13 July 2012 : Column 401W

13 July 2012 : Column 401W

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 13 July 2012

Business, Innovation and Skills

Arts

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on promoting the growth of the creative industries in the regional economies. [117048]

Mr Prisk: The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, my right hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), co-chairs the Creative Industries Council (CIC) with the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt). Although the CIC does not focus on regional economies or any specific region, BIS works with DCMS through this body to identify and tackle barriers to growth in the creative industries across the UK. Reports on (a) access to finance, and (b) skills have been presented to the CIC and actions arising from these studies are being taken forward. A report on wider growth issues is expected to be presented to the next CIC meeting which will take place within the next six months.

In addition, Creative England was successful in its bid for support from the Regional Growth Fund for a scheme to promote growth in creative small and medium-sized enterprises in the North of England, the West Midlands and the South West of England.

Business: Government Assistance

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which organisations are offering 100 or more mentors through the Business Mentoring Scheme; and how many mentors are being provided through each such organisation. [117189]

Mr Prisk: Mentorsme.co.uk, the national mentoring portal, which is funded and operated by the British Bankers Association (BBA), currently provides access to over 100 mentoring organisations and, through them, around 11,000 business mentors. BBA data suggests that 24 of the mentoring organisations listed on mentorsme provide access to 100 or more mentors through their mentoring services. The largest of these provides access to 3,000 mentors. Others provide access to between 100 and 800 mentors.

Business: Loans

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what meetings (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have had with representatives of banks to discuss progress in meeting the 17 commitments made under the Business Finance Taskforce; and what the date was of each such meeting. [117188]

13 July 2012 : Column 402W

Mr Prisk: I chair the quarterly Small Business Economic Forum, which includes several business representative bodies, representatives of the major banks and the BBA, and at which progress against the Business Finance Taskforce commitments are discussed (amongst other issues affecting small busineses). The Forum met most recently on 25 April of this year, and is due to meet on the 18th of this month.

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, my right hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), and officials have frequent other meetings with banks’ representatives to discuss this, and other issues related to business finance.

Company Liquidations

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many business failures there were in each (a) local authority, (b) ward and (c) super output area in each of the last 12 months. [115734]

Norman Lamb: Figures are not available at the level of detail requested.

Business insolvencies include: (i) corporate insolvencies, for which figures are compiled on a quarterly basis for England and Wales as a whole, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and (ii) those individual insolvencies where the insolvency is principally due to trading-related debts. While individual insolvency statistics are available down to the level of Westminster parliamentary constituencies, these are only compiled on an annual basis and they do not separately identify business failures.

The latest quarterly Official Statistics for insolvency are available at:

http://www.insolvencydirect.bis.gov.uk/otherinformation/statistics/insolvency-statistics.htm

Regional individual insolvency statistics down to Westminster parliamentary constituency level, annually from 2000 to 2011, have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Construction: Billing

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions his Department has had on payment practices in the construction sector; and if he will make a statement. [117036]

Mr Prisk: As the Minister of State with responsibility for business and enterprise, I have regular discussions with the construction industry and payment practices often feature.

The Government take the issue of prompt payment seriously and respect some of the differences which prevail in the construction industry. That is why we have introduced amendments to the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 to provide greater clarity around the communication of payments and to improve access to adjudication (which is a quick 28 day dispute resolution process). We are also using the Government's role as a customer of the industry to promote better payment practices through construction supply chains. For instance, over the next three years, £4 billion of public construction work will delivered using project bank accounts.

13 July 2012 : Column 403W

Directors: Disqualification

Toby Perkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many D1 reports on the required conduct of directors under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 have been received by the Insolvency Service; and how many directors were disqualified under that Act in 2011-12. [115781]

Norman Lamb: In the financial year from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012, 5,401 D1 reports were received and 1,151 disqualifications were obtained.

Motor Vehicles: Safety

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what consideration he has given to the likely effects on vehicle electronics of a severe space weather storm; and if he will take steps to ensure that car manufacturers provide advice to their customers on preparing their vehicles for such events. [116754]

Mr Willetts: We continue to consider the potential impact of a severe space weather event on a range of technologies and services that we rely upon in our everyday lives.

Such an event has the potential to disrupt transportation, communication and power transmission infrastructures.

Space weather impacts are recognised on the National Risk Register, and the UK's Met Office and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are working together to model and predict space weather events and assess the effects and the positive mitigative actions, such as design and operation of systems.

Some systems are potentially more susceptible than others, most cars being unlikely to be seriously affected by a likely space weather event, with the possible exception of disruption of GPS to the car's satellite navigation system.

Patents

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what information the Intellectual Property Office holds on the size of the company making a patent application. [117191]

Norman Lamb: An applicant is required by the patents legislation to provide various details when they apply for a patent, but there is no requirement to indicate company size. Accordingly, the Intellectual Property Office holds no information on the size of a company making a patent application.

Regional Growth Fund

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what evaluations of the first two rounds of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) have been carried out by (a) the RGF Independent Advisory Panel and (b) his Department; on what date each of these evaluations was completed; and if he will place a copy of these evaluations in the Library. [117190]

13 July 2012 : Column 404W

Mr Prisk: To date no evaluation of the first two rounds of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) has been carried out by RGF Independent Advisory Panel or the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as it is still far too early in the appraisal and evaluation cycle (Her Majesty’s Treasury Green Book page 3).

In line with HMT Green Book good practice:

An evaluation plan is in place;

Detailed value for money assessments have been carried out bids (in their report on the RGF (11 May 2012) the NAO say (para 3.6): “The detailed appraisal process reflects good practice in line with HM Treasury's Green Book”);

all RGF awards are monitored quarterly against key performance metrics such as employment impact and private sector investment;

an interim evaluation is expected to be carried out at the end of the scheme in 2015 to build on monitoring data and undertake initial primary research to examine the additionality and wider economic benefits of RGF support; and

a final evaluation of the RGF will be undertaken to answer the question of whether the intervention has delivered against its stated objectives.

To be able to assess the long-term impact of the RGF, sufficient time should be allowed for benefit realisation. The final evaluation is expected to be carried out in 2020 and a copy will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Research

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 25 June 2012, Official Report, column 154W, on research, whether the Government have access to the UK data provided by Company Reporting Bespoke Databases Ltd, Edinburgh at the time it is provided to the EU Research and Development scoreboard. [117192]

Mr Willetts: The Government do not have, have not requested and do not currently intend to request access to the UK data provided by Company Reporting (Bespoke Databases) Ltd, Edinburgh at the time it is provided to the EU Research and Development scoreboard.

Students: Finance

Mr Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the estimated level was of Higher Education Funding Council for England funding for part-time higher education students up to undergraduate level aged (a) 18 to 29 years and (b) 30 years and over in the latest period for which figures are available. [116458]

Mr Willetts: The 2010/11 Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) funding breakdown for part-time undergraduate students is as follows:

HEFCE funding for part-time undergraduate students by age 2010/11
 Aged under 30(1)Aged 30 and over(1)
 Amount paid (£ million)Percentage of totalAmount paid (£ million)Percentage of total

HEFCE Funding

287

52

313

48

(1) Age refers to age at the start of the academic year. Source: Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)

The breakdown of HEFCE funding was estimated based on the age distribution of HEFCE fundable part-time undergraduate students in higher education

13 July 2012 : Column 405W

in the academic year 2010/11 applied to the total recurrent funding attributable to part-time students. The estimates exclude capital allocations and a small amount of recurrent expenditure that is not directly attributable to part-time student numbers, for example the Clinical Consultants' Pay supplement.

