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Frank Dobson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many jobs in (a) his Department and (b) the agencies and non-departmental bodies for which he is responsible were transferred to the private sector in 2010-11. 
Electoral Register: Greater London
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what estimate has been made of how many people in each Parliamentary constituency in London are registered to vote and resident abroad. (93879)
Table 1 shows the number of overseas electors registered to vote in each Parliamentary constituency in London on 1 December 2010. 2010 is the latest year for which data are available.
|Table 1: Registered overseas parliamentary electors for each parliamentary constituency in London, parliamentary constituencies (1)|
|Parliamentary constituency||Overseas electors, 1 December 2010|
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|(1) The constituencies are the ‘new' constituencies that came into effect at the last UK general election. Source: Office for National Statistics.|
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Government Departments: Billing
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what average time was taken by all Government departments to pay the invoices of their small business suppliers; and if he will make a statement. 
Nevertheless, the Government recognise that being paid promptly for work done is vital for suppliers to enable them to manage their cash flow and reduce time wasted on chasing invoices. We are determined to do everything we can to help business manage cash flow and to transform the culture of late payment.
The Government's policy is to pay 80% of undisputed invoices within five days and to pass 30-day payment terms down supply chains by including requirements for suppliers to do so in contracts. We expect our suppliers to follow our example on prompt payment and pay their sub-contractors within the 30-day limit.
Twenty one current marketable vacant space records within Scotland have been recorded by English Central Civil Government Departments in e-PIMS (Electronic Property Information Mapping Service). Details are included within an Excel spreadsheet, a copy of which will be placed in the Library of the House.
E-PIMS does not currently record underused space but the annual State of the Estate report to Parliament records the utilisation of space at departmental and organisation level which includes benchmarks.
Government Departments: Freedom of Information
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will publish his Department's guidance on private emails and the Freedom of Information Act referred to in the Education Select Committee evidence session of 31 January 2012 as having been issued to the Department for Education. 
Government Departments: Procurement
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of savings on Government procurement has resulted from (a) demand management or curtailment and (b) negotiations based on existing procurement practice in each of the last three years. 
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£870 million of reductions in spend on consulting;
Nearly £500 million saved by reducing spend on temporary agency staff;
£400 million of reductions in marketing spend;
£90 million reduction in the ongoing cost of the property estate by exerting better control over lease renewals.
£360 million saved by centralising spend on common goods and services;
£800 million saved from renegotiating deals with some of the largest suppliers to Government.
£150 million saved from 2010/11 budgets for Government's major projects, by halting or curtailing low value or wasteful spending;
£300 million saved by applying greater scrutiny to ICT expenditure.
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will require Government departments with procurement budgets to allocate 25% of their procurement funds to small and medium-sized enterprise suppliers. 
Mr Maude: Government procurement policy requires that contracts be awarded to achieve value for money, through fair and open competition, in compliance with EU Treaty principles and UK Regulations implementing the EU Procurement Directives where appropriate. It would, therefore, be inappropriate to ring-fence funding for one sector of the supply base.
Nevertheless, the Government recognise the vital role that small firms have to play in helping them to achieve the best possible value for money when they buy goods and services, and have an aspiration that 25% of Government procurement should go to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). To this end we have announced a series of measures to make it easier for SMEs to compete for Government contracts. Further information is available on the Cabinet Office website:
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time staff in his Department are currently working on identifying and realising procurement-led savings. 
Mr Maude: Cabinet Office work on identifying and realising procurement-led savings is carried out by the Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG), which operates a flexible resourcing and development model across its core structure. This model of working allows for a more flexible working environment by allocating staff to time-bound assignments to ensure we are best able to focus our resources to deliver our priorities.
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Jake Berry: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many grace and favour houses are allocated to each government department; how many are vacant; and how many were vacant before May 2010. 
Mr Maude: The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), have the use of the official residences above No. 10 and No. 11 Downing street respectively. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), has the use of the residence at No. 1 Carlton Gardens. The flats at Admiralty House are unoccupied.
Mr Knight: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the cost to the public purse has been of (a) renovation of and (b) decoration to grace and favour properties used by Cabinet Ministers (i) between May 2005 and May 2010 and (ii) since May 2010. 
Central Office for Information: Manpower
Mr David Hamilton: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many members of staff will be (a) made redundant and (b) re-deployed within his Department when the Central Office of Information is closed. 
Mr Maude: The closure of the Central Office of Information (COI) means that all its staff are at risk of redundancy. The Cabinet Office is working to minimise the number of redundancies, through measures including redeployment of staff elsewhere in Government (as well as within the Cabinet Office itself). We will continue this work until COI closes at the end of March and will not know the total number of redeployments and redundancies until then.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2012, Official Report, columns 444-45W, on the third sector, how much funding each of the pilot providers received from his Department in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr Hurd: The Cabinet Office publishes details of all transactions over £25,000 on a monthly basis on data.gov.uk. All the National Citizen Service pilot providers' payments for the 2012 pilots to date will be included in these data. In addition, there was a payment to the Salford Foundation for £21,186 in December 2011.
