Babies

Mr Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many babies were born with addictions in each of the last 10 years. [190742]

Dr Poulter: A newborn baby is not ‘addicted’ or ‘dependent’ but shows various signs either of ‘a drug withdrawal state’ or ‘intoxication’. Being addicted or dependent also implies a psychological dependence, which cannot be inferred in neonates. Instead we have provided a count of finished admission birth episodes where there was a primary or secondary diagnosis of neonatal withdrawal symptoms from maternal use of drugs of addiction.

 Finished admission episodes

2012-13

1,129

2011-12

1,097

2010-11

1,017

2009-10

1,132

2008-09

1,056

2007-08

1,094

2006-07

1,065

2005-06

1,045

2004-05

1,021

2003-04

1,028

Source: Hospital Episode Statistics, Health and Social Care Information Centre

Cancer

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress he has made in reaching the European average cancer survival rate. [190782]

Jane Ellison: It is too early to be able to assess progress against the ambition to save an additional 5,000 lives per year by 2014-15, to halve the gap between the survival estimates in England and those in the best countries in Europe. However, we do know that:

cancer survival and mortality rates continue to improve;

we are developing proxy measures to assess progress in a more timely manner, particularly in terms of the proportion of cancers diagnosed at stages one and two;

the national health service and Public Health Outcomes Framework indicators and the clinical commissioning group (CCG) outcomes indicator set are starting to enable us to assess progress, at national and local level; and

the Mandate for the NHS for 2014-15 sets out an ambition for England to become one of the most successful countries in Europe at preventing premature deaths.

Tackling premature deaths from cancer will contribute to this.

A range of work at national and local level is aimed at improving cancer survival. For example, results from the first national “Be Clear on Cancer” lung cancer campaign in 2012, showed that around 700 extra patients were diagnosed with lung cancer compared to the previous year. Approximately 400 of these patients had their lung cancer diagnosed at an early stage, with around 300 more patients having surgery, giving them a better chance of survival.

Health Services: Veterans

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that clinical commissioning groups provide adequate services for the specific physical and mental needs of veterans. [190892]

Dr Poulter: The NHS Mandate requires NHS England to meet the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant. Clinical commissioning groups have the responsibility to provide adequate services to veterans and are held to account by Area Teams. General practitioners have access to specific training materials and Armed Forces Networks to enable them to deliver on these responsibilities.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 241W

Additional funding is also provided to support mental health services for veterans and access to high quality prosthetics and their maintenance.

Hospices

Jesse Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to allocate capital funding to hospices in (a) 2014-15 and (b) 2015-16. [190982]

Norman Lamb: In 2013-14, £60 million was made available under the capital funding scheme for hospices, on a non-recurrent basis, for specific capital projects undertaken by hospices. There are currently no plans to extend this scheme to 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Mental Health Services

Paul Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason, and under what authority, NHS England requires area commissioning teams to adopt a standard national tariff deflation for mental health services where prices are determined locally. [190882]

Norman Lamb: Monitor published jointly with NHS England the 2014-15 National Tariff Payment System in December 2013, which sets out the tariff arrangements to be used by commissioners and providers for negotiations where prices are agreed locally such as for mental health services. The guidance is clear that cost uplift factors and efficiency requirements, including nominal price adjustments, set out in the 2014-15 National Tariff Payment System must be used as the basis for local negotiation. There is scope, however, for commissioners (clinical commissioning groups and NHS England's Area Teams that are responsible for commissioning specialised services) and providers to vary prices at a local level where there is a specific and legitimate reason to do so, and the National Tariff would not prohibit this.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 gives Monitor responsibility for payment systems and publishing arrangements for the national tariff. The Act states that services and prices included in the tariff must be agreed between NHS England and Monitor. This document was therefore published independently.

This Government expects commissioners to demonstrate parity of esteem—equality for mental health—when agreeing financial settlements with mental health providers and we believe it is unacceptable to disadvantage mental health when allocating local funds.

Julie Hilling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many mental health staff were employed by the NHS in each NHS trust in England in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [191002]

Dr Poulter: The annual national health service workforce census published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre shows the numbers of mental health staff employed in the NHS in England as at 30 September each year. The full-time equivalent numbers employed by the NHS in each NHS trust in England from 2008 to 2012 are shown in the table which has been placed in the Library.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 242W

The next annual NHS workforce census will be published on 25 March 2014 which will include data as at 30 September 2013.

NHS: Ancillary Staff

Julie Hilling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many healthcare assistants there were in each NHS trust in England in the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [191001]

Dr Poulter: The annual national health service workforce census published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre shows the numbers of support staff working in the NHS in England as at 30 September each year. The numbers of unqualified support staff in each NHS trust in England from 2008 to 2012 are shown in a table which has been placed in the Library. These include those coded as health care assistants, nursing assistants/auxiliaries and nursing assistant practitioners.

The next annual workforce census will be published on 25 March 2014 and will include data as at 30 September 2013.

NHS: Property

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was collected from renting or leasing NHS hospital facilities or floor space to third parties in each of the last five years. [190675]

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

Information is not collected centrally on the income received by the national health service from renting or leasing NHS hospital facilities or floor space to third parties in each of the last five years. Information is collected centrally on NHS rentals under operating and finance lease arrangements with third parties as reported in their annual financial accounts:

£000
 2012-132011-122010-112009-102008-09

Strategic Health Authorities

9

106

99

92

1,079

Primary Care Trusts (PCTs)

352,540

288,349

118,362

71,808

43,857

NHS Trusts

46,391

46,893

46,596

47,923

32,779

NHS Foundation Trusts

39,477

36,814

30,078

22,692

16,917

These figures may include income received from rentals not related to facilities or floor space. The amounts shown for each sector may include income from other bodies within the departmental group, such as NHS trusts renting properties from PCTs.

Decisions on the rental or leasing out of hospitals or other facilities are taken locally by NHS organisations consistent with their needs for accommodation.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 243W

NHS: Re-employment

Julie Hilling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS staff have been made redundant and subsequently re-employed by NHS organisations on a (a) permanent and (b) fixed-term contract basis since May 2010. [190996]

Dr Poulter: By reducing managers and administrators by over 21,100, we are freeing up extra resources for patient care—£5.5 billion in this Parliament and £1.5 billion every year thereafter.

The number of national health service staff estimated to have been made redundant since May 2010 and subsequently, up until November 2013, re-employed by an NHS organisation on (a) a permanent basis is 2,570 and (b) a fixed term contract basis is 1,380.

These estimates are derived from unvalidated data from the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) Data Warehouse.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 244W

Only redundancies from, and re-employment to, organisations that use ESR are included.

