International Development

European Development Fund

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to encourage speedier distribution of funds from the European Development Fund. [83683]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) monitors spending and results of the European Commission's European Development Fund (EDF) through the EDF Management Committee and the Council's Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Working Group. At the partner country level; DFID meets regularly with the EU Delegations and member states to follow up on progress on EDF implementation, spend and delivery of results.

In October 2011, DFID achieved a strong EU Council conclusion on the need to improve the efficiency, results and monitoring of the EDF as part of the 2011 EDF Performance Review. We will use upcoming EDF meetings

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1100W

to follow up progress. We are also currently working with the Commission to make sure that the quality, timeliness and results-focus of EDF spending is reflected in the new financial regulations for 2013-20 and not least the implementation of the EDF programmes at the country level.

Kenya: Education

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what his policy is on supporting low-fee private schools and voucher schemes in Kenya; [83877]

(2) what assessment he has made of the potential effects of voucher schemes and private schools supported by his Department in Kenya on access to education in that country. [83863]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) programme in Kenya supports low-fee private schools. These schools often charge as little as £2 per month. Many of them are in and around urban slums. Families living in these areas often do not have access to state schools, and low-fee private schools offer the only affordable opportunity to educate their children. This year, the DFID programme in Kenya contributed complete sets of textbooks to 250,000 children in 1,100 low-fee private schools across the country.

The DFID programme in Kenya does not currently support vouchers for education, but does provide cash transfers of around £9 per month to almost 100,000 of Kenya's poorest households containing orphans or other vulnerable children. These cash transfers have proved to be effective in meeting basic needs, including the education and health care of the children in beneficiary households.

Health

Cancer: Ethnic Groups

Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the 2010 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, what steps his Department is taking to improve the experience of black and other minority ethnic patients with cancer. [84297]

Paul Burstow: The National Cancer Action Team (NCAT) has established the National Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Cancer Voice, a cancer patient advisory panel, to understand the issues facing people who have been affected by cancer from BME communities. The 2010 Cancer Patient Experience Survey highlighted the variation in the views of patients from BME communities compared to white cancer patients. A number of culturally diverse surveys have been developed to further understand the reasons for the poor perception of care with the aim of working towards improvements.

Qualitative based research has also been undertaken with a number of trusts that followed up the NCAT 2009-10 culturally sensitive baseline audit; an audit which asked trusts about their policies and services relating to BME communities. This research has been carried out in partnership with Breast Cancer Care, and has been focused on finding where best practice already

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1101W

exists in providing culturally diverse cancer services. A report aimed at commissioners and providers will be available in early 2012.

The 2010 survey data have been analysed by equality groups. Evidence was found of many differences, including BME patients being more likely to report not receiving understandable answers to their questions and not being given enough care after discharge. These findings, along with many others, have been shared with cancer networks, along with suggestions for action to reduce these differences in reported experience.

Dementia: Diagnosis

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to increase GPs' ability to identify dementia sufferers. [82894]

Paul Burstow: The Department has been working with strategic health authorities and deaneries to trial a new approach to dementia education and training for general practitioners (GPs) and practice staff. This involves primary care teams coming together to reflect on and self-assess their practice and identify ways in which they can improve care of people with dementia and their carers. More generally, the National Clinical Director for Dementia has also been working closely with the Royal College of GPs on issues relating to dementia education and training.

Health: Children

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will bring forward proposals to amend the Health and Social Care Bill to require joint working between health and education services in respect of the needs of children. [84067]

Anne Milton: Health and wellbeing boards will be a forum for the national health service, local authorities and communities to exercise shared leadership in arriving at a joint understanding of local needs, including the needs of local children and a shared strategy to address those needs.

The director of Children's Services will be a statutory member of the board. The health and wellbeing board will have powers to encourage close working with commissioners of health related services, which could include education services, where these have an effect on health. Clinical commissioning groups must exercise their functions with a view to securing that the provision of health services is integrated with the provision of health related services, which could include education services.

Hepatitis: Health Services

Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much he expects the NHS to spend on hepatitis C in each year for the next four years. [84298]

Anne Milton: Expenditure on services for hepatitis C provided by the national health service is a matter for local NHS commissioners to determine in the light of local needs and priorities.

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Hospital Beds: Lancashire

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many beds were available for people with (a) mental health needs and (b) neurological conditions in Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust in (i) 2006 and (ii) the latest period for which figures are available. [83867]

Paul Burstow: Data are not collected for neurological beds. Information on the average daily number of available beds open overnight for mental illness in 2005-06 and for the latest period is shown in the following table.

