26 Jun 2014 : Column 253W

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 26 June 2014

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Bahrain

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the prevalence of human rights abuse in Bahrain. [201822]

Hugh Robertson: The UK works closely with the Government of Bahrain to provide targeted and practical assistance in torture prevention, judicial reform, civil service capacity building and community policing. During my visit to Bahrain in June for the UK-Bahrain Joint Working Group, I discussed the importance of human rights and political reform and UK assistance with the Bahraini authorities. We also continue to encourage all sides to engage constructively in political dialogue in order to reach an inclusive political settlement.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if his Department will take steps to investigate reports of human rights abuses, torture and arrests of political prisoners in Bahrain. [201823]

Hugh Robertson: We continue to monitor the human rights situation in Bahrain. The UK unreservedly condemns the use of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as a matter of fundamental principle. Our Torture and Mistreatment Reporting Guidance, published in March 2011, reiterates the long-standing policy that our staff must report any allegation about suspected torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment so that such allegations can be acted upon appropriately.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to encourage civil rights and democracy in Bahrain. [201824]

Hugh Robertson: We work closely with the Government of Bahrain to provide targeted and practical assistance in torture prevention, judicial reform, civil service capacity building and community policing. We also continue to encourage all sides to engage constructively in political dialogue in order to reach an inclusive political settlement.

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next plans to reassess whether Bahrain should be designated a country of concern. [201833]

Hugh Robertson: We assess every country where we have human rights concerns before the end of each calendar year for possible inclusion as a country of

26 Jun 2014 : Column 254W

concern in the annual human rights report. The next global assessment will therefore take place shortly before the end of 2014.

Bangladesh

Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his Bangladeshi counterpart on allegations of human rights abuses in that country since January 2014. [201842]

Hugh Robertson: We take human rights very seriously and follow the situation in Bangladesh closely, raising concerns where there are credible allegations. We welcome the Bangladesh Government’s assurances that they are committed to protecting human rights and recognise the positive progress that has been made across a range of social development indicators.

However, allegations of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and human rights abuses are deeply concerning. We regularly raise our human rights concerns with the Bangladesh Government. The Senior Minister of State, my noble Friend the right hon. Baroness Warsi last raised reports of extrajudicial killings and disappearances with the Bangladesh High Commissioner on 13 May. During Bangladesh’s 2nd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council last year we also recommended that the Government of Bangladesh thoroughly and impartially investigate and, if credible evidence emerges, prosecute all allegations of human rights violations.

Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the operation and impartiality of the ongoing International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh. [201843]

Hugh Robertson: We are clear that the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) must improve the way it operates. We have concerns that the ICT process does not adequately meet international fair trials standards. This is a message that we give consistently, both publicly and privately. We have also made clear that we are opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances in all countries.

During Bangladesh's 2nd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council on 29 April 2013, the UK urged the Government of Bangladesh to ensure that the International Crimes Tribunal meet international legal standards.

Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh. [201844]

Hugh Robertson: We are clear that the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) must operate in a manner that meets international fair trials standards. This is a message that we give consistently, both publicly and privately, for example at Bangladesh's 2nd Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council on 29 April 2013.

The Senior Minister of State, my noble Friend the right hon. Baroness Warsi raised this at length with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her

26 Jun 2014 : Column 255W

last visit to Dhaka in December 2013, and also made clear our absolute opposition to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances in all countries.

British Indian Ocean Territory

Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of 17 June 2014, Official Report, column 947, on Diego Garcia, what factors the Government will take into account when deciding on future plans for British Indian Ocean Territory. [201664]

Mark Simmonds: In my answer in the House on 17 June I spoke about the key factors that the Government will consider in coming to a policy decision on resettlement of the Territory: value for the UK taxpayer, long-term contingent liabilities, and defence requirements of Diego Garcia to the UK and our allies. This consideration will clearly be driven by the report on the feasibility of resettlement by the independent consultants, which will provide us with a factual analysis of the practicalities that any resettlement might involve, including the economic sustainability of a resettled population, and its environmental impact, and of course the views of Chagossians themselves about what they want to see from our policy. We look forward to the final report which is expected by January 2015.

Burma

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of whether there is a causal link between the census in Burma and the violence currently taking place in that country; [201777]

(2) what assessment he has made of the conduct of the current census in Burma and the extent to which this has been affected by recent violence and rising ethnic tensions. [201776]

Mr Swire: Reports from independent international observers of the census suggest that, with the exception of Rakhine State and parts of Kachin State, the enumeration process appears to have been largely carried out effectively. We continue to monitor the process closely. There has not been a census in Burma for 30 years, and this census will provide a vital source of data to inform better government service delivery.

We are concerned by reports of the census being used as a pretext for one incident of localised violence in Kachin State. However, we do not believe that there is a link between the census and recent violence elsewhere in Kachin. Conflict in Kachin State has been ongoing for almost three years, and the challenges of census data collection in the area reflected the continued lack of trust on the ground. We continue to support strongly government and ethnic group efforts to reach a sustainable peace, through a ceasefire and political dialogue that can help bring an end to human rights abuses in ceasefire areas.

Similarly our assessment is that recent violence in Rakhine has been caused by underlying intercommunal tensions that have previously led to violence there. We were deeply disappointed that, in the case of the Rohingya,

26 Jun 2014 : Column 256W

the Burmese Government contravened their long-standing assurance that all individuals would have the right to self-identify their ethnic origin in the census. We have been clear that this decision is contrary to international norms and standards on census conduct. I summoned the Burmese ambassador to make these points.

Counter-terrorism

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what change there has been in the number of dedicated counter-terrorism officials employed by his Department since the end of the last financial year. [201871]

Mr Hague: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not release information about staffing on counter terrorism for operational and security reasons.

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on changes to funding for his Department's Counter Terrorism Directorate. [201872]

Mr Hague: Keeping Britain and British nationals safe from terrorism is a top priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and we are fully committed to safeguarding the UK’s national security. We constantly monitor and review our projects, programmes and diplomatic engagement, as our part of the wider Government efforts on counter-terrorism, to ensure our resources are having the maximum possible impact in the right places as the global security environment changes.

The FCO Counter Terrorism Programme Fund (CTPF) is the main fund for terrorism-related assistance to foreign countries used by the FCO Counter Terrorism Department. This is complemented by other budgets used for counter-terrorism related activities and the tri-departmental (FCO, Department for International Development and Ministry of Defence) Conflict Pool, as I set out in my statement to the House on 24 June 2014, Official Report, columns 9-12WS. CTPF has been reduced as we redirect FCO resources to where they can have the most impact, and move some programmes to other Government Departments who are better placed to carry out that work. It is not the case that important activities have ceased or are now under-funded. The FCO’s work on counter-terrorism goes well beyond CTPF—it is at the heart of our diplomacy across our overseas network, particularly in areas of instability. We have, for example, recently: opened an embassy in Mogadishu to support our work on stability and security in Somalia; brought together key players on Nigeria to secure much needed assistance to tackle the threat from Boko Haram; and continued our work to stop terrorists getting their hands on money to fund their activities, through leading efforts on disrupting financial flows from sources such as ‘Kidnap for Ransom’.

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what change there has been in overall resources available for counter-terrorism work in his Department in the last financial year; and what change there will be in such funding over the next financial year. [201873]

26 Jun 2014 : Column 257W

Mr Hague: Keeping Britain and British nationals safe from terrorism is a top priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and we are fully committed to safeguarding the UK’s national security. We constantly monitor and review our projects, programmes and diplomatic engagement, as our part of the wider Government efforts on counter-terrorism, to ensure our resources are having the maximum possible impact in the right places as the global security environment changes.

The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) is one of the largest policy Departments in the FCO. The Counter Terrorism Programme Fund (CTPF) is the main fund for terrorism-related assistance to foreign countries used by CTD. The administrative budget for CTD was £237,500 in 2013-14 and the allocation for CTPF was £30 million. The administrative budget for CTD in 2014-15 is £211,000. The figures exclude the staffing costs of individuals working on counter-terrorism in the FCO and across our overseas network. CTPF is complemented by other budgets used for counter-terrorism related activities and the tri-departmental (FCO, Department for International Development and Ministry of Defence) Conflict Pool, as I set out in my statement to the House on 24 June 2014, Official Report, columns 9-12WS. A written ministerial statement will follow on the FCO Strategic Programme Fund allocation for 2014-15, which will include the CTPF.

