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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Communities and Local Government

Accommodation: Public Finance

Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reason the Chief Executive of the Audit Commission was provided hotel accommodation at the City Inn, Westminster paid for from the public purse. [61043]

Robert Neill: This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission and I have asked the chief executive of the Audit Commission to respond to my hon. Friend direct.

Letter from Eugene Sullivan, dated 22 June 2011:

Your parliamentary question has been passed to me for reply.

I joined the Commission in June 2008 as Managing Director for Corporate Services, based in Yorkshire. My contract included provision for overnight stays in London and, where necessary, Bristol, reimbursed by the Commission at its usual rate for overnight stays.

When the Board asked me to become Interim Chief Executive and Controller of Audit on 1 April 2010, following Steve Bundred's departure, I agreed to spend two or three nights each week in London. The Commission continues to pay for these overnight stays in accordance with my contract. The rate negotiated with the City Inn is consistent with the Commission's expenses policy for overnight stays in London.

In June 2010 the Board decided to suspend the appointment process for a new Chief Executive and continue with the interim arrangements. There has been no change to this policy since the government's announcement in August 2010 of its plans to disband the Commission. The Commission has not recruited a replacement to the former post of MD Corporate Services and has therefore saved the costs associated with that post.

Departmental Official Engagements

Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his official engagements were during his visit to India in April 2011. [60848]

Robert Neill: During his visit to India in April 2011, the engagements of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, were as follows:

Meeting with Shri P. Chidambaram, Minister for Home Affairs;

Meeting with Mani Shankar Aiyar MP, former Minister for Panchayati Raj;

“Webinar” with UKTI India Network and FCO and DfID Climate Change team;

Meeting with Shri Salman Khurshid, Minister of Water Resources and Minority Affairs;

Engagement with Delhi-based members of the British Business Group;

Visit to Hirehalli Gram Panchayat, including local village enterprise initiative and presentation of Gram Panchayat activities;

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Visit to Tumkur Zilla Panchayat, including discussion with the Mayor and Deputy Commissioner of Tumkur;

Meeting with Shri Wajahat Habibullah, Chair of the National Commission for Minorities;

Discussion of “Community Integration in India and the UK”, hosted by the British high commissioner, with leading academics, social activists and media commentators;

Briefing with members of the Indian print media;

Meeting with Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, and officials from his Department;

Meetings with the British high commissioner and high commission staff.

Departmental Official Visits

Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) officials of and (b) special advisers in his Department took part in his official visit to India in April 2011. [60807]

Robert Neill: The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, was accompanied on his April 2011 visit to India by two officials from his Department, namely the Director for Decentralisation and the Big Society, and his Private Secretary. No special advisers attended.

Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will publish the details of expenditure arising from his visit to India in April 2011, including the cost of (a) flights, (b) accommodation, (c) transport and (d) food. [60808]

Robert Neill: Expenditure of £4,060.63 per person for international and internal flights, and £123.42 per person for accommodation arose from the visit to India in April 2011 of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

No cost was incurred for transport other than flights.

All meals in restaurants were paid for personally by members of the party.

In line with practice under the previous Administration, this trip was supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and was part of an ongoing focus by the British Government on building community relations, trade links and business opportunities between India and the UK—a trade relationship that is worth £13 billion per year.

The coalition Government have significantly cut the cost of ministerial travel compared with that of the previous Administration, as outlined in my answer of 17 June 2011, Official Report, column 977W.

By way of comparison with similar trips undertaken by previous Secretaries of State for Communities and Local Government, the right hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (John Denham) visited Bangladesh in January 2010 at a cost of £3,882 (cost for the Minister only) and was accompanied by three officials and a special adviser. The right hon. Member for Salford and Eccles (Hazel Blears) visited Pakistan, India and Bangladesh in July-August 2008 at a cost of £5,765 (again, excluding

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costs of flights and accommodation for other members of the party). The right hon. Lady was accompanied by four officials on this visit.

Government Procurement Card

Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether any of the costs arising from his visit to India in April 2011 was paid for using a departmental credit card. [60809]

Robert Neill: None of the costs arising from the Secretary of State’s visit to India in April 2011 was paid for using a departmental credit card.

Local Enterprise Partnerships

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions he has had with the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership on the process followed in deciding the location of the proposed local enterprise zone for Bristol. [60975]

Robert Neill: None. My officials are in discussion with the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership on the development of its chosen site. However, the process followed in deciding the location within a partnership area of a proposed enterprise zone is not a matter for Ministers; it is an issue for the Local Enterprise Partnership to decide.

Rented Housing: Greater London

Angie Bray: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress he has made on the affordable rent funding allocation for London; and if he will make a statement. [60886]

Grant Shapps: In setting out the framework for the Affordable Homes programme, we made clear that it must meet local priorities. This moves away from the previous rigid approach of subdividing the programme funding between areas in advance.

The Homes and Communities Agency has received an encouraging response from providers for new affordable homes for 2011-15. These offers are now being assessed, with initial contracts expected to be signed in September.

We have set out specific arrangements for London, given our commitment to devolve investment powers to the Mayor. We have said that we will seek to deliver a similar percentage of new affordable homes in London from the new programme as previously. This will depend on the relative value for money of offers in London and elsewhere.

Travellers: Caravan Sites

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2011, Official Report, column 58W, on Travellers: caravan sites, which provisions of (a) the Human Rights Act 1998 and (b) the European Convention on Human Rights would potentially be breached if his Department proceeded with option 2 of the planning for Traveller sites consultation. [59425]

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Robert Neill: I refer my hon. Friend to page 42 of my Department's consultation paper of April 2011, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

As this is a public consultation, hon. Members are welcome to submit their views, including on the merits or demerits of the various options.

Vetting

Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the special advisers in his Department are required to have developed vetting clearance. [60810]

Robert Neill: Special advisers are subject to the same security procedures as other members of the Department. As such they are subject to national security vetting where appropriate and in accordance with the criteria contained in the Prime Minister's statement of 27 July 2010, Official Report, column 90WS, on Her Majesty's Government's personnel security and national security.

Prime Minister

Devolution

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Prime Minister what progress he has made on the devolution of further powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive; and if he will make a statement. [60838]

The Prime Minister: We will consider requests for further devolution that have widespread support in Northern Ireland.

Wales

Arts: Cardiff

Jonathan Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions she has had with the Welsh Government on the development of Cardiff as a hub for the creative industries; and if she will make a statement. [59740]

Mr David Jones: The Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan), discusses many issues with Welsh Government Ministers, including the creative industries.

The performance of Cardiff and the rest of Wales in this area is impressive. As the hon. Gentleman will be aware, the BBC is already developing a new “Drama Village” in Cardiff Bay. The previous Welsh Assembly Government announced their intention to develop proposals for a linked “digital media centre” close to this new development. These proposals open up opportunities to create a dynamic media hub for independent production companies and we will maintain a close interest as the plans develop. They had also identified creative industries as one of their priority sectors. I look forward to hearing whether the new Welsh Government will continue with these plans.

Like the Secretary of State, I am keen to see Wales' highly respected film and television production sector continue to flourish as that will attract new investment and jobs as well as retain that which currently exists.