Mr Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the estimated level and proportion was of funding for full-time higher education students up to undergraduate level for students (a) 18 to 29 years and (b) 30 years and over; and what proportion of such sums was made up of (i) fee loans (cash cost), (ii) Higher Education Funding Council for England funding, (iii) maintenance loans (cash cost) and (iv) maintenance grants. [116459]

Mr Willetts: The 2010/11 Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) funding breakdown for full-time undergraduate students is as follows:

HEFCE funding for full-time undergraduate students by age 2010/11
 Aged under 30(1)Aged 30 and over(1)
 Amount paid (£ million)Percentage of totalAmount paid (£ million)Percentage of total

HEFCE Funding

3,465

95

166

5

(1) Age refers to age at the start of the academic year. Source: Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)

The breakdown of HEFCE funding was estimated based on the age distribution of HEFCE fundable full-time undergraduate students in higher education in the academic year 2010/11 applied to the total recurrent funding attributable to full-time students. The estimates exclude capital allocations and a small amount of recurrent expenditure that is not directly attributable to full-time student numbers, for example the Clinical Consultants' Pay supplement.

The amount of support paid by the Student Loans Company (SLC) in the academic year 2010/11 split by age is shown in the following table:

Amount paid to students in student support by support type and age 2010/11
 Aged under 30(1)Aged 30 and over(1) 
Student support typeAmount paid(£ million)Percentage of totalAmount paid (£ million)Percentage of totalTotal paid(£ million)

Maintenance loans(2)

2,846.7

92

256.4

8

3,103.1

Maintenance grant(2)

1,113.4

88

147.0

12

1,260.4

Tuition fee loans(3)

2,403.3

94

149.5

6

2,552.8

(1) Age refers to age at the start of the academic year. (2) Maintenance loans and grants are paid to English domiciled students attending full-time courses in the UK. (3) Tuition fee loans are paid to higher education institutions on behalf of English domiciled students attending full-time courses in the UK and EU domiciled students studying full-time courses in England. Source: Student Loans Company (SLC)

13 July 2012 : Column 406W

Communities and Local Government

Fire Services

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding his Department provided to fire and rescue authorities in the 10 most deprived local authority areas in each of the last four financial years. [111986]

Robert Neill: The Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010 which ranks local authorities by deprivation by can be found at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/indices2010

Figures on resource funding for individual fire and rescue authorities over the last four Local Government Finance Settlements can be found at:

http://www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/ssas.htm

Information Officers

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much press officers in his Department, its agencies and arm’s length bodies have claimed in reimbursable expenses since May 2010. [112991]

Robert Neill [holding answer 21 June 2012]: The total reimbursable expenses claimed by the Department's central press officers since May 2010 totals £1,215. These were reimbursements for travel expenses. This compares to an average of £2,400 claimed annually by central departmental press officers between April 2004 and April 2009 and this represents a significant reduction compared to the last Administration.

A total of a further £554, again reimbursements of travel expenses, was claimed by press officers in four of the Department's current 14 arm’s length bodies since May 2010. The individual figures were:

Audit Commission—£271

Homes and Communities Agency—£53

Tenants Services Authority—£56

Fire Service College—£174

Corresponding information for other arm’s length bodies could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Private Rented Housing: Regulation

Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he plans to bring forward proposals for regulation of lettings and management agents. [117169]

Grant Shapps: Between a third and a half of agents belong to bodies offering voluntary regulation. These include trade body or accreditation schemes such as the Association of Residential letting Agents, the National Association of Estate Agents, the National Approved Letting Scheme or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and ensure that their members have the right protections in place and operate to certain standards. They also have redress systems if something goes wrong. At the same time, the industry led initiative, SAFEagent, which was launched last September, provides a simple to recognise logo for consumers.

13 July 2012 : Column 407W

In view of the existence of these schemes, I do not think that the time is right for Government imposed regulation of the sector which would run the risk of increasing burdens and costs and, therefore, reducing supply and forcing up rents. The last Administration's imposition of Home Information Packs is a prime example of how excessive state regulation and intervention can harm the interests of consumers.

Culture, Media and Sport

Absenteeism

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what the absentee rate for civil servants in his Department was in each of the last three years. [116357]

John Penrose: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St Edmunds (Mr Ruffley) on 10 July 2012, Official Report, column 129W.

Arts

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to promote the growth of the creative industries in the regional economies. [117046]

Mr Vaizey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 June 2012, Official Report, column 21W, to the hon. Member for Luton North (Kelvin Hopkins).

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on ensuring that local enterprise partnerships are best configured to support the growth of the creative industries in the regional economies. [117047]

Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), meets the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable), regularly to discuss a wide range of subjects. In addition to this, they jointly chair the Creative Industries Council, which specifically focuses on supporting growth in the creative industries.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to help encourage the creative sectors to make effective Regional Growth Fund bids. Through the BIS local network, BIS officials have met with Creative Skillset nationally and are currently in the process of setting up meetings between BIS local teams and regional Creative Skillset colleagues to share intelligence and help build relationships with local enterprise partnerships (LEP) with a particular interest in the creative industries.

Creative England, the lead body for supporting the sustainable growth of independent creative businesses in the regions, is in contact with LEPs across the regions that have a particular focus on the creative industries. Creative England is engaged in a range of activities to develop these relationships to support the creative industries

13 July 2012 : Column 408W

at a local level, including linking the Regional Growth Fund-programme of business development activity with LEP activity in Sheffield and Leeds and the Creative Cities initiative in Birmingham, which is a partnership between the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and a range of public sector agencies.

Assets

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assets his Department has sold and leased back over the last 12 months; what the sale price was of each asset so sold; and what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of leasing back each such asset over the period of the lease. [116801]

John Penrose: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has not leased back any assets it has sold in the last 12 months.

Broadband: EU Action

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2012, Official Report, column 880W, on broadband, what steps he is taking during the ongoing EU negotiations to ensure that the Connecting Europe Facility is retained; and what representations he has received on this facility. [117175]

Mr Vaizey: The Department is broadly supportive of the Connecting Europe Facility proposals and, in particular, the objective of supporting projects contributing towards meeting the EU targets for broadband rollout and take-up which are broadly consistent with our own approach and policy in this area. The devolved Administrations have also welcomed the Connecting Europe Facility as a potential source of additional funding for their broadband programmes.

Budgetary restraint is of paramount importance in the current economic climate, and the UK is seeking significant reductions in the negotiations on the Multi-annual Financial Framework. Within this context, the UK cannot support the huge increase in infrastructure funding proposed by the Commission for the Connecting Europe Facility for 2014-20.

Ex Gratia Payments

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate his Department has made of the monetary value of ex gratia payments made through schemes administered by his Department in the last two years. [116802]

John Penrose: According to the most recent records held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), for the period May 2011 to May 2012, DCMS has made no ex gratia payments on grant schemes.

Mobile Phones: Radio Frequencies

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what progress has been made on the Ofcom consultation on the 872-76 and 917-21 MHz bandwidths; what timetable has been set for completion of the consultation; and if he will make a statement. [117174]

13 July 2012 : Column 409W

Mr Vaizey: The matter raised is an operational one for the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom). Ofcom has advised that it has not yet set a timetable for further analysis of the allocation of spectrum in the 872/917 MHz band. Ofcom will continue to keep the situation under review and update stakeholders when they progress this work.

