Military Bases

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason the Defence Infrastructure Organisation will be inviting expressions of interest in a contract for provision of maintenance and repair services on all UK military sites used by US Visiting Forces; and who will be responsible for (a) deciding on the work which is to be carried out and (b) paying the contactors. [194782]

Dr Murrison: The UK Government has Treaty obligations for providing maintenance and repair services on United States Forces (USF) sites. Contracts to provide these services are periodically renewed by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Any work to be carried out is determined jointly between the MOD and USF.

The MOD is responsible for the payment process; however, USF provide the funding by repaying the MOD for the cost of maintenance and repair services and providing an additional 7.5% contribution towards Defence Infrastructure Organisation running costs.

7 Apr 2014 : Column 95W

NATO

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) personnel and (b) assets are participating in NATO's Baltic Regional Training Events in 2014; and what (i) personnel and (ii) assets participated in the events in each of the last three years. [194525]

Dr Murrison: The UK is currently reviewing our contribution to national and NATO exercises in the Baltic Region in 2014; final decisions have not yet been made.

There are no central records for 2011 and 2012. However, in 2013 the UK provided 124 personnel to the following exercises involving NATO allies:

Exercise Sabre Strike 13, Latvia 1 to 14 June 2013.

Exercise Kevadtorm 13, Estonia 14 to 25 May 2013.

In addition the UK provided one mine counter measure vessel (ship's company of 40 personnel) to:

Exercise Steadfast Jazz 13, Baltic Sea, November 2013.

Public Expenditure

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget Statement on 19 March 2014, Official Report, column 784, what effect making departmental underspends permanent and locked-in will have on his Department’s budgetary assumptions in relation to his Department’s (a) revenue and (b) capital budget until 2015-16. [193911]

Mr Philip Hammond [holding answer 31 March 2014]: The Chancellor's Budget statement did not change the Ministry of Defence (MOD)'s budgetary position until 2015-16 from that set out at the autumn statement in December 2013.

The Treasury has confirmed that Defence's overall position remains unchanged as a result of the Budget: there has been no change to the MOD's budgetary baseline for 2015-16.

Tornado Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the installation of an EASAMS Collision Warning System in Tornado aircraft was not completed following the successful trials of the system in 1995 and 1996. [194547]

Mr Dunne: This technical demonstrator programme was aimed at evaluating the compatibility of the collision warning system concept in the fast jet environment. Technical demonstrator programmes are used to test the technical feasibility of new technology projects, often using experimental or conceptual technologies. They are not expected to produce equipment capable of being brought into service with the armed forces.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether the fitting of the Rangeless Autonomous Information Debriefing System equipment to Tornado aircraft was regarded as mitigation for the collision warning risk over the last decade; [194548]

7 Apr 2014 : Column 96W

(2) what collision warning capability the Rangeless Autonomous Information Debriefing System had. [194549]

Mr Dunne: The Rangeless Airborne Instrumented Debriefing System (RAIDS) as fitted to RAF aircraft has no collision warning capability.

It logs and stores GPS positional data during flight. Data can only be downloaded post-flight to allow replay during sortie debriefing of the positional data for all aircraft fitted with RAIDS. Therefore, it provides no situational awareness to the crew in flight.

Ukraine

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will update the Defence Strategic Guidance to reflect the Russian annexation of the Crimea. [193347]

Mr Philip Hammond: The 2010 national security strategy and the strategic defence and security review (SDSR) set the top level political direction and guidance for UK Defence. Defence strategic direction (DSD) translates this top level direction into broad priorities for Defence but it does not set specific goals, or relate to specific missions, activities or threats, and it would not be appropriate or practical to update DSD in the face of each individual crisis or threat.

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there has been any testing (a) in Southern Australia and (b) elsewhere of the ability of the Taranis system to identify or strike targets autonomously. [R] [194956]

Mr Dunne: I am withholding details of the locations at which Taranis flight trials have taken place for the purpose of safeguarding national security. The Ministry of Defence has no plans to create weapons that operate without human control. Trained members of the armed forces will always be involved in the command and control of unmanned air systems.

USA

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the implications for the future of RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall of the Rand Corporation report on the posture triangle; and if he will make a statement. [194668]

Mr Francois: The US authorities are finalising a study into future US basing requirements in Europe, and no decisions have been taken in respect of RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall. No assessment of the Rand Corporation report has therefore been made.

Work and Pensions

Children: Maintenance

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much child maintenance debt is regarded as (a) permanently and (b) temporarily uncollectable. [194909]

7 Apr 2014 : Column 97W

Steve Webb: As at December 2013, the amount of child maintenance debt regarded as (a) permanently uncollectible is £256 million and (b) temporarily uncollectible is £1.2 billion.

Notes:

1. The figure for permanently uncollectible debt is sourced from the Arrears Segmentation table (page 46) of the December 2013 CSA Quarterly Summary of Statistics (QSS) available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/286597/csa_qtr_summ_stats_dec13.pdf

2. The figure for temporarily uncollectible debt includes debt where the parent is untraceable, the parent is abroad or the debt has been suspended.

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of recovery actions in respect of child support arrears owed to the parent with care have been suspended in the last year for which figures are available. [194921]

Steve Webb: Information on the number of cases, in which recovery actions in respect of child support arrears owed to the parent with care have been suspended, is not available as it is not routinely recorded for management information purposes. To provide this information would require the creation of new information which could be completed and appropriately assured only at a disproportionate cost.

Employment and Support Allowance

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to his letter of 20 March 2014, what the evidential basis is for his statement that allowing people receiving employment and support allowance to do some work within a specified 52 week period is the best way of encouraging a move towards work of 16 hours or more a week. [194563]

Esther McVey: The permitted work rules in employment and support allowance are based on those which applied to incapacity benefit. This approach was supported by evidence contained in DWP Research Report 268 "Final outcome from Permitted Work Rules".

Habitual Residence Test

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will amend the benefits rules on the habitual residency test to exempt family members in the services returning from an overseas posting; and if he will make a statement. [193379]

Esther McVey: It has always been the case that all migrants, including UK nationals returning from anything more than a short period abroad, must satisfy the habitual residence test. This is a vital tool which enables the Government to continue to protect the integrity of the UK welfare system.

Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of social housing tenants have been affected by the implementation of the under-occupancy penalty in each local authority area. [195020]

7 Apr 2014 : Column 98W

Esther McVey: The information is not available in the format requested.