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Culture, Media and Sport

Cultural Heritage

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to preserve heritage sites in England. [60964]

John Penrose: English Heritage has recently launched the National Heritage Protection Plan, which sets out why, what and how England's vulnerable historic environment is to be safeguarded in the next four years. It can be found at:

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/professional/protection/national-heritage-protection-plan/

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and English Heritage are also considering various measures to tackle the problem of buildings which have been on the Heritage At Risk Register for an extended period of time.

Departmental Buildings

Jesse Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what the address is of each office property occupied by his Department outside Greater London which it (a) owns and (b) rents; what the level of utilisation is of each such property; what the capital value is of each such property it owns; and what the (i) annual rental cost and (ii) length of lease agreement is of each rented property. [61174]

John Penrose: The Department does not own or lease any properties outside Greater London.

Football: Females

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will assess the future level of support for girls' football in Hull following the closure of the Football Association girls centre of excellence. [61041]

Hugh Robertson: Where centres of excellence have closed, as a result of the Football Association's recent review of girl's talent development, there will be understandable concern from girls and their parents. However, I am confident that the FA carried out its review fairly and in an open-handed way. I am pleased that the overall level of support given to talent development has not decreased.

I am reassured that the FA has undertaken to ensure that all girls who previously attend a centre of excellence should not lose out as a result of the change, and I expect that it will deliver on that commitment.

Local Broadcasting: Radio

Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what support his Department provides to help community radio projects to obtain an FM or AM broadcasting licence. [61362]

Mr Vaizey: The licensing of community radio stations is a matter for Ofcom, which works independently of Government. However, earlier this year the Government

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sought assurances from Ofcom that a further round of community radio licensing would be undertaken to allow more community stations to be licensed. Ofcom began a third round of community radio licensing earlier this year.

Olympic Games 2012

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent assessment he has made of the (a) future and (b) legacy of the Olympic Stadium. [60825]

Hugh Robertson: The Government's aim has been to find a long-term, sustainable use for the Olympic Stadium in legacy. The Olympic Park Legacy Company announced in February 2011 the selection of a consortium comprising West Ham United FC and the London borough of Newham as the preferred bidder for the long-term lease of the Stadium site and negotiations with the consortium continue.

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 7 June 2011, Official Report, column 140W, on the Olympic Games 2012, how many schools in (a) London, (b) England, (c) Scotland, (d) Wales and (e) Northern Ireland have applied to join the Get Set Network to date; and whether schools incur any costs in joining the Get Set Network. [61318]

Hugh Robertson: Schools are now being encouraged to apply to the Get Set Network in every nation and region of the UK. Every school has been contacted to sign up, which is an easy process. So far 1,190 schools have signed up in London; 3,184 have signed up in the rest of England, 118 in Scotland, 75 in Wales, and 28 in Northern Ireland. There is no charge or costs to join the Get Set Network. The Network is run and funded by the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG).

Press Regulation

Mr Leech: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effect on consumer interests of the present arrangements for the regulation of the newspaper and magazine distribution industry; and if he will make a statement. [61301]

Mr Vaizey: I have made no assessment. Competition matters relating to the effects on consumer interests of the distribution arrangements covering the newspaper and magazine industry fall to the Office of Fair Trading.

Tourism

Mel Stride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of expenditure on holidays by members of the public which was spent on domestic tourism in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2009-10. [61170]

John Penrose: VisitEngland has advised that the total spend by UK residents on domestic overnight trips in 2010 was £20.8 million, of which £12 million

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was spent on holidays. Spend on domestic tourism day visits was estimated at £49.1 million. Total spend by UK residents abroad was £30.9 million (provisional).

Total spend by UK residents on domestic overnight trips in 2009 was £21.9 million, of which £12.6 million was spent on holiday trips. Spend on domestic tourism day visits was estimated at £47.6 million. Total spend by UK residents abroad was £31.7 million.

Data for domestic day visits and spend are calculated by Oxford Economics/Deloitte and based on surveys from 2002-05. VisitEngland is in the process of conducting an updated day visitor survey.

Mel Stride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps he plans to take to encourage domestic tourism. [61182]

John Penrose: The Government's plans for promoting domestic tourism are set out in detail in the paper, “Government Tourism Policy” published in March 2011, and available at:

http://www.culture.gov.uk/publications/7896.aspx

VisitEngland is working closely with areas and destinations, in line with Government's localism agenda, to grow the value of local tourism economies. This is co-ordinated through the National Strategic Framework for Tourism, which includes an action programme developed in consultation with the tourism sector. VisitEngland is currently working with local areas on a campaign to deliver economic growth from the domestic market, and to support employment and job creation.

The “Time to be in England” campaign will maximise the impact of the unique events of 2012, including the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the Olympic and Paralympic games, helping to spread the benefits of the games outside London and maintain a legacy of domestic tourism growth. The campaign is the subject of a bid to the second round of the Regional Growth Fund.

Transport

Aviation

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when regulations on the transport of liquids on commercial flights were last (a) reviewed and (b) revised; and when he next plans to review such regulations. [59954]

Mrs Villiers: EU regulations restricting the carriage of liquids in cabin baggage on commercial aircraft have been in place since November 2006. Subsequent EU regulations require the lifting of liquids restrictions, through a move to a screening-based system utilising new technologies, by 29 April 2013.

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to reduce the effects of aviation on air quality. [60236]

Mrs Villiers: On 30 March 2011, the Government issued a scoping document entitled “Developing a sustainable framework for UK aviation”. This sets out a number of strategic questions which will help define the

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debate as we develop a long term strategy for aviation. It includes a section on local air quality. The deadline for responses is 30 September.

Also, the UK is supporting work in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to develop a new standard to regulate the emission of PM (particulate matter) from aircraft engines.

Dee Harbour

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what date he expects to finalise the Dee Harbour revision order for publication. [59311]

Mike Penning: The planning inquiry for this application and a separate application for Mostyn Docks were held in 2005, as there were overlapping provisions between the two applications. Following the inquiry some matters of fact on jurisdiction were raised and considered in 2009 and 2010, and needed to be concluded before a decision could be made.

We are considering whether we can proceed on the basis of the evidence considered at that inquiry or whether we need to conduct further consultation.

Road Signs and Markings

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what timetable his Department has set for the review of brown signs on major routes managed by the Highways Agency. [60222]

Mike Penning: A working group consisting of the Highways Agency, the Department for Transport, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and VisitEngland has started discussions and a schedule of work is being taken forward through the summer. A more precise timetable will be set based on Ministers' assessment of progress in due course.

Roads: Safety

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for television road safety campaigns in 2011-12. [61433]

Mike Penning: I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 5 April 2011 Official Report, column 877W.

Thameslink Railway Line: Rolling Stock

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 16 June 2011, Official Report, column 85WS, on Thameslink rolling stock, who will be responsible for maintenance of the new rolling stock. [61504]

Mrs Villiers: Assuming discussions conclude successfully with contractual close, Siemens plc will be responsible for maintaining the new trains under the award of the Thameslink contract.

Jobs relating to Thameslink train maintenance are expected to be created in Three Bridges and Hornsey where the planned depots will be built, subject to planning permission being granted.

