|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Attorney-General what guidance the Crown Prosecution Service issues on disclosure to the families of alleged victims of manslaughter of the content of discussions on possible charges with prosecuting authorities in other EU member states. 
Teresa Pearce: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effects of the proposal to withdraw child benefit from households where a parent earns over £44,000 per year on women who look after children full-time and receive national insurance credits towards their state pension through child benefit. 
Steve Webb: We are considering the details of the changes announced to child benefit. We will be assessing this in the coming weeks to ensure that no-one misses out on national insurance credits towards their state pension.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of women who will receive a reduction in their state pension as a result of the Government's proposed changes to child benefit. 
Steve Webb: We are considering the details of the changes announced to child benefit. We will be assessing this in the coming weeks to ensure that noone misses out on national insurance credits towards their state pension.
Chris Grayling: Notifications of workplace injuries occurring in Great Britain are made under RIDDOR - the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995. The following table provides the total number of RIDDOR injury notifications in the construction industry for the period 2004-05 to 2008-09.
1. The annual basis of RIDDOR recording is the planning year from 1 April to 31 March.
2. The construction industry is identified by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), the system used in UK official statistics for classifying businesses by the type of activity they are engaged in. The version used in these statistics is SIC 2003.
Maria Miller: Remploy's grant in aid funding is published each year in Remploy's Annual Report and Accounts, copies of which are available in Libraries of both Houses. In 2008-09 Remploy received £121.5 million in operational funding and £34 million in modernisation funding.
Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assistance will be offered by his Department to those who are found fit for work after a medical assessment for disability living allowance; 
(2) whether disability living allowance claimants will be allowed to (a) see the results of their medical assessments and (b) dispute the results of medical assessments with evidence from a medical practitioner; 
Maria Miller: The Chancellor announced in the Emergency Budget that the Government will introduce a new assessment for DLA from 2013-14. It has been determined that the new assessment will be a more accurate, objective and consistent assessment to identify those claimants who would benefit most from additional support. DLA is not linked to the ability to work and is paid to claimants who are both in and out of work.
Existing working-age claimants will undergo a new assessment. To support the Department in the development of that new assessment, we are consulting with an independent group of specialists comprising of disabled people, relevant health professionals and others with expertise in this area to develop options for a new assessment.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to publish equality impact assessments undertaken by his Department as part of the comprehensive spending review; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions his Department has had with representatives of the construction industry on health and safety regulation. 
Chris Grayling: Since assuming ministerial responsibility for health and safety at work, I have had a meeting covering construction health and safety with members of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Small Business Trade Association Forum on 22 September.
HSE officials meet regularly with the construction industry. These contacts include meetings of HSE's Construction Industry Advisory Committee and its working groups and with industry stakeholders on specific issues.
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made a recent estimate of the number of people in receipt of jobseeker's allowance in (a) Scotland and (b) Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency who graduated from (i) university in 2010 and (ii) a teacher training institution in each of the last three years. 
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for an estimate of the number of people in receipt of jobseeker's allowance in (a) Scotland and (b) Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency who graduated from (i) university in 2010 and (ii) a teacher training institution in each of the last three years. (17130)
The Office for National Statistics' (ONS) preferred source of statistics for claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is Jobcentre Plus administrative system. However, this source does not contain data on educational achievement.
An alternative data source for claimants of JSA is the Annual Population Survey (APS). Whilst the APS does collect data on educational achievement no reliable statistics can be produced for the requested breakdowns due to small sample sizes.
National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at:
David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations he has received on the extension of maternity pay to adoptive parents; and if he will make a statement. 
Adopters already benefit from a right to adoption leave and pay. Eligible adopters are entitled to 52 weeks' adoption leave (the same as maternity leave). During adoption leave, eligible adopters will receive 39 weeks' statutory adoption pay, paid at the same standard rate as statutory maternity pay.
Maria Miller: Remploy plays an important part in the provision of employment support for severely disabled people. As announced in the review of public bodies on 14 October, the status of Remploy Ltd as an NDPB remains under consideration.
Mrs McGuire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals in Stirling constituency receive more than £26,000 a year in benefits, excluding child benefit and disability living allowance. 
The information is available for Great Britain. £26,000 a year is equivalent to £500 a week. Latest estimates show that in 2010-11 there are fewer than 25,000 working age households in receipt of more than £500 a week in all benefits and tax credits, excluding disability living allowance and child benefit.
The Chancellor's announcement of a benefit cap was informed by high-level consideration of the broad impacts when developing the policy. The Government will set out more details on the cap on total welfare that workless families can receive in the spending review.
All disability living allowance claimants, war widows, and working families claiming the working tax credit will be exempt from the cap. The cap will apply to the combined income from the main income replacement benefits, other means tested benefits, child benefit and child tax credit and other benefits such as carer's allowance and industrial injury disablement benefit.
