17 Jan 2014 : Column 687W

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 17 January 2014

Business, Innovation and Skills

Business: Barrow in Furness

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many companies registered in Barrow and Furness constituency are classified as (a) small and (b) medium-sized, as defined by the Companies Act 1985. [183329]

Michael Fallon: According to Companies House's records, there are an estimated 741 companies in the Barrow and Furness constituency. However, Companies House cannot determine the number of companies classified as (a) small and (b) medium-sized as defined by the Companies Act 2006. The definitions are based on turnover, balance sheet total and number of employees and Companies House does not capture this information.

Construction: Industry

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to Construction 2025, the Government's construction industrial strategy published in July 2013, (1) what progress has been made on updating CSkills/HSE-funded research into all recognised card schemes in the construction industry; and if he will make a statement; [182951]

(2) whether a high-level statement of industry's commitment to having young people working on construction sites has been produced; [182952]

(3) what progress has been made on creating a critical mass for the Building Information Modelling programme; and if he will make a statement; [182953]

(4) whether the first plan for a (a) market-based and (b) technology-based programme for investment in energy low-carbon construction has been produced; [182954]

(5) whether his Department has given consideration to developing a climate change adaptation plan; and if he will make a statement; [182955]

(6) what progress has been made on establishing a trade grouping of UK-based contractors; [182956]

(7) what progress has been made on creating an entity to support overseas trade in construction; [182957]

(8) what progress has been made on developing a co-ordinated approach to engaging young people; and if he will make a statement; [182958]

(9) whether TrustMark has been relaunched; [182959]

(10) what progress has been made on identifying local champions to develop regionally-focused pipelines in construction; [182960]

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(11) whether a high-level statement of industry's commitment to having young people working on construction sites has been produced; [182961]

(12) whether (a) his Department, (b) the Confederation of British Industry and (c) the construction industry has created a demand map for the industry for (i) infrastructure, (ii) Renovation Maintenance Improvement and (iii) new build to 2025. [182962]

Michael Fallon: Construction 2025, published in July 2013, is not a Government strategy. It is a collaboration between the construction industry and Government. It sets out four high level ambitions to be achieved by 2025. These ambitions will be underpinned by an action plan and the strategy document outlined a number of specific actions. Many of these actions, including a number contained in this set of questions, are owned and driven by a range of key bodies from across the full breadth of the construction industry.

I am pleased with the industry's positive response and close ownership of the agenda and of specific actions.

The review of the research into recognised card schemes is under way.

The industry has drafted a high level statement of its commitment to having young people working on construction. This will be published shortly.

There is a commitment to implement Level 2 BIM on all central Government projects by 2016 and this includes a programme for communicating best practice to local Government and private sector clients.

A number of discussions are under way with the Green Construction Board and the retail sector and with the lighting industry about the development of market and technology plans for investment in energy efficient and low carbon construction.

The Green Construction Board is considering DEFRA's National Adaptation Programme to consider whether the Board might be able to add additional value by developing its own climate change adaptation plan.

The potential to develop a trade 'grouping' of UK based contractors continues to be explored through UKTI's construction sector advisory group.

On 25 November 2013, Official Report, column 4WS, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), announced that Government was establishing the British Intergovernmental Services Authority (BISA).

The industry is currently investigating existing best practice in terms of young people across the sector, to determine to what extent it can adopt a more coordinated approach to engagement.

Trustmark will be making an announcement shortly.

A number of regionally owned views of future work are starting to emerge (for example, from the Manchester Chamber of Commerce) and members of the Leadership Council Delivery Group are considering these with a view to their wider relevance.

It was agreed to pause the work on demand mapping while industry bodies focussed their attention on the role of public procurement to inform further work by

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Cabinet Office and HMT—Infrastructure UK on procurement. The demand mapping work is now being picked up again.

The industry is working closely together on a broad agenda, with an agreed set of priorities and good progress is being made.

Export Control (Libya) Order 2011

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will bring forward legislative proposals to repeal the Export Control (Libya) Order 2011 (SI 2011/825). [183200]

Michael Fallon: Libya remains subject to UN and EU arms embargo and other sanctions. The Export Control (Libya) Order 2011 (SI 2011/825) creates criminal offences and sets out the maximum penalties for breaches of those elements of the EU sanctions against Libya contained in Council Regulation (EU) 204/2011 which fall within the Department's remit. We have no plans to repeal the Order while the Regulation remains in force.

Food and Drink Federation

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many meetings representatives of the Food and Drink Federation have attended with (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department in each year since 2010. [183195]

Jenny Willott: Details of Ministers' meetings with external organisations up to 30 June 2013 are published quarterly on the Gov.uk website:

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

Information for July to December 2013 will be published in due course.

Information on any meetings between officials and representatives of the Food and Drink Federation is not held centrally.

Industrial Health and Safety: Research

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much of the Economic and Social Research Council budget was committed to research on health and safety matters in each of the last five years. [183346]

Mr Willetts: Research on Health and Safety has been supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through responsive mode funding-that is funding for topics proposed by researchers.

Figures provided are based on an equal annual division of funding in the case of multi-year grants, and represent 80% of the full economic costs of the grant. The other 20% funding is provided by the grant-holding Research Organisation. Relevant grants were identified through the ESRC's publicly available Research Catalogue.

 £

2009-10

335,771

2010-11

284,130

2011-12

343,383

2012-13

447,801

2013-14

263,100

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Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what funding the Economic and Social Research Council plans to commit to research on (a) health and safety, (b) risk management and (c) occupational health in the next financial year. [183347]

Mr Willetts: Research on (a) health and safety, (b) risk management and (c) occupational health may be supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through responsive mode funding-that is funding for topics proposed by researchers.

ESRC participates in the cross-Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing initiative and, in collaboration with the Medical Research Council (MRC), will be supporting eight major interdisciplinary projects related to 'extending working lives'. This will result in interdisciplinary research on health and wellbeing in relation to work, retirement and occupational health.

ESRC funding for this initiative is £2.9 million, with an equivalent contribution from MRC, and a further £750,000 from large employers. The breakdown by financial year cannot be confirmed at this stage as awards are being finalised. Funding will be provided over a five-year grant duration.

Local Enterprise Partnerships

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the capabilities of local enterprise partnerships to deliver large infrastructure projects; and if he will make a statement. [182944]

Michael Fallon: The Government is currently reviewing Strategic Economic Plans submitted by each Local Enterprise Partnership. Once finalised these plans will set out an overall strategy for growth in localities, and bring forward specific proposals for projects or programmes to deliver this. This may include proposals for large infrastructure projects, as well as other interventions.

As set out in the Guidance published in July 2013, the strength of plans will ultimately be assessed against: ambition and rationale for intervention; value for money; delivery and risk. A strong, credible strategy will depend on the strength and depth of partnership working to develop and deliver it.

Procurement

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many officials at each grade in his Department have the authority to execute a purchase; what proportion of those officials have professional procurement qualifications; and what the key indicators used in his Department to assess procurement officer's performance are. [183365]

Jenny Willott: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has outsourced responsibility for procurement actions to UK Shared Business Services Ltd (UKSBS) as part of a wider shared services contract covering finance, HR, estate management along with procurement services. While budget approval to commit expenditure remains firmly within the Department's responsibility, the process and actions required to procure goods and services rests with UKSBS.

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This UKSBS procurement team have a wide range of procurement skills and expertise which includes Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply registered staff and works very closely with the Government Procurement Service. Key procurement indicators form part of the wider shared service contract and there is no requirement to assess individual departmental officials as the responsibility for procurement sits with UKSBS.