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Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Welfare: Dogs

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent discussions she has had with animal welfare charities on local authority stray dog services under the provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005; [60854]

(2) whether Ministers in her Department have assessed the merits of reviewing the responsibilities of local authorities in respect of stray dog control under the provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005; [60855]

(3) what recent estimate her Department has made of the size of the dog population; and if she will make a statement; [60856]

(4) what assessment she has made of the adequacy of resources allocated (a) to and (b) by local authorities for stray dog control; [60857]

(5) what consideration she has given to the merits of requiring all local authorities to operate a 24/7 stray dog control service under the provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005; [60858]

(6) if she will assess the merits of including on her Department's website more information on responsible dog ownership; [60859]

(7) what consideration she has given to providing local authorities with advice on stray dog shared kennelling facilities under the provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005; [60860]

(8) what recent representations she has received from local authorities on stray dog control services. [60861]

Mr Paice: There are many estimates of the dog population in Great Britain, and these range between 8 million and 10 million.

Animal welfare charities have held discussions with DEFRA officials about the level of service provided by local authorities (LA) in relation to stray dogs, and DEFRA receives occasional inquiries from LAs about dog control services.

Currently, there are no proposals to review the responsibilities of LAs in respect of dog control services, and I am satisfied with the arrangements under which they are able to allocate funds for the provision of a stray dog service, as the Government consider that LAs must be allowed to prioritise their responsibilities and target their resources where they are needed. Additionally, LAs can arrange for kennelling services to be shared if they so wish.

Both the DEFRA and DirectGov websites contain helpful advice to owners on how to look after their dogs. However, DEFRA is always open to suggestions for ways we can provide even more helpful advice.

Cattle: Foot and Mouth Disease

Sir Alan Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will review her policy of the pre-emptive culling of cattle during foot and mouth disease outbreaks in the light of recent research on the issue. [60916]

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Mr Paice: I read with interest the research to which the right hon. Member refers. This is an important piece of research on foot and mouth disease in young cattle. DEFRA is collaborating with the researchers at the Institute for Animal Health to assess the value of these findings in managing disease outbreaks.

Quick reporting of suspect cases of the disease by farmers and veterinarians and selective culling of animals, coupled with vaccination where that can make an effective contribution to control, remain the best ways of stopping this disease.

Food Labelling

Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations her Department has received on the country of origin labelling system. [60821]

Mr Paice: The labelling of the origin of food and food ingredients is currently under discussion in Europe as part of a regulation on the provision of food information to consumers. As part of the process of negotiating these regulations we have had representations from both industry and consumers on improving the clarity of origin labelling.

Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the voluntary food labelling scheme. [60823]

Mr Paice: On 26 May 2011 we published a benchmark evaluation of the uptake of the food industry's voluntary principles on the provision of country of origin information.

www.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/food/labelling/country-origin/

The evaluation showed a variation in the uptake of the principles with “own brands” having a significantly higher level of uptake than branded foods. Overall, a relatively high number of meat and dairy products gave some form of origin labelling.

I welcome the industry's commitment to the principles and its continuing efforts to improve uptake. We will carry out a further comparative evaluation next year.

Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her European counterparts on the reform of legislation on country of origin food labelling. [60824]

Mr Paice: Country of origin labelling is one of the issues under discussion in the negotiations on a new regulation on the provision of food information to consumers. The UK is actively negotiating these regulations. As part those negotiations the Department has had discussion with European colleagues at various levels, from ministerial council meetings to expert group meetings.

Origin Marking: Israel

Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 24 May 2011, Official Report, column 548W, on origin marking: Israel, whether her Department's

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voluntary labelling guidelines apply to

(a)

wine produced in Barkan and other settlements and

(b)

processed foods. [60552]

Mr Paice: The voluntary labelling guidelines referred to by the hon. Member apply to all food and drink, including wine and processed foods, originating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As the guidelines make clear, there are specific EU labelling requirements attached to certain agricultural products, including wine. The Barkan winery, to which the hon. Member refers, has for several years been situated at Hulda, within the internationally-recognised territory of Israel, and not at the settlement of Barkan in the West Bank.

Pigmeat

Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of bacon sold in the UK came from pigs that had been (a) bred, reared and processed in the UK, (b) bred and reared abroad and then processed in the UK and (c) bred, reared and processed abroad in the last year for which figures are available. [60822]

Mr Paice: Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) figures for 2010 show that a total of 406,000 tonnes of bacon was sold in the UK. 31% of this came from pigs bred, reared and processed in the UK (126,000 tonnes). For the remainder (280,000 tonnes), we are unable to differentiate whether the bacon has come from pigs bred and reared abroad and then processed in the UK, or bred, reared and processed abroad.

Source:

EBLEX/AHDB—A pocketful of meat facts 2011

Trees: Brighton

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps she is taking in conjunction with the designated authorities in the Brighton and East Sussex Dutch elm disease control area to safeguard the area's elm tree population; [60165]

(2) if she will make it her policy to support proposals to protect the national elm collection by conferring UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status on Preston Park, Brighton; [60166]

(3) if she will take steps to protect the oldest remaining English elms, the Preston Park Twins. [60167]

Mr Paice: The authorities in the Brighton and East Sussex Dutch elm control area have the legislative powers necessary to safeguard the area's elm population. These powers are set out in the Dutch Elm Disease (Local Authorities) Order 1984.

Brighton and Hove's application for Biosphere Reserve status will be considered against the UNESCO criteria and, if appropriate, endorsed by the UK Man and the Biosphere Committee of which DEFRA is a member. The final decision on any application rests with UNESCO. However, such a designation would not of itself affect the legal powers already available to local authorities to protect elms.

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Waste Prevention Fund

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what funding her Department plans to allocate to the Waste Prevention Fund in each of the next four years; [61018]

(2) how much funding from the public purse has been allocated to the Waste and Resources Action Programme's mixed plastics loan fund in each of the last four years; and how much funding she has allocated in each of the next three years. [61019]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA allocates a grant on an annual basis to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to deliver a programme of work for England. We set out what we want WRAP to deliver in our Strategic Steer, but WRAP is responsible for allocating its budget to achieve the outcomes we specify.

WRAP is currently developing the Waste Prevention Fund, and has allocated £1 million to it.

The Mixed Plastic Loans Fund was established by WRAP in 2010-11 with funding of £2 million.

As with all of WRAP'S programmes, WRAP will evaluate the funds on an ongoing basis to ensure that they provides good value for money.

Wildlife: Circuses

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place in the Library a copy of the legal advice she has received on the use of wild animals in circuses. [60944]

Mr Paice: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), has considered the request for the release of legal advice provided to her in relation to the issue of wild animals in circuses. The advice is protected by legal professional privilege and the Government's position is that they do not ordinarily waive the legal privilege attaching to any legal advice received and the Secretary of State does not propose to do so on this occasion.

Defence

Armed Forces: Injuries

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what collaborative work his Department is undertaking with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency on trauma injury treatment. [61164]

Mr Robathan: While the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) is not currently engaged in any collaborative research work with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the MOD is working in the area of trauma injury treatment with other United States Department of Defense (US DoD) areas. Examples are as follows:

Peripheral vascular trauma: Reperfusion strategies after vascular repair. Assessing the use of Erythropoietin (EPO) and statin to mitigate reperfusion injury in a model of hind limb ischaemia.

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USA Collaborator: United States Armed Forces (USAF) Wilford Hall, Texas.

Development of a novel quality of limb tool to assess patient based functional outcomes following limb-threatening injury.

USA Collaborator: USAF Wilford Hall, Texas.