DWP Policy Simulation Model, based on the 2008-09 Family Resources Survey data.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions his Department has had with the Scottish Executive on the regulation of carbon dioxide emission rates from coal-fired power stations. 
Gregory Barker: The Department is having ongoing constructive dialogue with the Scottish Executive. In addition, we will be working closely with the Scottish Ministers to ensure a complementary approach towards new coal capacity across Great Britain, including taking forward the commitment made in the coalition's programme for Government, to establish an emissions performance standard that would prevent coal-fired power stations being built without the provision of carbon capture and storage (CCS) to enable them to comply with our emissions performance standard (EPS).
Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the number and proportion of households in (a) East Hampshire constituency and (b) the county of Hampshire which are in fuel poverty. 
Gregory Barker: In 2006, the most recent year for which sub-regional figures are available, there were around 3,400 (8%) fuel poor households in the East Hampshire constituency and 56,700 (8%) in the county of Hampshire. The county of Hampshire figures quoted include the unitary authorities of Portsmouth and Southampton, which had around 7,700 and 9,100 fuel poor households respectively in 2006.
Gregory Barker: Government are committed to helping those households who are in fuel poverty. We recognise the need to help more of the most vulnerable to keep their homes warm at an affordable cost, and have in place a number of policies and programmes which can help them to do so.
The Warm Front scheme provides a range of insulation and heating measures to vulnerable households and provides advice on benefit entitlement. Measures provided include energy efficient heating systems, cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and draught proofing. Since its inception in June 2000, Warm Front has assisted 2,290 households in the Constituency of Bexleyheath and Crayford up to 17 August 2010.
The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) extension and Super Priority Group, which focuses on vulnerable groups within the existing priority group,
will have a positive impact on fuel poverty, with approximately 175,000 households expected to be removed from fuel poverty. Many more will receive measures which will protect them from falling into fuel poverty. CERT is an obligation on energy suppliers to achieve targets for promoting reductions in carbon emissions in the household sector.
David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his Department's policy is on the use of geo-engineering to combat the effects of climate change; and whether his Department has provided funding for any such activities in the past 12 months. 
Gregory Barker: The Department's first priority is to tackle human causes of climate change at source by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and pushing for strong international action to achieve this goal. However, we recognise that geo-engineering might have a role to play at some future stage and research is needed to understand the risks and benefits. Over the past year, the Department has provided a total of £136,228 to fund computer modelling research at the Met Office Hadley Centre to investigate the impacts of injecting aerosols into the stratosphere.
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the (a) annual operating leak rate of fluorocarbons from heat pumps and (b) percentage of the refrigerant likely to be vented at end-of-life disposal. 
Gregory Barker: We have discussed these issues with the industry and with DEFRA who are responsible for F-Gas Support, a business support unit that helps organisations affected by the fluorinated gas (F gas) regulatory regime. We are satisfied that the risk of leakage of fluorocarbons during or at the end of operation of hermetically sealed heat pumps is very small. Typically residual amounts, 1% or 2% of the system volume, might remain after refrigerant removal. This can increase to around 5% to 10% for very large, non-hermetically sealed, industrial heat pumps, where there is more scope of leakage through mechanical joints. Further information on heat pumps will be made available shortly when DEFRA publish a report on HFC consumption and emissions forecasting.
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of (a) the average cost of the installation of air source heat pumps, including the cost of domestic adaptation, (b) the average assessed service life of an air source heat pump and (c) the length of time it would take for the installation of an air source heat pump to result in a net saving for a householder. 
The installation cost of an air source heat pump (ASHP) in the domestic sector depends on the size and characteristics of the property in which the heat pump is installed. Our most recent analysis shows
that total ASHP installation costs are usually in the range of £7,000 to £12,000. The costs for large homes could be significantly higher if the heat demand exceeds the capacity of the electrical supply and system reinforcement is required.
The payback period for ASHPs depends on the fuel which they displace (that is, the counterfactual), usage and the operating efficiency of the equipment. There could be significant differences between installations. Assuming an operating efficiency of 250% to 275% and an installation cost of around £9,000 to £10,000, payback periods could range from eight to 16 years(1) when replacing electric heating. Payback periods are longer when the counterfactual is a less expensive off-grid fuel, such as heating oil and coal. In the case of natural gas, the cheapest heating fuel, the payback may be longer than the expected life of the heat pump. The industry believe the life of a heat pump is at least 20 years but this has yet to be independently verified.
(1) Payback periods are calculated using illustrative data on costs and heat pump performance and are calculated by dividing the full capital costs of the renewable equipment by the relevant fuel savings.