Cabinet Office

Bank Services

Chris Leslie: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) with what bank his Department's bank overdraft is held; and what fees and charges were payable on the core Department's bank overdraft in the last financial year; [183239]

(2) with what bank the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office's bank overdraft is held; and what fees and charges were payable on the core Department's bank overdraft in the last financial year; [183243]

(3) with what bank No. 10 Downing street's bank overdraft is held; and what fees and charges were payable on the core Department's bank overdraft in the last financial year. [183255]

Mr Maude: The Prime Minister's Office and the Deputy Prime Ministers Office are an integral part of the Cabinet Office.

The Cabinet Office does not use an overdraft facility.

Procurement

Chris Leslie: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) how many and what value of contracts procured by his Department in the last five years was carried out below EU thresholds; [182649]

(2) what proportion and value of his Department's contracts have been let (a) under the restricted procedure, (b) by the open procedure, (c) via framework agreements and (d) via a tendering process involving the use of a pre-qualification questionnaire in each of the last three years; [182683]

(3) what proportion of his Department's contracts have been let to companies with (a) one to five, (b) six to 49, (c) 50 to 250 and (d) more than 250 staff; [182666]

(4) what weighting his Department's procurement procedures give to (a) the location of a company and its workforce, (b) the extent to which a company has a strong environmental record, (c) whether the company is a social enterprise and (d) other company history prior performance. [182632]

Mr Maude: Since the last general election, my Department has been working to improve procurement across Government. We have sought to strip out unnecessary bureaucracy, to streamline processes and to level the playing field so small and medium-sized enterprises can win a larger slice of business. We want the small companies, charities and voluntary organisations which in the past were shut out by excessive bureaucracy and poor procurement practices to win more business.

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When the coalition took office in May 2010 central Government was spending £3 billion (6.5% of its procurement budget) with SMEs. Since then there has been a steady increase in the proportion of spend going to SMEs—10.5% directly and 9.4% in the supply chain in 2012 to 2013—despite lower overall spend on procurement. Since April 2013 all Cabinet Office procurement over £10,000 is routed through the Crown Commercial Service (CCS—formally the Government Procurement Service, GPS).

Cabinet Office instructs the service on the evaluation weightings for particular procurements. Procurement procedures do not provide standard evaluation weightings for the four areas requested.

The information requested regarding contracts procured by the Department below EU thresholds is not readily available.

The Cabinet Office captures information on the size of its suppliers in line with the EU definitions. The following table shows prime suppliers to which payments were made in 2012-13:

Size of supplierNumber of employeesNumber of suppliersPercentage of all suppliers

Micro

1 to 9

259

27

Small

10 to 49

171

18

Medium

50 to 249

110

12

Large

250 and over

410

43

The proportion and value of Cabinet Office contracts that have been let under the restricted procedure and by the open procedure are shown in the following table:

Calendar year:201020112012 1

Total contracts advertised in OJEU

2

8

23

Total value (£)

11,000,000

970,000

95,905,235

Number of contracts—Restricted

2

8

0

Percentage of contracts advertised in OJEU

100

100

n/a

Total value (£)

11,000,000

970,000

0

Number of contracts—Open

0

0

19

Percentage of contracts advertised in OJEU

n/a

n/a

83

Total value (£)

0

0

95,751,203

Source: Annual EU Procurement Statistics return.

The information requested for contracts let via framework agreements and a tendering process involving the use of a PQQ in each of the last three years is not readily available.

Communities and Local Government

Betting Shops: Planning Permission

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many applicants appealed against refusal of planning permission for a betting shop in the last year; and how many such appeals were unsuccessful. [182358]

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Nick Boles [holding answer 13 January 2014]: I note that the right hon. Member has recently commented in his local newspaper that:

“Councils can do little to stop bookmakers opening new shops. If they refuse planning permission, the betting chains appeal. Government planning inspectors always find in their favour.” (Newham Recorder, 8 January 2014).

Yet analysis of data held by the Planning Inspectorate does not support this assertion. The following table shows planning appeal decisions on betting shops in the last five years:

Calendar yearDecidedDismissedAllowed

2013

17

9

8

2012

10

7

3

2011

16

6

10

2010

11

4

7

2009

13

5

8

The numbers are small and there is no observable bias. Each planning application (and any appeal) should be considered on its individual merits, in light of the relevant material considerations and prevailing planning policy.

Councils have powers to help shape such decisions. For example, the London borough of Barking and Dagenham has been consulting on supplementary planning, guidance to address localised problems with the cumulative impact of betting shops.

Cleveland Fire Brigade

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to page 66 of Cleveland Fire Brigade's Community Integrated Risk Management Plan draft for consultation, what his Department's policy is on consideration of options to mutualise Cleveland Fire Brigade; and if he will make a statement. [183130]

Brandon Lewis: The Government is supportive of fire and rescue authorities considering new and innovative ways of delivering their services more efficiently and effectively, including locally-led mutuals.

However, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my right hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr Pickles), and I have been very clear that we will make no moves to progress mutualisation that would lead to privatisation.

I refer the hon. Member to my speech in the Adjournment Debate of 13 May 2013, Official Report, column 470 onwards, which sets out my position on mutuals very clearly.

Council Tax Benefits

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what savings to the public purse have accrued from the changes to council tax benefit in each month since April 2013, from (a) Birmingham, Hall Green constituency, (b) Birmingham and (c) England. [182736]

Brandon Lewis: Localising support for council tax has delivered a 10% saving on forecast council tax benefit expenditure from 2013-14. The saving equates to £414 million in England in 2013-14 excluding new burdens funding and the one year transition grant.

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These implementation costs were funded by making savings elsewhere so the £414 million represents the saving to central Government.

Local schemes are the responsibility of individual local authorities.

New Towns: South East

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which sites in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire are being considered for the development of large communities or garden cities. [182966]

Kris Hopkins [holding answer 16 January 2014]: My Department has absolutely no plans to impose new towns on any part of the country. For the avoidance of doubt, I would add that a recent press report, implying there is some “secret” Government plan to impose such developments, is not true; nor am I aware of any report which was supposed to have been published by the Government but which has been “suppressed”.

As I have previously made clear in my answers of 25 November 2013, Official Report, columns 84-5W, and 4 December 2013, Official Report, column 744W, the coalition Government has scrapped top-down Whitehall planning. This has included ending the last Government's flawed eco-towns programme. This approach reflects commitments made in both coalition parties' general election manifestos and in the coalition agreement. Indeed, I would note that both coalition party leaders criticised the last Administration's top-down, eco-town programme when in Opposition.

Instead, the Government's policy is to support communities with their ambitions to deliver large scale local development. So far, our Local Infrastructure Fund has unlocked locally-led large housing schemes capable of delivering over 69,000 new homes, and we are working to finalise investment deals for a further 10 stalled schemes capable of delivering up to 35,000 more homes—over 100,000 in total. A prospectus on bids for that fund was published in February 2013 and can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-infrastructure-fund-prospectus

This delivered on the pledge made in the Government's November 2011 Housing Strategy for England.

As my noble friend, Baroness Hanham, stated in her answer of 28 January 2013, Official Report, columns WA279-80, we are keen to promote garden city design in locally-led developments.

The autumn statement committed a further £1 billion of funding to unlock locally-led housing schemes capable of delivering up to a further 250,000 new homes. A further prospectus inviting bids to this fund will be issued this spring.

I hope this reassures my right hon. Friend. The Government's policy is very clear and as Ministers have previously stated to Parliament.

