G4S

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were employed on zero-hours contracts by G4S during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games. [151325]

James Brokenshire: The contract for venue security was between the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and G4S. The Home Office does not hold information about the number of people employed by G4S for the 2012 Games on zero-hours contracts.

Immigrants: English Language

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what English language training will be made available to leave to remain applicants after 28 October 2013. [151498]

Mr Harper: From 28 October 2013, applicants for indefinite leave to remain in the UK or naturalisation as British citizens will be required to pass the Life in the UK test and have an intermediate level English language speaking and listening qualification. Details of the acceptable qualifications are contained in the Statement of Intent “Knowledge of language and life in the UK for settlement and naturalisation”, which was published on 8 April 2013 and is available in the House Library and at:

16 Apr 2013 : Column 307W

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/knowledge-of-language-and-life-in-the-uk-for-settlement-and-naturalisation-statement-of-intent

There is a wide range of English language tuition already available within the UK from private and public sector providers. There are no plans to provide additional Government-funded tuition.

Offences Against Children

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will provide guidance to chief constables on the investigation and prosecution of adults who entice vulnerable young people with the provision of drugs and the aim of sexual exploitation; and if she will make a statement. [151479]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Government action plan on child sexual exploitation (CSE) includes a number of measures to protect children at risk and prosecute perpetrators of CSE. As part of this work, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) are developing guidance to improve investigation of CSE to tackle offending behaviour. This is delivered through professional investigation, effective identification and targeting of perpetrators (including potential perpetrators) and robust offender management.

Furthermore, the Crown Prosecution Service are working jointly with ACPO to produce one overarching and agreed approach to investigation and prosecution of sexual offences to be applicable in all police forces.

Pay

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria are used in (a) her Department and (b) each public body for which she is responsible to determine which officials receive bonus payments. [151135]

James Brokenshire: There are two types of reward schemes giving officials access to non-consolidated performance payments: one-off non-consolidated end-of-year performance-related payments and in-year special one-off non- consolidated payments.

One-off non-consolidated end-of-year performance-related payments are warded to individuals below the senior civil service who have made an exceptional contribution throughout the year. This is linked to the annual appraisal process.

Special in-year non-consolidated payments can be paid to staff below the senior civil service at any time during the year for outstanding achievement on a particular project, piece of work or in specific difficult circumstances. These are made following line manager recommendation and are approved at senior management level.

The Home Office, its agencies and public bodies all operate reward schemes giving access to non-consolidated performance payments based on the above criteria.

Arrangements for senior civil servants pay and bonuses are determined centrally by the Cabinet Office, following recommendations from the independent Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB). The Department adheres to Cabinet Office guidelines in determining the criteria used for payment of one-off non-consolidated performance awards.

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Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) first and (b) last date for employment in the UK is for the 2013 seasonal agricultural workers scheme. [151274]

Mr Harper: The first date for employment of a participant in the 2013 seasonal agricultural workers’ scheme was 1 January 2013 and the last date for issuing a card to a participant is 31 December 2013.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visa overstays there were for participants in the seasonal agricultural workers scheme in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [151276]

Mr Harper: None. Since 1 January 2008, the seasonal agricultural workers’ scheme has only been open to nationals of Bulgaria and Romania. Romanian and Bulgarian nationals do not require a visa or permission, under the immigration rules, to enter or remain in the UK. Therefore, participants in the scheme who remain in the UK beyond the expiry of their work card are not considered to be visa overstayers.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many seasonal agricultural workers scheme places have been registered for 2013; how many such registrations are made for (a) Bulgarians, (b) Romanians, (c) Ukrainians, (d) Moldovans and (e) other nationalities; and how many of the total number of vacancies have been advertised in job centres. [151513]

Mr Harper: The seasonal agricultural workers scheme (SAWS) allows farmers and growers in the UK to recruit low-skilled workers from Romania and Bulgaria to do short-term agricultural work and from 1 January 2008, it has only been open to nationals of Bulgaria and Romania. The annual quota for 2013 is 21,250 places. Nationality figures for 2013 are not yet published. There is no requirement for operators to advertise vacancies in the job centre prior to issuing work cards.

Staff

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff were employed by her Department in each of the last five years; and at what grade or pay band such staff were appointed. [142788]

Mr Harper: The number of paid civil servants (full-time equivalent (FTE)) at each grade on 31 December of each year between 2008 and 2012 is provided for the Home Office in the following table:

Civil servant headcount (full-time equivalent) in the Home Office December 2008 to December 2012 by current grade
Home OfficeHeadcount (FTE)
Grade equivalency20082009201020112012

1. AA

2,198.14

2,178.19

2,140.71

1,705.28

1,515.51

2. AO

6,296.17

6,104.00

7,089.34

6,355.14

5,791.94

3. EO

8,554.24

8,672.09

10,517.64

9,341.77

9,532.72

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4. HEO

3,592.41

3,799.99

4,042.26

3,706.39

3,661.99

5. SEO

1,863.22

2,090.60

2,206.97

1,967.25

2,135.14

6. G7

941.41

1,120.03

1,167.95

1,121.34

1,296.39

7. G6

372:32

458.05

462.73

437.88

476.86

8. SCS

210.73

234.01

209.98

208.56

212.76

9. Not known

1.00

3.00

1.00

Total

24,029.64

24,659.95

27,837.59

24,843.61

24,624.30

Notes: 1. Extract dates: 1 January for each of the years included. 2. Periods covered: data are based on current, paid staff as at 31 December for each year. Grade equivalency refers to the grade of the employee as at 31 December 2012. 3. Employee coverage: figures given are headcount (full-time equivalent) for all current paid civil servants. 4. Transparency agenda considerations: the definition of employee coverage is consistent with that used in the Department's Workforce Management Information monthly return to Cabinet Office and the Quarterly Public Sector. 5. Organisational coverage: data provided include Home Office Headquarters and the executive agencies. For December 2008 to December 2010 the executive agencies included are the UK Border Agency (UKBA), Identity and Passport Service (IPS) and Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). It should be noted that in April 2010 around 4,500 HM Revenue and Customs detection employees joined UKBA in a machinery of government change. Data for December 2011 and December 2012 additionally include the National Fraud Authority and the Government Equalities Office (part of Home Office Headquarters). Data for December 2012 to date exclude CRB employees who moved from the core Home Office to the Disclosure and Barring Service in December 2012. Source: Data View—the Home Office's single source of Office for National Statistics compliant monthly snapshot corporate Human Resources data.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many days of work were carried out by officials in (a) her Department and (b) each of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies on average in each of the last five years; and what the total salary cost was of officials in each year. [151109]

James Brokenshire: Although full-time staff have a contract to work 225 days per year, the information on the average days worked in each of the last five years cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate costs.

The total salary costs for the last five years for the Home Office, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies can be found in the annual accounts published on the official-documents.gov.uk website.

Telephone Services

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 19 March 2013, Official Report, columns 582-3W, on telephone services, whether a UK landline number beginning with 01, 02 or 03 is publicly available as an alternative to the 0800, 0845 and 0870 numbers in use by her Department and the agencies for which she is responsible. [151630]

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James Brokenshire: The Home Office and its agencies do not operate any UK landline numbers beginning with 01, 02 or 03 as an alternative to the 0800, 0845 and 0870 numbers in use by the Department.

Cabinet Office

Disclosure of Information

Jon Trickett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many civil servants in his Department have been subject to non-disclosure agreements in each year since 2010. [150026]

Mr Maude: We have taken “non-disclosure agreements” to mean compromise agreements between the Department and individual members of staff.

These agreements may contain a non-disclosure clause which prevents the individual from disclosing or discussing the existence, negotiation and terms of the settlement.