Nurses

Julie Hilling: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) district nurses, (b) health visitors, (c) community psychiatric nurses, (d) community matrons and (e) community learning disabilities nurses were employed by the NHS in each clinical commissioning group area in England in (i) the latest period for which figures are available and (ii) the 12 months before this; and if he will make a statement. [190998]

Dr Poulter: The numbers of district nurses, health visitors, community psychiatric nurses, community matrons and community learning disabilities nurses employed by the national health service in each clinical commissioning group area in England in November 2012 and November 2013, the latest month available, are shown in the following table.

NHS hospital and community health services provisional monthly statistics: Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff in each NHS Commissioning Board area in England and each specified level and area of work as at 30 November each year
Full-time equivalent
 All qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staffOf which: Community MatronsHealth visitorsDistrict nursesCommunity Psychiatric NursesCommunity Learning Disabilities Nurses
 201220132012201320122013201220132012201320122013

England

308,822

312,900

1,371

1,394

8,712

9,504

6,169

5,802

15,891

15,727

2,262

2,051

             

Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral

6,720

6,701

37

35

203

200

121

74

264

246

52

56

Durham, Darlington and Tees

8,242

8,242

38

78

283

302

160

157

955

931

138

121

Greater Manchester

19,642

19,981

82

79

692

743

746

686

731

837

111

102

Lancashire

8,264

8,436

40

39

327

337

145

110

393

372

102

76

Merseyside

9,970

10,245

53

54

200

207

370

404

698

711

46

40

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear

15,038

15,292

72

70

439

461

289

390

595

631

132

138

North Yorkshire and Humber

8,083

8,045

28

26

261

275

176

161

182

187

55

54

South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw

11,216

11,261

37

36

281

296

123

114

868

846

134

105

West Yorkshire

12,941

12,908

134

122

474

488

174

151

407

434

64

61

Arden, Herefordshire and Worcestershire

8,323

8,362

32

31

251

285

279

268

362

351

115

86

Birmingham and the Black Country

16,588

16,893

83

57

389

454

321

350

669

650

88

92

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

12,472

12,660

95

100

362

420

254

155

690

682

131

102

East Anglia

13,371

13,666

42

54

295

340

169

118

659

575

119

96

Essex

8,192

8,360

35

39

243

270

191

117

594

595

35

40

Hertfordshire and the South Midlands

10,453

10,458

13

20

323

343

154

143

692

645

168

133

12 Mar 2014 : Column 245W

12 Mar 2014 : Column 246W

Leicestershire and Lincolnshire

8,111

8,257

21

17

239

278

133

110

498

496

45

46

Shropshire and Staffordshire

8,624

8,682

37

37

294

327

215

162

655

651

114

98

Bath, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Wiltshire

7,411

7,684

27

31

152

157

110

82

820

869

70

78

Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire

7,752

7,865

52

47

225

268

214

208

193

197

37

30

Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

9,155

9,105

43

52

263

196

206

360

701

632

95

92

Kent and Medway

7,855

8,084

22

15

254

299

16

33

329

314

65

63

Surrey and Sussex

13,311

12,864

85

49

324

277

87

38

719

769

67

66

Thames Valley

9,804

10,037

37

40

301

347

365

361

543

548

50

50

Wessex

13,330

13,590

69

80

385

429

119

75

688

650

91

90

London

52,573

52,909

156

149

1,250

1,292

1,032

927

1,987

1,847

136

125

Special Health Authorities and other statutory bodies

1,380

2,314

0

37

1

209

0

47

0

60

0

11

Notes: 1. Full time equivalent figures are rounded to the nearest whole number. 2. These statistics relate to the contracted positions within English NHS organisations and may include those where the person assigned to the position is temporarily absent, for example on maternity leave. 3. Monthly data: As from 21 July 2010 the Health and Social Care Information Centre has published provisional monthly NH5 workforce data. As expected with provisional statistics, some figures may be revised from month to month as issues are uncovered and resolved. The monthly workforce data is not directly comparable with the annual workforce census; it only includes those staff on the Electronic Staff Record (ie it does not include Primary care staff or Bank staff). There are also new methods of presenting data (headcount methodology is different and there is now a role count). This information is available from September 2009 onwards at the following website at: www.hscic.gov.uk Source: Health and Social Care Information Centre Provisional Monthly Workforce Statistics

Pancreatic Cancer

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the adequacy of Government funding for research into pancreatic cancer. [191078]

Dr Poulter: The Department has made no specific assessment of this.

The Department is fully committed to clinical and applied research into cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The Department's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including pancreatic cancer. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and the national health service, value for money and scientific quality.

The National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) is a United Kingdom-wide partnership between the Government, charity and industry which promotes co-operation in cancer research among the 22 member organisations. An analysis of spend data submitted by NCRI partners covering the period from 2002 to 2011 is available on the NCRI website at:

www.ncri.org.uk/includes/Publications/general/Data_package_11.xls

This analysis includes data for all cancer research, for site-specific research and or individual sites including pancreatic cancer. Between 2002 and 2011, the proportion of site-specific funding spent on pancreatic cancer research almost doubled.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 247W

In August 2011, the Government announced £800 million investment over five years in a series of NIHR Biomedical Research Centres and Units, including £61.5 million funding for the Royal Marsden/Institute of Cancer Research Biomedical Research Centre, and £6.5 million funding for the Liverpool Biomedical Research Unit in gastrointestinal disease (which has a major focus on pancreatic cancer). Some research can also be applied across different cancer sites.

The UK Clinical Research Network Portfolio Database currently has 20 studies in pancreatic cancer that are in set-up or recruiting patients.

University College Hospital

Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made by NHS England on removing their ban on patients being treated by gamma knife at University College Hospital. [190717]

Jane Ellison: Since 1 April 2013, NHS England has been responsible for commissioning all Stereotactic Radiosurgery and Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRS/SRT), which is the type of radiotherapy gamma knife provides. University College London Hospitals (UCLH) was not a designated provider of gamma knife services prior to 1 April and therefore did not have a contract with the national health service to provide this service. It is for this reason that NHS patients cannot be treated at this facility.

NHS England is currently undertaking a demand and capacity review project for SRS/SRT for intracranial conditions. The output of this project will be to inform a national commissioning strategy to support sustainable service commissioning across the 10 Area Teams commissioning specialised services. NHS England expects the strategy to be completed by the end of the year.

