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13 Dec 2011 : Column WA227



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA227

Written Answers

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Afghanistan

Questions

Asked by Viscount Waverley

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Following a cross-border incident overnight on 25 and 26 November 2011, Pakistan has closed its borders to ISAF traffic consignments entering and exiting Afghanistan through Pakistan by surface means. Alternative lines of communication are unaffected.

Though the likely duration of the Pakistan border closure is not clear, this is not a cause for concern yet; suspension of flow across the ground lines of communication are not unknown. Given the nature and priority of sustainment materiel already en route and the level of stocks held in Afghanistan, the impact of the closure of the border crossing is assessed as being manageable.

Russia has not threatened to close the Northern Distribution Network. Russian officials have confirmed, following public statements recently made by the Russian ambassador to NATO, that Russia is willing to allow NATO cargoes to Afghanistan and back to transit through its territory.

Commercially sourced and delivered commodities, including food and fuel, continue to flow into Afghanistan; those contractors who are reliant on the Pakistan borders are, where necessary, in the process of scoping alternatives.

We are resilient to border closures of the type we are currently experiencing in Pakistan. However, sensible planning is ongoing to identify alternative arrangements. This includes a greater use of the other lines of communication to provide mitigation should the Pakistani border remain closed to ISAF traffic in the longer term.

The supply items provisioned for Christmas are unaffected.

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Bonn conference held on 5 December reiterated the international community's long-term commitment to Afghanistan. The conference conclusions set out a range of commitments on the part of the international community and Afghan government to work towards a secure and stable Afghanistan.



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA228

These commitments include:

the international community's economic support to Afghanistan for the decade after 2014, until Afghanistan becomes economically self-sustainable;a clear plan for the future funding for the Afghan National Security Forces in advance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Chicago summit in May 2012;a clear set of guiding principles for the reconciliation process and its outcomes;the Afghan Government reinvigorating the progress on key development priorities, including governance, anti-corruption and rule of law; andthe Afghan Government upholding all their international human rights obligations and protecting women's rights as enshrined in the Constitution.

Autumn Statement

Questions

Asked by Lord Barnett

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): As the Chancellor of the Exchequer made clear in his Autumn Statement, we are undertaking extensive contingency planning to deal with all potential outcomes of the euro crisis. There are no plans to publish this work.

Asked by Lord Barnett

Lord Sassoon: The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his letter to the Governor of the Bank of England on 6 October 2011, authorised an increase in the ceiling of asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves from £200 billion to £275 billion.

As set out in a market notice published on the Bank of England's website on 6 October, the independent Monetary Policy Committee decided to purchase gilts with the additional £75 billion.

Aviation: Health and Safety

Questions

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): In the 10 year period 2001-02 to 2010-11 significant breaches of health and safety legislation by airlines and associated subsidiaries resulted in 29 improvement notices, two deferred prohibition notices and two immediate prohibition notices. There were also two prosecution cases, one of which resulted in conviction for two breaches.

Each notice served may cover more than one breach of legislation.

These figures do not include breaches of legislation which may be dealt with through verbal or written advice rather than formal enforcement action.

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

Lord Freud: The names of the carriers (including engineering subsidiaries where relevant) are available to view on HSE's prosecutions database, and are reproduced below.

Air Contractors (UL) Ltd

Alitalia

American Airlines

BA Cityflyer

British Airways Maintenance

British Airways Engineering

Emerald Airways Engineering Ltd

European Aviation Air Charter Ltd

FlyBe

Ghana Airways Corporation

Jet2.com

LoganAir Ltd

Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ltd

Ryanair

Thomsonfly Ltd

United Airlines

Banking

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government will continue to review the banks' performance against their Project Merlin commitments. Banks must meet their commitments in a way that is proportionate and fair to their customers.

The terms under which Project Merlin is measured are set out in the published agreement. The terms under which the Bank of England measures its trends in lending data are a matter for the Bank of England.



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA230

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): I refer the noble Lord to my answer to his question of 15 November. That answer is available at: http://services.parliament.uk/hansard/Lords/bydate/20111115/writtenanswers/part004.html.

Banking: Bonuses

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI) is responsible for managing the Government's investment in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on an arm's length and commercial basis.

UKFI seeks to ensure that RBS fulfill its obligations under the Financial Services Authority's Remuneration Code and that RBS pays no more than necessary to protect the commercial interests of the bank. UKFI takes account of appropriate external benchmarks in relation to key financial measures, both on an absolute basis and relative to year-on-year progress.

Banking: Fraud

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): This information is not held centrally.

Banking: Lending

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA231

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government updated the February 2011 draft operational savings guidance on 19 July. They published a guidance note "Making savings in operational PFI contracts."

The savings guidance can be found at the following link: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/iuk_making_ savings.pdf

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: At the Autumn Statement the Chancellor said: "We have developed with the Bank of England a mechanism to allocate funding to different banks, based on how much they increase both net and gross lending to firms".