Period Organisation Available mental illness beds (open overnight)

2005-06

Lancashire Care NHS Trust

691

2011-12 quarter 2

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

629

Notes: 1. Information is given for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust which provides mental health services in the Central Lancashire Primary Care Trust area. 2. Beds for 2005-06 were collected by ward type and included all beds on the following wards: Mental illness: children: short stay Mental illness: children: long stay Mental illness: elderly: short stay Mental illness: elderly: long stay Mental illness: other ages: secure unit Mental illness: other ages: short stay Mental illness: other ages: long stay 3. Beds for 2011-12 Quarter 2 were collected by consultant speciality and only include beds where the patient is under the care of a consultant and covered the following consultant specialities: 710 adult mental illness 711 child and adolescent psychiatry 712 forensic psychiatry 713 psychotherapy 715 old age psychiatry Source: Department of Health form KH03

Hospitals: Food

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether food procured by each primary care trust meets the Government's buying standards for food and catering; [83727]

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that the same standards of animal welfare for whole eggs apply to imported liquefied eggs procured by (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible; [83728]

(3) what proportion of food sourced by (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible was procured from UK food producers in the latest period for which figures are available; [83729]

(4) what proportion of food sourced by each primary care trust was procured from UK food producers in the latest period for which figures are available; [83730]

(5) what steps (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible are taking to ensure that they meet the Government's buying standards for food and catering. [83731]

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Paul Burstow: The Department is working closely with its catering supplier on the adoption of the Government Buying Standards (GBS) for Food and Catering Services, as issued, for the first time, in June 2011. The Department can confirm that the majority of the 'mandatory' standards are already being met.

National health service trusts are not mandated to adopt GBS. However, they are encouraged to adopt the GBS for Food and Catering Services through the 2011-12 NHS Operating Framework, as well as through guidance and training materials developed for the NHS on sustainable and low carbon procurement.

The Department is also working with The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on a potential demonstration project supporting pilot NHS organisations in adopting the GBS for Food and Catering Services.

The Department does not hold information centrally on whether food procured by each primary care trust meets the Government's buying standards for food and catering.

GBS for Food and Catering Services, includes a 'best practice' requirement that,

“All eggs, including liquid and powdered eggs, are sourced from systems that do not use conventional cages. If from a caged system, enriched cages are used.”

The Department, and its arm’s length bodies are required to meet the 'mandatory' level standards under GBS (as per the Greening Government Commitments), and are encouraged to review performance against these standards and assess the potential for adopting 'best practice' standards.

In respect to liquefied eggs, the Department does not currently procure such products. NHS trusts are encouraged to adopt the GBS for Food and Catering Services through the 2011-12 NHS Operating Framework, as well as through guidance and training materials developed for the NHS on sustainable and low carbon procurement.

The proportion of food sourced by the Department's catering supplier, from United Kingdom food producers since April 2011, is 24%. For NHS Supply Chain national contracts in 2008-09, the overall proportion of indigenous food (i.e. food that can be grown in the UK) that was UK sourced in this period was 64.5%, as reported in the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative report (2010).

The Department does not hold centrally information on what proportion of food sourced by each primary care trust was procured from UK food producers in the latest period for which figures are available.

Maternity Services: Low Incomes

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the Royal College of Midwives and Netmums survey showing that women from lower incomes were denied ante-natal classes and the choice of a birth at home. [84379]

Anne Milton: There are many different ways of providing antenatal education from one to one discussions to workshop style groups. All mothers should discuss their birth plan with their midwife or doctor to find the best birth setting for them.

Midwives, doctors, and nurses encourage pregnant women to attend services early and the latest data shows 92% of women have their health and social care,

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1104W

needs, risks and choices assessed by the 12th week of their pregnancy, which enables good care planning throughout pregnancy, birth and afterwards.

The Department has recently (October 2011) launched 'Preparing for Birth and Beyond' pack, a new online resource pack developed in partnership with parenting organisations, antenatal educationalists, researchers, practitioners and service leaders, that can help organisations and practitioners run antenatal education classes tailored for their communities. The pack is based on a refreshed approach to antenatal education, following a systematic review of the evidence and views of the professionals, what parents want and what is available. It still covers preparation for birth, but also emphasises the developing child, the emotional transition to parenthood and family relationships and recognises the need to include fathers and other partners in groups and activities.

Medicine: Wholesale Trade

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to (a) review and (b) reduce the number of wholesaler dealer licences for medicinal products. [84065]

Mr Simon Burns: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) an executive agency of the Department, regulates manufacturers and wholesale dealers of medicinal products for human use in the United Kingdom on behalf of the UK Licensing Authority (LA).

The MHRA has not reviewed the number of authorised wholesale dealers in the UK or taken steps to reduce the number of such traders.

The MHRA has a legal responsibility to assess all applications made for a wholesale dealers licence and will grant a wholesale dealer's licence where the applicant meets UK provisions and community obligations for the safe storage and distribution of medicinal products in the UK or to revoke a granted licence for non compliance.

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on the (a) separation of pharmaceutical wholesaling from dispensing activities within pharmacies and (b) implementation of recommendation 6 of the EU High-Level Pharmaceutical Forum G10. [84066]

Paul Burstow: Ministers and departmental officials meet regularly with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to discuss a range of policy issues.

Pharmacies are currently exempt from having to hold a wholesale dealer's licence by virtue of Section 10(7) of the Medicines Act 1968. In October 2011 the MHRA brought forward proposals for the repeal of section 10(7), on the basis that it conflicts with European Union legislation. The proposed change would take place as part of a consolidation of existing medicines legislation, currently being consulted upon by the MHRA. The repeal of 10(7) will require that, in future, any pharmacy that wishes to engage in commercial wholesale dealing activity must hold a wholesale dealer's licence.

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In implementing Recommendation 6 from the EU High-Level Pharmaceutical Forum G10, the MHRA has concentrated on working with the UK's Health Technology Assessment body—the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence—to provide joint scientific advice to companies during the drug development process.