As was the case under the previous administration, the Cabinet Office always considers whether such clauses are appropriate and necessary and always ensures that non-disclosure clauses allow disclosure for business needs and the requirements of law, including accountability to Parliament.

In the last three years five civil servants in the Cabinet Office signed compromise agreements which contain a non-disclosure clause.

Employment: Lancashire

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of mothers aged between 16 and 19 were in (a) education, (b) employment and (c) training in (i) Pendle constituency and (ii) Lancashire in each of the last 10 years. [151241]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, dated April 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of mothers aged between 16 and 19 were in (a) education, (b) employment and (c) training in (i) Pendle constituency and (ii) Lancashire in each of the last 10 years. 151241

It is not possible to provide reliable estimates on the proportion of mothers aged between 16 and 19 who were in education, employment or training for the Lancashire authority area, or below, due to small sample sizes.

Lung Cancer

Steve McCabe: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people have been diagnosed with lung cancer as a result of asbestos in their workplace in (a) England and (b) Birmingham in each of the last two years. [151423]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

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Letter from Glen Watson, dated April 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many people have been diagnosed with lung cancer as a result of asbestos in their workplace in (a) England and (b) Birmingham in each of the last two years. [151423]

Exposure to asbestos is associated with a relatively rare type of cancer called mesothelioma. Although in most cases, mesothelioma arises in the pleura, the membrane around the lungs, this is a different disease to lung cancer. It is not possible to determine where exposure to asbestos occurred, for example from the workplace, from the information collated in the national cancer registration dataset.

The latest available figures for newly diagnosed cases of cancer (incidence) are for the year 2010. Table 1 provides the number of newly diagnosed cases of mesothelioma in England and in Birmingham Unitary Authority, for each of the years 2009 to 2010.

According to the Health & Safety Executive, while nearly all mesothelioma cases are caused by exposure to asbestos, a small number of cases occur in people with no history of exposure. There is evidence to suggest that these 'spontaneous mesotheliomas' comprise up to 5 per cent of total cases. Further information can be found at:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/mesothelioma/index.htm

It is not possible to exclude spontaneous mesotheliomas from the figures provided.

The latest published figures on cancer incidence in England are available on the National Statistics website at:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html

Table 1. Registrations of newly diagnosed cases of mesothelioma(1), persons in England and Birmingham unitary authority(2), 2009-10(3)
  Number
Area20092010

England

2,245

2,211

Birmingham UA

23

19

(1) Mesothelioma is coded as C45 in (he International Classification of Diseases. Tenth Revision (ICD-10). (2) Based on boundaries as of February 2013. (3) Newly diagnosed cases registered in each calendar year.

Overseas Students

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when he expects enough data to have been collected to allow analysis of student migration patterns following the addition of a new question to the International Passenger Survey in 2012 asking passengers leaving the UK their reasons for initially coming to the country. [150408]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, dated March 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects enough data to have been collected to allow analysis of student migration patterns following the addition of a new question to the International Passenger Survey in 2012 asking passengers leaving the UK their reasons for initially coming to the country. [150408]

ONS produces estimates of Long-Term International Migration (LTIM), primarily based on the International Passenger Survey (IPS). The IPS is a continuous voluntary sample survey conducted

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by ONS and is the prime source of long-term international migration data for the UK providing estimates of both inflows and outflows.

In January 2012 new questions were added to the IPS to ask emigrants what their main reason for migrating was when they originally immigrated to the UK. The first provisional data from these new questions will be published on 29 August 2013, referring to migration flows for 2012. This publication will consist of a table of emigration flows by original reason for migrating to the UK, categorised by broad citizenship groups. ONS has plans to publish an additional table on 28 November (based on final data) showing original reason for migration by year of arrival to the UK. This publication will also include a short analytical report that will provide further detail by reasons for migrating to the UK, including study.

Prostate Cancer: Lancashire

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many men in (a) Pendle constituency and (b) Lancashire died from advanced prostate cancer in each of the last five years. [151244]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, dated April 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many men in (a) Pendle constituency (b) Lancashire died from advanced prostate cancer in each of the last five years. (151244)

Table 1 provides the number of deaths where prostate cancer was the underlying cause of death, in Pendle parliamentary constituency and Lancashire county, for deaths registered between 2007 and 2011 (the latest year available).

Internationally accepted guidance from the World Health Organisation requires any conditions that contributed directly to a death to be recorded on the death certificate. In cases where a cancer is deemed to have contributed to a death, medical practitioners and coroners are not required to specify whether the cancer was advanced at the time of death.

The number of deaths registered in England and Wales each year by sex, age and underlying cause (including cancer), are published annually on the ONS website at:

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/all-releases.html?definition=tcm%3A77-27475

Table 1. Number of deaths where the underlying cause was prostate cancer, Pendle parliamentary constituency and Lancashire county, deaths registered between 2007 and 2011(1,2,3)
Area20072008200920102011

Lancashire county

167

204

182

214

213

Pendle constituency

14

11

10

12

14

(1) Underlying cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases Tenth Revision (fCD-10) code C6I (Malignant neoplasm of prostate). It has been assumed that where prostate cancer was judged to be the underlying cause of death, it can be considered ‘advanced’. (2) Figures are based on boundaries correct as at February 2013 and exclude non-residents. (3) Figures show deaths registered, rather than deaths occurring, in a calendar year. Further information on registration delays for a range of causes, including prostate cancer, can be found on the ONS website: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/user-guidance/health-and-life-events/impact-of-registration-delays-on-mortality-statistics/index.html

16 Apr 2013 : Column 313W

Recruitment

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what amount (a) his Department and (b) the Prime Minister's Office spent on advertising job vacancies in each year from 2005 to 2009; [150684]

(2) how much his Department spent on advertising job vacancies in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007, (d) 2008 and (e) 2009. [151083]

Mr Maude: The Prime Minister's Office is an integral part of Cabinet Office.

Since the last general election, my Department has helped drive savings for the taxpayer from across central Government of over £12 billion.

In the past there were no central controls over recruitment. On 25 May 2010 the Government announced a freeze on ail recruitment other than those specially exempted by a ministerial decision. Since then my Department has spent £21,537 advertising vacancies.

In the period 2005-09, the Department spent the following sums on advertising recruitment:

 £

2005-06

195,032

2006-07

398,296

2007-08

226,853

2008-09

273,148

Justice

HM Courts and Tribunals Service: Cumbria

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many staff are employed by HM Courts and Tribunals Service in Cumbria; and what proportion of those are paid at or above the relevant level of the living wage. [150997]

Mrs Grant: 102 staff were employed by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) in Cumbria as of 31 January 2013.

All HMCTS staff in Cumbria are paid at or above the relevant level of the living wage.

Judiciary

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which full-time members of the judiciary have carried out any functions in relation to review or reform of legislation, in any capacity other than as a member of an official body or inquiry, since May 2010; and what role they held in each such case. [150056]

Mrs Grant: Though not necessarily falling in to the category of carrying out 'any functions in relation to review or reform of legislation', the Government do occasionally seek the views of the Lord Chief Justice and other senior judges on relevant legislation, in line with the conventions set out below. Judges may also be asked for their views in line with these conventions should they appear before Parliamentary Committees.

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Longstanding constitutional conventions prevent judges from commenting on the merits, meaning or likely effect of provisions in any Bill or other prospective legislation. This prevents a judge's impartiality from being called into question in the event of subsequently being asked to apply or interpret those provisions in a case in court, and is a crucial aspect of judicial independence.

Judges may, however, comment on the practical operation or technical aspects of legislation, reflecting the judiciary's interest in the effective administration of justice and jointly held responsibility for the operation of Courts and Tribunals. Judges may also comment on the merit of legislation which affects the independence of the judiciary.

