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28 Feb 2008 : Column 1805W—continued

Flexible Working

Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many workers are entitled to request flexible working; and if he will make a statement. [190089]

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Mr. McFadden: Around six million employees currently enjoy the right to request flexible working, of whom some 3.6 million are parents of young or disabled children. The scope of the law was extended to carers of adults on 6 April 2007, giving the right to an additional 2.65 million employees.

On 6 November 2007, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced that the Government had decided to extend the scope of the right to request flexible working to parents of older children. Imelda Walsh, HR Director of J Sainsbury plc, was appointed to lead an independent review into what the age cut-off should be. She is expected to report in the spring of this year.

Bankruptcy: Wales

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many bankruptcies there were in Wales since 1990, broken down by industry group. [180767]

Mr. McFadden: It is not possible from records held centrally and in a readily available format to provide all the information requested. Table 1 provides the statistics which could be compiled in the time available and which most closely match those requested; to provide additional years’, or more detailed, figures would incur disproportionate cost.

Table 1: Bankruptcies in Wales , Government office region (GOR), by Insolvency Trade Classification (ITC)
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006( 1)


















Construction and Transport








Wholesale and Retail
























Total traders
























Total bankruptcies








(1) January to June.
1. The Insolvency Trade Classification (ITC) was used to classify trading-related bankruptcies (and company liquidations) until end September 2006. However, only the period from January-June 2006 is provided because of the way the data are held.
2. Only the broad industry groupings under the ITC are shown above, because numbers are relatively small, and to aid interpretation of the figures.
3. By the end of the period shown over 75 per cent. of bankruptcies are recorded as non-traders and so have no associated industry classification.
4. The geographical information presented above is based on bankrupts’ postcodes and is subject to an element of missing or unusable data. Nationally, this has been decreasing from around 12 per cent. in 2000 to 4 per cent. in 2006.

Departmental Secondment

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many secondments of staff were made (a) to and (b) from his Department in each year since 1997; which organisations staff were seconded (i) to and (ii) from; how many staff were seconded in each year; for how long each secondment lasted; and what the cost was of each secondment in each year. [167276]

Mr. Thomas: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform welcome opportunities to promote and exchange best practice with organisations outside Government by way of secondments.

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The details of departmental inward and outward secondments between 1997 and 2005 have been placed in the Libraries of the House. Details of costs are not available. Responsibility for collating details of inward and outward secondments was devolved to departmental groups in 2006 and records from this period are not held centrally. However, in October 2007 departmental groups reported that there were 25 secondees working in BERR from non-Government Departments. A list of these is also being placed in the Libraries of the House.


Armed Forces: Protective Clothing

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 82W, on armed forces: protective clothing, what items of equipment personnel are issued for use in self-extraction from minefields. [189587]

Des Browne: All deployed personnel are trained in minefield self-extraction procedures using equipment available to them on operations. I am withholding specific details on minefield extraction equipment and techniques as its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness and security of the armed forces.

Defence: Expenditure

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate what defence expenditure in 2007-08 would be if (a) it was at the same level in real terms as in 1984-85, (b) it formed the same proportion of gross domestic product as in 1984-85 and (c) if the proportion of public expenditure accounted for by defence expenditure was the same as the average proportion during the 1980s. [190030]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: HM Treasury’s Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA) 2007 (Cm 7091), available on the HM Treasury website, gives outturn figures for Defence spending back to 1987-88. These include figures for Defence spending as a proportion of total managed expenditure and as a percentage of gross domestic product.

The 1999-2000 edition of PESA—also available online—gives figures back as far as 1983-84, but for technical reasons, these are not necessarily consistent with the latest PESA tables and so are illustrative only.

Departmental Manpower

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) staff and (b) full-time equivalent staff under 18 years are employed by his Department. [189082]

Derek Twigg: The following table shows the number of headcount and full-time equivalent civilian personnel(1) below the age of 18, 18 and over and total civilian personnel who were employed by the Ministry of Defence as at 1 January 2008.