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much of its budget his Department spent on counter-terrorism in (a) 2014-15 and (b) 2013-14. [201885]

Mr Hague: Keeping Britain and British nationals safe from terrorism is a top priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), and we are fully committed to safeguarding the UK’s national security. We constantly monitor and review our projects, programmes and diplomatic engagement, as our part of the wider Government efforts on counter-terrorism, to ensure our resources are having the maximum possible impact in the right places as the global security environment changes.

The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) is one of the largest policy Departments in the FCO. The Counter Terrorism Programme Fund (CTPF) is the main fund for terrorism-related assistance to foreign countries used by CTD. The administrative budget for CTD was £237,500 in 2013-14 and the allocation for CTPF was £30 million. The administrative budget for CTD in 2014-15 is £211,000. The figures exclude the staffing costs of individuals working on counter-terrorism in the FCO and across our overseas network. A written ministerial statement will follow on the FCO Strategic Programme Fund allocation for 2014-15, which will include the CTPF. The CTPF is complemented by other budgets used for counter-terrorism related activities and the tri-departmental (FCO, Department for International Development and Ministry of Defence) Conflict Pool, as I set out in my statement to the House on 24 June 2014, Official Report, columns 9-12WS.

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many dedicated counter-terrorism officials were employed by his Department in the (a) 2014-15 and (b) 2013-14 financial year. [201886]

26 Jun 2014 : Column 258W

Mr Hague: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not release information about staffing on counter terrorism for operational and security reasons.

Egypt

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to his Egyptian counterpart on allegations of brutality and torture of detainees in Azouli prison; and if he will raise this issue at EU meetings and with other international bodies. [201749]

Hugh Robertson: Recent allegations of torture and mistreatment in Egyptian prisons are deeply worrying. A recent Amnesty International report suggests that up to 400 civilians are being held without charge at the Azouli prison, with no access to their lawyers or families.

The European Union made a statement at the 26th Human Rights Council regarding the treatment of prisoners in Egypt. The statement expressed concern at the continued detention of thousands of Egyptian citizens, many of whom were detained on unclear grounds, and the conditions under which they are detained.

Representatives of the British embassy in Cairo raised the issue of Azouli prison with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 24 June. The UK Government condemn the use of torture in all circumstances and strongly urge the Egyptian authorities to ensure that all human and legal rights of all detainees are upheld.

Palestinians

Mr Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what most recent reports he has received on the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped on the West Bank on 12 June 2014; what recent steps he has taken to help secure their release; what representations he has made regarding this matter; and if he will make a statement. [201532]

Hugh Robertson: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office receives daily updates from our posts in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. We have offered practical support. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), spoke to the Israeli Foreign Minister on 17 June about this issue. I also discussed this issue with both Israeli and Palestinian authorities during my visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories between 18-19 June.

Attorney-General

Apprentices

Robert Halfon: To ask the Attorney-General how many apprentices have been hired under the Law Officers' Department's new contract for procurement. [201525]

The Solicitor-General: The Law Officers’ Departments do not hold any central records of the number of apprentices who may have been hired by its suppliers. To provide this information would involve contacting numerous companies and would therefore incur a disproportionate cost.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 259W

Prime Minister

Northern Ireland

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Prime Minister how many times he has met with the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland in the last 12 months. [201731]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 1 May 2014, Official Report, column 761W.

Northern Ireland

Civil Servants: Recruitment

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many apprentices the Northern Ireland Office accepted as part of the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme in each year since the scheme started. [201742]

Mrs Villiers: My Department has not accepted any apprentices as part of this scheme since it started.

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how the Northern Ireland Office promotes the Civil Service Fast Stream programme in Northern Ireland. [201744]

Mrs Villiers: The civil service fast stream programme, including opportunities to join the Northern Ireland civil service as a fast streamer, is promoted via the civil service fast stream website.

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many new fast streamers were placed in the Northern Ireland Office in each year since 2010. [201849]

Mrs Villiers: One new fast streamer was placed with my Department in 2011.

Educational Testing Service

Mr Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what current contracts (a) her Department and (b) each of her Department's non-departmental public bodies hold with the Educational Testing Service or any of that organisation's subsidiaries. [202174]

Mrs Villiers: My Department currently holds no contracts with the Educational Testing Service or any of that organisation’s subsidiaries.

My Department has two executive non-departmental public bodies; the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. As these bodies are independent of Government, my hon. Friend may wish to write directly to them on this operational matter. Contact details are provided as follows:

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commissioncontact:

[email protected]

Parades Commission for Northern Irelandcontact:

[email protected]

26 Jun 2014 : Column 260W

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what her policy is on the future funding of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; and whether there has been any recent change in that policy. [201778]

Mrs Villiers: Like other UK Government Departments, the Northern Ireland Office faces a significant reduction in its budget—of 11.15% in 2015-16. My Department has therefore requested that all of its arm’s length bodies provide an impact statement on the practical measures that might be taken to meet such a reduction. I have not yet made any decision in respect of the Commission’s budget. I met the acting chair of the Commission last week.

Parades

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether her Department has discussed the consideration of any specific parade application with any member of the Parades Commission since January 2014. [201743]

Mrs Villiers: Neither I nor my officials have had any discussions about specific parade notifications with any member of the Parades Commission since the period referred to in the question.

Consideration of parades notifications is an operational matter for the Parades Commission, acting independently of the Government, in exercise of their powers under the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998. I play no role in that process.

Senior Civil Servants

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of staff in the Northern Ireland Office are senior civil servants. [201848]

Mrs Villiers: As of 1 June 2014, my Department has 155 members of staff and of these eight, or 5%, are members of the senior civil service.

Trade Promotion

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how the UK's Embassies and High Commissions may be used more effectively to promote Northern Ireland trade and investment. [201783]

Mrs Villiers: I have regular meetings with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), and other Cabinet colleagues on a range of matters concerning Northern Ireland, including the promotion of trade and investment. The Government feel that it is important that the UK trade and investment system works as effectively as possible with Northern Ireland counterparts to maximise Northern Ireland’s impact.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 261W

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2014, Official Report, column 723, on business, whether the Minister of State for Northern Ireland plans to attend any of the 16 events planned by UK Trade & Investment in connection with the International Festival for Business in Liverpool. [201853]

Mr Robathan: I have no plans at present to attend the International Festival for Business but I shall discuss the Festival when I next meet the Northern Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

I expect the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chipping Barnet (Mrs Villiers), to discuss the Festival with the Chief Executive of UKTI when she meets him shortly.

World War I: Anniversaries

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans she has to commemorate the First World War in Northern Ireland. [201583]

Mrs Villiers: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for North Down (Lady Hermon), on 23 June 2014, Official Report, columns 52-53W.

Transport

Educational Testing Service

Mr Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what current contracts (a) his Department and (b) each of his Department's executive agencies or non-departmental public bodies hold with the Educational Testing Service or any of that organisation's subsidiaries. [202175]

Stephen Hammond: The Department has no current contracts with Educational Testing Services or its subsidiaries.

Large Goods Vehicles

Sir Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations the UK has made at a European level on the introduction of more rounded front designs of HGV lorry cabs to increase fuel efficiency. [201461]

Stephen Hammond: We have been involved in negotiations on the Commission’s proposal to amend the General Circulation Directive (maximum weights and dimensions) since they commenced in January, in which we have supported the proposals to enable the introduction of more rounded front designs of HGV lorry cabs to increase fuel efficiency.

Political agreement on the presidency text was reached in the Transport Council on 5 June.

M1

Sir Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many different stretches of road works are currently taking place on the M1 between London

26 Jun 2014 : Column 262W

and junction 32 with the M18; and for what reasons such works have not been phased to take place consecutively rather than concurrently. [201460]

Mr Goodwill: There are currently 11 stretches of road works that are taking place on the M1 between London and junction 32 with the M18. Of these, two are related to a major improvement —M1 J28-31 upgrade to Smart Motorway and M1 J19 Catthorpe improvement.

To maintain the strategic road network in a safe and serviceable condition, it is inevitable that Highways Agency road works will need to be undertaken at several locations at any one time throughout the year. Maintenance work is programmed to achieve good value for money and minimise disruption to road users. The majority of work is undertaken overnight to reduce lane closures when the motorway is busy.