Public Expenditure

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether he expects his Department to underspend its budget for 2012-13; and what estimate he has made of any such underspend. [116477]

John Penrose: The Office for Budget Responsibility will forecast underspends in Departmental Expenditure Limits as part of their Economic and Fiscal Outlook in the autumn and the Government themselves will publish the full detail of plans and outturn for all Departments after the end of the financial year, usually in September, as part of the transparency agenda. HM Treasury publish outturn data for all Departments from the Combined Online Departmental Information System database, available on the Treasury website on a quarterly basis. Forecasts for 2012-13 outturn by Department will be published at Budget 2013.

Staff

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many staff of his Department were in the civil service redeployment pool on the latest date for which figures are available; and how many of these had been in the redeployment pool for more than six months at that date. [116803]

John Penrose: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) does not have any staff in the civil service redeployment pool, nor has it within the last six months. DCMS currently has no surplus staff. DCMS manages staffing through flexible resourcing so the Department can respond rapidly and flexibly to new priorities.

Defence

Afghanistan

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of the capability of the Afghan Air Force and the number of its serviceable planes and helicopters; and if he will make a statement. [115948]

Nick Harvey: The UK does not, as one country among the 50 nation International Strategic Assistance Force coalition, make individual assessments on the capability of the Afghan Air Force (AAF).

The NATO Training Mission—Afghanistan (NTM-A) leads international efforts to develop a self sufficient AAF with manpower of 8,000 and 145 aircraft by 2017.

The NTM-A routinely assess progress against this target. Recent setbacks following airworthiness and engineering inspections have resulted in a temporary

13 July 2012 : Column 410W

reduction in AAF capability, which is now being rectified. Currently Afghan Air Force manpower is approximately 5,580, with 97 aircraft.

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Armed Forces personnel have served at least three months deployment in Afghanistan. [116129]

Nick Harvey: Between April 2007 and May 2012, approximately 83,170 members of the armed forces had served more than 91 days in Afghanistan. Information before 2007 is not held.

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Mr Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons he decided to reduce the company strength of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. [116415]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 10 July 2012]: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), on 5 July 2012, Official Report, columns 1087-88, in which he confirmed that five infantry battalions would be withdrawn from the Army's order of battle.

Following careful consideration of a number of criteria including, but not limited to, recruiting performance and regional and national affiliations, it was decided that 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (5 Scots) would be withdrawn. However, based on a recognised task in Scotland for Public Duties, it was decided to retain one company of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (5 Scots) as a Public Duties Incremental Company (PDIC). As demonstrated in London, PDICs are an efficient way to execute public duties whilst also being capable of other tasks.

Army

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral statement of 5 July 2012, Official Report, column 1087, on Army 2020, in what way the Army plans to make greater use of contractors to support operations; and if he will make a statement. [116733]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 12 July 2012]:As part of the “whole force” concept referred to by the Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), in his oral statement of 5 July 2012, Official Report, columns 1085-88, on Army 2020, we plan in future to move to a Total Support Force initiative where we expect to use more contractors in support of operations. While we have used contractors in support of operations for many years, we expect in future to use them more routinely across a wider range of support services in theatre such as fuel storage, freight distribution, catering and engineering support.

Astute Class Submarines

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he proposes that the seventh Astute-class submarine will use a PWR2 or PWR3 reactor. [115998]

13 July 2012 : Column 411W

Peter Luff: All Astute-class submarines will be powered by a pressurised water reactor 2 (PWR2). PWR3 is a new design, which exploits technology that was not available when the design of the Astute submarine was finalised.

Lost Working Days

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average number of working days lost per person was in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last three years. [115665]

Mr Robathan: The average number of working days lost due to sickness absence in the Ministry of Defence and each of its trading funds over the last three years calculated in accordance with Cabinet office methodology, per person per year, is shown in the following table:

 MODDSTLMet OfficeUKHODSG

1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010

8.3

4.3

5.2

8.6

10.2

1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011

8.0

4.7

3.6

7.5

10.0

1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012

8.1

4.8

6.8

9.5

Notes: 1. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary and local engaged civilians are excluded from the totals. 2. The Meteorological Office ceased to be part of the MOD on 30 September 2011 and their figures are excluded from the 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 data.

Military Alliances

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the formation of a future joint Anglo-French expeditionary force. [116876]

Nick Harvey: Good progress has been made towards establishing the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF). Both the UK and France remain committed to ensuring that the force, along with a deployable Joint Force Headquarters, is available for military operations by the planned date of 2016.

We have already reached agreement with the French on CJEF procedures in a range of areas including logistics, command and control, and how the single service components will operate together.

Nuclear Submarines: Wales

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has received any official representations from the Welsh Government on the relocation of nuclear submarines to Wales. [115603]

Peter Luff: I have not received any official representations from the Welsh Government regarding the basing in Wales of the nuclear submarine fleet. The UK is not making plans for Scottish independence and is not making plans to move the nuclear deterrent or other submarines from HM Naval Base Clyde.

13 July 2012 : Column 412W

Nuclear Weapons

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contracts his Department has entered into in respect of the replacement of the Trident missile system; on what date each such contract was entered into; what the nature of the goods or services received is; what the cost is; and what the termination date is in each case. [116352]

Peter Luff [holding answer 12 July 2012]: The Trident D5 missile is expected to remain in service until the 2040s, and we do not anticipate decisions on a replacement being required during the life of this Parliament. No contracts have therefore been placed. The potential cost of a replacement missile remains as published in the 2006 White Paper (CM6994) ‘The Future of the UK's Nuclear Deterrent’. A copy is available in the Library of the House.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what costs his Department has incurred on preparations for Trident replacement ahead of a Parliamentary decision in 2016; how much of the cost incurred was spent on (a) submarine and (b) warhead replacement; and what expenditure he expects in the next three financial years. [116353]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 12 July 2012]: As detailed in ‘The United Kingdom's Future Nuclear Deterrent: The Submarine Initial Gate Parliamentary Report’ (May 2011), the Ministry of Defence (MOD) spent around £900 million on the concept phase of the Successor submarine programme, and we expect expenditure on the assessment phase to total £3 billion. Of this, the planned expenditure on the submarine replacement programme is expected to be £431 million in 2012-13, £486 million in 2013-14 and £595 million in 2014-15.

As the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff), announced to the House on 14 May 2012, Official Report, column 20WS, the MOD is maintaining the existing warhead for as long as necessary, and ensuring that the capability to design and manufacture a replacement warhead, should that be necessary, is maintained. The decision to refurbish or replace the existing warhead will be made in the next Parliament. Studies informing such a decision are expected to amount to some £12 million per annum in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and £16 million in 2014-15. This expenditure forms part of the programme of investment at the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Public Expenditure

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) with reference to the speech by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury of 23 April 2012 at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, what progress his Department has made on identifying a proportion of its resource budget that can be re-prioritised; what steps he has taken to identify such funds; and which parts of his Department's resource budget he has identified as suitable for re-prioritisation; [115137]

13 July 2012 : Column 413W

(2) what discussions he has had with his Department's agencies and the non-departmental bodies for which he is responsible on the contribution they will make to identifying resource budget for possible re-prioritisation; [115138]

(3) when he will make public the areas of his Department's resource budget he has identified for possible re-prioritisation; and when he plans to report to the Defence Select Committee on the outcome of this exercise. [115152]

Mr Philip Hammond: The Ministry of Defence is working with HM Treasury to agree contingency plans as set out in ‘Improving Spending Control’, at the following link:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/improving_spending_ control.pdf

Plans and options for reprioritisation will not be published. They should be “live” plans that are reassessed and updated on an ongoing basis.

