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Written Answers to Questions
Wednesday 23 May 2012
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what her Department's total level of carbon emissions was between (a) 1 April 2010 and 1 April 2011 and (b) 2 April 2011 and 1 April 2012. 
The figures reflect the fact that my Department is small, and so some events can have a disproportionately large impact on the level of carbon emissions that would be more easily absorbed by a larger Department. Most of the Department's emissions are derived from electricity consumption and from travel, and to compensate for the impact electricity is obtained from a supplier using renewable sources and emissions from official cars are offset.
|Total CO 2 emissions (tonnes)|
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his Department's total level of carbon emissions was between (a) 1 April 2010 and 1 April 2011 and (b) 2 April 2011 and 1 April 2012. 
(a) 2010: reduced office accommodation in London, which enabled CO2 savings on heating; a bio-mass heating system and solar panels were introduced at Hillsborough Castle; use of bottled water ceased; and private jet replaced by commercial flights.
(b) 2011: additional video conference facilities were introduced in order to reduce the need for travel; and further reduction in accommodation in London.
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(c) 2012: co-location of core Departmental staff at a single site in Belfast, thereby reducing the need for travel.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many complaints about the work of his Department and each of its non-departmental public bodies were received in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. 
My Department has two non-departmental public bodies—the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. Both public bodies are independent of Government and the hon. Gentleman may wish to write to the commissions directly on these matters.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many items of equipment valued at £10,000 or more his Department lost in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. 
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what his Department's total level of carbon emissions was between (a) 1 April 2010 and 1 April 2011 and (b) 2 April 2011 and 1 April 2012. 
David Mundell: A wide range of measures have been taken in order to achieve significant CO2 emissions savings in the Scotland Office. These included ensuring central heating is switched off, as well as electrical appliances, when rooms are vacated (2010), the installation of a more energy efficient gas boiler (2011) and Point of Use heaters for hot tap water (2012).
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Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many items of equipment valued at £10,000 or more his Department lost in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. 
Asylum: Young People
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department sought the (a) advice and (b) permission of the Department for Education before beginning the age assessments dental x-ray pilot. 
Damian Green: The UK Border Agency discussed the trial with the Department for Education. Any decision to go ahead with the trial on the basis of ethical approval will be made with the agreement of the Department for Education.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign national offenders from European Economic Area countries have been deported from the UK in each of the last five years; and what the nationality was of each such offender in each such year. 
Damian Green [holding answer 22 May 2012]: In 2010-11, 5,339 foreign national offenders were removed or deported from the UK. It is our policy not to disclose the countries to which we remove or deport foreign national offenders as this could jeopardise our diplomatic relations. Data from before 2010 are not held centrally.
Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it her policy to seek the revision of the European Council Directive on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the member states (2004/38/EC) so that foreign national offenders from European Economic Area (EEA) countries can be deported from the UK in accordance with the arrangements for deporting foreign national offenders from countries outside of the EEA. 
[holding answer 22 May 2012]: The Government support the principle of free movement for citizens of EU member states, including our own, and recognise the many benefits that it brings. However, we have repeatedly urged the EU to ensure that such rights are not open to abuse, whether by illegal migrants or by criminals. The Government will continue to bring
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our concerns to the attention of the Commission and other member states at meetings of the Justice and Home Affairs Council and in the context of the Commission's intended review of the implementation of the directive.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to page 7 of her Department's document, Call to End Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG): Action Plan, what timetable she has set for introducing in the British Crime Survey (BCS) new questions on attitudes towards VAWG; what response she has received from the BCS to the questions developed and put forward for inclusion; who was consulted on the formulation of the questions; if she will place in the Library a copy of these questions; and if she will make a statement. 
Lynne Featherstone: Questions about attitudes to domestic violence have been included in the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW, formerly the British Crime Survey) since April 2011. Results from the first 12 months of interviews will be available for publication after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) first release of crime statistics in July 2012. These questions were developed by the survey contractor and subject to testing with members of the public before they were introduced to the survey.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officials are involved in administering the National Referral Mechanism for suspected victims of trafficking; and in what parts of the country these officials are based. 