Law of Property Act 1925

George Eustice: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment his Department has made of trends in the number of receivers appointed under the Law of Property Act 1925. [149150]

Mrs Grant: The Ministry of Justice has not made any recent assessment of trends in the number of receivers appointed by mortgagees under powers conferred either by the express terms of the relevant mortgages or by the Law of Property Act 1925. Such appointments do not have to be registered with or notified to the Ministry of Justice or any other third party. Information about them is therefore not centrally collated.

Meetings

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) on which occasions Ministers in his Department met with representatives of (a) G4S, (b) Serco, (c) Sodexo, (d) MTC/Amey, (e) A4E and (f) Working Links between 12 May 2010 and 3 September 2012; [150835]

(2) on which occasions since 4 September 2012 each Minister in his Department has met a representative or representatives of (a) G4S, (b) Serco, (c) Sodexo, (d) MTC/Amey, (e) A4E and (f) Working Links; [150530]

(3) on which occasions Ministers in his Department met representatives of (a) the Prison Officers Association, (b) the Prison Governors Association, (c) NAPO, (d) UNISON and (e) PCS between 12 May 2010 and 3 September 2012; [150837]

(4) on which occasions since 4 September 2012 Ministers in his Department have met a representative of representatives of (a) the Prison Officers Association, (b) the Prison Governors Association, (c) NAPO, (d) UNISON and (e) Public and Commercial Services Union. [150532]

Mrs Grant: All ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on the Ministry of Justice's website at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/information-access-rights/transparency-data/ministry-of-justice-officials-gifts,-hospitality,-travel-and-meetings-with-external-organisations

Meetings for the period October to December 2012 are due to be published shortly; the remainder will be published in due course.

16 Apr 2013 : Column 315W

Offenders: Fines

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment his Department has made of the effect of court imposed fines on the housing security of offenders in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. [148441]

Mrs Grant: Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has no way of assessing the effect of court imposed fines on housing security.

The information HMCTS holds on offenders is provided by the prosecuting authorities, the offenders themselves and by using the tracing tools HMCTS has at its disposal such as the Experian credit reference agency and the Department for Work and Pensions customer information system. The means form which defendants are asked to complete asks them to provide details of expenditure on rent or mortgage but as many defendants do not provide financial means information to the court HMCTS does not know what amounts they are paying for housing.

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 are 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.

Redundancy

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many staff in his Department were made redundant in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012; and at what cost in each such year. [151069]

Mrs Grant: I refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart) on 14 January 2013, Official Report, columns 555-56W.

Social Security Benefits: Appeals

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average amount of time was between the submission and hearing of a welfare appeal in the Social Entitlement Chamber in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [149825]

Mrs Grant: The Social Entitlement Chamber, administered by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), comprises three jurisdictions. These are Asylum and Support, Criminal Injuries Compensation and Social Security and Child Support (SSCS).

This question has been interpreted as referring only to SSCS, which hears appeals on decisions made by the Department for Work and Pensions, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and local authorities on a range of benefits and credits.

In the period October 2011 to September 2012 (the most recent 12-month period for which statistics have been published) the average waiting time from receipt in HMCTS to hearing was 20 weeks(1), down from 22 weeks in the period October 2010 to September 2011.

16 Apr 2013 : Column 316W

(1) Inclusive of all Social Security Child Support Benefit Appeals in Great Britain

Solicitors: Fees and Charges

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will make it his policy to refund in full to local authorities the retrospective demand for repaying of search fees to solicitors which had been charged under the nationally prescribed system set up by his Department. [150558]

Mrs Grant: The Government are committed to ensuring that all new burdens on local authorities are properly assessed and fully funded by the relevant Department.

The fee prescribed by the previous Government for a personal search of the local land charges register in England was revoked in August 2010 because it was inconsistent with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. As a result the relevant Government Departments paid an additional grant to all local authorities in England in March 2011 in respect of the new burden of potential claims for restitution of fees paid for this search since from January 2005.

The Departments have confirmed to the Local Government Association that if compelling new evidence becomes available they would be willing to re-open the relevant element of the new burdens assessment.

Guidance to Government Departments on the New Burdens Doctrine published by the Department for Communities and Local Government is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-burdens-doctrine-guidance-for-government-departments

Vetting

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will investigate reports of blacklisting by the Consulting Association of environmental campaigners with no link to construction companies. [150681]

Mrs Grant: Blacklisting of individuals is likely to represent a breach in the use of their personal data under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the independent regulatory body responsible for enforcing the DPA in the UK. In 2008, the ICO began an investigation into the Consulting Association which uncovered a blacklist of construction workers used by construction companies. In 2009, the company and the blacklist were closed down and Ian Kerr, the founder of the list, was fined £5,000 for failing to notify as a data controller under the DPA. The ICO also issued enforcement notices against companies proven to have used and supplied information to the list demanding that they stop the practice. Since April 2010, the ICO has had the power to issue a Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the data protection principles in the DPA. Details of CMPs issued by the ICO can be found on its website at the following link:

http://www.ico.org.uk/enforcement/fines

It would be inappropriate for the Government to comment on the ICO's handling of any particular case. That said, I understand that the ICO found no evidence whatsoever that any blacklists existed in other industries, or that the number of individuals blacklisted went

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beyond those in the files secured. However, any evidence of blacklisting since the original investigation should be supplied to the ICO so that they can decide whether there are grounds for an investigation. Additionally, any individual can check whether they may have been on the Consulting Association blacklist by contacting the ICO's fast track service helpline on 0303 123 1113 between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

Wills

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what discussions he has had with the Solicitors Regulation Authority about solicitors or other legal professionals writing themselves into legacies in wills. [150479]

Mrs Grant: I have not had any discussions with the Solicitors Regulation Authority about solicitors or other legal professionals writing themselves into legacies in wills. Will writing is not a reserved legal activity under the Legal Services Act 2007, although my right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice is currently considering a recommendation by the Legal Services Board that it should be brought within this defined group of activities. More generally, solicitors and other legal professionals are subject to the professional standards of their regulator in all their conduct. A solicitor instructed to draft a will on terms that provide for him or her to be a beneficiary should be alert to the possibility of a conflict of interest and ensure that proper standards of client service are observed.

Work Capability Assessment: Appeals

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average waiting time was for an appeal of a work capability assessment in (a) 2010, (b) 2011, (c) 2012 and (d) 2013 to date. [150433]

Mrs Grant: The First-tier Tribunal—Social Security and Child Support (SSCS), administered by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), hears appeals against Department for Work and Pensions decisions on entitlement to employment and support allowance (ESA) (decisions in which the work capability assessment is a key factor) rather than appeals against work capability assessment decisions themselves.

The following table shows the average waiting time in weeks from receipt of an ESA appeal at HMCTS to disposal in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11, (c) 2011-12 and (d) April to December 2012 (the latest period for which figures are available).

Employment and support allowance appeals
 Average waiting times in weeks

2009-10

12.6

2010-11

19.4

2011-12

22.9

April to December 2012

17.4

Note: The above data is taken from management information.

These figures reflect the fact that the number of appeals received by the SSCS Tribunal has risen significantly from 229,100 in 2007-08 to 453,719 between January and December 2012 (the latest period for which information has been published). HMCTS continues to work hard

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at a national level to increase the capacity of the SSCS Tribunal and reduce waiting times. Measures in place include ongoing recruitment of additional judges and medically qualified members and the review and continuous improvement of administrative processes both internally and between HMCTS and DWP.