Reserve Forces

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral statement of 5 July 2012, Official Report, columns 1085-88, on Army 2020, what changes are being made to the training of reservists in consequence of the measures announced in the statement. [116727]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 12 July 2012]: The training of Army reservists has already been changed under the Future Reserves 2020 programme to increase the attendance rate from 52% to 70% and to provide one sub-unit collective training exercise per major reserve unit annually, incorporating over 20 sub-unit level overseas training exercises. This represents an almost doubling of such exercises from previous normal levels.

Individual training is now the responsibility of the Army Recruiting and Training Division which, as part of the move to a fully integrated Army, is now delivering all recruit training and is in the process of taking on all trade training.

Collective training will continue to develop, to deliver progressively routine integrated training involving paired regular and reserve units by 2015-16.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many businesses are participating in his Department's Partnering for Talent programme. [116735]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 12 July 2012]:The Partnering for Talent programme aims to create an enduring pipeline of skilled reservists, trained by the Ministry of Defence in collaboration with further and higher education establishments and government and industry employers, thus contributing to their personal and professional development, with the proactive support of their employer.

The programme is currently at the concept development stage and we are scoping this with 12 businesses across a range of industry sectors. This scoping exercise will ensure that the concepts are deliverable, scalable and

13 July 2012 : Column 414W

measurable. Following completion of concept development, there will be national rollout to employers of all sizes and sectors.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which (a) individuals and (b) organisations his Department plans to consult with as part of the consultation on the effect of his proposed reforms on reservists and employers. [116736]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 12 July 2012]:The Ministry of Defence will consult widely with employers and employers' organisations but will also provide opportunities for other interested parties to register their views.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues on the employment rights of reservists. [116737]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 12 July 2012]:The Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), meets regularly with his ministerial colleagues to discuss a wide variety of matters, including those relating to reservists.

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reservists he expects to be on high readiness at any one time once the full 30,000 reserve contingent has been established. [117129]

Nick Harvey: Army force elements, in both regular and reserve components, will be held at varying levels of readiness dependent on role and training. There will be very few reserves held at very high readiness apart from a small number of individual augmentees supporting regular force elements. Within the remainder of the reaction force, which will be held at an appropriate level of readiness to provide a brigade-sized stabilisation commitment, reserves will contribute 10% of the structure. The exact numbers of reserves required for any operation will depend on its nature and scale.

Royal Regiment of Scotland

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the established strength of each unit within the Royal Regiment of Scotland will be under his Army 2020 proposals. [116878]

Nick Harvey: In the future Army Structure outlined under Army 2020, the attribution of specific infantry battalions to role has not been decided. It is therefore too early to provide the established strength of each unit within the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

However when the future role of each battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland has been decided:

Any battalions that are in the Armoured Infantry role will have a full unit establishment of 729 personnel;

Any battalions that are in the Mechanised (Heavy Protected Mobile) Infantry role will have a full unit establishment of 709 personnel;

Any battalions that are in the Light Protected Mobile Infantry role will have a full unit establishment of 581 personnel;

13 July 2012 : Column 415W

Any battalions that are in the Light Infantry role will have a full unit establishment of 561 personnel;

The 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, which will form a Public Duties Incremental Company, will most probably move to a sub-unit establishment of around 140 personnel. Although this number could change slightly once the precise structure of the unit has been finalised.

Veterans: Radiation Exposure

Andrew Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence to which independent scientists his Department has made available the documents on which it relied in determining exposure to radiation by veterans of the British nuclear test programme in the 1950s and 1960s. [115595]

Mr Robathan: In relation to the legal proceedings involving nuclear test veterans, both the Secretary of State and the veterans have instructed independent experts, Mr Ken Johnston and Professor Patrick Regan. Both of these have been given access to the relevant documents and subsequently produced independent expert reports. The First Tier Tribunal will consider their reports as part of the evidence in the war pension appeals and will issue a judgment in due course.

Education

Assets

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assets his Department has sold and leased back over the last 12 months; what the sale price was of each asset so sold; and what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of leasing back each such asset over the period of the lease. [116777]

Tim Loughton: The Department has not sold and leased back any assets over the past 12 months.

E-mail: Freedom of Information

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education on what date he received advice from the Cabinet Office that private e-mail accounts were outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; from whom he received that advice; in what format it was received; and if he will place in the Library a copy of that advice. [113925]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 26 June 2012]:I refer the hon. Member to the response given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, my right hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Mr Maude), on 6 February 2012, Official Report, column 63W.

Ex Gratia Payments

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate his Department has made of the monetary value of ex gratia payments made through schemes administered by his Department in the last two years. [116778]

13 July 2012 : Column 416W

Tim Loughton: In 2010-11, the Department made 15 exgratia payments totalling £18,129.96. In 2011-12, it made 36 such payments, totalling £48,544.96.

Foster Care

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many foster carers there are in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) England and Wales; and how many are unemployed in each case. [116596]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 12 July 2012]: Data on the number of carers in each fostering service in England is collected by Ofsted. The information cannot be summarised at local or regional level as foster carers may not reside in the area in which they are registered with a fostering service.

There were 56,145 foster carers in England on 31 March 2011 according to statistics published by Ofsfed:

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/fostering-agencies-and-fostering-services-dataset-201011

This was, however, from a return rate from fostering services of 91%. Ofsted does not collect data for Wales.

No data on the employment status of foster carers are collected.

GCSE

Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the per pupil cost of funding for students sitting GCSEs in (a) English and (b) mathematics in (i) England and (ii) Blackpool North and Cleveleys constituency was in the most recent academic year for which figures are available. [116277]

Mr Gibb: Funding is allocated to maintained schools on the basis of a local formula with the main focus on pupil numbers along with pupil and school characteristics. Funding for academies is calculated on a comparable basis. Funding is not allocated in relation to specific qualifications or subjects. The information requested is therefore not available.

New Schools Network

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what presentations the New Schools Network has given to his Department since May 2010. [116591]

Mr Gibb: New Schools Network has given several presentations to officials working in the Free Schools Group since May 2010, all of which have focused on the experience and perspectives of free school applicants.

Offences against Children: Internet

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will place in the Library a copy of each item of correspondence between his Department and stakeholders on protecting children online since May 2010. [116621]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 12 July 2012]: Departmental officials have very regular contact with a wide range of stakeholders about online child protection.

13 July 2012 : Column 417W

To provide a copy of every piece of correspondence since May 2010 would result in a disproportionate cost to the taxpayer.

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what discussions (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with ministerial colleagues to discuss protecting children online. [116622]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 12 July 2012]:I met the former Minister with responsibility for crime and security, my hon. Friend the Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (James Brokenshire), every six weeks during 2010 and until autumn 2011 to discuss online child protection issues as we co-chaired the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) executive board. My hon. Friend’s child internet safety responsibilities then transferred to the Minister for Equalities, the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone), and I have met her every quarter since then to discuss online child protection issues at UKCCIS executive board meetings. The Under-Secretary of State for for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my hon. Friend the Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey), is also a member of the UKCCIS executive board and I met him in July 2010, July and September 2011 and in February 2012 when he attended. The Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), has had no meetings with ministerial colleagues to discuss protecting children online.