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential contribution to global warming of the use of the refrigerants (a) R404A, (b) R407C, (c) R410A and (d) R134a in heat pumps. 
Gregory Barker: Refrigerants are very powerful greenhouse gases. Compared to carbon dioxide, which has a global warming potential (GWP) of 1, the GWP of the following refrigerant gases are as follows:
However, in my answer given to question 17765, I explained that we are satisfied the risk of any significant refrigerant leakage from heat pumps is negligible. Their contribution to global warming is therefore proportionately small. The energy and carbon benefits from a well designed heat pump will almost entirely outweigh any impact from small releases of F gas. Nonetheless, given the global warming potential of R404A, we would expect heat pump manufacturers to avoid using this particular gas wherever possible.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has made an estimate of the cost to the public purse of making eligible for the proposed higher rate feed-in tariff those who installed microgeneration equipment under the Low Carbon Buildings Programme before 15 July 2009. 
The potential additional costs of extending feed-in tariffs (FITs) to sub-50 kW installations prior to 15 July 2009 was the key consideration in our
review of the FITs scheme as it relates to early adopters of small-scale, low-carbon electricity generating technology.
The Department estimated that allowing all(1) existing generators to claim FITs at full rate, without repaying grants would represent a discounted cost in the order of £55.9 million to 2020 and an annual cost in 2020 of £4.25 million(2). In addition to these costs there would be additional administrative costs to DECC, Ofgem and suppliers. In practice, these administrative costs would have increased, had such a policy also included a requirement to repay some or all of any grant.
Extending FITs to existing installations would increase the costs of the scheme, without encouraging additional installations, which is the primary objective of the FITs scheme. We do not think that this represents value for money and cannot therefore justify the additional cost to consumers, who ultimately pay for the scheme. Therefore, after careful consideration, we decided that the scheme as it relates to early adopters should remain unchanged.
(1) These figures are based on estimated numbers of sub-50kW installations prior to 15 July 2009 that received grants from the following programmes: Clear Skies, LCBP1, LCBP2 and the Major PV Demo Programme.
(2) Costs are presented in 2009 prices, discounted. Costs are net FITs subsidy costs, i.e. net of the value of exports to suppliers. Admin costs of administering a higher number of FIT installations have not been included here. Costs assume that existing generators would be paid FITs for the full installation lifetime. Cost estimations should be caveated, as we do not know the precise number of existing generators and which technologies/scales they have invested in.
Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the contribution of the implementation of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (Directions to OFCOM) Order 2010 to his Department's objectives on broadband; and if he will make a statement. 
Implementing this order would result in Ofcom taking action to implement the EU's revised GSM Directive and Radio Spectrum Committee decision that liberalises the 900 and 1800 MHz spectrum to enable 3G services to be rolled out in that spectrum. The action to convert existing 3G licences to an indefinite period will also provide certainty to the current mobile operators to enable them to invest further in developing their 3G networks. Finally, the release of new spectrum through a combined auction of 800 MHz and 2600 MHz will further assist the transition to next generation superfast broadband. All of these actions will be important steps in our objective of developing the UK's broadband networks.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what plans he has to publish equality impact assessments undertaken by his Department as part of the comprehensive spending review; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he plans to require broadcasters to increase to 20% the proportion of their programming which has audio description; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey: The Government have no plans to increase the statutory 10% target for audio description at this time. Following careful consideration of Ofcom's recent review of TV access services in the UK and the voluntary commitments made by a number of major broadcasters to audio describe 20% of their programming we have concluded that further regulation is not required at this time. We have asked Ofcom to continue to monitor levels of audio description provision and asked them to report to Government if the average level falls below the current levels. We will then consider whether to review the targets, or invite Ofcom to review and make recommendations.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will commission research to assess (a) the power consumption of DAB receivers, (b) the prevalence of the use of DAB+ with the AAC codec and (c) the effectiveness of digital reception in cars; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey: The Government have already commissioned and published independent research into the energy efficiency of digital radio. This research has been published on the DCMS website, and can be found at:
The effectiveness of DAB reception in vehicles was tested as part of the Digital Radio Working Group in 2008. To build on this initial research, the Digital Radio Action Plan, published in July this year, set out the process for a specific examination of in-vehicle receiver and aerial sensitivities; it is due to report findings by the end of next year.
The Department has made up to £500,000 a year available since 2004 to support the community radio sector, through the Community Radio Fund. In
recent years we have also allocated funds to the Community Media Association from within that funding to support its work in promoting best practice within the community media sector and encouraging self-sustainability.
Mr Vaizey: The licensing of community radio stations is a matter for Ofcom, which works independently of Government. While demand for new community radio licences is high, available analogue spectrum is scarce. We understand that Ofcom has not yet made a decision on whether to conduct a further round of community radio licensing.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with the partners of the Canvas joint venture on access to the Canvas platform for local television channels. 
Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State has held discussions with a number of the Canvas (now YouView) partners to discuss the potential for local television in the UK. However these discussions were not specifically regarding any access local television would have to the YouView platform.
Nicholas Shott is currently conducting his independent review of local TV in the UK and will present the Secretary of State with his final conclusions by early December, which will be published on the DCMS website.
Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what his most recent estimate is of the cost to the public purse of hosting the teams competing in the London 2012 Olympic games. 
Hugh Robertson: The majority of costs that are necessary to host the teams competing in the London 2012 games, for example, construction of an Olympic Village where teams will stay during the games, a park and venues for them to compete in, and games-time security costs, are provided for within the £9.3 billion public sector funding package.
DCMS publishes quarterly economic reports setting out how the public sector funding package is being used. Other costs, for example, for running the Village during games-time, fall to the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic games and Paralympic games (LOCOG), which is a private company.
There are potentially costs falling to those local authorities and other public bodies that are hosting pre-games training camps. Costs outside the public sector funding package will lie where they fall.
Mr Vaizey: The Department is not directly involved in the restructuring of regional screen agencies which are private companies. However, we would welcome the principle of a more simple and efficient framework.
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what (a) discussions and (b) correspondence he has had with each representative of S4C between 6 May and 8 June 2010; and if he will publish that correspondence. 
Further to a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act on 15 June, correspondence and details of discussions with the Secretary of State and officials were partially released on 15 September 2010.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will take steps to ensure Project Canvas does not inhibit the development of new local television companies. 
"the best delivery means for local TV"
Nicholas Shott will present the Secretary of State with his final conclusions by early December, in which he will look further at IPTV and other issues. This will be published on the Department's website.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will take steps to ensure that the development of new television channels does not receive public subsidy. 
Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State has asked Nicholas Shott, Head of UK Investment Banking at Lazard, to conduct a review of the conditions that will allow commercially sustainable local television to emerge in the UK without direct public subsidy.
Stephen Mosley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many households in City of Chester constituency claim a free television licence; and how many such households include a higher rate taxpayer. 
Mr Vaizey: The Department does not collect data on the number of free licences claimed. This is a matter for the BBC, although I understand the BBC does not hold such data broken down by constituency.
Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he has had any recent discussions about the provision of interpreter services for deaf or hard of hearing television viewers. 
Mr Vaizey: The Government understands the importance of subtitling and signing services to deaf or hard of hearing television viewers and I have had a number of discussions on issues affecting television viewers, including the provision of Access Services.
Jake Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what representations he has received on reform of the Video Recordings Act 1984 to end the requirement of film distributors to receive a classification certificate from the British Board of Film Classification for films in respect of which they wish to accept a voluntary 18 certificate. 
Mr Harper: There is no legal duty on individuals to register to vote and the Government have no plans to introduce one. However, there is a legal requirement on individuals to supply information to registration officers if required to do so, and it is an offence not to comply with that requirement. Whether to pursue a failure to supply information and to seek prosecution in a given case is a matter for the individual registration officer, the police and the relevant prosecuting authority.
Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the evidential basis is for his Department's estimate of the contribution from the public purse to keep people in affordable homes; what estimate he has made of the total annual cost to the public purse; which elements of public expenditure he has included in the calculation; and how this figure was arrived at. 
Andrew Stunell: There are two types of housing subsidy, 'capital subsidy' provided through the National Affordable Housing Programme (NAHP) and sub-market rents in the social sector, and 'personal subsidy' through housing benefit.
In 2009-10 we spent £3.3 billion (in England) on the NAHP for the provision of new affordable homes and wider housing programmes. Research carried out by Professor Steve Wilcox for CLG estimated that in national terms in 2007-08 the annual economic subsidy of providing sub-market rents in the social sector was £3.67 billion for the local authority sector, and £3.38 billion for the Housing Association sector.(1)
Analysis of Rents for the Review of Council Housing Finance-Professor Steve Wilcox:
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will make an assessment of the appropriate amount of land to be set aside for use as allotment land for each category of population density; and if he will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which directorate of his Department has responsibility for the (a) formulation and (b) implementation of policy on reducing the incidence of anti-Semitism; how many officials at each pay band in his Department are
employed in each such directorate; what other posts in his Department each such official has held; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Stunell: The Communities and Neighbourhoods Directorate in the Department of Communities and Local Government is responsible for the formulation and in partnership with other Departments the implementation of policy on reducing the incidence of anti-Semitism. The Department's work on anti-Semitism falls under the auspices of the team that works on hate crime and all other forms of hatred and intolerance. This team is made up of three officials, one at pay band 6.1, one at pay band 4.3 and one at pay band 3.2. All three have held a range of previous positions across Government including the Home Office, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Government Office for London.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will publish the responses received to Question 86 of his Department's building regulations consultation referred to on page 178 of Proposals for amending Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations Summary of Responses, dated 1 April 2010. 