All of this is having a positive effect. The total number of disposals has increased significantly from 279,000 in 2009-10 to 380,000 in 2010-11, and 433,600 appeals in 2011-12 and, as the table shows, the average waiting time has fallen nationally from 22.9 weeks in 2011-12 to 17.4 weeks in April to December 2012.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Beko

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure the recall of Beko cookers with defects causing them to produce carbon monoxide. [151653]

Jo Swinson: The Government have set out the legal framework through the general product safety regulations. It is the legal responsibility of the company making unsafe products available to take appropriate measures to protect the public. Normal procedure, which is being followed in this case, is that the company works with their local authority Trading Standards service to take appropriate agreed action. The general product safety regulations provide Trading Standards with powers to require recalls of products when necessary, including imposing specific requirements, and for the company to take any other action as Trading Standards consider appropriate and proportionate to the risk. Ultimately, the onus is on a company to work effectively with Trading Standards to protect consumers.

Business: Loans

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had either orally or in writing with (a) the Scottish Government and (b) Scottish Enterprise regarding the advice services to be offered by the proposed Government Business Bank. [150480]

Michael Fallon [holding answer 15 April 2013]: The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has not had any such discussions.

BIS Officials have had discussions with officials in the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise about our overall plans for the Business Bank.

Higher Education: Admissions

Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (a) how many and (b) what proportion of state-educated students from each local authority area who achieved A-level grades of (i) AAA and above and (ii) BBB and above went to each university in each of the last three years. [150332]

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Mr Willetts: The information is not readily available at the level of detail required and could only be produced by complex extraction and analysis of a large volume of matched data which would incur disproportionate cost.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has produced the following estimates at a national level.

Estimated numbers and proportions of maintained schools A level students from England who progressed to Higher Education by age 19 in 2009/10 UK Higher Education Institutions and English Further Education Colleges
A level resultsNumber entered HE(1)Percentage entered HE

AAA

18,555

96

BBB

6,020

91

(1) Numbers are rounded to the nearest 5. Source: Matched data from the DFE National Pupil Database, the HESA Student Record and Data Services Individualised Student Record, using HEFCE linking methodology

The UCAS end of cycle report 2012 explains that acceptance rates for applicants who achieve AAA, AAB, ABB or BBB are high, around 90%.

http://www.ucas.ac.uk/documents/End_of_Cycle_Report_12_12_2012.pdf

Higher Education: Scotland

Pamela Nash: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many applications to Scottish universities made through UCAS came from students at non-selective state schools in each of the last five years. [150463]

Mr Willetts: Higher education in Scotland is a devolved matter. This information should be requested from the Scottish Government, or directly from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the body responsible for processing applications to full-time undergraduate courses at institutions in the UK. More information about UCAS can be found at:

www.ucas.com

New Businesses: Young People

Dr McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to increase the number of young entrepreneurs in the UK. [150925]

Michael Fallon: The Government are encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset and building ambition in young people through activities in schools, colleges and universities; such as supporting the “Inspiring the Future” initiative, which encourages people from all sectors and professions to work with state schools and colleges to help young people achieve their potential. As part of this initiative we are recruiting 2,500 volunteer enterprise champions to go into schools to talk about their businesses, career choices and the education routes they took, sharing the insights and experiences which can encourage young people to turn their enterprise dreams into reality. We are also supporting the establishment of student enterprise societies in all universities and most further education colleges in England.

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Pay

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what criteria are used in (a) his Department and (b) each public body for which he is responsible to determine which officials receive bonus payments. [151124]

Jo Swinson: An element of the BIS overall pay award for staff below the senior civil service (SCS) is allocated to non-consolidated, non-pensionable pay related to performance. The money allocated to performance awards is subject to annual affordability considerations and the eligibility criteria and amounts are subject to annual negotiations with our Trade Unions. There are two types of award:

1. In-year awards that recognise exceptional contributions to business performance and ways of working made by individuals or teams. For example, demonstrating exceptional flexibility, openness or innovation; delivery of particularly demanding tasks in exceptional circumstances and notable examples of excellent customer service;

2. Annual performance awards that reward staff based on their performance rating in their annual appraisal.

These non-consolidated, non-pensionable pay awards, are used to drive high performance and have to be earned each year against pre-determined targets and do not add to future pay bills. The payments made for both types of award are entirely related to staff performance.

Performance awards for the senior civil service (SCS) are part of the pay system across the whole SCS, and are used to reward high performance sustained throughout the year, based on judgments and about how well an individual has performed relative to their peers. The performance-related pay scheme is designed to help drive high performance and support better public service delivery. Performance awards are non-consolidated and non-pensionable and do not add to future paybill costs. The percentage of the pay bill set aside for performance-related awards for the SCS is based on recommendations from the independent senior salaries review body. In year awards are not paid to senior civil servants.

This Department does not hold centrally the information you request concerning its non-departmental public bodies and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Post Offices

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the name, location and parliamentary constituency is of each Crown post office listed for closure. [151219]

Jo Swinson: It is crucial that Post Office Ltd continues to take steps to eradicate the losses made in its Crown network, currently around £40 million a year. The proposals to franchise 70 post office branches currently part of the Crown network should not be misconstrued as closures. Post Office Ltd is committed to maintaining a network of at least 11,500 branches, and to meet the strict access criteria that see, for example, over 90% of the UK population living within one mile of a post office outlet. Where a Crown branch is franchised, service will be maintained in that community, and the overall sustainability of the national network will be strengthened.

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The precise details of the Crown branches impacted by these proposals are an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. I have therefore asked Paula Vennells, the chief executive officer of Post Office Ltd, to respond directly to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Post Offices: Photographs

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what assessment his Department has made of the number of Cogent photographic systems that will need to be removed as part of the planned retail partnerships of 70 Crown post offices; [151373]

(2) what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the installation of Cogent photographic equipment to deal with driving licence applications on waiting times in post offices; [151374]

(3) how many of the Crown post offices that are being targeted for retail partnership have Cogent photographic equipment installed. [151375]

Jo Swinson: It is crucial that Post Office Ltd continues to take steps to eradicate the losses made in its Crown network, currently around £40 million a year. The proposals to franchise 70 post office branches that are currently part of the Crown network is an important part of Post Office Ltd's commercial strategy, which is supported by Government. The Crown network continues to be heavily loss making, and threatens the long-term sustainability of the national Post Office network. Post Office Ltd's proposals to maintain services through franchise arrangements with carefully selected retailers following a local public consultation are a vital step towards a financially sustainable future for the Post Office network and its customers.

However, the precise information requested is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. I have therefore asked Paula Vennells, the chief executive officer of Post Office Ltd, to respond directly to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Postgraduate Education

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what support his Department provides to postgraduate students; [150912]

(2) what sources of funding his Department makes available to postgraduate students. [150913]

Mr Willetts: Postgraduate research and taught training is important both to individuals and to developing higher level skills for the economy. The Government provides funding to support eligible individuals undertaking postgraduate qualifications.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) provides funding to higher education institutions (HEIs) in England to meet some of the costs incurred by HEIs of teaching students on taught postgraduate courses and of supervising students in the first three years of a postgraduate research degree programme.

In 2012-13, HEFCE has maintained the allocation for taught postgraduate provision at £135 million, similar to levels for 2011-12. HEFCE has increased support for

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postgraduate research degree supervision to £240 million, and in addition Research Councils will invest £340 million in postgraduate research provision. The support from Research Councils includes provision for stipends for postgraduate research students.

BIS also supports Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) provided by Barclays and the Co-operative Bank. PCDLs are deferred-repayment bank loans of up to £10,000 for up to two years study, usually repaid over period of one to five years. Postgraduate taught courses account for almost 90% of the 8,000 loans each year.

In addition, BIS and the Northern Ireland Administration are providing support for up to 500 students to undertake specific aerospace related MSc programmes at UK universities for academic year 2013/14 through to 2015/16. £3 million funding from Government will be matched by industry. The Aerospace MSc Bursary Scheme aims to generate more aerospace MSc qualified professionals to work in the sector; and to up-skill the existing UK aerospace workforce in key areas of technology for the future.