Palliative Care: Finance

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 22 November 2011, Official Report, column 352W, on palliative care, what steps he has taken to ensure that hospitals receive adequate funding for palliative care in proportion to the amount of such care provided. [84430]

Paul Burstow: It is the responsibility of commissioners to decide how much money is allocated for specific services at a local level.

The Government have made a commitment to develop a per-patient funding system for palliative care. The independent Palliative Care Funding Review, which we set up in summer 2010, was asked to make recommendations on how we can develop a per-patient funding system that encourages more community-based care, supports people to choose from whom they receive the care they need; and that will be fair to all organisations involved.

The review has come up with a range of significant proposals which we now need to consider in detail. This work will be informed by local palliative care funding pilots which will collect a range of data to help test the review's recommendations. The call for expressions of interest in being a pilot site was published on 28 November 2011 and the pilots will be established from April 2012. The aim is have to have a new funding system in place by 2015.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus: Vaccination

John Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department has issued on the availability of the Palivizumab vaccine; and which primary care trusts prescribe respiratory syncytial virus vaccinations of Palivizumab in cases of chronic chest infections in children. [84354]

Anne Milton: Guidance issued by the Department on the use and sourcing of Palivizumab is in the online Respiratory Syncytial Virus chapter of ‘Immunisation against infectious disease’ (also known as ‘the Green Book’) available on the Department's website at:

[email protected][email protected]/documents/digitalasset/dh_130131.pdf

A copy of this has been placed in the Library.

The NHS Prescription Services indicated that the following primary care trusts (PCTs) in England prescribed Palivizumab Vaccine in the period October 2010 to September 2011:

PCT Devon;

PCT East Riding of Yorkshire;

PCT Gloucestershire;

PCT Havering;

PCT Kensington and Chelsea;

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PCT Swindon; and

PCT Wiltshire.

NHS Prescription Services does not capture patient data and therefore can not provide any information on the age of the patient or the medical condition the patient was being treated for.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Food Procurement

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of food sourced by (a) his Department and (b) public bodies for which he is responsible was procured from UK food producers in the latest period for which figures are available. [83733]

Mr Lidington: The proportion of food sourced by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK procured from UK food producers is as follows:


Percentage

2010-11

25

April 2011 to date

25

“Produced in the UK” is defined as of guaranteed UK provenance which can be fully traced back to the source, ie food that has been grown and harvested or born, bred and slaughtered in the UK. Therefore we have not included any products that, even though may have been produced or manufactured in the UK, are of mixed origin.

In addition we can confirm the following:

100% of our fresh beef is UK sourced

100%of our fresh pork joints is UK sourced

100% of fresh milk is both UK sourced and Red Tractor

100% of shell eggs are UK sourced and Lion marked

All of our potatoes and root vegetables are sourced from UK when in season

The data for 2010-11 relating to this request and other food related targets are published on the FCO website.

It would incur disproportionate cost to source this information from our network of posts and our public bodies as this information is held locally.

Departmental Publications

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) leaflets, (b) posters and (c) reports his Department has published since May 2010; how much each cost; and which company (i) published and (ii) designed each. [82992]

Mr Lidington: Finances within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are devolved to individual directorates in the UK and to our network of posts overseas. This information is not held centrally in the form requested and is available only at disproportionate cost.

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1107W

Departmental Training

Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what training staff of his Department are given in the use of privacy screen panels to protect sensitive data. [83621]

Mr Lidington: Privacy filters are available to Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) staff and their use is promoted to mitigate the risk of “shoulder surfing”. The FCO takes information security very seriously and uses a variety of measures to meet the risks posed from working remotely, in accordance with mandatory requirements set out in the Cabinet Office Security Policy Framework. FCO staff are required to adhere to the relevant standard of operating procedures (SOPs) for the ICT equipment they have been authorised to use, including mobility devices. Staff are trained in all aspects of data handling and security in a variety of ways including: annual completion of mandatory ‘protecting information’ training; induction courses; regular briefing and other training events; articles on departmental intranet sites; and ad hoc reminders as and when considered necessary.

Egypt: Elections

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to help ensure a smooth transition to civilian democratic rule following the parliamentary elections in Egypt on 28 November 2011. [83686]

Alistair Burt: The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has committed to a transition to a civilian-led democracy. This transition process is owned by the Egyptian people and it is not for the UK to dictate who or what should be acceptable to them. However, there has been sustained high-level UK Government engagement in support of the democratic transition process in Egypt, including visits by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. Our embassy in Cairo is in close contact with Egyptian parties to the transition and is helping to develop initiatives in support of that process under the Arab Partnership.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on responses to street protests in relation to the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Egypt. [83687]

Alistair Burt: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs is in regular contact with his counterparts, especially those in the MENA region, about Egypt. He will discuss the situation in Egypt with his EU counterparts at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on 30 November to 1 December.

The Foreign Secretary made statements on 23 and 27 November in which he has set out the Government’s views on the situation in Egypt, including deep concern about the unacceptable violence and loss of life which

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1108W

has taken place in Tahrir square and other parts of Egypt, and the UK’s consistent call for a rapid, clear transition to civilian-led democratic rule and elections that are free, fair, credible and secure. He discussed the situation and the forthcoming elections with the Egyptian Foreign Minister on 24 November.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to support the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Egypt. [83688]

Alistair Burt: The UK is committed to supporting the process of political transition in Egypt, including the parliamentary elections. The Carter Centre is one of the few international organisations allowed to observe the elections. We provided early financial and public support to the Carter Centre monitoring mission. This helped encourage other countries to contribute the finances the centre needed to observe the elections. We are supporting the Thomson Reuters Foundation and BBC World Service Trust to facilitate impartial electoral coverage, working with both independent and state media. We are also working to provide peer support to nascent political parties and parliamentarians, in particular female candidates.