Rachel Reeves: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) how many surveys were conducted in connection with the development of new measures of national well-being in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; how many surveys are planned for (i) 2012-13, (ii) 2013-14 and (iii) 2014-15; and what estimate has been made of the cost to the public purse of conducting each survey; 
(3) how many events have been held in connection with the development of new measures of national well-being; what the (a) location, (b) date and (c) cost was of each event; and how many events are planned for (i) 2012-13, (ii) 2013-14 and (iii) 2014-15; 
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions asking:
1. How many surveys were conducted in connection with the development of new measures of national well-being in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; how many surveys are planned for (i) 2012-13, (ii) 2013-14 and (iii) 2014-15; and what estimate has been made of the cost to the public purse of conducting each survey (93744).
2. How many staff will work on the development of new measures of national well-being in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13, (c) 2013-14 and (d) 2014-15 (93745).
3. How many events have been held in connection with the development of new measures of national well-being; what were the (a) locations, (b) dates and (c) costs for each event; and how many events are planned for (i) 2012-13, (ii) 2013-14 and (iii) 2014-15 (93746).
4. Does the Minister for the Cabinet Office plan to publish the results of the public consultation undertaken as part of the development of new measures of national well-being? (93747).
ONS have no plans to carry out new statistical surveys in the years quoted. However, ONS have added questions to the Integrated Household Survey and Opinions Survey. The cost of these questions was £466k in 2011/12 and will be £362k each year for 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15. There were no significant start up costs or survey costs in 2010/11—survey questions were introduced from April 2011.
The aim of the Measuring National Well-being Programme is to develop and publish an accepted and trusted set of National Statistics which help people to understand and monitor national well-being. All programme staff are therefore involved in the development of new measures of national well-being, though this
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involvement forms part of the wider programme of work. For the period 2011/12 there were 40 posts for the Measuring National Well-being Programme. Our staffing projection for 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15 is expected to be 42 posts.
Wider programme work includes children and young people's well-being, subjective well-being, development of the national economic accounts and UK environmental accounts, analysis and reporting, international liaison and stakeholder engagement activities.
The table relates to events held in connection with the Measuring National Well-being Programme where 'events' refers to debates, seminars or conferences. A copy of this table has been placed in the House of Commons Library.
For the period 2011/12 the Measuring National Well-being Programme held a National Debate (from 25 November 2010 to 15 April 2011). A total of 175 events were held around the country at a total cost of £31k. The full list is provided in Annex A. In addition, a seminar was held at the Royal Society of Arts in London on 10th November 2011, costing £520.00.
The 2012/13 committed spend for a seminar with stakeholders relating to the Measuring National Well-being Programme is £2k. This is due to be held in London on 12th March 2012. The programme anticipates holding another 11 events with stakeholders between now and 2014/15. The total anticipated spend for these events is £8k.
ONS are planning to publish an initial response to the public consultation on the development of measures of national well-being on Tuesday 28th February 20.12. The response will take the form of a written report which will highlight initial findings.
A more considered response will be published alongside a revised set of domains and measures of national well-being in summer 2012. By this time, ONS also aim to have published online all individual responses to the consultation, where respondents have agreed for their response to be made public.
Rachel Reeves: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 14 November 2011, Official Report, columns 541-2W, on well-being, whether the National Statistician has made any estimate of the effect of changes in the unemployment rate on happiness. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking pursuant to the Answer of 14 November 2011, Official Report, columns 541-2W, on well-being, whether the National Statistician has made any estimate of the effect of changes in the unemployment rate on happiness. (93738)
I have not made any estimate of the effect of changes in the unemployment rate on happiness. However, on 1 December 2011, ONS published a research report entitled ‘Initial investigation into Subjective Well-being from the Opinions Survey’. This report includes estimates of how much subjective well-being differs for unemployed people compared with those in employment and those who are inactive.
The report provides initial experimental estimates of subjective well-being for Great Britain from the ONS Opinions Survey and is available from the following web link:
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Energy and Climate Change
Carbon Emissions: Housing
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of progress made towards meeting his Department's Carbon Emissions Reduction Target obligations; and what the remaining cost will be to energy companies to meet those obligations. 
Gregory Barker: The latest published report on progress by the scheme administrator Ofgem shows that, as of end September 2011, companies had completed 75% of the overall target of 293 million tonnes (lifetime) CO2. Of the sub-obligations, suppliers had met 30% of the Insulation Obligation, 82% of the Priority Group and 15% of the Super Priority Group. The next report is due to be published in early March . We do not have powers to require suppliers to disclose the cost of meeting CERT. Our best estimates set out in the associated impact assessment published at the outset.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many and what proportion of his Department's invoices from its private sector suppliers were paid (a) within 14 days, (b) between 15 and 30 days, (c) between 31 and 60 days, (d) between 61 and 90 days and (e) more than 90 days after receipt in the last 12 months. 