Damian Green: Under the National Referral Mechanism, decisions about who is a victim of trafficking can only be made by trained specialists. The UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC), part of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the UK Border Agency are the only designated ‘Competent Authorities' able to perform this role. Seven staff located within the UKHTC in Birmingham—including five SOCA officers and two staff seconded from the UK Border Agency—undertake this role on a full-time basis. In addition, approximately 120 trained staff within the UK Border Agency who are located across the United Kingdom undertake this role alongside other duties.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what cost was incurred by the (a) UK Border Agency and (b) UK Human Trafficking Centre in administering the National Referral Mechanism for suspected victims of trafficking in the latest period for which figures are available. 
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Damian Green: Funds have not been specifically allocated for administering the National Referral Mechanism and work has been absorbed within “business as usual” running costs by the UK Border Agency and the UK Human Trafficking Centre, part of the Serious Organised Crime Agency. Details of the annual accounts of the UK Border Agency and Serious Organised Crime Agency can be found using the following links:
Illegal Immigrants: Deportation
We plan to increase the volume of removals this year by building better processes and performance management for our enforcement teams; improving our contact management procedures; developing the hostile environment in the UK so that it is increasingly difficult for illegal migrants to access public services prior to their arrest; delivering commercial solutions for increasing removals; and improving our management information on those individuals who leave the UK voluntarily.
Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many customs officers she estimates have been asked to staff passport controls at London airports in the last two months; and what estimate she has made of the likely number of such customs officers who will staff such controls up to the London 2012 Olympic Games. 
Damian Green: Border Force staff cover both immigration and customs work. Officers are trained to deal with both types of work. Border Force ensures that staff are deployed to meet the highest risks, whether this is to deal with passengers at the primary control point or elsewhere, including customs activity.
During the Olympics, Border Force will deploy additional staff to London airports. Heathrow is the designated Olympics airport; additional staff will be deployed to ensure that all desks are open at peak times throughout the day.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many new public sector mutuals were created or spun off by her Department in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. 
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The coalition Government are committed to supporting the creation and growth of public service mutuals, including giving public sector employees new rights to bid for or request to take over the services that they are delivering.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what strategic or transitional risk registers in each area of policy are held by her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
Damian Green: In the Home Office each of the main business areas has a top-level strategic risk register and, in addition, there is an overarching strategic or corporate risk register. As well as this each major programme or project has its own risk register.
Victim Support Schemes
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations she has received from Victim Support regarding changes to the commissioning of victim and witness support services. 
Lynne Featherstone: I have responded to only two direct representations from Victim Support highlighting concerns about the proposal for local commissioning, included in the “Getting it right for victims and witnesses” consultation. To ensure that there is an accurate consideration of all views received in response to the consultation paper, it was agreed that the Secretary of State for Justice, as the lead on victims' issues, should deal with other representations. I understand that his officials have so far received approximately 60 constituent representations from Victim Support. The Government are determined to ensure that available funding is better targeted to those victims most in need of support and that a wider range of service providers is available. We believe this will be best achieved through a mixture of local and national commissioning and that Police and Crime Commissioners are best placed to commission victims' services at a local level.
Deputy Prime Minister
House of Lords: Reform
Mr Harper: The Government have received more than two thousand representations since the publication of our White Paper and draft House of Lords Reform Bill in May last year. A detailed breakdown of the correspondence on House of Lords reform has not been undertaken but the majority are concerned with the question of reserved places for Church of England Bishops in a reformed House of Lords.
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Simon Hart: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the costs of a single question public referendum on reform of the House of Lords; and what estimate he has made of the cost of a referendum on reform of the House of Lords held on the same day as a general election. 
Mr Harper: The costs of elections to a reformed House of Lords will depend on a number of variables. In particular, the electoral system used and the degree of combination with other electoral events will affect the costs. The Government are currently considering the report of the Joint Committee on the Government's draft Bill before finalising proposals for reform. We will publish full cost estimates when we introduce a Bill.