Temporary vascular shunting and strategies for mitigation of reperfusion injury.

USA Collaborator: USAF Wilford Hall, Texas.

Post-operational deployment Mental Health Screening study.

US DoD.

In addition, following the recent visit by President Obama we have set up a UK/US taskforce with the express aim of leveraging best practice from each other on medical and personnel issues.

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what collaborative work his Department is undertaking with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory on trauma injury treatment. [61165]

Mr Robathan: Current areas of research undertaken collaboratively with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) on trauma injury are:

Addressing pre- and in-hospital fluid resuscitation strategies (with and without adjuncts) and their impact on, for example, survival, physiology, immunology and clotting;

Addressing potential treatment strategies for blast injury and their effects on physiology and inflammation;

Investigating the mechanism of blast brain and assessment of potential biomarkers;

Investigating the impact of blast on vascular injury; and

Assessment of anti-microbial wound dressings in a military setting.

Specific ongoing work strands are:

Trauma coagulopathy;

Battlefield pain management;

Limb trauma, vascular endothelial changes following blast injuries;

Reperfusion injury;

Markers of oedema (HIF1);

Morphine in a human volunteer model of hypovolemic trauma;

Effects of supplementary oxygen and recombinant activated factor VIIa on coagulopathy after trauma;

High efficiency supplemental oxygen mask to enable effective medical use of oxygen supplies in theatre and enhance physical and mental performance of personnel operating at altitude;

Developing a non-linear method of trauma outcome prediction;

Thromboelastogram (TEG) in goal-directed management of trauma coagulopathy;

TEG changes with resuscitation/fibrinolysis after trauma;

Near Infra-Red Spectroscopy (NIRS) in the assessment of major haemorrhage and trauma;

Developing complex extremity wound model and evaluation of dressings, fracture fixation and infection.

Armed Forces: Recruitment

Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent progress he has made on plans to outsource armed forces recruitment to the private sector. [60714]

Mr Robathan: All three services have an extensive array of contracts to support their recruiting process.

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The Army has set up a Recruiting Partnering Project (RPP) to outsource its recruitment. It is anticipated that an invitation for bidders to submit their final tenders will be issued later this year.

The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force already outsource discrete elements of their recruiting and assessment processes, such as contact centre services, medical and fitness testing and various marketing and advertising activities.

Defence: Research

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department’s policy is on the release into the public domain of classified research undertaken at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory; [61166]

(2) what process his Department uses to determine whether new UK military research and development projects should be classified. [61168]

Peter Luff: The Government protective marking system, which is used by Government Departments and agencies, is designed to protect sensitive material. Once applied, the marking values the material in terms of the damage likely to result were it comprised and determines the level of protection required to secure it. Protectively marked material, including “classified research,” is not releasable into the public domain.

As a trading fund of the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is required to comply with that system.

Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department is taking to ensure that military research and development expertise is disseminated to other Government Departments and agencies. [61167]

Peter Luff: Strong links exist across Government and the chief scientific advisers from Departments; they and their officials meet regularly. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has increased its exchanges with the security sector following the development of the National Security Strategy, and the Strategic Defence and Security Review. The “Equipment, Support, and Technology for UK Defence and Security” consultation paper explored these issues in more detail. A White Paper will be produced later in the year.

Ex-servicemen: Military Decorations

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many veterans' badges his Department has issued in each parliamentary constituency in each year since the scheme's inception. [60767]

Mr Robathan: This information is not held in the format requested.

As at 31 May 2011, 836,659 veterans' lapel badges have been recorded as being issued to former members of the armed forces and entitled dependants.

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HMS Endurance

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence where HMS Endurance is berthed; and if he will make a statement. [61290]

Peter Luff: HMS Endurance is berthed in Portsmouth naval base.

HMS Protector

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the length is of the contract to rent HMS Protector; and if he will make a statement. [61085]

Peter Luff: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 15 June 2011, Official Report, columns 830-31W, to the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson).

Rescue Services

Sir Alan Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress his Department has made on (a) replacement of the Sea King search and rescue helicopter and (b) the future provision of search and rescue capability; and if he will make a statement. [59921]

Peter Luff: Following the cancellation of the previous procurement process on 8 February 2011, the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Defence are considering the potential procurement options to meet the future requirements for search and rescue helicopters in the United Kingdom, including replacement of the Sea Kings. We will make a further announcement once a way forward has been agreed.

Departmental Contracts: Scotland

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of contracts issued by (a) his Department and (b) agencies for which he is responsible were awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises in (i) Scotland, (ii) South Lanarkshire and (iii) Rutherglen and Hamilton West constituency in the latest period for which figures are available. [60197]

Peter Luff: No reliable or comprehensive figure is available. Such information as we do possess does not include payments made by Government Procurement Card or payments for goods and services agreed locally by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and suppliers, as in both cases, neither the location of the work nor whether a supplier is a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) is recorded.

There is no central store of data which would allow the calculation of a separate estimate for agencies and therefore this information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, in this context, and based on a sample of contracts, we estimate that around 50 of the circa 6,000 new contracts placed directly by the MOD in 2010-11 across the UK are known to have been awarded to Scottish-based SMEs. Significantly, this figure does not include contracts and payments made by the MOD's prime contractors through their supply chain, which are extensive and include a high proportion of SMEs.

22 Jun 2011 : Column 302W

The location of work data held on MOD systems does not align with parliamentary constituencies and thus does not allow for separate calculations for South Lanarkshire and Rutherglen and Hamilton West to be made.

The Department values highly the contribution of SMEs to defence, who often bring a level of innovation and flexibility that cannot be replicated by larger companies. Following the consultation Green Paper on “Equipment Support and Technology for UK Defence and Security” issued in December, the MOD is developing a number of proposals to improve access to defence contract opportunities for small businesses, and these will be set out in a Defence White Paper later this year.

Trident Submarines

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 28 February, Official Report, column 82, on nuclear weapons, whether any part of the £59 million spent on United States high steam generators and technology contributed to the design of the PWR3 Trident reactor. [60543]

Peter Luff: Of the £59 million, £25 million has contributed solely to the PWR3 reactor concept design work. The remaining £34 million was spent on work and technology in support of the wider next generation propulsion plant concept phase assessment and design work.

United Kingdom Hydrographic Office

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) establishment and (b) budget of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office is; and what plans he has for its future. [60523]

Mr Robathan: The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) manpower establishment for financial year 2011-12 is 1,152 average full-time equivalent.

The UKHO is expected to receive £11.977 million from voted funds for 2011-12, in order to fund the national hydrographic programme, defence specific requirements and the purchase of standard products by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Total turnover of the UKHO for the year ended 31 March 2010 was £116.6 million.

The asset management review that took place last year concluded that the UKHO will remain an Executive agency of the MOD and operate as a trading fund. It has since been confirmed that the additional marketing, information management and technology, external assistance and recruitment constraints imposed in May 2010 have been removed and the UKHO can now operate fully within the governance of the framework document.

