Universal Credit

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the introduction of universal credit on support for families with disabled children who receive the mid-rate care component of disability living allowance; and how many families in this group of families with disabled children there are (a) in Brighton and Hove and (b) nationally. [132819]

Mr Hoban: The effect of the introduction of universal credit on families with disabled children depends on several factors. For example, households with children may benefit from the extended child care support arrangements in universal credit. Moreover, families

13 Dec 2012 : Column 435W

with a blind child who currently only receive the lower of the two disabled child additions in child tax credit will receive the higher disabled child rate in universal credit.

It is estimated that around 100,000 families receiving DLA mid-rate care for a child will be impacted by universal credit. Statistics are not available at the local authority level.

Transitional protection will be in place to ensure that there will be no cash losers as a direct result of the move to universal credit where circumstances remain the same.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for East Ham (Stephen Timms) of 25 October 2012, Official Report, column 1059W, on universal credit, what discussions he has had on the proposal to introduce a third rate of disability addition between low and high rate; and if he will make a statement. [132820]

Mr Hoban: We have met organisations that represent disabled people to discuss universal credit and expect to continue to do so.

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the benefit cap will apply for support towards housing costs for people living in supported exempt accommodation following the introduction of universal credit. [133450]

Steve Webb: The Chancellor announced in his autumn statement that housing payments for those in supported exempt accommodation will be disregarded for the purpose of the benefit cap.

Work Programme

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK who have been referred to the Work programme have found (i) employment and (ii) full-time employment. [132846]

Mr Hoban: Official Work programme statistics count sustained job outcomes only, i.e. when participants have been in work for 13 or 26 weeks. Statistics on all Work programme participants who have found employment and full-time employment are therefore not available.

Mr Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK who have been referred to the Work programme have found (i) part-time and (ii) full-time employment that lasted (A) less than and (B) more than six months; [133062]

(2) how many people in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK who have been referred to the Work programme have found employment that lasted (i) more than and (ii) less than six months. [132845]

Mr Hoban: Statistics on the number of people in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK who have been referred to the

13 Dec 2012 : Column 436W

Work programme have found (A) part-time and (B) full-time employment that lasted (i) less than and (ii) more than six months are not available.

Written Questions

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to how many and what proportion of questions for written answer on a named day his Department had not provided a substantive written answer by the day named in each of the last 12 months. [133549]

Steve Webb: The information requested is in the following table:

MonthNamed day questions not answered substantively on the named day
 NumberPercentage

December 2011

3

3.1

January 2012

4

3.1

February 2012

0

0.0

March 2012

5

3.9

April 2012

1

0.9

May 2012

2

2.1

June 2012

. 1

0.8

July 2012

6

5.6

August 2012

0

0.0

September 2012

2

2.2

October 2012

5

4.0

November 2012

0

0.0

The Government have committed to providing the Procedure Committee with information relating to written parliamentary question performance on a sessional basis and will provide full information to the Committee at the end of the current Session. Statistics relating to performance for the 2010-12 parliamentary Session are available on the Parliament website as follows:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/procedure/P35_Memorandum_Leader_of_the_House_ Monitoring_PQs.pdf

Home Department

Biometrics

Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects the regulation of biometric data, including rules for destruction of fingerprints and DNA profiles as legislated in the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 to be implemented. [122375]

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether DNA and fingerprint samples taken from people not convicted of any offence will be destroyed by the end of 2012, pursuant to section 1 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. [123594]

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the provisions of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 relating to the destruction, retention and use of DNA will be brought into force. [131711]

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James Brokenshire: I have published a written ministerial statement today setting out our implementation timetable for part 1, chapter 1 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

DNA: Databases

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date the provisions of the Protection of Freedom Act 2012 relating to the retention of DNA samples, Section 64 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and Section 14 of the Crime and Security Act 2012 will commence. [121643]

James Brokenshire: I have published a written ministerial statement today setting out our implementation timetable for part 1, chapter 1 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she proposes to enact the provision under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 to remove the DNA of innocent people from the DNA database. [122626]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 17 October 2012]: I have published a written ministerial statement today setting out our implementation timetable for part 1, chapter 1 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

Drugs: Imports

Mrs McGuire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 26 October 2012, Official Report, column 1082W, on drugs: imports, how many of the 37 licence applications that were cancelled, were cancelled by (a) her Department and (b) the applicant; and what the reasons were for each cancellation. [133193]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Applications can be cancelled only by the Home Office. Reasons for these cancellations include (i) applications did not fit with the interim Oxycodone policy, (ii) withdrawal at the request of the company, or (iii) errors in completion. Eleven of the 37 cancellations were at the request of the applicant.

Mrs McGuire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 26 October 2012, Official Report, column 1082W, on drugs: imports, whether any of the cancelled applications were cancelled despite the applicant companies having already been granted import licences for Oxycodone; and for what reasons in each case. [133194]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Of the 37 cancelled applications, 22 were from companies previously granted Oxycodone import licences. Reasons for these cancellations included (i) the application did not fit with the interim Oxycodone policy, (ii) withdrawal at the request of the company, or (iii) errors in completion.

Mrs McGuire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 26 October 2012, Official Report, column 1082W, on drugs: imports, during the interim period, how many of the 122 approved

13 Dec 2012 : Column 438W

import authorisations were granted to parallel import companies; and to how many different parallel import companies were such authorisations approved. [133225]

Mr Jeremy Browne: All 122 licences were issued to 19 companies in accordance with the interim policy. Applications are assessed against the interim Oxycodone policy but the proportion of applications granted for parallel import purposes is not retained.

Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation

Pauline Latham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation is co-operating with any investigation taking place into its conduct or activities. [130192]

Mr Jeremy Browne: If and when matters are brought to the attention of the relevant law enforcement and prosecuting agencies, they will be considered for investigation. It is not customary to comment on either potential or ongoing cases.

Fingerprints: Data Protection

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent progress her Department has made on ensuring that fingerprint samples taken from innocent people will be destroyed by the end of 2012. [130088]

James Brokenshire: I have published a written ministerial statement today setting out our implementation timetable for part 1, chapter 1 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Immigration

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) on how many occasions someone resident in the UK whose dependent relative was granted leave to come to live permanently in the country was required to reimburse any costs to the public purse for their dependent relative's maintenance, accommodation or care in each of the last 10 years; [133126]

(2) what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of adult dependent relatives of UK residents who are given permission to live permanently in the UK who have been in the country for (a) less than and (b) more than five years in the latest year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [133133]

Mr Harper: Information is not available on the reimbursement by UK residents of costs to the public purse arising from the settlement in the UK of a dependent relative, or on the cost to the public purse of adult dependent relatives living permanently in the UK.