House of Commons Commission
Mr Frank Field: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, for what reason the Despatch Box in Portcullis House is not stocked with its usual range of gifts and souvenirs; what policy has been set on the stocking of such gifts and souvenirs in the Despatch Box; and whether that policy has changed since the opening of Portcullis House. 
A small range of House of Commons souvenirs has been on sale from the Despatch Box since shortly after it opened in 2001-02. The range of souvenirs has been reviewed regularly in response to changing tastes and seasonal demands. The recent reduction in the range available from the Despatch Box reflects sales trends. Stocking a smaller range of souvenirs will also help to reduce queuing times (an issue of concern to many users) for its primary business activity, which is serving hot drinks and light refreshments. A full range of souvenirs continues to be available at other outlets.
Energy and Climate Change
Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with energy intensive industries on changes in electricity costs due to the renewables obligation. 
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Charles Hendry: The Government's consultation on the renewables obligation banding review invited evidence from industrial auto-generators (including energy intensive industries) interested in converting from coal-fired to biomass generation. Evidence was specifically requested(1) on the differential in generation costs, the costs of making biomass conversion economically viable for industrial auto-generators, and deployment potential for auto-generators converting from coal to biomass to help inform how much support such stations should receive under the renewables obligation.
A number of responses were received and will be taken into account in the Government's decision on levels of banded support for 2013-17. We aim to publish the Government response to the consultation shortly.
Consultation on proposals for the levels of banded support under the Renewables Obligation for the period 2013-17 and the Renewables Obligation Order 2012, page 61.
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with reference to Priority 1, Impact Indicator 1 on page 26 of his Department's Annual Report and Accounts 2010-11, how the Green Deal and the energy company obligation will promote the installation of loft insulation of at least 125 mm in households. 
The Green Deal and the energy company obligation (ECO) will provide significant opportunities for loft insulation. Households may choose to treat their lofts under the Green Deal on a stand-alone basis or as part of a package of measures. In addition, ECO will be available to provide subsidy for loft insulation in many circumstances, for example for qualifying vulnerable households; for homes in low-income areas; and for loft installations which take place alongside other specified measures, such as solid wall insulation.
Fuel Oil: West Midlands
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the average household expenditure on heating fuel bills in (a) Coventry and (b) the west midlands. 
Charles Hendry: The most recent data available are for 2011. In this year, we estimate that the average electricity and gas bill in the west midlands was £1,102. This is based on a national average of actual gas and electricity consumption in 2011 of 3,932 kWh for standard electricity, and 13,680 kWh for gas. These consumption levels were lower than usual due to the unusually warm weather in 2011.
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Nuclear Power Stations
Charles Hendry: As set out in the 2011 Nuclear National Policy Statement, Heysham is one of the sites considered by the Government as suitable for future nuclear power stations. The construction of any new nuclear power station at Heysham is, however, a commercial matter and there are currently no active plans by industry to begin any time soon.
It is in the UK's interest that lead sites continue to have the potential to be developed. The Government remain firmly committed to our efforts to ensure that the conditions are right for investment in new nuclear power in the UK.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many new public sector mutuals were created or spun off by his Department in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. 
Communities and Local Government
Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) which local authorities have housed families in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks in the last 12 months; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the percentage change in the number of families who have stayed in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks year-to-year over the last five years; 
Grant Shapps: The vast majority of local authorities have no families in bed and breakfast accommodation over six weeks, and the numbers of households with children in bed and breakfast accommodation remain at historically low levels. However, I am concerned that a small number of authorities are placing families in bed and breakfast accommodation beyond the six-week limit.
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I have written to 20 local authorities that, between them, account for almost 80% of families in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks, reiterating the Government's position that this practice is unacceptable, urging them to prioritise elimination of the use of long-term bed and breakfast accommodation for families and offering support from my Department to do so.