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK electoral observers will be present at the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Egypt. [83689]

Alistair Burt: The UK is committed to supporting the process of political transition in Egypt, including the parliamentary elections. The Carter Centre is one of the few international civil society organisations allowed to observe these elections, and we are providing them with support. The Egyptian authorities have informed our ambassador in Cairo that diplomats and foreign media could have limited access to polling stations. Our embassy in Cairo will take part in witnessing the election process informally, in line with these conditions.

Heritage Oil

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2011, Official Report, column 47W, on Heritage Oil, whether any civil servants were present when he was approached by a representative of Heritage Oil in March 2011. [83438]

Mr Lidington: No. This was not an official event.

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2011, Official Report, column 47W, on Heritage Oil, what representations he received from Heritage Oil after he was approached by a representative of Heritage Oil in March 2011. [83439]

Mr Lidington [holding answer 29 November 2011]: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs received one letter from Mr Christian Sweeting, Director of London and Central European Investments.

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1109W

Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2011, Official Report, column 47W, on Heritage Oil, who approached him to make representations on behalf of Heritage Oil in March 2011. [83440]

Mr Lidington [holding answer 29 November 2011]: The information is as follows:

Mr Christian Sweeting, Director of London and Central European Investments Ltd.

Members: Correspondence

Mike Crockart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to reply to the hon. Member for Edinburgh West's letters of 20 May 2011, 11 July 2011, 4 August 2011, 29 August 2011 and 13 September 2011 concerning a constituent, James Rieley. [83839]

Mr Lidington: I am sorry for the delay in the hon. Member receiving a reply. The letter was transferred to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills who have assured me that it is being treated as a priority.

Syria: Loans

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to press for the prohibition of further disbursements of European Investment Bank loans to Syria. [83681]

Alistair Burt: The UK Government were at the forefront of action approved by the EU Foreign Affairs Committee on 14 November 2011 to stop further disbursements of European Investment Bank loans to Syria. This is just one of a series of EU measures against the Syria regime aimed at stopping the violence. In nine rounds of sanctions the EU has subjected a total of 74 individuals and 19 entities to asset freezes and travel bans targeted against those supporting or benefitting from the regime and those associated with them. We are already working on further wide ranging measures for the December Foreign Affairs Council.

Syria: Politics and Government

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps he has taken to secure international agreement on the draft UN Security Council Resolution on Syria. [84011]

Alistair Burt: The UK Government have been at the forefront of action on Syria in the UN. On 4 October the UK, together with France, Germany and Portugal tabled a draft resolution at the UN Security Council condemning the Syrian regime's use of force, calling for an end to violence, and threatening sanctions if the situation continued. It was vetoed by Russia and China, a decision that has been confirmed as misguided by everything that has happened in Syria subsequently.

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1110W

On 22 November a UK, German and French resolution at the UN General Assembly Third Committee on the human rights situation in Syria, and co-sponsored by 62 countries, was passed with 122 votes in favour. The resolution called on the Syrian Government to end violence and implement the Arab League's plan of action without delay. On 29 November the UN Human Rights Council agreed to hold a Special Session on the human rights situation in Syria on 2 December.

We continue to discuss further action at the UN, including a Security Council resolution, with key international partners, particularly those in the region.

USA: Rendition

Mr Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish a list of all flights with a detainee on board that landed on Diego Garcia in March 2004; for which such flights the US administration sought permission from the UK to land on Diego Garcia; and if he will make a statement. [83446]

Mr Lidington: No flights with a detainee on board landed on Diego Garcia in March 2004.

Aside from the two cases of rendition through Diego Garcia (British Indian Ocean Territories) in 2002, the US Government has confirmed that there have been no other instances in which US intelligence flights landed in the UK, our Overseas Territories, or the Crown Dependencies, with a detainee, on board since 11 September 2001.

Mr Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many flights by US intelligence services with a detainee on board have landed in (a) the UK, (b) British Overseas Territories and (c) Crown dependencies since 11 September 2001; and if he will make a statement. [83447]

Mr Lidington: There have been two cases, in January and September 2002, in which flights carrying a detainee had landed and refuelled on Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territories. The UK was informed of these flights by the US in February 2008, following which the then Foreign Secretary, the right hon. Member for South Shields (David Miliband), made a statement to Parliament. The US informed us that these flights refuelled briefly on Diego Garcia and that the detainees did not leave the plane.

Aside from the two cases of rendition through Diego Garcia in 2002, the US Government has confirmed that there have been no other instances in which US intelligence flights landed in the UK, our Overseas Territories, or the Crown Dependencies, with a detainee on board since 11 September 2001.

Mr Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with their US counterparts on use of airports in the UK, British Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies by flights by US intelligence services with a detainee on board since 11 September 2001, other than two cases relating to Diego Garcia in 2002; and if he will make a statement. [83448]

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1111W

Mr Lidington: My officials hold regular talks with the US Government on issues relating to relevant British Overseas Territories. The most recent talks were held in Washington in September 2011. During these talks the US confirmed that there have been no other instances in which US intelligence flights landed in the UK, our Overseas Territories, or the Crown Dependencies, with a detainee on board since 11 September 2001.

