Crime: Business

Chris Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will review the adequacy of current legislation on corporate criminal liability. [901835]

Damian Green: The Government has no specific plans to review the adequacy of the current legislation on corporate criminal liability, although this area, like all criminal law, is subject to general monitoring.

Electronic Commerce: Fraud

Stephen Gilbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many successful prosecutions for fraud in (a) England and (b) Cornwall have been for cases involving trade on the website eBay in each of the last five years. [188913]

Jeremy Wright: Shopping and auction fraud relies on the anonymity of the internet. The Action Fraud website:

www.actionfraud.police.uk/home

provides guidance for victims on reporting these offences to the police.

The Ministry of Justice Court Proceedings Database holds information on defendants proceeded against, found guilty and sentenced for criminal offences in England and Wales. This database holds information on offences provided by the statutes under which proceedings are brought but not the specific circumstances of each case. It is not possible to separately identify from this centrally held information prosecutions for fraud involving trade on the website eBay. This detailed information may be held on the court record but due to the size and complexity is not reported centrally to the MOJ. As such, the information requested can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

6 Mar 2014 : Column 935W

Juries: Age

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the reasons are for his proposal to increase the upper age limit of jurors to 75 while that of judges remains 70. [188229]

Damian Green: We are raising the upper age limit for jury service to make juries more representative of all the people who are playing a full part in their communities. However jury service is not comparable to service as a judicial office holder.

Jurors are randomly selected and sit with 11 others to assess the evidence presented and to deliver verdicts in a trial or inquest. Afterwards, the jurors are discharged. Judicial office holders on the other hand serve on a permanent basis sitting either alone or, in the case of some tribunals or the magistracy, as a panel of two or three. They are expected to rule on a daily basis on a variety of complex issues in a wide range of cases—applying the law accordingly.

The Government has considered the merits of extending the mandatory retirement age of judicial office holders, and following discussions with members of the senior judiciary and others remains convinced that the current mandatory retirement regime supports the legitimate aim of a justice system which is independent, fair and efficient.

Law of Property Act 1925

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what recent assessment his Department has made of the value of property sold by receivers appointed under the Law of Property Act 1925 in the last year; [183550]

(2) if he will introduce a register for receivers appointed under the Law of Property Act 1925; [183551]

(3) how many people have (a) sought and (b) obtained compensation through the courts for breaches of the Law of Property Act 1925; [183552]

(4) what minimum qualifications receivers appointed under the Law of Property Act 1925 have to hold. [183553]

Damian Green: Law of Property Act Receivers (“LPA Receivers”) are appointed by secured lenders (“mortgagees”) to take over and manage mortgaged premises either under the power contained in the Law of Property Act 1925 (“the Act”) or an express power in the mortgage. The Act does not specify any minimum qualifications for appointment as a LPA Receiver.

The Ministry of Justice has not assessed the value of properties sold by LPA Receivers and has no plans to introduce a register of LPA Receiver appointments. The Department will, however, continue to keep the law relating to LPA Receivers under review.

The Act covers a wide range of matters relating to general property law. Statistics are not collected on the number of people who have sought and obtained compensation through the courts for breaches of the Act either generally or against LPA Receivers. Such information could be obtained only at disproportionate expense.

6 Mar 2014 : Column 936W

Oakwood Prison

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many and what proportion of the staff working at HM Prison Oakwood when it took its first prisoners had previous experience of working in a prison; [184028]

(2) how many and what proportion of the staff working at HM Prison Oakwood had (a) no, (b) up to six months, (c) between six and 12 months and (d) over 12 months previous experience working in a prison when it took its first prisoners. [184029]

Jeremy Wright: The information requested is not collected centrally and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost. At HMP Oakwood, staff are employed by a number of providers to deliver a range of services including, for example, probation services, education and health care, as well as custodial services.

Offenders: EU Nationals

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of citizens of other EU member states living in the UK who have been convicted of crimes committed in the UK. [184510]

Jeremy Wright: The Ministry of Justice Court Proceedings Database does not record the nationality of offenders sentenced for criminal offences.

We do however record the number of EU nationals in prison.

All Foreign National Offenders sentenced to custody are referred to the Home Office for them to consider deportation at the earliest possible opportunity.

Prison Service

Stephen Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average ratio of prison officers to inmates in prisons in England and Wales was in June 2013. [182604]

Jeremy Wright: There were 4.1 prisoners to each prison officer employed within Prison Service establishments in England and Wales at 30 June 2013. This ratio includes both public sector and privately managed establishments. The figure relates to the total number of officers employed rather than the number on duty at any particular time.

Staffing levels are being reviewed prison by prison as part of a ‘benchmarking approach'.

Benchmarking has been agreed with the unions and the NAO has commented that the wider strategy for the prison estate is the most coherent and comprehensive for many years. It delivers efficiencies while ensuring that public sector prisons operate safely, decently and securely.

Benchmarking optimises the skills of staff by introducing new ways of working and puts all prison officers in prisoner facing roles.

6 Mar 2014 : Column 937W

Probation Trusts

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many senior management posts there were across all probation trusts on 1 February 2014. [189940]

Jeremy Wright: Information on staffing levels in the probation trusts by job group is collected and published in the quarterly Probation Service Workforce Information reports. The link to the latest published report on gov.uk relating to Q3 2013-14 is provided as follows:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/probation-service-workforce-quarterly-reports

6 Mar 2014 : Column 938W

The job groups that are deemed to be Senior Management are Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive and Assistant Chief Executive.

Procurement

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what value of contracts procured by his Department in the last five years was carried out below EU thresholds. [182660]

Damian Green: The following table shows the number of contracts awarded below the EU threshold and the total value of those contracts in the last five years. Please note that we have broken up the data to reflect the EU threshold in each period.

Threshold in relevant period
 £ £ £

Goods

90,319.00

Goods

101,323.00

Goods

113,057.00

Services

90,319.00

Services

101,323.00

Services

113,057.00

Works

3,497,313.00

Works

3,927,260.00

Works

4,348,350.00

 Year 1Year 2/3Year 4/5
 Number of contractsValue (£)Number of ContractsValue (£)Number of contractsValue (£)

Total goods

9

285,388.42

23

1,093,241.02

37

1,698,603.10

Total services

88

3,636,609.96

97

3,902,145.58

271

9,910,100.16

Total works1

32

1,500,126.22

184

30,459,429.36

272

20,881,294.91

1 Data for works contracts awarded below the EU thresholds in 2009 is not held centrally.

Vetting

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the changes announced under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 will also apply to CRB checks. [188558]

Jeremy Wright: The changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 which I announced on 13 February 2014, contained in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, are changes to the primary legislation and come into force in England and Wales on 10 March 2014. The measures shorten the rehabilitation periods for most convictions, after which they are considered to be ‘spent', and extend the scope of the 1974 Act to allow for custodial sentences of up to, and including, four years to become spent after a specified period of time. Previously the longest custodial sentence which could become spent was 30 months. Once spent, cautions and convictions do not have to be disclosed for most purposes. The amendments will mean that more convictions may become spent earlier and will not be included in criminal conviction certificates which show only unspent conditional cautions and convictions, commonly known as basic disclosure certificates, and which can be requested by any employer. These reforms will give offenders who have served their sentence and have turned their back on crime a fair chance of getting their lives back on track.