Banking: Levy

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The purpose of the bank levy is to ensure that the banking sector makes a fair contribution, reflecting the risks that banks pose to the financial system and the wider economy. The levy is also designed to encourage banks to move away from riskier funding models.

The bank levy is not a charge in relation to any implicit guarantee. The bank levy and the Independent Commission on Banking proposals are, therefore, complementary elements of the Government's reform agenda.

Benefits

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Decisions on up-rating were reached collectively. The considerations taken into account on up-rating were outlined in the Distributional Analysis to accompany the Autumn Statement. As my honourable friend the Minister for

13 Dec 2011 : Column WA232

Pensions said in the up-rating Statement on 6 December, "we have uprated working age benefits by 5.2 per cent, protecting the real incomes of the poorest" 6 December 2011: col. 165).

China and Turkey

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Reporters without Borders's Press Freedom Barometer 2011 estimates that 30 journalists are currently imprisoned in China, while the Committee to Protect Journalists puts the figure at 27. Most of these cases involve charges such as inciting subversion of state power, inciting separatism, endangering national security or divulging state secrets.

We believe that greater freedom of the media is strongly in China's own interests. We monitor these issues closely and have raised a number of cases of concern regarding imprisoned journalists and bloggers in our regular human rights dialogue with the Chinese Government.

The latest reported information is from the Turkish Journalists Association. They recently reported to the European delegation that there are currently 54 journalists imprisoned in Turkey.

Climate Change

Question

Asked by Lord Stevens of Ludgate

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): DECC will make public the cost of sending the UK delegation to the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference once figures have been finalised. This will be via publication on the department's website, as was the case following the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The department has made every effort to ensure that the cost of sending the UK delegation to the 2011 conference is less than the cost of the 2010 conference (which was £355,701).



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Crime: Metal Theft

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Prosecutions for metal theft are likely to be instigated under Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968. The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts for dishonestly appropriating/stealing property belonging to another, under part Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968, in England and Wales from 2006 to 2010 (latest available) can be viewed in the table. Centrally held court proceedings data, other than where specified in a statute, do not identify the type of stolen property.

The individual magistrates' courts in England and Wales hold electronic records in the form of court registers of proceedings for criminal offences.

Defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts for dishonestly appropriating/stealing property belong to another, for selected offences under (part) Section 1 of the Theft Act 1968(1), England and Wales, 2006-10(2)(3)
200620072008(4)20092010

21,188

24,016

23,434

19,429

21,959

Currencies

Question

Asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government have made no such assessment.



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA234

Cycling

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Earl Attlee: The Government will be announcing the outcomes from the Red Tape Challenge with regard to cycling regulations shortly.

Cyclists: Helmets

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Earl Attlee: We have no plans to mandate the use of cycle helmets. Helmets offer cyclists protection in a limited number of circumstances and, as such, whilst we encourage their use through the Highway Code we believe the decision on whether to wear a helmet should remain a matter of individual choice. In addition, mandating the use of helmets could lead to a reduction in overall cycling levels, resulting in the loss of the significant health benefits derived from cycling.

Economy: Growth

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): It is difficult to make direct comparisons between sectors but there is evidence that investment in both housing and economic infrastructure can have a positive impact on employment and economic growth. Academic evidence on the long-term productivity impact of investment in economic infrastructure is discussed in paragraph 1.2 of the National Infrastructure Plan 2011. Estimates by the Office of National Statistics show that short-term output from housing construction, repairs and maintenance has averaged 3 per cent of GDP in the last decade1.

Economy: National Debt

Question

Asked by Lord Barnett



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA235

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The results of gilt issuance operations, including the average accepted yields, are available on the Debt Management Office's website at http://www.dmo.gov.uk/index.aspx?page=Gilts/Operations.

The March 2010 Budget was delivered on 24 March 2010. The 10 year benchmark gilt yield was 3.92 per cent at close-markets on 23 March 2010 and 3.98 per cent at close-markets on 24 March 2010. At close-markets on 12 December 2011, it was 2.10 per cent. These yields are taken from Bloomberg.

Education: Examinations

Question

Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Equality Act 2010 places a duty on awarding organisations to make reasonable adjustments to qualifications such as GCSEs to meet the needs of disabled candidates.

The relevant trade association, the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) produces guidance for its members on how those adjustments can be made by means of the permitted access arrangements. In practice this guidance determines the approach taken by schools, colleges and other exam centres. We have no direct involvement in the production of this guidance. However, the independent qualifications regulator, Ofqual, has oversight of the qualifications system, with a remit to safeguard standards and confidence in qualifications. An important aspect of that role is to ensure that appropriate systems are in place in relation to reasonable adjustments.