Public Expenditure

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the estimated Resource DEL underspend in financial year 2012-13 of £600 million as set out in Table 2.5 of the Budget 2013 Red Book which service areas in his Department received reduced resources; what the amounts of resource reduction were; and if he will make a statement. [150198]

Jo Swinson: Table 2.5 of the Budget 2013 Red Book shows the difference between Budget 2012 plans and Department's latest estimates of their full-year position.

The Department surrendered c.£420 million of RDEL at supplementary estimates, of which c.£350 million is available for future years through the Budget Exchange mechanism. It has also transferred a net c.£60 million to other Government Departments. The Department will set out its final underspend position when year-end figures are available as part of its annual accounts in the usual way.

The c.£350 million roll-forward was the result of improvements in BIS's financial forecasting and management that allowed BIS to identify underspends at an earlier stage than would usually be the case and then maximise the use of this funding in the following year to help deliver better outcomes.

Students: Loans

Dr Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the policy of the Student Loans Company is on the provision of course specific software for students with specific learning disabilities. [150850]

Mr Willetts: The Government provide substantial financial help through disabled students’ allowances (DSAs) for English-domiciled students with a disability or long-term health condition, including specific learning difficulties. DSAs are provided in respect of the extra costs a student may incur as a direct result of their

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disability, so as to enable them to participate in higher education on an equal basis to their peers. DSAs cover a range of support, including assistive software.

In England, before receiving any support through DSA, eligible students are required to attend a DSA study needs assessment with an independent assessor who will consider and recommend any additional equipment and support that the student might need to enable them to study on their course. Students with specific learning difficulties may receive funding for appropriate software where they have an additional need for this in comparison with students on the same course.

Training

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many away days his Department held in (a) 2005, (b) 2006, (c) 2007, (d) 2008 and (e) 2009; and what the cost was of each such event. [151194]

Jo Swinson: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) was created on 5 June 2009 via a merger of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) which ceased to exist from that date.

We do not hold training records centrally and to collate this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Training: Older People

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to provide training for over-50s to increase their employability in (a) Glasgow North West constituency, (b) Glasgow, (c) Scotland and (d) the UK. [150256]

Matthew Hancock: Further education and skills is a devolved matter and, as such, I can reply only in respect of England. FE colleges and providers have a single Adult Skills Budget providing them with the flexibility to respond to local learner and employer needs. The Government are continuing to fund basic English and maths courses for adults. Fully funded, targeted training is available for people on jobseeker’s allowance and employment and support allowance in the Work Related Activity Group (and will also be available for universal credit claimants) from day one of their claim, where they have had a skills need identified and the training will help them get into work. At the discretion of the college or training provider fully funded training can be offered to people on other benefits, provided that they have sufficient funds to do so and that they can demonstrate that the training is being provided to help individuals enter or return to work.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) also helps to fund Community Learning through the £210 million pa Community Learning budget, which offers a broad range of courses that bring together adults of different ages and backgrounds to acquire new skills. In 2010/11 the BIS Community Learning budget supported 340,700 people aged over 45, which represented approx 49% of all learners participating in BIS-funded community learning courses.

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Communities and Local Government

Enterprise Zones

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new jobs have been created in each enterprise zone since their inception. [149089]

Mr Prisk: Over 1,700 new jobs have been created across all 24 enterprise zones in England since they opened for business in April 2012. Further details on individual enterprise zone performance can be obtained from the relevant zones.

Homelessness: City of Westminster

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what explanation Westminster City Council has given to his Department for not providing a statistical return detailing the number of homeless families with children in bed and breakfast accommodation on 31 December 2012; [150974]

(2) what explanation Westminster City Council has given to his Department for not giving a statistical return detailing the number of homeless households placed outside the borough on 30 September 2012. [150975]

Mr Prisk [holding answer 15 April 2013]: The Department is in correspondence with Westminster city council about the completion of its quarterly (PIE) homelessness returns. I understand this is an IT issue relating to a change in IT systems.

Homelessness: Greater London

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what steps the Housing Minister agreed to take following his meeting on 4 December 2012 with those local authorities most severely affected by the rising number of homeless people in London; [150976]

(2) if he will be holding a follow-up to his meeting on 4 December 2012 on the rising number of homeless people in London with those representing the local authorities most severely affected. [150977]

Mr Prisk [holding answer 15 April 2013]: A copy of the note of the Homelessness Roundtable held on 4 December 2012 has been placed in the Library of the House.

We know that just 20 local authority districts account for well over 80% of families housed in bed and breakfast over six weeks. I will be asking my officials to work closely with those authorities that have the highest rates to understand how this practice might be addressed.

I have also met with representatives of London councils to discuss the use of bed and breakfast accommodation and the placement of households outside the receiving local authority district.

As the hon. Member is already aware, on the 23 March we published for the first time, a list of all those local authorities who have used bed and breakfast for families for longer than six weeks.

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Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps are being taken in Nottinghamshire to ensure that housing associations have enough properties to allocate to people wishing to downgrade to smaller sized properties in order to avoid paying the spare room subsidy; and if he will make a statement. [149258]

Mr Prisk: We expect many tenants affected by the removal of the spare room subsidy will decide to stay in their existing home and make up the difference in rent which is not met by housing benefit by finding work, or taking in a lodger. Where social tenants decide to move to a smaller property, we have made it easier for them do so through changes to the allocation rules in the Localism Act 2011 and the introduction of HomeSwap Direct.

We are investing £19.5 billion of public and private funding to build 170,000 new affordable homes by 2015. Councils and housing associations should be working closely together to identify the type of provision that will most appropriately meet locally identified needs, including the needs of existing tenants seeking to downsize to smaller accommodation.

In addition, at Budget we are doubling the Affordable Homes Guarantee Programme funding to £450 million to support a further 30,000 new affordable homes.

Local Government: Liverpool

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2013, Official Report, column 907W, on City Deals, which projects and programmes in the Liverpool City Council region his Department plans to fund; and how much it plans to allocate to each. [149545]

Mr Prisk: DCLG has agreed to provide £75 million of funding as part of the Liverpool City Deal on the basis of an economic development programme business case submitted by Liverpool city council.

The objectives of the Liverpool City Deal Economic Development Programme are to:

exploit Liverpool's national and international profile and make the most of the vitality of its citizens;

enhance Liverpool's infrastructure, links and distinctive sense and quality of place;

encourage business creation, growth and productivity;

raise demand for a skilled and educated work force, helping residents to reach their full potential; and

improve the quality, range and choice of housing.

It will be for Liverpool to allocate resources to individual projects from this fund in line with the delivery of the outcomes set out in the business case.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Burma

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports his Department has received of the use of forced labour by Light Infantry Brigade 115 of the Burmese Army in Chin State, Burma. [151148]

16 Apr 2013 : Column 326W

Mr Swire: Our embassy in Rangoon raised this matter with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), tasked with investigating all allegations of forced labour in Burma. The ILO had not previously heard of this specific allegation. We continue to monitor its investigation.

We welcome the agreement between the Burmese Government and the ILO to establish a complaints mechanism to investigate forced labour cases, which was referenced by Tomas Quintana, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma, in his report to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2013.

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the restrictions on Muslim villagers' freedom of movement in Northern Rakhine State in Burma. [151553]

Mr Swire: We continue to receive reports from the UN and non-governmental organisations, including Human Rights Watch, that detail discrimination and human rights abuses faced by the Rohingya in Rakhine State. Rohingya communities continue to face restrictions, including of their freedom of movement, owing to their lack of citizenship rights. The British Government have strongly and consistently lobbied on this issue, and we continue to do so at the highest levels.