Gregory Barker: DECC's prompt payment statistics cover all types of suppliers including private sector suppliers. Since April 2009 the Department has published information on prompt payment on a monthly basis on its website. Since May 2010 this has shown the percentage of invoices paid within five days.
|Percentage processed within 30 days|
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DEFRA published three annual reports on food procurement which covered the period April 2006 to March 2009. These reports include an estimate of the proportion of domestically produced food procured for Government Departments and are available in the Library of the House. The percentages of food procured domestically within the estate occupied by DECC from October 2008 to March 2009 are included within the DEFRA figures in the last of these reports.
Fruit & Veg—23.3% of total, 38.5% of indigenous.
Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many jobs in (a) his Department and (b) the agencies and non-departmental bodies for which he is responsible were transferred to the private sector in 2010-11. 
Gregory Barker: Neither the Department of Energy and Climate Change, nor any agencies or non-departmental public bodies for which it is responsible, transferred any jobs to the private sector in 2010-11.
Ministerial Policy Advisers
Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of domestic customers who pay their (a) gas and (b) electricity bills by periodic fixed direct debit; and what estimate he has made of the proportion of such customers who are in credit on at least 50 per cent. of occasions. 
Charles Hendry: In Q3 of 2011 (latest information available) the number of domestic customers in the UK who paid for their energy by direct debit were: 12.1 million gas customers (55% of total customers) and 14.2 million electricity customers (53% of total customers).
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Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the average amount of funds held by the big six energy suppliers for each domestic account that is in credit in the last year. 
Charles Hendry: Ofgem is responsible for regulating gas and electricity supply, including customer payments. In 2009, Ofgem introduced a new supply licence condition that came into effect in January 2010, which requires suppliers to ensure customers' direct debit payments are clearly and accurately explained and are based on the best available information. Suppliers are also required to justify why they are holding on to any credit balances built up by customers. It is for Ofgem to assess whether suppliers comply with the licence condition and take action if they do not.
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what proportion of energy consumed in the UK was (a) domestic and (b) business consumption in (i) 2006, (ii) 2007, (iii) 2008, (iv) 2009 and (v) 2010; 
Charles Hendry: These data are published annually. As they were last published at the end of July 2011, no further update is currently available. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 14 September 2011, Official Report, column 1165-66W.
Energy: EU Action
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with the Danish EU Presidency on liberalisation of the energy market; and if he will make a statement. 
Denmark has highlighted the improvement of EU energy infrastructure as a key priority and is aiming to secure agreement on the draft Regulation on Trans-European Energy Networks by the summer. Creating the right regulatory framework to facilitate investment in energy infrastructure will aid the completion of the single energy market meeting energy security objectives and supporting Europe's transition to a low carbon economy.
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking under the procurement process for smart meter communication services to assess (a) the proposed coverage and (b) the viability of different technologies in rural areas. 
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Charles Hendry: The purpose of the procurement processes for the data and communication services is to evaluate the technical capability and value for money of proposed solutions. For communication services this will include assessing the proposed coverage, efficacy and viability of different technologies across Great Britain, including any particular challenges posed by remote and rural areas.
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will take steps to ensure the energy regulator enforces cost reflective pricing in the energy market for customers with and without (a) internet access and (b) access to direct debit banking. 
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to ensure energy companies do not discriminate against existing customers when recruiting new customers; 
Charles Hendry: We have no plans to bring forward the legislative proposals suggested by the hon. Member. Ofgem are taking steps through their retail market review to ensure energy consumers are treated fairly, and are consulting on proposals to simplify tariffs and improve transparency regarding differentials.
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) pursuant to the answer of 24 November 2011, Official Report, column 539W, on energy prices, what assessment he has made of the steps taken by Ofgem on predatory pricing; 
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(2) what steps he has taken to prevent energy companies offering heavily discounted deals only to new customers; what recent discussions he has had with Ofgem on preventing such deals; and if he will make a statement; 
To date, I have not received a written response from Ofgem to the request the hon. Member refers to. The further information requested by the hon. Member is also a matter for Ofgem. The Chief Executive of Ofgem has confirmed he will write to the hon. Member shortly, and we will place a copy of his letter in the Libraries of the House.
In December 2011 we submitted our first Progress Report to the European Commission, as required under the Renewable Energy Directive. This shows that at the end of 2010 (the latest data available) 3.3% of our energy came from renewable sources, and that we are currently on track to meet our first interim target of 4.04% at the end of 2012. The Progress Report can be downloaded from our website at:
Government Procurement Card
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) transaction date, (b) supplier and (c) amount of each transaction made on a Government procurement card held by his private office between May 2010 and December 2011. 
The Department has published on its website the information requested for transactions over £500 made using departmental government procurement cards between April and October 2011. The Department will publish this information for 2010-11 before 31 March 2012.
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Green Deal Scheme
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what meetings the Minister of State for Climate Change had to discuss the Green Deal between September and December 2011. 
Gregory Barker: Details of meetings between DECC Ministers and external organisations are published quarterly on the Department's website. The list for the period in question will be published in due course.
Infrastructure: Capital Investment
Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much private sector capital his Department's programmes for infrastructure investment have attracted since May 2010. 
Charles Hendry: While DECC does not systematically record all private sector capital investment in energy infrastructure the Government remain confident that the actions set out in the EMR White Paper and National Infrastructure Plan 2011 for example, will incentivise sufficient investment to deliver secure, affordable, low-carbon energy.
