Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 October 2011, Official Report, column 311W, on radiotherapy, how many of the members of the Specialised Service Transitional Oversight Group have a (a) medical and (b) financial background. 
Mr Simon Burns: Four members of Specialised Services Transitional Oversight Group have a medical background. Two members have been selected specifically for their clinical role namely David Black and Kathy McLean.
Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 October 2011, Official Report, column 310W, on radiotherapy, (1) and with reference to the first annual report of the radiotherapy dataset, if he will take steps to increase the allocation of resources for radiotherapy treatment to Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire; 
(2) and with reference to the National Radiotherapy Implementation Group report, Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Treatment (SBRT) Guidelines for Commissioners, Providers and Clinicians in England 2011, for what reasons his Department considers there are insufficient patients with early stage inoperable lung cancer each year to introduce a national SBRT lung cancer tariff; 
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over £150 million of additional funding until 2014-15. This funding, as well as existing funding for radiotherapy, is included in overall primary care trust (PCT) baseline allocations which amount to around £85 billion nationally.
The Secretary of State for Health does not mandate how much PCTs are to spend on particular services within, these overall allocations. PCTs including those which commission services for Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire, have local discretion to decide how to use their overall allocation to commission services, including radiotherapy services, to meet the health care needs of their local populations.
Work is under way nationally to develop radiotherapy tariffs and this will include consideration of a tariff for Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Treatment. The development and implementation of national tariffs for services such as radiotherapy is dependent on the existence and use of 'currencies' which describe the service being provided and which enable cost data to be collected, which is then used to underpin tariff prices. For some services with low activity volumes, setting a tariff on the basis of limited cost data may not be appropriate, in which case there would continue to be local agreement on price.
The “NHS Operating Framework 2011-12” states that the national health service is expected to implement the new Cancer Strategy and that commissioners should develop plans to ensure that local populations have appropriate access to radiotherapy treatment.
Stem Cells: Medical Treatments
John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many stem cell transplants were approved in each specialised commissioning group under (a) standard, (b) clinical option and (c) developmental category in each of the last five years. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether her Department has lost any (a) computers, (b) mobile telephones, (c) BlackBerrys and (d) other IT equipment since May 2010; and if she will make a statement. 
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Departmental Official Hospitality
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales at how many events organised by (a) charities, (b) other civil society groups, (c) businesses and (d) lobbying organisations Ministers and senior officials in her Department have given speeches in each month since May 2010; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr David Jones: The Secretary of State for Wales, and I, regularly speak at a variety of events hosted by a variety of organisations. Presenting the information in the format requested would incur disproportionate cost. Meetings with external organisations are listed on the Wales Office's website.
Animal Experiments: EU Law
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether draft regulations on the use of animals in scientific procedures transposing EU Directive 2010/63/EU into UK law will be open for public consultation during the process of implementation. 
Lynne Featherstone: Preliminary work on the preparation of draft legislation to transpose European Directive 2010/63/EU has begun. We will seek input from individuals and groups with an interest at appropriate points in the detailed drafting process.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed Tamil asylum seekers have been returned to Sri Lanka in each month since May 2010; and if she will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her assessment is of the extent of progress by the Greek government in implementing its National Action Plan for Managed Migration and
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Asylum Reform; and when she expects to be able to resume Dublin regulation returns of asylum seekers from the UK to Greece. 
Damian Green [holding answer 1 November 2011]: Since publication of the Greek Action Plan on Managed Migration and Asylum Reform last year there have been some notable improvements to the overall asylum system. These include an increase in the recognition of refugee status from less than 1% to 12% and improvements in training for decision makers, qualifications for interpreters and developments to reception facilities for unaccompanied minors. The Greek Ministry of Citizen Protection has also appointed directors for the newly established Asylum Service and First Reception Service which are due to be up and running next year.
However, there is still much more progress needed and the Government remain concerned about the lack of improvements to the poor detention conditions, particularly at the Greek-Turkish border. We will continue to apply pressure on Greece to treat this area as a matter of urgency.
Successful delivery of the Greek Action Plan will ensure that Greece meets its international obligations towards asylum seekers. We will monitor the situation and progress made. When it is clear to us that Greece is meeting its obligations in practice, and that as a result the criticisms detailed in the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights on 21 January 2011 in the case of MSS v. Belgium and Greece have been addressed, we will seek to resume Dublin Regulation returns.
Crimes of Violence: Young Offenders
Stella Creasy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many violent offences where the victim and perpetrator were under 18 years old were categorised as (a) detected, (b) undetected, (c) live and (d) victim declined to prosecute in each (i) London borough and (ii) police force area in each of the last five years. 