A range of access arrangements is available for disabled candidates with communication conditions, including the use of readers, scribes, word processors and alternative formats for papers. One common access arrangement is to give extra time to a candidate whose disability places them at a substantial disadvantage over others when completing a timed assessment in the time allowed. To protect the integrity of (and therefore confidence in) the system, appropriate evidence is required to justify such an access arrangement. Extra time is only given to candidates whose disabilities give rise to a need for extra time in their normal school activities. This policy has been reflected for some years in the JCQ guidance.

The most recent edition of the JCQ guidance confirms the requirement over extra time for a centre to consider and maintain on record the evidence that the student has been assessed as having a below average standardised score in an assessment of processing, reading or writing

13 Dec 2011 : Column WA236

speed. This change was initiated by the JCQ. The JCQ had found previously that the evidence had not always been gathered to show that the candidate's disability was such that extra time was needed as a reasonable adjustment. There was no change to the policy itself. The JCQ has advised that it consulted a range of interested parties before producing its new guidance, including various groups representing people with disabilities. I have invited the JCQ to write to me and Lord Clement-Jones with further details and I will place a copy of that letter in the House Library.

Education: Get Set Programme

Question

Asked by Baroness Coussins

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) carries out an annual evaluation of its education programme, Get Set, through its research partner, Nielsen. This research is not specific to modern foreign languages or any other curriculum subject, but it examines how schools have used the programme. A small number of case studies of modern foreign language applications has been generated by the qualitative elements of this research.

Energy: Biofuels

Question

Asked by Lord Teverson

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): As stated in the Renewable Heat Incentive policy document (published in March), we are considering whether to support bioliquids as part of developing the second phase of the scheme. In the light of the later than expected launch of phase one of the Renewable Heat Incentive and of the changes required by the European Commission, we are reviewing the timetable for the introduction of phase two and will confirm the timetable early next year.

Energy: Green Growth

Question

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA237

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Pew Environment Group's report, Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race? assesses key financial, investment and technological trends in the G-20 produced from underlying data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The data cover transactions across a range of stages of investment and renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

While it is true that UK 2010 investment levels in this sector have fallen in comparison to 2009 levels, leading to a drop in ranking, the five-year growth rate for finance and investment in this area is still very strong (49 per cent), with installed "cleantech" capacity growing at 21 per cent over the same period.

Other sources suggest that the UK performs well with respect to particular aspects of financing clean technologies. For example, according to Cleantech Group which provides market intelligence on investment and the companies innovating across green sectors, in 2010 the UK is ranked third globally after USA and China in terms of amount of venture capital investment in the green sector. The UK was also placed third in 2009.

HM Government recognise that an unprecedented level of investment over the coming decades will be required to deliver a transition to a green economy and is working towards achieving that transition through the development of well designed, long-term and stable policies.

Energy: Maritime Wind Farms

Questions

Asked by Lord Dixon-Smith

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): Experience of onshore underground cables that have been properly manufactured and installed, then operated within their designed rating, indicates that a life-expectancy of 40 to 60 years and probably more is achievable. It is currently the subject of a number of international research programmes to predict just what additional life-expectancy there may be. Experience with submarine cable is limited compared with onshore underground cables and there is no comparable body of statistical evidence for prediction of life-expectancy. Equally, there is no evidence of premature failure of such installations.

As submarine cable technology is so similar to onshore cable technology there is no reason to predict that life expectancy will be any less than onshore installations for properly designed, installed and operated systems.

Asked by Lord Dixon-Smith

Lord Marland: The life expectancy of offshore wind turbine foundations and towers is typically assumed to be 25 years.

Energy: Tar Sands

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Earl Attlee: Ministers and officials have regular meetings with various stakeholders including representatives of oil companies, trade associations representing the transport fuels industry, a large number of UK and international non-governmental organisations (including those representing environmental and social issues), the European Commission, European member states and the Canadian Government to discuss the complex issue of the extraction of oil from oil sands and the European fuel quality directive.

Finance: Client Assets

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Financial Services Authority (FSA), as the UK's regulatory body, would be in charge of carrying out such a review. Monitoring the assets held by financial advisors and other authorised firms operating in the UK is also one of its primary responsibilities.

The FSA has recently established a client asset specialist unit to help ensure the UK regulatory regime delivers adequate protection of client funds.

The Government maintain a regular dialogue with the FSA on these matters.

Finance: Credit Easing

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA239

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Bank of England has been engaging with HM Treasury on credit easing as part of routine government business. The Debt Management Office will administer the provision of guarantees for the National Loan Guarantee Scheme having previously successfully implemented the Credit Guarantee Scheme.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The expected impact of the Business Partnership Fund on public sector net borrowing and net debt is set out in chapter 3 of the Autumn Statement 2011 policy costings document. The expected impact of the National Loan Guarantee Scheme is outlined in paragraph 1.69 of the Autumn Statement.

Financial Services Authority

Question

Asked by Lord Stevens of Ludgate

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): I understand that the Financial Services Authority replied on 28 November and that a copy of the letter has been placed in the Library of the House.

