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28 Jan 2008 : Column 67W—continued


Unemployment: Essex

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many unemployed people under the age of 25 years there were in (a) Romford, (b) Essex and (c) Greater London in the most recent period for which figures are available. [181655]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 28 January 2008:


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Table 1: Unemployed persons, aged 16 to 24, resident in Romford, Essex and London for the 12 months ending June 2007
Thousand
Level Rate( 1) (Percentage)

Romford

(2)

(2)

Essex

10

7

London

104

12

(1) Unemployed as a percentage of the economically active population.
(2) Estimates not available since the group sampling size is zero or disclosive
Note:
Estimates are subject to sampling variability.
Source:
Annual Population Survey, ONS.

Table 2: Number of claimants of jobseeker’s allowance, aged 18 to 24, resident in Romford, Essex and London in June 2007
Number Proportion( 1) (Percentage)

Romford

275

(2)

Essex

4,200

4

London

37,085

5

(1) Number of claimants expressed as a percentage of claimant count + work force jobs.
(2) Estimates not available.
Source:
Jobcentre Plus administrative system.

Unemployment: Peterborough

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many workless households there were in Peterborough constituency in each year since 1997. [181557]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell:


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Workless households( 1) in Peterborough parliamentary constituency( 2 ) April-June 1999 to 2007, not seasonally adjusted
Thousand
Number of workless households

1999

5

2000

n/a

2001

4

2002

5

2003

5

2004

4

2005

6

2006

6

2007

4

n/a = comparable estimates for 2000 are not currently available.
(1) A workless household is a household with at least one person of working age (male aged 16 to 64 and women aged 16 to 59), and in which no one aged 16 or over is in employment.
(2) Figures have not been adjusted to include estimates for households with unknown economic activity.
Note:
As with any sample survey, estimates from the Labour Force Survey are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
Source:
ONS Labour Force Survey

Written Questions

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to answer question 162356, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 6 November 2007, on the new deal. [171138]

Caroline Flint: I replied to the hon. Member's question on 11 December 2007, Official Report , column 468W.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to answer question 162678, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 6 November 2007, on the new deal for young people. [171151]

Caroline Flint: I replied to the hon. Member's question on 17 December 2007, Official Report , column 939W.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to answer question 162677, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 6 November, on the new deal 25 plus. [171153]

Caroline Flint: I replied to the hon. Member's question on 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 466W.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to answer question 162359, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 6 November, on the new deal. [171162]

Caroline Flint: I replied to the hon. Member's question on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 939W.


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Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Feed: Pesticides

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which public authority has lead responsibility for the monitoring of pesticide residues in animal feed and animal feed ingredients; and if he will make a statement. [182121]

Jonathan Shaw [holding 25 January answer 2008]: The Food Standards Agency has lead responsibility for the Feeding Stuffs (England) Regulations 2005, which set maximum permitted levels for chemical contaminants including certain pesticides in animal feed. Separate but parallel feeding stuff regulations are in place for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Great Britain, local authorities are responsible for the enforcement of this legislation and monitoring of feed to ensure compliance with the requirements of the regulations. In Northern Ireland enforcement and monitoring is the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Pesticides Safety Directorate has lead responsibility for The Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels in Crops, Food and Feeding Stuffs) (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 which set maximum levels for pesticide residues in plants and animal products whether they may be used for human food or animal feed. Separate but parallel regulations are in place for Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Pesticides Safety Directorate is responsible for the UK's national pesticide monitoring plan, with the advice of the independent Pesticide Residues Committee.

Animals: Abuse

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people were (a) charged, (b) convicted, (c) fined, (d) banned from keeping animals, (e) imprisoned and (f) otherwise punished for offences to cruelty to animals in each year since 1997, broken down by type of animal involved. [181498]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 24 January 2008]: The individual circumstances of animal cruelty offences, including the type of animal involved, and data on charging, are not held centrally.

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to reduce levels of cruelty to animals, broken down by type of animal. [181499]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 24 January 2008]: There are a number of measures in place that provide protection to animals generally and are not species specific. For example, last year the Government introduced the Animal Welfare Act 2006, under which it is an offence to cause an animal, under the control of man, any unnecessary suffering. The Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996 makes it an offence to intentionally inflict unnecessary suffering on wild mammals. In addition, the Government are committed to improving the welfare of animals such as through the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy and the Animal Welfare Delivery Strategy.