Defence

Afghanistan

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with the Afghan Government on possible measures to prevent the infiltration of the Afghan army by members of the Taliban. [183300]

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Mr Francois: We and our International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan partners take the threat of insider attacks and infiltration of the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) by the insurgency extremely seriously and we continue to work together on a number of initiatives to understand and tackle this threat. These include:

Improved ANSF vetting and introduction of re-vetting for Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers returning from leave to check for signs that they have been radicalised.

Increased counter-intelligence capacity in ISAF and Afghan units.

An anonymous reporting system has been established within the ANSF.

The sale of uniforms has been outlawed across Afghanistan.

Strong disciplinary actions for Afghan commanders who fail to reduce the risk of insider attacks.

President Karzai has also mandated that ANA recruits are to be interviewed by a four-person council consisting of Afghan Ministry of Defence, Afghan Ministry of Interior, National Directorate of Security and medical department officials.

Astute Class Submarines

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the planned launch and in-service dates are for each remaining submarine in the Astute class. [182980]

Mr Dunne: As stated in the National Audit Office Major Projects Report 2012 (HC 684-1), the in-service dates for the remaining submarines in the Astute class are shown in the following table:

SubmarineIn-service date

Boat 3 (Artful)

2015

Boat 4 (Audacious)

2018

Boat 5 (Anson)

2020

Boat 6 (Agamemnon)

2022

Boat 7

2024

The actual launch date for each boat is agreed between the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems Maritime—Submarines, the prime contractor. It marks the point in the build process when the boat is ready to exit the boat build hall and enter the water for the first time. On current plans, Boat 3 is due to leave the build hall in spring 2014. The launch dates for Boats 4 to 7 are yet to be agreed.

Djibouti

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there are any UK officers stationed at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. [182333]

Mr Francois: There are a very small number of UK military personnel deployed to Camp Lemonnier working closely alongside our US allies.

Gibraltar

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when a Royal Navy warship of the size of a frigate was last based at Gibraltar; whether there are any plans to base a frigate at Gibraltar; what the

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potential

(a)

diplomatic and

(b)

naval utility would be of basing a frigate at Gibraltar; if he will make it his policy to base a frigate or larger warship at Gibraltar; and if he will make a statement. [181248]

Dr Murrison: The Government assesses that the Royal Navy in Gibraltar has sufficient assets to deliver its current tasking. However, we constantly review the permanent and visiting naval presence in and around Gibraltar and will adjust it if necessary. We expect larger Royal Navy ships to continue to visit Gibraltar in relation to operational and training activity, reflecting its utility as a permanent joint operating base. However, they will continue to be based in the UK. Diplomatically, we continue to focus on political engagement with the Spanish Government.

The Gibraltar Squadron was formed in August 1985, and information on the earlier Gibraltar Guardship role, which was latterly based in UK waters, is not held centrally. I will write to my hon. Friend once the naval records have been reviewed.

Substantive answer from Andrew Murrison to Julian Lewis:

On 8 January I undertook to write to you to answer your Parliamentary Question about the Royal Navy's Gibraltar Guardship (Official Report, column 255W).

Naval Historical Records indicate that the Rothesay class frigate HMS BRIGHTON arrived in Gibraltar in October 1967 to provide a permanent Guardship presence; and that the Tribal class destroyer HMS GURKHA was the last frigate-size warship to be based in Gibraltar. She left Gibraltar on 2 February 1984.

The Gibraltar Squadron—currently HM Ships SABRE and SCIMITAR—was formed in August 1985.

HMS Astute

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many operational cruises HMS Astute has undertaken since she was commissioned. [182907]

Mr Francois: HMS Astute was commissioned on 27 August 2010 and her handover date to the Royal Navy was 25 April 2013. HMS Astute is a technologically advanced first of class submarine, and is still undergoing a detailed test and evaluation process, including operational training for her crew.

Iran

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Government plans to enforce the ruling by the International Court of Arbitration in the case of International Military Services Ltd v Iran. [183188]

Mr Francois: Commercially and legally sensitive negotiations on this case continue, and it would not be appropriate for the Ministry of Defence to comment on those at this time.

NATO

Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department is doing to integrate NATO work on (a) UNSCR 1325 and (b) the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives into armed forces doctrine, training and practice. [183129]

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Dr Murrison: The UK is fully supportive of the work in NATO to integrate the principles of UNSCR 1325 into its force structure and operations. The UK Ministry of Defence also fills the post of the Deputy Chair of the NATO Committee on Gender Perspectives. The appropriate elements of the NATO implementation plan will be included in the revised UK National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security to be published in 2014.

Theft

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on items stolen from his Department since May 2005; and if he will make a statement. [183124]

Dr Murrison: The Ministry of Defence takes detecting and deterring fraud and theft seriously and set up a new counter fraud and loss department last year to improve the way fraud and theft is managed across Defence, the aim being to minimise the losses from the Defence budget from fraud, misappropriation and theft and thereby maximise the amount spent on our armed forces. The focus of this new department's work is to secure reduced losses caused by fraud, theft and loss, increased recovery through civil and internal procedures and the improved protection of assets through increased target hardening. The specific information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the value is of items stolen from his Department since May 2005; and if he will make a statement. [183360]

Dr Murrison: The Ministry of Defence holds information on the value of items suspected as stolen back to 1 April 2007. This information is provided in the following table:

Financial yearValue of alleged thefts (£)

2007-08

315,290

2008-09

949,226

2009-10

2,407,776

2010-11

972,061

2011-12

1,166,798

2012-13

816,906

2013-14 (to 15 January)

572,459

These figures do not take into account the value of items subsequently recovered or that investigations may have established later that the temporary loss of an item was not the result of fraud or theft.

We are vigorous in seeking to recover items suspected as stolen and have so far successfully recovered items to the value of around £600,000. We have also achieved improvements in detection and reporting in recent years.

Education

Children: Protection

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what recent steps he has taken to inform registered activity providers in the children's sector of their statutory obligations; and what additional steps

17 Jan 2014 : Column 698W

he has taken to ensure those providers understand the changes in such rules brought about by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012; [183359]

(2) how much his Department has spent on campaigns aimed at promoting awareness amongst registered activity providers of their responsibility to report suspicious behaviour to the Disclosure and Barring Service or its predecessor in each of the last five years. [183367]

Mr Timpson: It is extremely important that organisations in the children's sector understand their safeguarding responsibilities. 'Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education' provides information for schools and colleges on their safeguarding responsibilities. Last year we consulted on revising this guidance. Updated guidance will be published soon, reflecting the changes introduced by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The guidance will set out more clearly the statutory duties on schools and colleges to make referrals to the Disclosure and Barring Service. The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework sets put the statutory responsibilities of early years providers. Registered early years providers are required to comply with the Safeguarding and Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, which was revised by the Protection of Freedoms Act, and are required to refer appropriate cases to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Food and Drink Federation

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many meetings representatives of the Food and Drink Federation have attended with (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department in each year since 2010. [183192]

Elizabeth Truss: The then Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Holland and The Deepings (Mr Hayes), met with the Food and Drink Federation once in 2011 and once in 2012, and the Minister for Skills and Enterprise, my hon. Friend the Member for West Suffolk (Matthew Hancock), met with the Federation once in 2013 to discuss skills in the food and drink sector.

The Department for Education understands the importance of healthy eating and is committed to improving standards in school meals. To that end the Secretary of State commissioned an independent review of school food, following which the School Food Plan was published in July 2013. The plan is primarily designed to improve and promote healthy eating in schools and includes 16 actions for Government and others in an attempt to being about this change, including increasing the quality and take up of school meals and making cooking an entitlement in the key stages 1 to 3 curricula. One of the actions from the plan commits the Department to revise the existing school food standards, and we will be consulting on the new standards shortly.