NHS England has said it would be inappropriate to consider UCLH in isolation while it is in the process of this important national review. It is essential that the services are considered as part of a coherent national strategy that will deliver a service; offering clinically safe and sustainable high quality specialist services for NHS patients on a national basis. At present there is sufficient capacity within the existing contracted providers to meet the commissioning requirements.

Vaccination: Children

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to Clause 34 of the Immigration Bill, HL Bill 84, what his policy is on exempting immunisation for children from NHS charging provisions for persons not ordinarily resident in Great Britain. [191153]

Jane Ellison: The Immigration Bill provides for temporary migrants from outside the European economic area, who will no longer be deemed to be ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom to pay a health charge that will then permit them to receive any required subsequent national health service treatment, including vaccinations, without further charge.

The Government responded on 30 December 2013 to the consultation “Sustaining services, ensuring fairness: a consultation on migrant access and financial contribution

12 Mar 2014 : Column 248W

to NHS provision in England” confirming that it intended to introduce charges for some primary care services for visitors and other non-residents not covered by the health surcharge.

It committed the Department to undertake further work and engagement with experts and interest groups to evaluate the impact, particularly on public health, and develop these proposals before bringing forward any changes to NHS charging regulations in England. It also advised that further work would be undertaken to ensure that vulnerable children were not denied necessary care.

Education

Children: Internet

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to address the problem of parents or guardians showing or involving their children in online obscene materials. [190896]

Damian Green: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Department.

As set out in the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is illegal for any person to show or involve children in online obscene materials. The Government is committed to protecting children from this form of abuse. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Command of the National Crime Agency (NCA) is central to protecting children and as part of the NCA, CEOP can access more resources to deal with complex cases of child sexual exploitation and abuse, and benefits from support from other NCA specialist functions such as the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU). Every officer in the NCA, over 4000 people, has a legal duty to safeguard children and promote child welfare.

We have made additional progress in tackling child abuse online through work we are doing with the internet industry. Internet search engines have made changes to their search mechanisms, and these new measures have been effective in making it harder to access child abuse images. Britain and the US have also created a new taskforce to work with industry to counter online child sexual exploitation.

Early Intervention Grant

Sarah Champion: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of changes in the Early Intervention Grant on local councils; and if he will provide a copy of the document; [190708]

(2) what risk assessment was carried out in respect of reducing the Early Intervention Grant to councils; and if he will publish that assessment. [190656]

Elizabeth Truss: There is no single document of the type requested.

The Early Intervention Grant, which is now part of the Business Rates Retention (BRR) system of local government finance, is non-ringfenced and unhypothicated. By making this change, from previous funding regimes

12 Mar 2014 : Column 249W

for early intervention, local authorities have been given the freedom to make decisions on how best to target resources on supporting early intervention and other valuable services to meet the needs of their communities.

The BRR forms part of the overall funding available for early intervention, which will increase from £2,365 billion in 2012-13 to £2,510 billion in 2014-15, including funding for two-year-old education and the Early Intervention Grant topslice.

Faith Schools

Bob Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he plans to take to stop faith schools redacting questions from national exam papers. [190626]

Elizabeth Truss: This is a matter for Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation and I have asked its Chief Executive, Glenys Stacey to write directly to my hon. Friend. A copy of her reply will be placed in the House Library.

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether he plans to renew Government funding for security at Jewish faith schools after 2015; and if he will make a statement. [191042]

Mr Laws: We will carefully review this issue in the spring.

Pre-school Education

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what further steps he plans to ensure that parents of summer-born children can start their child aged five in a reception class. [191041]

Mr Laws: The parents of a summer born child can request that the child is admitted to a reception class in the September following their fifth birthday—the point at which their peers are moving up to year 1. It is for the admission authority to consider the individual circumstances of the case before arriving at a decision.

I believe those decisions are best taken at a local level, where the admission authority in conjunction with the school head, are better placed to decide the most appropriate year group for each child. There are no current plans to ensure that parents of summer born children can always start their child aged five in a reception class—for some children this may not be appropriate or in the best interests of the child.

However, we are taking steps to ensure that admission authorities comply with the duty imposed on them by the School Admissions Code to make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case. We published advice on the admission of summer born children in July 2013. We are now monitoring the impact of this advice and have committed to review it one year after its publication.

We have asked the Schools Adjudicator to request information from local authorities in their annual reports on admissions about the number of requests from parents for summer born children to be admitted to reception age five. These reports must be submitted to the Chief Adjudicator by 30 June 2014.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 250W

Officials are also investigating cases referred to them, including those referred by the hon. Member for Mid Dorset and North Poole, Annette Brooke, to ensure admission authorities are complying with the provisions in the Code.

Schools: Construction

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 24 February 2014, Official Report, column 223W, on schools: construction, how many bids his Department has received for financing to date. [190448]

Mr Laws: The Education Funding Agency (EFA) is procuring a financing vehicle, which will fund each of the five privately-financed batches of Priority Schools Building Programme schools. 12 Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQ) were submitted by entities or consortia wishing to be selected to fulfil this role. The EFA then shortlisted six of those PQQ respondents to submit outline proposals and later three bidders who will submit final and detailed proposals. The procurement continues at present with the three remaining bidders, and final bids are due to be received by the EFA in April 2014.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 24 February 2014, Official Report, column 223W, on schools: construction, which schools (a) are expected to open in February 2014 and (b) are not planned to open before 2015. [190449]

Mr Laws: We are currently working with 221 schools in the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). Before building work can begin, plans must be drawn up, contracts negotiated and planning permission secured.

Construction work has already started at 23 schools (19 under main works contracts and four under early works agreements).

Under Building Schools for the Future (BSF), it took three years from first planning for building works to begin. We have cut this to one year under the PSBP. Had we continued with BSF time scales, no PSBP schools would yet have started construction. The first school will open in May 2014.

The Department does not hold firm predictions for when every project will start or finish construction as time scales can shift in either direction. However, the overall programme is progressing more swiftly then initially predicated and it is now expected to be complete by 2017—two years earlier than first planned.

The full list of schools in the programme can be found at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/schoolscapital/priority-school-building-programme/a00221997/successfulapplicationspsbp

Special Educational Needs

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what effect the new national funding formula for schools in 2015-16 will have on funding for special education needs. [190895]

12 Mar 2014 : Column 251W

Mr Laws: Following the Chancellor's announcement in June that we would consult on how best to introduce a national funding formula for schools, we will shortly announce next steps, including any effect of our reforms on funding for special education needs.

Teachers: Pay

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development report on the relationship between student performance and use of performance-based pay schemes, published in May 2012. [190778]

Mr Laws: The reforms we have made to the national framework for the pay and conditions of teachers were recommended by the independent School Teachers' Review Body (STRB). The STRB took into account evidence from a wide-range of sources when considering its recommendations, including the OECD report from May 2012. We accepted the STRB's recommendations in full.