James Brokenshire [holding answer 1 November 2011]:The requested data on violent offences where the victim and the alleged perpetrator were under 18 years old are not available centrally, and could be collated only at disproportionate cost.
Damian Green: The Home Office commercial objectives require consultancy services to be commissioned in terms of defined output, not in terms of individuals assigned by the firms to deliver that output. Therefore, the Department does not employ individuals under contracts for consultancy services or keep records of how many individuals are working on each consultancy engagement. Carrying out an exercise to obtain these numbers would incur disproportionate cost.
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Deportation: North Africa
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were returned to (a) Libya, (b) Algeria and (c) Tunisia under the provisions of memoranda of understanding in each of the last five years. 
Damian Green: The following table shows the total number of removals and voluntary departures of Libyan, Algerian and Tunisian nationals from the UK to their respective countries of origin in each year from 2006 to 2010.
|Removals and voluntary departures (1,2) of Algerian, Libyan and Tunisian nationals to their country of origin (3) —January 2006 to December 2010|
|Number of departures|
|(1) Includes enforced removals, persons departing voluntarily after notifying the UK Border Agency of their intention to leave prior to their departure, persons leaving under Assisted Voluntary Return Programmes run by the International Organisation for Migration and persons who it has been established left the UK without informing the immigration authorities. (2) Removals and voluntary departures recorded on the system as at the dates on which the data extracts were taken. (3) Destination as recorded on source database. (4) Provisional figures. Figures may under record due to data cleansing and data matching exercises that take place after the extracts are taken.|
The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the number of persons removed or departed voluntarily from the UK within ‘Immigration Statistics’. The data on removals and voluntary departures are available in tables rv.01 to rv.08 from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Science, research and statistics web pages at:
Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Tier Four visa holders had left the UK on completion of their studies as of 1 September (a) 2009, (b) 2010 and (c) 2011. 
Damian Green: The UK Border Agency is not able to provide the information requested. The e-Borders system enables checks to be made on individuals arriving or exiting the country at a majority of the points of entry to the UK but will not be fully rolled out until 2015.
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations she has received on amending legislation in respect of the sale of fireworks to limit their purchase to one week before 5 November. 
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Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) she or (b) officials of her Department have met representatives of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to discuss their proposals in respect of the sale of fireworks. 
Neither I, nor officials within this Department, have met representatives of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to discuss their proposals in respect of the sale of fireworks.
Stella Creasy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many gangs have been identified in (a) each London borough and (b) each police force area in each of the last five years. 
James Brokenshire [holding answer 1 November 2011]:Data on gangs have not been systematically captured in the UK. However evidence suggests that gang membership is relatively rare though it can be a serious problem in specific areas. The Association of Chief Police Officers is undertaking an exercise to map gang activity in some forces in England, and will report by the end of the year.
Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 24 October 2011, Official Report, column 45W, on Hillsborough Stadium, whether papers submitted by South Yorkshire Police to the Government concerning the Hillsborough disaster will be treated as Government papers. 
Mrs May [holding answer 31 October 2011]:All papers held by Government in relation to the Hillsborough disaster, including papers submitted to Government by outside organisations, have been made available, in full and uncensored, to the Hillsborough Independent Panel.
Prisoners' Release: Foreign Nationals
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sentence and were not being detained for immigration purposes in
May 2009 and
May 2010. 
Damian Green [holding answer 1 November 2011]:In May 2009 there were 2,483 foreign national offenders who had not been removed at the end of their sentence and were not being detained for Immigration purposes. In May 2010, there were 3,808.
Energy and Climate Change
Carbon Emissions: EU Law
Gregory Barker: The UK's 2020 target of a reduction in greenhouse gases of at least 34%, as laid down under the Climate Change Act 2008 is consistent with the UK's share of the overall EU targets under the Climate and Energy package agreed on 12 December 2008, which sets the EU policy framework for the period 2013 to 2020.
The Government set the level for the fourth carbon budget (2023-27) at 1,950 MtCO2e, which is equivalent to an average reduction of 50% over the period, from the 1990 baseline. Meeting the fourth carbon budget depends on progress on the EU 2020 target up to 2020, the 2050 roadmap beyond and the UK share of the EU ETS. Whether or not we manage to reduce emissions by the amount required to meet carbon budgets will depend on the level of the UK's share of the EU ETS cap. The UK is pushing for the EU to show more ambition by moving to a tighter 2020 emissions target, which in turn will drive a more stringent EU ETS cap.