The information at regional level is provided in our impact assessment at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/214329/social-sector-housing-under-occupation-wr2011-ia.pdf

Jobcentre Plus

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on the Jobcentre Plus rapid response service in each year since 2003-04. [194686]

Esther McVey: Information requested can only be provided in part due to seven year archive period for financials data.

Spend on Rapid Response Service has therefore been:

PeriodSpend (£)

2007-08

579,853

2008-09

851,954

2009-10

9,963,293

2010-11

6,472,119

2011-12

3,432,793

2012-13

4,020,041

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many times a Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Team has been used since May 2010; and how many deployments have occurred in situations where 20 or more people faced redundancy. [194688]

Esther McVey: The Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service works closely with employers and people facing redundancy to ensure they have access to all the help and information they need. The service aims to address the impact of job losses on workers and on the local community by helping people move into new jobs as quickly as possible.

The number of people in work has increased by 1.35 million since 2010—over a million of these jobs are full-time—and the employment rate is now 72.3%, the highest it has been since 2008.

The level of redundancy is 55,000 lower than in 2010.

7,506 employers have accepted redundancy support from the Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service since May 2010. Of these employers, 6,075 involved potential redundancies of 20 or more employees

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff of his Department's staff worked in a Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response team in each year since 2004. [194944]

Esther McVey: We do not hold this information.

New Enterprise Allowance

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on the new enterprise allowance in each year since its introduction. [194945]

7 Apr 2014 : Column 99W

Esther McVey: We do not have complete figures for 2013-14 as the yearly accounts have not yet been finalised, and will not be audited until May.

Spend figures for NEA in the two full financial years to April 2013 are:

£ million
 Financial year
 2011-122012-13

DEL spend

11.4

14.7

AME spend

5.0

18.3

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much time someone enrolled on the new enterprise allowance spends with a mentor. [194946]

Esther McVey: The pre-start-up mentoring phase on the new enterprise allowance usually lasts for eight weeks, although this can be extended to 12 in exceptional circumstances.

Post-start up mentoring support is also available throughout the first six months of trading.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy that Work Programme participants should be eligible for the new enterprise allowance; and if he will make a statement. [194947]

Esther McVey: Work Programme Providers have the freedom to provide whatever support they think will be effective in supporting claimants into employment and self-employment.

Work programme participants may be able to access a loan to support them in setting up a business through the BIS start-up loan scheme.

Occupational Pensions

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of trends in (a) take-up of workplace pensions and (b) anticipated retirement income from current workplace pension accounts. [194629]

Steve Webb: The information requested is as follows:

(a) Automatic enrolment is increasing the take-up of workplace pensions and will continue to do so as the reforms continue to be rolled out over the next few years. The latest figures from The Pensions Regulator show that over 3.2 million individuals have now been enrolled into a workplace pension as a result of the reforms.

In 2013, 50% of all employees were a member of a pension scheme, rising from 47% in 2012. This was the first increase in participation since 2006 and represented the largest rise since records began in 1997. In particular, for the largest private sector companies (those with more than 5,000 employees), 51% of employees were members of a workplace pension scheme, up from 36%

7 Apr 2014 : Column 100W

in 2012. These figures were collected in April 2013 when automatic enrolment had been running for just six months.

(b) Without automatic enrolment, median private pension income was expected to fall from around £3,900 a year in 2020 to around £2,200 a year in 2050. However, with automatic enrolment the median private pension income is expected to be around £3,600 by 2050.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the performance of the Pensions Regulator is assessed in relation to trends in (a) take-up of workplace pensions and (b) anticipated retirement income from current workplace pension accounts. [194630]

Steve Webb: The Pensions Regulator pursues five main objectives as set out in section 5 of the Pensions Act 2004. These objectives include the protection of benefits to the members of work-based pensions schemes. The Pensions Regulator's key performance indicators are designed to operate in support of its statutory objectives.

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he plans to take to prevent private sector companies providing incentives for their employees to switch from defined benefit to defined contribution pension arrangements. [194801]

Steve Webb: We already have powers in place to legislate to ban cash incentive transfers. The incentive exercises code of good practice was created in 2012, and set out seven key principles that pension providers and their advisers must adhere to if they wish to offer their members incentives, including ensuring that members are given sufficient information to enable them to make an informed decision.

A large number of providers and independent financial advisers have signed up to the code, delivering a prompt solution to address this issue. The Government would encourage all providers to comply with the code.

Following the Budget announcement HM Treasury are currently running a consultation, "Freedom of Choice in Pensions" where it is considering whether people with a defined benefit pension should be allowed to transfer their accrued benefits into a defined contribution scheme. The outcome of this consultation will inform our thinking on what additional action, if any, the Government should take to restrict or ban pension providers from offering incentives.

Pension Credit

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to increase the take-up of pension credit by eligible pensioners. [195042]

Steve Webb: We are committed to ensuring pensioners receive the benefits they are entitled to.

DWP’s national partnerships team works with over 4,400 customer representative organisations, both nationally and locally, to provide a wide range of advice and support for pensioners.

7 Apr 2014 : Column 101W

DWP has also introduced a web-based pension credit toolkit at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit

Its purpose is to provide customer representative organisations with all the information needed in order to talk to pensioners about pension credit. In partnership with Age UK, local authorities and other groups, a structured campaign was undertaken to create awareness of the toolkit among those who support our customers.

DWP makes information available in various locations, for example, our website at:

http://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits

and leaflets are available from our DWP information line on 0845 7313233, to ensure that people are aware of the benefits to which they may be entitled and how to claim them.

We also have capacity through the Age Action Alliance to raise awareness of pension credit with its members which includes older people’s forums and linked organisations from across the UK.

Pensioners: Mortgages

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy to take mortgage payments into account when calculating pension credit. [195015]

Steve Webb: Pensioners who are entitled to state pension credit may receive an additional element called Support for Mortgage Interest. This makes a contribution towards the interest on eligible loans taken out to purchase the property, and specific loans for repairs and improvements which are necessary to maintain the home's fitness for habitation.

Pensions: Public Sector

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the rationale was for the provisions in the Pensions Bill which allow employers to differentiate pension conditions between previous public sector employees now working in privatised companies and protected persons. [194701]

Steve Webb: The Pensions Bill creates a statutory override designed to allow employers, to a very limited extent, to make changes to the scheme to recover the increased cost of national insurance that follows from the introduction of the single tier pension.