On 9 July 2012 the Government introduced new rules governing the entry of adult dependent relatives. The new rules allow an adult dependent relative of non-European economic area nationality to settle in the UK if they can demonstrate that, as a result of age, illness or disability, they require a level of long-term personal care that can only be provided in the UK by their relative here and without recourse to welfare benefits. The UK resident will continue to be required to ensure that their adult dependent relative will be adequately

13 Dec 2012 : Column 439W

maintained, accommodated and cared for without recourse to welfare benefits, and sign an enforceable five-year undertaking to that effect.

Offences Against Children

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many child sex offenders are registered on the Violent and Sex Offenders Register in the UK. [133128]

Mr Jeremy Browne: As at 6 September 2012, there were 29,837 offenders whose details were on the Violent and Sex Offenders Register (ViSOR) Dangerous Persons Database who had convictions against children (aged under 18).

Official Cars

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which Ministers in her Department have been allocated Government cars; and what the last dates were on which such cars were used by each Minister for (a) individual and (b) pool car use. [133800]

Damian Green: No Ministers have Government cars allocated to them individually; however two Government Car Service vehicles are currently contracted to the Department.

The following table lists the dates that the contracted cars and the car pool service were last used by each Minister:

MinisterContracted carPool car service

James Brokenshire

12 December 2012

6 December 2012

Jeremy Browne

12 December 2012

12 December 2012

Damian Green

13 December 2012

10 December 2012

Lord Taylor

13 December 2012

22 November 2012

Mark Harper

13 December 2012

12 December 2012

Official Hospitality

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department has spent for hospitality purposes on (a) Champagne, (b) wines, (c) spirits, (d) soft drinks, (e) flowers, (f) laundry, (g) porterage, (h) china, (i) cutlery and (j) venue hire since May 2010. [132884]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office accounting systems do not identify separate expenditure on Champagne, wines, spirits, soft drinks, flowers, laundry, porterage, china, cutlery and venue hire. The information cannot be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

Olympic Games 2012

Dame Tessa Jowell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department is taking to safeguard the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics in the policy areas for which she is responsible; and what budget her Department has allocated for that purpose. [132814]

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James Brokenshire: The Home Office is completing a comprehensive process to capture the safety and security learning from the Games, which has involved the full participation of security partners. The intention is to incorporate the major learning into the planning for future high profile events in the UK, such as the Commonwealth Games in 2014, and also to pass on comprehensive knowledge to international partners. The Home Office has already participated in the recent Government-to-Government exchange with the Brazilians to assist their preparations for a number of major events, including the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. Overall safety and security learning will be shared with the Cabinet Office as part of the wider cross-Government lessons initiative.

Building on a proposal in the National Security Through Technology White Paper, the Home Office is recruiting a new Director of Security Industry Engagement to co-ordinate action between Government and the security industry. A key feature of this role will be working with partners, including UKTI, to maximise the Games security legacy, including UK exports. This is already a strong theme in relevant ministerial visit programmes, including the recent Olympic and Paralympic handover in Brazil.

Pay

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was paid in (a) year end and (b) in-year bonuses to officials in her Department in each of the last two years. [132854]

James Brokenshire: The following information on non-consolidated one-off payments includes all staff in the Home Office HQ, the UK Border Agency (UKBA), the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) and the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

Information on non-consolidated one-off payments for 2010-11 for the each of these bodies is in the public domain and can be found on the following Home Office link:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/corporate-publications/performance-related-pay

Information on non-consolidated one-off payments for 2011-12 will be published shortly. It will be published on our departmental website linked to data.gov.uk.

Police: Databases

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many telephone contact databases were downloaded by police from suspects' telephones using the ACESO system by police force in each year for which figures are available; [132629]

(2) how many telephone contact databases were deleted by police from the ACESO system by police force in each year for which figures are available; [132628]

(3) how many (a) warrants and (b) letters of consent were signed authorising police forces to download contact databases from suspects' telephones using the ACESO system in each year for which figures are available. [132627]

Damian Green [holding answer 12 December 2012]: The data requested are not held centrally.

13 Dec 2012 : Column 441W

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects the sections of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 relating to regulation of biometric data and the destruction of fingerprint and DNA profiles to come into force. [119529]

Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to lay regulations making provision for the commencement of chapter 1, part 1 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. [123617]

James Brokenshire: I have published a written ministerial statement today setting out our implementation timetable for part 1, chapter 1 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to bring into force the provisions contained in chapter 1, part 1 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. [124073]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 22 October 2012]:I have published a written ministerial statement today setting out our implementation timetable for part 1, chapter 1 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Public Appointments

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which recruitment consultants her Department used to select candidates for public appointments within her departmental remit in each year for which figures are available since 2007; and how much was paid in fees to each such company in each year since 2007. [132801]

James Brokenshire: Since 2007, the Home Office has run 26 campaigns in which it used the services of recruitment consultants selected from the Cabinet Office Executive Search Framework. The companies used were Gatenby Sanderson Ltd, Odgers Berndtson, Penna PLC, Rockpools People and Performance Ltd, Saxton Bampfylde Hever plc and Veredus.

Additionally, the Home Office used the Appointments Commission for a number of appointments. The Appointments Commission has been disbanded and it is not possible to identify the number of distinct campaigns it ran for the Home Office during this time period. However, the costs of the services provided by the Appointments Commission are included in the following figures, which cover all the costs incurred by the Home Office each year for such campaigns:

 £

2007

437,718

2008

264,626.25

2009

191,870.30

2010

145,260.30

2011

54,703.20

2012

262,451.23

From the data available it is not possible to disaggregate the fees for each company from total campaign costs.

13 Dec 2012 : Column 442W

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many public appointments (a) regulated by and (b) not regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments have been made by her Department since 2007; and in how many such cases the services of recruitment consultants were retained. [132802]

James Brokenshire: Between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2012, the Home Office made 83 appointments which were regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

To provide the number of public appointments made since 2007 which were not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments or where the services of a recruitment consultant were retained would incur disproportionate cost.