The Agency operates a road booking system to manage planned works, but overnight emergency and other maintenance activities will take place on the M1 which may require single lane closures, temporary speed limits and occasional slip road closures.

When it is cost effective to do so, road works are also lifted on bank and seasonal holidays to limit disruption to road users.

In planning major road works, the option of breaking construction into a number of smaller sequential phases is considered, however this usually has the impact of prolonging the overall duration of construction and therefore the length of time of disruption for road users.

Defence

Armed Forces: Asperger's Syndrome

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Defence Consultant Adviser for Psychiatry about Asperger's syndrome in the context of the Defence Medical Services policy review; and whether he plans to change his Department's policy on the recruitment to the armed forces of people diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. [201860]

Anna Soubry: There have been no such discussions with the Secretary of State or other Defence Ministers.

It is our policy that armed forces personnel should be recruited to be fully fit for deployment worldwide on operations. For this reason, the services do not recruit personnel with existing medical conditions which may adversely impact on the effectiveness of the armed forces, or which may themselves be exacerbated by military circumstances.

This is particularly relevant in cases of individuals with autism or Asperger's syndrome, as military personnel are expected to perform in multiple roles, which may be difficult for someone suffering from these disorders. Further, all military personnel are required to work in close-knit teams, and in operational environments the pressures are such that anyone with significant disability in social interaction may potentially be a danger to themselves or their team. These two diagnoses have significant disability in social interaction as part of their defining features.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 263W

The policy on Asperger's has recently been changed to allow some minimal degree of relaxation for those candidates for the services who do not display classic symptoms of the syndrome or where their diagnosis may be in doubt. It places more emphasis on assessing their ability to perform as part of a team and to function within a simulated military environment and less on medical opinion.

Armed Forces: Cadets

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what change there was in the number of (a) sea cadets and (b) army cadets in Northern Ireland between January 2004 and 2014. [201471]

Anna Soubry: The Ministry of Defence-sponsored cadet forces offer challenging and enjoyable activities for young people, and prepare them to play an active part in the community while developing valuable life skills.

Information held centrally by the Ministry of Defence on the numbers of sea and army cadets in Northern Ireland is provided in the following tables. For sea cadets, reliable data are available from January 2005. For army cadets, estimated information on the Army Cadet Force is available from March 2012 although comparable data about the Army Combined Cadet Force are not available in the format requested. Information prior to these dates could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

 Sea CadetsRoyal Marine (RM) CadetsAdult Volunteers (Sea and RM)

January 2005

225

13

146

January 2014

235

22

157

Change +/-

+10

+9

+11

 Army Cadet ForceArmy Combined Cadet ForceAdult Volunteers

March 2012

11,925

2-

1350

January 2014

1,422

598

397

Change +/-

-503

3-

+47

1 Estimated 2 Not held 3 Not known

Since 2012 the Army has worked to improve the accuracy of their record keeping with a concerted effort to identify those cadets not actively participating and to either encourage them back into cadet activities or to remove them from the management information system. This has accounted for a significant drop in Army Cadet Force figures over the past few years. However, we are actively recruiting Army cadets in Northern Ireland and numbers are beginning to increase.

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the Lightning II's combat capability against the (a) Chinese J-20, (b) Russian Sukhoi PAK FA and (c) Russian Su-35S fighter aircraft; [201935]

26 Jun 2014 : Column 264W

(2) what assessment he has made of the Lightning II's combat capability against the Russian (a) NNIIRT 55Zh6M Nebo Mobile and (b) Almaz-Antey S-400 / SA-21 Growler SAM System radar systems; [201936]

(3) what assessment he has made of the extent to which overseas espionage has compromised the fighting ability of the Lightning II; and if he will make a statement; [201971]

(4) what the loss/exchange ratio for the Lightning II is. [202105]

Mr Dunne: The Lightning II aircraft is specifically designed to operate in a contested environment. Regular simulator work and operational analysis is carried out to confirm the system's performance and operational test of the aircraft is planned to do the same. The air system currently meets or exceeds our requirements. I am withholding the level of detail requested as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Navy

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many current suitably qualified and experienced personnel positions are (a) required and (b) vacant in (i) Type 23 and (ii) Type 45 ship crews. [199752]

Anna Soubry: The information requested, as at 1 May 2014, is shown in the following table:

 Required PositionsVacant Positions

Type 23

2,060

180

Type 45

1,010

80

Note: All figures are rounded in accordance with the Defence Statistics rounding policy. All numbers over 100 are rounded to the nearest 10 with numbers ending in 5 rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to avoid bias. Numbers under 100 are rounded to the nearest 5.

None of the existing vacancies is in a post categorised as safety critical and no ship would go to sea without the minimum required complement of suitably qualified and experienced personnel.

Type 26 Frigates

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many variants of the Type 26 global combat ship are being planned. [201541]

Mr Dunne: On current plans, all Type 26 global combat ships will have the same base level of capability but equipment fits tailored to task will enable them to meet their specific operational requirements.

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many countries have expressed an interest in operating the Type 26 global combat ship. [201543]

Mr Dunne: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 3 December 2012, Official Report, column 615W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Portsmouth North (Penny Mordaunt).

26 Jun 2014 : Column 265W

Electoral Commission Committee

Electoral Commission

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what recent assessment the Electoral Commission has made of (a) its successes and (b) failures over the last five years. [201257]

Mr Streeter: The Commission continuously assesses its work and publishes an annual assessment of progress within its annual report and accounts. The Commission’s annual reports and accounts, together with its corporate plans are laid before Parliament each year by Mr Speaker and are available on its website here:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/our-work/publications/corporate-publications

Electoral Register

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what recent assessment the Electoral Commission has made of the potential benefits of the inclusion of the actual number and proportion of UK citizens registered to vote as a measure of the Electoral Commission's effectiveness. [201267]

Mr Streeter: The inclusion of the actual number and proportion of UK citizens registered to vote is not currently included as a key success measure of the Electoral Commission's effectiveness. The Commission’s key success measures are reviewed each year and included in its Corporate Plan which is updated and presented to the Speaker’s Committee for approval on an annual basis.

The Commission works with Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) and other stakeholders to increase the number and proportion of UK citizens registered to vote and therefore the change in registrations cannot be attributed solely to the Commission. Changes in registration rates are also likely to be the result of some factors which do not relate directly to registration practices, including levels of political engagement and changes in population mobility.

However, the Commission sets targets for the number of registration forms downloaded from its AboutMyVote website. This measure provides a proxy for the number of registrations attributable to each Commission campaign. The targets for the number of registration forms downloaded vary for each poll taking account of, for example, the size of the electorate.

It is currently not possible to directly map the number of forms downloaded from the Commission’s site to actual registrations as the registers are managed by 363 Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) across Great Britain and EROs do not measure the number of registration forms downloaded from aboutmyvote.co.uk for the specific period of Commission campaigns. Following the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration, the Commission will examine the opportunities presented by online registration to review its registration measurements.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 266W

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission if the Electoral Commission will revise its Key Success Measures, Target Performance for completeness of register from “completeness does not deteriorate” to a policy of “increasing completion rates year on year”. [201270]

Mr Streeter: The commission's key success measures are included in its corporate plan which is updated and presented to the Speaker's Committee for approval on an annual basis. The next opportunity to update the corporate plan will be when the 2015-16 to 2019-20 plan is presented to the Speaker's Committee in spring 2015 and the commission will be reviewing the key success measures in preparation for this plan in autumn 2014.

Electoral Register: British Nationals Abroad

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what steps the Electoral Commission is taking to increase the number of British overseas electors registered to vote. [201363]

Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that it runs public awareness campaigns to encourage British expatriates to register to vote; the most recent took place ahead of the European elections this year.

Two briefing notes, which included details of the campaign, were circulated to hon. Members in advance of the elections. These notes are available on the commission’s website here:

www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/164449/Elections-May-2014-briefing.pdf

www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/165893/The-elections-on-22-May-2014-Briefing-note-2.pdf

The commission intends to run a similar campaign ahead of the 2015 general election. It is currently evaluating the performance of its 2014 campaign to identify improvements that could be made for the general election campaign. The commission will ensure that a copy of the evaluation is sent to the hon. Member when it has been completed.