FTSE: Female Directors

Question

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox):

FTSE 250
YearNo of women executive directorsPercentage of total executive directorsNo of companies with no female executive

2007

29

3.9%

231

2008

27

3.9%

227

2009

25

3.8%

227

2010

27

4.2%

226

2011

(02.11.11) 27

4.4%

226



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA240

FTSE 100
YearN° of women executive directorsPercentage of total executive directorsNo of companies with no female executive

2011

(02.11.11) 16

6.1%

84

2010

18

5.5%

84

2009

17

5.2%

85

2008

17

4.8%

84

2007

13

3.6%

89

2006

15

3.8%

87

2005

14

3.4%

89

2004

17

4.1%

87

2003

17

3.7%

87

2002

15

3.0%

88

The figures were obtained from Cranfield School of Management: as at 2 November 2011

Gaza

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): In 2000, British Gas Group (BG Group) undertook exploratory drilling off the coast of Gaza. BG Group still own a 90 per cent interest in the Gaza marine licence, but withdrew from negotiations with the Government of Israel for gas sales at the end of 2007. During this period the Government was in contact with both BG and the Government of Israel about the reserves. With this exception, no other UK companies have been involved in the extraction of gas off the coast of Gaza.

Government Departments: Procurement

Questions

Asked by Lord Prescott

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The work required to obtain, contextualise and report Ministry of Justice GPC spend data for the periods 2006-11, or regarding those transactions under £500, would incur disproportionate cost.

However, since 27 October 2011 the Ministry of Justice began to publish information on transactions of £500 and over for 2011-12 on our website and will continue to do so on a monthly basis: http://www.justice. gov.uk/publications/transparency-data/gov-procurement-card.htm.

Information on transactions of £500 and over for 2010-11 will be published by the end of March 2012.



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA241

Asked by Lord Prescott

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): This Government are committed to transparency and we believe the information regarding Government Procurement Cards for this financial year is the most relevant.

During October we began to publish information on transactions over £500 for 2011-12 for Department for Work and Pensions on our website and will continue to do so on a monthly basis: How DWP is being transparent.

Information on transactions over £500 for 2010/11 will be published by the end of March 2012.

The cost of work required to obtain, contextualise and report data for Central Government Departments from the previous 3 years, or regarding those transactions under £500, would exceed the cost limits of a Freedom of Information request or a Parliamentary question.

Health and Safety

Question

Asked by Lord Boswell of Aynho

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The latest statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive on 2 November 2011 show a continuing downward trend in non-fatal workplace injury. This trend is observed from both survey data sources and reported injuries by employers.

Fatal injuries to workers increased to 171 in 2010-11 from an historic low figure of 147 in 2009-10. However, the annual fatality count is subject to substantial chance variation as a result of fatalities being relatively rare events and data needs to be analysed over a number of years. The 2010-11 figure remains below the annual average for the five year period from 2005-06 to 2009-10 and is still consistent with a continuing downward trend.

Health: Clinical Trials

Questions

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the Government agency responsible for regulating clinical trials on medicines conducted in the United Kingdom. In April 2011 the MHRA introduced a risk adapted approach to the conduct of certain clinical trials in the UK, which operates within the framework of the current European Union Directive. Under this scheme researchers are encouraged to take proportionate approaches to the conduct, monitoring and documentation of certain lower risk trials. Guidance for researchers on implementing this approach is currently being produced. The MHRA continues to look for opportunities to reduce regulatory burdens within the current legislative framework whilst protecting UK public health.

The Government see the planned revision of the directive as an important opportunity to further reduce burdens on commercial and academic researchers and to introduce a more risk adapted approach to the monitoring and approval of clinical trials in order to improve the attractiveness of the European Union and the UK as a place for the conduct of clinical trials. The European Commission is expected to publish its proposals mid-2012. The MHRA has been heavily involved in helping the European Commission to shape its proposals and the Government continue to urge the European Commission to come up with its proposals as soon as possible.

The Health Research Authority (HRA) started work on 1 December 2011 and will work with partners, including the MHRA, to develop plans to create a unified approval process. It has already published plans which include further developments to the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS) and which will see the development of electronic submission through IRAS. The IRAS Board will discuss at its scheduled meeting in January the timing of the release of this enhanced system across the partnership including the HRA, MHRA and NHS research permissions. This will see a stepped improvement in the integrated application system provided UK wide and remove the need for paper submissions. The IRAS Board will also discuss the development of a single application package within the integrated system and the coordination of messages to enable a single application route.

In addition, on 1 December the HRA issued proposals for the further development of its National Research Ethics Service. These include measures to support further proportionality and consistency within the service, and to test the potential for a global assurance on the suitability of researchers and sponsors which could then be provided as a national assurance system

13 Dec 2011 : Column WA243

through IRAS. These proposals are issued for comment and will be finalised and included in the comprehensive business plans for the HRA in April 2012.

Higher Education: Mathematical Sciences

Questions

Asked by Lord Wills

Baroness Verma: Information is only available on the subject studied for the highest (degree level) qualification held by individuals who studied single subject degrees only.