Sickness Absence

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 19 November 2012, Official Report, columns 250-1W, on sick leave, what assessment she has made of the difference in the proportion of working days lost due to ill health between officers at AA grade and at SCS grade; and what assessment she has made of the use of mindfulness-based therapies in reducing the proportion of working days lost in her Department. [132702]

James Brokenshire: Business areas within the Home Office, supported by human resources, have delegated authority to consider how they interpret and use sickness absence data for their areas. Sickness absence across the Home Office has reduced from 9.34 annual working days lost (AWDL) in April 2009 to 7.88 AWDL in April 2010, and the latest data to October 2012 show that AWDL across the Department has reduced further to 7.63 AWDL. No overall assessment has been made on the specific difference between AWDL at AA grade compared to staff at SCS.

There has been no overall assessment as to mindfulness-based therapies in relation to AWDL in the Department. However our Employee Assistance Provider (EAP) provides information and guidance on wellbeing topics, including mindfulness, via their website, which is accessible to all staff.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to provide a substantive answer to Question 122626, on the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, tabled on 12 October 2012 for answer on 17 October 2012. [130326]

James Brokenshire: I have answered the hon. Member’s question today.

Communities and Local Government

Affordable Housing: Greater London

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding his Department has provided to the Mayor of London for building affordable homes in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) 2012-13 to date; and if he will make a statement. [133174]

13 Dec 2012 : Column 443W

Mr Prisk: The Mayor of London has had oversight of housing, regeneration, and economic development in London since 1 April 2012. For the years 2010-11 and 2011-12 funding for the provision of new affordable homes in London was administered by the Homes and Communities Agency.

In the year 2012-13 just over £428 million has been provided to the Mayor of London for new affordable homes.

Building Alterations: Planning Permission

Andrew Bingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the Government plan to respond to his Department's consultation on proposed changes to permitted development rights for extensions to homes in non-protected areas; and if he will make a statement. [133513]

Nick Boles: The technical consultation on extending permitted development rights for homeowners and businesses closes on 24 December 2012. Subject to consideration of the responses to the consultation we will implement changes early next year, by means of a statutory instrument subject to the negative procedure. We will also publish a summary of the consultation responses.

Local Government Finance

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the Autumn Statement, what the estimated effect of a two per cent reduction in centrally-funded spending for local government is by (a) class of authority and (b) region in the years 2014 to 2018. [133142]

Brandon Lewis: My Department has not yet published the provisional 2013-14 Local Government Finance Settlement; this is expected in late December. We intend to publish 2014-15 figures at the time of the provisional settlement. Figures for 2015-16 onwards will be made available in due course.

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the Autumn Statement, what estimate he has made of the number of local authorities by type that will not be affected by the further two per cent reduction in centrally-funded spending in local government in England from 2014 to 2018. [133143]

Brandon Lewis: In his Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced that the local government departmental expenditure limits will be reduced by 2% in 2014-15.

We intend to publish 2014-15 figures at the time of the provisional 2013-14 Local Government Finance Settlement, expected in late December. Figures for 2015-16 onwards will be made available in due course.

Local Government: Consultants

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) which local authorities have received grants from his Department to employ Andy Gale Consultants in each of the last three financial years; [131345]

13 Dec 2012 : Column 444W

(2) on how many occasions his Department has recommended Andy Gale Consultants to local authorities in each of the last three financial years. [131346]

Mr Prisk [holding answer 3 December 2012]: Andy Gale is not employed by the Department, is not contracted to the Department and, for the avoidance of doubt, does not speak for the Department.

He was formerly employed by the Department in 2007. From 2008 onwards, I understand he has acted as a homelessness consultant to a number of local authorities.

Under this and the last Administration, the Department has provided grant funding to a number of local authorities to support the provision of advice on preventing homelessness to complement the funding we provide to the voluntary sector.

I understand that Mr Gale was commissioned by the London borough of Croydon from 2008 to 2011 and currently by the London borough of Newham as one of those providers of preventing homelessness advice.

While officials have had contact on how such departmental funding has been spent, Ministers in this Administration have had no involvement with local authorities on commissioning such services.

Non-domestic Rates: Empty Property

Peter Aldous: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the findings and recommendations of the research conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, published on 27 November 2012, on empty property rates; and what steps he is taking to support high streets. [133379]

Mr Prisk: The Chancellor considers a wide range of research findings and representations as part of the autumn statement of 5 December 2012, Official Report, columns 871-882, and announced a new measure to ensure that empty new builds will be exempt from empty property rates for up to 18 months up to state aid limits between 1 October 2013 and 31 October 2016.

The autumn statement also announced a further one year extension of the doubling of small business rate relief, originally introduced in October 2010, to April 2014. An estimated third of a million small firms, including many small shops, are paying no business rates at all as a result of the scheme.

The Government published their response to the Portas Review on 30 March 2012. We have accepted nearly all of Mary's recommendations and we are going even further with a package designed to revive ailing high streets: We are supporting 27 Portas pilots and over 330 town teams; we have delivered a £10 million High Street Innovation Fund and we are currently considering more than 50 nominations for the £1 million Future High Streets X-Fund. We celebrated the role markets can play during ‘Love your Local Markets' fortnight in June 2012, and on 12 November 2012 announced plans for a bigger and better campaign for May 2013.

13 Dec 2012 : Column 445W

Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) which regulations his Department repealed between 1 February 2012 and 31 May 2012; and what the anticipated total savings will be from repealing those regulations; [112499]

(2) what regulations his Department introduced between 1 February and 31 May 2012; and at what cost to the public purse. [114096]

Brandon Lewis [holding answers 18 and 28 June 2012]: Minimising regulatory burdens and creating the conditions for businesses and enterprise to flourish is a key priority for my Department.

The “Third Statement of New Regulation” published by my Department shows that we will reduce the overall burden of regulation on business by £0.26 million in the period from 1 January to 30 June 2012. Over the three Statements of New Regulation, we estimate that the measures we are introducing this year will lead to cost savings to businesses of £4.26 million per year. As a Department we are continuing to reduce burdens to businesses.

Statutory instruments should not necessarily be viewed as regulations—they are pieces of secondary legislation which ensure policy and functional measures have parliamentary scrutiny and oversight. In this period, my Department issued 64 statutory instruments, 12 of which revoked previous statutory instruments. In total, based on the explanatory memorandums to the instruments, 20 were deregulatory or otherwise beneficial to business; 36 had no quantifiable impact on the private and voluntary sectors; the remainder were largely consequential amendments and commencement orders. A list has been placed in the Library. On this basis, one could notionally assert that 20 regulatory measures have been removed and none introduced.

Social Security Benefits

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions regarding implementation of the household benefit cap. [133451]

Mr Prisk: Ministers (and officials) within the Department for Communities and Local Government regularly meet colleagues from other Departments to discuss a range of matters.