Private Education: Education Maintenance Allowance

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2012, Official Report, column 600W, on private education: education maintenance allowance, how much has been paid in education maintenance allowance to pupils at independent schools, excluding those attending independent special schools, since its introduction. [116572]

Mr Gibb: Between the 2004/05 and 2010/11 academic years, £51,876,390 was paid out in education maintenance allowance to pupils at independent schools (excluding those who attended independent special schools).

Public Expenditure

John Healey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education with reference to the speech by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury of 23 April 2012 at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, (1) what progress his Department has made on identifying a proportion of its resource budget that can be re-prioritised; what steps he has taken to identify such funds; and which parts of his Department's resource budget he has identified as suitable for re-prioritisation; [115135]

(2) what discussions he has had with his Department's agencies and the non-departmental bodies for which he is responsible on the contribution they will make to identifying resource budget for possible re-prioritisation; [115136]

(3) when he will make public the areas of his Department's resource budget he has identified for possible re-prioritisation; and when he plans to report to the Education Select Committee on the outcome of this exercise. [115143]

13 July 2012 : Column 418W

Tim Loughton: The Department is working with the Treasury to agree contingency plans as set out in “Improving Spending Control”

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/improving_spending_ control.pdf

Plans and options for reprioritisation will not be published. They should be “live” plans that are reassessed and updated on an ongoing basis.

Schools: Finance

Elizabeth Truss: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2012, Official Report, column 601W, on schools, how many pages of guidance there were in each area before the Government's reductions. [117086]

Mr Gibb: Following the response given to my hon. Friend on 3 July 2012, Official Report, column 602W, the following table sets out how many pages of the department's guidance there were in each area before the Government's reductions:

 Original number of pages in September 2011
  

Admissions

160

Assessment

220

Attendance

200

Behaviour (Discipline, Bullying, Exclusions and alternative provision)

979

Careers

413

Challenge

2342

Curriculum

2353

Data Collection

130

Equality

306

Extended Services

1255

Early years foundation stage YFS

665

Finance

1253

Governance

1219

Health & Safety

150

Improving Pupil Performance

2524

Initiatives

104

Inspection

2

Looked After Children

138

Media

188

Not in education, employment or training

91

Parental Information

712

PE/ Sport

127

Pedagogy and Practice

1959

Premises

1489

Qualifications

1174

Reducing Bureaucracy

196

Raising Participation Age

110

Safeguarding

1219

School Food

88

School Improvement

569

School Organisation

831

School Travel

65

Special education needs

1320

Staffing and Workforce

1660

13 July 2012 : Column 419W

Science Technology Engineering Maths

765

Sustainability

831

Target Setting

59

Work Related Learning

279

Youth Support (including Drugs)

310

Schools: Sports

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many school sports co-ordinators there were (a) nationwide and (b) in each local authority area in the academic year 2011-12. [117079]

Tim Loughton: Department for Education funding for school sport co-ordinators ended at the end of the summer term 2011, and we do not collect data about the number of them who are funded from other sources, including schools' budgets. The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), has made available £65 million over the academic years 2011/12 and 2012/13 to release a PE teacher from every secondary school for one day a week to increase opportunities in school sport. All state funded schools in England with at least 20 secondary aged pupils are eligible for this funding.

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many school sports partnerships there were (a) nationally and (b) in each local authority area in the school years (i) 2007-08, (ii) 2008-09, (iii) 2009-10, (iv) 2010-11 and (v) 2011-12. [117112]

Tim Loughton: For the years 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11, there were 450 school sport partnerships in England. Ring-fenced funding for school sport partnerships ended at the end of the summer term 2011.

From 2007 to the end of the summer term 2011, the network of school sport partnerships included every maintained school in England. A list of school sport partnerships in each local authority area has been placed in the House Libraries. The list is the same for each year requested. However, the boundaries of school sport partnerships did not always coincide with local authority boundaries. Some partnerships, therefore, appear in more than one local authority in the list.

Teachers: Allowances

Gavin Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what average amount was received by teachers in allowances additional to their basic salaries in each of the last three years; [115898]

(2) what total amount was paid to teachers in allowances additional to their basic salaries in each of the last three years. [115899]

Mr Gibb: The following table provides the average and total amount of additional allowances received by qualified teachers in service in publicly funded schools in England, in November 2010 and 2011.

No comparable information is available for earlier years.

13 July 2012 : Column 420W

Total and average amount of additional allowances paid to teachers in service in publicly funded schools. November 2010 and 2011. England
 Total full-time qualified teachersPercentage in receipt of an allowanceTotal amount paid in allowances (£)Average amount of all paid per teacher in receipt (£)Average allowance per teacher (£)

2010

471,300

33

683,326,900

4,400

1,500

2011

472,900

34

687,712,400

4,300

1,500

Note: Allowances are rounded to the nearest £100. Source: School Workforce Census

Teachers: Coventry

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many (a) teachers and (b) teaching assistants were employed in schools in the Coventry local authority area in each of the last five years. [116448]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 11 July 2012]: The following table provides the full-time equivalent numbers of teachers and teaching assistants who were employed in publicly funded schools in Coventry local authority and England in January 2007 to 2009 and November 2010 to 2011.

Full time equivalent (FTE) teachers and teaching assistants in service in publicly funded schools; January 2007 to 2009 and November 2010 to 2011, Coventry local authority and England
 FTE TeachersFTE Teaching Assistants(1)
 CoventryEnglandCoventryEngland

January(2)

    

2007

2,940

452,490

890

163,800

2008

3,030

453,830

850

176,990

2009

3,130

454,270

810

183,700

     

November(3)

    

2010

3,080

448,070

1,200

213,900

2011

3,100

438,020

1,500

219,750

(1) Includes special needs support staff and minority ethnic pupil support staff. (2) Sources: Form 618g for FTE teachers and School Census for FTE teaching assistants. (3) Sources: School Workforce Census 2010 and 2011. Note: Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

Teachers: Resignations

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many (a) primary and (b) secondary school teachers voluntarily left the profession during the 2010 and 2011 school years. [117226]

Mr Gibb: The information requested is not available in the format requested.

Time series information is available on the numbers of teachers retiring from publicly funded schools. This information is available in the ‘additional tables from the Statistical First Release’ section of the ‘School Workforce In England, November 2010 (Provisional)’ publication which is available on the Department's website:

http://www.education.gov.uk/researchandstatistics/statistics/allstatistics/a00196713/school-workforce-sfr

13 July 2012 : Column 421W

Teachers: Veterans

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many former service personnel who are military mentors have been recruited to support the Troops to Teachers programme since its inception. [115631]

Mr Gibb: Since the announcement of the Troops to Teachers programme, we have focused on increasing the number of service leavers undertaking initial teacher training (ITT). The Department began recording the number of service leavers applying for ITT courses from March 2011. Since 1 March 2011, 239 service leavers applied for ITT courses of which 103(1) have been accepted so far.

(1) Data Teaching Agency 4 July 2012

This year we allocated an additional 50 places on the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP), which will be available to service leavers exclusively. We plan to allocate further places on an annual basis to School Direct (Salaried), which replaces the GTP from 2013.

Official Visits

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much he has claimed in overnight subsistence allowances for the purpose of official Government business in the last 12 months. [116739]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 12 July 2012]: The Secretary of State for Education, my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove), has not claimed any expenses for overnight subsistence whilst on departmental business in the last 12 months.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he plans to answer question (a) 106403, tabled on 9 May 2012 and originally tabled as Question 94256 on 3 February 2012 and (b) 106412 tabled on 9 May 2012 and originally tabled as question 97217 on 23 February 2012. [108110]

Tim Loughton: I refer the hon. Member to the responses given on 18 June 2012, Official Report, column 659W and on 23 May 2012, Official Report, column 744W.