By reforming the rigid national framework we have put school leaders in charge of determining how best to reward teachers. This will put an end to the situation whereby head teachers had no choice but to award annual pay increases regardless of an individual's performance, and were prevented from paying a highly effective new entrant more than their long-serving but less effective peer.

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the amount of time it will take school governors to make decisions on performance-related pay. [190779]

Mr Laws: Governors are already expected to hold school leadership to account for school performance, which includes assessing overall teacher performance and to play a key role in ensuring schools have a strong strategic vision and are observing good financial practises to make the best use of public funds.

Governing bodies will have already approved revised pay policies which set out precisely how schools will make performance and pay decisions. We believe that most governing bodies will require minimal additional time to carry out their responsibilities effectively in relation to pay decisions.

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the likely effect on the total cost to the public purse of teachers' salaries of introducing performance-related pay. [190780]

Mr Laws: Our objective is to ensure that schools and school leaders can use the funds they have to reward excellent performance rather than continue to be locked into statutory arrangements for automatic pay progression that mandate year on year pay bill pressures that are beyond their control. The new arrangements provide schools with more autonomy over the management of their budgets, so that they are free to make choices between their relative priorities.

Giving head teachers more flexibility over pay enables them to manage their budgets and meet their school's

12 Mar 2014 : Column 252W

unique set of needs more effectively. We trust head teachers to make decisions on pay that are appropriate within their overall budgets.

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the likelihood of teachers who are subject to performance-related pay seeking posts in schools with poorer Ofsted results because of concerns about the effects on their salary of such a policy. [190783]

Mr Laws: There is no reason why the new arrangements for pay should prevent a teacher from taking a post in a school with poorer Ofsted results. It will be up to schools to decide how they link pay progression to appraisal and the criteria that they will employ.

Our expectation is that schools will establish a range of performance variables to judge the performance of teachers both as individuals and as part of a team. Appropriate factors could include, for example, the quality of their teaching, their collaboration with and support for other teachers, and their wider contribution to the success of the school.

Cabinet Office

Services: Online Charges

8. Julian Smith: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps he is taking to tackle websites which charge for free Government services. [902986]

Mr Hurd: We take the issue of misleading websites very seriously. Most people encounter them though advertisements on search result pages, so we are working with Google to help them identify and remove those adverts. We have also made more money available to support the National Trading Standards Board to investigate this issue.

Civil Contingencies

10. Robert Flello: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of civil contingencies processes in his Department. [902988]

Mr Letwin: The Cabinet Office works with other Government Departments, devolved Administrations, emergency responders and other organisations to enhance the UK's ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. The effectiveness of these arrangements is reviewed regularly to ensure lessons arising from emergencies are identified and actioned.

Social Enterprise

11. Jesse Norman: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent progress he has made on supporting social enterprises in providing public services. [902990]

Mr Hurd: We are opening up new opportunities whether it be the Transforming Rehabilitation programme or NCS.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 253W

We are making it easier to access finance through social investment, and we are providing practical support, such as through the Mutuals Support Programme.

We are delighted that public sector mutuals are now delivering over £1 billion in contract value.

Statistics

12. Kevin Brennan: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues on the proper use of national statistics. [902991]

Mr Hurd: Responsibility for monitoring the quality of official statistics lies with the independent UK Statistics Authority.

Cabinet Office Ministers have parliamentary responsibility for the authority and have met with the Chair and the National Statistician to discuss statistical matters.

Work and Pensions

Employment Schemes

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the Terrence Higgins Trust report on HIV and poverty, published in February 2014, if his Department will work with employers and charities to reintroduce unemployed people to work over a longer time frame with staggered changes to their unemployment benefits. [190861]

Esther McVey: Under the current jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) system claimants with a health condition have flexibility to restrict the work they have to be available for. They may restrict their availability in any way, provided the restrictions are reasonable in the light of their condition. A claimant may also restrict their travel time if they have a health condition which affects their ability to travel.

Universal credit is even more flexible than the current regime. Work coaches will work with claimants with HIV to set personalised requirements which focus on what they can do within realistic timeframes, taking into account their health condition. They can also limit or suspend work related requirements in response to fluctuations in a claimant's medical condition.

Furthermore, universal credit is an in and out-of-work benefit. It will not automatically stop when people move in or out of work so it will make it easier for those with fluctuating health conditions to work and to increase or reduce their working hours in response to their medical condition.

Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much in discretionary housing payments has been allocated in (a) England and (b) Portsmouth to those affected by the under occupancy penalty in (i) 2013-14, (ii) 2014-15 and (iii) 2015-16. [190890]

Esther McVey: The information is as follows:

12 Mar 2014 : Column 254W

(a) Please find following, a table detailing the allocations for England. The figures for 2015-16 will be decided in due course.

Relevant yearTotal DHP allocation for RSRS in England (£)

2013-14

25,950,209

2014-15

46,053,525

2015-16

TBD

(b) Please find following, a table detailing DHP allocations for Portsmouth in relation to the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy, including the total allocations for the respective years. The figures for 2015-16 will be decided in due course.

£
Relevant yearDHP allocation for RSRS—PortsmouthTotal DHP allocation for Portsmouth

2013-14

88,499

472,895

2014-15

189,725

546,807

2015-16

TBD

TBD

In 2013-14 the Government contribution to discretionary housing payments was increased to £180 million in Great Britain (GB). While local authorities are able to use all of the funding as they decide in line with local priorities, £55 million was specifically allocated on the basis of the estimated impacts of the removal of the spare room subsidy. This includes £20 million that local authorities were able to bid for should they need more funding. A bid was not received from Portsmouth for additional funding.

In 2014-15 the Government will continue to support those affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy. Out of a total Government contribution for discretionary housing payments of £165 million in GB, £60 million has been specifically allocated on the basis of the impacts of the policy.

Jobcentre Plus

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the annual cost is of (a) sorting Jobcentre post in Wolverhampton and (b) sending it on and opening it in Telford and Kidderminster; and if he will take steps to introduce a more cost-effective process of sorting the Jobcentre post. [190587]

Mike Penning: As part of the Government Digitalisation programme, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has recently transformed its mail opening and scanning service and has consolidated DWP's inward-bound mail delivery network from 29 mail opening units (MOUs) into two new purpose built MOUs. The running costs of the new service are forecast to save £0.74 million per annum in operating costs compared to the previous arrangements.