Wind Power: Planning Permission

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 3 December 2012, Official Report, column 622W, on wind power: planning permission, if he will consider further ways of ensuring that cumulative landscape and visual effects are material considerations in a planning appeal considered by the Planning Inspectorate for onshore wind farm development. [133103]

Nick Boles: In a planning appeal, as with all planning applications, decisions are made in accordance with the statutory development plan, unless material considerations

13 Dec 2012 : Column 446W

indicate otherwise. The introduction to the National Planning Policy Framework explains that it must be taken into account in the preparation of local plans and is a material consideration in planning decisions. In setting out in the framework the Government's planning policies, we have been clear that the adverse impact of renewable energy developments, including cumulative landscape and visual impacts, should be addressed satisfactorily.

We would encourage local planning authorities to use their local plans to help shape where development should and should not take place, and to address cumulative landscape and visual impacts.

More broadly, I would add that the Department for Energy and Climate Change has been undertaking a call for evidence into onshore wind, including examining how communities can have more of a say over, and receive greater economic and wider social benefits from hosting onshore wind farms. Decision-makers will need to take account of the results of this call for evidence in determining future planning applications.

International Development

Rwanda

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government is taking to assist the poorest in Rwanda following the suspension of budgetary support to that country. [133546]

Justine Greening: My officials are developing options on how the UK can continue to help protect the poorest in Rwanda.

Yemen

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether her Department has agreed a timetable for the distribution of aid to Yemen that was pledged at the last Friends of Yemen meeting on 27 September 2012. [133183]

Mr Duncan: The UK played a leading role in reaching the aid commitments made at the donor conference in Riyadh and Friends of Yemen in September 2012, where the international community pledged $7.8 billion of aid to support Yemen's recovery. Of the £196 million Britain committed, £56 million will be spent in 2012-13, £69 million in 2013-14 and £71 million in 2014-15.

With support from the World Bank, the Government of Yemen are taking steps to ensure the delivery of the $7.8 billion. This includes setting up an agency which will agree priority projects to be funded, implement vital policy reforms agreed under the Mutual Accountability Framework and ensure that Government and donors are held to account to meet their commitments.

DFID has been instrumental in the establishment of this agency and will provide financial support to its work through the World Bank.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of aid given to Yemen will be spent on health projects. [133185]

13 Dec 2012 : Column 447W

Mr Duncan: DFID does not provide direct bilateral support to the health sector in Yemen. A number of our projects however do address health care issues. Part of the UK's £100 million contribution to the Yemeni Social Fund for Development (SFD) from 2010-11 to 2014-15 will be used to build and equip health facilities and provide training for medical professionals. We are also providing £35 million to the United Nations Children's Fund over three years to improve nutrition in Yemen and this includes support to nutrition related healthcare services. In addition we are also strengthening the provision of emergency healthcare services through our £33 million programme of humanitarian assistance, in particular through support to the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), to the United Nations Emergency Response Fund and a consortium of international non-governmental organisations.

All of the programmes described here work across a range of sectors and it is not possible to disaggregate the proportion spent on health related interventions.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts Council

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much (a) lottery funding, (b) Music Hub funding and (c) funding in any other specific funding stream the Arts Council received in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11 and (iii) 2011-12; and how much such funding will be provided in (A) 2012-13, (B) 2013-14 and (C) 2014-15. [131205]

Mr Vaizey [holding answer 3 December 2012]: Funding allocated to Arts Council England (ACE) is set out in the following table.

£000
Financial yearLottery fundingMusic hub funding(1)DCMS funding(2)

2009-10

143,000

n/a

453,000

2010-11

152,000

n/a

439,000

2011-12

182,000

n/a

394,000

2012-13

243,000

50,000

474,000

2013-14

260,000

63,000

473,000

2014-15

262,000

58,000

459,000

(1) Funding provided by Department for Education. Music Hubs began operating in September 2012. (2) Includes funding from the Department for Education for Music Education Hubs and other Cultural Education programmes, which is transferred to DCMS and passed to ACE as Grant in Aid.

Culture

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2012, Official Report, column 704W, on culture, when she expects to commission the study into the contribution of art and culture to the national economy; when she expects the report to be published; and if she will consider commissioning a report specifically into the economic effects of the arts and culture on UK cities. [133378]

13 Dec 2012 : Column 448W

Mr Vaizey: The study referred to in the answer of 4 December 2012, Official Report, column 704W, into the contribution of art and culture to the national economy, is an Arts Council England commissioned research study to produce an evidence-based understanding of the direct, indirect and wider contribution that arts and culture make to the national economy. This is expected to be published in early summer 2013.

Gambling Act 2005

Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when her Department intends to publish its response to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee's First Report of Session 2012-13, “The Gambling Act 2005: A bet worth taking?” HC 421. [133494]

Mr Vaizey: The Report contains a number of detailed recommendations to which we are giving full consideration. A response will be published shortly.

Public Expenditure

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport with reference to table 22, page 58 of the Autumn Statement 2012, how she intends to make the proposed £30 million reduction in the departmental resource budget by 2014-15. [133439]

Mr Vaizey: Alongside all other unprotected Government Departments, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been asked to find savings of 1% in 2013-14 and 2% in 2014-15. The Department has passed these reductions on to its arm's length bodies, and to DCMS itself, in a way that also protects a small number of existing commitments, such as funding for Elite Athletes. All bodies funded by DCMS have been contacted individually by the Department to discuss the level of savings that they will be asked to deliver, and the adjusted settlements have been published on the DCMS website.

Each of our arm's length bodies will need to make their own decisions about how to deal with reductions in accordance with their own particular circumstances. As with the spending review two years ago, there could be further savings through efficiencies and from ending lower value activity.

Tourism: Devon

Anne Marie Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which 10 tourist attractions in Devon attracted the greatest number of visitors in each of the last three years. [132630]

Hugh Robertson: The Department does not record this information. However, each year VisitEngland invites all English visitor attractions to take part in an annual survey, recording visitor numbers alongside other key information such as entrance fees and visitor profiles. Full details of the results of this survey, including those for Devon attractions, in the last three years can be found at:

http://www.visitengland.org/insight-statistics/major-tourism-surveys/attractions/Annual_Survey/index.aspx

13 Dec 2012 : Column 449W

Work Experience

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) unpaid and (b) expenses-only internships there have been in public bodies for which her Department is responsible in the last 12 months. [133383]

Mr Vaizey: The Department does not collate information about internships within our arm's length bodies. Accordingly, I have asked their chief executives to write to the hon. Member. Copies of their replies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Wales

Sickness Absence

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the average number of working days lost was per person in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last five years. [133145]

Stephen Crabb: The average working days lost per person in the Wales Office in the financial year 2011-12 was 7.7.