During the review of school food, officials and the reviewers met over 100 experts and interested parties including many organisations with a focus on healthy food. They also met 500 people from over 150 schools at seven regional events. The Department and the reviewers convened a School Food Plan expert panel that included nutritionists, caterers, cooks, head teachers, charities, unions and academics. Officials continue to regularly

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engage with organisations that have an interest in supporting schools to provide healthy, tasty, nutritious food, for example the Children's Food Trust, Food for Life Partnership and School Food Matters.

Further Education: Finance

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the expected implications are for learners and colleges of the proposed reduction in funding for 18-year-olds, particularly those learners undertaking level 3 vocational programmes. [182745]

Matthew Hancock: We have carried out an impact assessment for the proposed reduction in funding for 18-year-olds in the academic year 2014/15, which includes an analysis by level of study and type of programme. The impact assessment is available at:

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

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what consultation was undertaken before the recent announcement that funding for 18-year-olds will be reduced to 17.5% of that allocated to 16 and 17-year-olds. [182746]

Matthew Hancock: We wanted to inform colleges and schools as soon as possible of the proposed reduction in funding, to support planning for the 2014/15 academic year. It has been standard practice under various Governments not to consult on funding rates.

Further Education: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many 18-year-olds are studying in further education institutions in Warrington; and what proportion of 16 to 18-year-olds in further education that figure represents. [182846]

Matthew Hancock: There are 640 students aged 18 studying in further education institutions in Warrington, out of a total 16 to 18-year-old student number of 3,624. Data is based on the 2012/13 Return14 Individual Learning Record return; the latest available full year of data. Place of study is defined as those institutions that are based in Warrington, rather than the student's resident postcode.

The move to the new system of funding per student from 2013/14 has meant that if we did not make this change to 18-year-old funding a significant proportion of 18-year-olds would be funded for larger programmes than full-time 18-year-olds have received in recent years.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of 18-year-olds in further education in Warrington are studying for (a) level 3 qualifications and (b) level 2 courses. [182847]

Matthew Hancock: There are 640 students aged 18 studying in further education institutions in Warrington. Of these, 74 study at Level 2 and a further 507 study at Level 3.

This information is based on the 2012/13 Return14 Individual Learning Record return, the latest available full year of data. Level is defined as the notional level of study of the individual's core aim.

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The move to the new system of funding per student from 2013/14 has meant that, if we did not make this change to 18-year-old funding, a significant proportion of 18-year-olds would be funded for larger programmes than full-time 18-year-olds have received in recent years.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of 18 year olds in further education in Warrington come from areas of social deprivation. [182848]

Matthew Hancock: There are 640 students aged 18 studying in further education institutions in Warrington. 247 come from areas of social deprivation.

This information is based on the 2012/13 Return14 Individual Learning Record return; the latest available full academic year. Areas of social deprivation are defined as "From Deprived Area", based on the Ward in which the individuals' postcode is recorded, based on the Index of Multiple Deprivation.

The move to the new system of funding per student from 2013/14 has meant that, if we did not make this change to 18-year-old funding, a significant proportion of 18-year-olds would be funded for larger programmes than full-time 18-year-olds have received in recent years.

Internet: Bullying

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent discussions he has had with the devolved Administrations on cyber-bullying. [182857]

Mr Timpson: I am a member of the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS). This is a group of more than 200 organisations drawn from across Government, industry, law, academia and charity sectors that work in partnership to help keep children safe online. These include Facebook and Microsoft.

The board meets on a quarterly basis and is chaired jointly by the Minister for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims, my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Damian Green), and the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend the Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey), and me.

Representatives from the devolved Administrations, including Northern Ireland, also attend on a regular basis.

Kings Science Academy

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will publish all communications between his Department and Alan Lewis regarding financial management at the Kings Science Academy in Bradford; [183191]

(2) whether his Department had any direct communication with Alan Lewis regarding the 2011-12 and 2012-13 budgets at the Kings Science Academy in Bradford. [183197]

Mr Timpson: The ongoing police investigation means that it would not be appropriate to release any details at this time.

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will publish the option appraisal report which was conducted in order to find a site for the Kings Science Academy in Bradford. [183196]

17 Jan 2014 : Column 701W

Mr Timpson: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Bradford West (George Galloway) on 29 November 2013, Official Report column 448W.

Procurement

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many officials at each grade in his Department have the authority to execute a purchase; what proportion of those officials have professional procurement qualifications; and what the key indicators used in his Department to assess procurement officer's performance are. [183363]

Elizabeth Truss: The Department for Education has a Resource Management system, which requires that all purchase orders are approved by a person with skills associated with the category of purchase concerned. There are 42 people with authority to raise purchase orders, of whom 25 are Members of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

The Department, including its Executive agencies, complies with Cabinet Office policy on spending controls, which require that the Department's Head of Procurement Profession is involved in the approval of expenditure on all ICT spend over £1 million, all consultancy, Government's key suppliers, professional services and new commercial models. The Head of Procurement Profession is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

Each procurement professional has a set of personal objectives which vary depending on their role. All are linked to four strands of activity: Support for Major Projects, Professional Capability, Commercial Support for Schools and Contract Management.

Schools: Defibrillators

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to increase the number of automatic external defibrillators in schools. [183338]

Mr Laws: We have placed an amendment in the Children and Families Bill to create a new duty on governing bodies of maintained schools (and proprietors of academies) to make arrangements to support pupils at school with medical conditions and to have regard to statutory guidance. The guidance is currently being developed in collaboration with members of the Health Conditions in Schools Alliance, schools and with parents and young people. We intend to consult on the draft guidance later this term.

Schools: Governing Bodies

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps are being taken by his Department to ensure that (a) vacant Governor places are filled, particularly in rural and coastal areas and (b) such Governors are representative of a wide range of groups, including local employers. [182744]

Mr Timpson: Governing bodies are responsible for ensuring that they fill their vacancies in a timely manner. They have considerable flexibility to determine their own membership and the extent to which this is representative of a wide range of groups, including

17 Jan 2014 : Column 702W

employers. On 13 January the Government published a consultation on draft regulations and statutory guidance for maintained schools, emphasising that governor appointments must be based on the skills that governing bodies need.

The Department for Education funds the charity Governors for Schools (SGOSS) to support governing bodies in academies and maintained schools to recruit new governors. SGOSS works with businesses to recruit governors and matches governor candidates with schools that need their skills. The service is free to schools and employers. Our funding conditions require SGOSS to have a particular focus on vacancies in rural areas.

The Department is committed to working with SGOSS, CBI and other organisations to encourage more high calibre people to volunteer as governors and to encourage more employers to support their staff to do so.

Schools: Nottinghamshire

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many of the schools assessed by Ofsted in Nottinghamshire in 2013 were rated as (a) outstanding, (b) good, (c) requiring improvement and (d) inadequate. [182900]

Mr Laws: This question is a matter for Ofsted. I have asked Her Majesty's chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, to write to the hon. Member. A copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Energy and Climate Change

Bank Services

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with what bank his Department's bank overdraft is held; and what fees and charges were payable on the core Department's bank overdraft in the last financial year. [183245]

Gregory Barker: The Department does not hold an overdrawn bank account.

It does have an overdraft facility on one account with Royal Bank of Scotland plc, to provide a buffer in the rare event that funds do not reach the account on time or more cheques are cashed than anticipated.

The annual renewal fee is £750 and there were no usage charges in the last financial year.