Protected persons are a small group of individuals (approximately 60,000) employed in some formerly nationalised industries, namely rail, including Transport for London, electricity, coal, nuclear waste and decommissioning, where the employers are limited in their ability to change scheme rules by legislation made at the time of privatisation. This legislation prevents employers from making changes to the pension benefits offered to those employees who were previously employed by the state. The Pensions Bill reaffirms that restriction.

This is a very different situation to other privatisations where a trust deed, rules or other undertaking was made at the time of privatisation, which was not endorsed by Parliament in the same way.

7 Apr 2014 : Column 102W

The important distinction we have made is that where duties to restrict changes to the future pension rights of specific workers, in specific industries have been enshrined in law and endorsed by Parliament, the statutory override should not allow employers to disregard that legislation.

It should also be noted that contractual agreements between public sector organisations and third parties, which may provide pension protection for staff now working in private companies, are not affected by the statutory override.

Personal Independence Payment

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the suitability of the medical assessment undertaken for personal independence payment claims. [193375]

Mike Penning: The assessment for personal independence payments (PIP) looks at how an impairment or condition affects an individual's ability to live an independent life by assessing their ability to carry out key everyday activities.

As with all our reforms we will closely monitor its introduction/roll out, refine the process if required and learn lessons early on.

We are committed to the highest quality of assessment and will carry out two independent reviews.

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Answer of 12 March 2014, Official Report, column 255W, on Personal Independence Payment, what his Department's original guideline assumptions were of the percentage of personal independence payment new claim referrals that would involve a consultation assessment; and if he will make a statement. [194283]

Mike Penning: The Department's guideline volumetric assumptions provided to bidders anticipated that the number of consultations expected as a percentage of new claim referrals would be 75%. These assumptions were the Department's best estimates at the time, in the early stages of programme development. All assumptions were stated to bidders to be indicative only.

Post Office Card Account

Peter Aldous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions his Department has had (a) with Post Office Ltd and (b) other payment services providers on offering a wider range of payment outlets at which Post Office card account customers can access pensions and benefits. [193617]

Steve Webb: The Post Office card account can be accessed at any one of around 11,500 branches across the post office network.

No discussions have taken place with Post Office Ltd or other payment services providers about offering a wider range of payment outlets and there are currently no plans to extend the number of outlets at which Post Office card account customers can access pensions and benefits.

7 Apr 2014 : Column 103W

Separated People: Finance

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2014, Official Report, column 366W, on separated people: finance, whether the effectiveness of the seven projects granted £6.5 million of funding in April 2013 under the Help and Support for Separated Families initiative will be independently evaluated; and whether such evaluations will allow for comparisons between those projects. [194700]

Steve Webb: We are in the process of appointing external specialists to evaluate independently all 17 Innovation Fund projects. Consistent measures will be used across the projects where possible. However, direct comparison between projects is unlikely as the projects vary considerably both in terms of their innovative and diverse approaches and their target groups.

Social Security Benefits

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households have seen their income from benefits reduced by (a) 10, (b) 20 to 49 and (c) 50 per cent or more as a result of benefit changes since May 2010. [194905]

Esther McVey: The requested information is not available.

Social Security Benefits: Young People

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Answer of 25 March 2014, Official Report, columns 232-3W, on social security benefits: young people, if he will publish information relevant to the original question in whatever format that is available. [194288]

Esther McVey: The information you require is not available.

South West

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many posts in his Department will be relocated to the South West in the next five years. [194568]

Mike Penning: The deployment of staff and efficient use of the departmental estate is always subject to review. At the present time, there are no plans to relocate departmental staff to the South West in the next five years.

State Retirement Pensions

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of whether an individual on the minimum wage for a full working lifetime will receive a higher retirement income under the new single tier pension system than under the existing pension system. [194702]

Steve Webb: It is not possible to answer this question, as in order to calculate how much state pension an individual may receive in retirement under the single-tier

7 Apr 2014 : Column 104W

system, compared to the current system, it is necessary to make a considerable number of assumptions. For instance: when they reach state pension age, whether they have been contracted-out of the additional pension, or how many years they live after retirement.

Chapter 3 of the Single Tier Impact Assessment provides a detailed commentary on factors that are likely to influence whether someone is a notional gainer or loser compared to the current system.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/254151/a-pensions-bill-single-tier-ia-oct-2013.pdf

Work Capability Assessment: Bristol

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people in Bristol are waiting for a work capability assessment; [194618]

(2) how many people in Bristol have been waiting for a work capability assessment for more than (a) three and (b) six months. [194626]

Mike Penning: As of 2 April 2014 there are 3,355 people in the Bristol (BS) postcode area either awaiting an appointment or have an appointment arranged for a work capability assessment.

As of 2 April 2014 for the Bristol (BS) postcode area, 2,540 people who are currently awaiting an appointment or have an appointment arranged for a work capability assessment, have been waiting more than three months; 1,766 have been waiting more than six months.

Work Programme

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what funding the European Social Fund will contribute to community work placement contracts in England for 2014-15. [194507]

Esther McVey: We have been allocated up to £60 million in 2007-13 ESF programme funding to help support people back into employment through community work placements.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the minimum service levels are in the Work Programme. [194685]

Esther McVey: The minimum service delivery standards for Work Programme providers can be found through the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/minimum-service-delivery-standards-for-work-programme-providers

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what requirements were placed on a Work Programme participant who finds a job without help from their provider to supply proof of employment to the provider; and what sanctions there are for failing to do so. [194747]

Esther McVey: DWP and its providers encourage Work Programme participants to share their employment details because, even where an individual has secured work themselves, the provider may be able to offer the claimant both initial support in starting work and ongoing in-work support to help sustain employment. There is,

7 Apr 2014 : Column 105W

however, no direct requirement for a Work Programme participant to supply proof of employment to a provider once they find a job and they will not be sanctioned for failing to do so.

Transport

Aviation

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 26 March 2014, Official Report, column 245W, on aviation, whether the regional air connectivity fund will be available to both new domestic and new international air routes; and when he plans to publish further information and guidance on eligibility for and the operation of the funding process. [194699]

Mr Goodwill: European Union state aid guidelines stipulate that for airports handling fewer than 3 million passengers per year only new routes to and from Common European Aviation Area destinations can be supported

7 Apr 2014 : Column 106W

by start-up aid. The guidelines also state that start-up aid towards new routes is permissible for airports handling between 3 million and 5 million passengers per year, but will require additional scrutiny to ensure provision of the aid does not have a distortive impact on the market.