These changes do not affect the content of standard and enhanced disclosure certificates issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau) as these certificates include certain spent caution and conviction information in addition to unspent conviction information. These certificates may only be requested by employers and others where the occupation or activity is listed on the Exceptions Order to the 1974 Act. The Exceptions Order covers sensitive occupations, such as working unsupervised with children, and allows for fuller disclosure of criminal record information in order to maintain public protection. However, in response to a Court of Appeal judgment handed down in January 2013, the Government amended the Exceptions Order last year to provide that certain old and minor spent cautions and convictions are protected and are no longer routinely included in standard and enhanced criminal record certificates issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Transport

Cycling

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish his Department's cycling delivery plan. [190230]

Mr Goodwill: The Department is currently working with stakeholders and other Government Departments to develop the content of the Government's Cycling Delivery Plan, and expects to publish it later in 2014.

First Transpennine Express

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many seats are available on the diesel train fleet allocated to Transpennine Express; and how many are expected to be available in December 2015. [190318]

6 Mar 2014 : Column 939W

Stephen Hammond: The diesel fleet operated by First TransPennine Express consists of Class 170 and Class 185 units; each Class 170 has 105 standard seats and eight first Class seats—there are nine Class 170 trains in the fleet. Each Class 185 has 154 standard seats and 14 first Class seats—there are 51 Class 185 train sets in the fleet.

The Department is currently in discussion with First TransPennine Express in respect of a short direct award covering the period from April 2015 to February 2016; the operator will be responsible for sourcing appropriate rolling stock for this period.

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the most recent report on High Speed 2 by the Major Projects Authority. [190209]

Mr Goodwill: This Government has a strong record on transparency and last year published the first ever Major Projects Authority (MPA) report which included information on all major projects, including High Speed 2. The next annual report will be published in May 2014 and will include the RAG rating for the most recent MPA review of HS2.

The Government does not intend to publish any further information relating to the MPA report.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ensure that the full independent summary of the consultation into the proposed High Speed 2 route from Birmingham to the North of England is published by IPSOS Mori. [190270]

Mr Goodwill: I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 26 February 2014, Official Report, column 387W.

Pagers

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many pagers have been provided to staff by his Department since May 2010; and what the cost to the Department was of providing those pagers. [190059]

Stephen Hammond: The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) are the only areas of the Department that utilise pagers.

The number and cost of pagers is as follows:

AAIB

 Number of pagersAmount spent (£)

2010-11

40

1,919.58

2011 (January)

16

89.21

2011-12

6

476.84

2012-13

5

372.23

2013-14

5

327.36

Total cost

 

3,185.22

1 Reduced to 6.

6 Mar 2014 : Column 940W

MCA

Since May 2010 the MCA:

has purchased 550 Channel 00 pagers at a cost of £121,900. Channel 00 pagers cannot be rented and have to be purchased. The MCA use them in areas of poor communications, e.g. for some volunteer coastguards in remote areas, on a private VHF network that MCA maintain;

has rented 604 commercial pagers at £1.44 per pager, per month. The precise rental start dates cannot be easily identified and manually checking start dates for pagers would unfortunately incur disproportionate costs.

Railways: Compensation

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to encourage train companies to inform customers of their rights to compensation and to provide information on this matter to the public. [190289]

Stephen Hammond: It is important that passengers are aware of their entitlements to claim compensation and I will continue to push operators to do all they can to make sure passengers are fully aware of their rights and have a simple claim process. A summary of the steps being taken by operators is on the Rail Delivery Group website.

http://www.raildeliverygroup.com/assets/files/2014/02/RAIL%20INDUSTRY%20RESPONDS%20TO%20 REGULATORS%20REPORT%20ON%20PASSENGER% 20COMPENSATION.pdf

Railways: Electrification

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the cost of rail electrification to electricity network operators. [189841]

Stephen Hammond: The assessment of the costs of rail electrification are the subject of commercial discussions between Network Rail and the electricity network operators. Network Rail can be approached at 90 York Way, London N1 9AG.

Railways: Passengers

Mr O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of changes in train passenger numbers over the next 10 years. [190260]

Stephen Hammond: The number of passenger rail journeys is forecast to grow from an estimated 1,530 million in 2013-14 to 1,842 million by 2023-24.

Mr O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average number is of passengers travelling in first class on weekdays from London to (a) Manchester, (b) Leeds and (c) Birmingham. [190281]

Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport does not hold this information.

6 Mar 2014 : Column 941W

Railways: Tees Valley

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the average number of rail passengers travelling in first class on weekdays from London to (a) Darlington and (b) Eaglescliffe. [190503]

Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport does not hold this information.

Rescue Services: Belfast

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Belfast, was staffed at below risk-assessed levels in January 2014. [190146]

Stephen Hammond: During January 2014 Belfast Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) was staffed below risk assessed levels on six occasions out of 62 shifts.

Where there are specific issues at a MRCC Her Majesty's Coastguard is using the current long established pairing arrangements between MRCCs. This enables each MRCC to be connected to at least one other MRCC which is available to provide mutual support.

Rescue Services: Liverpool

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Liverpool, was staffed at below risk-assessed levels in January 2014. [190163]

Stephen Hammond: During January 2014 Liverpool Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) was staffed below risk assessed levels on seven occasions out of 62 shifts.

Where there are specific issues at a MRCC Her Majesty's Coastguard is using the current long established pairing arrangements between MRCCs. This enables each MRCC to be connected to at least one other MRCC which is available to provide mutual support.

Rescue Services: Stornoway

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Stornoway, was staffed at below risk-assessed levels in January 2014. [190147]

Stephen Hammond: During January 2014 Stornoway Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) was staffed below risk assessed levels on five occasions out of 62 shifts.

Where there are specific issues at a MRCC Her Majesty's Coastguard is using the current long established pairing arrangements between MRCCs. This enables each MRCC to be connected to at least one other MRCC which is available to provide mutual support.

6 Mar 2014 : Column 942W

Road Signs and Markings

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish his Department's review of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions. [190196]

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport expects to consult on proposed changes to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions in the spring, and to bring its successor into force in 2015.

Roads: Worcester

Mr Robin Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the (a) number of journeys affected by and (b) the total cost of road closures as a result of flooding in Worcester during February 2014. [189942]

Mr Goodwill: The strategic road network which falls under the responsibility of the Highways Agency did not report any closures as a result of flooding in Worcestershire during February 2014.

Local roads in Worcester are the responsibility of the local highway authority, Worcestershire county council. The Department for Transport does not, therefore, hold records of the number of journeys that may have been affected or any cost estimates as a result of local road closures due to flooding.

Northern Ireland

Equality

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 25 February 2014, Official Report, column 296W, on equality, what the cost to her Department was of section 75 equality training in each year between 2008-09 and 2012-13. [190203]

Mrs Villiers: Figures are not available centrally for the period prior to the completion of devolution of policing and justice functions on 12 April 2010.

My Department has worked with the Centre for Applied Learning (CAL) to develop equality training tailored to the revised role, responsibilities and structure of the Department. The first training session was delivered to all staff in 2013-14 at a cost of £5,000.

Scotland

Internet

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what services his Department provides that are (a) available online only and (b) planned to move to online only. [190370]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office publishes online a wide range of information and analysis about its functions and to inform the debate on Scotland's constitutional future. The Office does not provide transactional services to the public. Accordingly it does not, and does not plan, to provide any such services online.