Mr Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have authorised the involvement of the Secret Intelligence Service in a rendition operation since May 2010; if so on how many occasions such authorisation has been given; and if he will make a statement. [83449]

Mr Lidington [holding answer 29 November 2011]: It is the policy of successive HM Governments not to comment on security and intelligence matters.

The Government policy on rendition is absolutely clear: we do not render people in breach of our legal obligations. Should another state wish to transfer an individual through our territory or airspace, we would consider all the circumstances and only grant permission if we were satisfied that it would accord with our domestic law and international obligations.

We unreservedly condemn any practice of “extraordinary rendition” to torture. We will not co-operate in any transfer of an individual where we believe there is a real risk of torture to the individual concerned. The Government's clear policy is not to participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment for any purpose. The coalition agreement made absolutely clear that “we will never condone the use of torture”.

Work and Pensions

Departmental Audit

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many internal audits have taken place (a) in his Department and (b) in the non-departmental bodies for which his Department is responsible in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [82534]

Chris Grayling: Within the Department and its executive and tribunal non-departmental public bodies, the number of reports issued by their internal audit service, excluding ad hoc advisory work, in the 12-month period ended 31 October 2011 was:


Number

Department for Work and Pensions (including Jobcentre Plus and the Pension, Disability and Carers Service)

185

Health and Safety Executive (including Health and Safety Laboratory)

31

Remploy Ltd

29

National Employment Savings Trust Corporation

14

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

13

The Pensions Regulator

8

Independent Living Fund

7

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1112W

The Pensions Ombudsman and Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman

6

The Pensions Advisory Service

2

Disability Living Allowance

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he proposes that the disability living allowance will be replaced by personal independence payments for children. [84301]

Maria Miller: Personal independence payment will not apply to new or existing claims for children when it is introduced in 2013. We are clear that before we apply personal independence payment to children, we will develop a specific assessment to ensure that the needs of children with long-term health conditions or impairments are properly considered. We will build on the experience of developing and implementing the assessment for claimants of working age to inform our decisions about the future arrangements for children. We will also want to take full account of the Department of Education's work on special educational needs and disability including proposals for a single assessment and to design support around disabled children's aspirations.

We have made clear that we will consult before taking any decisions on extending personal independence payment to children.

Employment and Support Allowance

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost of reassessing those on contributory employment and support allowance in the Work Related Activity Group as they come to the end of the 12 month time-limit to determine if they qualify for the Support Group. [82623]

Chris Grayling: The impacts of the proposal to time limit contributory employment and support allowance (ESA) to one year for those in the Work Related Activity Group are set out in the impact assessment found at the following link:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/esa-time-limit-wr2011-ia-revised-apr2011.pdf

The status of a claimant's ESA claim will not change as a result of the application of a 12-month time limit. Therefore, no estimates of the cost of reassessing those on contributory ESA in the Work Related Activity Group as they come to the end of the 12-month time limit have been undertaken.

Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made an estimate of how many people subject to a time limit in the Work-Related Activity Group of contributory employment and support allowance will have a long-term degenerative condition. [82984]

Chris Grayling: The impacts of the proposal to time limit contributory employment and support allowance (ESA) to one year for those in the Work Related Activity Group are set out in the impact assessment found at the following link:

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1113W

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/esa-time-limit-wr2011-ia-revised-apr2011.pdf

However, estimates of the numbers affected by time limiting have been modelled at a national level and cannot be reliably broken down for particular groups.

In addition, the term degenerative condition is a general one which may apply to any condition that leads to gradual deterioration. This can encompass a wide variety of conditions as diverse as neurological, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal conditions and cancer. Therefore we are unable to give an indication of how many people with degenerative conditions may be affected by the time limit.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the (a) mean and (b) median duration that a person in receipt of contributory employment and support allowance spends in the work-related activity group. [83391]

Chris Grayling: The information is as follows:

Contributions based employment support allowance claimants in the work related activity group, by mean and median durations —May 2011

Weeks

Mean

73

Median

72

Durations by band Number of c laimants

All durations

102,010

Up to three months

1,130

Three months up to six months

6,780

Six months up to one year

24,130

One year and up to two years

47,210

Two years and up to five years

22,760

Notes: 1. Caseloads are rounded to the nearest 10. Mean and medians are rounded to the nearest week. 2. Employment and support allowance (ESA) replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2008. 3. Phase of ESA claim/The phase is derived from payment details held on the source system. 4. Payment type/group is derived from payment details held on the source system. Figures will include a small number of claimants entitled to both the contributory and income. Source: DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% based categories.

Employment Schemes

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many times sanctions have been recommended by providers of work programmes in the last year; and how many times sanctions have been imposed on claimants in the last year. [82611]

Chris Grayling: Data on Work programme sanctions are not currently available but will be released in spring 2012, alongside other Work programme statistics.