Andrew Stunell: The Department received over 400 responses to the Part L and F consultation and, having published a comprehensive Summary of Responses, has no plans to publish the individual responses to the 113 questions in the consultation document. We will, however, provide copies of individual responses on request, in accordance with confidentiality, data protection and freedom of information requirements.
The majority of respondents to Question 86 felt that circulator pumps should have a minimum band C rating. However, from 2013 there will be a mandatory EU-wide requirement under the energy using products directive for all circulator pumps placed on the market to be band A. The main trade association for the UK pump market argued that it would be unreasonable to expect pump manufacturers to modify designs twice in just over a two-year period.
It was therefore decided that the Part L guidance from October 2010 should be that circulator pumps should have an A to G energy label, as this would be an effective way of encouraging consumers to choose energy efficient products without imposing an undue burden on manufacturers already preparing for 2013.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has to publish equality impact assessments undertaken by his Department as part of the comprehensive spending review; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how long on average it has taken from application to the granting of an (a) empty dwelling management and (b) enforced sale procedures order in each local authority area since 2006. 
Andrew Stunell: Information on the time taken from application to the granting of an empty dwelling management order (EDMO) is not held centrally. EDMOs are authorised by the Residential Property Tribunal Service and the target set by the Department under the last Government for dealing with all Housing Act 2004 cases is 75% of applications should be determined within 15 weeks and 90% of decisions issued within four weeks after that.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) privately-owned and (b) social sector homes in (i) Peterborough and (ii) the East of England were vacant in each of the last 12 quarters for which figures are available; and how many of those homes had been vacant for more than six months. 
Andrew Stunell: The following table shows the total number and proportion of dwellings that were vacant (i) for any length of time and (ii) for more than six months in Peterborough Unitary Authority (UA) area and the East of England region in each of the last three years. Separate figures are included for local authority-owned and Registered Social Landlord (RSL) dwellings. Comparable information on the number of private sector vacant dwellings is not held centrally.
Figures for RSLs include 'general needs' self-contained stock and exclude bed spaces, 'supported housing' and 'housing for older people'. For which vacancy estimates are not available below the England level. 'General needs' self-contained stock accounts for approximately 80% of the RSL sector.
|All tenures||Local authority( 1)||Registered social landlord( 2,3)|
|(1) These figures relate to stock owned by a local authority regardless of whether it is located within that local authority's boundaries. Peterborough UA has transferred its own stock to the RSL sector.|
(2) 'General needs' self-contained RSL stock only
(3) RSL vacancies of more than six months are based on a proxy measure - "RSL vacancies not available for rent"
All tenures - CTB1 council tax form (completed by local authorities); local authority tenure - Business Planning Statistical Appendix (completed by local authorities); RSL tenure - Regulatory and Statistical Return (completed by RSLs)
John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will bring forward proposals for mandatory energy efficiency standards for homes in the private rented sector; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Stunell: Following the uprating of energy efficiency requirements in the building regulations on 1 October, we currently have no plans to implement additional regulatory measures in the private rented sector. We are however committed to improving the energy efficiency of existing housing, and we will continue to look at ways of promoting energy efficiency in the private rented sector including through the Green Deal.
Mr Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many enforced sale orders each local authority has obtained since such orders were introduced; and which local authorities have enforced sales under such orders. 
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will ensure that the (a) assets and (b) income from assets currently held by the Homes and Communities Agency in the North East will remain in the North East and continue to be used for the purposes of housing and related projects. 
Andrew Stunell: We are reviewing the future of regeneration and housing policies as part of the spending review and the forthcoming White Paper on sub-national economic growth. There are currently no plans to move assets and income held by the Homes and Communities Agency outside of the Agency.
In a letter to council leaders on 9 August I set out my intention to introduce the cornerstone of this new system, the New Homes Bonus. This will shift power back into the hands of individuals, communities and councils and give local communities a direct and substantial share in growth rather than just absorbing the costs. A copy of this letter was sent to all MPs and placed in the Library of the House.
Andrew Stunell: Our programme for government includes a number of commitments to encouraging sustainable house building. We are seeking to increase levels of sustainable house building by introducing the New Homes Bonus, a powerful fiscal incentive for local authorities to deliver new homes.
We are committed also to improving the energy efficiency of new homes. My right hon. Friend, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, announced in July our intention to ensure that all new homes would be zero carbon from 2016. As a first step, new requirements in building regulations came into to effect on 1 October. We are planning to publish a revised version of the Code for Sustainable Homes shortly.