Prior to 1 April 2011, the Wales Office was part of the Ministry of Justice. Therefore, our figures for the financial years 2007-08 to 2010-11 form part of the Ministry of Justice figures for this period.

Welsh Language Commissioner

Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) whether there has been recent progress on the appointment of a secondee from the Welsh Language Commissioner's Office to work with his Department; [133149]

(2) how he plans the new Welsh Language Commissioner standards will be implemented in non-devolved Government Departments. [133150]

Mr David Jones: The Welsh Language Commissioner has written to the Welsh Government setting out her recommendations for Welsh language standards under the Welsh Language Measure 2011.

When final standards are determined, the Wales Office will lead a review of UK Government Departments' Welsh language services to examine their potential to meet them. The Wales Office intends to appoint a secondee from the Welsh Language Commissioner to support this work, and discussions with the Commissioner on the appointment are ongoing.

Justice

Civil Proceedings: Human Rights

Mr Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many legal proceedings against the Government brought under the Human Rights Act 1998 have been resolved on the basis of relative costs notwithstanding actual levels of culpability in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement; [132591]

13 Dec 2012 : Column 450W

(2) what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of cases for compensation under human rights legislation which were spurious, vexatious or frivolous; and if he will make a statement; [132659]

(3) what estimate he has made of the total (a) number and (b) compliance cost of rulings from the European Court of Human Rights which have gone against the UK to date; and if he will make a statement. [132660]

Damian Green: No data are collected centrally on the number of legal proceedings brought against the Government under the Human Rights Act 1998 or on the outcomes of those cases. Therefore no general information is available on how costs have be borne in such proceedings or on the proportion of claims for compensation under human rights legislation that might be deemed to be spurious, vexatious or frivolous.

Information published on the website of the European Court of Human Rights states that between 1959 and the end of 2011, the Court issued 279 judgments finding at least one violation against the United Kingdom. The Government has not made any estimate of the cost of complying with the judgments finding at least one violation.

Community Orders

Mrs Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what he anticipates the average length will be of community orders which contain punitive elements. [132826]

Jeremy Wright: The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) published its response to the “Punishment and reform: effective community sentences” consultation on 23 October 2012. We are legislating to require courts to include a punitive element in every community order, apart from in exceptional circumstances. We have not made any assessment of the average length of community orders which contain punitive elements.

However, the MOJ publishes quarterly Offender Management Caseload Statistics which include data on the average length of a community order. These statistics are published on the MOJ website, on the following webpage:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/statistics/prisons-and-probation/oms-quarterly/oms-quarterly-editions

The average length of a community order (in months) is outlined as follows:

 Average length of community order (months)

2006

13.8

2007

13.3

2008

13.1

2009

12.8

2010

12.7

2011

12.3

Mrs Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of individual community order requirements in reducing re-offending rates. [132978]

Jeremy Wright: The proven re-offending rate for adults subject to court orders(1) was 34% in 2010.

13 Dec 2012 : Column 451W

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has published research into the relative effectiveness of community order requirements at reducing re-offending, for offenders with similar characteristics.

The study used propensity score matching to explore the impact of different community order requirements on the re-offending rate and frequency of re-offending within two years of the initial offence. The analysis used data from the Offender Assessment System, probation and re-offending records and administrative data on employment and benefit receipt. The key findings of the research were that:

Offenders who receive supervision plus certain punitive requirements (unpaid work or curfew) committed fewer re-offences within a two year period of the community order, compared to those who only receive supervision;

Offenders who receive supervision plus a curfew committed fewer re-offences within a two year period of the community order, compared to those who receive only supervision;

Offenders who receive supervision, a punitive requirement (unpaid work or curfew) and a programme requirement were less likely to re-offend and committed fewer re-offences within a two year period of the community order, compared to those who receive supervision and a punitive requirement;

There was no impact on re-offending of adding a punitive requirement to certain other specified combinations of requirements; and

Adding supervision to a standalone punitive requirement reduces re-offending.

The research is published on the MOJ website and can be located on the following webpage:

13 Dec 2012 : Column 452W

http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/publications/research-and-analysis/moj-research/niesr-report.pdf

(1) Including pre-Criminal Justice Act 2003 community sentences, new community orders and suspended sentence orders.

Equality Advisory and Support Service

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the (a) set up and (b) ongoing cost of the Equality Advisory and Support Service. [132349]

Mrs Grant: The set-up and running costs of the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) was assessed through an EU compliant Official Journal of the EU (OJEU) procurement process. The bidder who succeeded in this competitive tendering process is delivering the EASS in accordance with its contract with the Government Equalities Office.

Fraud

Mr Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) prosecutions and (b) convictions for fraud there have been in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [132694]

Jeremy Wright: The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for fraud and forgery offences, in England and Wales, for the period 2001 to 2011, can be viewed in the following table.

Defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts for fraud and forgery offences, England and Wales, 2001-11(1,2)
Outcome20012002200320042005200620072008(3)200920102011

Proceeded against

30,733

29,875

29,545

27,438

25,904

24,930

25,662

24,145

26,138

26,074

22,343

Found guilty

21,815

21,477

21,280

20,796

20,380

19,709

21,023

20,573

21,039

21,049

19,195

(1) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (3) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice.

Information Officers

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to the public purse of his Department's press office was in (a) April 2010 and (b) the latest period for which figures are available. [133544]

Damian Green: The Ministry of Justice Press Office operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, dealing with all media relations for the Department including the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), from the international, national, regional, local and specialist media.

The fully inclusive costs of the MOJ press office for April 2010 were £199,020.17. The costs for the latest available reporting period of October 2012 are £157,502.30.

The Department also has a small press function based with Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (formed in April 2011 by combining Her Majesty's Court Service and the Tribunals Service). Costs for April 2010 are unavailable as this predates the creation of HMCTS. The costs for the latest available reporting period of October 2012 are £13,223.

Legal Aid Scheme

Mr Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many lawyers have been sanctioned for abuse of the legal aid system in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement. [132590]

Jeremy Wright: The Legal Services Commission (LSC) contracts with organisations to deliver legal aid; any contract action is therefore applied to the organisation rather than individuals. The number of contract notices and terminations issued following breach of contract in each of the last three financial years and current year to date is shown in the following table. The LSC does not hold comprehensive information prior to 2009-10.