District Heating: Stoke on Trent

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what representations he has received from Stoke-on-Trent City Council on approval to establish a district heat network in Stoke-on-Trent. [182348]

Gregory Barker: The Department has held meetings at official level with Stoke on Trent city council and their partners to discuss their local energy development plans. The Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) has not received an application from Stoke on Trent city council for feasibility funding, but would be happy to consider one in the current or subsequent rounds. The Department will announce the results of the first round of the HNDU applications shortly.

17 Jan 2014 : Column 703W

Regarding the City Deal, Stoke-on-Trent city council and their local partners are currently in negotiations with Government, and have proposed a number of energy-related developments including the district heat network. The City Deal programme is overseen by the Minister for Cities and the Constitution with contributions from officials and Ministers from across Government. My Department is currently supporting this process, including the potential options for funding the proposals.

Energy

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to the answer of 31 January 2013, Official Report, column 895W, on energy: Scotland, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of changes in the market share of each of the six biggest energy suppliers in the last 10 years. [182538]

Michael Fallon: The following reports published by Ofgem show the big six gas and electricity suppliers' market share in Great Britain in June 2003, December 2007 and 2012:

Domestic gas and electricity supply competition report 2003

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/38550/3775-dcmr04july.pdf

(pages 41 and 44)

Energy Supply Probe Initial Findings Report in October 2008

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/82755/2013greatbritainandnorthernirelandnationalreportstothe europeancommission.pdf

(pages 33 for gas and 32 for electricity).

2013 National Report to the European Commission

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/82755/2013greatbritainandnorthernirelandnationalreportstothe europeancommission.pdf

(pages 110 for gas and 59 for electricity)

Gas
SupplierPercentage of market share: March 2003Percentage of market share: December 2007Percentage of market share: December 2012

British Gas

63

44

40

SSE

6

15

15

E.On (Powergen in 2003)

12

13

13

RWE nPower

9

12

12

Edf (LE Group in 2003)

5

7

9

Scottish Power

5

6

10

Electricity
SupplierPercentage of market share: June 2003Percentage of market share: December 2007Percentage of market share: December 2012

British Gas

23

22

25

SSE

14

19

18

E.On (Powergen in 2003)

22

18

17

RWE npower

16

15

14

17 Jan 2014 : Column 704W

Edf (LE Group in 2003)

15

13

13

Scottish Power

10

12

12

Fracking

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department has made of the number of jobs that will be created by the fracking industry in (a) Lancashire and (b) the UK in the next 10 years. [183170]

Michael Fallon: The Department has not made such an estimate.

In a May 2013 report, the Institute of Directors estimated that UK shale production could support 74,000 jobs.

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change which English counties are being considered for shale gas exploration under the draft licensing plan issued in December 2013. [183189]

Michael Fallon: All counties in England except Cornwall include areas being considered under the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the next Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round. More details of the SEA areas can be found on the map (Figure NTS 1) on page vi of the Environmental Report via the following weblink:

https://econsultation.decc.gov.uk/decc-policy/consultation-env-report-further-oil-gas-licensing/

Natural Gas

Teresa Pearce: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department has taken against the threat to cast iron gas mains from the recent severe weather. [183125]

Michael Fallon: Gas distribution networks (GDNs) are responsible for the gas mains. In addition to defined ongoing maintenance regimes to maintain equipment integrity, there is an ongoing mains replacement programme which has been agreed with HSE and funded via the regulatory price control regime managed by Ofgem.

In the event of water ingress into the mains which causes gas supply issues, such as low pressure, GDNs have tried and tested methods to extract the water and re-secure supplies to households.

HSE formally monitor incident reporting, and DECC officials liaise closely with HSE to be kept informed of any significant incidents.

Office for Nuclear Regulation

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he last met the chief executive of the Office for Nuclear Regulation; and for what purpose that meeting took place. [182825]

17 Jan 2014 : Column 705W

Michael Fallon: The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey) last met the chief executive of the Office for Nuclear Regulation, along with the then acting chief nuclear inspector, on 12 September 2013 for a briefing on progress in developing the Chief nuclear inspector’s Annual Report. The meeting also covered wider issues such as ONR's preparations for its new status as a statutory regulatory body, for which the Energy Act 2013 makes legal provision.

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the regulatory priorities in the 2013 Annual Report from the Office for Nuclear Regulation; and if he will make a statement. [182888]

Michael Fallon: As an independent regulator, it is for the Office for Nuclear Regulation to determine its regulatory priorities and to deliver against them. Given DECC Ministers’ accountability to Parliament for nuclear safety and security, we continue to seek assurance from ONR that it regulates the nuclear industry in an efficient and effective way, holding it to account on behalf of the public.

Power Failures

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps are being taken to make the UK's electricity distribution network more resilient to winter storms. [183171]

Michael Fallon: The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the Under-Secretary of State and I met with the Distribution Network Operators, Energy Networks Association, Ofgem and Energy Emergencies Executive Committee on Wednesday 8 January to discuss the recent disruptions to electricity supply as a result of severe weather. At that meeting the Secretary of State commissioned a review of the response. The review will focus on communications with household energy customers, necessary resources to be able to cope with widespread disruption, and the compensation process. There was also agreement to investigate as quickly as possible the setting up of an emergency telephone number which households can call if they experience a power cut. This review will report back to the Secretary of State within two months.

Work Experience

Seema Malhotra: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many people aged (a) 16 and under and (b) over 16 years old undertook work experience in his Department in each of the last three years. [183658]

Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) does not maintain central records for work experience placements. Therefore, DECC does not centrally hold this specific information and we estimate that providing the details that you have requested would incur disproportionate costs. DECC operates work experience placements in line with the Government's social mobility strategy and within the guidelines of civil service employee policy. DECC provides line managers

17 Jan 2014 : Column 706W

with clear guidance on work experience placements both in relation to their recruitment and placement with particular reference to health and safety. The guidance implemented is that developed through civil service employee policy.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Bovine Tuberculosis

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to his answer of 19 December 2013, Official Report, column 729W, on the badger cull, when he plans to publish the requested information on the full costs of the pilot badger culls. [182784]

George Eustice: Costs of the pilot badger culls involve several different components: police costs, DEFRA costs and industry costs.

The final police costs of the first year of the pilots are still to be calculated and verified. The majority of costs to DEFRA are one-off costs associated with monitoring of controlled shooting during the first year of the pilots. In ensuring robustness of this monitoring, hair trapping fieldwork, detailed laboratory post-mortems and night-time field observations were carried out. This work comes at a cost but will not have to be repeated in subsequent years or for other cull areas should it be decided to roll-out the policy. The policy is implemented by the cull companies, funded by the farming industry.

A revised economic assessment is being prepared to inform decision making, and will be published once decisions are announced in due course.

Information on the costs of the badger culls will also be released.

Fisheries

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of fish stocks in UK and European waters. [182776]

George Eustice: The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) assesses the state of EU fish stocks annually. The most recent ICES advice for the majority of fish stocks in the UK and European waters was released in June 2013. This informed decisions on 2014 fishing quotas taken at the December 2013 EU Fisheries Council.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effect of trawling on fish stocks. [182777]

George Eustice: The impact of trawling and other commercial fishing methods on fish stocks is assessed annually as part of the process which underpins fixing the total allowable catches for stocks, subject to quota limits. The impact of commercial fishing activities on stocks is a key element of the scientific advice of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas,

17 Jan 2014 : Column 707W

which informs the proposals considered by EU fisheries ministers each December to agree fishing opportunities for the following year.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many UK fishing businesses use trawlers when fishing. [182778]

George Eustice: The most recent UK Fleet Capacity Report, prepared by the Marine Management Organisation (for 2012), indicated 889 demersal trawlers (including seiners) and 96 beam trawlers in the UK fleet.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans the Government has to introduce measures to protect and replenish fish stocks in UK waters. [182779]

George Eustice: The reformed EU common fisheries policy entered into force on 1 January 2014. During negotiations the UK was successful in securing a new legally binding commitment to manage fish stocks to Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) by 2015 where possible, and 2020 at the latest, bringing an end to the discarding of fish and a new regional decision making process.