Housing Benefit

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what proportion of income received by households affected by the household benefit cap is

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1114W

accounted for by

(a)

housing benefit and

(b)

council tax benefit in (i) each region of England, (ii) England, (iii) Scotland, (iv) Wales and (v) Northern Ireland; [83224]

(2) what proportion of income received by households affected by the household benefit cap with (a) one child, (b) two children, (c) three children and (d) four children or more in (i) each English region, (ii) England, (iii) Scotland, (iv) Wales and (v) Northern Ireland is accounted for by (A) housing benefit and (B) council tax benefit. [83226]

Chris Grayling: The information requested is not available as sample sizes are too small to yield reliable results for areas smaller than the overall impacts for Great Britain.

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of income received by households in each band of housing tenure affected by the household benefit cap is accounted for by (a) housing benefit and (b) council tax benefit. [83225]

Chris Grayling: The information requested is not available as sample sizes are too small to yield reliable results for different categories of tenure type.

Jobseeker’s Allowance: Young People

Mr Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of 18 to 24 year olds starting an apprenticeship claimed jobseeker's allowance in the month prior to commencing their apprenticeship in England in the latest year for which figures are available. [83834]

Chris Grayling: The information requested is not available.

Claimants leaving jobseeker's allowance are not required to inform the Department of their destinations and hence the information that is collected is incomplete.

DWP analysts have been investigating the scope for producing regular statistics on benefit destinations, as well as improving consistency of use of this data across the analytical community. The destinations statistics have not been used in the public domain before, mainly because of gaps in coverage and so are considered not robust enough for external use.

Members: Correspondence

Mike Crockart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans to reply to the hon. Member for Edinburgh West's letters of 24 August 2011 and 4 October 2011 concerning a constituent, Sarah Culbertson. [83840]

Chris Grayling: Jobcentre Plus replied to the hon. Member on behalf of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on 6 September 2011. I apologise that no action was taken to clarify this when the hon. Member wrote again in October.

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Poverty

Stephen Mosley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people living in poverty were (a) under the age of 16, (b) between the ages of 16 and 30, (c) between the ages of 31 and 60 and (d) over the age of 60 in the latest period for which figures are available. [83275]

Chris Grayling: Estimates of the number and proportion of individuals 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.

Statistics covering 2009-10 are the most recent available.

The following table shows the number of individuals, by age band, living in households with less than 60% of contemporary median equivalised disposable household income, before and after housing costs.

Table 1: Number of individuals living in poverty by age band, before and after housing costs, United Kingdom, 2009-10
  Number of individuals (million)
Age group Before housing costs After housing costs Population

Under the age of 16

2.2

3.3

11.4

Between the ages of 16 and 30

2.2

3.3

12.3

Between the ages of 31 and 60

3.6

4.8

24.3

Over the age of 60

2.4

2.0

12.6

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. Net disposable incomes have been used to answer the question. This includes earnings from employment and self-employment, state support, income from occupational and: private pensions, investment income and other sources. Income tax, payments, national insurance contributions, council tax/domestic rates and some other payments are deducted from incomes. 3. Figures have been presented on a before housing costs and an after housing costs basis. For before housing costs, housing costs are not deducted from income, while for after housing costs they are. 4. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to a degree of uncertainty. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response. 5. The reference period for HBAI figures is the financial year. 6. Numbers of individuals have been rounded to the nearest 100,000. 7. Poverty has been defined as: Relative low income: households with equivalised household incomes below 60% of contemporary median household income, before or after housing costs. Source: Households Below Average Income (HBAI) 2009-10

Social Security Benefits

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants have ceased receiving benefit as a result of information supplied to his Department by the general public in the latest period for which figures are available. [84302]

Chris Grayling: The information requested is not available.

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Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many couples receiving income replacement benefits with one member of working age and one eligible for Pension Credit have an entitlement which includes the carer premium or addition; and what proportion of all such couples this represents. [84437]

Chris Grayling: The information available is set out in the following table.

Couples in receipt of income related benefits as at May 2011 where one member is under and the other age 60 or over

Total couples Total couples in receipt of carer premium Percentage of couples in receipt with carer premium

Jobseeker's allowance (income based)

2,900

(1)100

(1)2.8

Income support

5,900

900

15.2

Pension credit

92,000

25,300

27.5

(1) Figures of less than 500 (and the resulting %) are based on very few sample cases and should be used as a guide only. Notes: 1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest hundred, percentages to one decimal place. 2. The figures assume that pension credit is available when one partner reaches age 60. However, the qualifying age for pension credit is increasing in line with the increase in women's state pension age. At February 2011 the qualifying age for pension credit was between 60 and four months and 60 and five months. Current data do not allow analysis that takes account of the increase in qualifying age. 3. Jobseeker's allowance is payable until state pension age. Income support is payable until a person reaches the pension credit qualifying age. 4. Data are not available for partners of employment and support allowance or incapacity benefit claimants. 5. The best statistics on benefits are now derived from 100% data sources. However the 5% sample data still provide some detail not yet available from the 100% data sources. The proportions from the 5% sample data have been used and applied to the overall 100% total for the benefit to determine the total number of couples. 6. Figures are not available for couples who may be entitled to this support, but do not claim it. Source: Information, Governance and Security Directorate, 5% samples, Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average weekly loss of income would be for couples currently receiving income replacement benefits, with one member of working age and one eligible for pension credit, under proposals introduced by schedule 2, paragraph 64 of the Welfare Reform Bill. [84438]

Chris Grayling: The Government believe that all people of working age who can work should be expected to do so and that it is not right to continue the current position where pension credit can go to households which contain a person of working age without that person having to meet any work-related requirements. The universal credit approach provides financial support to such couples, whilst giving the working-age member of the couple access to support in finding work.