We are aiming to publish the aforementioned guidance on how the Government will interpret the EU state aid guidelines this summer.

Driving Tests

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions practical driving tests have been appealed to magistrates and sheriff courts in each year since 2008; how many such appeals were upheld; and for what reasons. [194919]

Stephen Hammond: Since 2008 DVSA holds record of 12 practical driving test appeals that have come before the magistrates court; we have no record of any practical driving test appeals that have come before the Sheriff's court. None of these appeals were upheld as detailed in the following table:

DatePlace of hearingUnder S90 or S133 RTAOutcome

11 June 2008

Croydon

S133

Dismissed

27 January 2009

Bexleyheath

S90

Dismissed

25 March 2009

Caernarfon

S133

Withdrawn

1 June 2009

Unknown

S90

Settled without prejudice prior to hearing

15 July 2009

Leicester

S90

Dismissed

31 July 2009

Leicester

S133

Withdrawn

5 November 2010

Unknown

S90

Failed to attend preliminary hearing

28 February 2011

Coventry

S133

Withdrawn

13 September 2011

Sheffield

S90

Not upheld

26 July 2012

Wakefield

S90

Cancelled preliminary hearing

2 August 2012

Bournemouth

S90

Withdrawn

11 November 2013

Wolverhampton

S133

Withdrawn at hearing on judge’s advice

Driving: Licensing

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport under what endorsement codes new drivers have had their licence revoked by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency during their two year probationary period in each of the last five years. [194651]

Stephen Hammond: The information requested is available only from 2010 onwards because details of driving offences and/or convictions prior to this will have been removed from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) record on expiry of the endorsement—normally four years from the date of offence.

A table has been placed in the Libraries of the House which provides a breakdown of the offence codes that resulted in the driver accumulating six penalty points or more and the driving licence being revoked under the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 from 1 January 2010 to 29 March 2014.

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many drivers have had their licence revoked by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in each year since 2010. [194694]

Stephen Hammond: The following table provides the number of driving licences that have been revoked by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) since 2010:

Licences revoked
 Number

2010

96,551

2011

126,263

2012

117,565

2013

112,725

2014 (up to 29 March)

28,199

Total

481,303

Fines

Lilian Greenwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what fines or penalties his Department has been required to pay HM Treasury (a) following the employment of staff through personal service companies and (b) for any other reason since May 2010. [194849]

Stephen Hammond: The Department had a sanction imposed by HM Treasury of £398,500 in March 2014. This took the form of a budget reduction rather than the payment of a fine or penalty.

7 Apr 2014 : Column 107W

This related to the chief executive and finance director at Directly Operated Railways Ltd who were originally engaged off-payroll and brought onto the payroll more than six months after the guidance came into effect.

There have been no other similar cases in the Department for Transport.

Large Goods Vehicles: Taxation

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many British heavy good vehicles (HGV) are not expected to be fully compensated by the reduction in vehicle excise duty introduced as part of the HGV User Levy; and whether this has changed since estimates were made in 2012. [194746]

Mr Goodwill: We estimate that 94% of UK HGVs paying the levy will pay no more than they did before its introduction, taking into account the reductions in vehicle excise duty (VED) that happened at the same time. This figure is the same as was published in the consultation document in January 2012, and discussed during the HGV Road User Levy Act's passage through Parliament.

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to work with affected hauliers to avoid the increased cost caused by the reduction in Vehicle Excise Duty introduced as part of the Heavy Goods Vehicle User Levy. [194926]

Mr Goodwill: We have worked closely with the UK road freight sector throughout the development of the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) road user levy to ensure that the cost to UK business as a result of paying a combined charge for vehicle excise duty (VED) and HGV levy from 1 April 2014 is minimised, while working within the minimum levels of vehicle excise duty set out in the Eurovignette directive. Furthermore, to keep the administrative burden to UK operators to a minimum, the levy will be paid at the same time as VED and in a single transaction.

Where costs do rise as a result of the combined levy and VED payment, hauliers have the option to lower the plated weight of the vehicle and thereby reduce the VED they need to pay.

Motor Vehicles: Excise Duties

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the value of uncollected vehicle excise duty was in (a) 2011, (b) 2012 and (c) 2013. [194787]

Mr Goodwill: The value of uncollected license duty in Great Britain was estimated to be £40 million in 2011-12 and £35 million in 2013-14, representing 0.7% and 0.6% respectively of the total road tax payable in each year. These estimates were derived from a DFT survey of unlicensed vehicles on the road carried out in alternate years, therefore no equivalent estimate is available for 2012-13.

Source:

Vehicle excise duty evasion estimates: 2013

7 Apr 2014 : Column 108W

Motor Vehicles: Testing

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's policy is on (a) the frequency of periodic roadworthiness tests for old vehicles and (b) the stringency of technical roadside inspections for commercial vehicles in line with European Union roadworthiness package adopted by the European Parliament on 12 March 2014. [194927]

Stephen Hammond: The Department will be consulting widely on the changes required by the new directive relating to old vehicles with a view to supporting road safety and minimising unnecessary burdens for vehicle owners. This engagement will start in coming months. The new directive regarding technical roadside inspections will be very close to existing practice in Great Britain. If any changes to processes are required these will be adopted after consultation.

Railway Stations: Halton

Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether there are any plans to alter the opening hours of ticket offices in railway stations within Halton constituency. [195029]

Stephen Hammond: Currently, we are not aware of Northern's plans to alter the opening hours of ticket offices.

Any such plans would be an operational matter for franchisee to propose.

Any proposal to alter the opening hours of a ticket office is governed by the Ticketing Settlement Agreement, details of which can be seen at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-railway-ticket-office-opening-hours

and does require consultation with the Department, and Secretary of State approval for major changes.

Railways

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of passenger rail journeys that have been double counted because passengers have used multiple franchises to complete a single journey. [194743]

Stephen Hammond: The Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire Dales (Mr McLoughlin), has made no estimate of the number of rail passenger journeys that have been double counted. The Office of Rail Regulation is responsible for rail passenger usage statistics and may have an estimate. Their contact details are:

Address:

Office of Rail Regulation

One Kemble Street

London

WC2B 4AN

Telephone: 020 7282 2000

Email: rail.stats@orr.gov.uk

7 Apr 2014 : Column 109W

Lilian Greenwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with the Association of Train Operating Companies on the National Rail Conditions of Carriage. [194847]

Stephen Hammond: Information on all ministerial meetings and their purpose is available on the gov.uk website at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministerial-and-special-adviser-meetings-data-for-department-for-transport

Road Traffic: Rossendale

Jake Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate his Department has made of the level of congestion on roads in Rossendale and Darwen constituency. [194832]

Mr Goodwill: Estimates of road congestion levels for parliamentary constituencies are not held centrally.