This service replaces costly and inefficient paper based document management processes, significantly increases volume processing capacity and enables savings to be achieved against other contracts. In addition it also reduces the costs of file storage and is a key enabler for the introduction of scanning services to support universal credit and personal independent payments benefits. The approach consolidated the Department's hard copy mail within the 2 MOUs, provides access to scanned

12 Mar 2014 : Column 255W

images, digital storage and automated notifications providing a more cost efficient and sustainable solution for the future.

Personal Independence Payment

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to Annex 6 to his Department's Lot 1 Contract with Atos, what the evidential basis was for the assumption that 75 per cent of personal independence payments new claims referrals would involve a consultation assessment. [191039]

Mike Penning: The Department's guideline assumptions were its best estimates at the time, in the early stages of programme development, based on experience of employment and support allowance and disability living allowance assessments. All assumptions were stated to bidders to be indicative only.

Social Security Benefits: Disqualification

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to ensure that black, Asian and minority ethnic women are informed of their right to appeal against decisions regarding benefits or jobseeker's allowance sanctions. [190871]

Mike Penning: Where a benefit decision is appealable, this includes a decision to apply a sanction, that right must be notified to the affected claimant. There are no exceptions.

The Department is committed to monitoring the impacts of its policies and, as far as practicable, we will endeavour to use information from a number of sources to monitor the experiences and outcomes of ethnic minority groups and the other protected groups.

Unemployment Benefits: EU Nationals

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many EU migrants living in the UK were in receipt of unemployment benefit in the most recent period for which figures are available. [191393]

Esther McVey: Currently we check the immigration status of benefit claimants to ensure the benefit is paid properly and to prevent fraud. While this information is used, it is not recorded as part of the payment administrative systems.

However, we are reforming this system and under universal credit we will record nationality and immigration status of migrants who make a claim.

Welfare State

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will take steps to ensure that black, Asian and minority ethnic women are not disproportionately negatively affected by Government welfare policies; [190872]

(2) what assessment he has made of which demographic groups are most affected by changes to welfare policies; [190873]

12 Mar 2014 : Column 256W

(3) if he will commission research into whether black, Asian and minority ethnic women are disproportionately negatively affected by Government policies. [190874]

Esther McVey: The Department regularly publishes impact assessments associated with announced policy changes and does not intend commissioning additional research at this time.

Leader of the House

Members: Employment

Ian Lucas: To ask the Leader of the House if he will bring forward legislative proposals to restrict hon. Members from having jobs beside that of a Member of Parliament. [902989]

Mr Lansley: The Government have no plans to bring forward such proposals. The independent Committee on Standards in Public Life have previously recommended that MPs should remain free to have paid employment unrelated to their role as MPs, and that this is desirable in performing their role (1st Report Committee on Standards in Public Life).

It is important that there is transparency about what MPs do, who pays them and for what. The House changed its rules before the last election to ensure that this detail is shown in the Register of Members' Financial Interests. MPs are here to work for their constituents and that should remain the principal purpose of all MPs elected to this place.

Communities and Local Government

Coalfields Regeneration Trust

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what support his Department offers to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust. [190330]

Kris Hopkins: DCLG has provided £42 million of grant so far this spending review period and has committed a farther £10 million for 2014-15. We have also enabled the Coalfields Regeneration Trust to invest in business property based in coalfields areas, by changing our approach to the way that the trust is funded. This will help the trust become self-sustaining, whilst maintaining their core activities in support of coalfields communities.

Crisis Loans

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what support his Department plans to provide for local authorities in crisis loans in 2015-16. [189201]

Brandon Lewis: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer of 3 March 2014, Official Report, House of Lords, columns WA278-79.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 257W

Housing

Mr Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of (a) owner-occupiers, (b) social housing tenants and (c) private tenants were resident in properties in (i) England, (ii) Greater London and (iii) Greenwich Borough in (A) the latest period for which data is available and (B) the date 15 years prior to this. [R] [191047]

Kris Hopkins: Historical data on dwelling stock by tenure in England can be found in live table 104 at the following link. This table shows the annual dwelling stock in the owner occupied, privately rented, local authority, private registered providers (formerly known as housing associations or registered social landlords) and other public sector tenures. Taken together, the local authority and private registered providers tenures comprise the social rented sector.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-dwelling-stock-including-vacants

Data on dwelling stock by tenure in each local authority district, from which Greater London totals can be calculated, can be found in live table 100 at the same link. This table shows the annual dwelling stock in the private sector (ie owner occupied and privately rented), local authority, Private Registered Providers and other public sector tenures, from 2009 to 2013.

The Department publishes estimates each year on the number and tenure of households in England, through its annual English Housing Survey. The latest report estimated 22.0 million households in England in 2012-13. Overall, 65% or 14.3 million were owner occupiers, 18% (4.0 million) were private renters and 17% (3.7 million) were social renters.

Housing Benefit: Private Rented Housing

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the proportion of private landlords renting to tenants in receipt of housing benefit; and what steps he is taking to ensure people in receipt of benefits are not excluded from the private rented sector. [187145]

Kris Hopkins [holding answer 11 February 2014]: In the private sector, local housing allowance rates are used to determine the maximum amount of housing benefit that a claimant can receive. Since April 2011, local housing allowance rates have been set at the 30th percentile of market rents.

Reflecting this, in the majority of areas, around 30% of the private rented sector is accessible to tenants in receipt of housing benefit. Housing benefit is a safety net; it is not intended to allow people to live in better accommodation than that available to those not reliant on benefits.

Notwithstanding, the Government has set aside £45 million in 2014-15 to increase local housing allowance rates in certain local areas which have diverged from market rents.

It is up to individual private landlords to decide who they rent their properties to; however there is no recent evidence of any problem with exclusion, based on housing

12 Mar 2014 : Column 258W

benefit claims. According to DWP figures, there were 1,655,359 housing benefit recipients in the private rented sector across Great Britain in November 2012 and 1,645,504 in November 2013.

Overall, such housing benefit arrangements allow welfare claimants to have access to decent housing; they provide a work incentive; they ensure a fair deal for the taxpayer and they help tackle the deficit left by the Labour Government.

This Government wants to make the private rented sector more accessible, which is why we have taken steps to tackle the small minority of rogue landlords; we have avoided excessive regulation that would shrink supply and push up rents; and we are investing £1 billion through the Build to Rent fund and £3.5 billion in guarantees to get builders building. The overall rise in housing supply from increased house building will also flow through to more homes to buy and rent.