We have already acknowledged that it will be important not to undermine the stability and outcomes for existing pension credit customers, so the change will not apply to couples already in receipt of pension credit. As a result, there will be no loss for any couples who are

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1117W

already currently receiving income replacement benefits where one member is of working age and one is eligible for pension credit as a result of proposals introduced by schedule 2, paragraph 64 of the Welfare Reform Bill.

Unemployment: Young People

Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the likely level of youth unemployment in each of the next five years. [84072]

Chris Grayling: The latest forecast from the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, published on 29 November 2011, is for unemployment to rise from its current 8.3% of the labour force to 8.7% in the final quarter of 2012. It is then forecast to fall to 8.4% in the final quarter of 2013, 7.8% in the same period in 2014, 6.8% in 2015 and 5.9% in 2016. There is no separate forecast for youth unemployment but this would be expected to follow a broadly similar trend. The Government are investing in policies to support young people to remain active in their job search and help them to engage in real work with employers. This includes a new Youth Contract worth nearly £1 billion. The contract will provide more intensive support for all 18 to 24-year-olds and builds on that already available through Jobcentre Plus and the Work programme.

Work Capability Assessment

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will publish the recommendations on refining the mental, intellectual and cognitive descriptors used in the work capability assessment as submitted to his Department by the independent reviewer Professor Malcolm Harrington in April 2011. [84289]

Chris Grayling: As my reply to the hon. Member of 28 November 2011, Official Report, column 765W set out, the Department currently have no plans to formally publish the report submitted to the Department regarding the mental, intellectual and cognitive descriptors but I have placed a copy of the report in the House Library for Members. We are working with Professor Harrington and the charities that produced the report to review the questionnaire completed by claimants (the ESA50) and to consider building the evidence base around the current and proposed descriptors.

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the current average waiting time is for a work capability assessment in Wales. [84309]

Chris Grayling: The average actual clearance time (AACT) for a work capability assessment (WCA) in Wales at the end of October 2011 is 67.3 days

This is the average time from receipt of the referral from the Department to Atos Healthcare through to the medical assessment report being completed and returned to the Department.

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1118W

Work Programme

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made a risk assessment of the failure or withdrawal of a Work programme prime provider; and if he will place a copy of the outcomes of any such assessment in the Library. [84439]

Chris Grayling: All providers were required to demonstrate that they had the capacity to deliver the Work programme at the bidding stage. In addition, there are various mechanisms in place enabling the Department to be forewarned about the potential failure or withdrawal of providers, allowing the Department to put contingency arrangements in place before service delivery is affected. Individual provider assessments include commercially sensitive information that the Department cannot publish.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will consider the merits of making the new enterprise allowance available to people on the Work programme. [84440]

Chris Grayling: The new enterprise allowance is available to claimants from six months into their benefit claim and is specifically focused on individuals who wish to start their own business.

There are no plans to make the new enterprise allowance available to people on the Work programme. We believe that Work programme providers are best placed to design back to work support and so have allowed them the freedom to do what they believe is best for the individual, which can include helping participants to set up in business.

Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether Work programme prime contractors are required to set aside funds to work with community and voluntary sector sub-contractors. [84441]

Chris Grayling: The Department for Work and Pensions does not specify the commercial arrangements between Work programme prime providers and their subcontractors, other than to require that prime providers follow the Merlin Standard which promotes fair treatment and excellence in supply chain management.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Business: Regulation

Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to reduce the level of administrative demands placed by Government on small businesses. [80404]

Mr Prisk: As part of our wider commitment to free up businesses by cutting red tape, we have announced a moratorium on new domestic regulation for micro-businesses and start-ups until April 2014. We are also looking at how we can reduce the existing regulatory burden by inviting everyone, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to identify unnecessarily burdensome

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1119W

regulation through the Red Tape Challenge. In addition, we are consulting on proposals to give more SMEs and subsidiary companies the ability to make a commercial decision about whether or not to have an audit—which we estimate would save them around £200 million; and through our proposed programme of reviews of regulatory bodies, we will seek to ensure that arrangements for enforcing legal requirements demands are proportionate for the business, fit for purpose and appropriately risk-based.

Debts

Ian Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) whether he has any plans to bring forward proposals to amend part 5 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 prior to implementation; [82527]

(2) what plans he has to give effect to part 5 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. [82528]

Mr Davey: Chapter 3 of part 5 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (debt relief orders) was implemented in England and Wales on 6 April 2009. We launched a Call for Evidence on personal insolvency and consumer credit in October 2010, and in the light of the response, we are now taking forward various initiatives on debt management. We will be considering whether to amend or implement the remaining provisions in part 5 of the Act in due course in the light of developments in this area.

Higher Education: Admissions

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many UCAS applications have been submitted by residents of (a) Nottingham East constituency, (b) Nottingham City, (c) Nottinghamshire (excluding Nottingham City) and (d) the East Midlands in the 2011-12 admissions cycle to date; and how many such applications had been submitted on the same date in the 2010-11 admissions cycle. [83744]

Mr Willetts [holding answer 29 November 2011]: The latest information is in the tables and has been provided by the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS).