Since May 2010, around 2.5 GW of operational renewable electricity capacity has been added to the system. According to National Grid's latest Transmission Entry Capacity Database, around 3 GW of other capacity has also been added which includes CCGT capacity and the final 400 MW stage of the Britned interconnector. Additionally we have consented to 17 Section 36 planning applications with a total generating capacity of over 9 GW (renewables 1,601 MW, thermal 7,570 MW).
In addition EDF has submitted a development consent application for a nuclear power plant at Hinkley in Somerset and there has been significant interest from investors in the UK's offshore electricity transmission regime where licences have been granted to four Offshore Transmission Owners (OFTOs) so far since May 2010, which represents a collective investment from them of £254 million.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his Department's latest estimate is of the reserves of methane hydrate in the UK; what his Department's policy is on the extraction of methane hydrate; and if he will make a statement. 
Charles Hendry: The presence of methane hydrates in deep waters west of Shetland is possible, but has not been established. In the absence of any commercial technology for exploiting such resources, no estimate of reserves can be made at the present time. As with all other hydrocarbon resources, the Department would only allow exploitation where this can safely be carried out with full regard for protection of the environment.
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Nuclear Power Stations: Hinkley Point
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has received any additional information concerning the Hinkley Point licensed nuclear site since the designation of the National Nuclear Policy Statement (NPS-6) which has resulted in a reconsideration of the suitability of the site for a new nuclear power plant. 
Charles Hendry: I have received no information which would give rise to a belief that the site was not suitable. On 24 November 2011 the Infrastructure Planning Commission accepted for examination EDF's application for development consent for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.
Renewable Energy: Feed-in Tariffs
As part of the comprehensive spending review HM Treasury and DECC worked closely to agree the budget available for the Feed-in Tariffs Scheme as part of the Levy Control Framework. As with all policies the Government considered the wider economic impact when determining the available budget, ensuring that it represented good value for money in delivering the objectives of low carbon, renewable electricity and engaging households with our low carbon agenda.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to his planned changes to feed-in tariffs, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that rural businesses remain in the renewable energy industry. 
Gregory Barker: The proposed changes to the FITs scheme will ensure that it is on a sustainable footing going forward to allow as many people as possible to take advantage of it. It will continue to offer opportunities to businesses in rural and urban areas, as will the Renewable Heat Incentive when it is introduced later this year.
I am also working with my colleague in DEFRA to set up the rural community renewable fund announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in November. This will provide communities with a fund to develop and own their own renewable energy and will increase jobs within local businesses.
Anaerobic Digestion (AD) also has an important role to play in the Government's agenda for renewable energy and waste. We hope that the proposed tariffs will encourage farm owners, where appropriate, to consider the use of agricultural AD plants to dispose of the waste that they produce in a more sustainable way, which in turn should provide benefits for local businesses and the wider rural community.
Shale Gas: Exploration
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Government has requested advice from his Department on exploration methods for shale gas; and what advice his Department gave. 
Charles Hendry: Welsh Government officials regularly liaise with the Department on a number of issues including shale gas exploration. In addition representatives from the Welsh Government and other devolved bodies are included in the regular shale gas liaison teleconferences which my officials hold with other key regulators, including the Health and Safety Executive and respective Environmental Agencies.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what plans he has for public (a) scrutiny and (b) consultation on his proposals for the regulation of shale gas drilling. 
Charles Hendry: Shale gas activities are already regulated in the same way as other UK oil and gas exploration and production activities. These regulations are considered to be among the most robust in the world.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many exploration and development licences for shale gas drilling in the UK he has issued since May 2010; and in which locations applicants began exploration work under each such licence. 
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agriculture: International Co-operation
Richard Benyon: The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for South East Cambridgeshire (Mr Paice), will be attending the Gulfood trade show in Dubai at the end of February. It has also been proposed that he attend a China Animal Husbandry Expo in Nanjing, China at the end of May.
Animal Health and Welfare Board for England
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England has sought to recruit a member of the board who is a dairy farmer; whether this position has been advertised on her Department’s website; what her policy is on ensuring that members of the board are capable of fully representing the range of (a) animal management
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systems in use and
issues raised in relation to animal health and welfare in England; and what her policy is on transparency in appointments to the board. 
The board’s terms of reference set out that the appointment of the chair and other non-executive board members will be conducted in an open and transparent manner. The board applied a similar process for appointing the final two non-executive members to that for appointing the other non-executive members. This process is rigorous and follows the key principles set out in the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ (OCPA) Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies.
In line with the recommendations of the England Advisory Group on responsibility and cost-sharing, the non-executive members of the board are appointed as individuals rather than as representatives of organisations, sectors or interest groups. They bring a range of expertise and skills to the board’s deliberations and between them have the experience or the ability to understand the full range of animal health and welfare issues, including animal management systems. The board can also access further expertise when the need arises.
Animal Welfare: Poultry
Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she plans to take at European level to seek to ensure that all EU member states comply with EU animal welfare requirements in egg production. 