Housing: Floods

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent progress has been made by local authorities in extending eligibility for home improvement grants and loans to include flood resistance and resilience products for properties in high flood-risk areas. [189802]

Kris Hopkins: To help homeowners better protect their homes against the future risk of flooding the Government has created a new scheme providing grants of up to £5,000 to homeowners and businesses that have been flooded since 1 December 2013. The repair and renew grants will be available to pay for additional flood resilience or resistance measures for homes and businesses, helping to reduce the likelihood and impact of flooding. Local authorities in flood affected areas will administer the scheme, and are working closely with key partners like the ABI to ensure it is cost effective and provides the right support to those that apply. This is in addition to the discretionary assistance local authorities can already provide to homeowners.

On Thursday 20 February, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister announced details of flood support packages for homeowners and businesses in England. Information about these can be found on the Government's web pages here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flood-support-package-for-homeowners-and-businesses

Support for other parts of the United Kingdom is a matter for the Devolved Administrations.

Leasehold

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he last reviewed the purposes of LEASE; and if he will ask LEASE to make a public report to him on the problems in the leasehold sector known to LEASE. [191120]

Kris Hopkins: LEASE currently highlights issues raised with them in their annual report and frequently asked questions and articles on their website.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 259W

In April 2011, Cabinet Office announced that all non-departmental public bodies still in existence following the reforms brought about by the Public Bodies Act would have to undergo a substantive review at least once every three years, starting in 2011 to 2012. A triennial review for LEASE is due to commence in 2014 and report by end December 2014.

Local Development Orders

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local development orders have been issued by local authorities in each constituent part of the UK in each of the last five years. [189929]

Nick Boles: The Government has radically simplified the process local authorities in England must follow to put in place a local development order by removing the Secretary of State power to intervene prior to an order being adopted. Local development orders are an important local tool that can be used to encourage development and growth.

As there is no longer a central approval process, monitoring of new orders is dependent on local authorities informing my Department whenever they adopt a new order. To avoid unnecessary regulatory burden on local authorities there is no set time period for when my Department should be notified. Table 1 lists the local authorities in England which we are aware have adopted local development orders.

My Department does not keep records or monitor local development orders that may have been adopted in other parts of the UK outside of England.

Table 1: Number of local development orders adopted by local authorities
Local authorityLocal development orders adopted

Allerdale Borough Council

1

Arun District Council

1

Aylesbury Vale District Council

1

Birmingham City Council

3

Bristol City Council

2

Burnley Borough Council

1

Cornwall Council

3

Dacorum Borough Council

1

Darlington Borough Council

1

Dover District Council

1

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

1

Flyde Borough Council

1

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

2

Harlow District Council

3

Harrow Council

1

Hartlepool Borough Council

3

Herefordshire Council

2

Hull City Council

1

Kettering Borough Council

1

Leeds City Council

2

London Borough of Havering

1

London Borough of Newham

1

Middlesbrough Council

1

Newcastle City Council

1

12 Mar 2014 : Column 260W

North East Lincolnshire Council

1

North Tyneside Council

1

Northampton Borough Council

1

Northumberland Council

2

Norwich City Council

1

Redcar and Cleveland District Council

2

Ribble Valley Borough Council

1

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

3

Sheffield City Council

1

South Ribble Borough Council

3

Sunderland City Council

1

Swindon Borough Council

7

Thurrock Council

1

Vale of White Horse District Council

1

Walsall Council

1

Waveney District Council

5

Wolverhampton City Council

1

Wyre Forest District Council

1

Local Government Finance: Coventry

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding his Department has allocated to Coventry city council in each of the last five years. [190977]

Brandon Lewis [holding answer 11 March 2014]: Details of Local Government Finance settlements for all local authorities including Coventry for 2014-15 and previous years going back to 2010-11 are available at these addresses:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/final-local-government-finance-settlement-england-2014-to-2015

www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/ssas.htm

The overall spending power figure for Coventry in 2014-15 is £2,152, which is above the England average of £2,089.

Local Government: Fixed Penalties

Mr Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the overall fairness of both the level of charge and the enforcement procedure of penalty charge notices issued on behalf of local authorities. [185214]

Brandon Lewis: The most recent official statistics (for 2009-10) show that 9 million parking fines are issued a year by local authorities in England. From 1997-98 to 2010-11, local authority total income in England from parking rose from £608 million to £1.3 billion; net profits from parking rose from £223 million to £512 million in the same period. A recent survey by LV= car insurance has estimated that councils now hand out 10.7 million fines a year across the UK, and British motorists pay out over £30 million each month in parking fines

12 Mar 2014 : Column 261W

Councils in England are forecast to make £635 million net profit from parking charges fines in 2013-14. Yet legislation passed by Parliament is clear that parking charges and fines should not be used to raise general revenue. However, some councils are raising money illegally from parking.

In July, the High Court ruled that one London borough had illegally hiked parking charges to raise general revenue. The BBC television programme, Inside Out, has also drawn to my attention parking contracts signed by local authorities where outsourced parking wardens are rewarded for issuing more fines—in flagrant breach of the Government's operational guidance to councils. The Local Government Association's own participatory budgeting tool has also encouraged councils to raise parking charges and fines as a source of general revenue.

Such practices are a breach of fundamental constitutional principles from Magna Carta, the Petition of Right and the Bill of Rights: taxes should not be levied without recourse to Parliament, and the justice system should not be corrupted to raise money.

Unreasonable parking charges and fines push up hard-working people's cost of living. If parking is too expensive or difficult, shoppers will drive to out of town supermarkets or just shop online, undermining the vitality of town centres and leading to ‘ghost town’ high streets.

Higher parking charges and more parking fines were the explicit policy of the last Government. Labour DCLG Ministers called for councils to charge for more services, including parking, bemoaned that: ‘Only one in five councils are using charging to the full potential... [such as for] reducing congestion’ (Speech to the Local Government Association, 2 July 2008). Planning guidance issued by the Labour Government in 2001 (so-called PPG13) told councils to hike parking charges and adopt aggressive enforcement to discourage drivers.

By contrast, this Government has already:

Scrapped the Whitehall policy that pressured councils to hike car parking charges as a ‘demand management measure’ to discourage car use (PPG13).

Removed Whitehall restrictions which restricted the provision of off-street parking spaces;

Abolished the Whitehall policy which inhibited parking charge competition between council areas, and instead introduced a new policy that says parking charges should not undermine the vitality of town centres;

Introduced a policy that parking enforcement should be proportionate;

Issued new planning practice guidance on removing street clutter and encouraging the provision of shopper-friendly parking space provision; and

Introduced the local retention of business rates, which means that councils benefit from business and retail growth in town centres, rather than just hiking parking charges.