If by 2014 our UK commitments place us on a different emissions trajectory than the EU ETS trajectory agreed by the EU, we will, as appropriate, revise up our budget to align it with the actual EU trajectory.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many full-time equivalent staff are employed on consultancy contracts in his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 25 October 2011, Official Report, columns 185-86W, on departmental procurement, how many of the contracts referred to were for consultancy services; and if he will make a statement. 
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Gregory Barker: The Department for Energy and Climate Change is working with the Department for International Development to develop plans for UK engagement, including through the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Energy For All initiative, which aims to achieve universal access to energy, improved energy efficiency and enhanced deployment of renewable energy. DECC will support this through their work with DFID to develop programmes on energy access and sustainable energy under the International Climate Fund.
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he plans to take in respect of his smart meter rollout to ensure that the system is secure against hacking by third parties. 
Charles Hendry: The Government are putting robust arrangements in place for the security of the smart metering system, which have been informed by a rigorous risk assessment. DECC has a dedicated team of security experts within the Smart Metering Implementation Programme, who perform ongoing risk assessments in order to identify the nature of possible threats, including hacking by third parties.
Security requirements are being developed to minimise: (i) the likelihood of such an event taking place, and (ii) the impact should it occur. The development of these requirements has involved extensive consultation with other Government Departments and relevant agencies, as well as with industry.
We have a comprehensive risk assessment and we are developing a plan for implementation, which will specify the enduring security governance roles and responsibilities to ensure risks are appropriately managed.
Natural Gas: Exploration
Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what (a) policy and (b) legislative proposals he plans to bring forward in respect of the regulation of shale gas exploration. 
Charles Hendry: Shale gas exploration is relatively new to the UK and in its early stages and my Department and other key regulatory bodies, including the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, are working closely together to ensure effective monitoring and appropriate control of these activities.
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licensing rounds, applicants wishing to explore for shale gas will have to demonstrate that they have the appropriate competences and management systems, including systems to ensure protection of the environment. In addition we will be ensuring that the area and quality of the acreage awarded will not exceed the capacity of the industry, both the oil companies and their supply chain, to deliver their proposed work programmes both in a timely manner and to the highest of standards.
Overall, we consider that the regulatory system governing UK onshore oil and gas developments, including shale gas, is robust, and that the key regulatory bodies have appropriate powers to regulate these activities. I have accordingly no present plans for new legislation.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
Mark Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many people (a) nationally and (b) in Milton Keynes unitary authority area have participated in the warm home discount scheme. 
Gregory Barker: The warm home discount scheme launched on 1 April 2011 and covers Great Britain. It will run for four years until end March 2015. The total number of people who have been supported in 2011-12 is not yet known, but an estimated 2 million people are expected to be helped and the scheme will be worth up to £250 million this year.
The Core Group—this will provide energy supplier funded rebates (worth £120 in winter 2011-12) on electricity bills for people who receive pension credit guarantee credit only and meet some other eligibility criteria. Over 600,000 rebates are expected to be provided this winter.
The Broader Group—this will provide energy supplier funded rebates (worth £120 in winter 2011-12) on electricity bills for a Broader Group of low income and vulnerable people determined by each energy supplier and agreed with Ofgem.
Continued help via existing social or discounted fuel tariffs. This will decrease over each year of the scheme as the number of people receiving a rebate in the Broader Group grows.
Support through industry initiatives carried out by the energy suppliers to provide support to tackle fuel poverty other than direct discounts on energy bills e.g. debt help lines or the provision of energy advice for low income and vulnerable consumers. These will be approved by Ofgem in line with the scheme requirements.
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account her Department takes of (a) socio-economic factors and (b) potential revenues for the Exchequer in the awarding of contracts. 
Norman Baker: Public sector procurers are required to assess value for money from the perspective of the contracting authority using criteria linked to the subject matter of the contract, including compliance with the published specification.
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Wider socio-economic benefits that do not accrue to the contracting authority cannot be taken into account at tender evaluation stage as they do not relate to the subject matter of a contract from the point of view of the contracting authority.
Large Goods Vehicles
Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the status is of her Department's proposed increase in maximum trailer size for articulated heavy goods vehicles; and what assessment she has made of the potential effects of the increase on (a) levels of cyclists' safety and (b) the environment. 
Mike Penning: The Government have just published their response to the consultation on the use of longer semi-trailers, including a revised impact assessment which takes account of additional information provided in the course of the consultation. This is available on:
Railway Stations: Greater London
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions her Department has had with (a) the Association of Train Operating Companies and (b) Transport for London on the re-zoning of overground train stations in Kingston and Surbiton. 
Norman Baker: The information is not held by the Department for Transport as the costs of providing concessionary travel to retired former employees of British Rail is met by the Association of Train Operating Companies.
