from Government for the roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and the associated refuelling infrastructure will be determined in the context of that wider package of support.

Secondment

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many individuals employed by (a) major UK utility companies, (b) Energy UK and (c) any related energy utility organisation were seconded to his Department in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011, (iii) 2012 and (iv) 2013. [182543]

Jenny Willott: Available records indicate that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has not hosted any individuals on secondment from any utility or energy company since May 2010.

Trade Promotion

Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the cost of his Department's Britain is Great advertising campaign; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of that campaign. [182352]

Matthew Hancock: The Business is GREAT Britain campaign launched on 6 November 2013. To date the cost to the Department on development and production of the creative for the campaign and advertising is £1,401,291.

The campaign is progressing well. Since launch on 6 November, there has been increased confidence that Britain is backing small businesses from 30% to 37% (based on polling of 697 small businesses after the first four weeks of the campaign).

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Half of businesses interviewed felt that they had taken some action as a result of the campaign-these actions included getting advice, discussing the campaign within their networks, visiting business websites or started to develop a long-term plan.

Overall campaign awareness has reached 18%. This early figure is very good in comparison to similar spending campaigns.

The campaign research highlights a disconnect between how small businesses feel about their own capabilities and how supported they feel by Britain/Government. This reconfirms the need for the campaign to demonstrate the value that Britain and the Government place on small businesses in Britain.

The campaign performance is much stronger amongst those respondents who recognise it, which suggests this will improve as recognition builds. Messages take time to bed in so we need to ensure there is an opportunity for repeat exposure to build impact and generate positive response.

Trade Unions

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the Prime Minister's contribution on 20 November 2013, Official Report, column 1224, if he will place the terms of reference for the review into union intimidation and a list of members of the review body in the Library; and what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with (i) the Trades Union Congress, (ii) the Confederation of British Industry and (iii) other organisations in connection with the review to date. [182336]

Jenny Willott: The full details of the review will be announced in due course, once they have been finalised. I will be happy to place the terms of reference and details of those undertaking the review in the libraries of the House, once they have been announced. Ministers and officials in the Department meet routinely with the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and other representative bodies. Whilst we have not held meetings to specifically discuss this review of industrial disputes, there has been some discussion of the review with the TUC and CBI, as part of our routine engagement.

Urenco

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department has spent on external consultants to advise on the proposed sale of the Government's stake in Urenco. [182129]

Michael Fallon: Responsibility for Urenco transferred to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills from the Department of Energy and Climate Change in February 2013.

To date, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has spent a total of £138,972 on external consultants to advise on the proposed sale of Urenco. In addition, the Department has spent a total of £2,032,389 on specialist technical, financial and legal advice.

We will continue to ensure that costs associated with consultants and external advisers are closely managed.

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Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the economic consequences of selling the Government's stake in Urenco. [182131]

Michael Fallon: On 22 April 2013, the Government announced its decision to move forward preparations for the sale of all or part of our one-third shareholding in Urenco. It is Government policy not to continue to hold shares in companies where the shareholding itself does not deliver any policy objective.

No final decision to sell has yet been taken. Any final decision will be dependent on achieving value for money for the taxpayer, informed by a thorough economic assessment of any agreed sale proposition.

Wind Power: Seas and Oceans

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to Action Point 12 of the Government's Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy, published in August 2013, how many export opportunities through the High Value Opportunities Programme for the UK offshore wind industry have been provided; and how many companies have been provided with practical support through that programme. [182117]

Michael Fallon: There are currently offshore wind High Value Opportunity programmes in China, India and Taiwan involving 13 separate projects (eight in China, one in India and four in Taiwan). We have shared details of the opportunities available to UK companies and provided practical support to 46 companies (20 in China, six in India, and 20 in Taiwan).

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to Action Point 13 of the Government's Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy, published in August 2013, how much funding is available as part of the offshore wind manufacturing funding scheme for England; whether the (a) funds available under the scheme and (b) scope of residence have changed since the publication of the strategy; and how much funding was provided to companies as part of the scheme in August to December 2013. [182118]

Michael Fallon: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

The offshore wind manufacturing funding scheme closed to new applicants on 15 October 2013. There have been no changes to the scheme since the publication of the Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy.

Owing to the confidential nature of commercial negotiations we cannot comment on the status of potential applications to the scheme. We are in discussions with a number of companies interested in investing in the UK as their projects progress.

Under the Grant for Business Investment scheme, information on grant offers for sums greater than £75,000 is normally published following the payment of the first instalment of the grant, including the name and location of the recipient of the grant and the size of the grant offered.

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Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to Action Point 19 of the Government's Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy, published in August 2013, what progress has been made in delivering a test and demonstration leasing programme to facilitate successful demonstration of technology breakthroughs; and if he will make a statement. [182120]

Michael Fallon: The Crown Estate announced the launch of its test and demonstration leasing programme in June 2013. It has since completed the invitation to tender process and will make an announcement about specific projects later in the year.

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to Action Point 21 of the Government's Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy, published in August 2013, what progress has been made in streamlining the consenting process for testing and demonstration of offshore technologies; and what discussions took place to implement this action point with (a) the Marine Management Organisation, (b) the Crown Estate and (c) other partners in the period August to December 2013. [182121]

Gregory Barker: We continue to monitor progress on testing and demonstration including consenting. The Crown Estate are taking forward a leasing programme to encourage further investment in a range of offshore wind test and demonstration projects, including a leasing round for floating offshore wind technology.

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to Action Point 11 of the Government's Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy, published in August 2013, whether the (a) supply chain gap analysis and (b) high level assessment of the UK supply chain capability have been published. [182124]

Michael Fallon: The Crown Estate published ‘Offshore Wind: A 2013 Supply Chain Health Check’ in November 2013. A complementary paper on the UK supply chain's capabilities and opportunities will be published in early 2014 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.