In December, the Government published proposals for consultation to reform parking rules further including:

Stopping CCTV being used for on-street parking enforcement;

Supporting local shops by updating parking enforcement guidance;

Tackling wrongly-issued fines and removing disincentives for appeals;

Stopping unacceptable parking fine collection practices;

Reviewing unnecessary yellow lines and the scope for residents' reviews;

Reviewing the grace period for parking offences; and

Freezing parking penalty charges.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 262W

The Government is also updating the local government Transparency Code to increase information about local parking charges and the number of parking spaces.

To further facilitate public scrutiny on parking fines, I am today placing in the Library of the House, a table showing the amount of money raised in parking fines in each local authority in England. I hope this illustrates the need for the further reforms we have proposed.

Parking: Urban Areas

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will assess the potential benefit to traders of free parking in town centres. [182863]

Brandon Lewis: Research by the Association of Town and City Management has shown that there is a clear relationship between parking provision and high street footfall. The association has highlighted that there are concerns that that aggressive municipal parking policies are now stifling local trade, and councils' pursuit of car parking revenue in itself has ‘forgotten’ the original rationale for parking management. It notes concerns of shoppers being turned off by rigid enforcement policies and unwelcoming parking wardens.

Mary Portas' independent review on high street policy has also noted:

“The ease with which out-of town retailing can be reached by car means that high streets do not have the luxury of pretending that car-based access is not convenient for shoppers. It is. And yet in many town centres I have visited for this review parking has been run-down, in an inconvenient place, and most significantly really expensive.”

This Government believes that councils should be treating drivers and shoppers fairly and promoting their town centres. Local authorities should be regularly reviewing their parking policies to support their town centres.

This Government has already:

Scrapped the Whitehall policy that pressured councils to hike car parking charges as a ‘demand management measure’ to discourage car use (the Labour Government's ‘PPG13’);

Removed Whitehall restrictions which restricted the provision of off-street parking spaces;

Abolished the Whitehall policy which inhibited parking charge competition between council areas, and instead introduced a new policy that says parking charges should not undermine the vitality of town centres;

Introduced a policy that parking enforcement should be proportionate;

Issued new planning practice guidance on removing street clutter and encouraging the provision of shopper-friendly parking space provision; and

Introduced the local retention of business rates, which means that councils benefit from business and retail growth in town centres, rather than just hiking parking charges.

In December, the Government published proposals for consultation to reform parking rules including:

Stopping CCTV being used for on-street parking enforcement;

Supporting local shops by updating parking enforcement guidance;

Tackling wrongly-issued fines and removing disincentives for appeals;

Stopping unacceptable parking fine collection practices;

Reviewing unnecessary yellow lines and the scope for residents' reviews;

Reviewing the grace period for parking offences; and

Freezing parking penalty charges.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 263W

We have announced that will be extending the local government Transparency Code to increase information on parking revenue and the number of controlled parking spaces. This greater openness on the money raised from parking charges will allow residents to ‘go compare’ with neighbouring councils.

Party Wall etc Act 1996

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if his Department will review the workings of the Party Wall Act 1966. [191050]

Stephen Williams: The Department has no current plans to review the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. However, the Department has reviewed the guidance on the Act to make it simpler and updated to include answers to regularly asked questions, for example the coverage of a party wall award; what to do if a building becomes unsafe or if there is excessive noise from work being carried out; and the role of the Party Wall surveyor. The guidance can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/party-wall-etc-act-1996-guidance

Private Rented Housing

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will estimate the proportion of private sector lettings not available to tenants in receipt of housing benefit. [182472]

Kris Hopkins: In the private sector, local housing allowance rates are used to determine the maximum amount of housing benefit that a claimant can receive. Since April 2011, local housing allowance rates have been set at the 30th percentile of market rents.

Reflecting this, in the majority of areas, around 30% of the private rented sector is accessible to tenants in receipt of housing benefit. Housing benefit is a safety net; it is not intended to allow people to live in better accommodation than that available to those not reliant on benefits.

Notwithstanding, the Government has set aside £45 million in 2014-15 to increase local housing allowance rates in certain local areas which have diverged from market rents.

It is up to individual private landlords to decide who they rent their properties to; however there is no recent evidence of any problem with exclusion, based on housing benefit claims. According to DWP figures, there were 1,655,359 housing benefit recipients in the private rented sector across Great Britain in November 2012 and 1,645,504 in November 2013.

Overall, such housing benefit arrangements allow welfare claimants to have access to decent housing; they provide a work incentive; they ensure a fair deal for the taxpayer and they help tackle the deficit left by the Labour Government.

This Government wants to make the private rented sector more accessible, which is why we have taken steps to tackle the small minority of rogue landlords; we have avoided excessive regulation that would shrink supply and push up rents; and we are investing £1 billion through the Build to Rent fund and £3.5 billion in

12 Mar 2014 : Column 264W

guarantees to get builders building. The overall rise in housing supply from increased house building will also flow through to more homes to buy and rent.

Private Rented Housing: Essex

Mr Simon Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will estimate the proportion of private sector letting not available to tenants in receipt of housing benefit in Essex and Chelmsford. [182759]

Kris Hopkins [holding answer 15 January 2014]: In the private sector, local housing allowance rates are used to determine the maximum amount of housing benefit that a claimant can receive. Since April 2011, local housing allowance rates have been set at the 30th percentile of market rents.

Reflecting this, in the majority of areas, around 30% of the private rented sector is accessible to tenants in receipt of housing benefit. Housing benefit is a safety net; it is not intended to allow people to live in better accommodation than that available to those not reliant on benefits.

Notwithstanding, the Government has set aside £45 million in 2014-15 to increase local housing allowance rates in certain local areas which have diverged from market rents.

It is up to individual private landlords to decide who they rent their properties to; however there is no recent evidence of any problem with exclusion, based on housing benefit claims. According to DWP figures, there were 1,655,359 housing benefit recipients in the private rented sector across Great Britain in November 2012 and 1,645,504 in November 2013.

Overall, such housing benefit arrangements allow welfare claimants to have access to decent housing; they provide a work incentive; they ensure a fair deal for the taxpayer and they help tackle the deficit left by the Labour Government.

This Government wants to make the private rented sector more accessible, which is why we have taken steps to tackle the small minority of rogue landlords; we have avoided excessive regulation that would shrink supply and push up rents; and we are investing £1 billion through the Build to Rent fund and £3.5 billion in guarantees to get builders building. The overall rise in housing supply from increased house building will also flow through to more homes to buy and rent.