We do however hold data at the local authority level. Road congestion is measured in the Department by morning peak speeds, defined as 7am to 10am. In 2013, the average weekday morning peak speeds, on locally managed “A” roads in Blackburn with Darwen (local authority) and Lancashire county, both of which partly contain Rossendale and Darwen constituency, were estimated to be 19.3 and 25.3 miles per hour respectively. The equivalent figure for the whole of England in 2013 was 24.7 miles per hour.

Equivalent figures for earlier years back to 2007, and all other local highway authorities in England, can be found on the Department for Transport's website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/279125/cgn0206.xls

Road Traffic: Sussex

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate his Department has made of the level of traffic congestion in Mid Sussex constituency in each year since 1997. [194882]

Mr Goodwill: Estimates of road congestion levels for parliamentary constituencies are not held centrally.

We do however hold data at the local authority level. Road congestion is measured in the Department by morning peak speeds, defined as 7 am to 10 am. In 2013, the average weekday morning peak speed, on locally managed ‘A' roads in West Sussex county (local authority), which contains Mid Sussex constituency, was estimated to be 30.2 miles per hour. The equivalent figure for the whole of England in 2013 was 24.7 miles per hour.

Equivalent figures for earlier years back to 2007, and all other local highway authorities in England, can be found on the Department for Transport's website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/279125/cgn0206.xls

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the maximum amount available to councils who apply for extra funding for potholes is; and what funding his Department provides to tackle potholes in St Albans. [194434]

7 Apr 2014 : Column 110W

Mr Goodwill: The Department for Transport provides capital funding to local highway authorities from the local maintenance highways maintenance capital block grant and over the four year period from 2011 Hertfordshire county council's allocation is £77.6 million. St Albans falls within Hertfordshire county council's area of responsibility for road maintenance.

The Department has also allocated additional funding to authorities to help repair roads damaged due to severe weather events, and for Hertfordshire county council this includes £1.446 million in 2010-11, £3.87 million in March 2011 and more recently over £3.62 million in March 2014.

A £200 million pothole fund was announced in the Budget on 19 March 2014. From this, £168 million is being made available to councils in England through a bidding exercise. Further details on the fund will be made available shortly.

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made by the cross-government working group on remotely piloted aircraft systems. [R] [194957]

Mr Goodwill: The Cross Government Working Group has been discussing its draft Terms of Reference (extract copied as follows) and its membership. The focus of its work so far has been to gather information from the relevant Departments to identify areas of common interest requiring collaboration.

RPAS Cross Government Working Group Vision and Activities

Vision

To provide a consistent government message on RPAS issues.

Objectives

Inform RPAS-related departmental policies and publish a UK Cross Government vision/strategy for UAS.

To identify Cross Government synergies and opportunities for efficiencies.

To identify and address barriers to a successful UK industry base, to support the Government's growth agenda.

Approach

Focus for the co-ordination of all UK Government RPAS related activities.

Developing a better knowledge and a shared understanding of departmental priorities, activities, ambitions and concerns.

Help industry understand Government needs and vision.

Identify opportunities.

Identify key questions.

Community of users (identification of user requirements).

UK PoC for RPAS.

Issues to Address

Identifying the extent to which the UK can support safe and secure RPAS operations in the UK, including options for the certification of RPAS, pilot licensing, and associated systems.

Identifying the key characteristics of RPAS infrastructure, including the potential radio spectrum for RPAS operations in the UK.

Seek to identify common Cross Government user requirements to understand future concepts for shared assets / system procurement and maintenance.

7 Apr 2014 : Column 111W

Determining how the UK might best position itself to take advantage of RPAS industry and technology.

Engagement

Understand the potential benefits of RPAS to Government.

Inform and be informed by active industry associations eg

Aeronautical and Aerospace and Defence Knowledge Transfer Network Autonomous Systems National technical committee.

Robotics and Autonomous Systems Special Interest Group.

Through identification of best practice and successful projects.

UK industry.

Home Department

Asylum: Children

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what support her Department offers to local authorities who are caring for asylum seekers who entered care as a child to ensure adequate support is in place when they become care leavers. [194870]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office does not have a direct role in this policy area. The Department for Education provides statutory guidance to local authorities about how to support care leavers, including care leavers who are asylum seekers. The guidance makes clear that asylum seekers should receive the same level of support as any other care leaver. The Home Office does, however, provide funding to local authorities to help cover the costs of supporting the young people.

Asylum: Syria

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which local authorities are currently in discussions with her Department on the vulnerable persons relocation scheme for Syrian nationals. [194171]

James Brokenshire: A number of local authorities have indicated that they would like to participate in the vulnerable persons relocation scheme, and discussions are ongoing with other local authorities who have expressed an interest. However, as the scheme is based on vulnerability, including women and children at risk, people with medical needs and survivors of torture and violence, it would not be appropriate for us to release details of where individuals are being placed, as this may undermine their privacy and recovery.

The first beneficiaries of the scheme arrived in the UK on 25 March 2014. This is the result of excellent cooperation with UNHCR, the International Organisation for Migration and local authority services, which has allowed us to identify vulnerable individuals in need of evacuation and ensure that the support they need is in place in the UK.

Borders: Personal Records

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the current timescale for the introduction of the e-borders programme is; and when she intends to announce a preferred bidder for this programme. [190589]

James Brokenshire: The activity of the e-borders programme has been absorbed into the border systems programme.

7 Apr 2014 : Column 112W

By the end of this Parliament, the border systems programme aims to:

Complete resilience of all current business critical systems;

Develop replacement primary border security systems;

Provide the capability to support commitments on exit checks;

Establish a programme for the next generation of Radiological and Nuclear detection (Cyclamen);

Continue the implementation of second generation e-Gates across the estate;

Develop and implement new freight targeting capability for Sea Containers;

Establish contracts to purchase new detection equipment;

Continue to assure live operations of existing systems.

Deportation: Zimbabwe

Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her policy is on the deportation of Zimbabwean nationals to Zimbabwe who have no legal right to remain in the UK. [194593]

James Brokenshire: We prefer people who have no legal basis of stay in the United Kingdom to leave voluntarily and we may offer an assistance package to help them re-integrate into their home country. For those who choose not to do so, and who have the appropriate travel documentation, we will seek to enforce their removal.