The Government will also be implementing the marine strategy framework directive (MSFD) to deliver good environmental status (GES) by 2020, as well as further developing our network of marine protected areas.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which fish species commonly caught in the UK are currently considered at risk. [182780]

George Eustice: There are currently 30 EU stocks in which the UK has a commercial interest where there is sufficient scientific advice to know whether the stocks are being managed sustainably. 14 of these stocks are not yet being exploited at sustainable levels. Of these, many are on the right track to recovery, but others are considered to be at greater risk. These include west of Scotland cod, Irish sea cod and Irish Sea sole.

Flood Control

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 13 January 2014, Official Report, column 345W, on flood control, what share of the capital spending set out in each year was for flood defence schemes for which funding had been committed prior to May 2010. [183385]

Dan Rogerson: Environment Agency figures are given below, showing the amount of flood and coastal risk management grant in aid (FCERM GiA) capital for flood risk management, which was committed to schemes on which work had started before 2010-11.

Ongoing costs of scheme commitments made prior to May 2010
Financial year£ million

2010-11

150.5

2011-12

71.2

17 Jan 2014 : Column 708W

2012-13

74.0

2013-14

50.3

Floods

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Floodline Warnings Direct. [183351]

Dan Rogerson: During an event, Floodline Warnings Direct contacts customers who are at risk from flooding and are registered on the system.

The Environment Agency routinely monitors the performance of Floodline Warnings Direct during a flood event and makes an assessment of its performance afterwards.

The most recent assessment took place following the coastal flood event of 4-6 December 2013. The Environment Agency's assessment showed that over 73% of calls sent from Floodline Warnings Direct were received within ten minutes of the flood warning being issued. In total over 526,000 calls were sent to customers during the event.

Floodline Warnings Direct continues to-be both reliable and effective in warning the public and emergency services to the possibility of flooding.

Food: Waste

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to reduce food wastage; and if he will make a statement. [183154]

Dan Rogerson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19 December 2013, Official Report, column 732W.

Procurement

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion and value of his Department's contracts have been let (a) under the restricted procedure, (b) by the open procedure, (c) via framework agreements and (d) via a tendering process involving the use of a pre-qualification questionnaire in each of the last three years. [182689]

Dan Rogerson: The response on (a) to (c) is set out in the following table below. On (d), Core DEFRA does not use a pre-qualification questionnaire for procurements below the OJEU threshold.

 Restricted procedureOpen procedureVia Framework Agreements
Procurement methodPre-qualification questionnaires above OJEU thresholdOpen Competitive OJEUCompetition/Direct Award under framework

2010-11

   

Number of contracts

0

14

54

Percentage of contracts

0

5.3

20.5

17 Jan 2014 : Column 709W

Total value (£)

0

14,872,670.72

18,569,796.99

    

2011-12

   

Number of contracts

2

15

57

Percentage of contracts

1

6.9

26.3

Total value (£)

2,666,525.72

6,228,763.39

9,659,459.38

    

2012-13

   

Number of contracts

0

15

126

Percentage of contracts

0

3.9

32.9

Total value (£)

0

23,208,846.00

38,744,849.92

This information excludes (a) research spending, which is not subject to the EU thresholds and (b) work commissioned under major services contracts. Procurements below the OJEU threshold are included in the calculations in the table.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2014, Official Report, column 176W, on Afghanistan, what discussions he has had with his European counterparts ahead of the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 20 January 2014 on co-ordinated EU action to protect Afghan women human rights defenders. [183123]

Hugh Robertson: We are working closely with the EU and its member states to ensure that human rights, including the protection of human rights defenders, remain a top priority for the EU's future work in Afghanistan. Officials have raised this issue with the EU and other member states in Brussels and European capitals, and will continue to do so. We will continue to press this point at the EU Human Rights and Gender Working Group in Kabul. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) will use the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 20 January to reinforce this message and underline the importance of this priority being reflected in any future EU strategy for Afghanistan.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the effect of conflict on civilians in Afghanistan. [183335]

17 Jan 2014 : Column 710W

Hugh Robertson: The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) release an annual and mid year report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. The most recent report covered January to June 2013 and found that the majority of civilian deaths (74%) are caused by "Anti Government Elements". The UK works to incorporate the recommendations from these reports into our plans and procedures. ISAF and UK forces have strict operating procedures to minimise the risk of casualties occurring and to investigate any incidents that do happen.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the number of civilians killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. [183336]

Hugh Robertson: The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) protection of civilians report covering January to June 2013 attributed 74% of the 1,319 civilian deaths to "Anti-Government Elements", including the Taliban.

Bank Services

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with what bank his Department's bank overdraft is held; and what fees and charges were payable on the core Department's bank overdraft in the last financial year. [183247]

Mr Lidington: During the financial year 2012-13, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's main bank account was held with the Government Banking Service. Although there is an overdraft facility on the account, it was not overdrawn at any point during the year and therefore no bank charges were incurred.

EU External Trade

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent estimate he has made of the potential economic benefits to the UK of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership being agreed and implemented. [901391]

Mr Lidington: According to a study commissioned and published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, an ambitious, comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal could over the long-term be worth up to £10 billion to the UK annually.

Iran

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he intends to nominate a UK bank for transactions linked to the UK's obligations under the Geneva Joint Plan of Action with Iran. [183186]

Hugh Robertson: The Joint Plan of Action agreed in Geneva between the E3 plus 3 and Iran provides for proportionate and limited sanctions relief from the United States and the European Union, in return for significant commitments from Iran regarding its nuclear programme. As a member of the E3 plus 3 and the EU,

17 Jan 2014 : Column 711W

the UK will fulfil its commitments under the Geneva agreement, while respecting the decisions taken by commercial entities.

Iraq

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what recent reports he has received on the political stability of Iraq; [183332]

(2) what recent reports he has received on the effect of conflict on civilians in Iraq. [183334]

Hugh Robertson: We receive regular reports on the political and security situation in Iraq. We remain deeply concerned by continuing reports that Al Qaeda (AQ) control parts of Fallujah. We stand by the Iraqi Government in combating the threat of terrorism, which can only be done effectively in collaboration with local communities, and continue to urge that civilians are protected in any action by the Iraqi Security Forces. To defeat terrorism in the long-term, and to bring greater political stability, Iraq's political leaders must also establish a more inclusive political process; we continue to stress the importance of free and fair elections being held on time in April 2014.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the work of the Iraqi army. [183333]

Hugh Robertson: We receive regular reports on the security situation in Iraq, including the role of the Iraqi Army. Current operations include Operation Iron Hammer intended to tackle the presence of terrorist groups in Anbar province, western Iraq. We continue to urge that military operations demonstrate proportionate use of force.