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One incident—East of Lerwick
Three incidents—north of Strathy Point (between Cape Wrath and Dunnet Head); north of Cape Wrath; and west of Skye, Little Minch
One incident—Lerwick, Shetland
Five incidents—north of Cape Wrath; east of Copinsay, Orkney; west of Skye Bridge: south of Rhum; and Glendanda
Two incidents—north-east of Berwick—later berthed Dundee; and north north-east Lerwick
Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she plans to take to ensure that emergency towing vessels are available for spot-purchasing at the time of a reported emergency. 
Mike Penning [holding answer 13 October 2011]: Because the Government consider ship salvage to be a commercial matter there are no plans to ensure the provision of emergency towing vessels for spot purchase.
Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what average time she expects to elapse between the time of an emergency call-out of a training vessel to (a) the spot purchase of an emergency towing vessel and (b) the arrival of such a vessel on the scene of the incident. 
Since 1 October 2011 the Scotland Office has been responsible for leading efforts to secure a long-term replacement for the emergency towing vessel (ETV) service in waters around Scotland surrounding the Northern and Western Isles.
Mike Penning [holding answer 13 October 2011]: It is not possible to estimate or accurately forecast the number of emergency towing vessels available at either a suitable time or place to service a spot-purchase when needed.
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Since 1 October 2011 the Scotland Office has been responsible for leading efforts to secure a long-term replacement for the emergency towing vessel (ETV) service in waters around Scotland surrounding the Northern and Western Isles.
Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions her Department has had with the private maritime sector in Scotland on proposed changes to the maritime safety, emergency salvage and rescue operations in Scotland. 
Mike Penning [holding answer 13 October 2011]: The proposals for the modernisation of Her Majesty's Coastguard have been subject to two UK wide consultations since December 2010. These consultations have included the private maritime sector.
Meetings were convened to discuss and consider the arrangements for emergency towage and salvage, following the end of the contract for the provision of emergency towing vessels (ETVs). These included a wide range of participants from a broad spectrum of maritime interests, including tug operators, commercial and Ministry of Defence salvors, and shipping industry representatives, in addition to port authorities, lighthouse authorities, local government authorities and officials for the Scottish Government.
Since 1 October 2011 the Scotland Office has been responsible for leading efforts to secure a long-term replacement for the emergency towing vessel (ETV) service in waters around Scotland surrounding the Northern and Western Isles.
Mr Hoban: The optimal level of leverage will depend on the risk profile of the assets and exposures which vary from bank to bank and over time. Given a lack of consistent time series data and the presence of varying bank business models, it is not possible to determine with a high level of confidence an optimal leverage ratio for a wide range of banks and over an extended period of time. However there is evidence that banks can be excessively leveraged and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) has published relevant analysis, indicating that banks which had particularly high levels of leverage prior to the financial crisis were more likely to experience stress during that period. Further details of the BCBS's analysis can be found at:
As part of the Basel III agreement, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision agreed to introduce a non-risked based leverage ratio to constrain the build-up of leverage in the banking sector and provide a backstop to risk weight based capital requirements. This will help reduce the leverage ratio for banks to a more sustainable level. In the EU, Basel III will be implemented through legislation
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on prudential requirements for credit institutions and investment firms, which the Commission adopted proposals for on 20 July 2011.
Civil Servants: Pensions
Dr Phillip Lee: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many retired civil servants received pre-tax pensions of over (a) £50,000 and (b) £100,000 per year in the last year for which figures are available. 
As at 31 October 2011 there were 484,500 former civil servants in receipt of a pension from the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. Of these, 969 were receiving pre-tax pensions over £50,000 per annum including 12 who were in receipt of pre-tax pensions over £100,000 per annum.
Miss Chloe Smith: HM Treasury does not capture and/or record the quantity of resource deployed by suppliers, who are responsible for managing their resources to deliver the outcomes as agreed in these contracts. This information could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.
Equitable Life Assurance Society
Alun Cairns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will assess the findings of the investigation by the Equitable Members Action Group Ltd and David Forfar in respect of pre-1992 with profits annuitants; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Hoban: I am aware of Mr Forfar's work, but the exclusion of pre-September 1992 with profits annuitants is determined not by their investment performance but by the application of the ombudsman's report.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made about whether quantitative easing is a necessary condition for his Department's plans for credit easing. 
Mr Hoban: The purpose of quantitative easing (QE) is to provide the independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) with an additional policy tool to low interest rates, which can be used to support nominal demand in the economy in order to meet the inflation target in the medium term.
The Government are considering options on credit easing. Such interventions should complement the MPC's QE. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the right hon. Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), will provide more details on credit easing at the Autumn Statement on 29 November.