Those who initially gain a degree in one subject but go on to acquire a higher degree in another will only have the subject of their higher degree recorded. There is also insufficient detail on the subjects studied for those who studied combined degrees (e.g. Maths and French). Thus the data will underestimate the numbers of individuals with a degree in Mathematics, Computer Science or Physics.

From the Labour Force Survey Q3 2011 data (covering the period July to September 2011), estimates of the numbers of individuals in the UK who studied a single subject degree in Physics, Maths or Computer Science for their highest qualification (split by type of highest degree) are as follows:



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Highest Qualification
SubjectFirst DegreeDoctorateMasters

All

4,394,000

332,000

1,358,000

Physics

59,000

20,000

19,000

Maths

130,000

12,000

37,000

Computer Science

219,000

12,000

82,000

And the corresponding proportions of the total number of graduates with single subject degrees as their highest qualification whose highest degree was in physics, maths or computer science (split by type of highest degree) are as follows:

Highest Qualification
SubjectFirst DegreeDoctorateMasters

Physics

1.3%

6.0%

1.4%

Maths

3.0%

3.6%

2.7%

Computer Science

5.0%

3.7%

6.0%

Asked by Lord Wills

Baroness Verma: The numbers and proportions of enrolments to postgraduate and first degree courses in mathematical sciences, computer science and physics at UK higher education institutions are shown by domicile in the tables. Information for the 2010-11 academic year will become available from January 2012.

Postgraduate enrolments (1) in Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science and Physics by domicile (2)
UK higher education institutions
Academic year 2009-10
Subject (3)UKPer cent of totalEUPer cent of totalNon-EU overseasPer cent of total

Mathematical sciences

2,995

0.8%

735

1.5%

1,705

1.1%

Computer science

8,775

2.3%

1,870

3.9%

13,235

8.4%

Physics

2,490

0.7%

645

1.4%

800

0.5%

Total enrolments (all subjects)

374,310

47,580

156,820



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13 Dec 2011 : Column WA246

First degree enrolments (1) in Mathematical Sciences, Computer Science and Physics by domicile (2)
UK higher education institutions
Academic year 2009-10
Subject (3)UKPer cent of totalEUPer cent of totalNon-EU overseasPer cent of total

Mathematical sciences

26,220

2.1%

1,085

1.6%

3,325

3.2%

Computer science

54,500

4.4%

3,220

4.9%

5,545

5.4%

Physics

11,470

0.9%

600

0.9%

530

0.5%

Total enrolments (all subjects)

1,252,015

65,940

103,540

Higher Education: Tuition Fees

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Verma: EU nationals studying at English universities are required to pay tuition fees on the same basis as home students. This is because under EU law, an EU citizen or their family member exercising a treaty right to live in another member state is entitled to access higher education on the same basis as nationals of the host state. Access to higher education has been interpreted to mean that other EU nationals should be treated the same way in relation to tuition fees as home students. An EU national or their family member coming to study at an English university will therefore be charged the same tuition fee as a UK national and have access to a tuition fee loan, providing they have resided in the EEA or Switzerland for the three years prior to the first day of the first academic year of their course. An EU national is defined as a national of one of the EU member states, including nationals of the Republic of Ireland. The family member can be any nationality.

Some universities may, for their own reasons, choose to waive fees for particular students, but we do not collect data on the country of origin of such students. In addition English HEIs that choose to participate in the Erasmus scheme do so on the understanding that they are required to teach incoming students from the EU, and that these students cannot be charged a fee for their Erasmus year. The British Council manages the Erasmus programme in the UK-figures from the British Council website show that in 2008-09 about 12,000 students studied at English HEIs for a single year-these students were not required by English HEIs to pay a tuition fee.

Housing

Questions

Asked by Lord Beecham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): As local authorities are not scheduled to sign contracts with the Homes and Communities Agency until the housing revenue account reforms are in place in April 2012, the allocations announced in July 2011 include around 5 per cent of the 80,000 affordable homes to be delivered through the Homes and Communities Agency's Affordable Homes Programme as provided by local authorities.

Asked by Lord Beecham

Baroness Hanham: Local authorities should use evidence to inform decisions on the number of affordable homes needed and set policies for delivery in their local plan, including where appropriate requiring the provision of affordable homes through planning obligations under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

We are currently consulting on whether to allow local authorities to use receipts from the community infrastructure levy to fund affordable housing, should they wish to do so and how this might work alongside Section 106.



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA247

Asked by Lord Hylton

Baroness Hanham: Estimates of the number of properties in England that became vacant and were relet by local authorities and housing associations as social rent general needs lettings are shown in the table below. Information is only been collected available for general needs lettings; data for local authorities has only since 2007-08.