I am the only EU Minister to have visited Rakhine State, having been there in December 2012, where I lobbied the Burmese Government and local authorities to ensure that they guaranteed the security of all communities and looked for a longer term solution to the question of citizenship for the Rohingya. While there, I was able to visit a Muslim community in Sittwe whose movements were seriously restricted. Our ambassador in Rangoon has frequently visited Rakhine State, most recently in February. Our chargé d’affaires most recently lobbied the Burmese Minister for Immigration, with responsibility for Rakhine State, on 8 April, raising with him questions around the long-term plans for the resettlement and reintegration of the displaced communities in Rakhine State.

Colombia

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the level of sexual violence in Colombia; and what recent discussions he has had with the UN Secretary General's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict about sexual violence in Colombia. [151093]

Mr Swire: The Colombian Government have recognised combating sexual violence as a priority issue and in September launched a National Public Policy for Gender Equality, covering issues such as increased women's participation in political decisions and better services for survivors of sexual violence. Our embassy is working with the Prosecutor-General's office to improve investigation procedures and increase awareness of the services available to survivors.

Many cases of sexual violence are still in the initial pre-trial stages of investigation. However, there have been high profile prosecutions, including of Lieutenant

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Raul Munoz, who was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the rape of two girls and the murder of one of the girls and her two brothers.

We are working closely with the UN Secretary General's Special Representative on sexual violence in conflict, but are not in discussion with her about the situation in Colombia at present. We will review this as necessary and will continue to monitor the situation of sexual violence in Colombia.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration his Department has given to including Colombia as a priority country in the preventing sexual violence initiative; and what assistance the Government are providing to prevent sexual violence in Colombia and improve access to justice for victims. [151094]

Mr Swire: Colombia is not currently a priority country for the deployment of UK experts as part of the preventing sexual violence initiative (PSVI). Resources are limited and we have not been able to focus on every country where sexual violence is a problem. However, the PSVI team and our embassy in Bogota will continue to monitor areas of conflict, and if the situation in Colombia deteriorates, we would review this prioritisation. In the meantime, officials are looking into how the PSVI objectives can be incorporated into our existing human rights work in Colombia.

The embassy is currently working with the Prosecutor-General's office to improve investigations into sexual violence outside armed conflict, and to raise awareness of support services available for survivors. The embassy is also encouraging civil society organisations to put forward proposals for projects to protect women's rights and tackle sexual violence, which is one of our human rights priorities for 2013. The embassy will continue to monitor the situation of sexual violence in Colombia.

Disclosure of Information

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many civil servants in his Department have been subject to non-disclosure agreements in each year since 2010. [150033]

Alistair Burt: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has settled fewer than five cases using compromise agreements containing confidentiality clauses (non-disclosure agreements), in each year since 2010 for UK-based FCO staff working in both the UK and at our overseas posts. For reasons of confidentiality the FCO does not disclose more detailed information when overall numbers amount to fewer than five. This is in line with Cabinet Office guidance.

India

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his Indian counterpart on the criminalisation and inclusion of rape committed by a man on his wife when she is over 15 years of age in the new Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 recently passed by that country's parliament. [151403]

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Mr Swire: The Government regularly raise human rights concerns with India, including cases of sexual violence and discrimination, both bilaterally and through the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue.

During my visit to India on 21-22 March, I also discussed the issue of sexual violence and discrimination with Indian human rights organisations. I have not to date discussed the new Criminal Law Bill with my Indian counterpart.

Macedonia

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next plans to visit Macedonia. [151181]

Mr Lidington: Neither my right hon Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs nor I currently have firm plans to visit Macedonia.

The Government continue to support Macedonia’s EU accession and to provide assistance to its ongoing reform effort through, among other things, training and expertise sharing.

Nepal

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the authorities in Nepal regarding the trial of Colonel Kumar Lama. [151236]

Mr Swire: The Prime Minister has written to His Excellency Dr Bhattarai, the Prime Minister of Nepal, to say that this case is now a matter for the UK courts. He reiterated that Britain has an obligation under the UN convention against torture to investigate allegations of torture and my right hon. Friend made assurances that Colonel Lama would receive a fair trial and would enjoy full access to consular support from the Nepalese embassy.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether officials in his Department have had discussions about marking the bicentenary of diplomatic relations with Nepal in March 2016. [151237]

Mr Swire: Nepal is an old and valued friend to Britain and we will certainly look to mark this important occasion. I have had discussions with the Nepalese ambassador, about how best to use the bicentenary to both celebrate and strengthen our relationship. No decision has yet been made but officials will continue to consider our plans and discuss these with the Nepalese authorities.

Visits Abroad

Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many overseas visits have been made by Ministers of his Department to support trade and investment in each year since 2010. [150350]

Mr Swire: The Government are fully committed to supporting trade and investment. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Charter for Business

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sets out how the FCO supports UK business overseas and how the FCO is working to help deliver success for the UK's economy.

Foreign Office Ministers have a varied programme when they travel overseas. To collate all the information for the period since 2010 would be possible only at disproportionate cost.

However, to give a flavour of the level of engagement by Ministers, there have been 37 countries visited between January and March 2013 which have involved a programme supporting trade and investment work. This number includes all Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers, including my noble Friend Lord Green, the Minister with responsibility for Trade and Investment.

Details of all overseas visits undertaken by Ministers are published on a quarterly basis on the GOV.UK website.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministerial-quarterly-returns-hospitality-gifts-overseas-travel-and-meetings-with-external-organisations

The information includes the name, date, destination, purpose of the visit and cost by each Minister.

Health

NHS Reorganisations

19. Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS staff have been made redundant and subsequently re-employed by NHS organisations since May 2010. [150782]

Dr Poulter: The number of people made redundant in the national health service since 1 May 2010 and since re-employed in the NHS up to 31 December 2012 is estimated to be 2,275.(1)

(1) This estimate is based on staff recorded on the Electronic Staff Record (ESR) Data Warehouse as having a reason for leaving as either voluntary or compulsory redundancy between 1 May 2010 and 30 September 2012, and who have a subsequent record on the ESR Data Warehouse up to 31 December 2012.

Note:

The ESR Data Warehouse is a monthly snapshot of the live ESR system. This is the HR and payroll system that covers all NHS employees other than those working in General Practice, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Health Care: York and North Yorkshire

21. Julian Sturdy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to alleviate the effect on health care funding in York and North Yorkshire of an ageing population. [150784]

Mr Jeremy Hunt: Age is the main driver of an individual's need for health care, as reflected in recent funding formulae.

While this is for the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS England), our Mandate to them makes clear that equal access for equal need should be at the heart of their approach to allocating resources locally.

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Redundancy Payments

Karl Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the NHS has spent on redundancy payments since May 2010. [150763]

Dr Poulter: The national health service has spent £793 million on all exit packages between April 2010 and March 2012 (the latest date for which figures are available) of which £333.7 million was on compulsory redundancy payments.

Health Services: Bulgarian and Romanian Migrants

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the European Commission on limiting access to health services for Bulgarian and Romanian migrants from January 2014. [150770]

Dr Poulter: We have not discussed this subject with the European Commission.

The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the Member for Fareham (Mr Hoban), had a constructive discussion on the benefit measures outlined in the Prime Minister's speech on immigration with Laszlo Andor from the Commission on 25 March 2013.

We will be consulting on proposals for national health service access this summer. We will discuss with the Commission any which might impact on European Economic Area citizens.

ABP Food Group

Mary Creagh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many ABP Food Group meat cutting plants have trading standards or Food Standards Agency officials visited since 16 January 2013. [150474]

Anna Soubry: The following visits have been carried out at ABP Food Group meat cutting plants in Great Britain by either local authority enforcement officers or Food Standards Agency (FSA) since 16 January 2013:

Type of InspectionNumber of visits conducted since 16 January 2013

Unannounced Visits by FSA

1

Food Business Operator Audit by FSA

5

Local Authority Inspection

1

Alzheimer's Disease

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the UK taking part in human clinical trials on the use of bexarotene to treat severe stages of Alzheimer's. [150084]

Dr Poulter: There are no current international multicentre clinical trials of the use of bexarotene to treat severe stages of Alzheimer's disease. A small clinical study is now being set up in the United States to evaluate the efficacy and safety of bexarotene in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

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The Department's National Institute for Health Research welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including treatment of dementia. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the scientific quality of the proposals made.