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National Insurance Contributions: Gedling
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many businesses in Gedling constituency have participated in the National Insurance contribution holiday scheme since its introduction. 
Mr Gauke: As of 25 October 2011, HMRC has received 8,761 successful applications for the NICs holiday. A breakdown by constituency, information on the amounts claimed and jobs supported will be published in the NICs holiday factsheet in the House of Commons Library in the autumn.
Research and Development Tax Credit
Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he has received representations concerning (a) the Big Society Bank, (b) the Work Programme and (c) volunteering since June 2011; and if he will make a statement; 
Miss Chloe Smith [holding reply sent 27 October 2011]: Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with the previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings and discussions. Details of meetings between Treasury Ministers and external organisations are published quarterly on the HMT website.
Culture, Media and Sport
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18 October 2011,
columns 856-58W, on departmental procurement, whether any of the contracts are for providing consulting services with full-time equivalent staff working for his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 18 October 2011, Official Report, columns 856-58W, on departmental procurement, whether any of the contracts were not put out to tender; and for what reasons. 
John Penrose: In accordance with departmental policy, some low value contracts (under £1,000) were not put out to tender as it would not have been cost-effective for either the Department or the potential supplier. In a small number of other cases there was only one suitable supplier with the expertise and capability of delivering the very specific service the contract demanded, however, again, these examples only affected contracts of low monetary value.
Departmental Public Expenditure
Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he receives any external funding for (a) his ministerial office and (b) his advisers; and what the (i) source and (ii) amount is of any such funding. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much funding his Department has provided in grant in aid to each arm's length body for which he is responsible in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and how much he expects to allocate to each body in (i) 2012-13, (ii) 2013-14 and (iii) 2014-15. 
|Grant in aid|
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|(1 )2010-11 figures represent final outturn data. (2) Denotes bodies which are being abolished. (3) From 2013-14, S4C will receive additional funding from the BBC. (4) Net capital receipts assumed in spending review during 2014-15.|
World War I: Anniversaries
Mr Vaizey [holding answer 21 October 2011]: Traditionally, we mark the anniversary of the conclusion of a conflict rather than its beginning. So the main commemorations will be on the centenary of the end of the First World War in 1918. However, given the importance of the centenary of world war one, a number of anniversaries of key events from 2014 to 2018, including the beginning of the war, will be marked in an appropriate way. The Prime Minister has asked my hon. Friend the Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison) to act as his special representative and coordinator for world war one commemorations. My hon. Friend will work with international partners to ensure that the UK plays a full and active role; and will coordinate the cross-Whitehall effort in respect of the commemorations.
Communities and Local Government
Civil Servants: Procurement
Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the cost of employing civil servants to undertake procurement for his Department in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11; and what estimate he has made of the cost of (i) employing civil servants and (ii) engaging consultants to undertake procurement for his Department in 2011-12. 
Robert Neill: The total pay costs (including employer's contributions) of employing permanent civil servants to undertake procurement are given in the following table (which also includes the cost of Agency staff during this period):
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related issues raised after a review of the Department's procurement capability. During this period agency staff were used as a temporary measure.
The Department’s business plan estimates expenditure of £1.3 million on employing civil servants to undertake procurement in the current year, 2011-12. The Department has no plans to engage consultants to undertake procurement and has made no estimates of the cost of engaging such consultants.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what contracts of a monetary value of (a) between £100,000 and £500,000, (b) between £500,000 and £1 million, (c) between £1 million and £5 million, (d) between £5 million and £10 million, (e) between £10 million and £50 million, (f) between £50 million and £100 million, (g) between £100 million and £500 million, (h) between £500 million and £1 billion, (i) between £1 billion and £5 billion and (j) over £5 billion his Department and its predecessors have entered into with private suppliers in each year since 1990. 
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what company or Government service is used to undertake security vetting at (a) counter terrorist check, (b) security check and (c) developed vetting level in his Department. 
Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government uses Defence Business Services National Security Vetting to undertake security vetting at (a) counter terrorist check, (b) security check and (c) developed vetting level.
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|1st Class Travel||2009-10||2010-11||2011-12 (1)|
|(1) To 14 September 2011|
EU Grants and Loans
Mr MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to allocate funds received from the European Regional Development Fund to projects in the English regions. 
Local Government: Consultants
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which private sector companies are providing free consultancy services to each local authority; and what the nature of the services provided is in each case. 
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Andrew Stunell: The Government have embarked on a radical programme to shift power from Whitehall to the local level—to councils, housing associations and communities. Through the Localism Bill we are reforming the social housing system to make it fairer, striking a proper balance between the needs of new and existing tenants.