Electoral Register: Northern Ireland

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what the electoral registration rates were in Northern Ireland in each of the last 15 years. [201258]

Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that it does not hold data on the electoral registration rate for each of the last 15 years.

However, the commission has periodically carried out specific research on levels of registration in Northern Ireland. This found that the local government register for Northern Ireland was 83.4% complete in December 2007 and 73% complete in April 2012.

Following the publication of findings for the April 2012 register, a household canvass was conducted in Northern Ireland in autumn 2013. After the canvass, the commission reviewed the results and concluded that

26 Jun 2014 : Column 267W

it had been well run and significantly improved the completeness of the register. The commission’s report can be found here:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/166999/Report-on-the-Northern-Ireland-electoral-registration-canvass-2013.pdf

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, which 100 wards in which town, county and constituency in Northern Ireland had (a) the highest electoral registration rate and (b) the lowest registration rate in the latest period for which information is available. [201279]

Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that it does not hold information about ward electorates for Northern Ireland. This information is held by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, with reference to the answer of 12 May 2014, Official Report, columns 375-7W, on electoral register, what causes have been identified for the relatively low electoral registration rates in Northern Ireland. [201427]

Mr Streeter: The Commission published a report in November 2012 on the electoral register in Northern Ireland. This found there had been a substantial drop in levels of registration since the previous assessment in 2007. This report can be found here:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/152626/Continuous-electoral-registration-in-Northern-Ireland.pdf

The report suggested that the low level of completeness was mainly the result of the failure of the processes that had been employed to manage the register in Northern Ireland, under continuous registration, to keep pace with either population change or home movement. In particular, it identified the absence of a full household canvass as contributing to the drop in completeness.

Following the publication of findings for the April 2012 register, a household canvass was conducted in Northern Ireland in autumn 2013. After the canvass, the Commission reviewed the results and concluded that it had been well run and significantly improved the completeness of the register. The Commission’s report can be found here:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/166999/Report-on-the-Northern-Ireland-electoral-registration-canvass-2013.pdf

General Election 2010

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, which 100 wards in which town, county and constituency had the lowest turnout for voting in person at the last General Election. [201280]

Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that it does not hold the data requested at ward level.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 268W

The Commission collects electoral data at each set of polls. In nearly all cases these are collected down to the level of individual contests, which means that it only holds ward level data for local elections.

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, which wards, in which town, county and constituency had a postal vote turnout greater than 90 per cent at the last General Election. [201283]

Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission does not hold the data requested at ward level.

The Commission collects electoral data at each set of polls. In nearly all cases these are collected down to the level of individual contests, which means that it only holds ward level data for local elections.

Written Questions

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, how many and what proportion of questions answered by the Electoral Commission involving four pages of data or less were (a) placed in the Library without a web link, (b) placed in the Library with a web link and (c) given in full in Hansard in each of the last five years. [201289]

Mr Streeter: The Commission informs me that it does not collect this information in the requested format.

Communities and Local Government

Affordable Housing: Nottinghamshire

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many affordable homes have been built in (a) Ashfield constituency and (b) each borough in Nottinghamshire in each of the last five years. [201707]

Kris Hopkins: Statistics on additional affordable housing delivery are not available by constituency but are available for each local authority area in England. These are published in the Department’s live 1008, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-affordable-housing-supply

These figures include both newly built housing and acquisitions.

Almost 200,000 affordable homes have been delivered in England since April 2010. A further £23 billion public and private investment will help ensure another 165,000 new affordable homes are provided between 2015 and 2018. More council housing has been built in the four years of this Government than in all the 13 years of the last Government combined.

Homelessness

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent estimate he has made of the number of (a) homeless people and (b) rough sleepers in (i) Coventry, (ii) the West Midlands and (iii) England. [201190]

26 Jun 2014 : Column 269W

Kris Hopkins: As outlined in the written ministerial statement of 18 September 2012, Official Report, column 32WS, my Department does not publish statistics by Government office region.

National and local authority data for homelessness are published in Live Table 784a which is available online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness

National and local authority data on rough sleeping can be found in Table 1 of the Rough Sleeping in England statistical release which can be found on the Department's website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rough-sleeping-in-england-autumn-2013

We are investing over £500 million over the current spending review period to help local authorities and voluntary sector partners prevent and tackle homelessness, rough sleeping and repossessions. This includes £20 million to support the roll out of the ‘No Second Night Out' standard and protect vital front line services. We have also supported the voluntary sector to deliver ‘StreetLink' a national rough sleeping hotline, website and app to connect rough sleepers to local services.

On 10 June we announced that over £65 million of additional funding across Whitehall is being offered to councils and other organisations to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping around the country and ensure that vulnerable people can access a range of support and lead independent lives.

Housing: Harlow

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new homes have been built in Harlow constituency in each of the last 15 years. [201699]

Kris Hopkins: Statistics on house building completions in Harlow district are published in the Department's live table 253, which is available at the following link:

http://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-house-building

Non-domestic Rates: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many businesses in Warrington North constituency have qualified for the full business rate discount to date. [201712]

Brandon Lewis: At the autumn statement we announced a £1 billion package of business rates support to help shops and local firms. This included a £1,000 discount for two years for smaller shops, pubs and restaurants. We do not hold figures for numbers benefiting from that measure in the Warrington North constituency. However, based on local authority reports of the amount of relief awarded, we estimate that 1,020 properties will benefit within the boundary of Warrington borough council.

The support package also included a 50% discount for businesses taking on long-term empty shops, the doubling of small business rate relief for another year, a 2% cap on RPI increases for 2014-15, and allowing businesses to spread their rates payments over 12 months.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 270W

Private Rented Housing: Children

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the number of households with children in the private rented sector in England. [200690]

Kris Hopkins [holding answer 18 June 2014]: According to the English Housing Survey, in 2011-12, there were 3.9 million households in the owner occupied sector with dependent children, 1.3 million in the private rented sector and 1.2 million in the social rented sector.

Public Buildings: Disability

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what targets his Department has on access to public buildings by physically disabled people. [201564]

Stephen Williams: The Equality Act 2010 requires service providers and employers to make reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of disabled people, which might include making buildings more accessible where it is reasonable to do so. Part M of the building regulations sets out requirements for access to, and use of, buildings.

Health

Abortion

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms his Department has put in place to ensure that terminating doctors fulfil their statutory obligation to fill in HSA4 forms correctly. [201535]

Jane Ellison: The Department has recently issued a range of guidance which will help clinicians to comply with the requirements of the Abortion Act, including their obligations with regard to the completion of HSA4 forms.

Incorrectly filled in HSA4 forms are returned to the terminating practitioner by the Department of Health until such information is corrected. We are working with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to take forward their recommendations on tackling under-reporting of abortions for fetal abnormality.

Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Health at which gestations the proportion of selective terminations performed under ground E were performed in 2013. [201558]

Jane Ellison: The information is shown in the following table:

Selective reduction abortions performed under ground E by gestation, residents of England and Wales, 2013
Gestation weeksTotal

Under 13

25

13 to 19

39

20 to 23

7

24 and over

24

Total

95

26 Jun 2014 : Column 271W

Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps his Department plans to take to address the health effects of alcohol on the population in the next year; [201585]

(2) with reference to the answer to Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town of 1 April 2014, Official Report, House of Lords, column 53WA, on alcohol, what action his Department is taking to address the predicted 0.8 per cent increase in alcohol consumption. [201584]

Jane Ellison: The answer to Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town of 1 April 2014 made clear that estimated changes in alcohol consumption are relative to the effects of the previous alcohol duty rates policy. Changes in consumption will be subject to a number of factors, of which changes in duty rates are one.

The Government’s Alcohol Strategy aims to cut the number of people drinking at harmful levels.

In November 2012, the Home Office launched a consultation on five key areas with the aim of reducing alcohol-fuelled crime, antisocial behaviour and alcohol-related health harm.

The Government response, published in July 2013, provided an analysis of the responses and set out the next steps that the Government will take:

Targeted national action, ending sales of the cheapest alcohol by introducing a ban on selling alcohol below the price of duty and VAT, and strengthening the ban on irresponsible promotions in pubs and clubs.

A challenge to industry to increase its efforts, building on what has already been achieved through the Public Health Responsibility Deal. This includes tackling high strength products; promoting alcohol responsibly in shops; improving education around drinking; and supporting targeted local action.