Bisphenol A

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of whether baby bottles procured and used for medical purposes and subject to Medical Devices Regulations but not covered by The Plastic Materials and Articles in Contact with Food (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 could contain the chemical bisphenol A (BPA); what assessment he has made of the circumstances in which such a bottle containing BPA could be regarded as safe; what recent assessment he has made of reports on early exposure to BPA and its effects on babies in intensive care; and if he will make a statement. [150203]

Norman Lamb: Feeding bottles or similar products indicated for use by the manufacturer to deliver a medicine or a controlled quantity of milk for babies needing a strict control of intake for medical reasons, are subject to the Medical Devices Regulations which implement the EC Medical Devices Directive into United Kingdom law. The directive which governs the safety and performance of medical devices being placed on the market in the European Union requires that the manufacturer assess and demonstrate that any risks are outweighed by the medical benefits.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is the competent authority for medical devices in the UK. It is aware of the World Health Organisation report on endocrine disrupting chemicals, including Bisphenol A (BPA) as well as other past reviews on the use of BPA in medical devices which have determined that the benefits they offer outweigh any risks. In addition the European Commission has already asked the European Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks to look at the use of BPA in medical devices. Their report is awaited and will indicate if more specific controls should be considered for European medical devices legislation.

Co-cyprindiol

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the safety of co-cyprindiol tablets; and if he will take steps to withdraw them from use. [150906]

Norman Lamb: In the United Kingdom the safety of co-cyprindiol has been reviewed by the Commission on Human Medicines (previously the Committee on Safety of Medicines) or its Expert Advisory Group on Medicines for Women’s Health four times in recent years. Product information for co-cyprindiol has been updated to ensure the information provided to prescribes and women is up-to-date and clearly reflects the available data. Prescribers have been kept informed of new advice through the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's safety bulletin.

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The European Medicines Agency has recently announced a further European Union-wide review of the risks and benefits of co-cyprindiol based on concerns in France about the well-known risk of venous thromboembolism and concern about off-label use in contraception. The available data will be carefully evaluated and we will ensure that any action necessary is taken promptly in the UK.

Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the devolved administrations on the collation of data on (a) the number of children diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, (b) the survival rates of such children and (c) the cost of their specialist care. [150604]

Dr Poulter: No such discussions have been held.

There are no known interventions to prevent congenital diaphragmatic hernia. This condition is specified in the list of structural abnormalities that are included in the anomaly screening scan at 20 weeks that is offered to all women during antenatal care.

Data on this condition are not held centrally by the Department, but are collected and published by the British Isles Network of Congenital Anomaly Registers (BINOCAR). Data are available for the following five English regional congenital anomaly registers—Berkshire and Buckinghamshire (CAROBB), East Midlands and South Yorkshire (EMSYCAR), Northern region (NorCAS), South West region (SWCAR), and Wessex (WANDA). They cover 32% of the births in England.

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of the treatment of children diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia. [150605]

Dr Poulter: The information requested is not available as the cost to the national health service of the treatment of congenital diaphragmatic hernia is not separately reported to the Department.

Defibrillators

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to have defibrillators provided in all public buildings; and if he will make a statement. [150561]

Anna Soubry: The majority of cardiac arrests, possibly, as many as 80%, happen outside hospital and occur in the home. Therefore, to improve survival rates, more people need to be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The Cardiovascular Disease outcomes strategy published earlier this month highlighted this and the need for the wider availability of defibrillators. The NHS Commissioning Board will work with the Resuscitation Council, the British Heart Foundation and others to promote mapping/registration of defibrillators and to consider ways of increasing the numbers trained in both CPR and use of defibrillators.

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Dementia

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will institute a UK-wide dementia strategy. [150907]

Norman Lamb: Health care outside of England is a matter for the Devolved Administrations, therefore the Department will not institute a United Kingdom wide dementia strategy.

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Governments to increase dementia screening and to better deliver support services. [150908]

Norman Lamb: The Department has not had discussions and does not advocate screening for dementia.

Professor Alistair Burns and departmental officials will shortly be meeting representatives from all the Devolved Administrations to ensure that they are able to be kept fully up to date of all aspects of the Prime Minister's challenge on dementia, and also to share good practice between different countries in the United Kingdom.

Dental Services: Foreign Nationals

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of dental treatment for overseas visitors in each of the last five years. [150585]

Anna Soubry: This information is not held centrally.

Diabetes

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with clinicians and others about those indicators relating to diabetes which should be proposed to the NHS Commissioning Board; and if he will make a statement. [150088]

Anna Soubry: NHS England is responsible for the Clinical Commissioning Group Outcomes Indicator Set (CCG Outcomes Indicator Set). Following recommendations from NICE and engagement with clinicians and other stakeholders the CCG Outcomes Indicator Set for 2013-14 was published on the NHS CB website at:

www.england.nhs.uk/ccg-ois/

The set includes a number of indicators relating to diabetes.

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many diabetes-related amputations have taken place in each strategic health authority area in each of the last five years. [150840]

Anna Soubry: Information on diabetes-related amputations that have taken place in each strategic health authority (SHA) for the years 2007-08 to 2011-12 is shown in the following table:

16 Apr 2013 : Column 334W

SHA name2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12

North East Strategic Health Authority

70

95

114

94

105

North West Strategic Health Authority

233

252

265

238

249

Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority

166

187

163

250

277

East Midlands Strategic Health Authority

225

214

216

230

187

West Midlands Strategic Health Authority

213

258

214

231

284

East of England Strategic Health Authority

334

265

290

308

291

London Strategic Health Authority

283

279

224

315

312

South East Coast Strategic Health Authority

181

163

190

199

193

South Central Strategic Health Authority

143

154

138

166

195

South West Strategic Health Authority

266

330

362

339

313

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to encourage the appropriate prescription of insulin pumps. [150857]

Anna Soubry: The Department's NHS Outcomes Framework and Mandate outline the improvements in health and healthcare that we envisage the national health service achieving. This includes enhancing the quality of life for people with long-term conditions through the provision of high quality, efficient, and fair services.

It is for NHS England to ensure commissioners and providers make insulin pumps available for those people with diabetes that meet the criteria recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, as well as ensuring the relevant structured patient education is provided to support people newly diagnosed with diabetes and at appropriate points in their life as their condition progresses.

Diabetes: Peterborough

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that the nine key care processes set out by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in respect of diabetes are being followed in Peterborough constituency; and if he will make a statement. [150103]

Anna Soubry: In 2001, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence outlined nine care processes that people with diabetes should receive annually to monitor risk of developing complications and reduce risk of further deterioration. The nine care processes are: HbA1c (a measurement of residual glucose), body mass index, blood pressure, urine albumin creatinine ratio, blood tests for creatinine (to assess kidney function) and cholesterol, eye examinations, foot examinations and assessment of smoking status. It is the responsibility

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of the local national health service to deliver the nine diabetes care processes and, from 1 April 2013, this will be monitored by NHS England.

Disclosure of Information

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many civil servants in his Department have been subject to non-disclosure agreements in each year since 2010. [150035]

Dr Poulter: No civil servants have been subject to non-disclosure agreements since 2010. However, all civil servants on appointment are bound by the Official Secrets Act 1989 and confidentiality under this Act continues even when they leave Crown employment.