Andrew Stunell: I initiated a review of the building regulations over the summer, to consider options for changes to the building regulations and building control system, including the potential to deregulate. Having sought views from a wide range of interested parties, and taking account of the responses to the "Your Freedom" and my Department's "Cutting Red Tape" websites, my officials are now analysing the responses and I am aiming to make a statement on this around the end of the year.
More widely, my colleague, the Minister for Housing, has set out his commitment to simplifying the regulations for new build housing. My Department will be initiating discussions with interested parties shortly about how to simplify the other standards (beyond building regulations) in the light of the development of the new planning regime. In the meantime we have:
Abolished national housing density targets;
Revoked Regional Strategies for local housing numbers;
Adopted a government wide "one in, one out" approach to new regulatory burdens.
The coalition agreement says we will publish and present to Parliament a simple and consolidated national planning framework covering all forms of development. We will make an announcement on how we propose to take forward the national planning framework and the implications for specific areas of planning policy. This will include planning for housing policy.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the average density of new housing in (a) Peterborough and (b) the East of England in each of the last 10 years. 
The density of new housing in Peterborough for 1994-97, 1998-2001, 2002-05 and 2006-09 is published in the Land Use Change Statistics Live Table P232, while the density of new housing in the east
of England between 1999 and 2009 is published in the Land Use Change Statistics Live Table P231. Both of these tables can be accessed at:
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of service personnel normally resident in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) each region of England have been granted housing by a local authority upon discharge from the armed forces in each of the last five years. 
Information is collected from local authorities via the quarterly P1E form giving the number of households accepted as owed a main homelessness duty with reason for loss of last settled home being 'Household left HM forces'. These households will be offered social housing or placed in temporary accommodation until such housing is available or other arrangements are made. These figures do not provide a full or accurate picture of the number of armed forces service personnel granted housing by local authorities because households can enter social housing via other routes, and not all households accepted as homeless will enter social housing. Also, local authorities record only the main reason for loss of last settled home and so may underestimate the number of acceptances following discharge from the armed forces.
|Number of households accepted as being homeless with reason for loss of last settled home 'Household left HM forces'|
Quarterly P1E returns
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information his Department holds on the sites for which Newcastle city council sought funding as part of its Single Home Improvement Panel application. 
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has made a recent estimate of the (a) number and (b) monetary value of homes which could be built on undeveloped sites in Peterborough which are held in land banks by registered social landlords. 
Andrew Stunell: The Department for Communities and Local Government has not made a recent estimate of the number or monetary value of homes which could be built on undeveloped land in Peterborough owned by registered social landlords.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of homes in Peterborough were (a) owner-occupied, (b) privately rented and (c) socially rented in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Andrew Stunell: The number of dwellings in Peterborough unitary authority (UA) area in 2009 is shown in the following table, split by tenure. Figures for the privately rented and owner-occupied tenures are not held centrally.
|Peterborough UA||Number of units||Percentage of total|
|(1) Peterborough UA has transferred its own stock into the registered social landlord (RSL) sector.|
(2) Includes 'general needs' stock, 'supported housing' and 'housing for older people', both self-contained and bed spaces.
1. Local authority and other public sector reported as at 1 April 2009 by local authorities through the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix; includes non-permanent dwellings.
2. Registered social landlord figures as at 31 March 2009 collected in the Regulatory and Statistical Return.
3. Total stock estimates from 2001: census dwelling count as a baseline and subsequent changes to the dwelling stock from the Housing Flows Reconciliation form. Private stock is calculated by the residual.
Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on forcing sale on unsecured debts of less than £25,000; and what assessment he has made of the likely effect this would have on bringing (a) empty and (b) visually-blighted residential properties back into use. 
Officials in Communities and Local Government are working closely with the Ministry of Justice to ensure the right balance is achieved between protecting home-owners from losing their home as a result of modest unsecured debts, and maintaining the powers local authorities need to tackle dangerous or visually blighted properties, including empty homes.
Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what process his Department plans to follow for applications for major infrastructure projects which have entered the planning process but which will not have been determined on the date of abolition of the Infrastructure Planning Commission. 
Robert Neill: We intend to make provision in the localism Bill which will allow for applications which have been accepted by the Infrastructure Planning Commission, but not yet decided, to transfer seamlessly to the Secretary of State. Such applications will be taken forward by the new Major Infrastructure Planning Unit, which will be established within the Planning Inspectorate, without interruption to the process.
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance his Department issues to those wishing to prepare a bid to establish a local enterprise partnership; and what representations he has received from organisations in Norfolk on the processes for establishing such partnerships. 
Robert Neill: The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills jointly wrote to local authorities and business leaders on 29 June inviting them to submit their initial proposals for local enterprise partnerships. The letter encouraged local areas to come forward with their own ideas for the formation of local enterprise partnerships but set out some expectations around the role, governance and size of such partnerships.