Support local action on alcohol-related harm, identifying a number of high harm local alcohol action areas and take action with them to strengthen local partnerships; improve enforcement; and share good practice based on what works locally. The Minister for Crime Prevention announced the 20 successful areas on 13 February 2014.

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to his Department's First Interim Report on the Responsibility Deal on Alcohol, published in April 2014, what evidence his Department holds that the reduction in alcohol sales of 253 million units is as a result of industry action. [201586]

Jane Ellison: Identifying a change in alcohol by volume (ABV) was the methodology agreed by the Responsibility Deal Monitoring Group as the best way to measure progress towards delivery of the Responsibility Deal pledge, made by alcohol producers and retailers, to remove 1 billion units of alcohol from the market by the end of 2015 principally through improving consumer choice of lower alcohol products.

The first interim monitoring report of progress, considered the extent to which the number of units of alcohol sold in the United Kingdom changed between 2011 and 2012 (a reduction of 1.3 billion units) and the portion of that change that can be attributed to changes in the average alcoholic strength of products (a reduction of 253 million units). When shifts between different

26 Jun 2014 : Column 272W

categories of drink are controlled for, the average ABV decreased by 0.04 percentage points from 7.26% in 2011 to 7.22% in 2012. This generated the reduction of 253 million units of alcohol.

This takes into account a downward pressure from an overall reduction in the volume of product sold, a slight upward pressure from a shift in market share towards higher strength products (wine and spirits) and a downward pressure from an overall reduction in the strength of drinks within product categories.

The first interim monitoring report has been placed in the Library.

Autism

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to include specialist autism training for community care assessors as a requirement in the Care Act 2014 Part 1 regulations. [201528]

Norman Lamb: The Care Act will require local authorities to ensure all assessors are appropriately trained to carry out assessments. This builds on the statutory guidance Implementing Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives which followed the 2010 Adult Autism Strategy for England, and which required autism awareness training to be available to all staff working in health and social care and specialist training for those in key roles that have a direct impact on access to services for adults with autism. The Department is currently consulting on the regulations and statutory guidance that will support the implementation of the Care Act, and we will remind local authorities through this of this requirement in Implementing Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives.

Due to the complexities of assessing people who are deafblind, regulations under the Care Act will require their assessments to be carried out by a specialist assessor. One of the questions in the consultation document is whether specialist assessors should be required to carry out the assessment of people with other conditions, such as autism, and to explain why this should be the case. Based on the evidence we receive through the consultation we will consider if this requirement should be extended to other conditions.

Breast Cancer

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guidance his Department gives to clinical commissioning groups on commissioning breast cancer services; [201405]

(2) how clinical commissioning groups are held to account for the performance of services against each of the 13 statements of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence breast cancer quality standard. [201409]

Jane Ellison: The majority of treatments for cancer such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy (for all cancers), and services for rarer cancers are commissioned nationally by NHS England. Commissioning is informed by a range of clinical reference groups established as a primary source of advice on best practice, service standards for commissioned providers, and forward strategy and innovation.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 273W

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) quality standards define clinical best practice for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer to help clinicians ensure that patients are given information about the treatment options available and help in choosing the best option to suit them.

The Health and Social Care Act (2012) places a duty on NHS England to have regard to NICE quality standards. NHS England would expect clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to take into account NICE quality standards when commissioning breast cancer services.

No assessment has been made of the performance of services against the breast cancer quality standard. However, compliance with quality standards generally could be monitored through a range of mechanisms depending on the specific quality standard, for example the 30 national clinical audits funded by NHS England, the Best Practice Tariff, Commissioning for Quality Improvement Initiatives arrangements and the CCG Outcome Indicator Set. These levers are designed to drive quality improvement in the national health service using quality standards where appropriate. NHS England’s National Clinical Directors actively promote existing NICE quality standards.

At the request of NHS England, the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership will shortly begin commissioning a new national breast cancer clinical audit. There is an expectation that national clinical audits, where appropriate, support the implementation of NICE clinical guidelines and quality standards. The new national clinical audit will be in place by the end of 2014-15.

Cancer

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what responsibilities for cancer policy that were previously within the remit of his Department are now held by Public Health England staff; [201406]

(2) how many full-time equivalent staff Public Health England employed to work on cancer policy at a national level in each of the last two financial years. [201403]

Jane Ellison: Public Health England is not responsible for policy on cancer, but does ensure the delivery of several cancer related functions including NHS Cancer Screening Programmes, Be Clear on Cancer campaigns, cancer screening quality assurance, the National Cancer Intelligence Network and the National Cancer Registration Service. National strategic oversight and policy on cancer screening, early diagnosis and cancer informatics remains with the Department with 3.5 whole-time equivalent posts.

Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what proportion of hospitals in England have implemented a multidisciplinary team for cancer of unknown primary (CUP) as stated in the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline on CUP; [201748]

(2) what assessment he has made of the quality of the implementation of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on management of metastatic malignant disease of unknown primary; [201750]

26 Jun 2014 : Column 274W

(3) what the minimum level of service provision in hospitals is for patients who have cancer of unknown primary. [201752]

Jane Ellison: NHS England would expect that service provision for patients with cancer of unknown primary (CUP) takes into account National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines.

Services for people with cancer are subject to assessment and assurance through the National Cancer Peer Review Programme. Assessment of compliance is made against Commissioning for Quality and Innovation measures.

The Department does not collect information centrally on the proportion of hospitals in England which have implemented a multidisciplinary team for CUP.

Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what focus Genomics England plans to give in its selection of cancer types for genetic sequencing to (a) cases of unknown primary and (b) other less common cancers with high mortality rates. [201858]

Jane Ellison: Genomics England has taken expert scientific advice on the choice of cancers based on the clinical benefit from whole genome sequencing and the availability of sufficient samples. The sequencing of cancer is at the pilot stage and Genomics England will take account of the information from the pilot and information regarding areas with unmet diagnostic need in determining future priorities for cancer and rare disease in delivering the Prime Minister's 100,000 Genomes Project.

Chlamydia

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of 16 to 25-year-olds in England had a Chlamydia test in 2012-13. [201877]

Jane Ellison: The information is not available in the requested format.

The proportion of 15 to 24-year-olds, the target age group of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme, who had a Chlamydia test in each upper tier local authority in England for the most recent year for which data are available (2013) has been placed in the Library.

The proportion of 15 to 24-year-olds, the target age group of the National Chlamydia Screening Programme, who had a Chlamydia test in each upper tier local authority in England for 2012 has been placed in the Library.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to encourage re-testing of all young adults who test positive for Chlamydia; and how many young adults are being re-tested after receiving treatment for Chlamydia. [201881]

Jane Ellison: In August 2013, following an evidence review and professional and public consultation, the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) updated recommended case management for those testing positive for Chlamydia to include the routine offering of re-testing, around three months after treatment. A position statement was published which summarises the consultation

26 Jun 2014 : Column 275W

process and key feedback received, sets out considerations for local implementation and outlines resources to be developed by the NCSP:

www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk/ps/resources/re-testing/NCSP%20Position%20Statement_Re-testing%20of%20Positiv e%20Chlamydia%20Cases_August%202013_FINAL.pdf

Local authorities are responsible for the commissioning of Chlamydia screening and the NCSP provides the following resources to support commissioners to encourage re-testing after a Chlamydia diagnosis:

Discussion guide for healthcare professionals:

http://www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk/ps/resources/re-testing/Chlamydia%20re-testing%20discussion%20guide%20March%202014.pdf

Models of existing practice:

http://www.chlamydiascreening.nhs.uk/ps/resources/re-testing/Chlamydia%20re-testing%20guidance%20-%20Models%20of%20Practice%20March%202014.pdf

A local audit tool is also in development.

Public Health England monitors re-testing rates at seven to 14 weeks following a diagnosis using data from the genitourinary medicine clinic activity dataset (GUMCAD) and the Chlamydia testing activity dataset. Rates of re-testing following a Chlamydia diagnosis are calculated quarterly. The most recently available data are for diagnoses made between July and September 2013. Re-testing rates are reported separately for GUM and tests in other settings, as individuals cannot be identified between systems due to the anonymous nature of GUM clinic attendances.