Drugs: Misuse

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent steps she has taken to help local authorities control the sale of legal highs. [193902]

Norman Baker: In December 2013 the Home Office published guidance for local authorities which sets out the range of legislative tools they can use to tackle the 'head shops' where legal highs are often sold. This was developed in collaboration with the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Local Government Association and the Trading Standards Institute. The guidance covers offences head shops may be committing under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act 1985, and various consumer protection regulations.

The Home Office also provides local authorities and their trading standards officers with technical and financial support with drug testing through the Forensic Early Warning System. This supports local authorities in their action against the sale of legal highs by helping them to identify the contents of legal high products. To date, we have brought well over 250 substances under control through the use of ‘generic' legislation and temporary class drug orders. We also work closely with law enforcement to tackle this reckless trade. Concerted action, started in November 2013, has so far resulted in over 40 arrests and seizures of new psychoactive substances, including 9 kg by Kent police.

Last summer we also ran a targeted communications campaign to raise awareness of the risks in taking new psychoactive substances amongst young people; providing information on these substances through our FRANK online service.

7 Apr 2014 : Column 113W

However, we accept that more can be done, hence my announcement on 12 December 2013 of a review by an expert panel to look at how the UK's response to new psychoactive substances can be enhanced beyond the existing measures. The expert panel includes a senior policy adviser from the Local Government Association to inform the work of the panel from a local government perspective. The panel is due to report its recommendations by the end of spring 2014.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Mrs Lewell-Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department makes available to applicants for Tier 4 student visas on maintenance funding requirements; and what types of accounts or financial instruments count towards meeting this requirement. [194831]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office provides guidance on the maintenance funding requirements for Tier 4 student visas to applicants in Appendix C of the Immigration Rules, in the Tier 4 Policy guidance for applicants, and on the Tier 4 application form. The Tier 4 application form also calculates the level of funds an applicant requires and advises them which documents they can submit as evidence.

The guidance does not specify an exhaustive list of accounts or financial instruments that can be used to satisfy the maintenance requirement. Instead, the Immigration Rules set out the attributes an acceptable account must satisfy. The rules specifically exclude financial instruments such as shares, bonds, credit cards and pension funds from use as acceptable evidence.

EU Nationals

Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the UK recognises as EU citizens all Latvian and Estonian citizens of Russian ethnic grouping born in Latvia and Estonia at the time of or since the EU accession of those countries. [194342]

Mr Lidington: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

This issue is a matter for the Estonian and Latvian authorities. Under the EU treaties, citizenship remains a member state competence. The UK can only recognise persons as European citizens if they are so recognised by the member state that issued their travel document.

Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how the UK Border Agency designates citizens who live and may have been born in Latvia and Estonia, whom the Governments of Latvia and Estonia continue to designate as Russian by cultural and language testing. [194343]

Mr Lidington: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

This issue is a matter for the Estonian and Latvian authorities. Under the EU treaties, citizenship remains a member state competence. The UK can only recognise persons as European citizens if they are so recognised by the member state that issued their travel document.

7 Apr 2014 : Column 114W

Human Trafficking: Victim Support Schemes

Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the nationality and gender was of each suspected victim of trafficking referred to the Trafficking Victim Support Scheme operated by the Salvation Army in January 2014; in which (a) region, (b) county, (c) metropolitan district, (d) district council area, (e) city and (f) parliamentary constituency each of the suspected victims was found; which agency referred each person to that scheme; in which town the shelter to which such people were placed for the statutory period was; what continued contact is had with each such victim after they have exited the shelter to avoid re-trafficking; and if she will make a statement. [192320]

Karen Bradley: In January, 2014 there were 90 referrals to the Government-funded support service for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales administered by the Salvation Army.

In order to ensure that victims cannot be identified, the following tables only provide data at a regional level.

NationalityNumber of referrals

Albanian

23

Bulgarian

2

Cameroonian

2

Czech

3

Chinese

1

Ethiopian

1

Ghanaian

2

Hungarian

3

Indian

2

Iranian

1

Iraqi

1

Kenyan

2

Lithuanian

4

Moroccan

1

Nigerian

10

Pakistani

1

Polish

3

Romanian

8

Sierra Leonean

1

Slovakian

7

Sri Lankan

1

Togolese

1

Ugandan

3

Vietnamese

6

Not known

1

Total

90

GenderNumber of referrals

Female

59

Male

31

Transgender

0

Total

90

Region where victim was foundNumber of referrals

East

4

East Midlands

2

North East

1

North East

3

South

28

7 Apr 2014 : Column 115W

South East

11

South West

5

Wales

2

West Midlands

12

Yorkshire

19

Not known

3

Total

90

Agency type that referred victimsNumber of referrals

GLA

1

Home Office

27

Legal representative

5

Local authority

5

NGO

18

Other

5

Police

25

Self-referral

4

Total

90

The victim care contract does not require support providers to maintain any form of formal contact after the recovery and reflection period. However, some survivors do maintain informal contact with their support provider, but we do not have this information.

Illegal Immigrants

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many arrests were made for immigration offences as a result of information received from the public in each week in 2013; and how many resulted in (a) prosecution and (b) deportation. [193469]

James Brokenshire: The following table outlines the number of arrests made for immigration offences as a result of allegations received from the public in each week in 2013 and how many resulted in (a) prosecution and (b) removal.

In order to align this answer with the method used for collating the data—“Information received from the public” has been interpreted as allegations and “deportation” has been referred to as removals.

WeekArrestsProsecutionsRemovals

1

15

10

2

75

30

3

35

15

4

65

20

5

60

20

6

55

20

7

75

30

8

65

20

9

60

25

10

60

25

11

75

25

12

75

30

13

45

20

14

55

1

30

15

55

__

30

16

80

40

17

90

55

18

120

1

55

19

145

75

7 Apr 2014 : Column 116W

20

95

50

21

80

1

40

22

85

1

35

23

85

5

40

24

90

45

25

115

50

26

215

5

95

27

120

50

28

155

1

65

29

145

60

30

100

35

31

120

1

30

32

80

20

33

125

40

34

85

25

35

80

25

36

90

25

37

75

20

38

75

20

39

90

30

40

75

20

41

95

35

42

80

15

43

105

35

44

55

20

45

125

30

46

120

20

47

100

20

48

95

5

49

75

5

50

95

5

51

85

1

52

20

53

10

Grand total

4,535

15

1,585

The number of prosecutions and removals refers directly to the allegations received in that week, but may not have taken place within that timeframe.