Libya

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to seek the repeal of UNSCR 1970 on arms exports to Libya. [183198]

Hugh Robertson: We, and the Libyan Government, recognise that there are still significant challenges to human rights and security across Libya. Against that backdrop it is important that the international community demonstrates its commitment to extreme caution on the question of introducing new weapons in to Libya. The UK has fully supported the arms embargo and ensured its robust implementation. Therefore, we have no plans to seek the repeal of UNSCR 1970 at this time.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek the lifting of the EU embargo on arms exports to Libya as set out in CD 2011/137/CFSP. [183199]

Hugh Robertson: We, and the Libyan Government, recognise that there are still significant challenges to human rights and security across Libya. Against that backdrop it is important that the international community demonstrates its commitment to extreme caution on the question of introducing new weapons in to Libya. The

17 Jan 2014 : Column 712W

UK has fully supported the arms embargo and ensured its robust implementation. Therefore, we have no plans to seek the lifting of the EU arms embargo at this time.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make an assessment of the effect of arms embargos on Libya on the security and human rights situation in that country. [183201]

Hugh Robertson: The UK fully supports the Libyan arms embargo and ensures its robust implementation. All exports of arms and other controlled military goods are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, and in accordance with the UN and EU arms embargoes. Licences for the Libyan Government are approved in consultation with the Libyan Government to ensure we are supplying only Government approved end users.

Middle East

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy that in all contacts with the governments of Arab countries his Department will raise issues of religious intolerance and promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to protect Christians and other religious minorities. [182808]

Hugh Robertson: The British Government is committed to supporting the fundamental human right to freedom of religion or belief. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the basis of our position. We support this right in the middle east by regularly raising concerns with government interlocutors; building international consensus around freedom of religion or belief; supporting practical projects on community dialogue; and engaging with civil society and faith groups.

However, the wide range of different contacts the governments have with Arab governments on a daily basis, covering human rights, security, consular and prosperity issues would render a policy where religious intolerance is raised in all contacts unworkable.

Government Ministers regularly speak out against abuses to the right to freedom of religion or belief. For instance, I discussed the situation faced by Coptic Christians in Egypt and implications of the draft constitution in my meeting with Bishop Yulios, a representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church and an assistant to Pope Tawadros II, during a recent visit to Cairo on 16 December.

Against a backdrop of deep and difficult challenges facing minority communities in the region, the Government is working hard to support the building of societies in the middle east and North Africa which respect human rights, the rule of law, and the equality and opportunity of all citizens. To this end/we support long-term political and economic reform in the region through the Arab Partnership, which includes a £110 million fund over 2011-15.

Middle East and Africa

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations the UK has made to governments in the Middle East and Africa on protection of religious groups and eradicating intolerance of Christians. [182855]

17 Jan 2014 : Column 713W

Mr Lidington: We continue to stand up for the rights of those persecuted because of their religion or belief, regardless of where the persecution takes place. This was the focus of a recent speech by the Senior Minister of State, my noble Friend the right hon. Baroness Warsi in Washington and her article in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano stressing the need for an international response to the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities. The Minister announced plans to host an international conference in the first half of 2014 on promoting the benefits of religious pluralism to encourage countries to protect this fundamental, yet threatened human right.

We have raised our concerns about the plight of Christians including in the Middle East and Africa at both ministerial and official level. For example, at the UN Human Rights Council in September we raised the lack of protection for religious minorities in Egypt, stressing that attacks against places of worship are abhorrent and must stop. We have also made clear that those responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Syria should be held to account. In October, Baroness Warsi met with Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III where they discussed the Geneva II process to establish peace negotiations, the plight of Christians in Syria and the humanitarian crisis affecting Syria and the region.

During regular talks with the Nigerian Government we have shared our concerns that those responsible for violent attacks, which cause suffering in communities of different faiths and ethnicities and aim to provoke religious division, should be brought to justice. In Eritrea ministers and officials raise freedom of religion or belief with the Government at every opportunity and will continue to do so. For example, last year our ambassador raised the persecution of Christians with senior representatives of the Eritrean Government.

As well as lobbying governments and meeting with local Christian leaders we also support projects which help to encourage co-operation and understanding between different faith groups. For example, in Syria we have been promoting minority rights by supporting projects to increase dialogue and reduce tensions between different communities. In Nigeria, the UK Aid funded Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme is working to help tackle conflict in Plateau and Kaduna states, including by engaging with faith leaders.

Procurement

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what weighting his Department's procurement procedures give to (a) the location of a company and its workforce, (b) the extent to which a company has a strong environmental record, (c) whether the company is a social enterprise and (d) other company history prior performance. [182639]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's procurement policy is to award contracts on the basis of value for money, which means the optimum combination of cost and quality over the lifetime of the project. In line with procurement law, we take a proportionate approach to defining evaluation criteria linked to the subject matter of the contract and weightings for each procurement and ensure equal opportunity to all bidders. Such criteria cannot include supplier type or location.

17 Jan 2014 : Column 714W

Wider socio-economic criteria can be taken into account at tender evaluation stage if they relate directly to the subject matter of a contract from the point of view of the contracting authority.

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what value of contracts procured by his Department in the last five years was carried out below EU thresholds. [182656]

Mr Lidington: This question could be answered only at disproportionate cost. Data from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's overseas posts are not held centrally as the authority to enter into contracts below £80,000 is devolved to them.

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of his Department's contracts have been let to companies with (a) one to five, (b) six to 49, (c) 50 to 250 and (d) more than 250 staff. [182673]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is committed to increasing its direct and indirect spend with small and medium enterprises. However, we do not hold information on supplier staff numbers that would answer the question to the level of detail specified.

Last financial year (2012-13), the FCO had direct1 SME spend of 20.5% and indirect2 spend of 4.3%.

1 Direct spend is based on UK spend only.

2 Taken from the quarterly supplier survey and has been calculated against global total procurement spend.

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion and value of his Department's contracts have been let (a) under the restricted procedure, (b) by the open procedure, (c) via framework agreements and (d) via a tendering process involving the use of a pre-qualification questionnaire in each of the last three years. [182690]

Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not hold all of this data centrally for the time period in question. It would incur disproportionate cost to answer this question because the authority to enter into contracts under £80,000 is devolved to Posts overseas and the data are not held centrally. However we can provide the following information for Foreign and Commonwealth Office (excluding FCO Services and arm’s length bodies) procurements conducted under Restricted and Open procedures via the Official Journal of the European Union:

2010

Three contracts awarded under the Restricted procedure with a total value of £70,628,519.

2011

11 contracts awarded under the Restricted procedure with a total value of £43,175,910.

2012

Three contracts awarded under the Restricted procedure with a total value of £26,035,648.

One contract awarded under the Open procedure with a value of £178,750.

17 Jan 2014 : Column 715W

The FCO does not centrally hold data on framework use and the frequency of use of Pre-Qualification Questionnaires for the years in question.

Syria

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what specific provisions the UK Government is putting towards the international effort to decommission Syria's chemical weapons. [183306]

Hugh Robertson: The UK has provided support worth £2.4 million to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' destruction effort. On 19 December we announced that we would accept some of the chemicals for destruction in licensed UK facilities. A Royal Navy ship, HMS Montrose, will accompany the Danish and Norwegian vessels transporting the chemical stocks in international waters after leaving Syria. The UK will also provide specialist equipment for use on board the US vessel where material of greatest proliferation concern will be neutralised.

Health

Care Homes: Defibrillators

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require care homes to provide automatic external defibrillators. [183339]

Norman Lamb: The Department is not responsible for the installation of defibrillators. We have no plans to require their provision in care homes. Since February 2007, ambulance trusts have had responsibility for sustaining the legacy of the National Defibrillator Programme. We consider they are best placed to understand the requirements of local populations.