Mr Paice: The Commission is taking action to deal with non-compliance across the EU and has written formal infraction letters to 13 of the 14 member states that have not complied with the conventional cage ban. The UK is also likely to receive an infraction letter shortly, because of our very low level of non-compliance (as of 25 January, less than 0.05% of the total UK flock were still in conventional cages and the position is improving daily). The Commission has now received action plans from all non-compliant member states which should contain measures to accelerate compliance. There are to be monthly reports of these plans in Brussels at the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health and we will be fully engaged in these discussions.
Ultimately it is for the Competent Authority in each member state to take responsibility at source for ensuring that any remaining producers move out of conventional cages. The UK is working hard towards achieving full compliance and wishes to see the rest of Europe follow suit as quickly as possible.
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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much her Department spent on biodiversity conservation in (a) England and (b) the British overseas territories in 2010-11. 
Richard Benyon: Details of DEFRA spend on biodiversity conservation in England in 2010-11 are provided in the following table. These figures represent DEFRA programme spend and spend by the wider DEFRA network but do not include staff costs. They also include total agri-environment scheme expenditure and the DEFRA biodiversity research programme, of which a major share is judged to be spent on biodiversity in England.
|Estimated public expenditure by DEFRA network organisations on biodiversity conservation in England, 2010-11|
|(1) Total scheme and research expenditure, of which, the major share is judged to be spent on biodiversity in England (2) Totals may not add due to rounding.|
DEFRA spend on biodiversity conservation in the British overseas territories in 2010-11 is estimated to be £1,421,651. This includes commitments under the Darwin initiative and support for projects to address invasive non-native species. It also includes spend by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science. It does not include spend by others, for example, the Governments of the overseas territories themselves, who are principally responsible for biodiversity conservation in their territories.
Biofuels: Health Hazards
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Chichester of 10 November 2009, Official Report, columns 218-9W, on renewable energy, if she will estimate the likely annual morbidity arising from the emissions from each megawatt of installed biomass capacity. 
The Government recognise that emissions from biomass have a potential effect on health, which is why we have published our intention to include emission limits for particulate matter and oxides of
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nitrogen as eligibility criteria for the Renewable Heat Incentive. DEFRA has not commissioned a specific estimate of morbidity related to emissions from biomass combustion.
British Overseas Territories: Fisheries
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department provides funding to British Overseas Territories to help them protect their waters from illegal fishing. 
Richard Benyon: As part of DEFRA’s support and assistance to the UK Overseas Territories, it has jointly funded, with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a project to develop ‘model' legislation to assist the Overseas Territories in ensuring that they have appropriate and robust procedures in place to address illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.
Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to publish the statutory guidance following the consultation on changes to the contaminated land regime under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. 
Richard Benyon: The draft Statutory Guidance will be laid in Parliament shortly. According to section 78YA of the 1990 Environment Protection Act (as amended by section 57 of the 1996 Environment Act), the draft part 2A Statutory Guidance has to be laid before each House of Parliament for a period of 40 days. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is unable to issue the Statutory Guidance until that 40-day period had elapsed and subject to there not having been a resolution of either House that the guidance should not be issued.
Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she plans to publish the responses to the consultation on changes to the contaminated land regime under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. 
Richard Benyon: The summary of the responses to the consultation on changes to the contaminated land regime under Part 2A of the Environment Protection Act 1990 will be published on the DEFRA website when the draft Statutory Guidance is laid in Parliament. We hope to be publishing the summary of consultation responses shortly.
Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had on the possible effect on the property market of her planned introduction of four categories of land quality resulting from investigations into contamination. 
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on the proposed Simplification of the Contaminated Land Regime. This Impact Assessment is available on DEFRA's website.
Further research has been commissioned to look at estimating the potential benefits of investigating and remediating contaminated land, including possible effects on the property market, and the results of this research will be available on the DEFRA website when it is complete.
Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the compatibility of her Department's public consultation on its revised contaminated land statutory guidance with her obligations under section 78YA of the Environment Protection Act 1990. 
Richard Benyon: The public consultation on the proposed changes to the Part 2A Statutory Guidance on contaminated land held between December 2010 and March 2011 fully meets the Secretary of State's obligations under section 78YA of the Environment Protection Act 1990, which states that:
“Any power of the Secretary of State to issue guidance under this Part shall only be exercisable after consultation with the appropriate Agency and such other bodies or persons as he may consider it appropriate to consult in relation to the guidance in question.”
|Number of consented applications|
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) letters and (b) e-mails on dangerous dogs she has received from (a) hon. Members, (b) peers and (c) others in the last 12 months. 
Mr Paice: In the period from 1 February 2011 to 31 January 2012, DEFRA received 287 letters and e-mails from hon. Members of Parliament and 131 letters and 117 e-mails from members of the public about dangerous dogs. There is no record of any letters or e-mails on the subject from peers.
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Freedom of Information
Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons her Department has not published its responses to requests under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 since the third quarter of 2010. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA's disclosure log of FOI responses was not updated between October 2010 and 26 January 2012. The disclosure log is now up to date to the end of September 2011 and will be updated to the end of December 2011 in early February.