Illegal Immigrants: Employment

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many illegal workers whose employment has been the subject of penalties pursuant to section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (a) have been deported and (b) are still in the UK. [192960]

James Brokenshire: We are better placed than ever to identify and charge those working illegally.

We are increasing our multi agency taskforces, improving our intelligence sharing between Departments and creating a strategic intelligence picture and structure. Through the Immigration Bill, we are simplifying the existing illegal working penalty regime making it easier to enforce payment in the civil courts.

It would not be possible to provide the information requested without linking immigration case outcomes to our data on civil penalties issued on employers. This would incur disproportionate costs.

Immigrants: Detainees

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people held in immigration removal centres on 13 March 2014 had been held for

7 Apr 2014 : Column 117W

(a)

between 28 and 60 days,

(b)

between 60 and 365 days,

(c)

more than 12 months and

(d)

more than 18 months. [192038]

James Brokenshire: Figures on people held in detention are collated as at the last day of each quarter, on 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December of each year and published in Immigration Statistics quarterly releases: Immigration Statistics: October to December 2013, table dt_11_q from the GOV.UK website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office/series/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Figures as at the 31 March 2014 will be published in Immigration Statistics January to March 2014 on 22 May 2014.

Published figures on people detained in the United Kingdom solely under Immigration Act powers include those held in short term holding facilities, pre departure accommodation and immigration removal centres. Figures exclude those held in police cells, Prison Service establishments, short term holding rooms at ports and airports (for less than 24 hours), and those recorded as detained under both criminal and immigration powers and their dependants.

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which prisons are holding individuals solely under immigration powers. [194691]

James Brokenshire: The prisons detailed as follows are currently holding individuals in England and Wales solely under immigration powers.

Ashfield

Bedford

Belmarsh

Birmingham

Brinsford

Bristol

Brixton

Bronzefield

Bullingdon

Bullwood Hall

Bure

Cardiff

Chelmsford

Dartmoor

Doncastor

Durham

Elmley

Erlestoke

Exeter

Featherstone

Feltham

Forest Bank

Garth

Glen Parva

Guys Marsh

Haverigg

Hewell

High Down

Highpoint

Holloway

7 Apr 2014 : Column 118W

Holme House

Huntercombe

Isis

Leeds

Lewes

Lincoln

Littlehey

Liverpool

Maidstone

Manchester

Moorland

Mount

New Hall

Norwich

Nottingham

Oakwood

Parc

Pentonville

Peterborough

Ranby

Risley

Rye Hall

Stafford

Stoke Heath

Styal

Swansea

Swinfen Hall

Thameside

Usk

Wakefield

Wandsworth

Wayland

Whatton

Woodhill

Wormwood Scrubs

Wymott

Verne

The prisons detailed as follows are currently holding individuals in Scotland under immigration powers:

Barlinnie

Edinburgh

Cornton Vale

Dumfries

Notes:

1. All details quoted have been derived from management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.

2. The details have been extracted from NOMS and Home Office reports which are taken from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

3. Data generated on 31 March 2014.

Immigrants: Pregnant Women

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many pregnant women are held in immigration detention. [194441]

James Brokenshire: If a pregnant woman chooses to inform the Home Office of her pregnancy, the detail would be held on her medical file which is a confidential record between patient and doctor. The Home Office does not collate this information centrally.

7 Apr 2014 : Column 119W

Care provided to pregnant women in detention is appropriate to their individual circumstances and all detainees have access to health care facilities and medical advice at all times.

Pregnant women are only detained in exceptional circumstances where their removal is imminent and medical advice does not suggest that the baby is due before the woman’s expected removal date. Women who are less than 24 weeks pregnant may also be detained as part of the asylum fast-track process.

Offences against Children: Internet

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to work with police forces across the country to protect children from online sexual exploitation. [194269][Official Report, 9 July 2014, Vol. 584, c. 3-4MC.]

Norman Baker: The Government is committed to preventing online child abuse. Details of the Government plans to strengthen the protection of children from online sexual exploitation were published last summer in the Action Plan of the National Group to tackle Sexual Violence Against Children and Vulnerable People. Copies will be placed in the House Library and can be found at the following link;

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/230443/Sexual_Violence_against_Children_ and_Vulnerable_People.pdf

The Child Exploitation Online Protection Command of the National Crime Agency (NCA-CEOP) is the UK's national law enforcement agency committed to preventing and tackling the sexual abuse of children both online and offline. In 2012/13, NCA-CEOP safeguarded and protected 790 children, an increase of 85% on the previous year.

The NCA-CEOP Command works closely with all 43 police forces in England and Wales, Police Scotland and PSNI.

In January 2013, the police created a National Child Sexual Exploitation Action Plan which sought to improve the police response to all forms of CSE both online and offline. Each force has now completed a benchmarking exercise, allowing them to understand and improve their capability to deal with CSE.

HMIC are close to completing an inspection into the policing of online sexual exploitation and should be publishing their findings in the near future. This will help us identify best practice and also where the service needs to improve to deal with the proliferation of indecent images on the internet and grooming.

Police: Demonstrations

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department provides to the police on managing public protests; and what discussions she has had with chief constables and the IPCC on the management of such protests. [194567]

Damian Green: Managing public protests is an operational matter for the police. Guidance on the management of public protests is contained in the College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice.

7 Apr 2014 : Column 120W

The Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), and Home Office Ministers regularly meet with chief constables and the Independent Police Complaints Commission on a range of policing matters as part of the process of policy development, delivery and assurance.

Procurement

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) 20 highest and (b) 20 lowest value contracts awarded by her Department were in each financial year since 2009-10. [194224]

James Brokenshire: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, my right hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Mr Maude), on 2 April 2014, Official Report, column 721W.

Riot Control Weapons

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of (a) the cost of one water cannon, (b) annual storage costs of one water cannon and (c) annual maintenance costs of one water cannon. [193715]

Damian Green: The Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May) has now received the request to authorise water cannon for use by the police in England and Wales. She is considering this request and will announce her decision in due course and lay the relevant information in the House Library.

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the maximum use period is of (a) a new water cannon and (b) a used water cannon of the type the Metropolitan Police Service wishes to purchase from Germany. [193716]

Damian Green: The Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May) has now received the request to authorise water cannon for use by the police in England and Wales. She is considering this request and will announce her decision in due course and lay the relevant information in the House Library.