6 Mar 2014 : Column 943W

Pensions

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the Scottish Government's plans for Scottish pensions in the event of independence. [190018]

David Mundell: The Scottish Government has made a number of claims about pension provision in the event of independence, but have not set out what this would cost or how they would pay for it. They continue to make assertions on this issue, which do not provide the important answers to the uncertainties that remain.

People in Scotland benefit from having a fair and effective system for paying state pensions, wherever they live in the UK.

Private pension schemes operate across the UK under a single set of regulations, which means that everyone in the UK is able to access the same offers.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices

Caroline Dinenage: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the recommendations of the British Chambers of Commerce Skills and Employment Manifesto, if he will support small and medium-sized enterprises to invest in apprenticeships and workplace training. [189873]

Matthew Hancock: Apprenticeships need to meet the needs of small businesses. That is why we asked Jason Holt to review how to make apprenticeships more accessible to small businesses. This led to a number of reforms including the development of small business-specific guidance on apprenticeships, a new web tool aimed at helping small businesses to more easily identify the training provider that best meets their apprentice's needs, and a new “Apprenticeship Maker” mentoring scheme.

That is also why we introduced the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers which provides additional support for companies with fewer than 1,000 employees and why I have insisted that small businesses are involved in the development of the new apprenticeship standards which are replacing the old complex frameworks as part of our reform programme. The first 11 standards were published earlier this week.

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the recommendation of the British Chambers of Commerce Skills and Employment Manifesto that Accredited Chambers of Commerce or other organisations trusted by business should be used to provide objective advice to employers about how they can use apprenticeships to grow their businesses. [189974]

Matthew Hancock: The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is already developing a “Trusted Advisor” initiative to help to promote the take up of apprenticeships among small businesses. This involves the kinds of organisations suggested by the British Chamber of Commerce. We therefore welcome their recommendation and NAS will be happy to work with them.

6 Mar 2014 : Column 944W

Business: Staffordshire

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department has taken to increase the level of access to credit for businesses in (a) Cannock Chase constituency and (b) Staffordshire in the last year. [190084]

Matthew Hancock: The Government is committed to ensuring businesses can access the finance they need for investment and growth.

The Bank of England and HM Treasury announced in November that the Funding for Lending scheme would be refocused on lending to businesses to reflect the success that the scheme has had on households.

The British Business Bank is being established to increase the supply of capital to smaller businesses throughout the UK resulting in increased competition in the banking sector from alternative lenders, like peer to peer lenders and challenger banks.

A breakdown of businesses in Cannock Chase and Staffordshire that have been supported by British Business Bank schemes last year is detailed in the following table.

 Enterprise Finance Guarantee SchemeStart Up Loans Company

Cannock Chase constituency

5 businesses drew down £300,000

10 start-ups have received £65,424

Staffordshire

46 businesses drew down £4.2 million

192 start-ups have received £1,075,513

Copyright

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress his Department has made on drafting the regulations needed to implement changes to copyright exceptions; and if he will make a statement. [190065]

Mr Willetts: The Government has consulted extensively on the proposed changes to copyright exceptions. In December 2012 it set out its policy conclusions and in July 2013 took the additional step of putting out the draft regulations for technical review, giving stakeholders a final further opportunity to comment on the draft regulations. The Technical Review closed in September 2013 and the responses have been carefully reviewed.

The Government is grateful for the contributions of all those who responded to the various consultations and has continued to engage with stakeholders since the review closed. We have made a number of technical changes following the helpful input of stakeholders, and we consider the regulations have been improved as a result. So, the regulations will be different in light of the valuable consultation process.

The draft regulations are subject to final checking and in accordance with routine practice the Department is currently consulting the legal advisers to the Joint Committee on Statutory instruments. This process can help to avoid difficulties about powers, drafting, etc. arising at a later stage, and assists both the Department and the Committee in minimising any delay in the passage of an instrument. Unless otherwise agreed with the legal adviser, Departments should normally allow a period of not less than two sitting weeks for this advance

6 Mar 2014 : Column 945W

scrutiny. The regulations will be laid before Parliament and published as soon as this process is complete. The regulations will be subject to affirmative resolution and will be debated in both Houses of Parliament.

The Government will publish a response to the technical review, explanatory notes, guidance and other supporting documents alongside the regulations. This will explain the changes we have made to the drafts on which we consulted and why. Copies of all of these documents will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses and will be available on the IPO website.

Economic Situation

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress he has made on rebalancing the economy across regions and sectors. [902880]

Vince Cable: We are rebalancing the economy through the industrial strategy: a long term partnership between industry and government.

All regions have seen positive growth and, since 2010, private sector employment has increased by 7.5% for England and has increased in every region.

Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect of the time taken to implement section 74 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 on design businesses and consumers. [190092]

Mr Willetts: The impact that the timing of implementing section 74 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 will have on design businesses, consumers and others will be considered in a forthcoming consultation. Evidence from this consultation in spring 2014 will be reflected in the decision on when to implement the change in law.

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when the statutory instrument implementing section 74 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 will be laid; and if he will make a statement. [190093]

Mr Willetts: The Government plans to publish a consultation document in spring 2014 seeking views on its proposals for transitional provisions.

The statutory instrument which implements section 74 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 will be laid after the consultation on the timing of the repeal of section 52 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 has been completed.

Exports: Indonesia

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions his Department had with UK Export Finance about a licence to the Indonesian military for the purchase of surveillance equipment for its Strategic Intelligence Agency

6 Mar 2014 : Column 946W

from Gamma TSE; what assessment his Department made of the impact of providing this equipment on human rights in

(a)

West Papua and

(b)

Indonesia; and if he will make a statement. [190066]

Michael Fallon: The Export Control Organisation within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills administers the UK's strategic export control system. The ECO has not received an export licence application as described and therefore no such assessment has been made.

Higher Education: Admissions

Duncan Hames: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the potential effect of removing the cap on student numbers at higher education institutions. [902868]

Mr Willetts: Removing the cap on student numbers provides better opportunities for young people and helps long-term economic growth and improves social mobility. We have allocated 30,000 places in 2014/15 and estimate 60,000 may be taken up in 2016/17, but actual numbers will depend on the decisions of students and universities.

Higher Education: Finance

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent representations he has received from universities facing financial challenges. [190121]

Mr Willetts: Universities and their representative bodies routinely make representations to Ministers on a range of topics, including financial issues. The progressive implementation of this Government's higher education reforms has put the system on a sound foundation. Combining recurrent grant for teaching and estimated fee income from students subject to regulated fees, the resource for teaching rose from around £7.9 billion in 2011-12 to almost £8.5 billion in 2013-14. The Chancellor's autumn statement provided further funding to enable an expansion of higher education places and to increase levels of resource for the teaching of high cost subjects such as science and engineering.

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the financial viability of UK non-Russell Group universities beyond the next 15 years. [190122]

Mr Willetts: The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is responsible for monitoring the financial health of all grant-funded higher education institutions. This is done on the basis of the financial returns and forecasts the Council requires from institutions for the year in hand and two years ahead. HEFCE updates and publishes its assessment twice a year. The most recent assessment confirms that overall, the sector is in sound financial health and no institutions were reported to be close to insolvency.