We have received a proposal for a local enterprise partnership entitled Norfolk Unlimited covering the area of Norfolk county council. We have also received a proposal for an East Anglia local enterprise partnership covering Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and parts of Essex. We are currently considering these proposals and any representations relating to them and hope to provide formal feedback soon.
Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to make the tendering process of local government building contracts more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses. 
Robert Neill: It is for local authorities themselves to determine the best way to commission and procure building contracts. However, best practice guidance is available from a number of sources. For example, OGC and BIS recently published guidance to procurement staff and organisations on flagging tendering opportunities suitable for SMEs or consortiums of SMEs in 'Small supplier big opportunity-Flagging your contracts to SMEs':
As part of the Government's commitment to increasing transparency and openness, all councils have been called up to publish invitations to tender and final contracts on projects over £500 by the start of 2011.
The Local Government Association (LGA), through its 'Place Based Productivity' programme, is looking at a range of productivity topics, including procurement. This sector-led programme will look identify best practice and identify new and innovative ways to support local government and its partners in finding greater efficiencies. For further details:
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what timetable has been set for the revision of the code of recommended practice on local authority publicity. 
Robert Neill: The code of publicity is referred to in the structural reform plan. On 29 September we launched a consultation on proposals for a revised code of recommended practice, inviting responses by 10 November. Subject to that consultation, we intend by the end of November to lay before Parliament a revised code which will come into force once it is approved by both Houses of Parliament.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the operation of the Residential Regulatory Tribunal Service in administering regulations on the sale and purchase of mobile homes; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Stunell: Residential property tribunals do not at present determine applications in relation to the sale and purchase of mobile homes. It is proposed that the jurisdiction of the county courts in doing so will transfer to the tribunals in the spring of next year. An assessment of the effectiveness of that operation will be carried out in due course.
Andrew Stunell: The Government intend to revoke Planning Circular 01/06 (ODPM) 'Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Sites' subject to the necessary impact assessments and following a public consultation. The circular will be replaced with a short policy statement and light-touch guidance.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he expects to revoke the current planning circulars relating to Travellers; and if he will make a statement. 
Andrew Stunell: The Government intend to revoke Planning Circular 01/06 (ODPM) 'Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Sites' and 'Planning Circular 04/07 Planning for Travelling Showpeople' subject to the necessary impact assessments and following a public consultation. The circulars will be replaced with a short policy statement and light-touch guidance.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent estimate has been made of the number of registered social landlords who own undeveloped land in (a) Peterborough and (b) the East of England. 
Jackie Doyle-Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to raise standards of financial management at Thurrock borough council; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: Responsibility for raising financial standards at Thurrock rests with the local authority and its electorate, who will be assisted by the steps that the Government are taking to increase the transparency of local authorities' financial transactions. The changes we are making to the Audit Commission will safeguard the independence of local audit and further enhance democratic accountability by giving residents a role in the appointment of the auditor.
Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) assesses the effectiveness of its work to reduce the under-5 mortality rate using information embedded in DFID's corporate performance systems at the level of our projects and programmes. These draw on national data and statistics and evidence collected by DFID's partners, including the GAVI Alliance and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. We also draw on data from the United Nations Statistics Division's MDG database, to assess progress against Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4, to reduce the child mortality rate at the national and global levels.
DFID is currently reviewing its bilateral and multilateral aid to ensure our programmes are effective, represent value for money for the UK taxpayer and accelerate progress towards the MDGs. Future funding allocation will be based on the findings of these reviews and the outcome of the comprehensive spending review.
The coalition Government places a strong focus on results in all our aid programmes. We will be embedding evaluation in every programme and creating an independent aid watchdog, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, to overseas the effectiveness of UK aid.
Paul Uppal: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development to which organisations his Department has granted aid funding to assist recovery following the recent floods in Pakistan. 
Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations he has received on the payment of pensions to officials of the Government who worked in Zimbabwe prior to independence. 
Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to arrange and support an independent 18-month review of progress on implementing the recommendations of the Bercow review of services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs; and if he will make a statement. 
Sarah Teather: The Department for Education, with the Communication Council, is monitoring progress on implementing the recommendations from the Bercow review. Progress is being made and we will be taking this into account, alongside recent reviews on special educational needs and disabilities, including the Rose review, the Lamb inquiry, the Salt review, and the Ofsted report published on 14 September as we develop a Green Paper on special educational needs and disabilities for the autumn.
I am keen that, in taking forward work on the Green Paper, we seek a wide range of views. That is why I was pleased to hold a roundtable discussion with members of the Communications Trust and others with an interest in children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). I am also pleased to confirm that a Call for Views for the Green Paper was launched on 10 September 2010.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department is taking to (a) reduce the number of children and young people acting as carers and (b) assist children and young people who (i) have been and (ii) are acting as carers. 