Total re-lets

2007-08

225,410

2008-09

232,940

2009-10

237,220

2010-11

239,670

Social landlords will also have some stock which is vacant at any one point in time, of which some will and some will not be available for letting. As at 1 April 2011 there were around 6,000 local authority-owned properties that were vacant and available for letting, and as at 31 March 2011 there were around 5,000 vacant general needs properties owned by private registered providers that were relets but ready for occupation.



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA248

Legislation

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The table below shows the primary legislation, passed during the 2005-10 Parliament, which is the sole responsibility of HM Treasury and has yet to be brought into force.

1. Banking Act 2009

S170

Not yet in force

S172

Not yet in force

Ss255-256

Not yet in force

2. Terrorist Asset Freezing Act 2010

S51

Not yet in force, due to come into force 31 March 2012

3. Financial Services Act 2010

S15

Not yet in force

Schedule 2 Pt 2-paragraph 36

Not yet in force

4. Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Act 2010

S1-7

Not yet in force

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The information requested is shown in the following table.

ActProvisions not yet in force

Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006

Schedule 4, Paragraph 15, which amends the Energy (Northern Ireland) Order 2003.

Some provisions of Schedule 5 have not been commenced. These would provide for the repeal of:

Section 14(4), the words following paragraph (d) of the Electoral Law (Northern Ireland) Act 1962;

Section 13B(4)(e) of the Representation of the People Act 1983;

Schedule 2, paragraph 3(a) and Schedule 3, paragraph 9(f) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998;

Section 60 in subsection (1) "and" at the end of paragraph (b) and in subsection (5), "or" at the end of Paragraph (b) of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005;

Schedule 1, paragraph 110 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006.

National Citizen Service

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The only criterion for National Citizen Service (NCS) is that it is a programme for young people who have just completed year 11-those who are or are about to turn 16. In exceptional circumstances, the programme may be open to young people aged 17 or 18, or up to 25 for young people with learning difficulties or disabilities. The 29 organisations delivering NCS in 2012 have been selected on their ability to remove any barriers to participation to reach young people from all backgrounds, contributing to the programme's

13 Dec 2011 : Column WA249

central aim to enable participants to mix with those with different social, cultural and ethnic experiences and views to themselves. The long-term aim is for NCS to be universal, but not compulsory, offering every 16 year-old the opportunity to participate in NCS.

Office of Budget Responsibility

Question

Asked by Lord Barnett

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) Memorandum of Understanding and Charter for Budget Responsibility, both published in April 2011, provide detail on the working relationship between HM Treasury and the OBR. Paragraph 4.12 of the charter states:

"The Treasury will advise the OBR, where necessary, on policy in development that may be of relevance to any forecast or analysis that the OBR is undertaking (for example, policy for possible inclusion within the Budget will be shared with the OBR ahead of the Budget)".

These documents are available on the HM Treasury website: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/dataobr_index. htm.

Office of the Chief Coroner

Question

Asked by Lord Boswell of Aynho

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Government are currently considering whether to establish a departmental board in light of the decision to proceed with implementation of the office of the Chief Coroner.

The Government still intend to establish a consultative group of bereavement organisations to assess the impact that the new charter is having on coroner services. This group will need to work closely with the Chief Coroner.

Olympic Games and Paralympic Games 2012

Question

Asked by Baroness Coussins



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA250

Baroness Garden of Frognal: Her Majesty's Government currently have no plans for the recruitment of professional interpreters and translators for Government business during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The requirement will be kept under review as business and dignitary programmes develop. For the Games themselves, the London 2012 Organising Committee will be recruiting 850 specialist professional interpreters, as well as around 3,000 Games Maker volunteers who will have some level of skill in a foreign language.

Pensions

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Uprating the basic and additional state pension by the Retail Prices Index in 2012-13 would cost £300 million more than uprating by the Consumer Prices Index.

Police: Racial Equality

Questions

Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Home Office collects and uses a range of relevant equality and diversity information and draws on this to inform strategy and policies.

The Equality Act 2010 places a statutory duty on public authorities, including police forces, to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good community relations. The equality and diversity performance and impact of policing policies and practices should be a priority for forces in consultation with their local communities.



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA251

Railways: Electrification

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: The Government have announced electrification of the railway route between Manchester and York via Leeds. The current estimate for the cost of the whole scheme is £290 million, as set out in table 2.3 of the autumn Statement.

The Government do not have an estimate of the cost of the Leeds-York section. The Government are working with Network Rail to confirm the timescales for delivery of the scheme in the 2014-19 period.

Railways: Emissions

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Earl Attlee: The non-road mobile machinery emissions directive prohibits the placing on the market of engines which do not comply with the latest air pollutant emissions standards. This requirement is transposed in the UK by the Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Emission of Gaseous and Particulate Pollutant) Regulations. Since the existing UK regulations do not contain a flexibility scheme for locomotives, and will not do so until the directive is transposed, a manufacturer who places an engine on the UK market under the terms of the flexibility scheme in advance of the transposition of the amending directive would be in breach of UK law. It would be for the courts to decide whether any other person was complicit in the offence. The Government recognise the difficulties faced by operators, and are working to transpose directive 2011/88/EU and the additional flexibility it permits. However, the Government have no power to prevent the law as it currently stands from being applied.