The Government have increased levels of funding on homelessness and announced an additional £70 million investment over the last year. We are introducing changes through the Localism Act which will give local authorities increased flexibility to use the private rented sector to meet their homelessness duties and reduce the need for them to place any families in bed and breakfast accommodation.
A table has been placed in the Library of the House. This shows the number of households with dependant children and/or pregnant woman with no other dependants who had been in bed and breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks in the last 12 months at local authority level. It also shows the number of households in that category which had been accommodated pending a review or appeal.
The following table shows, for the last five years, the England totals of households in temporary accommodation with dependent children and/or pregnant woman in bed and breakfast accommodation who had been resident for six weeks or more at the end of each quarter. Some of the households included in the table had been accommodated pending a review of appeal, rather than in the exercise of a duty.
|March||June||September||as at end December|
|Note: Numbers of households are rounded to the nearest 10. Source: Quarterly PIE returns|
Outturn information on local authority expenditure on bed and breakfast accommodation for 2011-12 will be published in November 2012. This level of detailed information is not available for budget estimates.
The Department set out its views on the current enforcement provisions for building regulations along with proposals for changes which would make the arrangements more effective in a consultation document,
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“2012 consultation on changes to the Building Regulations in England: Section four—the building control system”, which is available at:
The consultation closed on 27 April 2012 and the Department is currently preparing a summary and analysis of the responses which will be published later in the year. Decisions on how to take the proposed changes forward will be made in the light of the responses received.
Departmental Staff: Party Affiliation
Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what (a) grants and (b) contracts his Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who were previously employed in any capacity by (i) the Conservative Party or its elected representatives and (ii) the Liberal Democrat Party or its elected representatives since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised; 
(2) what (a) grants and (b) contracts his Department has awarded to companies or organisations run by individuals who previously held an elected position as a member of the (i) Conservative Party and (ii) Liberal Democrat Party since May 2010; what the (A) value and (B) nature was of these contracts; and whether they were publicly advertised; 
(3) which individuals have been paid by his Department for consultancy or other services who were previously employed in any capacity by the (a) Conservative Party or its elected representatives and (b) Liberal Democrat Party or its elected representatives since May 2010; what the (i) cost and (ii) nature was of the services provided; and whether they were publicly advertised; 
(4) which individuals have been paid by his Department for consultancy or other services who previously held an elected position as a member of the (a) Conservative Party and (b) Liberal Democrat Party since May 2010; what the (i) cost and (ii) nature was of the services provided; and whether they were publicly advertised. 
Departmental Staff: Political Affiliation
Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) job title and (b) pay band was of each official, excluding special advisers, recruited by his Department since May 2010 (1) who was previously employed in any capacity by the (i) Conservative Party or its elected representatives and (ii) Liberal Democrat Party or its elected representatives; and whether their position was advertised publicly; 
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Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many businesses in (a) England, (b) the south-west and (c) Newton Abbot constituency qualify for small business rate relief. 
Robert Neill: The number of hereditaments in receipt of small business rate relief as at 31 December 2010 in England, the south-west and Teignbridge local authority are shown in the following table. Data on the number of businesses who qualify for small business rate relief are not centrally collected. The data are also not available at constituency level, but businesses in Newton Abbot constituency will form part of the total for Teignbridge local authority.
|Number of businesses in receipt of small business rate relief as at 31 December 2010|
The data are taken from the National Non-Domestic Rates 1 (NNDR1) Supplementary forms completed annually by billing authorities in England and returned to the Department of Communities and Local Government. The data are publicly available in tables in the statistics section of the DCLG website:
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will publish a statement of his Department's expenditure in each of the last 36 months; and what steps his Department takes to avoid an annual underspend. 