Armed Forces: Military Aircraft
Peter Luff: Aircraft maintenance is carried out by service personnel, Ministry of Defence civilians and as part of contractual agreements with industry across all three services. Relevant data are not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Information on the number of aircraft per squadron is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The number of aircraft assigned to front line squadrons will vary on a daily basis according to normal fleet management activities, including requirements for mandated maintenance and upgrade programmes.
|Aircraft type||In-service fleet (number)|
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Armed Forces: Recruitment
|Course||Royal Navy/Royal Marines/Royal Fleet Auxiliary||Army||Royal Air Force|
Armed Forces: Young People
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to review its policy on minimum age recruitment to the armed services since the UK's ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict in 2003. 
Peter Luff: We remain fully committed to meeting our obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, and have taken steps to bestow special safeguards on young people under the age of 18, including the introduction of administrative guidelines to ensure that they are withdrawn from units which are deploying on operations. We believe that our policies on under 18s in service are robust and comply with national and international law. The minimum age at which individuals may join the armed forces remains at 16 years, which broadly reflects the minimum statutory school leaving age. There are no plans to change this.
We take pride in the fact that our armed forces provide challenging and constructive education, training and employment opportunities for young people equipping them with valuable and transferable skills.
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Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate what proportion of the monetary value of the work on the Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme will be undertaken in (a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) Wales, (d) Northern Ireland and (e) overseas over the course of that contract. 
Peter Luff: The Warrior Capability Sustainment Programme will create and sustain approximately 600 British jobs within prime contractor, Lockheed Martin UK and its supply chain, representing 90% UK content, as the programme moves through the demonstration and manufacture phases. As a percentage of total contract value, approximately 83% of the work will be carried out in England, 7% in Scotland and 10% overseas.
British Army Training Unit Suffield
Peter Luff: Records of the amount the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has spent on the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) only exist for the last five years and are provided in the following table:
|Financial year||£ million|
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The costs do include the impact of foreign exchange variations which accounts for an element of the increase between years 2008-09 and 2009-10, along with an increase in training activity at BATUS across the same period.
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely effect on the cost of army training facilities of transferring such facilities from Germany to the British Army Training Unit Suffield. 
Peter Luff: The training that currently takes place in Germany is unit-level training and similar training also takes place in the UK. This training is conducted close to where individual units are based and we do not anticipate this changing in the future. The training that takes place in the British Army Training Unit, Suffield (BATUS) is higher level collective training, where a number of units join together to form battle groups for large scale exercises in preparation for deployment. For this reason, no assessment has been made of the costs of transferring Germany-based training facilities to the BATUS.
Clyde Submarine Base
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many applications from employees to run services for which his Department is directly responsible he has received since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Robathan: There have been no formal applications to date. However, the Ministry of Defence continues to provide support to employees from two business areas as they consider whether to make an application.
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Italy: Unmanned Air Vehicles
Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the outcome was of discussions between his Department and the Italian Government on medium altitude long endurance unmanned aerial vehicles. 
Peter Luff: Recent engagements between the UK Ministry of Defence and Italian Government have provided both nations the opportunity to share their views on medium altitude long endurance, unmanned aerial vehicles. The UK has undertaken to work bilaterally with France on this capability, as stated at the 2010 UK-France Summit and our first priority is therefore to ensure the success of this agreement.
Nuclear Power Stations: Safety
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department is conducting nuclear stress tests as required by the European Commission for defence nuclear establishments and reactors. 
Peter Luff: All duty holders in the defence nuclear programme are undertaking work to consider the application of lessons to be learnt from the Fukushima event. Although outside the scope of the European Commission's remit, this work is being informed by the stress tests developed by the European Nuclear Safety Regulatory Group adapted to be appropriate to the activity concerned.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a redacted copy of his review of the safety of the defence nuclear programme in the light of the Fukushima nuclear accident. 
Peter Luff: Redacted copies of the preliminary report, and supporting initial statement by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator will be placed in the Library of the House as soon as reasonably possible. It is intended that the final report will also be placed in the public domain in due course.
Somalia: Peacekeeping Operations
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on (a) training Ugandan and Burundian soldiers to serve in the Amisom force and (b) funding Amisom operations in Somalia in each of the last three years. 
Peter Luff: The British Government often train alongside or assist in the training of other nations' troops. The United Kingdom's support to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is funded through the Conflict Pool, not the Defence budget.