Re-testing rate at seven to 14 weeks after a diagnosis, among 15 to 24-year-olds, for those diagnosed between July and September 2013:

GUM clinics: 11.8%

Other settings: 13.1%.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many 16 to 25 year olds in each local authority area (a) were tested for Chlamydia and (b) tested positive for Chlamydia in 2012-13. [201882]

Jane Ellison: The information is not available in the requested format.

The number of Chlamydia tests and diagnoses in each upper tier local authority in England, for 15 to 24-year-olds, for the most recent year for which data are available (2013) has been placed in the Library.

The number of Chlamydia tests and diagnoses in each upper tier local authority in England, for 15 to 24-year-olds for 2012 has been placed in the Library.

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many Chlamydia tests were supplied by (a) pharmacies, (b) GPs, (c) sexual health clinics and (d) an online service in 2012-13. [201883]

Jane Ellison: The number of Chlamydia tests by testing service type and upper tier local authority, for 15 to 24-year-olds, in England for the most recent year for which data are available (2013) has been placed in the Library.

The number of Chlamydia tests by testing service type and upper tier local authority, for 15 to 24-year-olds, in England for 2012 has been placed in the Library.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 276W

Tests done through online services cannot be specifically identified in the dataset and are reported to the Chlamydia Testing Activity Dataset as “other”.

Dementia

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to encourage and support research into non-drug dementia therapies; and if he will make a statement. [201477]

Norman Lamb: A range of steps are being taken to encourage and support research into non-drug dementia therapies. Research spending on dementia has increased by nearly 50% since 2010-11, and is on course to meet the Government’s target of doubling public sector research funding on dementia to £66 million by 2015. During the second year of the Prime Minister’s Challenge, research funders have implemented and enhanced initiatives to generate the research evidence needed to make a step change in prevention, treatment and care. Research on non-drug therapies represents a significant part of this effort.

In December 2012, £22 million of National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funding was announced for 21 successful research projects that will pioneer dementia diagnosis and ground breaking treatments. Subsequently the Government allocated £20 million for research on living well with dementia (projects commencing in early 2014) with the NIHR and the Economic and Social Research Council awarding funding research grants focused on improving quality of life for people with dementia and their carers. This research programme represents the world’s largest social science research programme on dementia and care, comprising six major research studies to support living well with dementia initiatives and identifying effective interventions, in the clinic, in the nursing home, and in everyday life.

The NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme is now also calling for further applications for research funding on dementia services, to address key priorities identified following a James Lind Alliance and Alzheimer’s Society priority setting partnership between patients, carers, researchers and clinicians (held in 2013). This was broad and included all aspects of patient experience and care.

In addition, one of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) and Units (BRUs) with dementia-related research themes, the NIHR Oxford BRC has a theme focusing on cognitive health. For this, the BRC has brought together an alliance of multi-disciplinary researchers to produce an integrated programme of translational research in cognitive health, aiming to produce benefit for patients by harnessing the lifelong adaptive ability of the brain to protect against the onset of dementia and to limit the impact of dementia on people’s lives.

Within the award of 13 new NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care there is also considerable focus on research into non-drug approaches to dementia care.

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to his Department's corporate plan 2014-15, what steps he is taking to meet the priority of improving treatment and care of people with dementia. [201539]

26 Jun 2014 : Column 277W

Norman Lamb: On 26 March 2012, the Prime Minister launched his Challenge on Dementia. The Challenge sets the commitment to increase diagnosis rates, raise awareness and understanding and double funding for research for dementia by 2015.

On the 28 February 2014, the Secretary of State for Health announced his ambition for improving dementia care and support for people with dementia, their family and carers. This signalled the importance of a tailored plan of care as part of a package of high quality, personalised dementia care and support.

The Co-chairs of the three Champion Groups supporting delivery of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia, have reported their progress to the Prime Minister on the second year of the Challenge. They have also set out their ambition for driving improvements in year three of the Challenge and beyond.

Since the launch of the Challenge, we have also made significant progress across all three strands of the challenge, but there is still work to be done.

As part of its presidency of the G8, the United Kingdom led an all-out global fight back against dementia. It started with a summit in London on 11 December, bringing together health and science ministers from all the G8 countries, world-leading experts and researchers, leaders of the global pharmaceutical industries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to accelerate progress towards effective treatments and cures.

Since the Summit the Prime Minister has appointed Dr Dennis Gillings, CBE, Ph.D. as a World Dementia Envoy.

The Department has also established the Dementia Steering Group (international). It will provide leadership and engagement across national Government on the UK’s contribution to delivery of the commitments within the 2013 G8 Dementia Summit Declaration and Communiqué.

General Practitioners

Mr Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many general practitioner practices were (a) refurbished and (b) replaced in each of the last 10 years. [201710]

Norman Lamb: Prior to April 2013, granting funding for the refurbishment and replacement of general practitioner premises was the responsibility of primary care trusts (PCTs). Information pertaining to this period is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Responsibility for funding general practice premises development has now been transferred to NHS England.

Between 1 April 2013 and 1 April 2014, more than 100 business cases for premises development were approved by NHS England. NHS England has now published Principles of Good Practice that set out how area teams should review and prioritise business case proposals, and since 1 April 2014 a further 46 business cases have been approved.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 278W

Genito-urinary Medicine: Scotland

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the decision of the Scottish Government to suspend the use of transvaginal mesh for pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. [201884]

Norman Lamb: The Department, NHS England and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have been working with the clinical community to address the concerns that have been raised about transvaginal mesh implants. A working group, which includes patient representatives and is chaired by NHS England, has been set up to identify ways to tackle them. The Department is not currently aware of any new evidence which would support a suspension of procedures involving vaginal mesh in advance of that group's work being taken forward.

Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

Mr O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 6 May 2014, Official Report, column 129W, on haemolytic uraemic syndrome, if he will place in the Library copies of the communications with (a) the Advisory Group for National Specialised Services of 17 January 2013 and (b) the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence of 7 February 2013; and if he will make a statement. [201480]

Norman Lamb: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

Mr O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 6 May 2014, Official Report, column 128W, on haemolytic uraemic syndrome, whether the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence appraisal will share NHS England's response to its request for advice with third parties with an interest in the evaluation of eculizumab; and if he will place in the Library a copy of NHS England's response to this request. [201519]

Norman Lamb: The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has advised that it will publish NHS England’s response to its request for further advice in the evaluation of eculizumab (Soliris) for atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome following consideration at the next meeting of the evaluation committee. After the meeting a copy of NHS England’s response will be placed in the Library.

Health Professions: Crimes of Violence

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many attacks on healthcare professionals there have been in the last three years. [201536]

Norman Lamb: NHS Protect collates figures annually on reported physical assaults against national health service staff in England.

Information on the number of reported physical assaults in the last three years is contained in the documents ‘Tables showing the number of reported physical assaults on NHS staff in 2010-11, broken down by NHS trust/PCT’, ‘Tables showing the number of reported physical assaults

26 Jun 2014 : Column 279W

on NHS staff in 2011-12, broken down by NHS trust/PCT’ and ‘Tables showing the number of reported physical assaults on NHS staff in 2012-13, broken down by health body’ which have already been placed in the Library.

The tables provide information on the number of reported physical assaults against NHS staff, but do not specify the number of attacks on health care professionals.

Heart Diseases

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) on what date NHS England intends to start patient recruitment into each of the complex invasive cardiology Commissioning through Evaluation projects; [201479]


(2) whether NHS England plans to limit the number of patients that can be recruited into the complex invasive cardiology Commissioning through Evaluation projects in any one year; [201561]

(3) what funding has been allocated to each of the invasive cardiology Commissioning through Evaluation projects in each of the next five years; [201540]

(4) how many patients and for how many years NHS England plans to recruit into each of the complex invasive cardiology Commissioning through Evaluation projects. [201562]

Jane Ellison: NHS England is currently progressing three commissioning through evaluation (CtE) schemes relating to invasive cardiology. A maximum full year annual budget of £9 million has been allocated, but the period of budget allocation will depend on the final length of the schemes themselves, which will be tailored with the assistance of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to capture sufficient evaluative data over the scheme period.

NHS England has allocated funding to each of the schemes based on early estimates of patient numbers and the key evaluative questions to be answered by the end of each scheme. Patient numbers will need to be contained within these parameters.