Energy and Climate Change

Carbon Sequestration

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how the feed-in tariff contracts for difference will be used to support carbon capture and storage. [117038]

Charles Hendry: Contracts for Difference will provide long-term price stability for all forms of low carbon generation, including CCS-equipped fossil fuel generation plant. This will enable more investment to come forward sooner at a cheaper cost of capital—allowing us to meet our decarbonisation goals while reducing consumer bills in the medium and longer term.

13 July 2012 : Column 422W

Further detail, including on variations which the Government may include within the Contracts for Difference for early stage CCS projects, is available in “Annex B Feed-In-Tariff with Contracts for Difference: Draft operational Framework” which was published alongside the draft Energy Bill on 22 May 2012.

Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress has been made on the financing of storage infrastructure for carbon capture and storage schemes. [117039]

Charles Hendry: The UK CCS Commercialisation Programme, launched on 3 April 2012, makes available £1 billion in capital grant funding to support projects to develop CCS. Full CCS chain projects will also be eligible for support from low carbon Contracts for Difference as proposed in the draft Energy Bill, published in May 2012. CfDs will provide, long-term price stability from the sale of electricity, thus supporting investment in infrastructure development and operational costs.

Electricity Generation: Environment Protection

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what assessment his Department has made of the potential role of distributed generation in reducing the UK's carbon emissions; [116882]

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the potential role for community-based electricity generation projects larger than five megawatts in capacity in the electricity market reform process. [116883]

Gregory Barker: The Government acknowledge that distributed generation (including combined heat and power, or “CHP”) can play a significant role in the cost-effective delivery of Government's decarbonisation and security of supply objectives.

The Department appreciates the benefits of fossil fuel CHP in reducing carbon emissions from heat and power in the medium term, as outlined in our recent publication, “The future of Heating: A strategic framework for low carbon heat in the UK”(1). We are currently carrying out analysis of the potential costs and impacts, including carbon impacts, of different potential support mechanisms. The rationale for any support needs to be considered carefully, to ensure it is justified and delivers good value to taxpayers and energy consumers.

It is expected that distributed generation using eligible low-carbon technologies will be able to access the contracts for difference on the same terms as other generation types. DECC officials are engaging with industry, through the Ministerial Distributed Energy Contact Group (DECG)(2), on the delivery of analysis demonstrating of the ability of distributed generation to contribute to cost-effective achievement of Government's decarbonisation and security of supply goals.

(1) http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/meeting-energy-demand/heat/4805-future-heating-strategic-framework.pdf

(2)( )http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/heat_ strategy/decg.aspx

Departmental Pay

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many staff of his Department received bonuses in excess of (a) £1,310, (b) £2,000, (c) £5,000 and (d) £10,000 in (i) 2010 and (ii) 2011. [116747]

13 July 2012 : Column 423W

Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change currently awards both non consolidated end of year performance awards and in year special awards.

The Department uses non consolidated performance related payments to help drive high performance as they:

encourage continuous high attainment because the payments are dependent upon continuing strong performance;

prevent a permanent rise in salary and an increase in pension on the basis of one off performances while still allowing good performance to be rewarded;

have no long term costs, in particular it does not increase future pension payments;

focus the work of employees more directly on the priority goals of the organization;

motivate employees by linking an element of compensation to the achievement of objectives rather than offering payment for time served;

target money at those who make the biggest contribution.

End of year non consolidated performance awards are used to reward the Department’s highest performers as assessed in their end of year appraisal reports.

Non consolidated in year special awards are used to recognise performance or behaviours which might not be fully reflected in an end of year performance appraisal. These may be used to reward staff for exceptional pieces of work or taking on additional responsibilities.

 Number of awards in excess of:
 £1,310 and above£2,000 and above£5,000 and above£10,000 and above

January—December 2010

109

81

22

1

January—December 2011

107

78

22

1

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the (a) average and (b) total amount paid in bonuses to staff in his Department was in (i) 2010 and (ii) 2011. [116749]

Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change currently awards both non consolidated end of year performance awards and in year special awards.

The Department uses non consolidated performance related payments to help drive high performance as they:

encourage continuous high attainment because the payments are dependent upon continuing strong performance;

prevent a permanent rise in salary and an increase in pension on the basis of one off performances while still allowing good performance to be rewarded;

have no long term costs, in particular it does not increase future pension payments;

focus the work of employees more directly on the priority goals of the organisation;

motivate employees by linking an element of compensation to the achievement of objectives rather than offering payment for time served;

target money at those who make the biggest contribution.

End of year non consolidated performance awards are used to reward the Department’s highest performers as assessed in their end of year appraisal reports.

13 July 2012 : Column 424W

Non consolidated, in year special awards are used to recognise performance or behaviours which might not be fully reflected in an end of year performance appraisal. These may be used to reward staff for exceptional pieces of work or taking on additional responsibilities.

The average value of awards and total spend is shown in the following table:

£
 Average awardTotal

January—December 2010

1,046

825,648

January—December 2011

809

958,783

Renewable Energy: Feed-in Tariffs

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment his Department has made of the potential suitability of feed-in tariff contracts for difference for low-carbon technologies other than offshore wind and nuclear power. [116881]

Gregory Barker: The feed-in tariff with Contracts for Difference is designed to be suitable for all forms of low carbon generation. This includes offshore wind and nuclear power but also embraces carbon capture and storage and a wide range of renewable technologies.

Space Weather

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential threat of lengthy power outages following a severe space weather storm. [116752]

Charles Hendry: The Government's assessment of the potential threat of lengthy power outages following severe space weather was provided to the House of Commons Defence Committee and published as part of its report on 8 February 2012. The same report included written evidence from National Grid on the results of discussions with Government Departments, including DECC, on the potential impacts on transformers and power networks. DECC is continuing to work with National Grid and more widely across industry to better understand these impacts as space weather forecasting improves. Evidence provided to the Committee did not exclude the possibility of power outages but made clear that National Grid had in place a wide range of mitigating actions, and was investigating other options to harden the UK system. We are now working jointly with industry to develop a more detailed assessment of the potential impacts on the GB electricity system of a severe space weather event.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Air Pollution: EU Law

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she plans to take to address non-compliance with the EU air quality directive. [116439]

13 July 2012 : Column 425W

Richard Benyon: For those zones of a member state where exceedences of air quality limits are reported, EU directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality requires member states to produce air quality plans. These plans must set out the action being taken to achieve the limits in the shortest possible time.

While the UK is compliant with most EU air quality standards, in common with most other member states, meeting the limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in our cities and towns is challenging. Underperformance of diesel vehicles against EU emissions standards for oxides of nitrogen is a key part of the problem. In 2011, the UK submitted air quality plans to the European Commission for the 40 zones where NO2 exceedences were reported.

Where compliance with the NO2 limits can be demonstrated by 2015, the European Commission can allow time extensions up to that date. The Commission has recently accepted our case for time extensions in nine zones. We are continuing our efforts to explore the scope for additional action at national, regional and local level to achieve the NO2 limits in all zones as soon as possible.

Assets

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assets her Department has sold and leased back over the last 12 months; what the sale price was of each asset so sold; and what estimate her Department has made of the cost to the public purse of leasing back each such asset over the period of the lease. [116807]

Richard Benyon: During the last 12 months core DEFRA has not entered into any sale and leaseback transactions.