As set out in the Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy, published on 5 March 2013, NHS England is working with the Resuscitation Council, the British Heart Foundation and others to promote the site mapping and registration of defibrillators and first responder programmes by ambulance services. These organisations will also look at ways of increasing the number of people who are trained in using defibrillators and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Cleft Palate

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether people born with cleft lip and palate are entitled to cosmetic surgery on the NHS free of charge. [182781]

Jane Ellison: All types of treatment required for cleft lip and palate are available on the national health service, including surgery. Access to this service is based on clinical need and is free of charge.

Deloitte

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2014, Official Report, column 138W, on Deloitte, whether any third parties possess a copy of the correspondence from Peter Coates to Mike Turley dated 19 January 2010. [183352]

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Dr Poulter: I refer my hon. Friend to the written answer I gave her on 14 January 2014, Official Report, column 537W.

Food and Drink Federation

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many meetings representatives of the Food and Drink Federation attended with (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department in each year since 2010. [183194]

Jane Ellison: Available records state that Ministers have attended 16 meetings at which the Food and Drink Federation has been present; the majority of these also included public health representatives. Officials have attended 99 meetings at which the Food and Drink Federation has been present. The Food and Drink Federation is a member of the Public Health Responsibility Deal Food Network.

General Practitioners: Defibrillators

Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on requiring GP practices that hold automatic external defibrillators to make them publicly available. [183331]

Jane Ellison: It is for individual general practices to make decisions on whether to make automatic external defibrillators held on their premises publicly available.

The National Defibrillator Programme, which was coordinated by the Department from 2000, began placing automated external defibrillators in public places. From February 2007, responsibility for continuing the legacy of the National Defibrillator Programme was devolved to ambulance trusts. Most of the ambulance trusts across the United Kingdom have community resuscitation departments or similar, which work to place defibrillators in the community, and in areas of need.

As set out in the Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy, published on 5 March 2013, NHS England is working with the Resuscitation Council, the British Heart Foundation and others to promote the site mapping and registration of defibrillators and first responder programmes by ambulance services. These organisations will also look at ways of increasing the number of people who are trained in using defibrillators and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Hospitals: Parking

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of (a) the number and proportion of NHS hospitals in England that charge patients and visitors for using their car parks, (b) the total number of patients and visitors charged for using car parks at NHS hospitals in England, (c) the total revenue generated from charging patients and visitors for using car parks at NHS hospitals in England and (d) how much and what proportion of the total revenue generated was received by private sector organisations in each year since 2009-10. [183167]

Dr Poulter: The information is not all available in the format requested.

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The number and proportion of national health service hospitals in England that charge patients and visitors for using their car parks is provided in the following table. The types of hospital sites included in these figures include general acute hospitals, treatment centres, multi-service hospitals, specialist hospitals, short-term non-acute hospitals, community hospitals and long stay hospitals. NHS trusts can have more than one site.

 Number of hospital sites with parkingNumber of hospital sites with parking which charge patients and visitorsPercentage of hospital sites with parking which charge patients and visitors

2009-10

941

340

36.1

2010-11

910

352

38.7

2011-12

950

355

37.4

2012-13

872

342

39.2

It is based on data collected annually through the Estates Return Information Collection system on sites that provide patient and visitor parking and those where the average fee for the first three hours of parking was provided. It excludes those sites that do not provide car parking for patients and visitors as well as those sites that do not provide clinical services.

Data is not collected centrally on the total number of patients and visitors charged for using car parks at NHS hospitals in England. The total revenue generated from charging patients and visitors for using car parks at NHS hospitals in England and how much and what proportion of the total revenue generated was received by private sector organisations.

Decisions on the provision of car parking, including whether it is charged for and how much such charges are, are made locally by the NHS organisations themselves.

All the data provided have been supplied by the NHS and had not been amended centrally. The accuracy and completeness of the information is the responsibility of the provider organisation.

NHS Trust Development Authority

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2014, Official Report, column 146W, on NHS Trust Development Authority, for what reasons the two contracts valued at over £100,000 with Gareth Cruddace Limited were not put out to competitive tender. [183075]

Dr Poulter: Upon its establishment, the priority for the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) was to provide continuity of existing arrangements for those projects already under way by securing appropriate resourcing from established and experienced consultants with specific capability and knowledge of those projects. In recognition of this and to ensure adherence to pre-determined timescales a number of untendered arrangements were entered into on a time-limited or specific project delivery basis.

Gareth Cruddace Ltd was engaged to ensure the successful dissolution and transfer of staff for three London transactions following the work of the Trust Special Administrator. The first of these contracts was entered into by NHS London and inherited by the NHS TDA. The second contract was entered into by the NHS TDA.

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Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2014, Official Report, column 146W, on NHS Trust Development Authority, for what purpose Carnall Farrar LLP was engaged; who made the decision to engage that firm; and for what reasons the contract for the engagement was not subject to competitive tender. [183120]

Dr Poulter: Upon its establishment, the priority for the NHS Trust Development Agency (NHS TDA) was to provide continuity of existing arrangements for those projects already under way by securing appropriate resourcing from established and experienced consultants with specific capability and knowledge of those projects. In recognition of this and to ensure adherence to pre-determined timescales a number of untendered arrangements were entered into on a time-limited or specific project delivery basis.

Carnall/Farrar LLP was identified following a headhunting process to support the NHS TDA's work on the Sir Bruce Keogh mortality review. They were selected because they have previously been in positions that regularly required capability assessments to be made of senior leaders and the contract price represents value for money in that it is considerably below the equivalent costs of appointing senior partner-level advisers, through a major consultancy firm. This contract was entered into by the NHS TDA.

NHS: Crime Prevention

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 6 January 2014, Official Report, column 147W, on NHS: crime prevention, (1) how many investigations NHS Protect undertook in 2010; how many such investigations led to (a) criminal prosecutions and (b) internal disciplinary procedures; and what the cost of each such investigation was; [183060]

(2) where information about investigations by NHS Protect is held. [183061]

Dr Poulter: NHS Protect investigative work is reported by April to March financial years. The information on 2009-10 and 2010-11 is in the table.

 2009-102010-11

Investigations

482

251

Criminal prosecutions

65

105

Internal disciplinary actions

48

58

In any 12 month period the summary of investigation work will show investigations with outcomes in a future period and outcomes from investigations that commenced in a previous period.

The cost of each investigation leading to criminal prosecutions or internal disciplinary procedures is not available and could be obtained only at disproportional cost.

NHS Protect annual reports provide summaries of investigation work. The annual reports for 2009-10 and 2010-11 are available on the NHS Protect website at:

www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/CounterFraud/Documents/CounterFraud/NHS_CFS_performance_report_09_10.pdf

www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Documents/CounterFraud/PERFORMANCE_REPORT.pdf

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Procurement

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many officials at each grade in his Department have the authority to execute a purchase; what proportion of those officials have professional procurement qualifications; and what the key indicators used in his Department to assess procurement officer's performance are. [183362]

Dr Poulter: The Department has a total of 39 full-time equivalent (FTE) posts in its centralised procurement team. Of these, 24 FTEs are procurement professionals— 15 holding full graduate membership of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, with the other nine holding foundation level membership and in progress towards graduate status. The 39 posts are at the following grades: one at Senior Civil Service, three at Grade six, six at Grade seven, 12 at Senior Executive Officer, 13 at Higher Executive Officer and four at Executive Officer.

The centralised procurement team provides the professional lead role and supports core spending activities across the Department, although staff outside of the centralised procurement team will also engage in procurement services. It is therefore not possible to identify a definitive number of officials and their grades engaged in procurement services across the Department.

Performance of procurement officials is managed through the Department Performance Management Policy framework, which sets out the expected standard of performance.