6 Mar 2014 : Column 947W

Land Registry: Plymouth

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the potential effect of his Department's proposed changes to the Land Registry on jobs in Plymouth. [190323]

Michael Fallon: The BIS consultation seeks views both on the proposal to create a new company as well as on potential ownership options for this new company.

The size and structure of Land Registry may be influenced by the outcome of the consultation, as the future structure of the organisation will necessarily affect business planning.

However no decisions will be taken until the consultation is completed and all responses have been considered.

Nurses: Disclosure of Information

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will bring forward legislative proposals to extend the scope of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 to cover student nurses who raise concerns about patient care. [190082]

Jenny Willott: We are in the process of finalising the Government response to the call for evidence into the whistleblowing framework. This considered a number of issues, including the scope of the definition of worker which is set out at in section 43K of the Employment Rights Act 1996:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/18/section/43K

We aim to publish the Government response before the Easter recess.

Public Houses

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many meetings his Department (a) has had and (b) plans to have with publicans tied to the large pub companies to discuss plans for a statutory code and adjudicator. [190229]

Jenny Willott: The Department has taken, and will continue to take, an even handed approach to speaking with stakeholders from all sides of the debate as we develop our proposals for statutory intervention in the pubs sector. This includes our engagement with stakeholders prior to the launch of the Government's consultation on pub companies and tenants in April 2013, during the consultation, and since it closed in June 2013.

Since November 2012, 15 meetings have been held with tenant representative organisations. In addition, two roundtable discussions were held with tenant representative organisations in January and June 2013, with the former hosted by the Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs. Many of those who attended a meeting or roundtable were either current or ex tied tenants of one of the large pub companies. Officials also met tenants of Heineken UK/Star Pubs and Bars at an event for their tenants in November 2013. While not classed as a large pub company, officials also met tied tenants of a family brewer during a visit to the Shepherd Neame brewery in June 2013. In November 2013, the Minister for Employment Relations and

6 Mar 2014 : Column 948W

Consumer Affairs met a number of tied tenants of the large pub companies who had experience of the Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service, at a meeting arranged by my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds North West (Greg Mulholland).

Students: Loans

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the Answers of 24 February 2014, Official Report, column 166W, on students: loans, when he expects to start reviewing the RAB charge model. [190199]

Matthew Hancock: The 24+ Advanced Learning Loans programme has not yet completed its first full year. BIS is currently collecting data on learners as it emerges, and based on this data we are beginning to review the appropriateness of the RAB charge model. We hope to be able to announce whether there will be any revisions to the RAB charge this summer, as part of the annual report and accounts.

Weather: Forecasts

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of ability of the Met Office to improve its forecasting and predicting methods to a level which meets the needs of emergency responders. [189788]

Michael Fallon: The Met Office is committed to constantly improving its forecasting and predicting methods. The Met Office has, for example, introduced high resolution weather models to improve the accuracy of its forecasts of wind and rainfall. The Met Office has also improved the National Severe Weather Warning Service to provide clearer, targeted warnings based on the likely impacts that severe weather can bring, and has increased the number of regional advisers who provide expert advice during severe weather events.

In 2013, a survey conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Public Weather Service Customer Group was completed by over 2,500 people or bodies with responsibilities for responding to the impacts of severe weather events. This showed that 87% are satisfied with the overall service provided by the Met Office to their organisation, 91% are satisfied with the last severe weather warning they received, and 86% are satisfied with the service provided by the Met Office's network of advisers.

Health

Abortion

Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what criteria his Department will use to formulate new guidelines on compliance with the Abortion Act; [189909]

(2) which organisations and individuals he is consulting prior to the publication of new guidelines on compliance with the Abortion Act; whether the British Pregnancy Advisory Service and Marie Stopes International will be, or have been, consulted; and whether he will publish draft proposals so that other parties may contribute to the process. [189910]

6 Mar 2014 : Column 949W

Jane Ellison: The approach we are taking is to set out the Department's interpretation of the requirements of the Abortion Act, in relation to areas where it has been suggested that this would be helpful. This will include considering how a doctor should go about making an assessment of a woman's circumstances for the purpose of reaching a good faith opinion under the Act. The guidance has been developed following discussions with Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, British Medical Association, General Medical Council, Crown Prosecution Service and the Nursing and Midwifery Council. We have also had more general discussions about the Abortion Act with British Pregnancy Advisory Service and Marie Stopes International. We have no plans to consult on a draft as the document is designed to set out the Department's interpretation of the law.

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 13 February 2014, Official Report, column 828W, on abortion, whether gender may be considered a contributing factor to grounds for abortion when compounded by other considerations; [190387]

(2) if he will investigate abortion providers whose advice on the legality of gender abortions contradicts that of his Department; [190389]

(3) what evidence his Department holds or has assessed on whether giving birth to a baby of a specific gender constitutes a greater risk to the mother's physical or mental health than termination of the pregnancy; [190392]

(4) pursuant to the answer of 13 February 2014, Official Report, column 832W, on abortion, under what conditions and in relation to what other factors gender may be considered a relevant criterion for an abortion under the Abortion Act 1967, as amended; and if he will make a statement. [190396]

Jane Ellison: The Government is clear that abortion on the grounds of gender alone is illegal.

The Abortion Act states that two practitioners have to be “of the opinion, formed in good faith” that the woman has met the grounds for an abortion. It is for doctors to satisfy themselves that they are in a position to give such an the opinion, and to defend it if challenged.

The sex of an unborn child may be a legitimate factor in determining whether an abortion would meet the criteria in the Abortion Act 1967. For example, a

6 Mar 2014 : Column 950W

practitioner might consider that an abortion is justified on the grounds specified under Section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act that there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped when there is an issue around sex-linked inherited conditions.

Any specific allegations about gender-selective abortions being undertaken should be reported to the police.

Advertising Association

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish the (a) dates, (b) agendas and (c) minutes of any meetings (i) Ministers and (ii) officials in his Department have had with representatives of the Advertising Association between January 2012 and February 2014. [190321]

Dr Poulter: Details of meetings held by Ministers and permanent secretaries with external organisations are published quarterly and can be found at:

www.gov.uk

Information requested in respect of other officials' meetings is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Food: Testing

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many food authenticity tests on composition, labelling and safety were carried out by (a) local authorities and (b) the Food Standards Authority as part of local authority audits in the UK in each of the last five years. [189844]

Jane Ellison: The Food Standards Agency is an independent non-ministerial Government Department accountable to Parliament through Department of Health Ministers.

Local authority sampling levels recorded by the FSA are shown in the following table, for composition, labelling and safety, over the last five years. ‘Microbiological analyses' and ‘Other Contamination analyses' are classed as ‘safety' sampling. The majority of composition analysis relates to authenticity testing.

 Number of Composition analysesNumber of Labelling and Presentation analysesNumber of Microbiological analysesNumber of Other Contamination analyses

2008-09

32,599

21,343

71,131

5,150

2009-10

26,113

16,739

70,737

5,121

2010-il

22,255

13,942

67,184

4,424

2011-12

18,219

11,879

55,546

4,432

2012-13

16,982

9,958

53,108

3,887

The Food Standards Agency does not take samples as part of local authority audits.