Shops: Community Development

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department has taken to examine the (a) effectiveness and (b) possible legal implications of a cumulative impact test for high streets and the local community. [190600]

Brandon Lewis: The National Planning Policy Framework supports local authorities in ensuring the vitality of their town centres. The Framework enables local authorities to require an impact assessment of large retail, leisure and office development outside of town centres, which are not in accordance with an up-to-date local plan. The framework is clear that where an application is

12 Mar 2014 : Column 265W

likely to have a significant adverse impact on investment in town centres or their vitality and viability, then it should be refused.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to answer (a) Question 187552 tabled for ordinary answer on 13 February 2014 and (b) Question 187551 tabled for ordinary answer on 13 February 2014. [190971]

Brandon Lewis: Questions 187551 and 187552 were answered on 11 March 2014, Official Report, column 165W.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Badgers

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the Independent Expert Report on the badger cull in Somerset and Gloucester before the debate on the badger cull takes place in the House on 13 March 2014. [191688]

George Eustice: No. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the right hon. Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson) has just received the report of the Independent Expert Panel, and is considering it. We have always made clear that we will publish the full report and will do so in due course.

Floods

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council has explored how the public can improve their understanding of community risks, including those associated with flooding; and whether his Department has implemented such findings as appropriate. [190459]

Dan Rogerson: The Risk and Regulation Advisory Council published its review “Rising Levels? Public awareness and understanding of risks from flooding” in December 2009, in which it made eight recommendations. These have now all been implemented.

Floods: Property Development

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent progress he has made on making property owners unable to lay impermeable surfaces as of right on (a) front gardens, (b) back gardens and (c) business premises. [189793]

Nick Boles: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Permitted development rights for England introduced under the last Administration allowed property owners to lay hard surfaces around their properties subject to certain limitations. Homeowners can install a hard standing at the front of their house, but if it is larger than 5 square metres it must be porous, or any surface water

12 Mar 2014 : Column 266W

must be directed to a porous area in their garden, or the homeowner must make a planning application. Business owners can only lay an impermeable hard surface around their property if surface water is directed to a porous area, unless there is a risk of ground water contamination. There are greater flexibilities in the type of surfacing that home owners can use in their rear gardens.

Fly-grazing: Wales

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department plans to take to prevent horses being fly-grazed in Wales being moved over the border to England. [190709]

George Eustice: There are a range of measures that can be applied to tackle fly-grazing horses depending on the circumstances. Later this year, local authorities and the police will have available new measures designed to tackle antisocial behaviour including fly-grazing, when provisions in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Bill come into force. In using the legislation, we advise enforcers and interested parties to work together to identify perpetrators to enable appropriate action to be taken and to tackle the root of the problem.

Horse Passports

Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many visits and checks Trading Standards has carried out in relation to equine passports and microchipping since 2005. [191135]

George Eustice: DEFRA does not hold information on the number of visits and checks made by Trading Standards in relation to equine passports and microchipping.

Legumes

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans the Government has to celebrate the International Year of the Pulses in 2016; and if he will make a statement. [190749]

George Eustice: I met with the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) and the British Edible Pulse Association (BEPA) in November 2013. I was pleased to confirm to them that the UK Government supported the United Nations Resolution to designate 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, which was passed in December 2013.

DEFRA officials are working with GAFTA and BEPA to ensure that Government Departments are fully involved in discussions on promoting the international year.

New Guinea Flatworms

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment his Department has made of the threat to UK ecosystems of Platydemus manokwari; [190961]

12 Mar 2014 : Column 267W

(2) what precautionary steps his Department is taking against the arrival of platydemus manokwari in the UK. [190891]

George Eustice: The New Guinea flatworm, Platydemus manokwari, has only recently been reported in France and is not known to be present in the United Kingdom. As a result we have not yet undertaken a non-native species risk assessment of this species. However, other non-indigenous flatworms do pose a potential threat to our native earthworm populations and could potentially have an impact on wildlife species dependent on earthworms and on soil structure.

The principal means of spread of non-native flatworms is through the movement of plant material and soil. A code of practice has been produced by the Government to help producers and traders of nursery stock detect and limit the spread of non-indigenous flatworms by following hygienic practices and inspecting stocks of plants carefully. It is also relevant to anyone with flatworms in their garden. The code is available at:

www.nonnativespecies.org/index.cfm?sectionid=59

It is an offence under section 14(1)(a) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) to release, or allow to escape into the wild, any animal which is not ordinarily resident in or not a regular visitor to the wild in Great Britain. As Platydemus manokwari is not known to be present in Great Britain, anyone introducing it to the wild or moving it in the wild would be committing an offence.

Rivers: Isle of Wight

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Environment Agency's highest points for each of the rivers on the Isle of Wight are. [189900]

Dan Rogerson [holding answer 4 March 2014]: This winter has seen exceptional rainfall; with over twice the long term winter average amount falling over the Isle of Wight. This has led to very high river levels across the island.

The Environment Agency monitors and records river levels at 14 locations across the Isle of Wight. River levels recorded on the Eastern Yar, the River Medina and its tributaries have generally exceeded previously recorded maximum levels. For the other rivers, levels have been very high but have not exceeded the previously recorded maximum.

Home Department

Arrest Warrants

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the five most frequent grounds for the issuing of a European arrest warrant were in 2012-13. [190678]

James Brokenshire: The answer assumes that the question refers to European arrest warrants (EAWs) issued by the National Crime Agency (NCA), which is the UK Central Authority for the EAW. Figures for Scotland are collected separately.

12 Mar 2014 : Column 268W

Part 3 Requests by principal offence 2012-13

Drugs Trafficking: 33

Murder: 29

Fraud: 29

Child sex offences: 29

Rape: 20.

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which five countries issued the most European arrest warrants in 2012-13. [190679]

James Brokenshire: The answer assumes that the question refers to European arrest warrants (EAWs) received by the National Crime Agency (NCA), which is the UK Central Authority for the EAW. Figures for Scotland are collected separately.

Part 1 EAW Requests by requesting country 2012-13

Poland: 1,664

Romania: 680

Germany: 672

France: 422

Spain: 408.

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incoming European arrest warrants were received in 2012-13. [190680]

James Brokenshire: There were 6,263 European arrest warrants received by the National Crime Agency in 2012-13.

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many outgoing European arrest warrants were issued in 2012-13. [190681]

James Brokenshire: There were 244 European arrest warrants issued in 2012-13.

Computer Misuse Act 1990

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been arrested under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in each year since 2010. [190332]

Karen Bradley: The information requested is not collected centrally by the Home Office.