Climate Change

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of how global warming is affecting the UK. [116709]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA is responsible for assessing climate change impacts on the UK. We laid the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment before Parliament on 25 January this year. This was the first in a five year cycle of assessments of this type. The Climate Change Risk Assessment is available on DEFRA’s website.

Fishing Vessels: Scallops

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish the list of vessels entitled to fish for scallops in western waters in (a) 2003 and (b) 2012. [115929]

Richard Benyon: It is UK policy that every over 15 metre vessel can fish within western waters by virtue of their UK fishing licence. However, vessels without a scallop authority on their UK fishing licence are not permitted to target King scallops (“Pecten maximus”) with mechanical dredges.

13 July 2012 : Column 426W

Pheasants

Jason McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many pheasants are reared for sport annually; and what proportion of them are (a) beak-trimmed and (b) fitted with bits. [115661]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA does not hold information relating to the numbers of pheasants reared for sport annually, or the proportion of them that are beak trimmed or fitted with bits.

Lost Working Days

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average number of working days lost per person was in (a) her Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last three years. [115669]

Richard Benyon: The average number of working days lost per person due to sickness in core DEFRA and each of its Executive agencies is shown in the following table.

 Year to 31 March 2010Year to 31 March 2011Year to 31 March 2012

Core DEFRA

5.8

5.4

3.9

Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency(1)

7.6

8.1

7.0

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

7.4

6.0

3.8

Food and Environment Research Agency

5.0

4.7

5.6

Marine and Fisheries Agency(2)

6.6

  

Rural Payments Agency

10.2

10.4

8.9

Veterinary Medicines Directorate

8.3

7.6

7.5

Total

7.8

7.5

6.4

(1) The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) comprised two separate agencies before 1 April 2011. The figures shown for the year to 31 March 2010 and the year to 31 March 2011 represent the average number of working days lost for the two agencies in each case. (2) The Marine and Fisheries Agency was subsumed into the Marine Management Organisation (a non-departmental public body of DEFRA) on 1 April 2010.

Mutual Societies

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of full-time equivalent staff who will transfer from her Department, its non- departmental public bodies and Executive agencies workforce to a mutual in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13; and if she will make a statement. [110197]

Richard Benyon: No staff in core DEFRA or the five Executive agencies transferred to a mutual in 2011-12 or are expected to transfer to a mutual in 2012-13. DEFRA does not collect this information centrally for

13 July 2012 : Column 427W

its non-departmental bodies. No estimates have been made about future staff transfers from core DEFRA to mutual organisations.

Although it is a transfer from a public corporation to a charity (not a mutual), we expect to transfer 1,454 employees from British Waterways in England and Wales to the Canal & River Trust in the summer, subject to parliamentary approval of the draft British Waterways Board (Transfer of Functions) Order 2012.

We will continue to keep under review the most appropriate delivery models for DEFRA and its wider network, including through our planned cycle of triennial reviews of non-departmental public bodies.

Departmental Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the lowest hourly rate is paid to staff by her Department; how many members of staff based outside London are paid less than £7.20 per hour; and how many members of staff based in London are paid less than £8.30 per hour. [116373]

Richard Benyon: The lowest hourly rate paid to staff in core DEFRA is £7.08. Three members of core DEFRA staff based outside London are earning less than £7.20 per hour. One member of core DEFRA staff based in London is earning less than £8.30 per hour.

Public Expenditure

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she expects her Department to underspend its budget for 2012-13; and what estimate she has made of any such underspend. [116474]

Richard Benyon: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast underspends in departmental expenditure limits as part of its Economic and Fiscal Outlook in the autumn.

As part of the transparency agenda the Government publish the full detail of plans and outturn for all Departments after the end of the financial year, usually in September. HM Treasury publishes outturn data for all Departments from the Combined Online Information System/Online System for Central Accounting and Reporting database, available on the HM Treasury website on a quarterly basis. Forecasts for 2012-13 outturn by Department will be published at Budget 2013.

Renewable Energy: Waste

Sarah Newton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the speech of 21 June 2012 by the Director for Climate, Waste and Atmosphere in her Department, if she will publish the evidence base in respect of the health and environmental factors to be addressed in the proposed guidance for energy from waste; and if she will commit to undertake periodic reviews of any such guidance. [114319]

Richard Benyon: The purpose of the guide to Energy from Waste is to help shape the debate around energy from waste, so that the key environmental, technical

13 July 2012 : Column 428W

and economic issues and options are considered. Encouraging full and informed discussion will help to deliver energy from waste that uses the right fuel, in the right place, at the right time.

As such the guide will mainly use existing published material that will be clearly signposted. Any new evidence used will be published in line with DEFRA’s usual procedures. The intention is that the guide will be regularly reviewed. On health in particular, we are guided by the Health Protection Agency which reviews its position when any new substantive evidence arises.

Telephone Services

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many private sector call centre staff were used by her Department and its agencies in each of the last three financial years; and at what cost to the public purse. [114434]

Richard Benyon: Core DEFRA and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) have a contract in place for a range of outsourced, customer service functions, including a telephone helpline. The contract does not specify the number of staff needed to carry out the service as this is the responsibility of the contracted authority. The cost of the contract is commercially confidential since the contract will shortly be retendered.

Whales: Conservation

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she plans to take at the 2012 International Whaling Commission meeting to protect whales. [114757]

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government plan to take at the 2012 meeting of the International Whaling Commission to achieve greater protection for whales. [114690]

Richard Benyon: I attended part of this year's meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Panama (IWC64) to demonstrate the UK's commitment to the conservation work of the IWC and our fundamental support for the moratorium on commercial whaling. I am pleased to report that the UK achieved all its priorities and would refer hon. Members to my written ministerial statement laid on 10 July, Official Report¸ columns 14-15WS, for a summary of outcomes.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government has taken at the 2012 meeting of the International Whaling Commission to protect whales. [115213]

Richard Benyon [holding answer 5 July 2012]: I attended part of this year's meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Panama (IWC64) to demonstrate the UK's commitment to the conservation work of the IWC and our fundamental support for the moratorium on commercial whaling. I am pleased to report that the UK achieved all its priorities and would refer the right

13 July 2012 : Column 429W

hon. Member to my written ministerial statement laid on 10 July 2012,

Official Report

, column 15WS, for a summary of outcomes.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Abid Hussein

Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 June 2012, Official Report, column 202W, on Abid Hussein, how many times officials in his Department have met Abid Hussein; what the (a) date and (b) location was of each meeting; what the nature was of these meetings; and who attended each meeting. [116541]

Alistair Burt: I refer the hon. Member to my answer on 26 June 2012, Official Report, column 202W. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials have met with Mr Hussain on a few occasions in his capacity as a prominent member of the British Pakistani community.

FCO officials have meetings with a wide variety of individuals and organisations as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Health

Breast Cancer: Screening

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to page 33 of the NHS Chief Executive's Annual Report 2011/12, what criteria were used to determine that some local programmes related to breast screening were unsuitable for randomisation. [116988]

Paul Burstow: The NHS Breast Screening Programme is currently being extended to women aged 47 to 73. In order to ensure that the most useful epidemiological data can be gathered to inform future decisions about the programme, the extension is being randomised so that half of the groups of women invited will be invited at the age of 47 to 49, and the other half at age 71 to 73.