DEFRA's Information Rights team aim is to update the disclosure log every quarter but a 20% increase in the number of requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) in the last year and a decision to prioritise other work led to a gap in the disclosure log, which is now being corrected.
provides a summary of DEFRA's responses in each quarter of the calendar year and visitors to the site are invited to contact the DEFRA Library if they want to see a particular response. For responses not yet listed in the disclosure log, requests can be made direct to DEFRA's Information Rights team by emailing:
Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many jobs in (a) her Department and (b) the agencies and non-departmental bodies for which she is responsible were transferred to the private sector in 2010-11. 
Richard Benyon: Core DEFRA did not transfer any jobs to the private sector in 2010-11 and neither did its agencies. In the same period, two non-departmental public bodies transferred a total of 106 permanent roles to the private sector; 100 of these were from the Environment Agency, and six from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many times each Minister in her Department has visited (a) Northern Ireland, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales in an official capacity since their appointment. 
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|Date||Constituencies||Purpose of meeting|
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many away days her Department has held since May 2010; what the location was of each such away day; how many staff attended; and what the cost was of each such event. 
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Cabinet Office. This summer we will be offering five traineeships through the Summer Diversity Internship scheme.
Direct Mail: Waste
Richard Benyon: In November 2011, the Government launched a responsibility deal with the direct marketing industry to improve the environmental performance of the sector, and ensure it plays its part in supporting a move towards a zero waste economy. By 2014, the deal aims to significantly reduce the amount of unnecessary direct marketing material produced and sent out through the marketing industry increasing its use of suppression and targeting data, such as ‘do not contact’ and ‘gone away’ lists, by 25%.
The deal commits the industry to actions including an improved opt-out scheme to give householders more control over what is posted through their letterboxes. This replaces the current outdated system, where householders have to register on three separate websites or apply by post to stop different types of unwanted direct mail.
Farming Regulation Task Force
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if her Department will specify the timescales and actions to be taken to implement the recommendations of the Farming Regulation Task Force report; [R] 
Mr Paice: I plan to publish a full response to the Farming Regulation Task Force recommendations by the end of this month. The response will set out our proposed actions in response to each recommendation.
Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 13 December 2011, Official Report, column 633W, on floods: north east, what flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes are planned for each English region other than the north east in 2012-13. 
Richard Benyon: The answer of 13 December 2011, Official Report, column 633W was based on an indicative programme of flood and coastal erosion schemes likely to go ahead next year. The Environment Agency Board is meeting in early February to confirm the final allocation of capital budget to regions and schemes. There will be a subsequent announcement, at which point I will write to you with details of the final flood and coastal erosion risk management programme for 2012-13.
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Flood Control: Expenditure
|Allocation (£ million)|
|National (capital (1) )||National (maintenance (2) )||Cumbria (capital (1) )||Cumbria (maintenance (2) )|
|(1) Capital investment for schemes only, funded through a combination of Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) and Local Levy funding. Major capital schemes delivered in the time frame include; Carlisle City and Caldew Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) (£23 million); River Eden/Petteril Flood Defences Carlisle (£12 million); Thacka Beck Penrith FAS (£5 million); and Cumbria Floods Emergency Works (£3 million). (2) Maintenance investment includes FDGiA funding for frequent/intermittent maintenance and incident response.|
Food: Waste Disposal
Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to provide incentives for the commercial catering sector to recycle food waste for use in renewable energy generation. 
Richard Benyon: Anaerobic digestion plants that generate renewable energy from food waste are eligible for a range of incentives, such as feed-in tariffs and the renewable heat incentive. In addition, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) recently launched a £100,000 fund to support organisations that want to start collecting food waste from businesses or to expand existing collections. The Government have no plans to introduce incentives directed specifically at the commercial catering sector.
The June 2011 Review of Waste Policy in England committed the Government to develop a new responsibility deal with businesses in the hospitality and food service sector, which includes the commercial catering sector. This deal will aim to reduce food waste and ensure that unavoidable food waste is managed more sustainably, including for use in renewable energy generation.
We are working with WRAP, the devolved Administrations and the industry to produce this deal. We received industry input on the proposed targets and structure in January, and will use this to produce the final deal, which we hope to launch in the spring.
Freedom of Information
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department publishes on its website its response to each request it receives under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; whether the response is published in the same part of its
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website on each occasion; and what the average time taken is between responding to a request and the information being made available on the website. 
Richard Benyon: DEFRA does not publish individual responses to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). However, a disclosure log summarising DEFRA's responses to FOIA and EIR requests is published on DEFRA's website at:
The disclosure log provides a summary of DEFRA's responses in each quarter of the calendar year and visitors to the site are invited to contact the DEFRA Library if they want to see a particular response.
DEFRA's information rights team aim to update the disclosure log every quarter of the calendar year and the site is currently up to date to the end of September 2011 and will be updated again with cases dealt with in the fourth quarter of 2011 in early February. An approximate 20% increase in the number of requests made to DEFRA in the past year and a decision to prioritise other work led to delays in updating the site over the past 12 months.