Women and Equalities

Equalities Act 2010

Dr Huppert: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what plans she has to (a) bring into force those sections of the Equalities Act 2010 that have

22 Jun 2011 : Column 303W

not been brought into force and

(b)

bring forward legislative proposals to amend the Equalities Act 2010. [61328]

Lynne Featherstone [holding answer 21 June 2011]: The Government have already announced that they do not intend to take forward the Act's provisions on the socio-economic duty (sections 1-3), dual discrimination (section 14), and schedule 20 (certification and enforcement regime for rail accessibility). We will not commence section 78 (gender pay gap information) while we are working with business and others to ensure a voluntary approach is successful. We have been consulting on age discrimination in services, civil partnerships on religious premises and specific public sector equality duties. We will decide whether or not to commence the Act's remaining provisions, in the light of what we consider best for business and other interested parties.

We have already announced our intention to consult on harassment of employees by third parties. Any further proposals to amend the Act will reflect the outcome of its review as part of the Red Tape Challenge and would need to go through the normal procedures. We have made clear that there is no intention to abolish the Act or to dilute the protections it offers.

Crime

Mr Burley: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what steps her Department is taking to reduce the incidence of hate crime against people with a learning disability. [60811]

Lynne Featherstone: Everyone should have the freedom to live their lives free from fear of targeted hostility or harassment, and the Government take all forms of hate crime very seriously, including those committed against people with a learning disability. We are working with

22 Jun 2011 : Column 304W

the police, disabled people's organisations and others to improve the reporting and recording of disability hate crime, and to better protect repeat and vulnerable victims.

Treasury

Corporation Tax: Tax Avoidance

Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 19 May 2011, Official Report, column 324W, if he will commission an assessment of the corporation tax gap attributable to avoidance by small and medium-sized businesses based in the UK. [60941]

Mr Gauke: HMRC's most recent estimates of tax gaps were published in “Measuring Tax Gaps 2010”

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/measuring-tax-gaps-2010.htm.pdf

in September 2010. HMRC continues to review the methodologies used to produce tax gap estimates in the light of new information and data with the intention of producing finer levels of analysis of the tax gap in future publications. This will include more robust analysis of the taxpayer behaviours underlying the tax gap.

Departmental Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what regulations his Department introduced between 1 March 2011 and 31 May 2011; and what the estimated costs of implementation for those affected were in each case. [60334]

Justine Greening: Between 1 March 2011 and 31 May 2011, the Treasury has introduced the following statutory instruments:

Statutory instrument number Name of regulation introduced Costs/Savings and further information

No. 2011/593

The Mutual Societies (Electronic Communications) Order 2011

There are no costs of implementation. In conjunction with the Friendly Societies (Proxy Voting) Regulations 2011 this results in savings of £10.2 million per year.

No. 2011/883

The Friendly Societies (Proxy Voting) Regulations 2011

There are no costs of implementation. These revoked the Friendly Societies (Proxy Voting) Regulations 1993, but all the provisions in the 1993 regulations were included with amendments to allow electronic communications

No. 2011/605

The Libya (Asset- Freezing) Regulations 2011

There are no costs of implementation.

No. 2011/887

The Egypt (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011

There are no costs of implementation.

No. 2011/888

The Tunisia (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011

There are no costs of implementation.

No. 2011/1086

The Ivory Coast (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011

There are no costs of implementation.

No. 2011/1094

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011

There are no costs of implementation.

No. 2011/1129

The Iran (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011

There are no costs of implementation.

No. 2011/1244

The Syria (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011

There are no costs of implementation.

No. 2011/783

The National Savings Bank (Amendment) Regulations 2011

There are no costs of implementation.

No. 2011/1306

The First Option Bonds (Exchange of Securities) Rules 2011

There are no costs of implementation.

No. 2011/826

The Pensions Increase (Modification) Regulations 2011

There are no costs of implementation.

No. 2011/827

The Pensions Increase (Review) Order 2011

There are no costs of compliance.

No. 2011/1301

The Investment Bank Special Administration (England and Wales) Rules 2011

There are no costs of implementation.

22 Jun 2011 : Column 305W

22 Jun 2011 : Column 306W

No. 2011/1336

The Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act 2010 (Permanent Effect) Order 2011

There are no additional costs of implementation. This measure continues a system put in place in 2010. Since it is renewing an existing provision, it does not fall in scope of One In One Out. Annual costs of the original measure were estimated to be £26 million a year, with benefits of £26 million for heavily indebted poor countries.

No. 2011/723

The Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 (Estimates and Accounts) Order 2011.

This statutory instrument was laid but is not regulatory.

No. 2011/1268

The Whole of Government Accounts (Designation of Bodies) Order 2011.

This statutory instrument was laid but is not regulatory.

No. 2011/892

The Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011 (Commencement No.1) Order 2011.

This statutory instrument was laid but is not regulatory.

Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the name is of each regulatory measure revoked by his Department between 1 March and 31 May 2011; and what estimate he has made of the potential annual saving to those affected by each revocation. [60494]

Justine Greening: Between 1 March 2011 and 31 May 2011, the Treasury has introduced the following statutory instruments which include revocations of previous regulations:

Statutory instrument number Name of regulation revoked Costs/savings Further information

No. 2011/883

The Friendly Societies (Proxy Voting) Regulations 1993

Savings of £10.2 million per year in conjunction with the Mutual Societies (Electronic Communications) Order 2011

The Friendly Societies (Proxy Voting) Regulations 2011 revoked the Friendly Societies (Proxy Voting) Regulations 1993 (as of 1 October 2011), but all the provisions in the 1993 regulations were included with amendments to allow electronic communications

       

No. 2011/1265

Companies (Single Member Private Limited Companies) Regulations 1992 and Companies (Single Member Private Limited Companies) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1992

No estimated potential saving or costs

Article 32 of the Companies Act 2006 (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Order 2011 revokes the Companies (Single Member Private Limited Companies) Regulations 1992 and the Companies (Single Member Private Limited Companies) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1992

Departmental Travel

Maria Eagle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much each Executive agency of his Department has spent on travel by (a) private hire vehicles, (b) trains, (c) buses, (d) commercial aircraft and (e) private aircraft since May 2010; [56075]

(2) how much has been spent on travel in respect of (a) each of his Department's Executive agencies and (b) the chief executive of each such agency since May 2010. [56177]

Justine Greening: The information requested for the Treasury's Executive agencies, the Debt Management Office and the Asset Protection Agency, between May 2010 and 31 March 2011 is shown in the following table.

£000

DMO APA

Total travel spending

44

28

Of which:

   

Taxis

3

2

Trains

9

1

Buses

0

0

Commercial aircraft

31

26

Private aircraft

0

0

Chief Executive

(1)17

1

(1 )A breakdown of this cost can be found on the DMO website: http://www.dmo.gov.uk/documentview.aspx?docname=publications/corpgovernance/BusinessExpenses2010-11.pdf&page=corporate_governance/Documents

Mutual Societies

Mr Love: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has had discussions with the Financial Services Authority on ensuring that its consultation requirements for any proposed rule change take account of the likely effects of the change on mutuals in the financial services sector. [60965]

Mr Hoban: The Financial Services Authority is required currently to assess the impact of proposed rules across

22 Jun 2011 : Column 307W

all regulated firms, including mutuals, as part of the cost benefit analysis which it must publish alongside draft rules.

The Government now propose to strengthen these arrangements with respect to mutuals, as set out in the White Paper and draft Bill published on 16 June. The draft Bill includes provision requiring the new regulatory authorities to publish analysis of how draft rules may differentially affect mutual and non-mutual firms.