Within the NHS Breast Cancer Screening Programme randomisation project, nine of the 80 local programmes are unsuitable for randomisation. Eight of these have batch methods for call/recall that are not suitable for randomisation, the other is run by the private sector, which would have made obtaining ethical approval for participation in the randomisation project difficult. The nine sites are therefore inviting women aged 47 to 49 only, as women aged over 70 are already entitled to self-refer for breast screening every three years.

Carers

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he has taken to provide information for primary care trusts (PCTs) on their obligation to meet the requirements set out in the NHS Operating

13 July 2012 : Column 430W

Framework 2012/13 to publish policies, plans and budgets to support carers under the Carers Strategy on the PCT or PCT cluster's website by 30 September 2012; [116581]

(2) what mechanism he plans to put in place to monitor the performance of NHS organisations from 2013-14 against the requirements of Operating Framework 2012/13 for increased support for carers under the Carers Strategy and the allocation of funding for carers breaks between 2011 and 2015. [116582]

Paul Burstow: The NHS Operating Framework 2012-13 sets out clearly the requirements for primary care trusts (PCTs) to support carers and is more specific about their plans, which should be explicitly agreed and signed off with local authorities and identify the financial contribution made to support carers. The plans should also include how much is being spent on carers' breaks together with an indicative number of breaks available. PCTs will be required to publish their plans on their website by September 2012.

The NHS Operating Framework is the annual management agenda for the national health service. It translates the Government's priorities, agreed as part of the spending review, into NHS deliverables. It sets out roles, expectations and describes how NHS organisations will be held to account in that financial year.

Through the strategic health authority (SHA) cluster assurance process, SHAs will seek assurance from PCTs that the requirement to publish has been completed by 30 September 2012. From April 2013, responsibility will pass to Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Health Service Commissioner

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what system is in place for monitoring the quality of the work of the Health Service Ombudsman; what recent assessment of the quality of that work has been made; and if he will make a statement. [116889]

Mr Simon Burns: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is independent of Government and is directly accountable to Parliament. As such, it would not be appropriate for the Department to monitor or assess the quality of the work carried out by the Ombudsman.

Health Services

Mr Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average population size of each clinical commissioning group will be relative to the population size of the primary care trust which each is replacing. [116993]

Mr Simon Burns: Clinical commissioning groups will be established from October 2012. It is for prospective clinical commissioning groups to determine the best size at which to effectively exercise their functions and meet the needs of their patients. The NHS Commissioning Board will be responsible for ensuring that clinical commissioning groups are of sufficient size to be able to discharge their functions and that they have an appropriate area, for example, in relation to their responsibilities for arranging emergency and urgent care services within their boundaries and for commissioning services for any unregistered patients who live within their area. They will also need to work coherently with local partners to best serve local health needs.

13 July 2012 : Column 431W

Mental Health Services: Sussex

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make an assessment of the role of voluntary organisations in providing mental healthcare treatment in (a) Mid Sussex constituency and (b) West Sussex. [117025]

Paul Burstow: The role of voluntary organisations in providing mental health services locally is a matter for local national health service organisations. Voluntary and community organisations can draw on the wealth of experience of their local communities in meeting the needs of people they work with, including people experiencing poor mental health who may also feel socially excluded. Some of these organisations have experience of helping people to manage their own mental health better in the community—including through peer support services, user-led self-help groups, mentoring and befriending, and time-banking schemes, which enable service users to be both providers and recipients of support. Well managed and well-supported volunteering opportunities can help people to develop the skills and confidence to play a more active role in their own wellbeing and their community, and to influence the shape and scope of local services. Innovative approaches aimed at involving service users and the wider community can also help to break down barriers and reduce stigma.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the (a) mean and (b) median ages are of people receiving mental healthcare treatment in Mid Sussex constituency; [117026]

(2) how many people in Mid Sussex constituency are receiving treatment for mental health conditions. [117029]

Mr Simon Burns: The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the following table.

Number of people using adult and elderly secondary mental health services by age in 2010-11 for the Mid Sussex constituency
Age groupNumber

Under 18

54

18 to 35

700

36 to 64

1,034

65 and over

1,050

Total number of people

2,838

Notes: 1. Data for 2010-11 are the most up-to-date available. 2. The MHMDS only covers adults using secondary mental health services and is therefore only a subset of those people being treated for mental health illnesses. 3. The MHMDS does not contain the range required to provide a mean and median age of people receiving mental health care treatment. Instead, the table shows data by age grouping. 4. The MHMDS is a record level dataset covering mainly specialist NHS mental health services for working age adults and people over the age of 65. Some (but not all) independent service providers who provide services on behalf of the NHS are also included. The MHMDS includes information from medium secure services but does not include information from the three high security hospitals. 5. The quality of MHMDS data has been improving over time in general and with respect to key items and trust level data quality reports. Improvement in the completeness of recording all the activity which should be included in MHMDS is less easy to measure, as the MHMDS records the packages of care received by individuals and these vary widely. Source: Health and Social Care Information Centre Mental Health Minimum Dataset (MHMDS) 2010-11 annual returns

13 July 2012 : Column 432W

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has made an assessment of future demand for NHS mental healthcare treatment in (a) Mid Sussex constituency and (b) West Sussex. [117027]

Paul Burstow: The planning and provision of health care services is a matter for local national health service organisations. No such assessment has been made centrally.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost of NHS mental health care treatment was in Mid Sussex constituency in each of the last five financial years. [117028]

Paul Burstow: The information requested is not held on a constituency level. The following table sets out mental health expenditure for West Sussex Primary Care Trust (PCT), for the years 2006-07 to 2010-11.

Total expenditure (£000)
Programme budgeting category2006-072007-082008-092009-102010-11

Mental health disorders

96.686

121,456

107,541

121,571

118,999

Substance misuse

2,792

8,333

2,670

2,719

6,047

Organic mental disorders

3,681

12,057

11,221

20,624

9,508

Psychotic disorders

4,149

5,557

50,895

35,936

9,578

Child health and adolescent mental health disorders

8,666

7,651

7,118

6,748

8,494

Mental health disorders (Other)

77,398

87,858

35,637

55,544

85,372

Notes: 1. Estimates of expenditure are calculated using price paid for specific activities and services purchased from health care providers. PCTs follow standard guidance, procedures and mappings when calculating programme budgeting data. 2. Figures include expenditure across all sectors. Disease specific expenditure does not include expenditure on general practitioner (GP) contracts but do include prescribing expenditure. 3. Not all expenditure relating to ‘mental health disorders’ will be included within the figures given. Analysing expenditure for the programme budgeting return is complex, and there are some service areas where local commissioners do not have sufficient information to determine which expenditure on specific patients and conditions. —In primary care, the majority of PCTs do not have information to identify the health care condition that was the main reason for a patient’s appointment with a GP or Practice Nurse. Additionally, for many patients the diagnosis may be unknown at the time of the appointment or the patient may have multiple conditions. —For out-patient activity, most PCTs do not have information to identify the health-care condition that was the main reason for out-patient attendances. —For community care, PCTs may not have sufficient information to accurately allocate expenditure to programme categories. 4. The allocation of expenditure to programme budgeting subcategories is not always straightforward, and subcategory level data should therefore be used with caution. 5. The programme budgeting data collection methodology and underlying data sources are subject to yearly changes to improve the data quality. Due to the significant changes made to calculation methodologies, it is not possible to make direct comparisons with programme budgeting data from previous years. Source: Annual PCT programme budgeting Programme Budgeting data collection