Robert Neill: The Department's expenditure is published annually through the laying in Parliament of the Department's annual report and accounts. A copy of the accounts for 2009-10 and 2010-11 can be found in the Library of the House or at the following link:
The Department's annual report and accounts for 2011-12 are intended to be laid in Parliament before the summer recess. In the meantime, quarterly information about expenditure during 2011-12 can be found in the Business Plan Quarterly Data Summary published by my Department at the following link:
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The Department monitors and reviews its budgets and spend on a monthly basis, to reduce the risk of large underspends at the end of the financial year. Where an underspend is unavoidable at the end of a financial year, the Department looks at opportunities to bring forward spend or liabilities from future years in a way that offers value for money. The Department also uses the Treasury's budget exchange system to move unspent funds into future financial years, up to the permitted limits.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new public sector mutuals were created or spun off by his Department in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: My Department has not created or spun off any new public sector mutuals in 2010-11 or 2011-12. The Government have committed that every Department will put in place Rights to Provide for public sector workers to take over the running of services, and DCLG is working towards this.
Social Rented Housing
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many home swaps have taken place under the HomeSwap Direct scheme in (a) Mid-Dorset and North Poole constituency and (b) England. 
Grant Shapps: HomeSwap Direct was launched in October 2011 to allow social tenants who wish to move through a mutual exchange to see details of all possible properties nationwide. The scheme has operated very successfully since its launch, with tenants carrying out over 1 million searches of the property data held on HomeSwap Direct.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what account is taken of bedroom size when allocating social housing; and what ability local authorities have to determine whether bedrooms are appropriately sized in their Allocations Policy. 
Grant Shapps: It is for local authorities to decide what account is taken of bedroom size when allocating housing. When framing the rules in their allocation policy that determine the number and size of bedrooms to allocate to different households, authorities are free to set their own criteria, provided they do not result in a household being statutorily overcrowded.
We have issued draft guidance to local authorities reminding them, when setting these criteria, of the need to take account of the provisions in the Welfare Reform Act 2012 which will reduce housing benefit for social sector tenants of working age who under-occupy their property.
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Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers local authorities have to determine the bands into which those waiting for housing should be placed. 
Grant Shapps: The Localism Act maintains the statutory reasonable preference requirements in the allocation legislation, which are designed to ensure that overall priority for social housing is given to those who need it most.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what representations he has received on the treatment by local authorities of households in temporary accommodation to whom a statutory homelessness duty has been assumed and where housing costs take their assumed income above the household benefit cap; 
(2) what guidance he has issued to local authorities on discharging their duty to place homeless households into accommodation which will leave them with notional income above the household benefit cap and which also respects local connections. 
Grant Shapps: The Homelessness (Suitability of Accommodation) Order 1996 sets out those factors a local authority should consider when determining whether or not accommodation is affordable. The Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities, updated in 2006, includes statutory guidance on the suitability of accommodation into which homeless households may be placed, including location and affordability. It also includes guidance on local connection, which was amended in 2008 to reflect changes made by the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008.
The treatment by local authorities of homeless households who may be affected by the household benefit cap is an issue of balance between location and affordability. This was raised by a number of voluntary sector organisations and in responses to our consultation “Local Decisions: Next steps towards a fairer future for social housing” and extensively debated during the passage of the Localism Act.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many trade union representatives in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies had (i) part-time; and (ii) full-time paid facility time arrangements in 2011-12; 
(2) how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies in 2011-12; and at what cost to the public purse; 
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(3) how many days were utilised for paid facility time by each trade union representative in (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental public bodies for trade union (i) duties and (ii) activities in 2011-12. 
Robert Neill: The following tables set out the number of trade union representatives in the Department for Communities and Local Government and its non-departmental bodies and facility time and cost details.
|Department for Communities and Local Government|
|Trade union representative||Trade union duties||Trade union activities||Day total /£|
|Valuation Tribunal Service|
|Trade union representative||Days /£|
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|(1) All for trade union activities|
|The Audit Commission|
|Trade union representative||Days /£|
|Total days||Total cost (£)|
The Homes and Communities Agency and the Planning Inspectorate do not collect records regarding the amount of time spent by each trade union representative on trade union duties and activities in 2011-12.