NHS England is currently assessing a significant number of applications from providers who have expressed an interest in acting as a participating centre in each of the three schemes. Once this process is complete, and the selected centres are confirmed, we will be able to complete contractual arrangements and confirm a “go live” date with each centre. Unfortunately we are therefore unable to give a specific date for patient recruitment to start at this stage.

NHS England expects CtE schemes to typically run for two to three years but the final length of each of the invasive cardiology schemes is not yet finalised as they are being tailored with the assistance of NICE to capture sufficient evaluative data over the scheme period. The length of the schemes may also be influenced by early findings from the evaluation or by the publication of research data exploring similar parameters. The numbers of patients to be seen by each of the schemes is not yet finalised since it will depend on the final tariff negotiated with participating providers, and the length of each scheme.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 280W

Hepatitis

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make an assessment of the implications for his Department's policy of the conclusion of the report by HCV Action, entitled Health and Wellbeing Boards and Hepatitis C, published in May 2014, that 52 per cent of Health and Wellbeing Board joint strategic needs assessments in England make no mention of hepatitis C; [201560]

(2) what steps his Department is taking to ensure that areas with a high prevalence of hepatitis C include measures to tackle the virus within their joint strategic needs assessments. [201563]

Jane Ellison: Officials from the Department, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England are currently discussing how hepatitis C services might be strengthened, including how local Health and Wellbeing Boards can be encouraged to include hepatitis C in their Joint Strategic Needs Assessments, where appropriate. The findings of the HCV Action report will help to inform those discussions.

PHE is developing local profiles that include indicators of performance for hepatitis C which are aimed at local authorities and Health and Wellbeing Boards. These profiles include a summary of the issues around hepatitis C including those most at risk, as well as questions for Health and Wellbeing Boards to ask about local provision of hepatitis C services. PHE has produced a fact sheet for the Local Government Association on hepatitis B and C to support their scrutiny and oversight role.

Medical Records: Databases

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 16 June 2014, Official Report, column 492W, on medical records: databases, whether the What about Youth? trial survey had support under section 251 of the National Health Service Act 2006; and whether the data have now been deleted. [201908]

Dr Poulter: The Department commissioned the Health and Social Care Information Centre to carry out the “What about YOUth?” trial survey. A trial survey to test some of the processes and methodology was undertaken and this ran from November 2013 to February 2014. Ipsos Mori was commissioned to carry out the trial survey. The trial survey did not have section 251 of the National Health Service Act (2006) support and the data have now been deleted.

Medical Treatments

Mr O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment (a) his Department and (b) the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have made of the effectiveness of NICE's approach to appraising highly specialised technologies. [201420]

Norman Lamb: We have made no such assessment.

The first topic to be evaluated through the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's (NICE) highly specialised technologies programme, eculizumab for atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome, is currently in progress. NICE has advised that it has not yet reviewed its process for evaluating such technologies.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 281W

Mr O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) with reference to the answer of 6 May 2014, Official Report, column 152W, on prescriptions, what the most plausible cost per quality adjusted life-year was for each technology appraisal conducted by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the last two years; what the estimated eligible patient population was for each appraised indication; on which appraisals end-of-life criteria were applied in each final determination; and on what date each such appraisal was (a) initiated and (b) concluded; [201482]

(2) with reference to the answer of 6 May 2014, Official Report, column 151W, on prescriptions, in which technology appraisals the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence appraisal committees have considered the range of the ICERs in the last 24 months; and which ranges have been so considered. [201518]

Jane Ellison: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

Mr O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 6 May 2014, Official Report, column 152W, on prescriptions, above what period of time the costs of providing the information requested become disproportionate. [201483]

Norman Lamb: Based on calculations by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the information requested by the hon. Member could only be provided for the four years from June 2010 without incurring disproportionate cost.

Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to ensure that non-pharmacological treatments are subject to the same level of scrutiny as medicinal treatments. [201587]

Norman Lamb: The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) produces evidence-based guidance and advice for health, public health and social care practitioners on both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments. AH work undertaken by NICE is subject to the same high level of scrutiny consideration.

Mental Illness

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 June 2014, Official Report, column 102W, on mental illness, when the National Centre for Social Research will report on its findings for the 2014 Adult Psychological Morbidity survey. [201520]

Norman Lamb: The 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey is due to report by end of March 2017.

Pancreatic Cancer

Dr Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding his Department allocated for the treatment of pancreatic cancer in each of the last five years. [201702]

26 Jun 2014 : Column 282W

Jane Ellison: Data are not available at the level of detail being requested. However, information is shown in the following table on the spend on upper gastrointestinal and “other” cancers for the period stated.

Estimated expenditure on upper gastrointestinal cancers and “other” cancers, 2008-09 to 2012-13
£ billion (2012-13 prices)
 2008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13

Cancers and tumours—Upper gastrointestinal

0.24

0.28

0.20

0.20

1.55

Cancers and tumours—Other

2.21

2.57

2.95

3.00

0.63

Source: Programme budgeting data, NHS England.

It should be noted that the data are not a reliable source for making year on year comparisons due to changes to the data collection methodology.

Further, not all expenditure can be allocated to a disease based category—therefore some expenditure will be allocated as “miscellaneous”. General practitioner expenditure is also not included within the estimates.

Dr Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding his Department has allocated for research into pancreatic cancer in the most recent period for which figures are available. [201703]

Norman Lamb: 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/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/2013-NCRI-Cancer-research-spend-in-the-UK-2002-2011_data-package.xlsx

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

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 they conduct is relevant to multiple cancer sites.

The UK Clinical Research Network Portfolio Database currently has 15 studies in pancreatic cancer listed.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 283W

Valuation of Life and Health Interdepartmental Group

Mr O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's submission to the Inter-departmental Group for the Valuation of Life and Health review and the evidence submitted to the series of interviews with his Department's personnel conducted by researchers from the University of Leeds and published in 2008. [201404]

Norman Lamb: The Inter-departmental Group for the Valuation of Life and Health (IDGVLH) is a group of economists from different Government Departments set up in December 2007 to consider technical issues relating to the valuation of impacts upon life and health risks. The Terms of Reference of the group included a survey of approaches to the valuation of such risks and the production of draft guidance for submission to HM Treasury. Although membership of the Group was sought from any Department with an interest, membership is personal and not departmental. Hence the submissions to the IDGVLH and responses to the survey that it commissioned are those of the individual members as experts in this field and in the operational practice of their departments, and do not necessarily represent the views of their departments. Records of the interviews conducted by the University of Leeds (other than what is incorporated into the report itself) were not kept by the Department.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Adult Education: Harrogate

Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people in Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency were enrolled in adult skills training in each of the last 10 years. [201901]

Matthew Hancock: Information on the number of adults (19+) participating in government-funded further education and skills by parliamentary constituency is published in a Supplementary Table, entitled ‘FE and skills: overall achievement by geography and equality and diversity—2002/03 to 2011/12’, to a Statistical First Release (SFR). Data by parliamentary constituency are available from 2005/06 onwards.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-further-education-and-skills

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/284026/January2013_OverallFEandSkillsParticipation.xls

Agriculture: Government Assistance

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department spent on business support to farmers, excluding Common Agricultural Policy payments, in each financial year from 2010-11 to 2013-14. [201945]

Matthew Hancock: There are a number of business support schemes available to small businesses, including farmers. However, the Department does not collect data

26 Jun 2014 : Column 284W

on individual spend to farmers on its business support schemes. Since May 2010, the Department has routinely published details of all expenditure including funding provided through departmental schemes and programmes. Additionally, the Department’s annual report and accounts also provide summary information on a range of programmes that include direct and indirect support to all businesses. The most recent annual report can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bis-annual-report-and-accounts-2012-to-2013

Apprentices

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprentices have been hired under his Department's new contract for procurement. [201526]

Jenny Willott: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills does not hold central records of apprenticeships created as a direct result of contracts that it has awarded.

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeships his Department has created during the last four years. [201599]

Jenny Willott: BIS has created a total of 69 apprenticeships during the last four years.