General Practitioners

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre will monitor data collection against Quality Outcomes Framework disease management measures which will be retired in April 2014; and how often such data will be published; [189845]

(2) what steps he has taken to ensure there is continuity in data collection on GP practice performance against

6 Mar 2014 : Column 951W

Quality Outcomes Framework disease management measures which are to be retired in April 2014. [189849]

Jane Ellison: We understand that NHS England is currently developing procedures and protocols for continued data analysis and reporting for the indicators that will be retired from the Quality and Outcomes Framework in April 2014. NHS England is committed to utilising this information to promote quality improvement in the care patients receive. The final decision on frequency of extraction and reporting is yet to be determined.

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what clinical targets will remain within general practice to help identify and manage patients with high risk factors of (a) cardiovascular disease and (b) high cholesterol and HbA1C levels. [189846]

Jane Ellison: The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for 2014-15 includes the following indicators relating to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes mellitus:

five indicators on the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD)-CHD 001, 002, 007, 005 and 006;

three indicators on peripheral arterial disease (PAD)-PAD 001, 002 and 004;

five indicators on stroke and transient ischaemic attack (STIA)-STIA 001, 008, 003, 009 and 007;

one indicator on cardiovascular disease-primary prevention-CVD-PP001; and

four indicators on diabetes mellitus (DM) cholesterol and HbAlC-DM 004, 007, 008 and 009.

A summary of changes to QOF 2014-15 in England can be found at:

www.nhsemployers.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/2014_15_Summary_of_QOF_changes_mh141113.pdf

This gives a full description of each indicator.

These indicators cover five of the clinical domains of the QOF and include secondary prevention of CHD, PAD, stroke and CVD primary prevention and together equate to 22% of the total QOF indicators.

Health Services: Cannock Chase

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS spent in Cannock Chase constituency in (a) 2006-07, (b) 2008-09, (c) 2010-11 and (d) 2012-13. [189972]

Dr Poulter: Information is not collected at constituency level.

The following table represents the net operating costs for South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust (PCT), which covered Cannock Chase constituency. The net operating cost of a PCT is the most accurate reflection available of the total cost of commissioning healthcare for the PCTs resident population.

Net Operating Costs for South Staffordshire PCT
 £000

2006-07

686,867

2008-09

801,212

2010-11

947,477

6 Mar 2014 : Column 952W

2012-13

1,008,005

Notes: 1. Data are not collected at constituency level. The lowest level that data is collected is by PCT. 2. South Staffordshire PCT was formed in October 2006 following the merger of Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire and South Western Staffordshire PCTs. 3. Following the re-organisation of the NHS, South Staffordshire PCT was abolished on 31 March 2013. Source: Audited PCT summarisation schedules from which the NHS (England) Summarised Accounts are prepared

Health Services: Hearing Impairment

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how his Department will ensure that communication professionals working with deaf people are eligible for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service declaration; [190226]

(2) how his Department will ensure that communication professionals engaged to work with deaf people meet the standards for enhanced criminal records checks as maintained by the Disclosure and Barring Service. [190227]

Norman Lamb: To be eligible for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, all positions, including those for communication professionals, must be included in both the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations.

For DBS checking, an exempted question is a valid request for a person to reveal their full criminal history. An exempted question applies when the individual will be working in specific occupations, for certain licences and specified positions. These are covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.

The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations sets out the circumstances in which a person is eligible for an enhanced DBS check. These regulations make provisions for an enhanced check to be done in order to consider a person's suitability to “work with adults” as defined in Regulation 5B or undertake regulated activity relating to vulnerable adults as defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012).

Health: Climate Change

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 16 November 2010, Official Report, column 958W, on pathogens: climate change, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on (a) physical and (b) mental health of UK residents; and if he will produce an updated version of his Department's 2008 assessment of the possible effect of climate change on mental health entitled, Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK. [190028]

6 Mar 2014 : Column 953W

Jane Ellison: Since the 2008 Department commissioned report, there has been an extensive update, which was published in September of 2012. This report: “The Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2012: Current evidence, recommendations and research gaps”1 was published by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), which has now become part of Public Health England.

The extensive 240 page report consists of 10 chapters and covers a range of climate change impacts on physical and mental health, including effects of temperatures (hot and cold), air pollution, aeroallergens, ultraviolet radiation, the indoor environment, vector-, food- and water-borne diseases, floods and a chapter on the health co-benefits of policies to reduce greenhouse gases. The chapters were authored by existing HPA staff, academics and other researchers, and were extensively peer reviewed.

1 Vardoulakis, S. and Heaviside, C. [eds.] (2012) “Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2012-Current evidence, public health recommendations and research gaps”. Health Protection Agency. Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, UK. ISBN: 978-0-85951-723-2.

www.hpa.org.uk/hecc2012

Heart Diseases

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress he has made in implementing the recommendations of the Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy. [189847]

Jane Ellison: Responsibility for determining the overall national approach to improving clinical outcomes from health care services lies with NHS England. NHS England hosts a number of strategic clinical networks which cover cardiovascular disease (CVD) and which are intended to support the development and dissemination of good clinical practice.

NHS England advises that it has established a Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy implementation group and that it is working with a variety of partners and stakeholders to deliver the strategy.

It is for individual clinical commissioning groups to commission treatment and services for patients with heart disease, as they are best placed to identify what is needed in their local areas.

In the ‘Everyone Counts: Planning for Patients 2014/15 to 2018/19’ document, NHS England has asked commissioners to set a specific and measurable level of ambition in relation to securing additional years of life for people with treatable mental and physical health conditions. NHS England expects strategic clinical networks to support local commissioners to deliver this ambition, including through action on CVD.

In Vitro Fertilisation

Paul Uppal: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the potential demand for IVF if the NHS adopted universal provision; [189981]

(2) what criteria are used to determine how many rounds of IVF are made available to those who qualify through the NHS; [189982]

(3) what his policy is on the NHS providing (a) one, (b) two and (c) three rounds of IVF to those who qualify through the NHS. [189988]

6 Mar 2014 : Column 954W

Jane Ellison: NHS England has advised that it has made no assessment of the potential demand for in vitro fertilisation if the national health service adopted universal provision. The level of provision of infertility treatment is decided by the local clinical commissioning group (CCG). CCGs decisions should be underpinned by clinical insight and knowledge of other health care needs of the local population. As such, provision of services will vary in response to local needs.

NHS England expects that all those involved in commissioning infertility treatment services to be fully aware of the importance of having regard to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence fertility guidelines. In February 2013, NHS England issued a factsheet to support CCGs in taking on those responsibilities.

Medical Records: Databases

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the campaign to inform people they can opt out of the Summary Care Record cost; and how much paper was used in that campaign. [190126]

Dr Poulter: The cost of the Summary Care Record Public Information Programme was approximately 33p per patient contacted.

The Summary Care Record Public Information Awareness Programme campaign took place over a four-year period ending in October 2013, and contacted approximately 45.9 million patients in England. Typically, the information sent to patients included a letter and an opt out form, but this may vary from one clinical commissioning group, or formerly primary care trust, to another.

Medical Records: Veterans

Nic Dakin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to put a trace on medical records to indicate past military service to enable armed forces veterans to be identified after their death for the purpose of arranging their funeral. [190271]

Dr Poulter: When leaving the armed forces, ex-service personnel when registering with a general practitioner (GP) are required to complete a form that asks whether they are returning from the armed forces. This can then be recorded on the medical records of the individual. In addition to this, work is under way to link Ministry of Defence medical information technology (IT) to NHS IT systems for intended routine transfer of medical documents from Defence Primary Health Care to GPs.