The Government have announced their intention to commence a consultation shortly with the civil service trade unions on limiting the amount of paid time civil servants can spend on trade union duties and activities and ending the practice of having civil servants engaged full time in trade union representative roles.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what his Department's total level of carbon emissions was between (a) 1 April 2010 and 1 April 2011 and (b) 2 April 2011 and 1 April 2012; 
Introduction of more energy efficient computers
Decommissioning of information technology (IT) servers
Upgrading ventilation and air conditioning units
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Upgrade of lighting
Upgrade of Building Management Systems
Improved control of air handling units
Shutting down heating earlier
Introduction of LED lighting
Consideration of using air blades systems
Reduction of fleet emissions;
Use of secondary metering to monitor server rooms;
Introduction of a managed print service; and
Automatic switch off of all IT equipment and moving to the Closed Loop framework contract for recycling of waste paper. NHS Connecting for Health already uses this framework.
The Department’s gross carbon emissions for energy and travel for 1 April 2010 to 1 April 2011 were 10,653 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission and from 2 April 2011 to 1 April 2012 were an estimated 9,324 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Clinical Psychologists: Prison Service
Mr Ronnie Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) chartered psychologists, (b) trainee psychologists and (c) psychological assistants have been employed by the Prison Service in the last five years. 
Information on the number of (a) chartered psychologists, (b) trainee psychologists and (c) psychological assistants employed within the Prison Service over the last five years is contained in the following table. Psychologists engaged on a sessional basis are not included. Information on private sector establishments has been provided by individual contractors.
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|Psychologists employed in the public sector Prison Service, 31 March 2008 to 2012|
|(1) The HR database does not record which psychologists are chartered. Information is provided for psychologists in manager grades E to G and senior manager grades A to D.|
|Psychologists employed in contracted establishments, 31 March 2008 to 2012|
|(1) It is not recorded by every contractor whether the psychologists are chartered.|
Mr Simon Burns: The following table shows the number of national health service sight tests for persons aged 60 and over in England from 1999-2000 to 2010-11. This information has been extracted from the report, “General Ophthalmic Services: Activity Statistics for England, Year ending 31 March 2011”. This report is also available on the NHS Information Centre website at:
Patients may qualify for an NHS sight test on more than one criterion. However, they would be recorded against only one criterion on the form. Patients are more likely to be recorded according to their clinical need, rather than their age. For example, a patient aged over 60, with glaucoma, is likely to be recorded in the glaucoma category only. The count by eligibility is therefore approximate. Patients may also have had more than one sight test in the specified time period.
|Annex C, Table A1 : NHS sight tests, by patient eligibility, in England, as at the specified financial years|
|1996-97||1997-98||1998-99||1999 - 2000||2000-01||2001-02||2002- 03||2003-04|
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|n/a = Not applicable. Prisoner on Leave was introduced in October 2008. (1) Income support includes patients receiving pension credit guarantee credit as well as income-related employment and support allowance, which was Introduced in October 2008. (2) Job seeker’s allowance. Notes: 1. From 1 April 1999, eligibility for an NHS sight test was extended to everyone aged 60 or over. 2. Patients may qualify for an NHS sight test on more than one criterion. However, they would be recorded against only one criterion on the form. Patients are more likely to be recorded according to their clinical need rather than their age. For example, a patient aged over 60 with glaucoma is likely to be recorded in the glaucoma category only. The count by eligibility is therefore approximate. Source: The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.|
General Practitioners: Pay
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total cost to the public purse was of the Quality and Outcomes Framework bonus system paid to GPs in each of the last five years. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Quality and Outcomes Framework is a voluntary incentive scheme for general practitioner practices to implement evidence-based standards that improve the quality of care delivered to patients. Audited expenditure from primary care trust financial returns in England for the last five years is shown as follows:
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what dates (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) senior officials in his Department have met representatives of (i) the Institute for Public Policy Research, (ii) the Taxpayers' Alliance, (iii) the Institute of Economic Affairs, (iv) the Child Poverty Action Group, (v) ResPublica, (vi) the Centre for Social Justice and (vii) Policy Exchange; and if he will publish the minutes and agendas of these meetings. 