Child Poverty

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many children in each region were living in persistent poverty in each of the last five years; and if he will estimate the equivalent figures for each of the next five years. [60345]

Maria Miller: I have been asked to reply.

Estimates of the proportion of children living in persistent poverty are published in the Low Income Dynamics (LID) series. LID uses household income adjusted (or “equivalised”) for household size and composition, to provide a proxy for standard of living.

As they are based on survey data, child poverty estimates published in LID only allow breakdowns to UK level and analysis by region is not possible. However, figures for the UK are set out in the following table. The latest persistent poverty data cover 2005-08.

Persistent poverty is defined as the percentage of children living in relative low income for at least three out of the last four years. As a result the percentages shown in the table reflect the four-year period over which they were derived.

It is not possible to estimate persistent poverty by region for future years. Modelled tax and benefit reforms announced since Budget 2010 may have a small reduction in relative child poverty in 2011-12 and 2012-13 for the UK overall; however given the uncertainty around these types of estimates, this change may be on the edge of statistical significance.

Percentage of children living in persistent poverty before housing costs (BHC), UK
Period Persistent poverty (%)

2001-02

12

2002-05

11

2003-06

10

2004-07

10

2005-08

12

Notes: 1. These statistics are based on Low Income Dynamics (LID) data sourced from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). This uses disposable household income, adjusted using modified McClements equivalisation factors for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living. 2. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to uncertainty. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response. 3. These statistics are based on incomes before housing costs. 4. These statistics are publicly available in the Low income Dynamics on the DWP website: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/hbai/low_income/low_income_dynamics_1991-2008.pdf Source: Low Income Dynamics, DWP

22 Jun 2011 : Column 308W

Tax Avoidance

Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the level of avoidance of each direct and indirect tax in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12 to date. [60986]

Mr Gauke: Estimates for the level of avoidance in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 are not available.

The latest estimate is that avoidance accounted for 17.5% of the total tax gap in 2007-08, approximately £7 billion. This estimate was published in “Measuring Tax Gaps 2010” in September 2010:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/measuring-tax-gaps-2010.htm.pdf

HMRC continues to review the methodologies used to produce tax gap estimates in the light of new information and data with the intention of producing finer levels of analysis of the tax gap in the future.

Tax Evasion

Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the level of evasion of each direct and indirect tax in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12 to date. [60985]

Mr Gauke: Estimates for the level of evasion in 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 are not available.

The latest estimate is that evasion accounted for 17.5% of the total tax gap in 2007-08, approximately £7 billion. This estimate was published in “Measuring Tax Gaps 2010” in September 2010:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/measuring-tax-gaps-2010.htm.pdf

HMRC continues to review the methodologies used to produce tax gap estimates in the light of new information and data with the intention of producing finer levels of analysis of the tax gap in the future.

Work and Pensions

Child Poverty

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to paragraph 1.10 of his Department's publication “A new approach to child poverty”, how many people in each (a) region and (b) parliamentary constituency are recorded as being in multiple disadvantage. [60437]

Maria Miller: The child poverty strategy “A new approach to child poverty: tackling the causes of disadvantage and transforming families’ lives” references the ‘State of the Nation’ report. The “State of the Nation report”(1) contains information about the prevalence and trends of multiple disadvantage and highlights those most at risk at a national level. The number of people suffering from multiple disadvantage is not available at a regional or a constituency level.

National estimates of the number of families with multiple problems are available from the Families and Children Survey. This information is not available by region or constituency.

22 Jun 2011 : Column 309W

(1) Cabinet Office (2010) “State of the Nation” based on analysis by strategy unit and social exclusion task force using BHPS 2007 data. Being at risk of multiple disadvantage entails being disadvantaged at any one time in three or more of six areas from the wider definition of multiple disadvantage which uses the following indicators: either live in a workless household or are unemployed; are either in income poverty or material disadvantage or financial stress; lack social support; either have poor physical or mental health; either live in poor housing or a poor living environment; have low qualifications.

Access to Work Programme

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) the north-east and (b) the city of Sunderland participated in the Access to Work programme in each year since 2007. [59932]

Maria Miller: The following table shows the number of individuals helped on the Access to Work programme each year since April 2007 and up to 31 December 2010(1, 2):

(1) Figures for Sunderland central parliamentary constituency are included within Sunderland local authority

(2) Source: Access to Work database. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

Area 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 Q1, Q2and Q3 2010-11

North East Government Office Region

1,760

1,890

2,190

1,810

Sunderland local authority

200

200

240

190

Sunderland central parliamentary constituency

70

70

90

70

Great Britain

27,720

32,130

37,300

32,680

Child Maintenance

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to develop an integrated network of local support services to help parents make maintenance arrangements on separation; and if he will make a statement. [60756]

Maria Miller: The Government set out their vision for the child maintenance system in the Green Paper “Strengthening families, promoting parental responsibility: the future of child maintenance”. The consultation period ended on 7 April. The proposals seek to encourage parents to recognise their ongoing responsibilities following separation, and to support more separating families to work together to make arrangements that are in the best interests of their children.

Our discussions with the voluntary and community sector during the consultation period indicate that the vision to join up existing support to families, including support available locally, is shared by this sector. While excellent support already exists, it can be difficult for parents to access it when they need it.

We are working with the voluntary and community sector to understand how best to facilitate the joining up of local support, as well as working closely with the Department for Education as we build the evidence

22 Jun 2011 : Column 310W

base on what support is most effective for different families. The Government are also awaiting the findings of the child poverty pilots to understand what approaches to co-locating services together are most effective in supporting separating families.

We aim to publish the Government's response to the consultation shortly.

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will assess the merits of increasing the use of direct payment of child maintenance by deduction from earnings. [60759]

Maria Miller: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.

Letter from Noel Shanahan:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will assess the merits of increasing the use of direct payment of child maintenance by deduction from earnings. [60759]

Deduction from Earnings Orders are an effective means of collecting child maintenance either through a non-resident parent opting for this method of payment or where it is imposed following a non-resident parent's continued refusal to pay by other means.

However, imposing these orders more frequently could place an unreasonable burden of additional work on employers and increase the administrative cost of operating the statutory child maintenance system.

The Government wants to encourage parents to work together, and where possible, make arrangements for child maintenance between themselves. .However, for cases where family-based arrangements are not appropriate or have broken down there will still be access to the statutory scheme which will use all the powers at its disposal to secure regular payment of child maintenance.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

Departmental ICT

Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to promote visual data security in his Department; and what training his Department provides to its officials in respect of the management of visual data security. [60914]

Chris Grayling: The Department takes most seriously its statutory responsibilities to ensure that personal data and other sensitive information are properly safeguarded.

The vast majority of information used by the Department is stored, handled and processed on secure premises, which therefore reduces the risk of inappropriate viewing by third parties.

All employees are required to undergo annual training to remind them of their individual responsibilities to protect information while on and off the Department's premises, so as to prevent unauthorised access or viewing by third parties.

However, where risk assessments indicate that additional steps are required, these will include a range of measures, including, for example, the use of privacy filters for portable computers, and restricting employee use of personal phones during working time.

22 Jun 2011 : Column 311W

The Department requires that all portable electronic media such as laptops are encrypted to the relevant standard, so as to additionally protect the information they contain.