13 Dec 2012 : Column 453W

 Contract notices issuedTermination notices issued

1 April to 30 October 2012

734

49

2011-12

832

31

2010-11(1)

1,128

109

2009-10

259

13

(1) Includes notices and terminations due to a contract tender in 2010 where some firms with existing contracts failed to achieve the tender requirements.

Mr Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost has been of legal aid cases involving non-UK nationals taking legal action against the Ministry of Defence in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement. [132592]

Jeremy Wright: The information is not held in the format requested. The Legal Services Commission (LSC) does not record the nationality of legal aid claimants, and so cannot provide the costs incurred on these cases.

Mr Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost was of the 10 highest-costing cases of legal aid in the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [132593]

Jeremy Wright: The information on the highest-costing cases is not readily available. I will write to the hon. Member once the cases have been identified by the Legal Services Commission (LSC).

Mr Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to the public purse has been of paying the ten highest recipients of payments for legal aid in the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [132594]

Jeremy Wright: The information is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost; systems are not set up to be able to identify and automatically link the payments it makes to represent individual legal aid clients across different legal aid cases and schemes.

Mr Binley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will consider the introduction of cost limits to legal aid cases; and if he will make a statement. [132595]

Jeremy Wright: Further to those reforms to legal aid in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which, alongside changes to fee reforms, is estimated to save approximately £320 million per annum by 2014-15, my right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice has announced an immediate examination of aspects of the system which impact on public confidence in the system. The results of this will be published in due course.

Legal Profession: Business

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to increase the access of small and medium-sized enterprises to the legal services market. [133413]

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Mrs Grant: A new licensing regime for Alternative Business Structures (ABS) became fully operational on 6 October 2011. Under this new regime, different types of lawyers can work together and with other professionals as one entity to provide a range of legal and non-legal services. ABS also gives all firms, including smaller firms, the opportunity to take on valuable new expertise to help their businesses grow and innovate.

To date (12 December 2012), 43 licences have been issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, while the Council for Licensed Conveyancers has issued 16 licences. The licences issued so far highlight the diversity of the organisations that are embracing the opportunities of the ABS regime ranging from small high street firms to large organisations like the Co-operative Legal Services.

Mobile Phones

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many mobile telephones issued to members of his Department have been reported lost in the last six months; and at what cost to the public purse. [133545]

Mrs Grant: Information on the number of mobile telephones lost, and at what cost, from the Ministry of Justice is not recorded centrally. This information is kept at a local level and can be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

All Ministry of Justice mobile telephones that are registered as lost are blocked remotely, making it impossible for them to be used. The Ministry also implements security incident management procedures to ensure that the impacts of incidents are risk managed and investigations are undertaken to seek, where possible, to retrieve lost assets.

The Ministry adopts Government security policy framework requirements to securely protect its assets.

Parole Board

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many members of the Parole Board are (a) current and (b) former members of the Parole Board for Scotland; [132966]

(2) how many members of the Parole Board for Scotland have been appointed to serve on the Parole Board in each year since 2007. [132967]

Jeremy Wright: None of the current members of the Parole Board for England and Wales have served as a member of the Parole Board for Scotland.

One former member of the Parole Board for England and Wales who served in that role from 2004 to March 2012 was appointed, in December 2009, as a member of the Parole Board for Scotland.

Since 2007, no other members of the Parole Board for Scotland have been appointed to serve on the Parole Board for England and Wales.

Pay

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was paid in (a) year end and (b) in-year bonuses to officials in his Department in each of the last two years. [132856]

13 Dec 2012 : Column 455W

Jeremy Wright: The amount of money paid out by the Ministry of Justice (including the National Offender Management Service, HM Courts and Tribunals Service and the Office of the Public Guardian) on non-consolidated performance-related awards for the performance years 2010-11 and 2011-12 is set out in the following table.

£
Performance yearIn-yearEnd of year

2010-11

2,298,492

3,903,089

2011-12

1,518,856

3,792,565

Full information on the non-consolidated payments awarded for the 2010-11 performance year is available on the Department's website at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/information-access-rights/transparency-data/ncprp

Full information on the 2011-12 performance year is expected to be published on the same website shortly.

Public Appointments

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which recruitment consultants his Department used to select candidates for public appointments within his departmental remit in each year for which figures are available since 2007; and how much was paid in fees to each such company in each year since 2007. [132765]

Jeremy Wright: Before the partial centralisation of public appointments in April 2011, recruitment was carried out by officials across the Department. To obtain this information would therefore incur disproportionate costs. For centrally run recruitment of public appointments since April 2011, the Department has used the services of Odgers Berndtson and Gatenby Sanderson. Odgers Berndtson received £63,988 (including VAT), up to 10 December 2012 Gatenby Sanderson received £227,968 (including VAT).

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many public appointments (a) regulated by and (b) not regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments have been made by his Department since 2007; and in how many such cases the services of recruitment consultants were retained. [132766]

Jeremy Wright: Before the partial centralisation of public appointments in April 2011, recruitment was carried out by officials across the Department, and obtaining the number of public appointments made and how many involved the use of recruitment consultants would incur disproportionate costs.

Data on Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) regulated appointments are supplied to the Commissioner every year.

http://publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk/?s=Statistics

will provide access to the statistics gathered by the Commissioner, however, it does not break the data down by Departments.

Between April 2010 to October 2012 there have been (a) 420 OCPA regulated, and (b) 763 non-OCPA regulated appointments, and between April 2011 to December 2012, recruitment consultants were used eight times.

13 Dec 2012 : Column 456W

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when his Department last assessed the (a) utility and (b) value of psychometric testing in its recruitment and selection of candidates for public appointments on advisory boards. [132767]

Jeremy Wright: The utility and the value of assessment centre work, which includes psychometric testing, was last looked at by the Department as part of the lessons learnt exercise that followed the campaign to recruit forensic psychologists in 2011 for the Parole Board for England and Wales.

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his Department's policy is on the payment of travel expenses to candidates in respect of their attendance at assessment centres and interviews when pursuing applications for selection to a public appointment. [132768]

Jeremy Wright: Current policy is that, generally, candidates' travel expenses are not paid. However, they can be paid in exceptional circumstances. If expenses are paid they will be for standard class to and from the venue.

Sentencing Council for England and Wales

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what budget his Department has allocated for the process to recruit non-judicial members of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales in January 2013. [132964]

Jeremy Wright: The Department has allocated £37,578 (including VAT) for the recruitment of four non-judicial members of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales.

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much Gatenby Sanderson will be paid in respect of the process to recruit non-judicial members of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales in January 2013. [132965]

Jeremy Wright: Of the allocation for the recruitment of non-judicial members of the Sentencing Council for England and Wales, £23,700 (including VAT) is to cover the estimated cost of the recruitment consultants.

Training

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on team away days in the last six months; and where each such event was held. [133542]

Damian Green: Wherever possible, staff training events occur at departmental facilities, which incur no additional cost. However, due to the constraints on availability of suitable accommodation, on some occasions such meetings may take place at external venues.

The Ministry's accounting systems do not separately quantify expenditure on away days. Such events are managed locally by business areas. The Ministry does not record this information centrally.

13 Dec 2012 : Column 457W

Therefore, to establish the cost and location of away day events would require a Ministry-wide survey of all its local business areas. This would be a significant exercise and incur a disproportionate cost.

All spending on away days is completed in line with the Finance Policy Manual, which is in line with HM Treasury Guidance on Managing Public Money, and states the following for away days and team building events:

“These occasional events are organised to develop working relationships and achieve Departmental objectives. They are acceptable as long as the event can be justified as good value for money and can demonstrate development achievements. Costs should be reasonable and comparable to the status of the event”.


Written Questions: Government Responses

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 31 October 2012, Official Report, column 283W, when he intends to provide a substantive answer to question 124635, tabled by the hon. Member for Tooting on 31 October 2012 on prison sentences. [133122]

Jeremy Wright: I apologise for the delay in responding to the hon. Member’s previous question, and am pleased to report my Department has now provided the hon. Member with a response. A copy has been placed in the House Library.

Energy and Climate Change

Energy Efficiency

16. Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to help households improve their energy efficiency. [133335]

Gregory Barker: The Green Deal, which will go live on 28 January, will transform the homes of millions of UK consumers over the coming decade and beyond.

This transformational policy, alongside the energy company obligation and smart meters roll-out, will drive the development of a new energy efficiency market—providing unprecedented choice, benefits and access to low cost finance for British consumers.

Deforestation

22. Kris Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he plans to take to combat deforestation by a greater use of renewable energy. [133341]

Gregory Barker: Supporting the slowing, halting and reversing of global deforestation is a priority for the coalition Government.

However, the use of sustainable biomass for energy should not lead to deforestation.

To ensure we only use sustainable biomass in British power stations we have introduced mandatory reporting against sustainability criteria as part of the renewables obligation.

13 Dec 2012 : Column 458W

Furthermore, we propose to strengthen the sustainability criteria that apply to wood-fuel, based on Forest Stewardship Council standards and others.

Carbon Emissions

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his Department's policy is on implementation of the Fourth Carbon Budget. [133286]

Gregory Barker: The fourth carbon budget, covering the period 2023-27, was approved by Parliament in June 2011 and was set at the level (1,950 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent) recommended by the independent Committee on Climate Change. This equates to a 50% reduction in UK greenhouse gas emissions relative to 1990 levels.

The Carbon Plan, published in December 2011, set out a number of scenarios, policies and proposals for achieving the emissions reductions committed to in the first four carbon budgets on a pathway consistent with meeting the 2050 target.

The Government recognise the scale of the challenge ahead if it is to meet its targets for the fourth carbon budget and beyond and are taking action now to deliver the step change that is needed. The recently announced Energy Bill set out proposals for reforming the electricity market to support low carbon generation, changes which should lead to a doubling in the normal rate of investment. The Government are also supporting continued take-up of energy efficiency measures through the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation; building a market for renewable heat through the Renewable Heat Incentive; and have put in place a Green Investment Bank to help catalyse the private investment that is crucial to driving the change that is needed.

Energy: Consumers

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of energy customers who switched suppliers (a) once, (b) twice and (c) more than twice in the latest year for which figures are available. [133453]

Gregory Barker: DECC publishes statistics on switching in its Quarterly Energy Prices publication. The latest statistics show that in Great Britain in 2011, there were 4.2 million electricity supplier switches, and 3.3 million gas supplier switches.

Ofgem collect the above data and provide it to DECC. They do not hold data on the number of times customers have switched in a given period. Therefore the figures given above represent the maximum number of customers that could have switched supplier in 2011, assuming that no customer switched supplier more than once.

Energy: Co-operatives

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of energy co-operatives in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) the UK; what the total turnover of such co-operatives is (i) now, (ii) likely to be in 2015 and (iii)

13 Dec 2012 : Column 459W

likely to be in 2020; what the total number of members of such co-operatives is (A) now, (B) likely to be in 2015 and (C) likely to be in 2020; and if he will make a statement. [133169]

Gregory Barker: DECC does not hold data on the number, turnover or membership numbers of co-operative or community energy schemes in England, Wales or the UK.

However, the Department is planning to shortly commission a piece of research to improve the evidence base around community energy in the UK which will feed in to the development of the DECC Community Energy Strategy.

As part of this research, the current scale of the community energy sector will be estimated, and a typology of community energy schemes will be developed. The feasibility of assessing the potential contribution of community energy schemes will also be explored.

Energy: Social Enterprises

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his policy is on support for community-owned renewable energy schemes. [133534]

Gregory Barker: The Government recognise the power of community enterprise and institutions to effect change in society, and the coalition agreement included a commitment to supporting community energy projects.

We are scoping a Community Energy Strategy at the request of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), that will be released in late spring 2013.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has assessed the potential contribution of community-owned energy schemes to the UK's energy goals in respect of levels of (a) carbon dioxide emissions and (b) energy security. [133535]

Mr Hayes: DECC is planning to shortly commission a piece of research to improve the evidence base around community energy in the UK which will feed in to the development of the DECC Community Energy Strategy. As part of this research, the current scale of the community energy sector will be estimated, and the feasibility of assessing the potential contribution of community energy schemes will be explored.

Fuel Poverty: Leeds

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the number of households in fuel poverty in Leeds North West constituency. [133507]

Gregory Barker: In 2010, the latest year for which data is available, the number of households estimated to be in fuel poverty in Leeds North West constituency was 6,600. This is equivalent to 18% of all households in this constituency.

13 Dec 2012 : Column 460W

Pay

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much was paid in (a) year end and (b) in-year bonuses to officials in his Department in each of the last two years. [132858]

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.

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 following table details how much was paid in (a) year end and (b) in-year bonuses to officials in the Department in each of the last two calendar years for which data is available:

£
Year in which awards were paidIn-year non-consolidated awardsEnd-year non-consolidated

1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011

220,767

674,566

1 January 2012 to 30 November 2012

218,588

230,046

The data for 2012 does not include end year non-consolidated awards for staff below the senior civil service as these awards had not been paid up to November 2012.

Renewable Energy

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when his Department plans to publish the renewables roadmap. [133281]

Mr Hayes: An update to the UK Renewable Energy Roadmap will be published soon.

13 Dec 2012 : Column 461W

River Severn

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what funding from the public purse has been provided for Cardiff university's research and promotional activities on the Severn barrage since October 2010. [133449]

Gregory Barker: DECC has not provided any funding to Cardiff university for its research and promotional activities on the Severn barrage. Neither are we aware of any public funds made to the university for such purposes since October 2010.

Sellafield

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the National Audit Office report into the decommissioning of the Sellafield Nuclear Plant published in November 2012. [133441]

Mr Hayes: The Government are considering carefully the detailed findings and recommendations of the National Audit Office (NAO) report into managing risk at Sellafield, published on 7 November 2012, and will respond fully to those in due course. In the meantime the Government welcome the NAO's report, which recognises that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has a very difficult legacy of nuclear waste to manage at Sellafield.

The NDA and its contractor, Sellafield Ltd, are now making steady progress at Sellafield, delivering across a

13 Dec 2012 : Column 462W

range of challenging programmes. The NAO report recognises that while the performance of some of the major projects at Sellafield has been poor, performance on other activities on the site has improved. It also finds that the NDA is taking appropriate steps with Sellafield Ltd to improve performance on projects.

The Government have made cleaning up and decommissioning the nuclear legacy a priority and is tackling it with vigour, maintaining funding at some £3 billion a year, even at a time when it faces difficult spending decisions. This enables the NDA to continue to make progress on decommissioning, with the focus being on tackling the highest hazards at Sellafield. It is essential that we continue with this vital work and do not repeat the mistakes of the past, which was to do nothing.

Warm Front Scheme

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many households received assistance under the Warm Front scheme in England in each month of the last 11 years; and what the average level of grant provided under the scheme was in each such month. [132689]

Gregory Barker: The number of households assisted under the Warm Front scheme and the average level of grant provided in each such month over the past eleven years is provided in the following table. These data are only available from 2005.

Assisted households
 2005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13

April

15,680

21,173

21,052

17,690

25,545

6

2,537

May

21,809

25,201

21,055

21,004

9,890

79

2,330

June

7,325

16,579

20,202

15,095

19,960

8,691

801

2,173

July

9,151

18,661

18,514

15,926

15,954

9,176

3,350

2,556

August

11,166

21,038

25,853

19,144

19,676

8,025

2,933

1,904

September

12,094

18,023

22,879

16,401

24,308

14,763

2,582

2,015

October

10,509

21,403

22,268

17,687

20,664

12,374

2,617

3,582

November

10,563

25,968

27,250

21,258

17,855

13,976

2,587

3,471

December

10,037

18,132

19,749

14,877

15,982

13,007

5,967

January

11,069

18,511

21,273

19,402

12,010

10,157

3,609

February

13,439

30,983

24,847

30,023

12,072

2,170

4,179

March

19,242

26,292

19,691

21,674

15,788

156

4,348

Total per year

114,595

253,079

268,900

233,594

212,963

127,930

33,058

20,568

Average spend
£
 2005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13

April

763.53

1,472.01

2,355.11

2,446.16

1,569.62

3,614,262.10

1,052.23

May

1,247.91

1,558.00

2,813.95

3,215.42

3,880.95

240,695.66

1,326.00

June

3,085.83

1,129.04

1,651.24

2,205.72

1,776.03

2,909.64

15,727. 08

1,281.54

July

1,760.80

1,149.24

1,834.66

2,095.78

1,993.53

2,584.64

2,346.05

1,028.10

August

1,422.99

1,366.83

1,573.59

1,531.88

2,207.64

2,830.42

2,394.20

1,267.94

September

1,087.22

1,259.11

1,499.27

1,524.36

1,370.80

1,984.78

2,529.87

1,149.49

October

1,200.85

1,271.26

1,505.00

1,468.53

1,585.21

2,080.49

2,432.19

680.53

November

1,016.13

1,309.31

1,355.94

1,240.12

1,324.12

2,151.59

2,115.55

624.33

December

1,380.76

1,191.60

1,264.13

2,382.25

1,393.23

1,935.10

887.80

January

1,303.52

1,432.55

1,014.32

1,700.56

1,638.16

2,524.71

1,467.87

February

1,163.54

1,271.59

845.31

898.09

1,096.72

15,312.39

1,297.26

March

1,236.57

1,272.44

128.34

1,006.73

862.24

328,464.62

1,253.93

Total per year

1,634.33

1,236.71

1,313.78

1,709.73

1,784.42

2,896.85

3,267.52

997.02

13 Dec 2012 : Column 463W

Wind Power

Mr Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his policy is on wind farms; and if he will make a statement. [133324]

Mr Davey: The Government's policy on wind farms was set out in the Renewables Roadmap and we will soon be publishing an update which will continue and confirm that policy.

The coalition is committed to supporting a balanced energy policy and onshore and offshore wind have key roles to play in this.

I am strongly of the view that wind farms must be appropriately sited and provide genuine social and economic benefits to local communities.

Women and Equalities

Pay

Mr Raab: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities how many employees in her Department were paid (a) between £80,000 and £100,000 per year and (b) in excess of £100,000 per year in each of the last five years. [133257]

Maria Miller [holding answer 12 December 2012]: The number of employees in the Government Equalities Office paid (a) between £80,000 and £100,000 and (b) in excess of £100,000 per year, in each of the last five financial years, are set out in the following table:

 Between £80,000 and £100,000In excess of £100,000

2012-13

0

2

2011-12

2

1

2010-11

1

2

2009-10

2

1

2008-09

2

1

Public Appointments

Mr Weir: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities when her Department last assessed the (a) utility and (b) value of psychometric testing in its recruitment and selection of candidates for public appointments on advisory boards. [132771]

Maria Miller: The Government Equalities Office has never assessed (a) the utility or (b) the value of psychometric testing in its recruitment and selection of candidates for public appointments on advisory boards.

Mr Weir: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities what her Department's policy is on the payment of travel expenses to candidates in respect of their attendance at assessment centres and interviews when pursuing applications for selection to a public appointment. [132772]

Maria Miller: In 2007, the Minister for Women and Equalities' Department followed the candidate expenses policy of the Department for Communities and Local

13 Dec 2012 : Column 464W

Government. From 2008-10, the Department paid travel expenses of candidates in line with its own travel and expenses policy. Since 2011, the Department has paid expenses where requested, in line with Home Office policy.