Visitors to the site are invited to contact the DEFRA Library if they want to see a particular response. For responses not yet listed in the disclosure log, requests can be made direct to DEFRA's Information Rights team by emailing:
Richard Benyon: Because of Japanese knotweed's invasive nature, it is listed on schedule 9 and subject to section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, making it an offence to plant, or cause this species to grow, in the wild. Japanese knotweed is also regarded as controlled waste and as such its disposal is governed by waste disposal regulations.
Japanese knotweed is now firmly established within Great Britain and national eradication is beyond any realistic prospect. Consequently, the only realistic approach to its control is to encourage landowners and others to manage the weed where it is impacting on their interests. There is no general compulsion to do so but under the cross-compliance rules, for example, those in receipt of the single farm payment are required to take reasonable steps to prevent its spread. However, the Government are supporting a broad-scale and long-term approach to managing Japanese knotweed via the controlled release of the highly specialist psyllid Aphalara itadori. If successful, this should restrict its growth, slow its capacity to spread vigorously and enhance the effectiveness of management effort.
Tackling invasive species along waterways requires a co-ordinated effort to reduce the risk of re-invasion. There are a growing number of county or catchment based action groups emerging throughout Britain with a focus on tackling invasive non-native species at a local
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level. Many of these groups include volunteers working with landowners and local organisations to control or eradicate invasive non-native species, such as Japanese knotweed, from local waterways and river catchments. The Government are supporting such projects via funding and through the framework of the GB Invasive Non-Native Species Strategy, which was launched in 2008.
Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the revenue generated from implementation of the EU Landfill Tax in each year since its introduction. 
|Financial year||Revenue (£ million)|
Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her Department’s target time is for responding to communications from (a) hon. Members and (b) members of the public. 
Richard Benyon: It is currently not possible to estimate otter abundance from the quantity and distribution of otter signs and sightings. Research investigating the possibility of assessing numbers of otters from DNA or chemical analysis of spraint (otter faeces) is ongoing.
Four national otter surveys have been carried out in England in the last 30 years—in 1984-86, 1991-94, 2000-02 and 2009-10. Direct comparison of the 2,940 sites used in all four of these surveys reveals that the
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number of sites showing signs of otters has increased from 10% in 1984-86 to 23.4% in 1991-94, 36.3% in 2000-02, and again to 58.8% in 2009-10. Since the publication of the last report, otter signs in Kent have confirmed that the species is now present throughout England. This demonstrates the slow but gradual recovery of otter populations over this period, moving from west to east.
Rivers: Environmental Protection
David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with Natural England on the protection of the Lune Estuary; and if she will bring forward legislative proposals to prohibit the use of jet skis in estuarial waters. 
Richard Benyon: In 2010, DEFRA asked Natural England to undertake a review of the risks to European Marine Sites (EMS) of anthropological activities. Natural England has published its advice, “Research Report NERR038—European Marine Site Risk Review”, which concluded that recreational activities within Morecambe Bay (including the Lune Estuary) posed a risk of impacting Special Protection Area (SPA) bird species through disturbance but that there was uncertainty about the condition of the interest feature. In response to the report DEFRA produced a “Generic plan for recreational activities causing disturbance in European Marine Sites”. However, this sought to address high risk activities in specific sites and did not address Morecambe Bay due to the uncertainty over actual impacts. More information is available at:
Work to clarify the risk from recreational activities to SPA/Ramsar areas is ongoing. Where there are unacceptable risks to SPA/Ramsar interests, both within and outside the designated site, Natural England will work with relevant authorities such as the Marine Management Organisation and the local authorities, and through the European marine site Management Group and Morecambe Bay Partnership to help identify appropriate advice, management or controls to avoid or mitigate impacts on the designated site interests.
Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list visits made to each parliamentary constituency in Scotland by Ministers in her Department since May 2010. 
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|The Secretary of State|
|The Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr Paice)|
|The Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries (Richard Benyon)|
Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department’s research project entitled Determining the Extent of Use and Humaneness of Snares in England and Wales will assess snares specifically intended to catch hares and badgers. 
Veterinary Medicine: Negligence
Mr Paice: The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is responsible for the regulation of the veterinary profession and DEFRA is unable to intervene in that process. RCVS deals with complaints against veterinary surgeons of “conduct disgraceful in any professional respect”. RCVS will investigate the alleged negligence only if it is so serious as to be an issue of professional conduct. Claims of negligence may be resolved between client and veterinary surgeon or pursued through the civil courts.
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Veterinary Medicine: Training
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will discuss with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons standards of training for general practice vets. 
Mr Paice: The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is responsible for setting the standards for education, training and professional conduct of the profession. A veterinary degree is a rigorous five to six-year-long course that prepares the student for work as a veterinary surgeon. UK veterinary schools regularly undergo evaluation from RCVS and the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) to ensure that their courses are meeting the required standards. The RCVS “Guide to professional conduct” also contains provisions for continuing professional development (CPD) that all veterinary surgeons must adhere to. Although DEFRA does not intervene on a formal basis in this matter, its officials regularly engage with the RCVS and UK veterinary schools to discuss veterinary education.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what discussions she has had with Ofwat on the revision of guidelines for water prices for 2012-13; what assessment she has made of the effect of such revisions on household budgets; and whether she plans to have similar discussions in respect of water prices for 2013-14; 
Richard Benyon: On 31 January Ofwat announced household water and sewerage bill rises for 2012-13. Water companies are obliged to submit their planned price adjustments to Ofwat for approval each year ahead of confirming them to their customers. As the regulator for the water industry, Ofwat challenges companies' proposed bill rises and approves each company's charges scheme, having set price limits on a five-yearly basis.