Disability Living Allowance

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants of (a) incapacity benefit, (b) disability living allowance and (c) severe disablement allowance in respect of each type of disability there were in each year since 2006; and how much was spent in each category in each such year. [53367]

Maria Miller: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available has been placed in the Library.

Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether recipients of disability living allowance may work for up to 16 hours per week. [60043]

Maria Miller: Disability living allowance is paid in or out of work. This principle will be preserved in the new benefit—personal independence payment.

22 Jun 2011 : Column 312W

Disability: Bassetlaw

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people of working age in Bassetlaw constituency his Department recognises as having a disability. [51253]

Maria Miller: Figures regarding the number of disabled people in the UK are estimated using the Family Resources Survey. Owing to sample size restrictions, figures can be provided only at regional level, therefore we cannot provide an estimate of the number of disabled people of working age in the Bassetlaw constituency.

Employment and Support Allowance

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of benefit claimants received (a) income and (b) contribution-based (i) employment and support allowance and (ii) jobseeker's allowance in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency in the last year for which figures are available. [60895]

Chris Grayling: The information requested is given as follows.

Jobseeker's allowance claimants in the Bexleyheath and Crayford parliamentary constituency by type and percentage

Total Contributory based only % of contributory only cases Income based and contributory based % of contributory and income based cases Income based only % of income based only cases No benefit in payment % of nil benefit cases

February 2010

1,800

*300

17

1,100

61

*400

22

May 2010

1,700

*200

12

1,100

65

*400

24

August 2010

1,600

*200

13

1,200

75

*200

13

November 2010

1,700

*400

24

1,200

71

*100

6

“—” Denotes nil or negligible. Notes: 1. Caseloads are rounded to the nearest 100. 2. Figures are based on 5% sample data. All figures are subject to a degree of sampling variation. 3. Numbers marked “*” are based on very few sample cases and are subject to a high degree of sampling variation, therefore these figures should be used as a guide only. 4. Caseload figures have been uprated by using 5% proportions against 100% Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study data. 5. Percentages are shown to the nearest whole number. 6. Income based only category includes hardship cases. Source: Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate, 5% samples
Employment and support allowance claimants in the Bexleyheath and Crayford parliamentary constituency by type and percentage

Total Contributory based only % of contributory only cases Income based and contributory based % of contributory and income based cases Income based only % of income based only cases No benefit in payment % of nil benefit cases

February 2010

500

140

28

30

6

230

46

100

20

May 2010

640

180

28

50

8

300

47

120

19

August 2010

690

210

30

60

9

320

46

110

16

November 2010

740

210

28

70

9

360

49

100

14

Notes: 1. Employment and support allowance (ESA) replaced incapacity benefit for new claims from October 2008. 2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 3. Percentages are shown to the nearest whole number. Source: DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% data

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many recipients of contributory employment and support allowance in the Work-Related Activity Group have as a primary or other medical condition (a) Parkinson's disease, (b) multiple sclerosis and (c) a severe visual impairment or are registered blind; and in each case how many have been in receipt of the benefit, including any period in the assessment phase, for one year or more. [61438]

22 Jun 2011 : Column 313W

Chris Grayling: Entitlement to employment and support allowance (ESA) is based on an assessment of functional capability, not on medical condition or diagnosis. The medical condition recorded on a claim form does not therefore in itself confer entitlement to ESA. So, for example, a decision on entitlement for a customer claiming ESA on the basis of Parkinson's disease would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities assessed by the Work Capability assessment. It is also important to note that, where someone has more than one diagnosis or disabling condition, only the predominant one is currently recorded.

From April 2012 onwards, it is proposed that claimants of contributory ESA in the assessment phase or Work Related Activity Group will have their contributory benefit time-limited to 12 months. However, for those who leave contributory ESA as a result of the time limit, it is estimated that around 60%, or approximately 400,000 people, are expected to be fully or partially compensated by income-related ESA, so will retain entitlement to ESA.

People in the Support Group will not have their benefit time-limited because they have the most severe health conditions or impairments and are the least likely to move into work. People receiving income-related ESA will not have their benefit time-limited.

There will be some people leaving the benefit because their health improves; others’ health will deteriorate and they will move from the WRAG into the Support Group. Those claimants that remain in the WRAG will include claimants whose conditions fluctuate or who have developed other functional impairments.

The following tables show the number of claimants in receipt of contributory ESA in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) phase, the Support Group phase and the assessment phase by main disabling condition and duration, as at November 2010.

Contributory ESA claimants in the WRAG by health condition and duration, November 2010
Primary health condition Total claimants Duration of one year or more

Parkinson's disease

300

190

Multiple sclerosis

1,030

680

Blindness and low vision

380

210

All other health conditions

79,950

47,680

Contributory ESA claimants in the Support Group by health condition and duration, November 2010
Primary health condition Total claimants Duration of one year or more

Parkinson's disease

200

140

Multiple sclerosis

830

550

Blindness and low vision

70

40

All other health conditions

27,600

15,090

Contributory ESA claimants in the assessment phase by health condition and duration, November 2010
Primary health condition Total claimants Duration of one year or more

Parkinson's disease

230

30

Multiple sclerosis

630

90

22 Jun 2011 : Column 314W

Blindness and low vision

150

20

All other health conditions

129,510

21,530

Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Payment type: The type of ESA is defined as payment status as at end November 2010—this may differ to the status at the start or end of the claim. 3. Employment and support allowance (ESA) replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2008. 4. Phase of ESA claim is derived from payment details held on the source system. The three phases are assessment phase, Work Related Activity phase and Support Group phase. Source: DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% data.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of recipients of (a) contributory employment and support allowance in the Work-Related Activity Group and (b) contributory jobseekers' allowance have paid qualifying National Insurance contributions for (i) five years or more, (ii) 10 years or more and (iii) 15 years or more. [61439]

Chris Grayling: Information on the amount of national insurance contributions paid by contributory employment and support allowance/jobseeker's allowance claimants could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Income Support: Lone Parents

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many lone parents on income support are eligible for fee remission on the basis of their benefit eligibility; and what estimate he has made of the equivalent figure in September 2011. [61355]

Maria Miller: The Government recognise the importance that education and training can play in helping people find work and are committed to making sure that appropriate publicly-funded support is available for those who are required to engage in the labour market as a condition of receiving benefits.

All lone parents on income support in England are currently eligible to have any work-related training offered via Jobcentre Plus fully funded by public funds. The training offered will vary by location.

From August 2011, lone parents in England who have a basic literacy or numeracy need will be eligible for the fully-funded training that is available to all regardless of benefit status. Adults who need a first NVQ level 2 qualification, who they are aged 19 to 24 years old and need a first NVQ level 3, will also be eligible to receive fully-funded training. Other training will no longer attract full fee remission. Lone parents in receipt of income support who commenced training in the current academic year and who are still engaged in this training in August will be able to complete their training on a fully-funded basis.

22 Jun 2011 : Column 315W

Lone parents who are in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance will continue to be eligible for full fee-remission for training that will help them gain the skills required in the local labour market.

Early estimates for the number of lone parents on income support in Great Britain in April 2011 is 600,000. As of April 2011 there were 118,195 lone parents in receipt of jobseeker's allowance (DWP official statistics).

A forecast of the number of lone parents in receipt of either income support or jobseeker's allowance in September 2011 is not available.