Food: Inspections

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many local authorities have delivered no data on (a) food standards and (b) food hygiene in each year since 2007. [150005]

Anna Soubry: The Food Standards Agency moved to an electronic data collection system from 2008-09. To enable them to prepare for implementation of this new system, local authorities were given a moratorium on providing an annual data return in 2007-08.

The number of local authorities that delivered no data in each year from 2008-09 are:

Reporting yearFood standardsFood hygiene

2008-09

16

18

2009-10

1

0

2010-11

0

0

2011-12

0

0

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what power the Food Standards Agency possesses to require food sampling. [150006]

Anna Soubry: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is the central competent authority for food safety and has a statutory function under the Food Standards Art 1999 to protect public health and consumers' other interests in relation to food and drink. The majority of food law enforcement is delegated to local authorities throughout the United Kingdom who carry out checks of all food businesses in their area to ensure compliance with food safety/traceability and labelling requirements. Local authority food sampling responsibilities are set out in the statutory Food Law Code of Practice (separate parallel Codes of Practice exist for each of the four UK countries), as part of which they are required to develop an annual sampling programme for their area and provide the resources necessary to carry it out.

The FSA monitors arrangements to make sure that there is adequate provision for local authority sampling and analysis as part of an annual process, whereby the FSA reports on the UK's performance in carrying out regulatory controls, as set out in the National Control Plan required under the EC Official Feed and Food Regulation 882/2004.

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In addition, the FSA identifies priorities each year for the national co-ordinated food sampling programme, carried out by local authorities funded by the FSA. The priorities take into account consumer and public health protection, are risk and evidence based and intelligence-led. The priorities are published on the FSA's website.

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the systems in place to ensure comprehensive food hygiene and food standard control and testing. [150053]

Anna Soubry: Local authorities provide annual returns to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on their food law enforcement activities including any sampling undertaken and the results of testing carried out. These data are analysed to provide national statistics and to examine emerging trends, which in turn are used to inform the agency's programme of audits of local authorities.

An annual report containing the annual data, an analysis of trends over the previous three years and details of the agency's audit of local authorities is submitted to the FSA board for assessment. The latest report, covering the period 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012, was discussed at the November 2012 board meeting and is available at:

www.food.gov.uk

via the following the links:

About Us;

How we work; ,

Our Board;

Open Board meetings;

Board meetings 2012;

13 November 2012 ‘Agenda and papers’; and

Local Authority Enforcement Monitoring System (LAEMS) Report ‘FSA 12 November 2006’.

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of people suitably qualified to carry out food hygiene and food standards testing; and what assessment he has made of whether that number is adequate. [150057]

Anna Soubry: The 2011-12 data provided to the Food Standards Agency by local authorities indicated that the following number of professional full-time equivalent (FTE) staff were engaged in United Kingdom food law enforcement and, as such, would be suitably qualified to carry out food sampling:

Food hygiene: 1,870

Food standards: 840

The Food Standards Agency would assess and, where appropriate, make recommendations about the adequacy of the number of qualified staff when auditing individual local authorities.

The latest figures available for food examiners and public analysts employed in the UK are:

Food examiners (food hygiene testing): 57

Public analysts (food standards testing): 31

These figures relate to Official Control Laboratories, there are other commercial laboratories that are qualified to carry out food testing.

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The current system has been adequate to cope under the high workloads of samples sent for analysis during the horsemeat incident.

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many food samples were taken in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13 to date for (i) food hygiene and (ii) food standards purposes. [150059]

Anna Soubry: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is involved in a range of food sampling carried out each year under a range of national and European Union food legislation. The various areas of testing and number of samples taken are set out in the annual reports of the Implementation of the UK National Control Plan since 2007.

The FSA also commissions regular surveys of foods to help to protect and inform consumers by alerting the agency to potential food safety issues. The surveys help to judge the effectiveness of regulation and inform negotiations with the European Commission, monitor trends and assess risks. These surveys can also be found on the FSA website.

Local authorities report on food sampling activity in their annual food law enforcement monitoring returns to the FSA. In 2011-12, the total number of samples taken by local authorities across the United Kingdom was 78,653 and 92,181 analyses were carried out on these samples. The total sample figure cannot be split between food hygiene (FH) and food standards (FS) issues as an individual sample may be subjected to tests for both. The breakdown by analyses is shown in the following table.

 Number

Microbiological contamination (FH)

55,546

Other contamination (FH/FS)

4,432

Composition (FS)

18,219

Labelling and Presentation (FS)

11,879

Others (FH/FS)

2,105

Data on 2012-13 food sampling activity by local authorities are not currently available.

General Practitioners

Caroline Dinenage: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans his Department has to make salaried and partnership working more attractive to recently qualified GPs than locum employment or emigration. [150118]

Dr Poulter: The vast majority of general practitioner (GP) practices run as private businesses and it is entirely up to the partners of each practice to determine whether to invite a new partner to join, or what terms and conditions they offer to employ a salaried GP. It is then a matter for individual GPs to decide whether they seek to join a practice as a partner, salaried GP or to be employed as a locum.

The latest annual earnings before tax figures, for 2010-11, for GP contractors was £107,700, some four times the average United Kingdom annual salary, while salaried GPs earned £57,900 (or around £70,000 on a whole time equivalent basis). Earnings figures for GPs employed as locums are not separately identified.

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Health Services: Foreign Nationals

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what official in each NHS trust is designated as responsible for identifying, charging and recovering costs from overseas visitors. [150564]

Anna Soubry: The Department does not hold this information, but has issued guidance that strongly recommends that national health service trusts have a designated person to oversee implementation of the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2011, as amended. This person is often referred to as an Overseas Visitors Manager.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of treating non-EU visitors that was not recovered in each of the last 10 years; [150889]

(2) what estimate his Department has made of the number of foreign nationals not entitled to free NHS care who have been detained in the UK for failing to pay for treatment given to them by the NHS in each of the last 10 years; [150890]

(3) what estimate his Department has made of the number of overseas visitors not entitled to free NHS care who have been treated by the NHS and have left the UK without paying for that treatment in each of the last 10 years. [150892]

Anna Soubry: The Department does not hold this information.

The Department is not able to make a reliable estimate of the cost to the national health service of treating non-European Union visitors that was not recovered because the NHS does not currently have robust enough systems in place to identify every overseas patient who should pay for hospital treatment. Where they are identified it is estimated that approximately 50% do not pay for that treatment.

The Department has recently concluded a major review of the rules and procedures on charging visitors and migrants for NHS care and will shortly consult on plans to extend charging to some visitors and temporary residents and on improving how the NHS can identify, charge and recover charges where they should apply.

Hospitals: Food

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that there is sufficient fruit in the diet of patients on wards. [150895]

Dr Poulter: National health service organisations are responsible for developing their own food policies, but all are expected to comply with the Care Quality Commission's ‘Essential standards of Quality and Safety’.

New patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE) began on 1 April 2013, and include hospital food and drink. These wide ranging assessments include a question to establish whether hospitals ensure that fresh fruit is available at all times.

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NHS organisations are also encouraged to comply with Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services, which recommends increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.

Hospitals: Hydration

Glyn Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS hospitals have a hydration policy for their wards. [150252]

Norman Lamb: This information is not collected or held centrally. However, all providers of regulated activities, including hospitals, are required by law to have policies in place that protect people from the risks of dehydration. It is for health and social care providers to develop local hydration policies and there are a number of best practice resources available to help providers to do this.

Hospitals: Waiting Lists

Yasmin Qureshi: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many elective operations have been cancelled for non-clinical reasons over the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [151066]

Anna Soubry: The information collected by the Department is shown in the following table:

Quarter endingMarch 2012June 2012September 2012December 2012

Elective operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons on or after the day of admission

16,719

14,113

13,122

16,211

Source: Department of Health Quarterly Monitoring of Cancelled Elective Operations