The Conflict Pool, which is constructed from joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Department for International Development and Ministry of Defence (MOD) funding, has provided funding for MOD support to the training of the armed forces of Uganda and Burundi serving in AMISOM as follows:
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Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many warships are available for active service in the Navy.  [Official Report, 15 December 2011, Vol. 537, c. 2MC.]
|(1) HMS Illustrious is now operating in the Landing Platform Helicopter role, as well as HMS Ocean.|
Given the serious threat al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) poses to UK national security, Her Majesty’s Government have been working with the Yemeni Government for a number of years supporting them in disrupting AQAP. This support has included training, delivered both in Yemen and in UK, and the provision of a limited amount of non-lethal equipment. At the centre of our all training and support is a
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commitment to promoting human rights. The UK Government seek assurances that the forces we are involved with will not be deployed on operations outside of their mandate or in breach of human rights.
||Number of students|
At the request of the Yemeni Government the UK provided training for the Yemeni Central Security Force Public Order Battalion in October 2010 and February 2011. The aim of this training was to reduce the use of lethal force in public order situations and address a source of grievance among Yemeni citizens by developing the capability of the Yemeni Central Security Forces to be able to deal with public order situations in an accountable and professional manner. The training, which was conducted in Yemen, included human rights and law of armed conflict training at the request of the Yemenis; escalation and de-escalation drills were included as were the principles of use of minimum force. As part of this training package a small amount of non-hazardous and non-lethal public order equipment, to the value of £90,000, was gifted to Yemen from surplus UK stocks in order to cover Yemeni capability gaps and to ensure that UK techniques could be taught and applied correctly. This equipment was delivered to the Yemeni Central Security Force in February 2011.
The UK has also worked with the Yemeni Counter Terrorism Unit, in concert with other donors, to increase Yemen's capability to tackle AQAP, including training and advice over the past five years and the provision of equipment and infrastructure in financial year 2010-11. The UK has also delivered training, advice and the provision of rigid inflatable boats to the Yemeni coastguard, based in both Sana'a and Aden, since 2005, as part of our wider counterterrorism and regional security efforts.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s counterterrorism programme is the principal funding stream for the Government’s counterterrorism work overseas, overseen by a cross-government programme board. A decision to fund a particular project is taken only after an assessment of possible impacts and human rights implications has been completed.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
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employed as consultants in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not hold a central record of consultants working in overseas missions. Procurement activities are devolved to directorates in the UK and a network of nearly 270 posts overseas. The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Departmental Public Expenditure
Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he receives any external funding for (a) his ministerial office and (b) his advisers; and what the (i) source and (ii) amount is of any such funding. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs at how many events organised by (a) charities, (b) other civil society groups, (c) businesses and (d) lobbying organisations Ministers and senior officials in his Department have given speeches in each month since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications from employees to run services for which his Department is directly responsible he has received since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Lidington: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has no record of any applications from employees to run services. I refer the hon. Member to my answer to him of 20 October 2011, Official Report, column 1108W.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what level of security vetting is required for the post of (a) head of communications, (b) deputy head of communications and (c) head of press office in his Department; and if he will list each person who has held these posts since May 2010. 
Mr Lidington: The booklet “HMG Personnel Security Controls”, describes the circumstances in which a post may require the holder to be the subject of national security vetting checks and is publicly available on the Cabinet Office website at:
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Government Communications Headquarters: Finance
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the budget was for GCHQ in each of the last two years; what the planned budget is in each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Lidington: The budgets for the Security Service, SIS and GCHQ form the Single Intelligence Account (SIA) which is voted by Parliament as a consolidated allocation. It has been the policy of successive Governments not to reveal details of the individual Agency budgets beyond what is already published. Most recently the overall SIA budget details can be found at paragraphs 39 and 41 of the Intelligence and Security Committee's (ISC) 2010-11 Annual Report which was published on 13 July 2011 (Cm 8114).
Mr Lidington: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers in this Government have no record or recollection of having held a meeting with representatives of IRG Ltd. In July 2010, Mr Stephen Crouch approached the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for North West Norfolk (Mr Bellingham), at Juba airport and they spoke briefly.
Mr Lidington: I am following the situation in northern Kosovo very closely and receive frequent detailed reporting from officials. I discussed this issue with Serbian leaders during my visit to Belgrade on 31 October to 1 November. The issue was also discussed by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he met the Kosovo Foreign Minister on 20 October.
The situation in northern Kosovo remains tense but calm. The border points are open and under EULEX control, with NATO’s peacekeeping force, KFOR, providing security. There has been no repeat of the 27 September attack on KFOR troops. Kosovo Serb barricades remain across northern Kosovo. KFOR has started to remove the barriers in conformity with its mandate to guarantee security and freedom of movement.
The EU-facilitated Dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia offers the best opportunity for Pristina and Belgrade to resolve their differences in a way that improves the lives of their people and helps both countries progress in a more stable manner towards EU accession. We urge the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to reengage in
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the Dialogue as soon as possible and to implement those agreements already reached.
UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Martin Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the likely effect of the adoption in its present form of the draft protocol on cluster munitions in the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons on universalisation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and promotion of its norms as required under Article 21. 
Alistair Burt: We believe that engaging in negotiations for a protocol on cluster munitions in the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) is consistent with paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 21. These are negotiations within the framework of an International Humanitarian Law treaty. They are aiming to establish restrictions on a significant number of cluster munitions, which would have a notable humanitarian effect. A protocol could serve as a first step towards wider prohibitions for those states not in a position to accede to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in the near future. Irrespective of the outcome of negotiations at the CCW we will continue to encourage non-party states to accede to the Oslo Convention with the goal of universalising the Convention.
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what legal advice his Department has received on the Government's interpretative declaration on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: It is not Government practice to disclose whether they have sought legal advice or the content of any advice obtained. The UK played a full and active role in negotiations leading to the drafting of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. The UK signed the Optional Protocol in September 2000 and ratified on 24 June 2003. The Government's understanding of their obligations is clarified by the interpretive declaration they made upon signature and confirmed upon ratification. This made clear that the armed forces would continue to recruit from age 16 but included a clear commitment to take all feasible measures to ensure those who had not yet reached the age of 18 years old did not take a direct part in hostilities. The Government remain fully committed to meeting their obligations under the Protocol and welcomes the steps that have been taken to bestow special safeguards on young people under 18. We believe that our policies on under 18s are robust and compliant with national and international law. We will continue to keep them under review.
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World War I: Anniversaries
Mr Lidington [holding answer 21 October 2011]: Traditionally, we mark the anniversary of the conclusion of a conflict rather than its beginning. So the main commemorations will be on the centenary of the end of the First World War in 1918. However, given the importance of the centenary of World War 1, a number of anniversaries of key events from 2014 to 2018, including the beginning of the war, will be marked in an appropriate way. The Prime Minister has asked my hon. Friend the Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison), to act as his Special Representative and Co-ordinator for World War 1 Commemorations. My hon. Friend will work with international partners to ensure that the UK plays a full and active role; and will co-ordinate the cross-Whitehall effort in respect of the commemorations.
Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) material and (b) technical support his Department provided to the Yemeni Government in each of the last five years. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: The UK has provided material and technical support to the Yemeni Government over the last five years as part of our counter terrorism assistance to reduce the risk from international terrorism to the UK and UK interests overseas. We have been working with the Yemeni Government to increase Yemen’s capability to tackle Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, including through the provision of training and advice, for example to the Yemeni Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) and Yemeni Coastguard. Since the escalation in violence both projects have now been suspended. All our capacity building is delivered in accordance with UK values and human rights standards. Before providing any military support or training to Yemeni forces, the UK Government seek assurances that these forces will not be deployed on operations outside of their mandate or in breach of human rights. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Counter Terrorism Programme is the principal funding stream underpinning Her Majesty's Government’s Counter Terrorism projects overseas. The FCO’s total worldwide Counter Terrorism Programme budget: for financial year (FY) 2011-12— £38 million, FY 2010-11—£38 million, FY 2009-10— £37 million, FY 2008-09—£35 million, FY 2007-08— £16.3 million. In each financial year a proportion of these annual allocations are committed to programmes in Yemen. The majority of our funding in Yemen is delivered through Ministry of Defence projects. Since the attempted aviation attack in Detroit in December 2009, we have also committed funds to assist the Yemeni authorities to improve security at the international airport in Sana'a. Funding has been allocated to provide x-ray machines and electronic trace detection equipment at a cost of £427,000. We have also provided training for Yemeni airport personnel in Dubai and Amman.
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The FCO, together with the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence, contributes to and administers the conflict pool. In the period in question several projects were agreed which have benefited the Government of Yemen in terms of technical expertise. No money was committed directly to the Government of Yemen. Projects involved technical funding to support the work of the Yemeni authorities in addition to training and guidance. These are as follows: 2006-07 border security costing £25,267; 2008-09 Ministry of the Interior CTU and coastguard development costing £93,844; 2009-10 Yemeni Coastguard development costing £50,563; 2010-11 officer training in the UK costing £145,200 and public order training, scaled down to the gifting of non-lethal surplus equipment. In the current financial year funding has been allocated to provide further officer training, but none has yet been spent.
A small bilateral programmes budget is administered by the embassy in Sana'a. While most of the work funded does not involve the Government of Yemen, one recent project was resourced to provide support to the Ministry of the Interior, specifically setting up the first Regional Maritime Security Conference.