Jobcentre Plus

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Jobcentre Plus officials at what locations have been made compulsorily redundant since May 2007. [60363]

Chris Grayling: No Jobcentre Plus staff have been made compulsorily redundant since May 2007.

Jobcentre Plus: Scotland

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether Jobcentre Plus has entered into any sale and leaseback arrangements for its buildings in Scotland in the last five years; [60365]

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of disposal of the Jobcentre Plus centre in Ayr; [60369]

(3) what funding his Department has allocated for capital expenditure on the Jobcentre Plus contact centre in Ayr in each of the last six years. [60371]

Chris Grayling: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Darra Singh. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Darra Singh:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking whether Jobcentre Plus has entered into any sale and leaseback arrangements for its buildings in Scotland over the last five years; what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of disposal of the Jobcentre Plus centre in Ayr and what funding his Department has allocated for capital expenditure on the Jobcentre Plus contact centre in Ayr in each of the last six years. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

DWP does not own its own estate. The Department signed a 20 year Private Finance Initiative contract with Telereal Trillium in 1998 for the provision of fully fitted and serviced accommodation for which the Department pays an all inclusive unitary charge. As such the closure of the Jobcentre Plus centre in Ayr will reduce the overall cost of the contract and any costs incurred in the disposal will be recouped within an approved period.

The contract with Telereal Trillium means that our estates partner is responsible for maintaining all of our sites to the required standard. There has been no other capital investment in the Jobcentre Plus Contact Centre in Clydebank in the last six years.

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effects of the closure of the Jobcentre Plus centre in Ayr on the provision of client services in that area. [60368]

22 Jun 2011 : Column 316W

Chris Grayling: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Darra Singh. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Darra Singh:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what assessment he has made of the effects of the closure of the Jobcentre Plus centre in Ayr on the provision of client services in that area. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Ayr Benefit Centre processes Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit on behalf of Jobcentre Plus. It is one of five centres across the country that handle this work. This means that Ayr Benefit Centre deals with claims and changes of circumstance from all over Great Britain, rather than just the local area. Therefore, there should be no impact on client services within the area, and this work will be transferred to another Benefit Centre within our network.

Jobseeker's Allowance

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 31 January 2011, Official Report, columns 587-8W, on jobseeker's allowance, whether his Department has revised its projection of the (a) jobseeker's allowance claimant count, (b) jobseeker's allowance claimant counted aged 16 to 24 years old, (c) average weekly jobseeker's allowance payment and (d) average weekly jobseeker's allowance payments to those claimants aged 16 to 24 years old in (i) 2011-12, (ii) 2012-13, (iii) 2013-14 and (iv) 2014-15. [61185]

Chris Grayling: The Department does not produce forecasts of unemployment. The Department produces projections for business planning purposes which are aligned to the overall independent claimant count forecasts published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) as part of the Budget 2011 Forecast.

The information available is shown in the following table.


2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15

OBR claimant count (UK, thousand)

1,553

1,509

1,397

1,281

Projected 16-24 case load (GB, thousand)

378

340

320

303

Average payment (£ per week)

62.11

65.16

66.65

68.01

Notes: 1. Claimant count figures represent an average point-in-time caseload for each financial year. 2. These figures do not take into account any effect from the Work Programme. 3. These figures include the effects of recent welfare reforms, such as the reassessment of incapacity benefit claimants, which have a lesser effect on those aged 16-24. 4. Figures are subject to a significant degree of uncertainty. Sources: OBR and DWP internal planning

The Department does not make any projection of the average benefit payment for 16 to 24-year-olds.

Jobseeker's Allowance: Scotland

Mr Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of (a) jobseeker's allowance claimants working less than

22 Jun 2011 : Column 317W

16 hours a week and

(b)

income support claimants are in part-time education or training in (i) Central Ayrshire constituency and (ii) Scotland. [61338]

Chris Grayling: The information requested is not available.

Child Poverty

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many children were living in households with both (a) low income and (b) material deprivation in each region in each of the last five years; and if he will estimate the equivalent figures for each of the next five years; [60346]

(2) how many children were living in relative low income households in each region in each of the last five years; and what his estimate is of the equivalent numbers in each of the next five years. [60353]

22 Jun 2011 : Column 318W

Maria Miller: Estimates of the number and proportion of children living in poverty are published in the households below average Income (HBAI) series. HBAI uses household income adjusted (or “equivalised”) for household size and composition, to provide a proxy for standard of living.

The Government's measure of material deprivation combines material deprivation and low income. The following table shows the number and percentage of children living in (a) relative poverty, before housing costs (BHC) and (b) combined material deprivation and low income (BHC) in each region. The following data cover 2005-06 to 2007-08 and 2007-08 to 2009-10.

It is not possible to estimate low income and material deprivation or relative low income by region for future years. Modelled tax and benefit reforms announced since Budget 2010 may have a small reduction in relative child poverty in 2011-12 and 2012-13 for the UK overall; however, given the uncertainty around these types of estimates, this change may be on the edge of statistical significance.

Number (million) and percentage
  Relative poverty Combined material deprivation and low income
  2005-06 to 2007-08 2006-07 to 2007-08 2007-08 to 2009-10 2005-06 to 2007-08 2006-07 to 2007-08 2007-08 to 2009-10
Region No. % No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %

England

2.4

22

2.4

22

2.3

21

1.8

17

1.8

17

1.8

17

North- east

0.1

28

0.1

28

0.1

26

0.1

20

0.1

20

0.1

21

North- west

0.4

27

0.4

26

0.4

25

0.3

20

0.3

21

0.3

22

Yorkshire and the Humber

0.3

26

0.3

26

0.3

26

0.2

17

0.2

19

0.2

20

East midlands

0.2

26

0.2

25

0.2

23

0.2

19

0.2

19

0.2

18

West midlands

0.3

27

0.3

29

0.3

29

0.2

21

0.2

21

0.3

22

East of England

0.2

15

0.2

16

0.2

16

0.1

10

0.1

11

0.1

11

London

0.4

23

0.4

22

0.3

20

0.3

21

0.3

19

0.3

16

South- east

0.3

15

0.3

15

0.2

14

0.2

11

0.2

11

0.2

10

South- west

0.2

18

0.2

17

0.2

16

0.1

13

0.1

14

0.1

13

Scotland

0.2

21

0.2

21

0.2

20

0.1

15

0.2

16

0.2

15

Wales

0.2

27

0.2

26

0.2

25

0.1

17

0.1

17

0.1

20

Northern Ireland

0.1

24

0.1

24

0.1

26

0.1

14

0.1

14

0.1

16

Notes: 1. These statistics are based on households below average income (HBAI) data sourced from the Family Resources Survey (FRS). This uses disposable household income, adjusted using modified OECD equivalisation factors for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living. 2. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to uncertainty. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response. 3. The reference period for households below average income figures are single financial years. Three survey years have been combined as regional single year estimates are subject to volatility. 4. Numbers of children in low-income households have been rounded to the nearest 100,000, while proportions have been rounded to the nearest percentage point. 5. These statistics are based on incomes before housing costs. 6. These statistics are publicly available in the households below average income report on the DWP website: http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?paqe=hbai 7. Each of the measures is defined as: Relative poverty is defined as children living in households with less than 60% of contemporary median household income. Low income and material deprivation: percentage of children living in households in material deprivation and with less than 70% of contemporary median household income. Source: Households below average income, DWP