The most recent price review was in 2009 and this set price limits at 0.5% above inflation to allow companies to make the necessary investment to secure water supplies and infrastructure. The present bill rises are in line with this price limit; the next price review will be in 2014 and will cover price limits from 2015 to 2020.
As discussed in the Water White Paper, “Water For Life”, published 8 December 2011, the Government are aware that some people struggle to afford their water charges. The Government are issuing guidance to water companies to allow them to bring forward social tariffs to reduce the charges of households that would otherwise be unable to pay in full. We are also consulting on measures to tackle bad debt in the water industry which currently adds £15 to everyone's bill.
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Water Companies: Debts
Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department will make available the cost impact assessment for its consultation Tackling Bad Debt in the Water Industry, January 2012. 
Water Supply: Consumers
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the role of the Water Services Regulation Authority is in ensuring the customer service arrangements of water suppliers are fit for purpose; 
Richard Benyon: Ofwat's role is to protect consumers, and it does this by ensuring that water companies provide a good quality service at a fair price. Ofwat's Service Incentive Mechanism (SIM) measures how many customers contact water and sewerage companies (for a range of different types of contact), and customers' experience of issue resolution with their company. SIM performance is taken into account as a part of the price setting process, and therefore incentivises companies continually to improve their conduct with their consumers.
The Government's Water Supply and Sewerage Services (Customer Service Standards) Regulations set out guaranteed minimum standards of service for individual customers. Where a company fails to meet certain service standards it is required to make a payment to any affected customers. These payments and their levels are governed by the Guaranteed Standards Scheme which was laid out by the Government in April 2008.
In December 2011, the Government published their White Paper on Water, ‘Water for Life'. It sets out a vision for the water sector, putting customers at its heart, and also challenges water companies to involve their customers in identifying solutions to improve standards and services in their area.
Wildlife Trusts: Expenditure
DEFRA and its arm's length bodies provide funding to the wildlife trusts to support a variety of aims and projects. These include improving the long-term supply of biodiversity data, funding Local Nature Partnership capacity building, supporting projects to control the spread of invasive non-native plants and running a national wildlife gardening competition. Individual trusts
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also receive funding in respect of agri-environment agreements, and woodland creation and management, funded through the Rural Development Programme for England.
Street Lighting: Crime
19. Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the effect of reduced street lighting on (a) levels and (b) fear of crime in England and Wales. 
24. Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the effect of reduced street lighting on (a) levels and (b) fear of crime in England and Wales. 
Nick Herbert: A review of local authority street lighting last year found that while there is potential to reduce carbon emissions and light pollution, as well as deliver savings, these benefits need to be considered in the context of the important role that lighting plays in helping to reduce crime.
Police and Crime Commissioners
21. George Hollingbery: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the potential role of police and crime commissioners in making the police more responsive to the priorities of local communities. 
Mrs May: Police and Crime Commissioners will be powerful, local, directly elected people. They will respond to local communities by using their democratic mandate and engagement with local communities to set the priorities for their police force. They will also set the police force budget, including the local precept contribution. And they will hold their chief constable to account for the performance of their force.
Criminal Record Checks
Lynne Featherstone: We are committed to making the criminal records regime more proportionate and efficient. The Protection of Freedoms Bill includes provisions for portable criminal records checks and, subject to Royal Assent, we expect the online checking service to be rolled out in early 2013.
Police Pay and Conditions
23. Richard Graham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with police forces on the recommendations of the independent review of police officers' and staff remuneration and conditions by Tom Winsor. 
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Mrs May: Last week, I accepted the Police Arbitration Tribunal's recommendations on Part 1 of Tom Winsor's independent review. These reforms are an important first step towards creating a system that is fair to the taxpayer and fair to police officers. They will help to maximise deployment to frontline roles and give forces the flexibility they need to cut crime.
Police Funding Settlement
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will consider the UK's operation of the European arrest warrant as part of her response to the Baker review of UK extradition arrangements. 
Damian Green: The UK's operation of the European arrest warrant was one of the areas addressed by the independent review of the UK's extradition arrangements, which was published on 18 October 2011. The Home Secretary is carefully considering the review panel's recommendations and the Government will announce what action they will take in due course.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will bring forward legislative proposals to revoke the citizenship of any person found to have obtained British citizenship by deception. 
Damian Green: Under section 40 of the British Nationality Act 1981, as amended, any British citizen may, by Order, be deprived of his or her citizenship if the Home Secretary is satisfied that the registration or naturalisation was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact.
Frank Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many jobs in (a) her Department and (b) the agencies and non-departmental bodies for which she is responsible were transferred to the private sector in 2010-11. 
(a) eight jobs in the Home Office, and,
(b) 19 jobs in the agencies and non-departmental bodies,