Mental Health Services: LGBT People

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to improve the mental health of LGBT people. [190192]

Norman Lamb: Our mental health action plan, and the wide programme of activity in support of the delivery of the priorities in the plan, is for all ages and applies to everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, religion or belief. It also includes a specific priority around tackling inequalities to mental health services. Examples of action include the Time to Change programme tackling stigma and discrimination, working with LGBT organisations such as MindOut locally.

6 Mar 2014 : Column 955W

NHS

Mr Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many health trusts are currently under consideration for the trust special administration regime. [190207]

Jane Ellison: There are currently no national health service trusts or NHS foundation trusts to which application of the trust special administrator's regime is formally being considered.

NHS: Finance

Mr Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many previous years' spending was used in calculations for the baseline funding allocation for specialised commissioning in 2013-14. [190277]

Norman Lamb: NHS England advises that information from 2011-12 and 2012-13 was used in the calculations for the baseline funding allocation for specialised commissioning in 2013-14.

Obesity

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health who is responsible for commissioning Tier 3 obesity treatments. [190191]

Jane Ellison: There are different models of commissioning currently in place at a local level and in some areas obesity services, including tier 3 services, are being commissioned by either local authorities or clinical commissioning groups or in collaboration.

Public Health England and NHS England, in response to concerns expressed about the varied commissioning and access to multi-disciplinary team interventions, commonly referred to as tier 3 services, established a working group to consider and make recommendations on how the current pathway and commissioning arrangements for tier 3 might be improved.

The working group report is shortly due to be published. In addition I recently met with Dr Jonathan Valabhji,

6 Mar 2014 : Column 956W

the National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetes, and this was one of the topics discussed. Dr Valabhji is closely involved in the work to clarify tier 3 commissioning arrangements.

Pagers

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pagers have been provided to staff by his Department since May 2010; and what the cost to the Department was of providing those pagers. [190053]

Dr Poulter: During 2010-11 a pager service was provided to the Department by Vodafone with 129 pagers. The majority of pagers were cancelled during 2011-12 with nine remaining until October 2012.

The cost incurred for pager services for each financial year was as follows:

 £

2009-10

7,654.01

2010-11

5,818.82

2011-12

11,023.89

Self-harm: Staffordshire

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many reported incidents of self-harm there were by people under the age of 18 in (a) Staffordshire and (b) Cannock Chase constituency in each of the last five years. [189971]

Norman Lamb: Information is not available in the format requested.

Information on the number of finished admission episodes (FAEs) with a cause of self-harm and the number of accident and emergency (A&E) attendances with a patient group of deliberate self-harm for people under the age of 18, residing in (a) Staffordshire and (b) Cannock Chase parliamentary constituency for each year between 2008-09 to 2012-13 is shown in the following table:

 YearFAEsA&E Attendances

Staffordshire (County)

2008-09

174

218

 

2009-10

172

155

 

2010-11

236

213

 

2011-12

162

142

 

2012-13

257

269

    

Cannock Chase (Parliamentary Constituency)

2009-10

36

12

 

2010-11

44

8

 

2011-12

21

17

6 Mar 2014 : Column 957W

6 Mar 2014 : Column 958W

 

2012-13

25

25

Notes: 1. An FAE is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. FAEs are counted against the year or month in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the period. 2. Cause code is a supplementary code that indicates the nature of any external cause of injury, poisoning or other adverse effects. Only the first external cause code which is coded within the episode is counted in Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). 3. A&E Attendance is a count of the number of attendances at A&E. This does not represent the number of patients as an individual may attend on more than one occasion in any given period. 4: Patient Group code indicates the reason for the A&E episode. Group 30 indicates those attending because of deliberate self-harm. 5. The county of residence (Staffordshire) is the county containing the patient's normal home address. This does not necessarily reflect where the patient was treated as they may have travelled to another county for treatment. 6. The parliamentary constituency (Cannock Chase) containing the patient's normal home address. This does not necessarily reflect where the patient was treated as they may have travelled to another parliamentary constituency for treatment. This field is only available from 2009-10 onwards. 7. Assessing growth through time (in-patients)—HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage (particularly in earlier years), improvements in coverage of independent sector activity (particularly from 2006-07) and changes in national health service practice. For example, changes in activity may be due to changes in the provision of care. 8. Assessing growth through time (A&E)—HES figures are available from 2007-08 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage and changes in NHS practice. For example, changes in activity may be due to changes in the provision of care. 9. It is possible that the same person may be counted as an FAE and an A&E Attendance if an attendance at A&E for injury due to self-harm has resulted in the patient being admitted to hospital as an in-patient for further treatment. Source: Health and Social Care Information Centre, Hospital Episode Statistics

Suicide

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the Chief Coroner's Office on collecting sexual orientation data on people who have committed suicide. [190190]

Norman Lamb: The Chief Coroner attended a meeting of the Department's National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group on 14 March 2013 where the issue of collecting sexual orientation data on people who have committed suicide was discussed.

Culture, Media and Sport

Broadband: Rural Areas

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she has taken to ensure that her Department's contracts with BT for the roll-out of rural superfast broadband include a reasonable market rate for (a) equipment costs and (b) other non-management costs. [190397]

Mr Vaizey: Under the superfast broadband contracts between local authorities and the devolved Administrations and BT the supplier may only claim for eligible capital expenditure incurred in implementation of the network. DCMS is able to provide comparison data on these costs to each of the local authorities and devolved Administrations. BT has committed that the costs are the same as those used for its commercially-funded network. BT also bears part of the network installation costs itself so therefore has its own commercial incentives to minimise costs. The local authorities and devolved Administrations and DCMS have full visibility of all implementation costs and the relevant invoices, including BT's contribution. The National Audit Office considered the controls that are in place to manage costs during implementation as part of its review of the rural broadband programme in 2013 and concluded that these appear robust.

Gun Sports

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what financial support the Government has provided for shooting sports in the last five years. [190379]

Mrs Grant: Since 2009 Sport England has invested over £1 million in British Shooting to encourage more people to take part in the sport more often. It has also invested £588,233 in community shooting projects and facilities. This includes seven clubs who have benefited from Sport England's Inspired Facilities Fund.

UK Sport invests in four-year cycles in line with the Olympic/Paralympic calendars; investing just over £4.5 million during the London 2012 cycle (2009-13), and just over £6.5 million into Paralympic Disability Shooting for the Rio 2016 cycle (2013-17).

Defence

Armed Forces: Housing

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 6 February 2014, Official Report, column 549W, on armed forces: housing, how many service personnel were placed temporarily in hotels in (a) Plymouth and (b) nationally in each of the last 12 months; and what the cost to the public purse was of use of hotels for this purpose. [188345]

Anna Soubry: Service personnel may occasionally, and as a last resort, be housed in substitute accommodation when their single living or service family accommodation is temporarily unavailable. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including where there has been a fire or flood. Information on instances where hotels have provided a substitute for single living accommodation is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

In 2013 there were 179 instances where service family accommodation was substituted with a stay in a hotel at a cost to public funds of £32,245. For comparison, the equipment figure for 2009, the last full year of the

6 Mar 2014 : Column 959W

previous Administration was £49,934. Details are provided in the following table, although information specific to Plymouth is not held. Information on the South West Region (which includes Plymouth) is provided along with data for the whole of England and Wales. Data for January 2014 is not yet available.