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Avian Influenza: Hazardous Substances

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what method of storage his Department requires for samples taken for testing for H5N1 virus. [180685]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 21 January 2008]: The samples for routine dead wild bird surveillance are collected according to standardised protocols, accredited to a United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) International Standards Organisation (ISO)17025 quality system. DEFRA employs the diagnostic expertise of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), Weybridge, which is the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) and European Union (EU) Reference Laboratory for avian influenza (AI). Our sampling, collection, storage and transportation methods are entirely consistent with international and European Union standards. We continually revise and subject all aspects of our AI surveillance activities to peer review in light of new international evidence as it arises. Our testing regime conforms to the highest standards for protecting animal and public health.

The delivery target for the following dead wild bird surveillance activities is five days. Eligible wild birds are collected from the field by a collection agency operator (generally from the Meat and Livestock Commission) in a biosecure manner, including double bagging of the bird to protect operator health and safety. The wild birds are then delivered to the nearest VLA regional laboratory, where they are refrigerated (+4┬░ Celsius) pending sampling. Once samples are collected from the wild bird at the VLA regional laboratory they will also be stored at +4┬░ Celsius. Samples are then packaged and despatched. Rapid courier delivery of specimens collected in this manner ensures high quality material is received at the VLA headquarters laboratory for testing. Testing of the samples at VLA Weybridge usually commences as soon as practically possible upon the day of receipt, with samples held at +4┬░Celsius as required.

Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to introduce a badger cull in those areas in Devon most affected by Bovine TB. [182076]

Jonathan Shaw: The question of whether badger culling has a role to play in controlling bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle is complex.

We are currently considering this complex issue, taking into account all the available scientific evidence, including the final report of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG) and the assessment of the scientific evidence made by the Government’s former chief scientific adviser, Sir David King. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already met with former members of the ISG including Professor John Bourne; and separately with Sir David King. We also wish to take into account the views from the
28 Jan 2008 : Column 72W
Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee following its inquiry into badgers and bovine TB.

While we are keen to make progress on reaching a decision, there is no specific timetable for doing so.

BSE: Disease Control

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress his Department has made towards its public service agreement target of a reduction in the number of cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy detected by both passive and active surveillance to less than 60 in 2006, with the disease being eradicated by 2010; and if he will make a statement. [181485]

Jonathan Shaw: There were 104 bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) cases in Great Britain (GB) in 2006. In 2007, the number of cases fell by 49 per cent. to 53.

DEFRA is continuing to work towards its public service agreement target of eradicating BSE in GB by 2010. However, due to the long incubation period of BSE, achievement of this target will be determined by past events and will be affected by the EU’s surveillance regime and the longevity of cattle born before August 1996, in which the prevalence of infection is highest. The Government are working with industry leaders to encourage producers to dispose of these cattle under the older cattle disposal scheme before it closes at the end of 2008.

Future BSE cases born after the reinforced feed ban in August 1996 could also impact on our achievement of the 2010 target although epidemiological assessments have demonstrated a clear decline in the prevalence of BSE infection in successive birth cohorts born after July 1996.

Capita

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was paid by his Department to Capita Group plc and its subsidiaries in each financial year since 2000; which contracts were awarded by his Department to Capita Group plc in each year from 2000-01 to the most recent available date; what the cost was of each contract; what penalties for default were imposed in contract provisions; what the length was of each contract; whether the contract was advertised; how many companies applied for the contract; how many were short-listed; what criteria were used for choosing a company; what provision was made for renewal without re-tender in each case; and if he will make a statement. [180691]

Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA came into being in June 2001. From information held centrally, the core-Department's expenditure with Capita Group plc and its subsidiaries since financial year 2001-02 is tabled as follows:


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28 Jan 2008 : Column 74W
£
Vendor Name 2007-08( 1) 2006-07 2005-06 2004-05 2003-04 2002-03 2001-02

Capita Business Services Ltd.

545,419.58

665,791.98

260,330.72

545,482.32

536,763.48

453,988.49

564,393.03

Capita Communications

129,460.10

88,610.18

Capita Health Solutions Ltd.

2,461.36

10,976.10

11,414.84

Capita Resourcing Ltd.

647,629.62

1,147,946.59

785,684.49

44,106.84

Capita Symonds Ltd.

37,461.58

329,480.73

505,096.75

89,441.06

146,057.21

Capita Pensions Administration Services

673,058.74

Capita HR and Financial Resourcing

14,747.63

Capita Property Consultancy Ltd.

85,078.85

94,335.64

Capita DBS Ltd.

12,496.50

448,053.30

(1) April to December.

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