UCAS have stated that year-on-year changes for all courses at this early stage in the cycle are often different from the position later in the cycle, and that it is too early in the cycle to extrapolate applicant volumes forward. The second table includes only those applicants who applied to courses with a deadline of 15 October. The main deadline for the majority of UCAS courses is 15 January.

All applicants to UCAS as at 21 November by parliamentary constituency/region
  Application cycle
Area of domicile 2010-11 (1) 2011-12 (2)

Nottingham East constituency

179

169

Nottingham City

801

718

Nottinghamshire (excl Nottingham City)

1,620

1,281

The East Midlands

11,619

9,288

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1120W

(1) Applicants applying to enter courses starting in autumn 2011, including those who applied for deferred entry in 2012. (2) Applicants applying to enter courses starting in autumn 2012, including those who applied for deferred entry in 2013.
On time applicants to courses with a 15 October deadline (1) by parliamentary constituency/region
  Application cycle
Area of domicile 2010-11 (2) 2011-12 (3)

Nottingham East constituency

45

41

Nottingham City

184

165

Nottinghamshire (excl Nottingham City)

333

375

The East Midlands

2,289

2,245

(1) These are courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, and courses at Oxbridge. (2) Applicants applying to enter courses starting in autumn 2011, including those who applied for deferred entry in 2012. (3) Applicants applying to enter courses starting in autumn 2012, including those who applied for deferred entry in 2013.

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many UCAS applications had been submitted by residents of (a) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency, (b) the Borough of Middlesbrough, (c) the Borough of Redcar and Cleveland, (d) the Tees Valley and (e) the North East in the 2011-12 admissions cycle by 21 November 2011; and how many such applications had been submitted on the same date in the 2010-11 admissions cycle. [84160]

Mr Willetts: The latest information is in the following tables and has been provided by the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS).

UCAS have stated that year-on-year changes for all courses at this early stage in the cycle are often different from the position later in the cycle, and that it is too early in the cycle to extrapolate applicant volumes forward. The second table includes only those applicants who applied to courses with a deadline of October 15. The main deadline for the majority of UCAS courses is January 15.

All applicants to UCAS as at November 21 by parliamentary constituency/region
  Application cycle
Area of domicile 2010-11 (1) 2011-12 (2)

Middlesbrough south and east Cleveland constituency

268

207

The borough of Middlesbrough

180

120

The borough of Redcar and Cleveland

228

197

The Tees Valley

1,792

1,292

The North East

5,392

4,237

(1) Applicants applying to enter courses starting in autumn 2011, including those who applied for deferred entry in 2012. (2) Applicants applying to enter courses starting in autumn 2012, including those who applied for deferred entry in 2013.
On time applicants to courses with an October 15 deadline (1) by parliamentary constituency/region
  Application cycle
Area of domicile 2010-11 (2) 2011-12 (3)

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency

35

33

The borough of Middlesbrough

23

18

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1121W

The borough of Redcar and Cleveland

21

23

The Tees Valley

254

227

The North East

1,131

1,073

(1) These are courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, and courses at Oxbridge. (2) Applicants applying to enter courses starting in autumn 2011, including those who applied for deferred entry in 2012. (3) Applicants applying to enter courses starting in autumn 2012, including those who applied for deferred entry in 2013.

In my answer to the hon. Member's parliamentary question (77543) tabled on 31 October and answered on 7 November 2011, Official Report, column 109W, the figures for the Tees Valley did not include applicants from Middlesbrough south and east Cleveland constituency. The figures for the Tees Valley should have been 484 in 2010-11 and 390 in 2011-12 (not 410 and 322 respectively).

Higher Education: Apprentices

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprentices have been taken on by universities in the last three years for which information is available. [83172]

Mr Hayes [holding answer 25 November 2011]: Information on the number of apprentices that have been taken on by universities as staff members is not available.

Information on employment in the broader education sector is provided in the following table which shows the total number of apprenticeship programme starts in the education and training sector subject area in 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10, the latest year for which final data are available.

1 Dec 2011 : Column 1122W

Apprenticeship starts in the education and training sector subject area, 2007 / 08 to 2009 / 10

2007 / 08 2008 / 09 2009 / 10

Apprenticeship starts

1,160

860

4,000

Notes: All figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Source: Individualised Learner Record

Information on the number of apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly Statistical First Release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 27 October 2011:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

Information on the number of apprentices who have progressed to university-level studies is available from Apprentice Progression Tracking Research.

For the 2005/06 cohort of Level 3 apprentices, new data show 13% progressed to higher education or Level 4 by 2008/09, This includes higher education in further education institutions and Level 4 in higher education and further education. Updated findings will be available in April 2012.

Source:

Apprentice Progression Tracking Research Project Report: Longitudinal Tracking of Advanced Level Apprentice Cohorts Progressing into Higher Education 2005/06 to 2009/10 by Sharon Smith and Hugh Joslin, July 2011

Third Sector

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what funding over £100,000 his Department's Knowledge and Innovation Directorate allocated to (a) voluntary sector, (b) charities and (c) other third sector organisations in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [82952]

Mr Willetts [holding answer 25 November 2011]: Assistance to the Russian Federation has been provided through the European Space Agency (ESA) using capabilities partially supported by the UK as a member of ESA. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has not offered help directly.