2013South West RegionTotal (England and Wales)Cost to Public Funds (£)

January

7

15

2,593

February

10

20

2,903

March

8

24

3,698

April

4

11

1,462

May

3

7

1,740

June

7

13

4,888

July

6

10

2,063

August

9

17

2,898

September

3

6

739

October

12

18

2,045

November

7

14

3,141

December

6

24

4,075

Total

82

179

32,245

Armed Forces: Pensions

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 24 February 2014, Official Report, column 64W, on armed forces: pensions, what saving was made through the 10 voluntarily surrendered Armed Forces Pension Scheme 75 widows payments in 2013. [189943]

Mr Dunne: The combined annual saving made through the 10 voluntarily surrendered Armed Forces Pension Scheme 75 widows pensions was £31,294.

It is a long-standing fundamental principle, adopted by successive Governments, that pensions should not be improved retrospectively for those who are no longer contributing members, or for their dependants.

Note:

Total saving is based upon the annual amounts of pension in payment at the point of surrender.

Armed Forces: Sexual Offences

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cases of (a) rape, (b) attempted rape, (c) sexual assault by penetration and (d) sexual assault were referred to the Services Prosecuting Authority from the Royal Military Police in each of the last three years; and how many such cases were prosecuted (i) successfully and (ii) unsuccessfully. [190278]

Mr Dunne: It will take time to collate this information. The Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe (Anna Soubry), will write to the hon. Member shortly.

Army: Recruitment

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of his Department's recent More than meets the eye recruitment campaign. [190006]

6 Mar 2014 : Column 960W

Anna Soubry: The Army's More Than Meets The Eye recruiting campaign began on 11 January 2014 and is aimed at attracting both regular and reserve candidates, as well as raising awareness of the wide variety of jobs available in the Army. The main marketing campaign will continue until the end of March, with some elements continuing throughout the year. While it is too early to make a judgment on the overall effectiveness of the campaign, indications to date have been encouraging.

Cryptography

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the End Crypto Graphic Unit programme to be completed. [190141]

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

Equality

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 24 February 2014, Official Report, column 68W, on equality, what the (a) number of staff and (b) total salary cost of the Head Office team members in equality and diversity roles was in each year from 2008-09 to 2013-14. [190204]

Mr Dunne: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is committed to maintaining an inclusive culture that recognises and values diversity and delivers opportunities for all. Since April 2012 the service and civilian Equality and Diversity (E&D) teams in Head Office have been rationalised as we look to implement a unified approach towards E&D issues at the strategic level. Our aims in this area are set out in our Strategic Equality Objectives 2012-16, available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/227514/ea10_strategic_equality_objectives.pdf

The requested information is provided in the following table:

MOD Head Office Equality and Diversity Function financial year (FY) 2008-09 to FY 2013-14
Financial yearNumber of staffApproximate salary costs (£)

2008-09

12

620,000

2009-10

9

540,000

2010-11

9

540,000

2011-12

7

380,000

2012-13

4

220,000

2013-14

5

250,000

Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability Programme

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the National Audit Office's Major Project Reports 2013, HC 817-i, published on 13 February 2014, Appendices and project summary sheets, what the contractual confusion was regarding the life support plan and integrated logistics support solution for the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability Programme. [189506]

6 Mar 2014 : Column 961W

Mr Dunne: The report articulates a risk of confusion regarding responsibilities and requirements by the contractor in delivery of the integrated logistics support (ILS) solution for the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability Tankers.

If this risk occurred, it may affect the successful delivery of the logistics support package. This risk having been identified, is, however, being actively managed by the Ministry of Defence in close co-operation with the contractor and ILS specialist companies.

Military Bases: Yorkshire and the Humber

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 16 December 2013, Official Report, columns 480-81W, on military bases: Yorkshire and the Humber, what communications by letter or email (a) his Department and (b) the office of the Chief of the Defence Staff have received from personnel within 15 Brigade Headquarters about the case for basing the new Adaptive Force Brigade Headquarters in (i) Catterick and (ii) York; and if he will place copies of those letters and emails in the Library. [181170]

Dr Murrison: Officials are checking whether any relevant communications on this matter have been received and I will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.

Substantive answer from Dr Murrison to Hugh Bayley:

I undertook to write to you in response to your Parliamentary Question on 6 January 2014 (Official Report, column 15W-16W) about communications by letter or email that (a) the Department and (b) the office of the Chief of the Defence Staff have received from personnel within 15 Brigade Headquarters about the case for basing the new Adaptive Force Brigade Headquarters in (i) Catterick and (ii) York.

I am able to tell you that, following a comprehensive search of all relevant records, the Department and the office of the Chief of the Defence Staff have been unable to identify any correspondence of this nature.

Strategic Defence and Security Review

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Defence Planning Assumptions set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review in October 2010 remain in place. [190391]

Mr Francois: The 2010 Defence Planning Assumptions (DPAs) set out in the last Strategic Defence and Security Review remain in place and continue to guide defence planning and shape the delivery of Future Force 2020. DPAs are further fine-tuned by guidance given in the classified Defence Strategic Direction and Defence Plan documents, in order to reflect adjustments required by the National Security Strategy and National Security Council.

Vehicles

David T. C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what turnover levels companies must meet under the Government Vehicle Lease framework. [189482]

Mr Dunne: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 24 February 2014, Official Report, column 74W.

6 Mar 2014 : Column 962W

Warships

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many naval ships are at sea on duty; on what tasks; and where. [190197]

Mr Francois: As at 5 March 2014 there are a total of 32 Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships on duty and at sea with a further nine ships generating for tasking. The taskings and locations are shown in the following table:

TaskingLocationNumber of ships

Deployed Overseas

  

Maritime Security Operations

Middle East

10

Chemicals (escorting removal from Syria)

Mediterranean

1

Maritime Security Operations

Gibraltar

2

Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Maritime Group 1

Mediterranean

1

Atlantic Patrol Tasking (North)

Caribbean

1

Atlantic Patrol Tasking (South)

West Africa

2

Antarctic Survey

Antarctic

1

Falkland Island Patrol Ship

Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

1

Transiting back to UK

Gibraltar

1

   

UK Operations

  

UK Contingency Operations

UK waters

12

This response excludes submarines as the release of this information would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.

Cabinet Office

Eating Disorders

Jim Shannon: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people with an eating disorder died in the UK in each of the last three years. [190382]

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

Letter from Caron Walker, dated March 2014:

In the absence of the Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people with an eating disorder died in the UK in each of the last three years [190382].

Table 1 presents the number of deaths in the UK where an eating disorder was the underlying cause of death for deaths registered in each year between 2010 and 2012 (the latest year available). Table 2 presents the number of deaths in the UK for

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which an eating disorder was mentioned on the death certificate for deaths registered in each year between 2010 and 2012 (the latest year available).

The accurate reporting of mortality statistics depends on the complete recording of all relevant causes of death by medical practitioners and coroners. Medical practitioners are required to complete the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) to the best of their knowledge and belief. Internationally accepted guidance from the World Health Organisation requires only those conditions that contributed directly to the death to be recorded. The MCCD is not designed to collect information on risk factors or exposures related to the development of disease. If the medical practitioner did not feel that an individual's eating disorder contributed directly to their death then the fact that they had an eating disorder may not have been recorded. It is likely, therefore, that the figures presented here are an underestimate of the number of people who had an eating disorder at the time of their death.