Apprentices: Greater London

Mary Macleod: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprenticeships have been started in (a) London, (b) the London Borough of Hounslow and (c) Brentford and Isleworth constituency since May 2010. [201804]

Matthew Hancock: Information on the number of apprenticeship starts by geography is published by academic year in a Supplementary Table, entitled ‘Breakdown by geography, equality and diversity and sector subject area: starts 2002/03 to 2012/13’, to a Statistical First Release (SFR):

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fe-data-library-apprenticeships--2

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/298401/apprenticeships-starts-by-geography-learner-demographics-and-sector-subject-area.xls

Bankruptcy: Harlow

Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Harlow constituency have been declared bankrupt in each of the last 10 years. [201692]

Jenny Willott: Figures are not available at the level of detail requested.

Official statistics covering corporate insolvencies for England and Wales are not available at sub-national level, as the data supplied to the Insolvency Service do not include location information. The latest national level figures are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/insolvency-statistics-january-to-march-2014

26 Jun 2014 : Column 285W

Official statistics covering individual insolvencies are available at the level of parliamentary constituencies, but do not separately identify bankruptcies where the individual was self-employed. The latest figures, covering the period 2000 to 2012, are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/insolvency-statistics-individual-insolvencies-by-region.

An update to this publication, covering the calendar year 2013, will be published as a statistical release on Thursday 10 July 2014.

Comet Group

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the collapse of Comet arising from (a) former employees' redundancy payments, (b) payments to the administrator for its fees and (c) payments to the administrator for creditors. [201914]

Jenny Willott: The Insolvency Service's redundancy payments services have paid £12,767,464.67 in respect of statutory redundancy payments, and a total of £18,482,220 so far for all statutory entitlements to 4,838 former employees of Comet Group plc.

Payments of fees to the administrators and in respect to any distribution to the general body of creditors are not made from the public purse. These come out of funds within the insolvency estate from the realisation of the company's assets.

Companies: Ownership

Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that the proposed beneficial ownership registry will properly identify the real controlling parties of all companies listed. [201641]

Jenny Willott: The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill will make provision for the implementation of a central registry of company beneficial ownership information. The legislation will set out the obligations and sanctions that will apply to companies and others to ensure that the central registry contains information on the ultimate owners and controllers of UK companies.

Conditions of Employment

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect of the use of zero hour contracts on workers' wellbeing. [201365]

Jenny Willott: No assessment of the effects of zero hours contracts on worker’s wellbeing has been made by this Department. However the Workplace Employers Relations Study (WERS) found that overall well-being of employees increased between 2004 and 2011 despite the recession. Overall job satisfaction also increased and is very high by international standards.

Zero hour contracts have a place in today’s labour market, supporting business flexibility, making it easier to hire new staff and providing pathways to employment for young people.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 286W

Following a public consultation, which closed in March this year, this Government have introduced legislation via the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill to ban the use of exclusivity clauses in contracts which do not guarantee any hours.

Disabled Students' Allowances

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what funds his Department will make available to universities as a result of transferring responsibility for the disabled students allowance to them. [201739]

Mr Willetts: Higher education institutions already have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled students under the Equality Act 2010. The recently announced changes consider how the balance of responsibility between reasonable adjustments and support provided through disabled students allowances (DSAs) should change. DSAs will remain available for students to complement the reasonable adjustments provided by the institution.

The Government also provide annual funding to higher education institutions through the teaching grant. The student opportunity fund is part of the overall teaching grant allocated to higher education institutions by HEFCE. This funding element to support disabled students rose to £15 million for 2013/14, an increase of £2 million on the previous year, and has been maintained for 2014/15. There are no plans to transfer additional funds.

Disabled Students' Allowances: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people in (a) Warrington and (b) Warrington North constituency are in receipt of disabled students' allowance. [201850]

Mr Willetts: Information on students awarded and paid Disabled Students’ Allowance is published annually by Student Loans Company (SLC) in the Statistical First Release ‘Student Support for Higher Education England’. The latest statistics are available at the following link:

http://www.slc.co.uk/media/694170/slcsfr052013.pdf

A further breakdown for Warrington North constituency and Warrington LEA has been provided in the table for the academic year 2012/13. Equivalent figures for the academic year 2013/14 will be available from November 2014.

Students in receipt of disabled students allowance1 from Warrington LEA and Warrington North constituency, academic year 2012/13, effective date: 13 November 2013
Number of applications paid
 Application Type
AreaFull-Time ApplicationPart-Time ApplicationPost Graduate DSATotal

Warrington LEA2

190

10

10

210

26 Jun 2014 : Column 287W

Warrington North Constituency2

100

*

10

110

‘*’ = Represents a number less than 5. 1 Disabled student allowance may be paid to the student or to a supplier on the student's behalf. 2 Figures are derived from the post code of the applicant's home address. Notes: 1. The effective date is that of the November 2013 Awards Statistical First Release. The figures are therefore provisional and do not include students who were awarded DSA after November 2013. 2. DSA Payments may be made at any point during the academic year or after the end of the academic year. 3. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10. Totals may not add to the sum of the components due to rounding.

EU External Trade: Kenya

Ian Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the potential effects on access of Kenyan products to the UK of (a) ratification and (b) non-ratification by the East African Region of an interim economic partnership agreement with the EU. [201546]

Michael Fallon: Ratification of either an interim or comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) would mean the European Commission undertakes procedures allowing Kenya to receive duty-free, quota-free access on its exports to the EU. Non-ratification of an EPA would mean that some Kenyan products would face tariffs when exported to the EU from 1 October 2014. Between 2008 and 2012, Kenyan exports to the UK had an average annual value of $520 million. Without an EPA, BIS officials have estimated that $300 million of Kenyan exports would remain duty-free. $220 million of Kenyan exports to the UK would face tariffs costing around $14 million per annum. These new charges would mostly affect exports of vegetables and cut flowers.

Negotiations of EPAs have been ongoing for the previous 12 years. UK Ministers are working closely with partners in Europe and East Africa to encourage urgent ratification of a development friendly agreement.

Groceries Code Adjudicator

Sir Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many complaints to the Groceries Code Adjudicator by farmers have been (a) made and (b) upheld to date. [201941]

Jenny Willott: The responsibilities of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA)—as set out in the Groceries Code Adjudicator Act 2013—do not extend to acting as a complaints body. No formal complaints of the type described have therefore been received.

The Adjudicator has, however, received representations from many farmers concerning their experiences when dealing with the large retailers covered by the GCA regime; and information provided by farmers and by other suppliers will help to inform the GCA's future activities.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 288W

Higher Education: Student Wastage

Mr Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of retention rates at learning providers with designated course status. [201552]

Mr Willetts: No estimate of retention rates at alternative providers has yet been made. The designation conditions that apply from 2014/15 onwards require alternative providers to provide a data return to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). These data once available will help inform BIS decisions on designations and enable the Department to estimate retention rates across the sector.

Insolvency

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to improve competition in the Insolvency Practitioner market. [201831]

Jenny Willott: The Government are taking a number of steps in this area:

A measure in the Deregulation Bill will introduce the option for an insolvency practitioner to specialise in either corporate or individual insolvency. This will encourage new entrants into the profession, which will benefit creditors without lowering standards;

There are a number of red tape challenge measures in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill which will reduce costs and remove unnecessary processes in insolvency cases;

Also in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill are measures which will strengthen the regulatory framework for insolvency practitioners to boost confidence in the regime;

The Government have also been consulting on measures to improve the transparency and accountability of how fees are charged by insolvency practitioners.

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how he plans to measure the insolvency industry's success in voluntarily implementing the recommendations of the Graham Review. [201907]

Jenny Willott: Teresa Graham's review of pre-pack administration identified how existing practice in pre-pack administration did not in all cases deliver the best result for creditors and the wider economy, in particular where sales are made to a connected party.

The Government hope that the voluntary measures recommended in Ms Graham's report-all of which were accepted by Government-will be put into effect by those concerned as envisaged by Ms Graham.

After they have had time to have effect, the Government will evaluate whether they have indeed addressed the concerns evidenced by Ms Graham and the resulting outcomes. This will include for example whether the measures have increased transparency, returns to creditors, and more generally strengthened business confidence in the pre-pack process.

As recommended by Ms Graham, the Government will be taking a backstop power in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill so we will be able to legislate in future if necessary.

26 Jun 2014 : Column 289W

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has held with the Insolvency Service on the implementation of the recommendations made in the Graham Review on pre-pack administration. [201910]

Jenny Willott: Officials in the Insolvency Service regularly advise me on the full range of insolvency policy matters, including on pre-pack administration when required.