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Age Headcount( 2) Full- time equivalent( 2)

Under 18



18 and over



Total civilian personnel(1)



(1) Civilian personnel includes all non-industrial, industrial and Trading Fund Ministry of Defence personnel, but excludes Locally Engaged Civilians and Royal Fleet Auxiliaries figures for which age data are not known.
(2) Full-time equivalent is a measure of the size of the work force that takes account of part-time hours. Headcount is a measure of the size of the work force that counts all people equally regardless of their hours of work.
Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10, and subtotals may not sum to total.

Departmental Temporary Employment

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what average hourly rate his Department paid to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by employment agency. [187910]

Derek Twigg: For the most part, this information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, I am able to provide details for administrative and clerical grades from 1 December 2006 to 1 November 2007 as this recruitment service is now provided centrally within MOD by the People, Pay and Pensions Agency (PPPA). The employment agencies contracted to recruit agency staff are Reed, Hayes, Brook Street, Pertemps, Manpower, Select, Carlisle Recruitment and Adecco. I should stress that the use of these agency staff only occurs after all other employment options have been considered.

For the period 1 December 2006 to 31 March 2007, the average hourly rate paid to employment agencies for administrative and clerical grades was £8.61. For the period from 1 April 2007 to 1 November 2007, the average hourly rate was £8.64.

I am withholding the individual rate for each employment agency as the information is commercial in confidence.

Iraq: War Crimes

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Government have received any requests from the International Criminal Court for UK military personnel to stand trial there for an alleged war crime in Iraq. [188891]

Des Browne: No requests have been received from the International Criminal Court.

Porton Down: Human Experiments

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what settlement has been reached in respect of veterans’ claims relating to participation in trials at Porton Down; what the implications of the settlement are for veterans not represented in the claims made; and if he will make a statement. [189696]

Derek Twigg: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

28 Feb 2008 : Column 1809W


Olympic Games 2012: Gun Sports

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister for the Olympics how much has been spent to date on (a) surveying, (b) preparatory work and (c) other work on potential sites for the 2012 Olympics shooting events at (i) Royal Artillery Barracks, (ii) Bisley, (iii) Dartford and (iv) Evershot, Dorset; and if she will make a statement. [188746]

Tessa Jowell: While surveys and exploratory visits were made to several existing locations as part of venue considerations at the time of the 2012 bid, any expenditure related to that work was not recorded by venue. Since the bid, only nominal sums have been spent so far on further preparatory works.

Women and Equality

Domestic Violence

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what funding is being provided from the public purse for organisations supporting those affected by domestic violence in 2008-09. [187935]

Barbara Follett: It is not possible to forecast accurately how much public money will be spent in 2008-09 on organisations supporting those affected by domestic violence, as support is provided through a mixture of central and local government funding.

The Supporting People programme provides the main source of public funding for housing-related support in England. This programme is delivered at a local level and decisions on how much money is spent on services for those affected by domestic violence, or other services, are made by the top tier local authorities, based on a local needs assessment. The 2008-09 allocations for Supporting People amount to £1.686 billion. We do know that top tier local authorities spent £59,333,258 on services for those affected by domestic violence in 2005-06, and £61,645,319 in 2006-07.

In 2008-09 the Calderdale Women’s Centre will receive £177,659 to support its work in identifying and supporting women experiencing chronic social exclusion as a result of domestic violence. This money will be made available through the Adults facing Chronic Exclusion Programme, which is funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Home Office, Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions.

The Ministry of Justice has allocated £3 million per year over the three years from 2008-07 for Independent Domestic Violence Advisers, whose aim is the safety and support of victims and their children. This is in addition to annual court business costs.

Finally, the Home Office is investing over £20 million over the next three years on tackling violent crime, including domestic violence. Part of this funding will be used to fund multi-agency work to support victims of domestic violence.

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