The number of deaths registered in England and Wales each year, by sex, age group and underlying cause is published annually on the ONS website:

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/mortality-statistics-deaths-registered-in-england-and-wales-series-dr-/index.html

Figures for deaths in Scotland are available from the General Register for Scotland's website:

http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/vital-events/general/ref-tables/2012/section-6-deaths-causes.html

Figures for deaths in Northern Ireland are available from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency:

http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp14.htm

Table 1: Number of deaths in the UK where the underlying cause of death was an eating disorder, deaths registered in each year between 2010 and 2012
 Number

2010

20

2011

22

2012

37

Notes: 1. Eating disorders were defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code F50. 2 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year. Source: Office for National Statistics.
Table 2: Number of deaths in the UK for which an eating disorder was mentioned on the death certificate, deaths registered in each year between 2010 and 2012
 Number

2010

66

2011

49

2012

65

Notes: 1. Eating disorders were defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code F50. 2 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year. Source: Office for National Statistics.

Government Departments: Directors

Chris Leslie: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the total amount of remuneration paid to non-executive directors of Government departments was for the financial year (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2012-13. [190309]

Mr Maude: Since the last general election the Cabinet Office has overhauled, strengthened and formalised the system of non-executive directors which operated under the previous Administration.

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Remuneration for non-executive board members is detailed in 'Corporate governance in central government departments: Code of good practice July 2011—Guidance Note' and is in line with that of the Bank of England's non-executive Directors of Court.

In 2012-13, 28% of the 67 non-executives either waived their fee or donated it to charity.

Government Departments: Procurement

Mr Burley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress his Department has made in enabling small and medium-sized enterprises to tender for Government procurement contracts. [190087]

Mr Hurd: Central Government's direct SME spend increased from £3 billion in 2009-10 (6.5%) to £4.5 billion (10.5%) in 2012-13. In addition, figures provided by major government suppliers indicate that SMEs have benefited from a further £4 billion (9.4%) in indirect spend through the supply chain for 2012 to 2013.

Building on central Government reforms to make its business more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses, the Government published in Small Business Great Ambition, the next steps in taking forward Lord Young's recommendations to create an SME-friendly “single market” for public procurement.

ICT: Education

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 24 February 2014, Official Report, column 200W, on IT: education, with which groups and organisations his Department has engaged to support the Year of the Code; and what support his Department has so provided. [190022]

Mr Hurd: Cabinet Office is engaging with groups including e-skills UK, the Sector Skills Council for Business and Information Technology. This builds on ongoing work across Government to build links with schools, universities and employers.

Staff

Chris Leslie: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people were employed in Number 10 Downing Street in 2012; and how many people are so employed currently. [190310]

Mr Maude: The Prime Minister's Office is an integral part of the Cabinet Office.

As part of this Government's transparency agenda, information on working in the Cabinet Office is published on gov.uk

The latest organogram for the Cabinet Office may be viewed at

http://data.gov.uk/organogram/cabinet-office

Unemployment

Kate Green: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the average duration of unemployment or inactivity is of those who become unemployed or inactive having previously been in employment for (a) less than six months, (b) between six months and a year, (c) between one and two years, (d) between two and three

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years,

(e)

between three and four years,

(f)

between four and five years,

(g)

between five and 10 years and

(h)

10 or more years. [190220]

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

Letter from Caron Walker, dated March 2014:

In the absence of the Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what the average duration of unemployment or inactivity is of those who become unemployed or inactive having previously been in employment for (a) less than six months, (b) between six months and a year, (c) between one and two years, (d) between two and three years, (e) between three and four years, (f) between four and five years, (g) between five and 10 years and (h) 10 or more years. (190220)

The requested information is not available. However, some relevant information is available from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) which provides estimates of people in employment, unemployment and economic inactivity. In November 2013, the ONS published a report titled: 'Moving between Unemployment and Employment' that utilised the LFS longitudinal datasets. This report noted that employment length was an important characteristic to consider in estimating the likelihood of an individual losing their job and the following observations were made from the analysis carried out:

Between April-June 2012 and April-June 2013, an individual who had been in employment for less than six months was 8.5 times more likely to move from employment into unemployment than someone who had been employed for between 5 and 10 years.

Over the same period someone in employment for less than six months was 3.0 times more likely to move from employment into inactivity than someone who had employed for over 10 years.

The full report can be found on the ONS website, from the following URL:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_335141.pdf

Alison McGovern: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent assessment he has made of the level of underemployment. [902867]

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

Letter from Caron Walker:

In the absence of the Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what recent assessment he has made of the level of underemployment. (902867)

Time-related underemployment is defined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as occurring where the number of hours of work for an employed person is insufficient, and that the person is willing to engage in more work and is not already working more than a specified number of hours.

Other forms of underemployment exist, such as that related to the underutilisation of people's skills and qualifications. However, estimates of these are not currently available.

Based on the ILO definition and the data available, employed people (aged 16 or over) are classified as in time-related underemployment if:

they are willing to work more hours because they want an additional job, a replacement job with longer hours, or want more hours in their current job;

they are available to start working longer hours within 2 weeks and;

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the hours they worked in the reference week did not exceed 40 hours (if they are under 18 years of age) or 48 hours (if they are over 18 years of age).

Estimates for the number of underemployed workers are available from the Labour Force Survey (LFS). It is estimated that, for the period October to December 2013, there were 3.125 million people who met the criteria to be classified as underemployed. This is 10.5% of employed population. These estimates are not seasonally adjusted.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. It is estimated that the true value is likely to lie between 2.983 million and 3.267 million.

Deputy Prime Minister

Electoral Register

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to advertise the availability of his Department's fund to increase voter registration. [189465]

Greg Clark: On 5 February the Government announced that up to £4.2 million funding will be shared by five national organisations and all 363 local authorities and valuation joint boards in Great Britain.

Each authority was informed directly of the financial allocation and help and support to EROs to make best use of the funding has been made available by the Association of Electoral Administrators.

The Government encourages organisations who wish to support efforts to maximise registration in their community to contact their local Electoral Registration Officer.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he has taken to make hon. Members aware of the £4.2 million fund for increasing voter registration. [189637]

Greg Clark: Apart from the funding allocation to five national organisations, the fund is directed at Electoral Registration Officers who have the statutory responsibility to ensure a complete and accurate electoral register.

The allocation of funding was described to hon. Members during Deputy Prime Minister’s questions on 11 February 2014, Official Report, column 701W.

Politics and Government: Young People

John Robertson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to increase awareness of and interest in politics among young people aged 16 to 24 years old. [190282]

Greg Clark: On 5 February, the Government announced that all 363 local authorities and valuation joint boards in Great Britain and five national organisations will be sharing £4.2 million of funding aimed at ensuring every eligible person in the country, including young people, is signed up to the electoral register and has their chance to vote.

To improve registration levels for young people, the Government has made the Rock Enrol! learning resource available, which promotes democratic engagement and encourages young people to register to vote.

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The Government also manages a student forum that brings together key people within the Higher/Further Education (HFE) sector, the National Union of Students and local authorities with the highest student populations. The forum aims to reinforce the maximum registration of students and increases Individual Electoral Registration awareness across the HFE sector.