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the potential of water cannon to cause (a) temporary and (b) permanent injury. [193717]

Damian Green: The Home Secretary has now received the request to authorise water cannon for use by the police in England and Wales. She is considering this request and will announce her decision in due course and lay the relevant information in the House Library.

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what draft guidance on the instances where water cannon may be deployed has been (a) written and (b) consulted on. [193718]

7 Apr 2014 : Column 121W

Damian Green: The Home Secretary has now received the request to authorise water cannon for use by the police in England and Wales. She is considering this request and will announce her decision in due course and lay the relevant information in the House Library.

Schengen Agreement

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of air passengers showing passports to UK Border agents are from Schengen area countries. [191203]

James Brokenshire: This information is not available from Border Force systems.

Additionally, it is not in the interests of border and national security to disclose either the specific information held on Home Office systems, or details relating to the volumes of data.

Theft: Dogs

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many gun dogs have been stolen in each of the last three years in each region in England. [194458]

Norman Baker: The information requested is not available centrally.

It is not possible to identify offences of gun dog thefts from the police recorded crime statistics collected by the Home Office.

Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many women detained at Yarl's Wood Detention Centre have been held for (a) four years or more, (b) three years or more and (c) two years or more. [194442]

James Brokenshire: As at 31 December 2013, the latest date for which figures are available, no women were detained at Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre for longer than two years.

Justice

Alternatives to Prison

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have been subject to (a) restorative justice and (b) non-committal to prison in each of the last three years; and for what range of offence. [194461]

Jeremy Wright: The Government is committed to ensuring that restorative justice is victim-focused, of a good quality and available at all stages of the criminal justice system across England and Wales.

Restorative justice is a process that can be used at any stage of the criminal justice system, either alongside or as part of a formal out of court disposal or sentence. Restorative justice is potentially available for any offence, provided both the victim and offender consent and have

7 Apr 2014 : Column 122W

been assessed as suitable by a trained facilitator. The use of restorative justice should not lead to offenders escaping punishment and we expect crimes of a serious nature to continue to be progressed through the courts.

Information about the numbers of victims or offenders who are invited to participate in a restorative justice programme, or take up that offer, is not collated centrally. Statistics on non-custodial and custodial sentences are published quarterly by the Ministry of Justice and are available at

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/statistics

Driving Offences

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people in each police force area have been caught speeding and received points on their driving licence in each of the last five years. [192301]

Damian Green: The maximum penalty for speeding is a fine of up to £1,000 and for speeding on a motorway, £2,500. The courts also have the power to disqualify the offender from driving and must in any event endorse the offender's licence by between three and six penalty points. Alternatively, if the police decide that the nature of the offence was less serious, they may offer the motorist the opportunity to receive a fixed penalty notice instead of prosecution. If a fixed penalty is issued, the driver may instead chose to plead innocence or mitigating factors in court, and if convicted, any sentence will be decided within the maximum penalty limit and in line with sentencing guidelines.

The number of persons receiving endorsements only on their driving licence for speeding offences at all courts in England and Wales by police force area from 2008 to 2012 (latest data available) can be viewed in the following table.

Please note that court proceedings statistics for the year 2013 are planned to be published by the Ministry of Justice in May 2014.

Offenders convicted of a speeding offence at all courts, receiving endorsements (points) only on their driving licence by police force area, 2008 to 2012, England and Wales1,2
 20082009201020112012

Avon and Somerset

3,720

4,292

3,791

4,446

2,408

Bedfordshire

1,528

1,821

1,261

1,078

2,237

Cambridgeshire

1,528

2,902

2,153

2,240

3,314

Cheshire

2,597

2,495

2,704

2,060

2,100

Cleveland

741

517

628

1,111

1,255

Cumbria

1,692

1,782

1,326

1,075

1,040

Derbyshire

1,916

1,435

854

808

961

Devon and Cornwall

2,373

2,506

1,693

1,703

2,176

Dorset

1,779

1,587

1,586

1,411

1,298

Durham

591

495

387

557

430

Essex

4,948

3,912

3,252

3,227

1,636

Gloucestershire

544

664

324

658

662

Greater Manchester

4,408

4,067

6,388

8,009

5,593

Hampshire

4,031

3,544

3,127

3,877

2,663

Hertfordshire

2,244

3,125

2,688

2,080

2,351

Humberside

395

3,002

2,462

2,522

2,712

Kent

1,710

2,448

2,837

2,778

3,162

Lancashire

6,842

5,501

4,238

4,497

4,148

Leicestershire

2,337

2,480

1,756

1,295

2,127

7 Apr 2014 : Column 123W

Lincolnshire

3,788

3,102

2,035

2,655

3,168

London, City of3

46

501

307

711

Merseyside

1,901

1,599

2,374

2,286

1,999

Metropolitan police3

9,184

9,350

7,925

8,182

8,906

Norfolk

2,329

2,424

2,500

1,974

2,188

Northamptonshire

1,415

1,311

1,267

774

550

Northumbria

3,096

2,611

2,784

2,236

2,508

North Yorkshire

2,714

2,015

1,385

1,355

1,532

Nottinghamshire

2,780

2,837

2,528

2,424

2,948

South Yorkshire

1,258

1,528

2,485

3,051

3,410

Staffordshire

2,797

2,446

2,941

2,618

3,878

Suffolk

3,287

3,235

1,813

2,618

2,124

Surrey

2,529

2,443

1,973

2,478

3,437

Sussex

536

2,730

2,440

2,337

2,807

Thames Valley

4,358

5,956

5,005

4,672

5,996

Warwickshire

889

1,152

1,761

2,537

2,274

West Mercia

1,988

1,744

2,236

2,489

2,033

West Midlands

3,260

3,942

3,707

1,998

1,364

West Yorkshire

4,057

4,332

4,045

3,275

4,281

Wiltshire

3,641

4,148

3,305

708

573

Dyfed Powys

1,104

957

908

1,100

1,437

Gwent

399

1,063

1,175

1,248

1,757

North Wales

2,365

3,266

2,860

1,613

1,397

South Wales

1,985

1,995

2,011

2,539

5,050

      

England and Wales

107,630

115,262

105,225

103,310

107,890

1 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. 2 Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008. 3 From 2012 it is no longer possible to separately identify City of London magistrates court data from Metropolitan police data. The 2012 total shown for Metropolitan police therefore includes City of London convictions. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice.