Free School Meals

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he expects to announce which claimants of universal credit will be entitled to free school meals. [148217]

Mr Laws [holding answer 18 March 2013]: I refer the right hon. Member to my answer of 4 March 213, Official Report, column 839W.

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of expanding the entitlement to free school meals to all children in families that will receive universal credit. [148468]

Mr Laws [holding answer 18 March 2013]: Our assessment is that extending entitlement to free school meals to all families in receipt of universal credit would mean that over half of children would become entitled, at a cost of up to an extra £1 billion per year.

Free Schools

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what systems are in place to monitor the selection criteria of free schools in order that no bias is shown towards sections of any community. [146657]

Mr Laws [holding answer 7 March 2013]: All Free Schools are required, through their Funding Agreement, to comply with the School Admissions Code (the Code). The Code requires admissions arrangements to be reasonable, clear, objective, procedurally fair and comply with all relevant legislation.

Before entering into a Funding Agreement with a Free School, the Secretary of State needs to be satisfied that the free School has consulted on their proposals under Section 10 of the Academies Act 2010 (as amended by the Education Act 2011). Once the Free School has opened, it is covered by the consultation requirements of the Code. Anyone with concerns about how a state-funded school is admitting pupils under the Code has the right to formally object to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator.

26 Mar 2013 : Column 1105W

Ministerial Policy Advisers

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education on which occasions Dominic Cummings visited his Department between May 2010 and the date of his appointment as a special adviser in his Department. [143240]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 14 February 2013]: Dominic Cummings was appointed as special adviser to the Secretary of State for Education on 21 February 2011. The Department for Education is not able to provide a definite figure for the number of occasions Mr Cummings visited the Department between May 2010 and 21 February 2011. However, the Department can confirm that Mr Cummings was invited to 30 meetings between May 2010 and 21 February 2011 which were held by the Secretary of State for Education.

Priority School Building Programme

Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which schools are part of the Priority School Rebuilding programme. [147793]

Mr Laws [holding answer 18 March 2013]: The full list of the Priority School Building Programme is available on our website:

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/adminandfinance/schoolscapital/priority-school-building-programme/a00221997/successfulapplicationspsbp

Copies of this table will be placed in the House Libraries.

School Milk: Lancashire

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how much funding for milk in schools in Lancashire (a) his Department and its predecessor and (b) Lancashire county council provided in each of the last five years; [149534]

(2) how much funding for milk in schools in Lancashire (a) his Department and (b) Lancashire county council plans to provide in 2013-14. [149535]

Mr Heath: In respect of the EU School Milk Scheme and the National Top-Up for English primary schools it is not possible to provide reliable data at the level of individual counties. It is for Lancashire county council to provide if possible any details of the claims and payments they may have received or made.

It is not possible to say how much funding may be provided as the level of funding under these schemes is driven by consumption at participating schools.

Written Questions

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the (a) number of staff hours involved in and (b) approximate cost of providing the eventual answer to question 124327 on youth services, tabled by the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham on 6 December 2012. [143055]

Elizabeth Truss [holding answer 12 February 2013]: We estimate that it would take at least 180 hours, at an approximate cost of £2,160 to collate a comprehensive list of Ministers' visits to youth projects between May 2010 and the end of January 2013.

26 Mar 2013 : Column 1106W

Written Questions: Government Responses

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he intends to answer the following questions for named day answer from the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (a) question 143240 tabled on 11 February 2013 for answer on 14 February 2013 and (b) questions (i) 143055, (ii) 143053, (iii) 143054, (iv) 143056 and (v) 143057 tabled on 7 February 2013 for answer on 12 February 2013. [149818]

Elizabeth Truss: These questions have been answered today.

Justice

Elections

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what information his Department holds on the use of the (a) Public Order Act 1986, (b) Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, (c) Crime and Disorder Act 1998, (d) Malicious Communications Act 1998 and (e) Telecommunications Act 1984 in relation to elections, electioneering or electoral conduct in each year since the coming into force of each Act. [149498]

Jeremy Wright: The Ministry of Justice Court Proceedings Database holds information on defendants proceeded against, found guilty and sentenced for criminal offences in England and Wales. This database holds information on offences provided by the statutes under which proceedings are brought but not the specific circumstances of each case. It is not possible to identify from this centrally held information the use of these acts in relation to elections, electioneering or electoral conduct.

European Convention on Human Rights

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether work is being undertaken and resources devoted by his Department to plans for the UK to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights; and whether an impact assessment has been made in respect of the consequences of such a withdrawal. [148127]

Damian Green: As set out in the coalition agreement, the Government remain committed to the European convention on human rights and has no plans to denounce or withdraw from it.

Fines: Surcharges

Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the victim surcharge. [148688][Official Report, 20 May 2013, Vol. 563, c. 9MC.]

Mrs Grant: Since its introduction in 2007, the victim surcharge has raised £41.2 million, which has funded vital services for victims and witnesses of crime. The reforms to increase and extend the surcharge, introduced by this Government, will see more offenders take responsibility for the harm they have caused. They will contribute up to an additional £50 million per year towards the cost of victims' services.

Legal Aid Scheme

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library copies of the

26 Mar 2013 : Column 1107W

guidance documents relating to his Department's policy on

(a)

finance,

(b)

human resources and

(c)

procurement referenced in the annex of his Department's Legal Aid Agency Framework Document. [148520]

Jeremy Wright: The guidance documents relating to the Department's policies on finance, human resources and procurement are not currently placed in the Libraries of either House. This is because there are a large number of policies that are internal documents shared on the Ministry of Justice intranet for staff reference. It would not be practical to place these in the Libraries because of the volume of policies and guidance; the fact that many of them have only been designed for electronic presentation; and also because they are regularly updated and would therefore become quickly out of date if they were placed in the House Libraries. In line with the Government's digital by default approach, the Ministry of Justice does not publish its internal material, including policies, in hard copy but instead makes them available via its internal digital channels such as the Intranet, This reduces costs associated with printing and ensures that staff always have access to the latest version of any policy.

Natascha Engel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment his Department has made of the potential additional cost to the court system of any change in the duration of trials and tribunals consequent upon future trends in the number of

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participants in legal proceedings representing themselves following changes to eligibility criteria for legal aid. [149646]

Mrs Grant: These matters were assessed as part of the impact assessments which were published alongside the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. There is limited available evidence on the behavioural response of the individuals who will be impacted by the reforms. However, court statistics do not show that cases with self-represented litigants take longer—if anything they suggest the opposite.

Following the introduction of our reforms, we are providing easier to understand guidance and information for those who represent themselves and further training for judges.

Offenders

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of offenders who breached the conditions of their caution were subsequently charged by the Crown Prosecution Service in each quarter since 2008. [149481]

The Solicitor-General: I have been asked to reply.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) data show that a total of 3,157 offenders who breached their conditional caution were subsequently charged by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). A quarterly breakdown of the actions taken by the CPS, in the event of an offender not complying with the terms of the conditional caution, is set out in the following table:

Quarter (financial years)Charge and request full fileNo prosecutionConditions variedTotal breached conditional cautions referred to CPSNon compliance rate (percentage)Compliance rate (percentage)

2008-09

      

Q1

125

30

11

166

8.3

91.7

Q2

193

42

20

255

12.7

87.3

Q3

157

30

21

208

9.8

90.2

Q4

193

39

29

261

11.6

88.4

       

2009-10

      

Q1

196

43

21

260

11.9

88.1

Q2

229

53

27

309

15.6

84.4

Q3

249

55

27

331

15.6

84.4

Q4

199

41

30

270

13.9

86.1

       

2010-11

      

Q1

157

37

32

226

12.3

87.7

Q2

197

48

39

284

15.4

84.6

Q3

152

34

46

232

13.7

86.3

Q4

178

39

38

255

16.2

83.8

       

2011-12

      

Q1

161

31

38

230

16.1

83.9

Q2

163

54

29

246

18.7

81.3

Q3

150

32

31

213

18.6

81.4

Q4

156

38

29

223

20.5

79.5

       

2012-13

      

Q1

111

28

20

159

16.5

83.5

Q2

108

40

28

176

17.8

82.2

Q3

83

30

13

126

13.8

86.2

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Offenders: Fines

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department has taken to collect offender profile information showing the reasons why offenders fail to comply with their payment plans for fines since July 2012; and what plans his Department has to collect such information in the future. [148432]

Mrs Grant: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to Lord Touhig by my noble Friend, Lord McNally, on 12 March 2013, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA51.

Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) does not have access to offender profile information that shows the reasons why offenders fail to comply with payment terms.

The information HMCTS holds on offenders is provided by the prosecuting authorities, by the offenders themselves, and by using the tracing tools that HMCTS has at its disposal, such as the Experian credit reference agency and the Department for Work and Pensions customer information system. Payment plans are agreed based on the financial information provided by the offenders to enable those who are unable to pay in full at once to complete the payment of their fines over a reasonable period of time. The information obtained from these sources does not provide any indication why certain groups of offenders fail to follow the agreed payment plans.

HMCTS takes the issue of fine enforcement very seriously and is working to ensure that clamping down on fine defaulters is a continued priority nationwide. HMCTS is always looking at ways to improve the collection of fines. As a part of the future strategy HMCTS will be considering numerous ways in which performance can be improved. This could include offender profiling.

Personal Injury: Compensation

Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) whether he plans to make an assessment of the changes being made in April 2013 to the road traffic accident portal before introducing further reforms; [149442]

(2) what steps he has taken to improve usage by insurers of the road traffic accident portal. [149443]

Mrs Grant: There are no current plans to make an assessment of the forthcoming changes to the Road Traffic Accident Personal Injury (RTA) scheme. The Government are prepared to review and assess the effectiveness of the scheme should evidence be provided to demonstrate that this is necessary. However, the Government do not wish to commit to a formal review at this stage.

As part of the forthcoming extension of the RTA scheme, incentives have been provided for both insurers and claimants to keep claims within the scheme through to settlement. These include provisions in the Pre-Action Protocols which will support the extended scheme, and the introduction of a revised and expanded scheme of fixed recoverable costs.

Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) if he will give consideration to requiring medical reports before payment of compensation can be made in personal injury claims; [149444]

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(2) if he will bring forward proposals to oblige insurers to share data to help reduce the incidents of fraudulent claims; [149491]

(3) if he will give consideration to the accreditation of medical agencies and reporting doctors in personal injury cases. [149826]

Mrs Grant: The Government consultation on ‘reducing the number and cost of whiplash claims' closed on 8 March 2013. The requirement for completed medical reports prior to compensation being paid, the importance of shared fraud data and accredited medics were all raised as issues by stakeholders during the consultation period. Ministry of Justice officials are now evaluating all the submissions received and a response outlining the way forward will be issued in due course.

Prisoners' Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what publicly-funded privileges are available to category (a) A, (b) B, (c) C and (d) D prison inmates; and what the cost has been of such privileges in each of the last five years; [147831]

(2) what publicly-funded privileges are available to prison inmates serving (a) life sentences, (b) imprisonment for public protection and (c) detention for public protection; and what the cost has been of such privileges in each of the last five years. [147804]

Jeremy Wright: Rule 8 of the prison rules and young offender institute (YOI) rule 6 requires every prison to establish a system of privileges which prisoners can earn subject to their reaching and maintaining specified standards of conduct and performance. The incentives and privileges (IEP) scheme does not distinguish between categories of convicted prisoners or the type or length of their sentence in terms of the privileges which should be made available.

The key earnable privileges, which must be included in local IEP schemes, to the extent deemed appropriate for the different privilege levels are:

Extra and improved visits

Eligibility to earn higher rates of pay

Access to in-cell television

Opportunity to wear own clothes

Access to private cash

Time out of cell for association.

These are not all directly publicly funded. Access to in-cell television, for instance, is self-financing from the rental payments made by prisoners. There are administrative and staff costs associated with facilitating the other privileges.

Central accounting systems do not capture data at a level to specifically identify costs directly linked to individual IEP privileges. This information could be obtained only by manual checking with individual establishments, which would incur disproportionate cost.

I am looking closely at the incentives scheme for prisoners to ensure the public have confidence in the prison system. The outcome of this review will be announced in due course.

Prison Service Instruction 11/2011 is available in the House of Commons Library.

26 Mar 2013 : Column 1111W

Probation

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the effects of his proposed reform of probation services on reoffending rates for people serving fewer than 12 months. [149386]

Jeremy Wright: On 22 February the Ministry of Justice's consultation on plans for reforming the way in which offenders are rehabilitated in the community closed.

Through our proposed reforms we want to address the fact that offenders released from custodial sentences of less than 12 months are among the most highly prolific offender groups. In 2010 57.6% of the short sentenced offenders released from prison reoffended within a year and there is currently no statutory support for those offenders sentenced to less than 12 months in custody.

Our proposed reforms will help reduce reoffending by opening up rehabilitation services to a more diverse market, using payment by results to encourage providers to focus on outcomes, and by making the whole system more efficient, so that we can extend rehabilitative provision to this most prolific group of offenders.

We will respond to the consultation and bring forward detailed plans in due course.

Julie Elliott: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment has been carried out to evaluate the effect of the removal of probation trusts. [149387]

Jeremy Wright: The Ministry of Justice's consultation on plans for reforming the way in which offenders are rehabilitated in the community closed on 22 February.

We want the public sector probation service to be organised in the most efficient manner for delivery of its new responsibilities. The options being considered range from fewer Trusts to a different structure altogether or direct delivery on behalf of the Secretary of State. We have sought consultees' views on this important issue and will bring forward detailed plans in due course.

Andy Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) with reference to his Department's consultation, Transforming Rehabilitation, whether probation trusts, as public bodies, will be permitted to bid, either on their own, or with partners, for commercial contracts for the delivery of probation services in the community under the competition plans set out; [149607]

(2) whether probation trusts will be able to set up special purpose vehicles, either on their own, or with partners, to bid for commercial contracts for the delivery of probation services in the community under the competition plans set out; [149608]

(3) whether probation trusts will be able to set up mutual delivery organisations to bid for commercial contracts for the delivery of probation services in the community under the competition plans set out; [149609]

(4) whether probation staff who set up their own mutual delivery organisation to bid for commercial contracts for the delivery of probation services in the community would have to resign from their employment with their probation trust to take part in the competition; [149610]

26 Mar 2013 : Column 1112W

(5) where a probation trust has developed a relationship with a partner provider, or providers, to bid for commercial contracts for the delivery of probation services in the community, whether those partners will remain eligible to take part in the proposed competitions; [149611]

(6) what advice the National Offender Management Service has received on the legal implications of excluding probation trusts from any competition to deliver probation services in the community. [149612]

Jeremy Wright: We remain committed to facilitating an open competition which allows a range of bidders to take part in the new probation services market.

As set out in our consultation document ‘Transforming Rehabilitation—a revolution in the way we manage offenders’, it remains open for probation staff to put together proposals for potential mutuals and other alternative delivery vehicles to bid to deliver probation services as part of future competitions.

Under our proposals we will only contract with entities capable of bearing the financial and operational risks associated with Payment by Results and delivering offender services in the community. Therefore, public sector entities will not be able to bid, as they will not be able to carry the financial risk. Instead staff groups within trusts can work on proposals for alternative delivery vehicles and mutuals. The Cabinet Office's Mutual Support Programme is available to support probation staff to explore their options.

Trust staff do not have to resign, as these employee-led entities or partnerships will only be formally set up following the conclusion of the competition, if they have won a bid or are part of a winning bid. This is to guarantee continuity of service in probation during the transition to new arrangements, and also to ensure that those public sector probation professionals who do come together to enter the bidding process are not disadvantaged if they are not successful.

Where a group of staff are designing and setting up a mutual or alternative delivery vehicle with a partner provider, clear ethical walls will need to be put in place between the probation trust on the one hand and the group of staff and commercial organisation on the other, to ensure fair competition. Any partner also looking to compete in its own right would have to satisfy us of similar ethical walls between bids too.

The Department has taken appropriate legal advice on the proposals in the consultation paper and will of course comply with any obligations imposed on it by procurement law.

The Ministry of Justice's consultation on plans for reforming the way in which offenders are rehabilitated in the community closed on 22 February. We will respond to the consultation and bring forward detailed plans in due course.

International Development

Central America

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what projects her Department has funded in (a) Costa Rica, (b) Honduras, (c) Nicaragua, (d) El Salvador, (e) Guatemala, (f) Belize and (g) Panama since May 2010; and if she will make a statement. [149455]

26 Mar 2013 : Column 1113W

Mr Duncan: DFID does not give aid directly to Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize or Panama. In 2010-11 and 2011-12, DFID did not provide any bilateral development aid to these countries.

DFID does not give aid directly to Guatemala. However, in 2010-11 DFID provided £100,000 in the form of humanitarian assistance in response to the Guatemalan floods.

In 2010-11 DFID provided bilateral development aid to two programmes in Nicaragua. The Caribbean Coast Development Programme was delivered through a Trust Fund arrangement with the World Bank Nicaragua office and focused on improving water, sanitation, energy infrastructure and nutrition for children on the Caribbean Coast where poverty in Nicaragua is highest. The second programme, Enhancing Small Enterprise Growth of Nicaragua through the Development of Existing Value Chains, was delivered through a delegated management arrangement with the embassy of Finland in Nicaragua and aimed to enhance micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) growth with a particular focus on the provision of opportunities for women and excluded populations.

DFID's regional programme assists criminal asset recovery in Belize.

Developing Countries: Armed Conflict

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries are considered to be fragile and conflict-affected by the Government. [150187]

Lynne Featherstone: DFID identifies 21 of its 28 focus states as being fragile or conflict-affected. These are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, Yemen and Zimbabwe. This list was last updated in May 2011 and is updated every two years.

Developing Countries: Religion

John Glen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to her Department's report, Faith Partnership Principles, published in 2012, what work her Department is (a) funding and (b) undertaking to develop dialogue with national and local faith-based actors at her Department's country office level to promote common understandings and collaborative platforms for action. [150239]

Lynne Featherstone: There are no specific funding commitments attached to DFID's work on the “Faith Partnership Principles Paper”. The Paper aims to strengthen and guide DFID's future relationship and collaboration with faith groups. DFID is already supporting the work of a variety of faith groups through the Programme Partnership Arrangements, the Global Poverty Action Fund and the UK Aid match. DFID and the Faith Working Group agreed to identify priority countries where it would be possible to collaborate and build a common understanding. The first pilot country identified is Tanzania. The Faith Working Group and DFID will meet in mid-April 2013 with DFID Tanzania to discuss how best to progress this work which should

26 Mar 2013 : Column 1114W

be initiated in June 2013. Additional countries where further work can be undertaken will be identified after the summer.

Public Expenditure

Stephen Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what payments to multilateral organisations expected to be made by her Department by the end of the 2012-13 financial year have been (a) delayed, (b) suspended or (c) cancelled; and what the total value of arrears is. [150210]

Lynne Featherstone: DFID is not in arrears on any core multilateral contributions.

The first £15 million payment to the Green Africa Power programme was rescheduled from 2012-13 to 2013-14.

The Department also makes payments to multilateral organisations to deliver project specific bilateral support. The Department is not able to provide a consolidated report on any rescheduling of these payments.

Stephen Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what payments have been made to multilateral organisations by her Department in (a) November 2012, (b) December 2012, (c) January 2013, (d) February 2013 and (e) March 2013; and if she will make a statement. [150211]

Lynne Featherstone: DFID does not gather these details on a monthly basis.

DFID provides an annual breakdown of all spending through multilateral organisations in our Statistic on International Development (SID) publication. The SID for 2012-13 is due for publication in autumn. A copy of this publication for 2011-12 can be found in the House Library and on DFID's website.

Stephen Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what programme partnership agreements that were expected to be concluded and signed by the end of the 2012-13 financial year have been delayed or cancelled; and if she will make a statement. [150212]

Lynne Featherstone: DFID has Programme Partnership Arrangements (PPAs) with 41 Civil Society Organisations. These arrangements began in 2011 and will continue until March 2014. No new PPAs were expected to be concluded or signed in 2012-13.

Stephen Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what programme partnership agreements were concluded and signed by her Department with external organisations in (a) November 2012, (b) December 2012, (c) January 2013, (d) February 2013 and (e) March 2013. [150213]

Lynne Featherstone: No Programme Partnership Arrangements (PPAs) were signed by DFID between November 2012 and March 2013: DFID has PPAs with 41 Civil Society Organisations. These will continue until 31 March 2014.

26 Mar 2013 : Column 1115W

Stephen Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the total budget outturn for her Department was in each month since April 2012. [150214]

Lynne Featherstone: DFID's outturn for each month since April 2012 is available at the following Treasury link:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/psr_coins_data.htm

Government Departments submit expenditure information to Treasury on a monthly basis, this information is published quarterly.

26 Mar 2013 : Column 1116W

World Bank

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on what date she plans that the UK will make its annual subscription payment to the World Bank for 2013-14. [150218]

Mr Duncan: The UK will make its annual subscription relating to the General and Selective Capital Increase of the World Bank in December 2013.