Railways: High Speed 2

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA252

Earl Attlee: HS2 Ltd undertook a high-level assessment of the capacity available for freight north of Lichfield, bearing in mind the March 2007 Freight Route Utilisation Strategy published by Network Rail. The conclusion was that the standard hour December 2008 west coast main line timetable-which features paths for three trains per hour from London (Wembley), plus a fourth hourly path from Nuneaton (for services from Southampton), and a fifth path joining at Stafford (from the Birmingham area)-provided sufficient capacity for the foreseeable freight traffic through this area. It was anticipated that any additional freight trains required to operate would do so within the constraints and headroom of the pre-existing path limitations set by the December 2008 timetable.

Railways: Platforms

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Earl Attlee: The standard platform height on the conventional rail network in Great Britain is 915mm above the rail. Before HS1 was completed, Eurostar trains used variable step equipment that enabled them to serve platforms of that height in this country and 760mm above rail when in France and Belgium.

As international platforms on HS1 are at 760mm, Eurostars (and other future users of HS1) now encounter a consistent height throughout their journey. If it proceeds, platforms on HS2 would also be built to 760mm. Services that operated on HS2 and the national rail network would need to use equipment similar to that used by Eurostars when they still served Waterloo.

550mm and 760mm are the standard platform heights permitted by the Technical Specification for Interoperability for Persons with Reduced Mobility, while Great Britain has a specific case which permits the use of 915mm high platforms if desired.

Republic of Ireland: Financial Support

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Financial Secretary to the Treasury deposited the bilateral loan agreement in the Library of House on 10 January 2011. The agreement can be

13 Dec 2011 : Column WA253

found online at the following link: http://www.parliament. uk/deposits/depositedpapers/2011/DEP2011-0015.pdf.

Since then, no changes have been made to the bilateral loan agreement.

Following the 21 July 2011 agreement by euro area member states to reduce the interest rates applied to loans from the euro area-only European Financial Stability Facility, the Chancellor of the Exchequer notified his Irish counterpart that the UK was able to cut the interest rate applied to the bilateral loan. The new rate is yet to be agreed. The Government will update Parliament on the changes to the terms of the loan agreement in due course.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Sassoon: Government Ministers meet regularly with their European counterparts, including Irish Ministers, to discuss a range of issues. It would not be appropriate to provide a running commentary on those discussions.

Retail: Mary Portas Review

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Independent Review of the High Street led by Mary Portas has been published today. A copy of the review is being placed in the Library of the House and a copy will be sent to the noble Lord.

Roads: Potholes

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

Earl Attlee: In recognition of the abnormal damage caused by the exceptional winter weather at the end of 2010, the Department for Transport announced in March 2011 that they were allocating £200 million of extra resource funding to local highway authorities in England for repairing potholes.



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA254

The table below provides information on how much of the £200 million was allocated to each highway authority in Metropolitan Boroughs. Each authority has published a statement on its website stating how this additional funding has or is due to be spent.

Metropolitan AuthorityShare of £200 million Allocation

Barnsley

£788,767

Birmingham

£1,682,586

Bolton

£652,861

Bradford

£1,118,319

Bury

£400,090

Calderdale

£683,076

Coventry

£488,183

Doncaster

£924,521

Dudley

£725,151

Gateshead

£460,154

Kirklees

£1,304,275

Knowsley

£355,731

Leeds

£1,840,829

Liverpool

£1,058,774

Manchester

£873,702

Newcastle upon Tyne

£492,889

North Tyneside

£433,185

Oldham

£600,743

Rochdale

£498,262

Rotherham

£691,205

Salford

£608,644

Sandwell

£517,935

Sefton

£613,026

Sheffield

£1,427,553

Solihull

£453,248

South Tyneside

£303,756

St. Helens

£484,078

Stockport

£505,238

Sunderland

£613,749

Tameside

£457,925

Trafford

£472,835

Wakefield

£830,180

Walsall

£522,243

Wigan

£623,330

Wirral

£625,931

Wolverhampton

£445,588

Schools: Breakfast Clubs and Lunches

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The School Food Trust has carried out research into the impact of breakfast clubs and school lunches on the ability of pupils to concentrate and learn. The trust's research shows that children are more focused in the afternoon after a good lunch, while smaller studies comparing exam results at schools with breakfast clubs to those at schools without found pupils achieved better results

13 Dec 2011 : Column WA255

where healthy breakfasts were on offer. The research can be viewed on the School Food Trust's website via the following links:

http://www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/schools/reports/the-impact-of-primary-school-breakfast-clubs-in-deprived-areas-of-london;

http://www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/school-cooks-caterers/reports/school-lunch-and-learning-behaviour-in-primary-schools-an-intervention-study;

http://www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk/school-cooks-caterers/reports/school-lunch-and-learning-behaviour-in-secondary-schools-an-intervention-study.