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Mental Health Services: Veterans
Mr Simon Burns: The exact procedures which the Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend the Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley), and the rest of the ministerial team will use to communicate their wishes to the clinical commissioning groups have not yet been defined. However, commissioning for military health and veterans-related services and the way in which this will work is a priority for both the Ministry of Defence and the Department—monthly meetings of the commissioning sub-group take place to work through related issues.
Under current arrangements, the Secretary of State does not issue guidance directly to the primary care trusts (PCTs). The NHS Operating Framework is published every year and guides the strategic health authorities (SHAs) as to the key areas on which they need to focus their attentions in that time period, and this filters down to PCT level. Additionally, the Department has established 10 Armed Forces Networks—one in each of the ‘old’ SHA areas. The networks have a direct impact on work carried out regionally as they work closely with general practitioners, providers and commissioners in each local area to ensure that services for veterans are developed and resourced in the most effective way possible. Funding is also allocated to each network from the centre and filtered down via the networks for use on veterans' mental health projects. All funding approved by the Department is for clinically evidenced National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence-approved services. The Department is currently putting in place a mental health clinical advisory group to provide additional support in this area.
Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the treatment pathway and services to support former service personnel with mental health problems. 
Mr Simon Burns:
This Government have put a great deal of work into improving mental health services for veterans. My hon. Friend the Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison) published his ‘Fighting Fit’ report into the mental health and wellbeing of serving personnel and veterans in October 2010. The report contained a number of recommendations for the improvement of mental health services for this group, and these are in the process of being implemented, within a £7.2 million budget which was assigned to the area shortly after the report was released. Dr Murrison recommended an uplift in the number of community veterans' mental health workers in each region. Following the publication of the report the Department consulted with its 10 Armed Forces Networks as to how this should be implemented in order to add value to the existing arrangements in each area. In order to do this, treatment pathways and service availability were assessed in each region, which then came up with proposals for new services. These were sent to the Department for
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scrutiny. The result of this was that integrated veterans' mental health services are now up and running in the majority of the network areas, with the remainder to follow by the end of the calendar year. All services and treatments approved by the Department and which make use of departmental funds are clinically evidenced and National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence-approved.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many meetings have taken place between (a) his Department and (b) each of its non-departmental bodies and trade union representatives utilising paid facility time in each of the last five years to discuss (i) collective bargaining, (ii) redundancies, (iii) negotiations relating to employment, pay and conditions and (iv) other trade union and industrial relations duties; and what the dates and times were of each meeting. 
Mr Simon Burns: For the Department and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the total block of time for industrial relations and trade union activities duties is agreed centrally between human resources (HR) and the departmental trade unions. This is called facility time and is granted at three levels:
Accredited representatives who work ‘full time’ on industrial relations duties (100%)—these are funded directly by a budget held centrally by HR;
Accredited representatives who spend significant time on industrial relations (less than 100%—5%) funded by local business area and the central budget reimburses for time spent; and
Accredited representatives who spend limited time on industrial relations (less than 5%), normally Branch Executive Committee members of floor stewards, granted reasonable time for these duties—but not met centrally or counted towards the total time referred above. As minimal, this is met by local business areas.
Pay Committee meetings are held on a monthly basis covering collective bargaining and negotiations relating to employment, pay and conditions;
Quarterly Department Trade Union side (DTUS) and annual Departmental Industrial Relations Council (DIRC) meetings are held covering other trade union and industrial relations duties; and
Meetings covering redundancies are held as and when required during times of departmental change/restructuring.
The following table shows how many meetings have taken place between those non-departmental bodies and trade union representatives utilising paid facility time in each of the last five years to discuss (i) collective bargaining, (ii) redundancies, (iii) negotiations relating to employment, pay and conditions and (iv) other trade union and industrial relations duties. It also shows the dates and times and/or duration of each meeting:
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|Care Quality Commission (CQC)|
|(i) Total number of meetings||Date||Time||(ii) Total number of meetings||Date||Time|
|(iii) Total number of meetings||Date||Time||(iv) Total number of meetings||Date||Time|
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