Tim Loughton: Helping to care for a family member is something that many young people are happy and proud to do. These young people do play an absolutely vital role both for their families and society as a whole and they deserve our recognition and support. The Department for Education with the Department of Health is absolutely committed to supporting local services including many voluntary organisations which have been set up to support these young people.
However in some cases these young people need protection from excessive or inappropriate caring that puts their education and/or health at risk. I attended the Young Carers Festival this summer as I have done for a number of years and have heard directly about their concerns. They told me that services supporting their parents or other family members all too often do not consider their views or identify and respond to their support needs, even though these might be critical to the care they are providing.
On 28 July the Government initiated a call for evidence with a view to refreshing the Carers Strategy-the consultation closed on 20 September. The responses are currently being considered and will help establish the key priorities that will be the focus of a refreshed Carers Strategy to be published later this year.
The strategy will build on the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the Association
of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) 'working together to better support young carers' which encourages services such as schools, substance misuse and mental health services and the voluntary sector to identify and respond to young carers support needs as well as those of their parent/family. The MoU is unequivocal in saying that any package of support for those requiring care should not rely on a young person taking on inappropriate of excessive levels of care. I have urged all local authorities to sign up to the MoU.
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, supported by Government, is currently managing a £1 million Innovation Fund on behalf of the National Young Carers Coalition. This has led to 20 voluntary sector young carer projects being funded until March 2011 to extend the support they provide to young carers to include the whole family. The trust is looking at ways to showcase the learning to other voluntary sector young carer projects.
Young carers have also said that they want their schools and teaching staff to be more responsive to their needs. In response to this the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and the Children's Society has produced a schools pack to help schools develop their systems and policies and increasing numbers of schools have included young carers as a key theme within their own 'Healthy Schools' programmes.
The Children's Society, supported by DFE, recently completed a series of five training events for practitioners in adult mental health and substance misuse services to help them better identify, assess, support or refer young carers to the appropriate help.
Sarah Teather: Government are currently having to make difficult choices in order to tackle the budget deficit. The coalition inherited unrealistic spending commitments for 2010-11, where funding was reliant on under-spends or additional funding being taken from reserves.
Play, while important for children and families, has to make its contribution. We are currently looking at how we can make savings to the play capital budget in the most equitable way possible, while taking account of contractual commitments that may be in place locally and allowing projects to progress where affordable.
Once local authorities are notified of revised playbuilder allocations it will continue to be for them to make their own decisions about where playbuilder investment should be made locally, based on identified need and following consultation with children and young people, families and wider communities.
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his (a) Department and its predecessors and (b) its non-departmental public bodies spent on training for its employees in each year since 1997. 
Tim Loughton: The Department for Education was established on 12 May 2010. The Department estimates the total spend on learning and development (since it was established) and for its predecessors, the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Education and Skills, over the last three financial years to be as follows:
|Financial year||£ million|
Information on the Department's non-departmental public bodies training costs is not available as they manage their own budgets in this regard. Because the Department does not hold this information centrally, it could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what level of funding is allocated to the Family and Parenting Institute in the current financial year; and if he will make a statement. 
The strategic grant from the Children, Young People and Families grant programme enables FPI to make a difference for parents and families by influencing local and national decision makers to improve outcomes for families through research; sharing knowledge; and supporting innovation by designing, testing and presenting the outcomes accessibly.
FPI has a £7.5 million contract to manage the Parenting Fund. Through this £6 million is distributed to 90 local voluntary and charitable organisations in 23 disadvantaged areas to provide parenting and family support services. The remainder covers the cost of managing the Fund and helping the sustainability of these local projects after Government funding ends in March 2011.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to improve sex education in England to reduce the number of (a) unwanted pregnancies and (b) cases of sexually transmitted infections among teenagers. 
Sarah Teather: We believe that it is vital that all children receive high-quality sex and relationships education (SRE), to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills they need to make the right decisions about relationships and sexual health later in life. We are currently considering how best to facilitate that, within the context of a slimmed down national curriculum. We will be announcing our proposals for the curriculum as a whole later in the autumn.
Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many and what proportion of pupils were entered for history A-level in each local authority in the most recent year for which figures are available; 
|History A level entries and achievements by local authority, 2009|
|Local authority||Number of pupils who were entered for History A level in 2009||Percentage of pupils who were entered for History A level in 2009||Number of pupils who achieved a grade C or above in History A level||Percentage of pupils entered for History A level who achieved a grade C or above|
The figures provided cover pupils aged 16-18 in maintained schools and FE Colleges.
Achievement and Attainment Tables.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|