Schools: National Curriculum

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): We will be announcing our initial proposals for the national curriculum shortly, following which there will be full public consultation before final decisions are made.

Somalia

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

Baroness Northover: The Secretary of State for International Development (right honourable Andrew Mitchell) discussed with President Silanyo of Somaliland the UK's spending plans for the region during a visit to Hargeisa in January 2011.

UK government officials and implementing partners are in regular contact with the Somaliland authorities on specific spending plans in our main areas of development assistance (ie health, governance, wealth creation and humanitarian).

Officials from the Department for International Development (DfID) are working with other international partners on future support to Somaliland including a possible donor fund.

The UK Government are also looking at other ways to increase our engagement with Somaliland and deepen the relationship.

Sudan

Question

Asked by Baroness Cox



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA256

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are greatly concerned at reports detailing the alleged detention and mistreatment of civilian members of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (North). Our embassy in Khartoum is working urgently to ascertain the facts behind these allegations. If confirmed, we intend to raise these cases with the Government of Sudan, in concert with European Union colleagues.

Taxation: Medical Insurance

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government have noted the recommendations of the Independent Review of Sickness Absence. Any changes to tax policy are considered as part of the annual budget cycle.

Turkey

Questions

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We monitor human rights in Turkey on an ongoing basis. The European Union Annual Progress Report for 2011 is the most comprehensive and recent annual assessment of Turkey's record in human rights. The 2011 report highlighted progress in some areas, such as freedom of religion, while criticising others, particularly freedom of expression. We hope that Turkey's moves to adopt a new constitution will lead to further improvement and continue to work closely with other EU member states in addressing human rights issues in Turkey.

Asked by Lord Patten

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Government have not made specific representations to the Government of Turkey regarding the number of students imprisoned there. Our embassy in Ankara regularly raises issues relating to freedom of expression in the context of wider discussions on human rights with its Turkish counterparts and we work closely with other EU member states in addressing human rights issues in Turkey.



13 Dec 2011 : Column WA257

Our embassy in Ankara will continue to monitor the situation surrounding the imprisonment of students closely.

UK Border Agency: Staff

Questions

Asked by Lord Marlesford

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The UK Border Agency at present has 21,642 staff. Over the past seven years, 23 staff have been convicted of criminal offences in connection with their official activities, an average of almost three convictions per year. The detail requested is set out in the following table:

NameChargesConviction dateSentence

Gary SMALL

Possession of false documents, theft

02.2006

18 months

Collins OKELLO

Facilitation, Misconduct in Public Office

2006

2 years

Tyronne PIERRE

Theft

24.4.06

300 hours community service

Alvaro FIGUEIREDO

Misconduct in Public Office

1.10.07

2 1/2 years

Aisha Tokunbo AJIA

Misconduct in Public Office

12.2.08

3 1/2 years

Mofeyishola Olabamigbe Uzoma JOHN-AYO

Misconduct in Public Office

14.3.08

9 years

Jahangir ALAM

Misconduct in Public Office

6.6.08

14 months

Shareen Naomi PATTERSON

Forgery

29.8.08

2 1/2 years

Babs CAREW

Bribery

17.10.08

3 years

Eme ESUA

Misconduct in Public Office+ Section 25 of the ID Cards Act

24.4.09

3 years + 2 x 16 months concurrent

Shannon FRANCIS

Fraud

12.5.09

12 months community order

Aliya ALI

Misconduct in Public Office

25.9.09

5 years

David HART

Fraud

30.12.09

18 months

Anthony Davis QUARCO

Misconduct in Public Office

2.3.10

9 years 6 years;

Proceeds of Crime Act Offences

5 years

Facilitation

6 year

ID Cards Act Offences

4 x 4 years; 3 x 2 years

Bridget EWORTH (nee IDIGBE)

Misconduct in Public Office

16.4.10

6 years

Atma SAWH

Misconduct in Public Office

1.9.10

5 years

Peter CRUMBIE

Facilitation

19.11.10

12 Months

Maryam JAVAID

Misconduct in Public Office ID Cards Act offence

22.11.10

2 years

Latesha POLSON

Fraud, Using a False Instrument

20.1.11

100 hours community service + costs + compensation order

Karanjit MAND

Fraud, Misuse of Computers

4.4.11

80 hours community service

Shezad MUSSA

Misconduct in Public Office

3.6.11

12 months

Benjamin Aghogho ORORORO

Misconduct in Public Office

26.8.11

5 years

Asked by Lord Marlesford

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The UK Border Agency has a wide range of measures in place for internal and external checks on the integrity and honesty of staff. I am unable to share detail on this as to do so could compromise the prevention or detection of crime. However, general examples include pre-employment checks, national security vetting, audits and assurances of systems and procedures and the use of sophisticated data mining technology.

Water Management: Overseas


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